The US Department of Agriculture has recognized several pressing needs in rural US communities and has plans to invest $267 million to improve water and wastewater systems in 103 projects.
Many of these communities have very limited water infrastructure and the risk of contamination.
Water Technology reports:
“USDA’s investments towards water infrastructure include $116,000 loan to the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe in South Dakota to improve storm sewer infrastructure for a new housing development on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation.
In addition to it, USDA will also provide $2.7m loan and a $2.2m grant to the town of Alexander, in Genesee County of New York to build Water District #5.
Under this project, public water service will be extended to 124 residentials and three non-residential users in the town. Water quality testing in this town indicates that a major portion of residents’ wells have coliform and E. coli contamination, thereby posing grave public health threats.”
This level of investment by the Department of Agriculture will be a very welcome boost to the communities affected and is necessary to develop and maintain a high standard of water infrastructure throughout the country.
Knowing where to access available grants and loans is an integral component of infrastructure asset management.
Typically an infrastructure manager will be preparing an asset management plan to address the levels of service, future demand, risk management, and life cycle management of the infrastructure assets.
This will produce a range of long-term expenditure projections.
The complementary and important treasury and finance functions are determining funding sources that enable the expenditure.
Funding sources can range from tariffs, land taxes, sales taxes, bonds, loans, and grants.
USDA loans and grants as outlined in this article form part of the funding mix for rural US communities.