Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings reaffirm “AAA” rating for SWIRFT 2016 bonds

For immediate release.  Contact: Kimberly Leggett at 512-463-5129

AUSTIN – (September 1, 2016) – Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Fitch Ratings have both reaffirmed “AAA” ratings for the Texas Water Development Board’s (TWDB)
upcoming bond issuance from the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT). “AAA” is the highest assigned rating, resulting in a lower cost of funds that will allow the TWDB to continue to pass on cost savings to its customers.

“SWIRFT’s ‘AAA’ ratings underscore the stability and sound fiscal management of the Texas economy,” said Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. “Communities can accrue significant savings by using SWIRFT for the financing of their water infrastructure, which contributes to the overall health of our local and state economies.”

The TWDB will issue SWIRFT bonds to the market in September to fund approximately $698 million in SWIRFT projects. The proceeds of the bond sale will be used to finance loans for state water plan projects the TWDB previously approved. This year’s bond issuance will be the second from SWIRFT.

“In 2015, the first year of SWIRFT, 20 project sponsors saved more than $106 million by financing approximately $900 million in projects through SWIRFT,” said TWDB Chairman Bech Bruun. “Ultimately, those projects will develop more than 1.5 million acre-feet of reliable water supplies for Texas.”

Because the TWDB is allowing multi-year funding through SWIRFT, the agency has now committed $4.5 billion over the next decade for state water plan projects in Texas.

SWIRFT was established along with the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) by the Texas Legislature and voters in 2013 to fund projects in the state water plan. SWIFT was created through the transfer of a one-time, $2 billion appropriation from the state’s Rainy Day Fund. The $2 billion will be leveraged with revenue bonds over the next 50 years to finance approximately $27 billion in water supply projects. More information on the SWIFT program* is available on the TWDB website:  www.twdb.texas.gov/financial/programs/swift/.

The TWDB expects to open the application process for the third cycle of SWIRFT in December 2016.

*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.

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