Albuquerque, NM, Aug 28, 2012 -- Earlier today, USDA Rural Development Acting Deputy Under Secretary Judith Canales and State Director Terry Brunner joined Senator Tom Udall in presentations acknowledging the funding assistance that USDA has provided to three water projects located in small communities in the southern part of the state.
“The Obama administration is keeping its promise to provide the needed resources to our rural communities,” said Canales. “USDA shares the President’s vision that everyone in rural America deserves to have basic necessities such as clean and safe drinking water, and modern wastewater treatment capacity.”
The celebration took place during the 57th annual New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute Water Conference held at New Mexico State University. Conference participants addressed various water issues, including state and municipalities’ water rights. USDA Rural Development highlighted some of the many successes it has had in providing water to small communities, including discussing the funding of water projects for the communities of La Union, Lake Roberts and Brazito. The latter was recognized for the work it did recently to complete upgrades to its water system.
During the presentation, State Director Bruner said, “Water is the lifeblood of our communities and our New Mexico colonias have an especially difficult time developing the necessary infrastructure to deliver clean water to their residents. This funding will help three colonias upgrade needed infrastructure.”
The Brazito Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association received a $172,000 USDA loan and a Colonias grant of $547,219 to upgrade and improve the current water system. Funding will also be used to install an emergency, interconnect point that would provide water from the Lower Rio Grande Public Water Works Authority in the event of well emergency, such as pump failure or deteriorated water quality. Construction for the project was completed earlier this month.
The La Union Mutual Domestic Sewer & Water Association will receive a loan of $121,000 and a Colonia’s grant of $1,092,274 to the address the arsenic that has been found in drinking water. The funding will pay for the equipment to filter the water so the water system will be in compliance with water standards.
The Lake Roberts Water Users Association is receiving a loan of $44,000 and a Colonias grant of $795,300 for a total of $839,300 to upgrade a 35 year old water system. The construction project will upgrade and extend the distribution system, drill a new well, and build new water storage tank.
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at any local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov