USDA Partners to Improve Rural Water Infrastructure

(785) 271-2701

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $267 million in 103 infrastructure projects to upgrade water and wastewater systems in rural communities.

“Robust, modern infrastructure is foundational for quality of life and economic opportunity – no matter what zip code you live in,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in addressing rural infrastructure needs to support a more prosperous future in rural communities.”

USDA is making investments in 35 states through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funds can be used to finance drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

USDA’s partnerships in water infrastructure in Kansas includes:

  • Chautauqua County Rural Water District #4 will receive a $300,000 loan to construct a new water pump station for the rural water district. The new booster pump station will provide the required water pressure and flow that its customers need. With the new pump station, the district will transmit water from a new source. The district's prior water source had been out of compliance with water quality regulations.Population to be served by this project is 4,594.   

  • The city of Enterprise will receive a $641,000 loan to build a regional non-discharging wastewater treatment facility serving Enterprise and the unincorporated community of Detroit. The proposed project includes the addition of a treatment cell and modification to the existing lagoon at the city of Detroit, which will be used as a joint treatment facility for the two communities. The construction will include the installation of larger pumps at the pump station and approximately 14,600 feet of new six-inch force main to the treatment facility.  The neighboring community of Detroit built a treatment facility a few years ago and has a large amount of excess treatment capacity, making it feasible to create the regional treatment facility for the two communities. The population to be served by this project is 855.

  • Dickinson County Rural Water District #1 will receive a $2.319 million loan and $1.305 million grant to make water distribution infrastructure improvements for Dickinson County Rural Water District (RWD) 1, which serves rural customers from Dickinson, Clay and Ottawa counties. The RWD's current water infrastructure was constructed in the early 1970s, and is aging and contributing to the district's water loss problems. The project will install approximately 82 miles of water distribution system pipeline, 70 valves and 18 flush hydrants. The project will also include interior and exterior paint upgrades to the district's three water storage tanks, and will completely replace one chlorination building and upgrade the other. The population to be served by this project is 978.

  • Public Wholesale Water Supply District #23 – Neosho County will receive a $3.088 million loan and $2.534 million grant to provide additional funding needed to complete the construction of a new, six-million-gallons-a-day water treatment plant. The district sells water to 16 rural water districts and four cities in southeast Kansas, including parts of Wilson, Woodson, Neosho, Montgomery, Elk, Greenwood, Allen and Labette counties. In 2009, the district purchased the treatment facility that was built in the 1920s. It was renovated over the years, but the treatment facility was undersized and struggled with water supply issues. The treatment plant is also located in a flood zone. Capacity problems have created unforeseen costs due to additional capital projects. The treatment plant's overall bid for the project came in higher than anticipated by approximately 10 percent. The total project cost is $30.16 million. The population to be served by this project is 12,707.

In FY 2018, Congress provided a historic level of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure. The 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes $5.2 billion for USDA loans and grants, up from $1.2 billion in FY 2017. It also directs Agriculture Secretary Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.

Rural community leaders can apply for these funds electronically by using the interactive RD Apply tool.   Additional question on the Water & Environmental Program can be directed to the USDA Rural Development State Office in Topeka at (785) 271-2700. 

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 services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

Last Modified: 07/18/2018