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Water & Environmental Programs

To apply for Water & Environmental Grant and Loan funding, visit RD Apply, our newly developed, online application system.

Through Rural Utilities Service Water and Environmental Programs (WEP), rural communities obtain the technical assistance and financing necessary to develop drinking water and waste disposal systems.  Safe drinking water and sanitary waste disposal systems are vital not only to public health, but also to the economic vitality of rural America.  Rural Development is a leader in helping rural America improve the quality of life and increase the economic opportunities for rural people.

WEP provides funding for the construction of water and waste facilities in rural communities and is proud to be the only Federal program exclusively focused on rural water and waste infrastructure needs of rural communities with populations of 10,000 or less.  WEP also provides funding to organizations that provide technical assistance and training to rural communities in relation to their water and waste activities.  WEP is administered through National Office staff in Washington, DC, and a network of field staff in each State.

    Water and Environmental Programs

    Circuit Rider Program

    This program provides technical assistance to rural water systems that are experiencing day-to-day operational, financial or managerial issues.

    Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants

    This program helps eligible communities prepare, or recover from, an emergency that threatens the availability of safe, reliable drinking water.

    Grants for Rural and Native Alaskan Villages

    This program helps remote Alaskan villages provide safe, reliable drinking water and waste disposal systems for households and businesses.

    Rural Decentralized Water Systems Grant Program

    This program helps qualified nonprofits and tribes create a revolving loan fund to increase access to clean, reliable water and septic systems for households in eligible rural areas.

    Individual Water & Wastewater Grants

    This program provides funds to households in an area recognized as a Colonia before October 1, 1989.  Grant funds may be used to connect service lines to a residence, pay utility hook-up fees, install plumbing and related fixtures.

    Revolving Funds for Financing Water and Wastewater Projects (Revolving Fund Program)

    This program helps qualified nonprofits create revolving loan funds that can provide financing to extend and improve water and waste disposal systems in rural areas.

    SEARCH - Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households

    This program helps very small, financially distressed rural communities with predevelopment feasibility studies, design and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects.

    Solid Waste Management Grants

    This program reduces or eliminates pollution of water resources by providing funding for organizations that provide technical assistance or training to improve the planning and management of solid waste sites.

    Water & Waste Disposal Grants to Alleviate Health Risks on Tribal Lands and Colonias

    This program provides low-income communities, which face significant health risks, access to safe, reliable drinking water and waste disposal facilities and services.

    Water & Waste Disposal Loans & Grants

    This program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.

    Water & Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees

    This program helps private lenders provide affordable financing to qualified borrowers to improve access to clean, reliable water and waste disposal systems for households and businesses in rural areas. 

    Water & Waste Disposal Predevelopment Planning Grants

    This program assists low-income communities with initial planning and development of applications for USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal direct loan/grant and loan guarantee programs.

    Water & Waste Disposal Technical Assistance & Training Grants

    This program helps qualified, private nonprofits provide technical assistance and training to identify and evaluate solutions to water and waste problems; helps applicants prepare applications for water and waste disposal loans/grants; and helps associations improve the operation and maintenance of water and waste facilities in eligible rural areas.