Grant will fund projects in Arkansas and Oklahoma
The Water Well Trust received a $140,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Household Water Well Systems program for a project to increase potable water availability to rural households in northwest Arkansas and Oklahoma.
The Water Well Trust will contribute a 51% match toward this project, or $71,400. These funds were donated by Water Systems Council members.
The USDA grant will fund the Water Well Trust project in a high-need, low-resource rural target area composed of five counties in northwest Arkansas (Benton, Madison, Marion, Crawford and Franklin counties) and one contiguous county across the Oklahoma border (Sequoyah County).
Over the next year, the USDA grant will be used to drill or rehabilitate at least 19 water wells in these six counties, providing at least 145 individuals with new access to safe drinking water. The grant also will provide long-term, low-interest loans to applicants seeking new or improved water wells in the six-county area. Many of these applicants have been on a waiting list maintained by the Water Well Trust since 2012.
The Water Well Trust was established by the Water Systems Council in 2010 to provide clean, sanitary drinking water to Americans who lack access to a reliable water supply and to construct and document small community water systems using water wells to demonstrate that these systems are more economical.