U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service Administrator Chad Rupe today announced that USDA is investing $135 million in 49 projects to improve rural water infrastructure in 24 states. This announcement includes $616,000 investment in Louisiana for improvements at water treatment facilities.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to partner with rural communities to address their current and long-term water needs,” Rupe said. “Modernizing water infrastructure will yield key health benefits and help spur economic growth – making rural places even more attractive to live and work.”
USDA is making the investments through the Water and Waste Disposal loan & grant program. Rural cities and towns, water districts and other eligible entities can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Below are examples of projects announced today that show how USDA is partnering to improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure in Louisiana:
Alberta Water System will use a $347,000 loan for additional financing to construct a well, add activated carbon treatment systems at two booster stations, replace water meters, and add stand-by generators at both booster stations. This will mitigate disinfection by-products, improve efficiency of operations, and reduce water loss. The system serves 1,603 customers in Bienville Parish. Previous funding includes a $2,103,000 Rural Development loan and grant combination and the applicant contribution of $2,000.
Poland Water Association will use a $269,000 loan for additional funding in conjunction with an earlier Rural Development loan and grant totaling $1,229,000. The project includes construction of two new water wells, a chlorination facility, and installation of radio read meters. The office building will be brought into compliance with the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standard. The booster station, which has been idle since September of 2008, will be brought into service by refurbishing the booster pumps and updating control facilities. The project will meet the daily demand of Poland's citizens as well as strengthen fire flow demand, and improve billing efficiency. The chlorination facility will decrease water loss due to reducing the frequent need to flush the system. Poland Water Association serves 909 people in Rapides Parish with 325 residential and 12 commercial customers.
USDA is announcing investments today in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and West Virginia.
USDA had $2.9 billion available for USDA Water and Environmental Program loans and grants at the beginning of fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.