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Navigating the waters of rural water and sewer systems can be challenging. But did you know that there is a funding mechanism available to help improve your community’s water infrastructure? The Texas Water Development Board’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Loan Program could be the key to unlocking significant improvements in your water and sewer services. Here’s what you need to know.

What is the DWSRF Loan Program?

The DWSRF Loan Program is a financial assistance scheme authorized by the Safe Drinking Water Act. It aims to offer low-cost assistance for the planning, acquisition, design, and construction of water infrastructure. This program can help your community upgrade and maintain water treatment facilities, distribution systems, and other critical infrastructure to meet standards from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Unlocking the Potential of the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) for Your Rural Water Community

Who Can Apply?

Both publicly and privately-owned community water systems are eligible applicants for the DWSRF. This includes nonprofit water supply corporations and nonprofit, non-community public water systems. This broad eligibility means that most rural communities are potentially able to benefit from the program.

What are the Types of Projects Covered?

The DWSRF can fund a wide range of projects. Whether your community needs to upgrade water treatment facilities, address safety standards, consolidate systems, or invest in source water protection projects, the DWSRF can assist. It can also be used for flood resiliency projects, disaster recovery, and even green project reserve components, ensuring that your community can meet the unique challenges it faces.

What Kind of Financial Assistance is Available?

The DWSRF offers both below-market interest rate loans and principal forgiveness, which works similar to grants. This flexibility can be especially valuable to disadvantaged communities. In the State Fiscal Year 2022, interest rates will see a reduction of 30-35% depending on the project type. Principal forgiveness can range up to 100% for very small systems and emergency needs, providing an excellent opportunity for rural communities to secure necessary funding for critical infrastructure improvements.

Examples of Success

The DWSRF Loan Program has been a lifeline for many communities. For instance, a small community with a population of less than 1,000 managed to secure 100% principal forgiveness, enabling them to fully revamp their outdated water system. Another community used their loan to consolidate smaller systems, leading to more efficient operation and cost savings.

How to Apply

Applications for the DWSRF are accepted year-round. To be considered for funding, communities need to submit a completed Project Information Form. Special requirements apply, including compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act-type environmental review, Davis-Bacon wage rate requirements, and adoption of a Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan for all financial assistance greater than $500,000.

The DWSRF Loan Program is a great opportunity for your rural water and sewer community to secure funding for crucial water infrastructure improvements. Don’t miss out on the chance to enhance the quality of your water services and, in turn, improve the lives of your community members. To find out more and to apply, please visit the TWDB’s DWSRF page or contact your Regional Team.