The Water Infrastructure Finance Program (WIFA) was established in 1998 to provide a source of funding for public water treatment projects. It replaced the Wastewater Management Authority, which had been created in 1989, and assumed its responsibilities. Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§49-1201 et seq.
WIFA provides financial assistance and low-interest loans for construction and improvement of drinking water systems, wastewater treatment and water reclamation systems. WIFA, governed by the Arizona Finance Authority since 2016, is authorized to issue water quality bonds and water supply development bonds on behalf of communities, to enter into short-term emergency loan agreements, and to administer federal grants.
WIFA receives funding from several sources, including federal grants, bond proceeds, loan repayments and fees. WIFA administers the Clean Water Revolving Fund; the Drinking Water Revolving Fund; the Hardship Grant Fund; and the Technical Assistance Program. In 2016, the five-member Arizona Finance Authority Board of Directors replaced the WIFA Board of Directors.
Laws 1989, Chapter 280 established the Wastewater Management Authority of Arizona (WMA) and allowed cities, town, counties and sanitary districts to borrow money or receive financial assistance from the WMA. The law authorized the WMA to issue bonds, make loans to political subdivisions, guarantee debt obligations to finance wastewater treatment projects, administer grants, and enter into capitalization grant agreements with the US Environmental Protection Agency. The law also outlined loan repayment agreements, established a seven-member Board of Directors and created the Wastewater Treatment Revolving Fund, administered by the Board, to receive federal grant and state matching monies.
Laws 1998, Chapter 72 repealed the WMA and established WIFA. The law outlined powers and duties of the Authority, created a 12-member Board authorized to issue bonds for drinking water projects, wastewater treatment projects and nonpoint source projects, and required annual audits and reports. The law also established the Clean Water Revolving Fund, the Drinking Water Revolving Fund and the Hardship Grant Fund outlining their purpose, revenue sources and uses.
Laws 1999, Chapter 295 authorized the Board to serve as fund manager for the Brownfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund, used to remediate contamination at certain sites.
Laws 2002, Chapter 141 authorized the Board to provide technical assistance to counties with a population of less than 500,000 (in addition to political subdivisions, Indian tribes and community water systems).
Laws 2005, Chapter 63 authorized the WIFA Board to enter short-term emergency loan agreements with political subdivisions or Indian tribes under specific conditions related to a national disaster or catastrophic event.
Laws 2005, Chapter 64 established the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality as having primary responsibility to administer Arizona’s Safe Drinking Water Act and water quality projects.
Laws 2007, Chapter 226 established the Water Supply Development Revolving Fund to provide loans to water providers for planning or design of water supply developments. The law contained a conditional enactment clause which required passage of SB 1575, relating to water adequacy provisions. SB 1575 was enacted as Laws 2007, Chapter 240.
Laws 2014, Chapter 212 limited use of monies in the Water Supply Development Revolving Fund to areas outside active management areas. The law also established the Rural Water Supply Development and Contamination Prevention Legislative Study Committee and allowed the committee to consult with the Arizona Department of Water Resources, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and WIFA as needed. The Committee was required to provide a report containing findings and recommendations to the Legislature and the Secretary of State by November 1, 2014.
Laws 2016, Chapter 372 created the Office of Economic Opportunity, the Arizona Finance Authority and the Arizona Industrial Development Authority. The measure established WIFA within the Arizona Finance Authority (AFA) and provided that the AFA Board of Directors would govern WIFA. The existing WIFA Board was eliminated . The AFA was also required to appoint a Water and Infrastructure Finance Authority Advisory Board.
Laws 2017, Chapter 213 transferred authority for administration of the Small Water Systems Fund from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to WIFA and changed the name of the fund to the Small Drinking Water Systems Fund. The measure also modified uses of Fund monies and procedures related to grants.
- Arizona Revised Statutes §§49-1201 et seq.
- Session Laws
- Laws 1989, Chapter 280
- Laws 1998, Chapter 72
- Laws 1999, Chapter 295
- Laws 2002, Chapter 141
- Laws 2005, Chapter 63 and Chapter 64
- Laws 2007, Chapter 226
- Laws 2014, Chapter 212
- Laws 2016, Chapter 372
- Laws 2017, Chapter 213
Master List of State Programs: 2014-2016.
Arizona Auditor General Performance Audit: Water Infrastructure Finance Authority Report No. 13-08. September 2013.
Related collections at Arizona State Archives
- Record Group 142: Department of Water Resources
- Record Group 147: Department of Environmental Quality
- Record Group 161: Commission on the Arizona Environment