Helix Water District Logo Square officers for 2021

Helix Water District Invited to Apply for $15.8M WIFIA Loan

12/3/2021 – Today, Helix Water District was invited by the US Environmental Protection Agency to apply for a $15.8 million low-interest loan to help finance major water infrastructure upgrades in East County.

The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan will help the district pay for over $32 million worth of needed capital improvement projects and facility upgrades. The projects improve water reliability, quality and increase energy efficiency throughout the district’s 50 square mile service area.

A low-interest loan offers flexibility by allowing the district to tackle larger capital improvement projects while also keeping other projects on schedule. Financing the district’s upcoming projects also benefits customers by providing rate stability.

Resetting the Mission for WIFIA

The WIFIA Loan Program recently announced that it has reset the interest rates on two undrawn loan commitments originally made in mid-2018. The fixed rate on a $135 million loan to Orange County Water District and a $614 million loan to San Diego Public Facilities Financing Authority were reset downward from about 3.1 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, to around 1 percent, reflecting the steady decline in the Treasury curve since the loans’ first-rate setting.

An Update on the WIFIA Loan Program

The U.S. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Loan Program was enacted in 2014 and became operational in 2017. WIFIA has now completed three solicitation rounds over the period 2017-2019, generating 90 competitively selected applications totaling $13.6 billion of loan volume, of which more than $5 billion has been closed.