Community Assistance Program (CAP)

Through this program, NADBank offers grants to support the implementation of critical environmental infrastructure projects for public entities with limited capacity to incur debt in low-income communities in the border region.

Grants for up to US$500,000 are available for projects in all environmental sectors eligible for NADBank financing, with priority given to drinking water, wastewater, water conservation and solid waste projects.

Eligible Uses

CAP grants may be used for:

  • Project construction and related costs
  • Project management and supervision
  • Equipment purchase
  • Other project components

Financing Terms & Conditions

Sponsor Contribution

The project sponsor must contribute at least 10% of the total project cost in the form of cash. On a case-by-case basis, in-kind contributions such as land, equipment or other tangible assets or cost components of a project may be considered towards fulfilling this contribution.

Funding Independence

The funding, construction and operation of the proposed project must be completely independent and not depend on the construction or completion of any other pending investment.


The period from Board certification and CAP funding approval to the signing of the grant agreement may not exceed three months. The period from grant signing to the initiation of project implementation may not exceed six months.


Project Type

To be eligible for financing and other forms of assistance from NADBank, projects must remedy an environmental and/or human health problem. Projects in the following categories qualify as environmental infrastructure and may be eligible for NADBank financing.

  • Water: Projects that protect water resources and improve water and sanitation services, including drinking water production, treatment, and distribution; wastewater collection, treatment, and reuse; water conservation; and stormwater management.
  • Solid waste: Projects that support the adequate management of solid waste, including municipal solid waste collection and disposal, solid waste recycling and reduction, and industrial and hazardous waste management.
  • Air quality: Projects that improve air quality by preventing or reducing air pollution, such as street paving, international border crossings, industrial emission controls and mobility projects that promote the clean and efficient movement of people and cargo through transportation systems with low- or zero-emissions.
  • Sustainable energy: Renewable energy generation, energy efficiency projects that reduce the carbon footprint of existing infrastructure or operations, and energy storage that reduce the intermittency of renewable energy generating assets or enhance grid stability, resiliency, and reliability.
  • Urban development: Projects that promote sustainable urban planning, design, and development, such as low-impact and green infrastructure; sustainable land development (mixed-use, re-densification, transport-oriented development) and “smart city” elements to improve sustainability.
  • Sustainable buildings and industrial parks: Construction or retrofitting of industrial parks and residential, institutional, commercial or industrial buildings with more efficient technologies that reduce energy or water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions or waste generation.
  • Green manufacturing and products: Investments in facilities and equipment that reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing processes by increasing energy efficiency, conserving or reusing water, reducing or recycling waste and minimizing pollution. Manufacture of green products that use fewer natural resources or produce less pollution during their life cycle, when compared to conventional products.
  • Sustainable food value chains: Investments in agricultural practices or equipment that reduce the use of water, energy, fertilizers or pesticides; investments in agricultural practices or equipment that reduce erosion, runoff, greenhouse gas emissions and/or other forms of pollution or environmental degradation; and investments to reduce the use of resources or the generation of waste during food processing, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution and commercialization.
  • Climate change adaptation and resilience: Investments in low-impact, green or gray infrastructure designed to diversify and/or drought-proof water supplies, increase flood protection and/or adapt to more severe heat waves, as well as retrofits of existing infrastructure to operate in extreme weather conditions.

Project Location

Projects must be located within the border region, defined as 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of the international boundary in the four U.S. states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas and within 300 kilometers (about 186 miles) south of the border in the six Mexican states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Sonora, and Tamaulipas.

Legal Authority

The project sponsor must have the legal authority to develop the project, provide the proposed services and/or contract the proposed financing. A project must also observe or be capable of observing the environmental and other laws and regulations of the place where it is to be located or executed, including obtaining the necessary operating permits, licenses, and other regulatory requirements related to land acquisition and rights-of-way. 


The CAP program is exclusively for public and not-for-profit entities with projects ready for construction. It requires that final design and procurement documents are complete in order to be considered for financing.

The project must meet or be capable of meeting the technical, environmental and financial criteria for certification and funding approval by the Board of Directors. More detailed information about these requirements, as well as the minimum documentation required to apply for CAP funding, is provided at the following link.

Evaluation & Selection Criteria

NADBank reviews the project development status described in the application and demonstrated by the project documentation to determine if the project meets the threshold for advancing to the approval process. 

Project Readiness 

The project is evaluated based on the completion of applicable technical and environmental tasks. Projects with a complete package of technical documents that support the sponsor’s readiness to initiate project procurement are selected as candidates for program funds.

Priority Sectors

CAP grants are available for public projects in all sectors eligible for NADBank financing, with priority given to drinking water, wastewater, water conservation, and solid waste infrastructure. 

Financial Need

The program is intended to support projects that may not be affordable without the participation of CAP resources. Therefore, project sponsors with the greatest financial need—for example communities with a low median household income or with limited or no debt capacity—will be given higher priority.

Environmental Benefit

Higher priority will be given to projects aimed at providing first-time basic services to unserved populations or to projects that employ sustainability measures resulting in water or energy savings in utilities, such as the replacement of leaky pipes/equipment; water reclamation, recycling or reuse within existing facilities or processes; installation of energy-efficient equipment; or the use of renewable energy sources.

CAP Financing Process

The main steps that the Bank follows in reviewing and approving a project to receive a CAP grant, are outlined below.

Application Review

Grant applications must include all required technical, environmental and financial documentation. Incomplete applications will not be accepted, and the applicant will be notified of the missing documents or pending issues.

Project Selection

Projects are evaluated and selected based on their readiness to begin implementation. Should program funding be insufficient to support all eligible projects at any given time, projects will also be prioritized based on sector, financial need and environmental benefits.

Approval Process

Upon project selection, NADBank initiates the approval process, which includes analyzing construction readiness, project costs and operation and maintenance budget impacts, as well as determining the recommended amount of CAP funding. A project certification and financing proposal is prepared and submitted to a 14-day public comment period, prior to submission to the Board of Directors for approval.

Financial Closing

The grant agreement has to be signed within three months following funding approval. Disbursements will generally be made directly to suppliers and contractors against invoices for work completed.

Project Implementation

Project implementation has to begin within six months after the signing of the grant agreement. The procurement of goods, works and services related to the project is the responsibility of the project sponsor; however, NADBank can provide support during the procurement process, as well as supervision services during construction.

Project completion and closeout

Upon project completion and in compliance with the grant agreement, the project sponsor will provide required reports to NADBank in a timely manner. NADBank will perform a closeout process for the project 1 year after project startup with support from the project sponsor.

Getting Started (210) 231-8000

To get the conversation started, complete the form below or call the number above to talk to a project development officer.