The American Water Works Association (AWWA) and 10 other water and municipal groups are urging key members of U.S. Congress to support legislation to repair critical U.S. water infrastructure.

In letters to U.S. senators and representatives on four decisive committees, the groups urged support for the creation of a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority (WIFIA), afederal loan program that aims to reduce the cost of water projects for local communities and consumers.

In May, a model WIFIA program was passed as part of the Senate Water Resources Development Act, and draft WIFIA legislation is being developed in the U.S. House. WIFIA is expected to be addressed as House and Senate leaders develop a final water resources bill.

The signatories stressed in the letter that they also support State Revolving Funds programs and want them to continue to thrive. They noted that SRF program alone cannot address the nation’s enormous water infrastructure needs and is rarely able to support large water infrastructure projects.

WIFIA is intended to address this gap and provide long-term, low-interest loans for projects over $20 million that cannot always access funding through the SRF programs.