WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service Administrator Chad Rupe announced this month that the USDA is investing $135 million in 49 projects to improve rural water infrastructure in 24 states.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to partner with rural communities to address their current and long-term water needs,” Rupe said in a statement. “Modernizing water infrastructure will yield key health benefits and help spur economic growth – making rural places even more attractive to live and work.”
USDA is making the investments through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Rural cities and towns, water districts and other eligible entities can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Below is a project announced that shows how USDA is partnering to improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure:
- In Benzonia, the grant will be used for water system improvements, including installation of larger watermains in various sections of the village, a new well, painting the water tower, a new generator, and replacing water meters with a radio read system.
USDA’s investments will go toward projects in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia.
USDA had $2.9 billion available for USDA Water and Environmental Program loans and grants at the beginning of fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.