Congress provided U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with $4 billion last year and another $1.9 billion this year to assist with water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities under 10,000 population.
USDA’s Rural Utility Service has streamlined the application process through an electronic form, RD Apply, for this funding, in the form of affordable low-interest loans and grants, to be specifically utilized by small communities and rural areas.
Loan and grant funding has been pooled for reallocation back to State Rural Development Offices. Now is the time to contact your State Rural Development Office to build, upgrade and/ or expand water and wastewater systems.
Congress heard Rural Water’s voices and concerns and responded accordingly with significant increases over the historic funding levels. The current interest rates for the direct loan at a 40-year term is affordable and allows reasonable upgrades and modifications that could potentially save utilities money and provide for a sustainable future for rural America.
The application time and process can seem challenging. However, State Associations have trained staff to directly assist utilities through the entire application process. NRWA has identified over 100 non-federal actions that can be directly performed at no-cost to the utility. Please contact your Rural Water State Association for direct assistance.