The State Water Infrastructure Authority has approved $100.4 million in loans and grants that will help North Carolina local governments pay for 34 drinking water and wastewater projects.
Requests for nearly $176 million for water infrastructure projects were received in April. Funds for selected projects across the state were awarded through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan program, Drinking Water State Reserve program, Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program, and the Wastewater State Reserve program. The approved funding provides the best funding available for a given project application. The April 2018 application round was the final round to use funds from the Connect NC Bond.
“With North Carolina’s extensive water infrastructure needs, it is important to provide utilities with programs that make water infrastructure investments as affordable as possible,” said Kim Colson, director of DEQ’s water infrastructure division.
The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill estimates that the total 20-year infrastructure needs for the state are likely to be in the range of $10.8-$15 billion for drinking water systems and $7.4-$11.1 billion for wastewater systems.
The application period for the authority’s next round of funding ends on Sept. 28. The Division of Water Infrastructure will conduct statewide training sessions for interested applicants July 31 through Aug. 10. The complete training schedule is available at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=3a901e2c-d4fd-48b6-aef3-46eeecd2ef64&groupId=14655572
Water systems in North Carolina and nationwide are challenged by aging infrastructure that can date back a century or more. The costs of addressing these needs can be overwhelming, especially for smaller towns and cities, but the costs of not addressing them can be greater.
A summary of funding approved by the authority and a list of all funded projects statewide by town and/or county is available at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=2dc49a4c-b254-47df-971e-47ff37a48fa1&groupId=14655572