$331 million to fund 85 rural water infrastructure projects
The $331 million in funding will be divided among 85 projects, bringing the total number of water and wastewater infrastructure projects supported by the USDA under the Obama administration to 5,825, supported with nearly $14 billion. These projects have benefited 19,5 million rural Americans.
The recently announced $331 million will be broken down to $264 million in loans and $67 million in grants, all provided through Rural Development’s Water & Environment Programs, which support communities with 10,000 or fewer residents. Twenty-one of the 85 projects are located in StrikeForce areas, rural areas targeted for growth and development, and one is in an area targeted under the administration’s Promise Zone initiative.
"Strategic investments like these into community infrastructure provide a path to rural economic growth," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "Water and wastewater upgrades protect the health and safety of those who live and work in rural areas and are especially critical given today's aging infrastructure in areas that have not fully benefited from rural America's economic rebound. Modernizing water and wastewater systems improves the quality of life and can help attract jobs to rural communities."