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2016 SWIFT program savings announced

For immediate release. Contact: Media Relations at 512-463-5129

AUSTIN – (September 22, 2016) – The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) today announced the projected savings for Texas communities participating in the 2016 funding cycle of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) program.*

This week the TWDB sold bonds to fund $698 million in state water plan projects. The TWDB estimates the 16 project sponsors will save more than $71 million by using the SWIFT program.

"One of the most important measures of the SWIFT program's success is how much money project sponsors are saving. In the first two years of the program, Texas water utilities have saved a total of more than $175 million," said Board Chairman Bech Bruun. "When water utilities save money, they can pass those savings on to their ratepayers."

In its meeting today, the Board also established the lending rate scales for SWIFT borrowers. The interest rates were set as a result of the bond transaction earlier this week on Wall Street.

"The diversity of this year's SWIFT applications demonstrates the willingness of Texas communities to create innovative solutions to their water needs when low-cost financial options are available," said Board member Kathleen Jackson. "More than 35 percent of the total funds requested were for conservation and reuse projects."

The application period for the third round of the SWIFT program will open this winter. To be eligible for the upcoming round of SWIFT, projects must be included in the 2017 State Water Plan.

"The first two years of the SWIFT program resulted in total financial commitments of $4.5 billion," said Board member Peter Lake. "The long-term nature of the SWIFT program ensures that water providers can continue to develop the water resources our growing state needs for many years to come."

SWIFT was established by the Texas Legislature and voters in 2013 to fund projects in the state water plan. More information on the SWIFT program is available on our website.

*The SWIFT program includes two funds, the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT). Revenue bonds for the program are issued through SWIRFT.

The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional planning, and preparing the state water plan for the development of the state's water resources. The TWDB administers cost-effective financial assistance programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.