Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants (Section 306C)

Provide water and waste disposal facilities and services to low income rural communities whose residents face significant health risks.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - Consult local telephone directory under United States Government, Department of Agriculture, for Rural Development office number.

If no listing contact appropriate Rural Development State Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Program Accomplishments


Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds may be used for 100 percent of costs to: Construct, enlarge, extend, or otherwise improve a community water or waste system; extend service lines and connect individual residences to a system.

Allow applicant to make grants directly to individuals to: Extend service lines, connect resident's plumbing to system, pay reasonable charges and fees for connecting to system, installation of plumbing and related fixtures, and construction in dwelling of a bathroom.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Local level governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, U.S.

Territories and possessions, and nonprofit associations can receive assistance under this program.

Except for rural areas known as "Colonia" along the U.S./Mexico border, the projects funded under this program must primarily provide water and/or waste disposal services to residents of a county where the per capita income of the residents is not more than 70 percent of the most recent national average per capita income, as determined by the U.S.

Department of Commerce, and unemployment rate of the residents is not less than 125 percent of the most recent national average unemployment rate, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Also the residents must face significant health risks due to not having access to an affordable community water and/or waste disposal system.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Public bodies, private nonprofit corporations, cooperatives, political subdivisions of a State, and Indian tribes.



Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his/her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

Application Procedures

Applicants are required to file a application Form SF-424 with the appropriate Rural Development (RD) Office.

Award Procedures

Applications will be reviewed and scored for funding priority by the RD State Office. Applications must compete on a national basis for available funds.




Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, Section 306C, 7 U.S.C. 1926(c), as amended; Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, Title XXIII, Public Law 101-624.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 90 days.


Applicants that are determined to be not eligible may request review of this decision at a higher management level of Rural Development Utilities Programs.


Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Post Assistance Requirements


Requests for funds are granted as needed.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," non federal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Required to maintain records and accounts to assure funds are used for authorized purposes.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Colonias Grants) FY 07 $24,750,000 FY 08 est $24,750,000; and FY 09 est not reported. (Native American Tribe Grants) FY 07 $16,335,000, FY 08 est $16,000,000; and FY 09 est not reported. (Loans) FY 07 $0; FY 08 est $0; and FY 09 est not reported. (Note: Grants are included in program 10.760, Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities. Only grant funds for Colonies have been appropriated for this program.)

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

(Colonias Grants) FY 05 Average: $757,600. (Native American Tribe Grants) FY 05 Average: $586,900.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR 1777.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Consult local telephone directory under United States Government, Department of Agriculture, for Rural Development office number. If no listing contact appropriate Rural Development State Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Assistant Administrator, Water and Environmental Programs, Rural Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250-3200. Telephone: (202) 690-2670. Use the same number for FTS.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

A proposed project servicing a rural area with a population not in excess of 1,500, a median household income not in excess of 50 percent of the statewide no metropolitan median household income and servicing residents of a Colonia along the U.S./Mexico border will be given priority. The Rural Development State Director will rate applications on a point system and points received will be considered in selecting projects for funding. Fiscal year 2000 funding is limited to the Colonies.

Vertical farms are designed in a way to avoid the pressing issues about growing food crops in drought-and-disease-prone fields miles away from the population centers in which they will be consumed.

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