Tag Archives: Water

WASHINGTON, – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $267 million in 103 infrastructure projects (PDF, 298 KB) to upgrade water and wastewater systems in rural communities.

“Robust, modern infrastructure is foundational for quality of life and economic opportunity – no matter what zip code you live in,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in addressing rural infrastructure needs to support a more prosperous future in rural communities.”

USDA is making investments in 35 states through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funds can be used to finance drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

Below are some examples of USDA’s partnerships in water infrastructure:

  • The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe in South Dakota will receive a $116,000 loan to help finance storm sewer infrastructure improvements for a new housing development for the tribal members on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation. The project will create proper drainage for a 37.5-acre site that will consist of 67 lots for new homes.
  • The city of Erin, Tenn., will use a $2.1 million loan and a $1.4 million grant to improve its wastewater treatment plant, nearly doubling its capacity. This will help the city recruit more industry. The plant serves the residents of Erin and Tennessee Ridge as well as businesses in the Houston County Industrial Park. However, it is obsolete and very expensive to operate. USDA’s investment will benefit 625 commercial and residential customers.
  • The town of Alexander, N.Y., in Genesee County, will receive a $2.7 million loan and a $2.2 million grant to create Water District #5. Water quality testing indicates that a significant portion of residents’ wells have coliform and E. coli contamination, which poses serious public health threats. This project will alleviate the health problems and extend public water service to 124 residential and three non-residential users in the town who currently do not have safe, potable water.

In FY 2018, Congress provided a historic level of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure. The 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes $5.2 billion for USDA loans and grants, up from $1.2 billion in FY 2017. It also directs Agriculture Secretary Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.

Rural community leaders can apply for these funds electronically by using the interactive RD Apply tool. They can also apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA  — The Irrigation Association is honored to announce that the Conserva Irrigation – Target Corporation sustainability project has been awarded a prestigious 2018 Vanguard Award.

Beginning in 2016, the Target Corporation, headed up by the Target sustainability and outdoor services teams, embarked on a pilot program to test if meaningful water savings could be achieved by unbundling the irrigation services from the overall outdoor commercial maintenance package and placing a “common sense” approach to the irrigated Target properties. Through a partnership with Conserva, four stages have been completed, and the project includes more than 320 stores across the United States.

“I am impressed at the scope and success of this project led by Conserva and Target,” IA CEO Deborah Hamlin, CAE, FASAE, said. “I challenge even more corporate sustainability plans to follow the lead of companies such as Target to include efficient irrigation as a priority in the future.”

On April 11, Target announced that more than 36 million gallons of water were saved as a result of this project.

“While this project may not be sleek and sexy on the surface, a project such as this not only wins, it wins big time with respect to water conservation and healthy plant material,” said Russ Jundt, Conserva Irrigation’s founder, vice president and brand leader. “We are honored to join the Target Corporation and our partner, The Toro Company, in receiving this award.”

Launched in 2017, the IA’s Vanguard Award was created to honor an innovative project in the irrigation industry that was executed by a team of individuals, companies, organizations or other group entities.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Monday, the U.S. Senate passed the Energy and Water, Military-Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch Appropriations Act. This bill would allow the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation to continue maintaining and operating water projects in the state of Nebraska. Other funding for programs in the bill would address priorities for U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

“Fighting for Nebraska, making tough decisions, and setting spending priorities are the reasons why I came to Washington. I’m pleased the Senate has approved funding for government programs that enable the maintenance and operation of water projects in Nebraska to protect our drinking water, prevent harmful flooding, and secure agriculture producers’ access to water for irrigation. In addition, we have come together to support new infrastructure at STRATCOM and the deterrence mission performed by the men and women serving there,” said Senator Fischer.

Below are several highlights from the Energy and Water, Military-Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch Appropriations Act.


Supports programs that enable the operation and maintenance of the following Army Corps of Engineers energy and water projects in Nebraska:

  • Gavins Point Dam, Lewis and Clark Lake: This important hydropower plant generates enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 68,000 homes.

  • Harlan County Lake: The Army Corps manages 31,000 acres of land and water surrounding Harlan County Lake. Harlan County Dam controls a drainage area of 7,164 square miles and is part of a network that helps control flooding on the Republican, Kansas, Missouri, and Mississippi Rivers.

  • The Salt Creek and Tributaries Flood Control Project: This project covers 11,239 acres in one of the most densely-populated area of Nebraska. Additionally, the Army Corps leases the Salt Creek Reservoir to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

  • Papillion Creek Flood Control Project: This flood control project protects the communities and families located in the Papillion Creek Watershed.


Funds programs to allow for the operation and maintenance of the following Bureau of Reclamation energy and water projects in Nebraska:


  • Ainsworth Unit: This project is located on the Snake River approximately 14 miles upstream from its confluence with the Niobrara River in Cherry County.


  • Frenchman-Cambridge: Located in Southwest Nebraska, the Frenchman-Cambridge project includes four dams, reservoirs, and irrigation systems that provide storage to irrigate over 66,000 acres of projects lands, flood control, fish and wildlife conservation, and recreation along the Republican River and its three tributaries, the Frenchman River, and Red Willow and Medicine Creeks.


  • Mirage Flats: Located in northwestern Nebraska on the Niobrara River, the Mirage Flats project include Box Butte Dam and Reservoir, Dunlap Diversion Dam, Mirage Flats Canal, and distribution and drainage systems.

Addresses STRATCOM-related priorities:

  • Provides funding for the construction of a new parking lot at STRATCOM.
  • Provides funding to continue the modernization of the Department of Energy’s nuclear complex, on which the men and women of STRATCOM rely to perform their nuclear deterrence mission.
  • Provides specific funding for the development of the low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead, a key program to enhance our nuclear deterrence called for in the Nuclear Posture Review and authorized earlier this year by Senator Fischer’s subcommittee on Strategic Forces in the Senate Armed Services Committee.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — A public informational meeting will be held on Thursday, June 21, to discuss the applications submitted by the cities of Hays and Russell to change the use made of water, points of diversions, and places of use for the R9 Ranch water rights. The meeting will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. at the Twilight Theater, 200 S. Main Street in Greensburg, Kansas.

The meeting will include presentations by the city of Hays, its consultants, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Water Resources. Discussion will center around understanding the cities’ change applications; the proposed terms and conditions being considered for the change applications’ contingent approval (i.e., the master order and its incorporated individual change approvals); and the cities’ technical work supporting their applications. There will be an opportunity to ask questions during the meeting.

The presentations will be followed by an opportunity for attendees to make public comments related to the change application process. Submission of written comments will also be allowed through July 12. Video of the presentations will be available for viewing via the KDA-DWR website following the meeting.

For more information about the change application, including all documents related to the application and the form to submit written comments, please visit the KDA-DWR website at agriculture.ks.gov/HaysR9. Persons who require special accommodations must make their needs known at least five days prior to the meeting. For more information, please contact Chris Beightel at 785-564-6659.