President Bush signed the $190-billion farm bill that contains an amendment authorizing a program of loans to low-to-moderate-income households.

The amendment, the Affordable Drinking Water Act of 2001, authorizes $10 million for grants for fiscal years 2003 to 2007. The grants will 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 percent with a term of up to 20 years.

The water well funding program originally was a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, but was included in the Farm Bill as Section 614.