San Antonio, Texas – The North American Development Bank (NADB) and the Tijuana water utility, Comisión de Servicios Públicos de Tijuana (CESPT), have signed a loan agreement for up to $300 million pesos (currently valued at about US$22.07 million) for the expansion of the water and wastewater systems in the cities of Tijuana and Playas de Rosarito, Baja California.

The loan proceeds will be used for the first phase of the US$37.75 million project, which includes the construction of two water storage tanks with a total capacity of 2.4 million gallons and the installation of water distribution and sanitary sewer lines in areas currently without service in Tijuana. Water service will be provided to four subdivisions, benefiting 30,000 residents, while sewer service will be provided 46,300 residents in five subdivisions.

The project was certified by the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) on July 21, 2009, and upon completion will reduce environmental and health hazards associated with inadequate drinking water services and sewage disposal, thus providing a cleaner, healthier environment for local residents.

In addition to this project, NADB is supporting four other wastewater projects in Tijuana, which represent a total investment of US$79.8 million and will benefit an estimated 601, 000 residents by providing adequate wastewater collection and disposal services. As a result, approximately 20.88 million gallons of sewage a day is being properly treated prior to discharge into the Tijuana River and/or Pacific Ocean, which also benefits the southern California coastline.

Bank participation in all five projects consists of US$36.9 million in grants through its Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), which operates with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA), as well as US$35.5 million in loans.

“Over the 15 years the Bank has been in business, CESPT has shown itself to be a sound utility, committed to developing water and wastewater infrastructure befitting a city of the size of Tijuana” stated NADB Managing Director Jorge Garcés.

NADB is currently helping finance 129 environmental infrastructure projects throughout the U.S.-Mexico border region with almost US$982.9 million in loans and grants.