Water Resource Financing Enterprise
The bill creates the water resources financing enterprise (enterprise). The board of the enterprise (board) consists of the board of directors of the Colorado water resources and power development authority and the board members of the Colorado water conservation board. The enterprise will provide financing to "water providers", defined to include drinking water suppliers, wastewater treatment suppliers, and raw water suppliers. Raw water suppliers are limited to those that provide raw water for treatment and use as drinking water.
Customers of a drinking water supplier will pay a fee to the supplier, who will transmit it to the enterprise to be used for the financing. The fee for each individual metered connection in a drinking water supplier's public water system is 25 cents per 1,000 gallons of drinking water delivered per month in excess of the first 4,000 gallons of drinking water delivered in that month to the individual metered connection. The board may adjust the fee based on inflation and equity concerns for large nonresidential customers and customers who pay tiered rates that start higher than 4,000 gallons per month.
The enterprise can provide financing for grants, loans, and in-kind technical assistance in arranging third-party financing. In determining whether to provide financing, the board shall consider the following factors:
- A water provider's ability to pay, including whether the water provider has sought or received other financial assistance;
- Whether a water provider has been found to be noncompliant with requirements, or is subject to increased requirements, related to the provision of raw water, drinking water, or wastewater treatment;
- Whether the proposed use of financing relates to a project identified in and in furtherance of the state water plan; and
- The geographic location and demographic characteristics of the water provider and its customers.
The enterprise shall provide, and a water provider may use, the financing only:
- In connection with the provision of raw water, drinking water, or wastewater treatment; and
- For feasibility studies, consulting, planning, permitting, and construction of infrastructure and water conservation projects and related recreational, hydroelectric, and flood control facilities, including necessary enlargement and rehabilitation of facilities but excluding maintenance and operation of facilities.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)