News & Press: NSPS News & Views

Government report focuses on funding rural water infrastructure

Tuesday, March 10, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Burk Cornelius
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A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has found that some rural communities had to hire consultants and engineers to help design water or wastewater projects and complete the technical documents necessary to apply for funding. This included developing preliminary engineering plans and environmental documents. Some federal and state programs pay for technical service providers which communities can use to help them design and finance their projects, and apply for funding. The nation faces costly upgrades to aging and deteriorating drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The costs of replacing infrastructure in these communities are estimated by federal agencies to be over $140 billion in the coming decades. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Drinking Water and Clean Water Revolving Funds (SRF) are the largest source of funding and assistance, receiving $907 million and $1.45 billion, respectively, in fiscal year 2014, some of which goes to rural communities. The Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service provides the next largest source of funding at $485 million in fiscal year 2014. The Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing February 27 on Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) issues related to small and rural drinking water utilities.

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