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Water Project Financing, Public Outreach & Participation

Before a water project can be built, funding sources have to be secured. Local agencies must perform outreach to secure funds from other government agencies. Local tax payers and service customers must also be informed and willing to fund the remaining costs after using "other people's money" in the forms of grants, loans and bonds. Project financing plans gather all relevant information to inform all interested parties of the needed cash flow throughout the life of the project. Public participation is driven by state and federal environmental legislation and the need to gain support for bond elections (i.e. local referenda which approve or deny giving public agencies the power to borrow a specific amount of money from financial credit markets through the sale of interest-bearing certificates), if required. Political influence can shift final rate setting decisions to relieve favored sectors from paying a fair share of costs, most commonly, in setting agricultural water rates. Lecture 15 of the course, Water Policy in the Western United States, by Pat Ferraro, adjunct professor of Environmental Studies at San Jose State University. The complete course is available at

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