The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of up to $30.7 million in grant funding for technical assistance and training to support small drinking water and wastewater systems, including those in rural communities. This grant provides funding to organizations that work side-by-side with water systems by giving them the necessary tools and training to ensure communities have safe drinking water and effective wastewater treatment systems.

“Many small drinking water systems face challenges when working to provide reliable and safe drinking water to their communities,” says EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “Funding to support upgrading water infrastructure is central to President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. With this grant funding, the EPA is building on our technical assistance efforts by providing another resource for disadvantaged and often rural communities to gain access to their fair share of federal investment through training and technical assistance.”

In a release, the EPA says small water systems often face unique financial and operational challenges, including aging infrastructure, workforce shortages, increasing costs and declining rate bases. Many small systems also serve disadvantaged communities with environmental justice concerns. With this action, EPA is investing in small and underserved communities to ensure safe drinking water and wastewater services are provided to those that are most in need.

This grant will also help expand on the agency’s water technical assistance (WaterTA) commitment, which aims to provide a range of assistance to help communities identify solutions for water challenges, from capacity building to helping navigate the federal funding application process and strategically investing in reliable infrastructure solutions.

EPA is seeking applications to fund grant projects that will benefit small and rural communities. Eligible applicants for this competitive agreement are nonprofit organizations, nonprofit private universities, and colleges and public institutions of higher education. The application period for these competitive grants is now open. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on Feb. 2, 2024. EPA expects to award these cooperative agreements by summer of 2024.

This grant will be competed through a Request for Application process. The funding opportunity will remain open for 60 days on For more information on the grant visit EPA’s website on Training and Technical Assistance for Small Systems Funding.