EPA provides $135 million for groundwater replenishment project expansion
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $135 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan to the Orange County Water District to help finance its Groundwater Replenishment System final expansion.
With EPA’s WIFIA loan, the Orange County Water District will purify treated wastewater from the Orange County Sanitation District to produce an additional 30 million gallons per day of drinking water, which will be stored in the Orange County Groundwater Basin.
The Orange County Water District estimates the project will cost $282 million. EPA’s WIFIA loan will help finance nearly half that amount — up to $135 million. Because the WIFIA program offers loans with low interest rates, the Orange County Water District is expected to save up to $16 million compared to municipal bonds. Project construction is expected to create 700 jobs and is scheduled to begin in 2019 and be completed in 2023.