Established in accordance to Chapter 46-12.8 of the General Laws of Rhode Island and the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 to finance public drinking water projects.
The DWSRF receives federal funding under Section 1452 of the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendment of 1996 with the state or through methods available to the state providing a 20% state match. The purpose of the DWSRF is to provide low-interest financial assistance from the DWSRF to those borrowers certified as eligible participants by the Rhode Island Department of Health, Drinking Water Quality Division (DOH). Projects relate to the planning, design and construction of safe drinking water supply, treatment and transmission infrastructure. The DOH prepares a Project Priority List to rank potential projects according to several health and economic criteria prior to eligibility for DWSRF financing. The focus of the program, as mandated by the federal government, is toward small water suppliers and disadvantaged systems. A small water supplier is defined as one serving fewer than 10,000 persons. A disadvantaged system is defined as one whose system improvements would dramatically increase water rates paid by consumers as it relates to median household income. The interest rate for borrowers will be 25% off their market rate of borrowing. The Agency, in cooperation with its advisors, will determine the borrower’s current market rate of borrowing. However, the interest rate for small publicly owned community water systems and small privately organized community water suppliers, those serving fewer than 10,000 persons, (a “Small Borrower”) may be set by the Agency at 3.0% for Loans up to $300,000.
The Financial structure of Rhode Island’s DWSRF Program will be a culmination of extensive modeling and analyses which will provide the DWSRF Program with flexibility to accomplish its goals within the changing financial, legal and/or political environment.
The State of Rhode Island DWSRF has a financing structure flexible enough to meet the needs of varied types of water suppliers who seek financial assistance from the program while ensuring the financial health of the DWSRF, The Agency, its bond holders, and existing financial assistance programs. The financial structure attempts to maximize the number and volume of loans the Agency can safely make to the local communities and water supply authorities while complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 and the associated rules promulgated by EPA.
- Assist small systems in preparing application for revolving fund assistance;
- Assist all public water supply systems in maintaining financial, managerial and technical abilities and maintain
- compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996; and,
- Assist small systems in meeting compliance with the act.