Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2014 - (Page 24)

Meeting the Goal of Sustainable, Efficient, Affordable Rural Water Systems USDA programs provide access to funds and technical expertise BY SHERYL S. JACKSON A WATER SYSTEM that runs out of water for five to seven days does not inspire confidence that a community can attract the jobs, new homes and economic growth represented by a new industry moving into the area. Thomasville, AL was the city that ran out of water because it was the last community on a pipeline from another municipality that provided water to a total of three additional cities. Determined to establish a reliable source of water, the city built its own water system. The $27-million project enabled the city utility to draw water from the Alabama River, transport it 20 miles through a pipeline to the water treatment 24 * Second Quarter 2014 facility, and then distribute to its customers. "The majority of funding came from USDA grants and loans," says Sheldon Day, mayor of Thomasville. "Once it was evident that we were addressing our ongoing water problems, we were able to lure $700 million in capital investment by a major industry, creating 1,500 jobs in a rural town with a population of 5,000." Direct loans and grants to fund construction of new or renovation of existing water and wastewater systems in small, rural communities make up the core of the Water and Environmental Programs administered by the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development, Rural Utilities Service. With almost 4,000 projects funded since 2009, the program has provided assistance in counties in all 50 states and one territory. (See page 28 for more facts about program history.) "The purpose of rural development loans and grants is to ensure reliable, affordable water and wastewater in small towns, cities and rural areas across the country," says Jacqueline M. PontiLazaruk, assistant administrator of the Water and Environment Program. "The

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2014

From the President
Adjusting to the New Normal
Facts About North Dakota Fracking and Water Use
Meeting the Goal of Sustainable, Efficient, Affordable Rural Water Systems
Let's Be Clear - The Fire Chief Project
A Regular Job a Long Way Away
Regulatory Update
Throwing My Loop
NRWA’s First CEO, Raymond Keith (RK) Johnson, Passes Away
Index to Advertisers/
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2014