“The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) Inc. is opposed to the Administration’s plan to eliminate The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Water/Wastewater Loan and Grant Program in their Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal to Congress. This program is essential for the delivery and maintenance of safe, dependable, and affordable water to millions of rural Americans every day.
Congress has long recognized the value of USDA’s Water/Wastewater Loan and Grant Program, and has consistently supported funding to help small communities improve existing infrastructure, protect their drinking water resources, and comply with federal drinking water regulations. More than 98% of rural Americans receive their drinking water from small systems and this program is vital to assuring the highest quality of drinking water to this sector of rural America where the cost of operating and maintaining these systems is significantly higher than that of urban areas.
Additionally, large water utilities can issue municipal bonds and access private capital for system improvements, but for the majority of medium, small, and very small water systems, the municipal bond market and access to private capital is not an option. Therefore, small rural communities rely on USDA’s Water/Wastewater Loan and Grant Program to make system improvements that protect the health, safety, and quality of life for all rural Americans.
RCAP stands ready to work with the new Administration and Congress on assisting small and rural communities with infrastructure funding, but any proposal must include full funding for the USDA water programs that have a proven track record in effectively serving rural Americans.”
About the Rural Community Assistance Partnership
The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) is a national network of six regional RCAPs working to ensure that rural and small communities through the United States have access to safe drinking water and sanitary wastewater disposal. The Partnership provides a variety of programs to accomplish this goal, such as direct training and technical assistance. For more information, visit www.rcap.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.