Rural Decentralized Water Systems Grant Program


To make grants to private, nonprofit organizations to finance the construction, refurbishing and servicing of individually-owned household water well and/or wastewater systems in rural areas for individuals with low or moderate income.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Rural Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended, Section 306E, Public Law 107-171, 7 U.S.C. 1926e.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
An applicant must be a private organization, organized as a non-profit corporation. The applicant must have the legal capacity and authority to perform the obligations of the grant. The applicant must have sufficient expertise and experience in lending activities and promoting the safe and productive use of individually-owned household water well systems and ground water.
Beneficiary Eligibility
An individual in a household in which the combined income of all household members (for the most recent 12 months) does not exceed 100 percent of the median non-metropolitan household income for the State or territory in which the individual resides. Beneficiary must own home, or be purchasing home under land purchase contract, and must occupy home. Home must be in a rural area.
Evidence of legal capacity, economic feasibility, ability to administer and service a revolving loan fund, commitment and sources of financial resources the organization controls.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact assessment is required for this listing. Standard application forms as furnished by RUS must be used for this program.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-122 applies to this program. The Water and Environmental Programs of the USDA Rural Utilities Service administers the program. Applications include the criteria specified within 7 CFR 1776. This includes, but is not limited to, the requirement to submit an application Form SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance, to the National Office in Washington, DC.
Award Procedure
The Water and Environmental Programs staff in Washington, DC, will review and process the application. Following completion of application processing requirements and grant approval, funds are made available to the applicant on a reimbursement basis.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Dependent upon funding availability and the completeness of the application. From 60 to 120 days following the submission deadline.
An application determined ineligible may request a review of this decision with the National Appeals Division of USDA in accordance with USDA regulations at 7 CFR 11.
From 30 to 60 days.
How are proposals selected?
RUS assistance for grant projects will be directed toward truly rural areas and rural communities. Considerations for available funds emphasize such criteria as population, low income, unemployment; health and sanitary problems. RUS financed facilities will not be inconsistent with any development plans of the State, multi-jurisdictional area, county, or municipality in which the proposed project is located.
How may assistance be used?
Grant funds will be used by eligible entities to establish and maintain a revolving loan fund to provide loans to eligible individuals to construct, refurbish, and service individually-owned household water well and/or wastewater systems. Eligible individuals must own or will own the household water well or individual wastewater system. Loans will be made at a fixed rate of one-percent with a twenty year term. The maximum amount per loan is $11,000. Funds may be used to pay administrative expenses associated with providing the loans. Grant funds may not be used to pay (1) administrative expenses exceeding 10 percent of the loans made during the calendar year; (2) administrative expenses incurred before the Rural Utilities Service executes a grant agreement; (3) delinquent debt owed to the Federal Government; (4) costs of home plumbing system.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Records and accounts are required to reflect the project operations
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is voluntary_rating. 10%. Applicants must provide funds from sources other than the HWWS grant. The required match must be at least 10 percent of the HWWS grant.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
A time limitation is not specified; however, priority will be given to applicants whose time frame for completion of the grant project is 12 months or less. Funds will be awarded when all RUS requirements are met and the project can be completed on a timely basis.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Consult local telephone directory under United States Government, Department of Agriculture, for Rural Development office number. If no listing, get in touch with the appropriate Rural Development State Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Headquarters Office
Assistant Administrator, Water and Environmental Programs,
Rural Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250 US
Phone: (202) 619-8500
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 22$3,222,081.00; FY 23 est $9,219,103.00; FY 24 est $5,000,000.00; FY 21$4,857,758.00; FY 20$1,991,274.00; FY 19$1,165,867.00; FY 18$1,117,900.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$222,081 to $1,500,000. Avg. $644,416
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR 1776, Household Water Well System Grant Program 2020 Grant Application Guide
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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