The Water Well Trust has been granted $140,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Household Water Well Systems program.

It will be used for a project to increase potable water availability to rural residents of northwest Arkansas and Oklahoma.

During the next year, the USDA grant monies will help drill or rehabilitate at least 19 water wells in five counties in northwest Arkansas (Benton, Madison, Marion, Crawford and Franklin counties) and one contiguous county across the Oklahoma border (Sequoyah County).

This means at least 145 individuals in the high-need, low-resource rural target area will be given new access to safe drinking water. The grant monies will also provide long-term, low-interest loans to applicants seeking new or improved water wells in the six-county area, many of whom have been on Water Well Trust waiting list since 2012.

The Water Well Trust will contribute a 51 percent match toward this project, equaling $71,400. The funds were donated by Water Systems Council members.

The Water Well Trust was established by the Water Systems Council in 2010 to provide clean, sanitary drinking water to Americans without access to a reliable water supply and to construct and document small community water systems using water wells to demonstrate that these systems are more economical.

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