The Southwest Environmental Finance Center (SW EFC) is a program of UNM’s Center for Water and Environment which is affiliated with the Civil Engineering Department. The SW EFC, formerly called the New Mexico Environmental Finance Center, has been in business within a university setting since 1992. The SW EFC is dedicated to assisting state and local governments with the broad financial implications of environmental service delivery and environmental compliance. We have worked with water and wastewater utilities for over 20 years in a variety of technical, managerial, and financial capacities.

The EFCs were established at universities across the country by the Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Finance Team. We were the first EFC established and initially worked primarily in the EPA Region 6 states of New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. While we still have a strong focus on these states, we have worked in one way or another in just about every state in the nation and in all the US territories. This broad range has given us a unique perspective on the issues facing communities across the country.

We have had a particular focus in water, particularly drinking water, for most of our existence. Our major programs include: small system managerial and financial capacity training and technical assistance; tribal drinking water technical, managerial, and financial capacity assistance, including operator training and certification, sanitary surveys, monitoring, and training; asset management training and technical assistance; water loss auditing; and WaterCARE, a new initiative from EPA.

We are a member of the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) that includes 8 other university-based centers, including: the Environmental Finance Center consists of the following EFCs: University of Southern Maine, Syracuse University, University of North Carolina, University of Louisville, Michigan Technological University, University of New Mexico, Wichita State University, Sacramento State University, Rural Community Assistance Corporation.

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