Who We Are
The Southwest Environmental Finance Center
The Southwest Environmental Finance Center (SW EFC), formerly called the New Mexico Environmental Finance Center, has been in business within a university setting since 1992. We are a public service entity within the University of New Mexico School of Engineering’s Center for Water and the Environment. We are dedicated to assisting state, local, and tribal governments as well as the private sector with the technical, managerial, and financial aspects of environmental service delivery and environmental compliance. Since its inception the SW EFC has worked with water and wastewater entities all across the country in a variety of capacities including training and direct technical assistance. We are able to comprehensively address water and wastewater needs, but we have particular strengths in the following areas: asset management, water loss auditing and control, environmental compliance, tribal drinking water, water system partnerships, water and wastewater funding, green infrastructure, GIS mapping, and energy efficiency.
We aim to build the internal capacity of the entities we assist so that the knowledge, skills, and ability to meet environmental challenges (such as water loss control, regulatory compliance, or replacing decaying infrastructure) accrue to individuals within the utility rather than residing solely with an outside entity. We strive to work with the entities we serve rather than for the entities we serve. We want our partners to be an integral part of projects so they can improve their internal capabilities for long-term sustainability and resilience.
Our broad experience and the fact that we work at all levels, federal, regional, state, and local gives us a thorough understanding of the issues water and wastewater utilities currently face, and the gaps in available programs and resources. We address these gaps by placing a strong emphasis on technical information transfer at all levels. This transfer occurs through the many trainings we conduct both in person and remotely via webinars or virtual meetings; presentations we give at regional, national, and international conferences; work groups we participate in; and the many free resources, such as reports, guidebooks, and tools that we develop and disseminate widely.
The SW EFC is the first of a group of EFCs established at universities across the country by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The SW EFC initially focused on the EPA Region 6 states. However, over the past 28 years, we have expanded our reach significantly and between all of our projects and other activities, such as conferences, we have worked in one way or another in every state in the nation and all of the US Territories.
Affiliation with EFCN
The SW EFC is a member of the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) which includes 10 other university or non-profit-based centers, including: the University of Southern Maine, Syracuse University, the University of Maryland, the University of North Carolina, Michigan Technological University, Wichita State University, Rural Community Assistance Corporation (Region 10), Rural Water Association (Region 8), Sacramento State University and Earth Island Institute. We work both individually on our own projects and collaboratively with the various centers within the EFCN. The affiliation with these other centers is a tremendous resource as it greatly increases the capacity of all of us to be able to serve the nation.