Secretary Vilsack Announces U.S. Department of Agriculture is Investing $272 Million to Improve Rural Water Infrastructure
Investments Will Help 270,000 People Living in Rural America
Matt Holmes, on behalf of the National Rural Water Association, participated in a press call with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack this morning to announce that $272 million will be invested to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for people living in rural communities across 37 states and Puerto Rico.
On the call, NRWA CEO Matt Holmes acknowledged how USDA and utilities across rural America play a critical role in the lives of rural Americans. Water and wastewater system personnel are essential employees and have been on the frontlines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic from day one. For more than 50 years, USDA has been one of NRWA’s most important partners, sharing the mission to improve the lives of rural residents.
“Last year, more than 24 million people benefitted from the USDA/NRWA Circuit Rider program alone – over 41% of rural Americans,” Holmes highlighted on the call.
The Circuit Rider Program, along with the many other federal programs NRWA is proud to operate, would not be possible without the direct financial and staff support from USDA. The funding announced this morning will go toward financing 114 projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program.
“As people in many parts of the nation battle drought and fires brought on by climate change, there has never been a more urgent need for this assistance,” Vilsack said. “When we invest in rural infrastructure, we build opportunity and prosperity for people in rural communities. These investments support the local economy by making rural communities attractive, economically viable and safe places to live and work, therefore helping to create and save jobs by attracting and retaining employers and workers. Investing in rural water infrastructure is one of the many things the Biden-Harris Administration is doing to help the nation build back better during the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The National Rural Water Association stands ready and able to continue its partnership with USDA in serving our nation’s rural communities.
To read the full announcement from USDA click here.