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USDA is Seeking Applications for Grants to Support Rural Water and Waste Infrastructure

Erin McDuff
Release Date

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for grants to help very small communities expand or improve water or waste disposal systems.

The Water and Wastewater Revolving Funds Program does not provide grants directly to individuals, businesses, or communities. Instead, state and local government entities and private nonprofits can use the grants to establish lending programs to help expand or improve water and waste disposal systems in rural communities with a population of 10,000 or less. These grants are awarded on a competitive basis.

The maximum loan amount for the revolving loan funds established under this program has been increased, effective this year. The revolving loan funds may now provide individual loans up of to $200,000 (the previous limit was $100,000) for a maximum term of 10 years. This change will help expand access to safe, reliable drinking water and sanitary sewage treatment for households and businesses in rural communities.

The loans can be used for pre-development planning costs and for short-term or small capital improvement projects that are not part of the regular operation and maintenance of the water or waste system. The interest rate charged to communities is determined by the government entity or nonprofit operating the loan fund and identified in the approved grant work plan.

Applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov no later than 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time on July 16, 2021.

For additional information or to discuss a potential application, contact Ella Nichols, Community Programs Specialist, (503) 414-3354.