ASDWA Publishes New Small and Disadvantaged Water System Funding and Assistance White Paper

ASDWA has published a new White Paper entitled, “State Drinking Water Program Challenges and Best Practices: Small and Disadvantaged Water System Funding and Assistance.” ASDWA worked with the Southwest Environmental Finance Center and the ASDWA DWSRF and Small Systems Committees, and Justice40 Workgroup to develop this paper. The information was collected from a survey of ASDWA’s members in February 2022, as well as follow up interviews with individual states. The white paper highlights innovative state drinking water program approaches for addressing the multitude of challenges with providing funding and assistance to small and disadvantaged water systems.

Both states and water systems face challenges with providing and accessing funding for small and disadvantaged water system infrastructure needs. These challenges are exacerbated by fundamental issues that are sometimes complex and difficult to address and overcome. Despite the limitations and challenges, state drinking water programs have a long and successful history of providing funding and technical assistance to these water systems. This work is done in coordination with their Infrastructure Financing Agencies (where applicable), and with EPA Regions and other federal, state, technical assistance providers, and local partners to identify and implement creative and innovative solutions that consider all opportunities for providing funding and assistance. These successes also include work to ensure that funding decisions take into account long-term and sustainable alternatives for small and disadvantaged water systems, and work that has been done outside the DWSRF out of necessity, due to the DWSRF restrictions and requirements.

This white paper provides information about state and water system challenges and explores a variety of state efforts and activities to fund and assist their small and disadvantaged water systems, along with specific state examples under the following topics.

  • States help water systems prepare and apply for and manage project funding.
  • States help water systems with a wide range of projects and activities.
  • States work with partners to leverage funding and assistance from multiple sources.
  • States use a variety of funding sources.
  • Some states have dedicated water system funding.

READ THE NEW WHITE PAPER HERE. For more information about ASDWA’s other efforts in this area, visit the ASDWA Environmental Justice webpage that includes a table of state disadvantaged community definitions and a collection of case studies on state efforts to fund and assist disadvantaged communities.