On 2 November 2015, the USDA Secretary announced that they will be awarding $314 Million to upgrade and repair water and wastewater systems across the US – mostly in rural communities.
The money is being divided between two grant programs: the Waste and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program (which is receiving $299 Million) and the Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant (ECWAG) program, which will receive $15 million.
“Six of the projects announced today will provide $3.9 million to benefit Native American areas. These water and waste awards include the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians in Minnesota and five projects in California, including Big Sandy Rancheria, two awards to the Cortina Band of Wintun Indians, the Grindstone Indian Rancheria and the Yurok Tribe.
Two projects will provide $9.1 million for colonias in New Mexico. The recipients are the Garfield Mutual Domestic Water Consumers & Mutual Sewer Works Association and the La Luz Mutual Domestic Water Association. Colonias are unincorporated, low-income, mostly Hispanic U.S. communities along the Mexico border that lack adequate housing, drinking water, and wastewater infrastructure.
Since 2009, USDA has helped provide improved water and wastewater services to nearly 18 million rural residents by investing $12.3 billion in 5,174 projects.”
This, and other projects strengthening rural communities have been very much appreciated under President Obama’s administration.
Inframanage.com observes that water and wastewater systems form the basis of good community public health.
It is encouraging to see US federal authorities continuing to work with communities to upgrade, repair and improve these systems, and possibly integrating infrastructure asset management for sustainability.
PHOTO CREDIT: US Department of Agriculture via Flickr Creative Commons License. The photo has been cropped to fit website needs.