Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 49
FROM THE CEO
BY SAM WADE, NRWA CEO
IS, THE USDA
RURAL AND SMALL
Back in March, the Trump Administration released its proposed budget, which
eliminated the USDA water and waste disposal loan and grant program. Recent information
about the budget has suggested the reason this program was "zeroed-out" was because
it was duplicative, and that the needs could be met through EPA's State Revolving Loan
Funds. NOTHING could be further from the truth!
Let me share some presidential wisdom from Ernie Faucet of Arkansas, who served as
NRWA president from 1990-1992. "I was taught to always come home from the dance
with the one that brung you," he would say. The truth is, the USDA water and waste
disposal program has been the lifeline for rural and small community infrastructure for the
past 70 years.
Here's what you need to know about these programs:
1. The USDA water and waste programs were serving rural America long before the birth
of the State Revolving Funds.
2. Approximately 75 percent of the SRF funds go to systems serving over 10,000
population, which make up 8 percent of the 52,000 community water supplies.
3. All of the USDA Water and Waste funds go to systems serving less than 10,000
4. Eighty-five percent of the USDA Water and Waste funds go to systems serving less
than 5,000 with 53 percent to systems serving less than 1,500 population.
5. USDA Water Program funds are allocated based on specific criteria such as percentage
of rural population, percentage of rural unemployment and percentage of rural poverty.
6. Seventy percent of all funds provided for water infrastructure are loans and are paid back
with interest to the federal government.
Past borrowers, current borrowers, borrowers and communities that will need affordable
funding in the future have a vested interest in this critical lifeline of affordable funding for
Rural America's water and waste infrastructure.
Mr. Faucet's wisdom is right on: "always come home with the one that brung you."
Reach out to your Congressional Delegation in support of the USDA water and waste
programs. For further information, contact your state rural water association and/or become
a member of the WaterPro Community, www.waterprocommunity.org. ●
FOR THE PAST