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Corps Water Infrastructure Financing Program (CWIFP)

The Corps Water Infrastructure Financing Program enables local investment in projects that enhance community resilience to flooding, promote economic prosperity, and improve environmental quality.

The Corps Water Infrastructure Financing Program is authorized by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) which was signed into law by the President on June 10, 2014 as part of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014.  The Act established a federal credit program to be administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects.  Additional information about EPA’s WIFIA program can be found here.

USACE is pursuing development of the Corps Water Infrastructure Financing Program to accelerate non-federal investments in water resources infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost loans to creditworthy borrowers.  USACE has signed a memorandum of understanding with EPA to leverage lessons learned and relevant information from EPA’s WIFIA program.

CWIFP program is part of the Revolutionize USACE Civil Works initiative to expedite delivery of our nation's infrastructure by synchronizing actions, developing new tools, and streamlining activities.

Types of Eligible Projects

  • Project to reduce flood damage;
  • Project to restore aquatic ecosystems;
  • Project to improve the inland and intracoastal waterways navigation system of the United States; and
  • Project to improve navigation of a coastal inland harbor of the United States, including channel deepening and construction of associated general navigation features.
  • A combination of eligible projects that submits a single application.

This includes projects that address dam or levee safety, and multi-purpose projects that contribute to one of the types of eligible projects listed above.

CWIFP Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently asked questions about CWIFP.

A: CWIFP stands for the Corps Water Infrastructure Financing Program.

A: They are the same. The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 (WIFIA) granted the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority for a Federal loan program. The Corps decided to call its program the Corps Water Infrastructure Financing Program (CWIFP) to avoid confusion with the established EPA WIFIA program. CWIFP enables local investment in projects that enhance community resilience to flooding, promote economic prosperity, and improve environmental quality.

A: The credit ratio is calculated on a project-by-project basis at the time of loan obligation. Project A with a higher credit quality would consume less of the credit subsidy than Project B with a lower credit quality, even if the projects are otherwise identical.

A: CWIFP is being managed by USACE Headquarters staff. All questions should be directed to USACE Headquarters at cw.infrastructure.team@usace.army.mil, and all application materials will be submitted to USACE Headquarters. Projects within a District’s area of responsibility will be communicated with that District for technical/engineering coordination as necessary.

A: Yes.

A: The WIFIA statute authorizes USACE to use up to 25% of its budget authority to provide credit assistance to one or more projects of up to no more than 80% (statutory cap on Federal participation) of the total costs of any given project. USACE will generally use its authority to provide credit assistance for greater than 49% of eligible project costs to projects serving economically disadvantaged communities that would otherwise not be able to obtain CWIFP credit assistance.

A: USACE is preliminarily defining economically disadvantaged communities as communities where the median household income is less than 80% of the State median household income.

A: USACE will post regular updates on the CWIFP website at https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Infrastructure/revolutionize/CWIFP/.

Frequently asked questions about CWIFP Eligibility.

A: To be eligible for CWIFP credit assistance, a prospective borrower must be at least one of the following:

  • A corporation
  • A partnership
  • A joint venture
  • A trust
  • A Federal, State, or local governmental entity, agency, or instrumentality
  • A tribal government or consortium of tribal governments
  • A State infrastructure financing authority

A: To be eligible for CWIFP credit assistance, a project, submitted by an eligible borrower, must have costs reasonably anticipated to be at least $20 million and must fall under one of the following three categories:

  1. Any project for flood damage reduction, hurricane and storm damage reduction, environmental restoration, coastal or inland harbor navigation improvement, or inland and intracoastal waterways navigation improvement that the Secretary determines is technically sound, economically justified, and environmentally acceptable, including:
    1. A project to reduce flood damage;
    2. A project to restore aquatic ecosystems;
    3. A project to improve the inland and intracoastal waterways navigation system of the United States; and
    4. A project to improve navigation of a coastal inland harbor of the United States, including channel deepening and construction of associated general navigation features.
  2. Acquisition of real property or an interest in real property. The acquisition must either be integral to the project or would mitigate the environmental impacts of water resources infrastructure projects otherwise eligible for CWIFP credit assistance, as determined by the Secretary.
  3. A combination of projects described in paragraphs 1 and 2, above, secured by a common security pledge, each of which is eligible for CWIFP credit assistance, for which an eligible entity, or a combination of eligible entities, submits a single application.

A: Yes. For purposes of CWIFP, any territory of the United States, and the District of Columbia, are considered states. Therefore, any eligible entity listed in 33 U.S.C. 3904 located in a territory or the District of Columbia may receive CWIFP assistance, including the governments of those territories.

A: Yes. Non-profit entities are typically organized as corporations or partnerships, both of which are defined as eligible entities in 33 U.S.C. 3904.

