Water well financing program included in farm bill signed by president

May 14, 2002
A new farm bill signed by President Bush includes a provision to help fund individual household water wells.

WESTERVILLE, Ohio, May 14, 2002 -- The farm bill signed into law Monday by President George W. Bush includes a provision endorsed by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) that will help low- to moderate-income Americans fund the installation or improvement of individual household water wells

The provision authorizes $10 million for grants for each of fiscal years 2003 through 2007. The grants would go to nonprofit entities to provide loans to individuals for constructing, refurbishing or servicing household water well systems. The loans would have a maximum interest rate of 1% with a term of up to 20 years.

Though it makes up a very small portion of the $31.2 billion farm bill, the water well funding is an important step in helping rural and semi-rural residents secure safe, affordable drinking water.

"The program will be a boon to low- to moderate-income homeowners who want to responsibly utilize and maintain the quality water source in their own backyard," said Dick Burke, member of the NGWA Board of Directors and chair of the Government Affairs Committee.

The provision's language is based on "The Affordable Drinking Water Act of 2001" (H.R. 626), which was introduced in the House by Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio), the related Senate bill, S. 716, which was introduced by Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania).

The full text of the household water well financing provision is available from the government affairs pages on NGWA's Web site, http://www.ngwa.org/govaffairs/legis.html, or from the NGWA government affairs department, (800) 551-7379.

National Ground Water Association members include more than 16,000 U.S. and international ground water professionals-contractors, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and ground water scientists and engineers. NGWA members are committed to this basic understanding: when you are a ground water professional, it's more than just water. NGWA provides members, government, and the general public with the scientific knowledge and economic guidance necessary to responsibly develop, protect, and manage the world's ground water resources.

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