After a nearly 20-year hiatus from the market, the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority this week will sell $1.6 billion of tax-exempt and taxable debt to refinance previously issued bonds and to raise new money for long-awaited capital projects.

For years the authority existed as a government subsidy, running on yearly allocations of $400 million to offer clean water and wastewater treatment services to commonwealth residents. But beginning in 2005, the government chose to transform PRASA into a self-sustaining agency by increasing its rates by 128% and cutting it from the central government's financing stream.

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