EPA announces $48 million in WIFIA loan to expand water supply in Oxnard, California

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WASHINGTON (May 13, 2022) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $48 million loan under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) to the City of Oxnard, California, in support of its Aquifer Storage Recovery Project. EPA is helping with this WIFIA loan Expansion of the city’s drinking water supply to ensure a climate-resilient and reliable water supply for over 200,000 people.

“Communities in the west — including Oxnard, California — face ongoing water challenges due to climate change and the worst mega drought in a millennium. This challenge requires the use of multiple tools, including recycling our water to get more value out of every drop,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “The EPA is proud to provide this $48 million loan to help Oxnard expand water reuse. We are working to bring the benefits of water infrastructure investments to communities coast-to-coast with the $50 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill.”

“I am delighted that the EPA has approved a WIFIA loan for the City of Oxnard’s Aquifer Storage Recovery Project, and appreciate Administrator Regan’s commitment to helping our region meet the climate-resilient water supply it needs during this unprecedented drought .” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CA-26). “As the impacts of climate change intensify, we must continue to work together at all levels of government on innovative projects to support recycling and replenishment of groundwater supplies for our community. I also commend the good work of Mayor Zaragoza and the City of Oxnard staff in putting together this excellent project proposal that will help ensure that over 200,000 Oxnard residents continue to have access to safe, clean and affordable water.”

The City of Oxnard’s Aquifer Storage Recovery Project will increase the reliability of the water supply by expanding the production of recycled water. The Oxnard Basin is an important source of water for the community, but is in a state of critical overdraft and is vulnerable to seawater intrusion. Additionally, the city forecasts significant water shortages through 2040 due to increasing droughts and groundwater limitations. In response to these water supply challenges, the city will add 14.4 million gallons of water per day to the capacity of the Advanced Water Purification Facility and associated distribution system. These efforts will allow the city to increase its supply of recycled water and reduce water security risk to the community.

“With climate change and the ongoing drought in California, investing in local water projects is critical to our future,” said Oxnard Mayor John C. Zaragoza. “This funding allows us to complete major infrastructure projects that ensure a reliable, local water source while delivering significant cost savings to our residents.”

The City of Oxnard will save approximately $19.2 million by being funded with a WIFIA loan. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2027, and construction and operations are expected to create approximately 315 local jobs.

Find out more about the WIFIA program.

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Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by the EPA. WIFIA’s goal is to accelerate investment in the country’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit support for regionally and nationally significant projects.

The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars of investment in water infrastructure and thousands of jobs. With the closing of this WIFIA loan, the EPA has announced 82 WIFIA loans providing $14 billion in loan assistance to help fund over $31 billion of water infrastructure while creating approximately 93,000 jobs and save taxpayers over $5 billion.

Learn more about WIFIA program achievements through 2021.

Learn more about water reuse and recycling.

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