USDA will invest $135 million in projects across 24 different states with a focus on rural water and wastewater infrastructure and another $181 million to improve rural electric systems in 10 states.

Through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program, investments will be made in eligible, cities, towns and water districts with a population of 10,000 or less. A USDA release cites Northport, Wash., as an example. The city will be receiving a $115,000 loan and $345,000 grant “to improve its water filtration system. The improvements will lower the levels of manganese and nitrates in drinking water.” USDA also noted a much larger recipient - the Charlotte Harbor Water Association in Punta Gorda, Fla. - that will receive a $7.1 million loan and a $5.4 million grant to replace water mains, valves, fittings, fire hydrants, and other equipment. 

Chad Rupe, USDA Rural Utilities Service Administrator said “Modernizing water infrastructure will yield key health benefits and spur economic growth – making rural places even more attractive to live and work.” USDA plans to announce additional funding announcements under the $2.9 billion Water and Environmental Program "in coming weeks."

The rural electric funding goes to projects like a $19.7 million line improvement plan over 96 miles served by the Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative in Ohio. USDA says the upgrades will serve 600 new customers and smart grid investment there will serve more than 18,600 customers. Additional announcements for that $5.5 billion program are pending as well. 

For more news go to