Portfolio Partner Profile
DC Water and Sewer Authority
DC Water provides drinking water, sewage collection and sewage treatment in Washington, DC. The utility also provides wholesale wastewater treatment services to several adjoining municipalities in Maryland and Virginia and maintains more than 9,000 public fire hydrants in the District of Columbia. DC Water was created in 1996, when the District Government and the U.S. federal government established it as an independent authority of the District government. Financing for DC Water will go to green infrastructure practices designed to mimic natural processes to absorb and slow surges of storm water during periods of heavy rainfall, reducing the incidence and volume of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) that pollute the District’s waterways. CSO reduction has become an increasingly urgent environmental challenge because of climate change, which has increased the frequency and severity of intense rainfall events.
DC Water repaid the financing of the bond after successfully reducing CSOs by 20%, achieving the goals initially set in 2016. Learn more about the success of the green infrastructure project.
Featured Impact Story
The nation’s first Environmental Impact Bond
In September 2016, the DC Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) issued the nation’s first Environmental Impact Bond (EIB) to fund the initial green infrastructure project in its DC Clean Rivers Project, a $2.6 billion program to control storm water runoff and improve the District’s water quality, creating a healthier future for District residents. This deal offers a new type of financial instrument to fund environmental capital projects. The $25 million, tax-exempt EIB was sold in a private placement to the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and Calvert Impact Capital. The proceeds of the bond will be used to construct green infrastructure practices designed to mimic natural processes to absorb and slow surges of storm water during periods of heavy rainfall, reducing the incidence and volume of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) that pollute the District’s waterways. As part of its green infrastructure program, DC Water is also undertaking an ambitious Green Jobs initiative that targets local workforce development and sustainable job creation, including training and certification opportunities for District residents interested in green infrastructure construction, inspection and maintenance. “This unique bond offering is the result of DC Water's relentless commitment to innovate and pursue every available avenue to provide the best service at the best price to our customers and to the greater community we serve”, CEO and General Manager George S. Hawkins stated. Other groups tackling water quality issues are interested in replicating or building off the EIB structure to create their own environmental impact bond.