USDA helps communities restore water systems damaged by hurricane
SAN JUAN – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Monday two grants awarded to help rural water and sewer utilities recover from recent and future natural disasters.
Luis R. García-Boria, USDAs’ rural development acting state director for Puerto Rico, explained that the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) each received a $500,000 grant. The funding is being provided through the Water and Waste Disposal Technical Assistance and Training Grant program in USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Programs (WEP)
NRWA and RCAP will use the grants to provide training and technical assistance, onsite repairs and utility management advice for rural water and sewer utilities that serve communities with fewer than 10,000 people. The assistance is intended to help these small utilities recover faster and enable first responders, citizens and businesses to have clean water.
“USDA is a strong partner in the long-term recovery of rural communities after a season of devastating hurricanes,” Perdue said. “These grants will provide resources to rural communities to assess damage, develop rebuilding plans and get access to technical assistance and clean water. USDA is standing with these affected communities every step of the way.”
The grants also will be used to help rural utilities apply for Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) disaster programs, file insurance recovery claims, “and strengthen operations and continuity of service plans in times of emergencies. Technical assistance will include assisting new and returning Rural Development WEP funding recipients to prepare applications for water and waste disposal loans and grants and other financing options to supplement their needs,” the agency’s release reads.
For additional information, call 787-766-5708 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/pr.