USDA provides $314m for water, waste infrastructure improvements
"Many rural communities need to upgrade and repair their water and wastewater systems, but often lack the resources to do so," Vilsack said.
"These loans and grants will help accomplish this goal. USDA's support for infrastructure improvements is an essential part of building strong rural economies."
USDA is awarding $299 million for 88 projects in the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program and $15 million for 53 grants in the Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant (ECWAG) program.
ECWAG grants enable water systems that serve eligible rural communities to prepare for, or recover from, imminent or actual emergencies that threaten the availability of safe drinking water. Water and Waste program recipients can use funds to construct water and waste facilities in rural communities.
Three recipients receiving funding were given priority points through a provision in the 2014 Farm Bill that encourages communities to adopt regional economic development plans.
These projects are centered on regional collaboration and long-term growth strategies. They leverage outside resources and capitalize on a region's unique strengths. ■