Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2009 - (Page 58)

“I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink.” – Matthew 25:35 BY ROB JOHNSON, NRWA CEO FROM THE CEO OUR PRAYERS TO enable more Americans to have better water were answered in February when the stimulus bill passed. In the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009, there are: • $1.38 billion for USDA grants and loans, which will result in $3.8 billion in water and waste projects. • $2.0 billion for SDWA SRF, which will be passed along to states. • $4.0 billion for CWA SRF, which will be passed along to states. There are more federal funds available to build water and wastewater projects now than at any time in my 31 years with NRWA. Regardless of what anyone says about this stimulus package, it has been There are more federal funds wonderful for rural America. On March 9, 2009, USDA available to build water and announced that Rural Development will release funding wastewater projects now than for more than $400 million at any time in my 31 years in pending applications for water and waste grants, with NRWA. Regardless of and $140 million in pendwhat anyone says about this ing applications for water and waste direct loans. Rural stimulus package, it has been Development expects nearly wonderful for rural America. 13,000 jobs will be created by 400 water and wastewater projects. Other projects will be announced very soon. The RUS Water and Waste Program began in the 1960s and have a $9.9 billion portfolio with over 17,866 loans. The USDA estimates that for every $1 billion that is spent in the water and waste program, 23,000 jobs are produced. These are green jobs such as building or improving a wastewater or water treatment plant, building water storage, or laying distribution or collection lines that bring water to people or clean up wastewater and improve the environment and public health. Most of the products for these improvements are made in the U.S. Water and waste program has a history of getting money quickly into rural America. After the President signed the last Farm Bill that included water and waste backlog funding, these funds were in rural America in 77 days. In the prior Farm Bill, it took only 85 days. The water and waste program targets low and moderate income people in areas with population lower than 10,000 people who are not able to obtain commercial credit elsewhere. OMB rates the RUS Water and Waste Disposal Program as the highest loan program in the federal government. Its loan delinquency rate is 0.53 percent. In other words, 99.47 percent are current on their payments – higher than any government program. As of the date this article is written, RUS has $4.3 billion in projects ready for funding. With the amount of funds available in the 2009 stimulus bill and the remainder of their FY-09 funding, most of this backlog will be funded. History has shown that when the RUS backlog is reduced, additional applications come pouring in. If you have a project that has not been submitted because of the lengthy waiting period, now is the time to submit it. On October 1, RUS will have their FY-10 funding and the list is short. A word to the wise is sufficient. Our association and its approximately 27,000 water and wastewater systems want to say “thank you” to our Congress and President Obama for helping bring water to rural America. 58 • Second Quarter 2009 “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” – Matthew 25:40

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2009

Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2009
From the President
Energy Conservation for Small Utilities
Sounds Too Good to Bet True...But It's Real!
Algae to Biodiesel
Wind to Water
Utility Management in a Down Economy
Waterbrick: Bulk Water Delivery System Pulls Double Duty as Shelter
Five Attributes of Inspirational Leaders
Regulatory Update
Rally Wrap Up
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2009