National Rural Water Association

Training & Technical Assistance Program

Training and Technology

NRWA provides training and technical assistance to small and rural water and wastewater utilities through our affiliated State Rural Water Associations, who employ highly experienced field personnel.  Water and wastewater Circuit Riders work onsite with utility system personnel to troubleshoot problems, provide hands-on training, evaluate alternative technological solutions, recommend operational improvements, assist with leak detection, respond to natural disasters and other emergencies, participate in board and council meetings, conduct rate analysis…  Whew!  The list of critical services Circuit Riders provide encompasses all aspects of operating and managing water and wastewater systems.  This valuable program is funded by USDA Rural Development.

State Rural Water Associations train over 100,000 water and wastewater professionals every year, including licensed system operations specialists, managers, board members, and office staff. This represents classroom, conference, and on-site training for roughly 40% of the estimated 250,000 individuals employed in the water and wastewater industry every year.  This figure does not include new on-line training initiatives that extend Rural Water’s expertise to isolated geographic locations, private water systems, and other previously-unreached professionals. State Association Training Specialists provide classroom, on-site, and on-line instruction for every aspect of utility operation, management, finance, governance, and sustainability.

Did you know?

State Rural Water Association staff have an average of 23 years of experience working as certified operations specialists. Circuit Riders and Training Specialists possess the credibility and knowledge to support system staff, act as a liaison with regulators, and present recommendations to boards and councils.

Small and rural systems provide quality, sustainable service to their communities, often with limited personnel and tight budgets.  A smaller customer base results in a lack of economy of scale for these communities.  NRWA training and technical assistance closes the gap.

NRWA has a long-standing partnership with USDA Rural Development to help support the USDA Water and Waste Water Loan and Grant program.  For over 70 years, the USDA Water and Waste Water Loan and Grant program has been the most effective mechanism for funding the majority of the nation’s rural water and waste water infrastructure.  USDA provides funding to National and State Rural Water Associations for Water Circuit Riders, Wastewater Technicians, and Energy Efficiency Specialists.

NRWA and the US Environmental Protection Agency have a cooperative agreement to help small public water systems comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act.  Training and technical assistance is available to public water system personnel (including non-community systems) through your State Rural Water Association.