Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 29

President Fletcher testifies before the U.S. House
of Representatives Committee on Agriculture on
March 9, 2017.

first hearing in support of the next Farm
Bill. For many rural communities, rural
development initiatives help to offset the
high fixed costs of providing basic services
like clean water, reliable electricity, and
universal phone service. Residents of
many rural communities simply would
not be able to afford to live there without
these key investments. The Agriculture
Committee believes that federal support
for infrastructure remains a key part of its
commitment to rural America.
NRWA was the only national water
association to be invited to the hearing.
President Fletcher made the most of the
opportunity by urging the Committee
to include essential small and rural
community water provisions in its 2018
Farm Bill legislation by providing the
following testimony: "I am proud of the
work of this Committee and specifically
the Rural Development programs that have
lifted up the quality of life for so many of
the residents in my home state of Illinois
and throughout this nation. Thank you.
NRWA member communities have the
very important public responsibility of
complying with all applicable regulations
and for supplying the public with safe
drinking water and sanitation every second
of every day. I am the manager of the
Washington County Water Company
that started with a Farmers Home
Administration loan and grant in 1979
with only 700 customers. This community
worked for years to bring running water
to their residents. Currently, we serve

4,600 customers in seven counties. This
would not have been possible without the
direct assistance from the Department of
Agriculture's loan and grant program. We
simply could not afford to debt service a
commercial credit loan with the income of
our customers. Mr. Chairman, as you draft
the new Farm Bill, we would like you to
focus on the RUS Water and Wastewater
Loan and Grant programs. The majority of
the rural communities in the nation have
relied on Rural Development for affordable
financing and technical assistance to
provide these essential services. As
previously mentioned, many remote
rural areas lack the financial capability
and technical expertise to debt-service
commercial credit. Also, please prioritize
the Circuit Rider Program. Circuit Riders
have provided on-site technical assistance
to small communities in all states for water
infrastructure development, environmental
compliance, training, certification,
operations, management, rates, disaster
response, training, energy audits, financial
management and governance. I must

also emphasize the direct on-the-ground
disaster assistance we provide. The Circuit
Riders are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days
a year."
The House of Representatives
Subcommittee on Environment, chaired
by Representative John Shimkus (IL), held
a hearing on May 19, 2017 concerning
the subcommittee draft amendments to
the Safe Drinking Water Act titled, "The
Drinking Water System Improvement Act."
The hearing built on the subcommittee's
previous work examining drinking water
infrastructure needs across the country
and efforts to bring greater investment
and improvements to our drinking water
infrastructure.
At the hearing, President Fletcher stood
up for rural and small communities on a
range of regulatory topics such as providing
EPA expanded authority to require the
consolidation of small communities over
the objection of local citizens. This was a
position favored by private water industry
representatives. The following is excerpted
from Fletcher's testimony:

U.S. House of Representatives Member John Shimkus (Chairman of the House's Safe Drinking Water Act
subcommittee) and President Fletcher, Washington DC, May 19, 2017, following a hearing on amendments to the
Safe Drinking Water Act.

RURAL WATER

29



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018

From the President
When Rural Water Systems Combine
Peer-to-Peer Networking
Cheboygan, Michigan Adopts Level Service Goals for Water Department
NRWA President Steve Fletcher: Rural Water’s “Man for All Seasons”
Rural Water Rally 2018
State Rural Water Association Profile
A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Regulatory Update
Up the Creek: The Ongoing Story of Our Life
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Intro
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - bellyband1
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - bellyband2
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - cover1
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - cover2
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 3
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 4
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 5
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 6
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 7
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 8
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 9
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 10
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - From the President
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - When Rural Water Systems Combine
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 13
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 14
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 15
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 16
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 17
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Peer-to-Peer Networking
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 19
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 20
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 21
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 22
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 23
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 24
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 25
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Cheboygan, Michigan Adopts Level Service Goals for Water Department
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 27
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - NRWA President Steve Fletcher: Rural Water’s “Man for All Seasons”
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 29
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 30
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 31
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Rural Water Rally 2018
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 33
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 34
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 35
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - State Rural Water Association Profile
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 37
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 39
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 40
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Regulatory Update
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 42
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Up the Creek: The Ongoing Story of Our Life
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 45
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - cover3
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - cover4
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