Help for Small Communities Considering Drinking Water Infrastructure Projects

A Comprehensive Guide to Financial & Planning Resources for Rural Community Drinking Water Infrastructure Projects

This guide has been developed by the Water Systems Council (WSC), the only national nonprofit organization solely focused on household wells and small water well systems. WSC works to educate well owners, consumers, and policymakers at the local, state and federal levels about water wells and the importance of protecting America’s groundwater resources.

Need Help with Funding a Drinking Water Project? You’re Not Alone.

Of the 52,000 community drinking water systems in the U.S., 41,801 are small community drinking water systems, and 27,500 serve communities of 500 or fewer.  The most recent EPA Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey reflects a shortfall of $64 billion in drinking water infrastructure funding.

When it comes to funding drinking water infrastructure projects, small communities face unique challenges that require cost-effective solutions. Household wells and community well systems help provide safe and reliable drinking water to rural communities where connecting to a larger system is neither cost-effective nor feasible.

New Funding Sources for Community Drinking Water Infrastructure Projects

As part of WRDA 2016 (Water Resources Development Act), the Water Supply Cost Savings Act updates existing EPA and USDA programs to provide cost-saving information about innovative and alternate drinking water delivery systems, including those supported by water wells.

Championed by the Water Systems Council, this legislation requires that alternative drinking water supplies such as individual, shared, and community wells be considered in applications for federal funding for drinking water systems serving 500 or fewer people.

This innovative approach to meeting our nation’s drinking water challenges helps bring quality drinking water to rural America for a fraction of the cost of traditional pipeline systems.  Projects have shown an average cost savings of 75% when using well systems in small rural communities rather than central distribution systems. View our case studies for examples of cost savings.


25 Families now have clean water!

Thank you for taking on the projects involving our shared wells and for giving our 25 families reliable water service. We are finally enjoying clean water and are excited to have the additional water storage. Having an updated system (VFDs) that monitors the water supply to help prevent the pumps from burning out is a wonderful thing!