Who We Are
The Southwest Environmental Finance Center (SW EFC) is located within the University of New Mexico, School of Engineering’s Center for Water and the Environment. The SW EFC, formerly called the New Mexico EFC, was created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 to serve the states within EPA Region 6 (which includes New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana). Since, the SW EFC has greatly expanded its work to serve throughout the entire country, including U.S. territories.
The primary purpose of the SW EFC is to assist state, local, tribal governments and the regulated private sector in meeting environmental infrastructure needs and achieving regulatory compliance through state and local capacity building and technical information transfer. Our goal is to build the internal capacity of the entities we assist so that they may remain in compliance and manage and finance their environmental infrastructure over the long-term.
We strive to work with the entities we serve rather than for the entities we serve. We feel this is a very important distinction and that the entities need to be an integral part of projects so that they can improve their internal capabilities for long-term sustainability and resilience. In this way, we have worked with water and wastewater utilities for over 20 years in a variety of technical, managerial, and financial capacities. 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, especially 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) which includes 8 university-based centers: University of Southern Maine, Syracuse University, University of North Carolina, University of Louisville, Michigan Technological University, University of New Mexico, University of Maryland, Wichita State University and Sacramento State University. EFC West at Earth Island Institute is also part of the EFCN. The Environmental Finance Center Region 10 is also funded by the EPA.