Financing & Governance

Water Resources Development Act: IRWD is seeking federal authorization in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) for the Syphon Reservoir Recycled Water Storage Project. Syphon Reservoir, located in the northern portion of the City of Irvine, is an existing reservoir currently used to store a small amount of water for irrigation purposes. This project will increase the storage capacity of this facility from 500 acre feet to up to 5,000 acre feet by reconstructing the existing dam, originally constructed in 1949, to modern standards and installing piping to convey recycled water in and out of the reservoir. By providing additional storage, this project will allow IRWD to recycle 100% of the District’s wastewater and will further reduce the District’s dependence on imported supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Authorization by Congress in the WRDA bill will allow IRWD to partner with the United States Corps of Engineers on this exciting project. Further, a WRDA authorization would provide up to a 75 percent federal cost share allowing IRWD to maximize our local capital infrastructure dollars. For more information on the Syphon Reservoir Recycled Water Project, click here.

Septic and Sewer Improvement Financing: AB 741 (Huffman), sponsored by IRWD and signed into law by Governor Brown in 2011 authorized local water and wastewater agencies to develop financing programs to help customers finance the improvements need on their properties to convert from septic systems to a community sewer system or repair and replace damaged sewer laterals. Under this authority, property owners can voluntarily enter into agreements with their local agencies to finance needed sewer improvements, which help protect water quality, public health and safety, and the environment.

Bond Financing: SB 613 (Harman), introduced by IRWD in 2009 and signed into law in 2010, provides IRWD with the authority to use the District’s overall strong credit in obtaining general obligation bonds. SB 613 will help reduce the District’s cost of debt by millions of dollars and, in turn, save our customers money without any additional risk to the District or our ratepayers. By using the authority in SB 613, IRWD expects to save more than $1.5 million in our cost of debt in 2011 alone.

Federal Appropriations: Public Law 108-233, enacted by 108th Congress in 2004, authorized IRWD's Irvine Basin Groundwater and Surface Water Improvement Act. This law authorized the Federal Government to fund up to a 25% or $20 million of the design, planning and construction of the project through the United States Bureau of Reclamation Title XVI program. The authorized project included three components - the IRWD Natural Treatment System, the Irvine Desalter, and the Orange County Regional Brine Line. IRWD received a total of approximately $1.5 million in appropriations from Congress in FY 2007 and FY 2008 and then received the remainder of the authorized federal funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This funding goes directly to local IRWD projects that improve and expand our water supplies and protect our precious water resources.