On April 6, 2020, the WSWC submitted written testimony to the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, with a focus on support for USDA programs. The testimony relied on four of the Council’s standing positions, focusing on the need to ensure federal resources are available to rural and agricultural communities to have safe drinking and wastewater infrastructure, technical and financial assistance, access to conservation programs, and help where needed to meet federal mandates and public health goals. The testimony highlighted the important role of USDA’s Rural Development, especially its Water and Environmental Program.
“WEP provides water and waste disposal grants, loans, loan guarantees, predevelopment planning grants, revolving loan funds, technical assistance and training grants, emergency community water assistance grants, and a circuit rider program, as well as individual water and wastewater grants and household water well system grants. The circuit rider program has been especially important for delivering technical assistance to rural communities who otherwise would not have access to critical knowledge and resources.”