WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $48 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Oxnard, California, to support its Aquifer Storage Recovery Project. With this WIFIA loan, EPA is helping to expand the city’s recycled water supply to help secure a climate-resilient and reliable water service for over 200,000 people.
“Communities across the west—including in Oxnard, California—are facing sustained water challenges as a result of climate change and the worst megadrought in a millennium. This challenge calls for using multiple tools, including recycling our water to get more use from every drop,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “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 investment to communities from coast to coast with $50 billion in through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
“I am very pleased that EPA has approved a WIFIA loan for the City of Oxnard Aquifer Storage Recovery Project, and I appreciate Administrator Regan’s commitment to helping our region address needed climate-resilient water supplies during this unprecedented drought,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CA-26). “As the impacts of climate change worsen, we must continue to work together at all levels of government on innovative projects to help recycle and replenish groundwater supplies for our community. I also commend the good work of Mayor Zaragoza and City of Oxnard staff who put together this excellent project proposal that will help ensure over 200,000 residents in Oxnard have continued access to safe, clean, and affordable water.”
The City of Oxnard’s Aquifer Storage Recovery Project will increase water supply reliability by expanding its recycled water production. The Oxnard Basin is a key water source for the community, but it is in a state of critical overdraft and vulnerable to seawater intrusion. Additionally, the city projects substantial water shortages by 2040 due to increased droughts and groundwater restrictions. In response to these water supply challenges, the city will expand the capacity of the Advanced Water Purification Facility and the associated distribution system by 14.4 million gallons of water per day. This effort will allow the City to increase its recycled water supply and reduce water security risk for the community.
“In the face of climate change and California’s ongoing drought, investing in local water projects is vital for our future,” said Oxnard Mayor John C. Zaragoza. “This funding allows us to complete major infrastructure projects that will ensure a reliable, local water resource while also providing significant cost savings for our residents.”
The City of Oxnard will save approximately $19.2 million by financing with a WIFIA loan. Construction is expected to be completed in 2027, and construction and operation are expected to create approximately 315 local jobs.
Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. WIFIA’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance 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 in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs. With this WIFIA loan closing, EPA has announced 82 WIFIA loans that are providing $14 billion in credit assistance to help finance over $31 billion for water infrastructure while creating approximately 93,000 jobs and saving ratepayers over $5 billion.