The Water Well Trust has received a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Decentralized Water Systems (DWS) program for water well and wastewater projects to increase potable water system availability and access to wastewater systems to rural households throughout the U.S.
The USDA grant and matching funds from the Water Systems Council will be used to fund Water Well Trust projects throughout the U.S. This is the eighth USDA grant received by the Water Well Trust since 2014, according to the press release.
"This new grant will provide fantastic new resources for meeting the needs of Americans without access to clean, safe water or wastewater systems," said Water Well Trust Executive Director Margaret Martens in the press release. "The Trust has a long waiting list of families who have been hanging on for years, hoping for this kind of help. For them, every day without water and/or sanitation is a struggle. This grant will help us fulfill the promise of a better life for these American families much more quickly."
The grant monies will provide long-term, low-interest loans to applicants seeking new or improved water wells, and for the first time, septic systems. The Water Well Trust limits funding to a maximum of $15,000 per household. Loans have an interest rate of 1% with terms of up to 20 years.
To qualify for a WWT loan, applicants must be the owner and occupant of the home as their primary residence and must not have access to a public water supply or sewer. The applicant's household income must not exceed 60% of the median non-metropolitan household income for the state in which the applicant resides. The income criteria apply to both the applicant and all other occupants of the home.
Prospective applicants can download the application form and instruction letter from the Water Well Trust website.