RCAP Testifies on Community Water Systems Before Senate Agriculture Committee
Jenna Day, director of development for RCAP Solutions, was invited to testify during the Senate Agriculture Rural Development and Energy Subcommittee’s hearing, “Rural Water: Modernizing Our Community Water Systems,” on July 19. Led by Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), the hearing focused on what is needed to better serve rural customers and ensure access to clean, reliable water, especially in light of recent disasters that led to contaminated supply.
Day thanked the Agriculture Committee for its efforts to reauthorize critical USDA-Rural Development (RD) programs in the next Farm Bill and noted the necessity of funding for predevelopment planning for small communities, saying, “In most cases, it takes multiple years of predevelopment planning and multiple funders to successfully implement each project. The small systems rely on federally funded predevelopment grants and technical assistance, like the RCAP network provides, to assist with community engagement, application assistance, and affordability qualifications. Continued support, increased funding and state office oversight of the SEARCH and Water and Waste Predevelopment funds will increase successful applications to WEP to make sure that no small rural systems are left behind.”
RCAP and RCAP Solutions have been actively helping communities across the nation apply for and receive critical infrastructure funding.
“RCAP’s funding application assistance and other related tasks helped communities in the Northeast and U.S. Caribbean receive 57 funding awards in FY22 alone, resulting in over $88M in grants and low-interest loans. In this period, RCAP across the country leveraged approximately $400 million in infrastructure funding,” Day told the subcommittee.
Day also used her testimony to give a strong endorsement of the proposed Rural Investment Initiative (RII), which would be a flexible capacity building and financing program supporting all of RD’s mission areas.
“The RII would match rural communities and their needs to a cohort of local, regional, and national technical assistance providers, making it easier for communities to access right-sized technical assistance and ensuring better access to all USDA-RD programs, financing, and to provide financial capital directly to communities and strengthen human capital to unlock new investment, including public private partnerships, that would improve the capacity, economic health, and overall well-being of local communities.”
RCAP looks forward to continuing to work with the Senate Agriculture Committee and the full House and Senate to pass a Farm Bill that ensures small and rural communities and their water and other critical systems are not left behind.
Watch the full hearing:VIDEO