Program 101

Program Status:  Open
Notice of Solicitation of Applications

What does this program do?

This program helps qualified non-profits and Tribes create a revolving loan fund (RLF) to extend access to clean, reliable water to households in eligible rural areas.

Who may apply for these grants?

Nonprofits that have:

  • Expertise and experience promoting the safe, productive use of individually owned household water wells systems
  • Legal authority to act as a lender
  • Sufficient expertise and experience in lending activities
  • Financial, technical and managerial capacity to comply with relevant federal and state laws and regulations

How may grant funds be used?

Grant funds may be used to help a non-profit create a RLF for eligible individuals i who own and occupy their home in an eligible rural area. Loan fund may be used to construct, refurbish, or service individually-owned household water well systems.Terms for the loans to individuals include 1% fixed interest rate, 20 year maximum term, and an $11,000 maximum loan per household.

NOTE: Loans may not be used for home sewer or septic systems

What is an eligible area?

Are matching funds required for the grant?

Yes. The non-profit must contribute at least 10%

  • Matching funds may be from the non-profit applicant or a third party
  • Matching funds may not be in-kind

What is the deadline to apply?

The deadline for completed applications for a Household Well Water Systems grant is April 13, 2015. Applications in either paper or electronic format must be postmarked or time-stamped electronically on or before the deadline. Late applications will be ineligible for grant considerations.

Note: Homeowners seeking a loan should contact us for details on non-profits participating in this program.

How do we get started?

  • Electronic applications are accepted through www.grants.gov
  • Paper applications may be sent to Water Programs Division, Rural Utilities Service, Stop: 1570, Room 2234-S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-1570.

Who can answer questions?

What governs this program?

  • Code of Federal Regulations 7 CFR 1776
  • This program is authorized by 306E of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT)

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?

This program helps communities extend and improve safe, reliable drinking water to households in rural areas. Good practices can save tax dollars and improve the natural environment.

NOTE: Program details may change over time. Before you begin an application, please confirm you have the most current information by contacting a specialist in your local office for assistance or consult the program Instructions listed in the section above titled "What Governs this Program?"

Forms & Resources

NOTE: Please contact your local State Office and speak to a Water & Environmental Programs Specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in your application.

Please review the 2015 Household Water Well System Program Grant Application Guide ( pdf | doc ) in conjunction with your conversation with the Rural Development program specialist in your state.