U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director John Rounsaville today announced that USDA is investing $201 million to improve rural water infrastructure in 31 states.
“Modern, reliable and accessible water infrastructure is critical to improving quality of life in rural communities,” Rounsaville said.
USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Eligible applicants include rural cities, towns and water districts. The funds can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Two projects were announced in Mississippi today:
- Copiah Water Association Inc. in Hazlehurst, Mississippi received a loan of $712,000 and $173,000 in grant funding, which will be used to replace all of the existing manually-read meters with radio-read meters. The installation of the new meters will allow for more accurate billing, likely resulting in an increase in system revenues, and remove the safety hazard of manually reading meters along narrow and winding country roads. Additionally, the new metering system will assist in water conservation as significant increases in water usage can be identified quickly and water line breaks can be repaired in a more timely and efficient manner. The new meters will benefit approximately 5,500 people within the service area of Copiah Water Association.
- The Progress Community Water Association in Purvis, Mississippi will receive a loan $1,997,000 and $1,250,000 in grant funding, which will be used to purchase a new water well, elevated tank, and new 6-inch water mains, meeting updated standards. The new well and tank will supply the system with the volume needed for the additional growth that has occurred over the past few years. The project will gain several new customers that are now being served by their own private water wells and will benefit over 6,000 customers.
USDA awarded nearly $1.8 billion for Water and Environmental Program loans and grants during fiscal year 2019. View the interactive RD Apply tool or contact one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices for application or eligibility information.
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.