Money available for improvements to water wells

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SEATTLE – U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development is accepting applications for funds from its Household Water Well System Grant program.

“This program provides financial assistance through non-profit organizations to rural residents who need to drill water wells,” Under Secretary Thomas Dorr said in a press release. “Because many rural residents do not live in areas where a centralized water system is feasible, this program helps meet a basic human need: access to clean, safe drinking water.”

Grants may be used to establish lending programs for household water wells. USDA does not provide funds directly to property owners under this program; grant recipients must use the grants to make loans to individual homeowners to construct or upgrade household water well systems. Grant recipients must contribute at least 10 percent of the grant request.

USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Programs provide grants, loans and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste and storm drainage facilities in rural areas and cities and towns of 10,000 or less. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and American Indian governments may qualify for assistance.

In recent years, the amount available for the Household Water Well System Grant program on a nationwide basis has been less than $1 million per year. The deadline for completed applications is May 31. An application guide is available on www.usda.gov/rus/water, or call (202) 720-9583.

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