One reason why construction and finance industry officials are eager to see President Obama sign the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) is that it includes a new way to help narrow the infrastructure funding gap. The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program (WIFIA) will provide federal loans and loan guarantees for Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency projects.
WIFIA's impact is likely to be much more modest than its model, the Dept. of Transportation's popular 16-year-old TIFIA, because its funding is significantly lower. The new water program also has restrictions that could limit its use.