Rural Water Rally

2021 GAWTT Results!

Watch the final round of the GAWTT here!
Congratulations to all the finalists!

Be Heard: How You Can Support Rural Water

Attend the Rural Water Rally

The Rural Water Rally provides an opportunity for supporters of our industry to make their case directly to their elected officials. Rural Water Associations in each state schedule meetings with Representatives, Senators and their staff, so that they can share the Rural Water success story, answer questions and build important relationships. Attending the Rural Water Rally also provides a unique opportunity to meet with association leaders and watch the Great American Water Taste Test in person.

Utilities: Write a Letter

Our greatest tool is sharing the ways that Rural Water assists small utilities everyday in the effort to supply their communities with clean, safe, affordable water. These stories are the proof that Rural Water operates effective programs that can reach every utility, from cities to the smallest and most rural community. Utilities that cannot attend Rural Water Rally personally can still support Rural Water’s Efforts to promote funding, technical assistance and sensible regulation for small utilities.

Has Rural Water Helped Your Utility? Write an official letter detailing how Rural Water has assisted your utility and the value they provide to you. Submit this letter to your State Association so they can carry your story with them into their meetings with your elected officials.

Great American Water Taste Test

The annual Great American Water Taste Test will be held during the Rural Water Rally. Entries will be taken from utilities across the nation that have won their state association taste test. State winners can obtain GAWTT entry forms, mailing labels and deadlines from their State Association.


The Rural Water Rally in-person event scheduled for February 8-10, 2021 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 health crisis and the uncertainty of scheduling face-to-face meetings with congressional representatives.
In lieu of the in-person event, NRWA is planning to hold a virtual event including an opening session and the annual Great American Water Taste Test. The opening session will be available by registration only and a small fee. The GAWTT finals will be held in Washington D.C. and will be free to view.

Tentative Schedule of Events

Monday, February 85:00 PM CSTRegistration for opening session closes
Tuesday, February 911:00 AM – 12:30 PM EST Opening Session is live Register now!
12:30 – 2:00 PM EST 2021 Rural Water Congressional Funding Requests Discussion (Closed to general public, State Association Representatives invited only, email for link to register)
Wednesday, February 10Social media promotion
Thursday, February 1111:00 AM ESTGAWTT Finals – Will be broadcast on NRWA Social Media Channels

2021 Great American Water Taste Test

Finals Judges:

Patrick Carroll

Patrick Carroll serves on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture as a Professional Staff Member, where he has budget and oversight responsibilities for the Rural Development and Food Safety Inspection Agencies at USDA, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Farm Credit Agency. As part of the appropriations process, he is tasked with ensuring that these agencies receive the appropriate level of funding, as well as coordinating the inclusion of any policy riders. Prior to joining the Senate Appropriations Committee Patrick worked for former Congressmen Kevin Yoder (KS) and Ray LaHood (IL), both of whom were senior members of the House Appropriations Committee.

In addition to his time on Capitol Hill, Patrick has worked in the private sector, including as Government Relations Director for Biotechnology Industry Organization, as well as at the International Dairy Foods Association and the Beer Institute.

Rachel Erlebacher

Rachel Erlebacher is a professional staffer with the Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee. She covers food safety, animal and plant health, and rural development. Prior to serving on the Appropriations Committee, she worked as a program analyst for the Office of Budget and Program Analysis (OBPA) at the US Department of Agriculture. Rachel holds a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.A. from Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. In her free time, she enjoys baking, running, and drinking a lot of delicious tap water. She lives in Washington, DC.

Dr. Kusai Merchant

Kusai Merchant currently serves as a Professional Staff Member on the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, House Committee on Appropriations. His primary responsibility on the Committee is preparing legislation providing annual appropriations for the Environmental Protection Agency. Kusai’s public policy career began in 2006 as an ACS Congressional Fellow in the Office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), where he worked on energy and environmental policy issues. Following his fellowship, Kusai was an advocate for climate and clean air policy at Environmental Defense Fund before returning to the Senate in 2014, where he served on the Senate Budget Committee, and subsequently the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Thank you to our 2021 GAWTT Participants!

2021 Participants
  • Ponderosa Utility Corporation | Flagstaff, Arizona
  • City of Ash Flat Water Department | Ash Flat, Arkansas
  • Honeyville | Honeyville, Utah
  • Fort Garland Water & Sanitation | Fort Garland, Colorado
  • City of Harrisburg | Harrisburg, South Dakota
  • West Autauga Water Authority | Autauga, Alabama
  • Lyon and Sioux Rural Water System | Rock Rapids, Iowa
  • La Jara Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association | La Jara, New Mexico
  • Stephens County RWD #5 | Marlow, Oklahoma
  • Village of Chatham | Chatham, Illinois
  • City of Rawlins | Rawlins, Wyoming
  • Boone County Consolidated Public Water Supply District 1 | Columbia, Missouri
  • WaterOne | Lenexa. Kansas
  • Storey County Water District | Virginia City, Nevada
  • City of Maynardville | Maynardville, Tennessee
  • City of Evansville | Evansville, Minnesota
  • Valley City Public Works | Valley City, North Dakota
  • Monson Water and Sewer Department | Monson, Massachusetts
  • Rockingham County/Three Springs | McGaheysville, Virginia
  • City of Whittier | Whittier, Alaska
  • City of Hagerman | Hagerman, Idaho
  • Crooked River Ranch Water Company | Terrebone, Oregon
  • Jeff Davis Water District #4 | Jennings, Louisiana
  • Talquin Electric Cooperative- Meridian Hills | Quincy, Florida

The Finals for the Great American Water Taste Test will be broadcast at 11:00 AM EST on February 11th on our social media, website and the Rural Water Wire!