News & Events

CWEST Seminar: Water infrastructure finance: What water scientists should know about fed'l budgeting

Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 11:00AM - 12:00PM


Martin Doyle

Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University


Sievers room, SEEC S228

4001 Discovery Drive, Boulder

Water infrastructure throughout the U.S. was funded in the early and mid-20th century through federal grants or federally subsidized financing, from Bureau of Reclamation irrigation infrastructure to Clean Water Act funded sewage treatment plants. Over the past forty years, federal financing has been less forthcoming, which is commensurate with an increase in the need for rehabilitation and replacement of water infrastructure. There are a number of federal initiatives for alternative forms of finance, including a growing interest in public-private partnerships, federal loan guarantees, and privatization. However, there are subtle long-standing federal budget practices which undermine the feasibility of many proposed approaches. In addition, the recent tax reform legislation and the recently released White House infrastructure proposal shift infrastructure finance in critical ways, and still-evolving ways.

Water in the US is largely managed and affected by infrastructure. The future of water infrastructure in the United States, and particularly the western U.S., will inevitably be one of decreasing federal funding and financing. This has critical implications for how water is managed in the US.


Free and open to the public.