NRWA joins coalition advocating for rural infrastructure investment

The National Rural Water Association has joined #RebuildRural, a coalition of more than 200 organizations from across the country encouraging the Trump White House to prioritize rebuilding infrastructure in rural America.

“Those of us in rural communities have seen our infrastructure deteriorate, jeopardizing jobs, our agricultural competitiveness and the health of rural families,” the coalition wrote in a letter to the president. “Our deteriorating infrastructure threatens our leadership position.”

NRWA joined the effort as a way to bring greater support to its over 31,000 utility memberships, which supply drinking water and wastewater service in all 50 states. Rural Water has continually advocated for investment in the small water systems that supply clean, affordable drinking water to their communities, and the wastewater facilities that protect the public health and the environment.

Rural America is known to be the primary supplier of our nation’s food and energy stocks, but is also the primary source of the volunteers that serve in the U.S. Military. The rural communities that supply these invaluable resources cannot thrive without clean, reliable water and wastewater services, but their need is great.

“The scope of the investment needed is staggering,” the coalition letter said. “Clearly the federal government must continue to play an important role in providing funding and those federal investments should increase.”

USDA Rural Development has been the Federal Government’s best tool for assisting rural communities. This agency provided financial support to rural communities through loan, loan guarantee and grant programs that provide affordable financing for water and wastewater projects. Any federal investment in rebuilding rural infrastructure should include fully-funding this agency.

The letter then states that federal investment will likely be insufficient, and that creative solutions will be needed to make the necessary progress. The Rural Water industry has always embraced creative solutions and NRWA was founded to maximize the limited resources available to small utilities. Rural Water trains over 80,000 water professionals a year and makes over 55,000 on-site assistance visits, ensuring that every dollar spent by small utilities has the maximum benefit for their communities.

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