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USDA Also Sees a Water Cut

EPA was not the only target for last week’s FY 18 Budget Blueprint.  The budget request for the Department of Agriculture was set at $17.9 billion.  This is a 21% decrease from FY 17 CR levels.  Among the affected agricultural programs, state drinking water programs should be aware that the Budget Blueprint, “Eliminates the duplicative Water and Wastewater loan and grant program, a savings of $498 million from…FY17.  Rural communities can be served by private sector financing or other Federal investments in rural water infrastructure, such as the environmental Protection Agency’s State Revolving Funds.”  This elimination removes funding for the USDA circuit riders that work closely with small rural communities to provide technical assistance with water and infrastructure needs.