Workshop Report: Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Opportunities in Tribal Communities

 On May 16th, 2024, representatives from federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and 18 tribal communities across New Mexico convened to discuss funding opportunities for water and wastewater infrastructure. The workshop, hosted by Water Finance Exchange (WFX) and the Southwest Environmental Finance Center (SW EFC), highlighted the opportunities and challenges associated with setting and implementing sustainable user rates, as well as the variety of new and long-standing infrastructure funding opportunities available to tribal communities. 

 Attendees discussed the need for tribal utilities to implement sustainable solutions to meet the unique needs of their communities. Cultivating support for water rates that are equitable and sustainable was top of mind; attendees and panelists also shared specific successes and challenges with accessing state and federal funding not only for capital expenditures, but as subsidies for disadvantaged customers. Training opportunities specific to tribal entities would be helpful in many different areas, including training in finance and asset management. A more formal collaboration of federal, state, and local funding agencies along with technical assistance providers may deliver more coordinated support to tribal communities. 

Read the Workshop Report>>