Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants

Through the Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant Program, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is authorized to help rural residents who have experienced a significant decline in quantity or quality of water to obtain adequate quantities of water that meet the standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Rural Utilities Service
Types of Assistance
Uses and Use Restrictions
Grants may be used for existing systems:

1. To alleviate a significant decline in the available quantity or quality of water by constructing new wells, reservoirs, transmission lines, treatment plants, and other sources of water;

2. To extend or repair distribution waterlines, repair breaks, and pay for operation and maintenance items that remedy an acute shortage or significant decline in the quality or quantity of portable water;

3. To assist rural water systems comply with the requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act or the Safe Drinking Water Act when noncompliance is related directly to a recent decline in quality of potable water.

Grants made to alleviate a significant decline in quantity or quality of water available from the water supplies in rural areas that occurred within two years of filing an application with USDA cannot exceed $500,000. Grants for repairs, partial replacement, or significant maintenance on an established system cannot exceed $150,000. Grants provided under this program shall not be used to assist a rural area or community with a population in excess of 10,000; to assist a rural area that has a median household income in excess of the statewide nonmetropolitan median household income according to the most recent decennial census of the U.S.; to finance facilities which are not modest in size, design, and cost; to pay loan or grant finder's fees; to pay any annual recurring costs considered to be operational expenses; to pay rental for the use of equipment or machinery owned by the rural community; to purchase existing systems; to refinance existing indebtedness; and to make reimbursement for projects developed with other grant funds.
Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, Section 306A; Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, Title XXIII, Public Law 101-624.
Eligibility Requirements
Applicant Eligibility
Eligible entities must be public bodies, private nonprofit corporations, and political subdivisions of a State, as well as Indian tribes.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Eligible beneficiaries include (1) Public bodies or governmental entities such as municipalities, counties, districts, authorities, and other political subdivisions of a State, (2) nonprofit organizations such as associations, cooperatives, and private nonprofit corporations, (3) Native American Indian tribes on Federal and State reservations and other federally recognized Indian tribes. Projects must serve rural areas, excluding any city or town having a population greater than 10,000.
Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments and OMB Circular No. A-122 for nonprofit organizations. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.
Application and Award Process
Preapplication Coordination
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact assessment is required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Rural Development (RD) State Director will administer the program on the local level. This program is subject to the provisions of 7 CFR Parts 3015 and 3016. Application Form SF-424 will be filed with the appropriate RD District office.
Award Procedure
Applications received will be reviewed and scored for funding priority by the RD State office. The RD State Director will request funds from the National office. Projects must compete on a national basis for available funds.
Nov 01, 2011: All funding requests will be reviewed by the National office after November 1 of each year and continue until June 30 of each year. All funding requests will be reviewed by the National office after November 1 of each year and continue until June 30 of each year.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
From 30 to 60 days. Within 60 days of receipt of complete application.
From 30 to 60 days. If an application is rejected, the reasons for rejection are fully stated. The applicant may request a review of this decision at the higher management level of RUS.
Not Applicable.
Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Not applicable. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Advances and reimbursements will dibursed over the the term of the grant on request of the grantee.
Post Assistance Requirements
The grantee shall maintain adequate records and accounts to assure that grant funds are used for authorized purposes. Cash reports are not applicable. Progress reports are not applicable. Expenditure reports are not applicable. Performance monitoring is not applicable.
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.
The grantee shall maintain adequate records and accounts to assure that grant funds are used for authorized purposes.
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 12 $3,137,000; FY 13 est $12,000,000; and FY 14 est $0
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$37,000 to $500,000. Average: $261,417.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Part 1778.
Information Contacts
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Consult your local telephone directory under United States Government, Department of Agriculture for Rural Development District Office number. If no listing, contact appropriate Rural Development State office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Headquarters Office
Assistant Administrator, Water and Environmental Programs, Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Stop 1548, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Phone: (202) 690-2670.
Website Address
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
The proposed projects designed to serve a rural area with a population of 5,000 or less that has a median household income of not more than 70 percent of the statewide nonmetropolitan household income and had a significant decline in quantity of water available from private individually owned wells will be given priority. Preference also will be given to proposed projects that will assist an established water system or remedy an acute shortage of quality water. The Rural Development State Director will rate applications on a point system and points received will be considered in selecting projects for funding.
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