NGWA-supported aquifer recharge loan brings $224 million to California

October 27, 2021

The California Water Resources Board along with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on October 26 a $224 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Los Angeles. The WIFIA loan will assist in financing a project to repurpose and purify wastewater to replenish the San Fernando Basin and bolster the region’s groundwater resources.

A staggering 93 percent percent of California is currently under severe drought conditions.

Established by the 2014 act, the WIFIA federal loan and guarantee program is designed to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure. During the bill’s initial drafting, NGWA played a crucial role in allowing managed aquifer recharge (MAR) projects to be eligible through the WIFIA loan program.

In a 2013 letter from NGWA to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in support of MAR funding as part of WIFIA, NGWA wrote:

Water supply challenges will continue and increase, driven by factors such as population growth, urbanization, demographic changes, loss of snowpack, and droughts. MAR is an important tool that can assist in sustaining future water supplies and offers significant opportunities for producing safe drinking water supplies where they do not yet exist.

The WIFIA loan will help finance nearly half of Los Angeles’ over-$458 million project, which will include funding for the Donald Tillman Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF). The AWPF will purify 15.5 million gallons of wastewater daily to replenish the San Fernando Basin. The project aims to address the state’s ongoing drought and groundwater supply issues.

For questions, or information on how to become more involved in NGWA’s Government Affairs efforts or the Managed Aquifer Recharge Working Group, please contact NGWA Public Relations and Government Affairs Manager Ben Frech at