A: Yes. Multiple entities can come together under one application with a common security pledge.

Frequently asked questions about CWIFP Projects.

A: To be eligible for CWIFP credit assistance, a project, submitted by an eligible borrower, must have costs reasonably anticipated to be at least $20 million and must fall under one of the following three categories:

  1. Any project for flood damage reduction, hurricane and storm damage reduction, environmental restoration, coastal or inland harbor navigation improvement, or inland and intracoastal waterways navigation improvement that the Secretary determines is technically sound, economically justified, and environmentally acceptable, including:
    1. A project to reduce flood damage;
    2. A project to restore aquatic ecosystems;
    3. A project to improve the inland and intracoastal waterways navigation system of the United States; and
    4. A project to improve navigation of a coastal inland harbor of the United States, including channel deepening and construction of associated general navigation features.
  2. Acquisition of real property or an interest in real property. The acquisition must either be integral to the project or would mitigate the environmental impacts of water resources infrastructure projects otherwise eligible for CWIFP credit assistance, as determined by the Secretary.
  3. A combination of projects described in paragraphs 1 and 2, above, secured by a common security pledge, each of which is eligible for CWIFP credit assistance, for which an eligible entity, or a combination of eligible entities, submits a single application.

A: There is no specific maximum project length. Generally, USACE expects projects to be completed less than 10 years after closing. Disbursement schedules will be negotiated prior to closing of a loan.

A: The amount of CWIFP credit assistance may not exceed 49% of the reasonably anticipated project costs.

A: Costs such as project design, feasibility studies and consulting fees will be eligible project costs.

A: No, CWIFP will consider and encourages alternative delivery mechanisms including Design-Build and public-private partnerships (P3).

Frequently asked questions about CWIFP Interest Rate and Loan Repayment.

A: The interest rate will be equal to or greater than the yield on U.S. Treasury securities of comparable maturity on the date of execution of the credit agreement. The base interest rate can be identified through use of the daily rate tables published by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service for the State and Local Government Series (SLGS) investments, which can be found at Treasury Direct SLGS Daily Rate Table (https://www.treasurydirect.gov/GA-SL/SLGS/selectSLGSDate.htm). The CWIFP program will estimate the yield on comparable Treasury securities by adding one basis point to the SLGS daily rate with a maturity that is closest to the weighted average loan life of the CWIFP credit assistance, measured from first disbursement.

A: The interest rate is locked at loan closing and the execution of the credit agreement.

A: Loan repayment can be deferred up to five years following substantial completion of the project. Beyond that, USACE has flexibility to structure repayment to best match the cashflow of the project in question. USACE and prospective borrowers will negotiate the repayment schedule for each project, and it will be included in the credit agreement.

A: Repayments must commence no later than five years following substantial completion of the project. Repayment of all principal and interest must be completed by 35 years after the date of substantial completion of the project or the project’s useful life, whichever comes earlier. The debt service repayment schedule may be sculpted to accommodate the projected cash flow from project revenues and other sources.

CWIFP defines substantial completion as the stage in the progress of the project when the project or designated portion thereof is sufficiently complete in accordance with the contract documents for each individual agreement, so that the project or a portion thereof can be used for its intended purpose.

A: CWIFP interprets “dedicated revenue sources” to include such sources as taxes, rate revenue, transfers pledged from State or local governments, municipal general obligation pledges, general recourse corporate financing, project revenues, or other revenues that are pledged for the purpose of paying debt service on the CWIFP credit instrument. Federal funds are not considered a dedicated source of repayment.

Frequently asked questions about the CWIFP Application.

A: Once a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is posted notifying the public that new funding is available, USACE will be ready to accept preliminary applications from prospective borrowers.  Borrowers will first need to submit a preliminary application.  USACE will select projects from the preliminary application submissions that are only reasonably anticipated to meet the eligibility requirements and for which CWIFP has sufficient budget authority.

A: The preliminary application will be posted on the CWIFP website along with the CWIFP Program Guide which will identify the components of the preliminary application and full application.

A: The preliminary application due date will be set in the NOFA.  Once an applicant receives an invitation to submit an application, they will have 60 days to accept the invitation and pay the non-refundable application fee deposit.  The applicant has 365 days from the date they accept the CWIFP invitation to apply to submit a completed CWIFP application.

A: Once a completed application is received, USACE will work with the applicant to expeditiously as possible move towards issuance of a loan.

A: The applicant will receive funding after closing of the loan consistent with the terms of the loan agreement and disbursement schedule.

Feedback

Feedback on the Corps Water Infrastructure Financing Program relevant to the USACE may be submitted electronically to:

CW.Infrastructure.Team@usace.army.mil

Additional Resources

The documents and links listed below provide information related to the Corps Water Infrastructure Financing Program and the Revolutionize USACE Civil Works initiative.