The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) was created in 1996 as a result of the New York State enactment of the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act, as well as the passage of the 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act by the U.S. Congress. The DWSRF, jointly administered by EFC and the New York State Department of Health, provides a financial incentive for municipally and privately-owned public water systems to undertake needed drinking water infrastructure improvements.
This program provides market-rate and below market-rate financing for the construction of certain eligible public water system projects for the protection of public health. For qualifying communities with demonstrated financial hardship, interest rates can be reduced to zero percent and grants may be provided.
The DWSRF program has provided $7.3 billion in financings to assist public water systems throughout the state. These financings and grants have assisted with protecting public health by making 780 drinking water system infrastructure projects more affordable for residents throughout New York State.
To receive funding under the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), both the applicant and the project must be eligible.
- Municipalities, including any county, city, town, village, district corporation, county or town improvement district, school district, Indian nation or tribe recognized by the State or the United States with a reservation wholly or partly within the boundaries of New York State, any water authority now existing in a city, or any agency of New York State which is empowered to construct and operate an eligible project.
Projects eligible for DWSRF financing include:
- Investments to upgrade or replace infrastructure needed to achieve or maintain compliance with federal or state health standards.
- Projects to provide the public with safe, affordable drinking water.
Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the State is required to prepare a plan identifying the estimated and intended uses of the DWSRF funds and a description of how those uses support the goals of the DWSRF.
DOH's Intended Use Plan (IUP) provides information about how NY’s DWSRF works, the type of financial assistance available, the sources and uses of the DWSRF’s funds, and identifies the list of drinking water infrastructure projects that are eligible for DWSRF financial assistance. The State issues a Final IUP annually after a public review and comment period.
In order to apply and receive for SRF financial assistance, all projects must be listed on the Annual list within the Intended Use Plan (IUP).
The first step to applying for DWSRF financial assistance is submitting a Project Listing Form to DOH, including a description of the project and other essential information. The Project Listing Form is used to rank and list the project in the Intended Use Plan.
The Project Listing Form for listing projects in the DWSRF IUP requires project and applicant information sufficient to score projects based on the priority ranking criteria found in Attachment 1 of the IUP. The criteria are based on:
MCL/Treatment Technique Violations
Non-Treatment Sanitary Code Violations
System Reliability/Dependability Issues
All projects are scored, ranked, and listed on the Annual List and/or Multi-Year List. To be placed on the Annual List, an engineering report must be submitted or be on file with the Department of Health.
Applicants are encouraged to submit the Project Listing Forms for all potential projects. Each year, a subsidy line is identified on the IUP Annual List. All projects that are above the subsidy line on the Final IUP Annual List are eligible for subsidized interest rate financing. Projects below the subsidy line may become “reachable” for subsidized interest rate financing in a subsequent funding cycle. Unsubsidized (Market Rate) financing is also available for projects below the subsidy line on the Final IUP Annual List, and for projects above the subsidy line that require short-term financing in excess of the amount available under the Short-Term Interest-Free Financing Program. In addition to the subsidy line, the Annual List has a Hardship Evaluation Eligibility Line. Eligible projects with a score equal to where the line is drawn are automatically evaluated for hardship financing and, if available, grant.
IUP Listing, Scoring, and Ranking Process: Information provided by the applicant on the DWSRF Listing Form is used to score and rank projects (described in detail in the IUP). It is important for applicants to provide adequate information for DOH project engineers to properly score projects. Once DOH project engineers score each individual project, projects that are expected to be ready for the next financing period will be added to the Annual List. Projects on the Annual List are ranked based on the Project Priority Score. Projects that may be ready for a future financing period are added to the Multi-Year list only.
Drinking water systems that are eligible for DWSRF project funding are community water systems, both municipally and privately-owned, and non-profit, non-community water systems.
EFC offers short-term financing for a period of up to five years to provide recipients with funding to design and initiate construction on SRF eligible projects. There are no fees associated with short-term financing and interest accrues only on balances drawn. Short-term financings can be used to pre-finance costs that will be reimbursed from proceeds from other sources of funding. However, only market rate financing can be used to pre-fund any awarded grants.
Types of short-term financings available from EFC include:
- Hardship Financing: Applicants that qualify for hardship financing may receive short-term interest-free financing. For information on EFC’s hardship policy, including eligibility criteria and limitations, click here. Information regarding the Median Household Income (MHI) and Family Poverty Rate used by EFC in determining eligibility can be found here.
- Subsidized Financing: Applicants that do not qualify for hardship financing, but have a project on the annual list with a score above the subsidy line, may receive short-term subsidized financing. Projects would receive interest-free financing for 33 1/3% of the SRF eligible project costs and a short-term market-rate financing for the remaining SRF eligible project costs.
- Market-Rate Financing: Applicants that do not qualify for hardship or subsidized financing may receive a low-cost short-term market-rate financing.
EFC offers long-term financing to recipients for SRF eligible projects. Long-term financings are generally available for terms of up to 30 years.
Types of long-term financing available from EFC include:
- Hardship Financing: Applicants that qualify for hardship financing may receive long-term interest-free financing.
- Long-Term Subsidized Financing: Applicants that do not qualify for hardship but have a project on the annual list with a score above the subsidy line may qualify for a long-term subsidized financing. For Drinking Water projects, financings are at AAA/aaa borrowing rates with a 33 1/3% subsidized interest rate.
- Long-Term Market-Rate Financing: This type of financing may be available to support eligible projects that are on the annual list with a score below the subsidy line. Projects closed with a Long-Term Market-Rate financing will remain eligible for subsidized funding for up to 5 years from the long-term financing closing date, and those projects will remain on the Annual Project Priority List during that period.
EFC is committed to promoting participation opportunities for New York State ("State") certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises ("MWBEs") and federal disadvantaged business enterprises ("DBEs"), and equal employment opportunities ("EEO") for minority group members and women in the performance of EFC contracts as well as contracts that receive financial assistance through EFC's various programs.