NRWA - National Rural Water Association

05/30/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 09:42

USDA Offers Grants to Bring Innovative Wastewater Systems to People in Underserved Rural Areas

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is offering grants to regional consortiums to find innovative solutions to longstanding wastewater issues in underserved rural areas.

The funding is being made available under the Technical Assistance and Construction for Innovative Regional Wastewater Treatment Solutions Grant Pilot Program. The program awards grants to regional consortiums that coordinate with universities, academic health and research institutes, or economic development entities to solve untreated raw sewage issues with innovative technologies.

The grants may be used to study, design, or construct regional wastewater systems for historically impoverished communities that have had difficulty installing traditional treatment systems due to soil conditions.

The program's primary focus will address issues related to raw sewage discharge for rural communities in the Mid-South areas experiencing persistent poverty. Persistent poverty areas include communities where at least 20% of the people have been living in poverty over the past 30 years as measured by the 1990 census, 2000 census, and the 2007-2011 American Community Survey five-year average.

A minimum of $5.15 million in grant funding is available for fiscal year 2023.

The funding may be used to provide wastewater technical assistance, conduct needs assessments, test wastewater options, assist with preliminary designs, develop regulatory guidance, and prepare applications for financial assistance. The grant funds also may be used to construct the identified solutions.

USDA is offering priority points to projects that advance key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to help rural communities and people address climate change and environmental justice; advance racial justice; implement place-based equity and opportunity, and create more and better market opportunities.

Applications must be submitted electronically on and received no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on July 31, 2023.

Visit the Federal Register or program webpage for more information.