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US Department of Agriculture invests $135 million in water, wastewater infrastructure

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The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest $135 million (€120.8 million) in 49 projects to improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure in a total of 24 US states.

Announcing the investment, USDA rural utilities service administrator Chad Rupe said: “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to partner with rural communities to address their current and long-term water needs. Modernising water infrastructure will yield key health benefits and help spur economic growth – making rural places even more attractive to live and work.”

The investments will be made through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant programme, under which eligible entities can access funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities home to up to 10,000 residents.

One city to receive funding under the programme is Portsmouth in Iowa, which will use a $300,000 (€268,446) loan to replace a water tower, as well as a section of the city’s distribution system. These upgrades are expected to eliminate water losses and improve water pressure throughout the community, as well as providing a reliable and affordable water system for residents and businesses in Portsmouth.

At the start of the 2019 fiscal year, the USDA had $2.9 billion (€2.6 billion) available for loans and grants under its Water and Environmental programme.