Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2015 - (Page 29)

The Rural Water Loan Fund Loan Rural Water F U N D National Rural Water Association and USDA Rural Utilities Service are working together to provide small loans to rural and small water and wastewater systems s BY CLAUDETTE ATWOOD, CFO, NRWA Since 2005, National Rural Water Association (NRWA) has partnered with USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to meet a growing need for small loans to rural and small water and wastewater systems. The fund was put into place to help develop water and waste disposal systems in rural areas and towns with populations under 10,000. This program meets the financing needs of RUS-eligible borrower utilities for access to small amounts of funding. The funds have been used for such needs as new energy efficient projects and equipment, funding pre-development costs in anticipation of construction, replacement equipment and service lines, small scale extensions and other small capital projects not part of regular operations and maintenance activities and 24 hour turn-around emergency loans during declared disasters at the local state or federal level. With current technical assistance programs addressing energy efficiency, this program emphasizes the use of its funds for energy efficiency equipment improvements. Making improvements to energy efficiency equipment also helps the system meet its compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act. It will also provide an opportunity to improve energy efficiencies and reduce operation costs. Many small communities are realizing the need for water and sewer line replacement and refurbishment as systems age. These system upgrades allow communities to maintain regulatory compliance in the face of changing requirements and enhance sustainability using the latest advances in technology. Energy efficiency projects will reduce costs and increase sustainability in small and rural systems. The program also offers a 90-day interest free emergency loan in designated disaster areas. Potential borrowers affected by these disasters need quick access to funds to purchase essential equipment to bring their water and wastewater systems back online or to full capacity. Such equipment may include pumps, generators, backhoes and other types of equipment that may have been destroyed or put out of commission by a disaster. A disaster area has been defined as an area or community that has been declared a disaster area in whole or part by the federal, state or local government. NRWA has formalized the process for emergency loans so there will be a quick response in determining eligibility, justifying appropriateness of action and giving the disaster-impacted systems quick access to funds for a RURAL WATER 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2015

From The President
State Specialists Lead Efforts to Protect Community Drinking Water
Energy Efficiency 101
Assisting Utilities through Sustainable Management Initiative
Technology Update: Cyber Threats Not Limited to Large Retailers and Health Insurers
Making Connections
The Rural Water Loan Fund
USDA Rural Development
Regulatory Update
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2015