FRWA eNews
December 17, 2020
Florida Rural Water Association
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FRWA Office will be closed December 24, 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021.
Trump Administration Highlights Record Levels of Investment in 2020 to Build Rural American Prosperity

USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand today highlighted the department's investments in 2020 that are building prosperity and strengthening the nation's rural businesses and communities.

"Under the leadership of President Donald J. Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA invested a record $40 billion in rural communities in 2020," Brand said. "This assistance is helping increase economic opportunities and improving the quality of life for rural residents across the 50 states and all U.S. territories. 

Brand added, "USDA responded with urgency to help those affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic. We worked to bring high-speed internet capacity, modern community facilities, and upgraded water and wastewater infrastructure to rural areas. We helped provide homeownership opportunities and reliable electricity. We invested in businesses and family-supporting jobs, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives."

Below is a summary of USDA's Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 accomplishments:

Connecting Rural America to High-Speed Broadband
  • Invested $1.3 billion to support rural broadband expansion through the ReConnect Pilot Program. Included in this total is $85 million provided through the CARES Act. In total, these investments are connecting approximately 280,000 households, 19,978 farms and 10,053 businesses to high-speed internet. 
  • Invested $187 million in broadband through the Telecom Infrastructure and Community Connect programs. These investments are connecting 58,249 households in rural communities to high-speed internet. 
Improving Rural Infrastructure
  • Invested a record $6.3 billion in 125 projects to upgrade or build electric infrastructure. These investments will benefit 10.7 million customers by improving electric service reliability across 34 states. 
  • Invested $801 million in Smart Grid technology to improve electric system operations and monitor grid security for rural electric customers.  
  • Invested $2.1 billion to expand access to safe drinking water and improve wastewater management systems. These investments will improve the reliability of local water supply for 2.1 million rural Americans.
  • Invested $140 million through the Community Facilities Programs in rural infrastructure projects such as roads, airports and transportation improvements. more
National News
Report: Water infrastructure key to economic recovery Report sets out to demonstrate how cities can be "critical drivers" of solutions for the multiple short-term challenges created by Covid-19 as well as emerging long-term challenges of climate change. more

After years, 3 Fulton cities get OK to pull water from Chattahoochee | Atlanta Journal Constitution It has taken a generation of city politicians and millions of public dollars, but a trio of small Southside cities are closer than ever to controlling their own water supply.   more
From Alaska to Florida, harmful PFAS compounds pollute water at multiple sites in every state Wherever you are in the U.S., there's a good chance you can find harmful PFAS compounds in water near you. more

EPA recognizes excellence and innovation in clean water and drinking water infrastructure projects Within the clean water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and drinking water SRF programs, 58 water infrastructure projects have been recognized for excellence and innovation.  more

NRWA Forced to Cancel "In-Person" Annual Washington Rally in Washington DC Due to COVID-19 (NRWA) The Rural Water Rally in-person event scheduled for February 8-10, 2021 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 health crisis and the uncertainty of scheduling face-to-face meetings with congressional representatives.  more

COVID-19 Vaccinations and Water Workers Information on the COVID-19 vaccinations as related to the water and wastewater industry. more

Congress Passes Another Continuing Resolution to Keep Government Open for One Week - Congress Continues Talks COVID Relief Package  On Friday, Congress passed and the President signed another continuing resolution, hours ahead of the midnight deadline to avoid a government shutdown.  more
State News
Allen Douglas: Florida's future requires long-term water solutions | Florida Politics  Fortifying our infrastructure to make our communities more resilient is essential. more

Simpson puts emphasis on storage north of lake | Okeechobee News Northern storage is key to solving Lake Okeechobee's problems, according to Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson.  more

Bay County adopts FL DEP cross connection control plan  If you have a sprinkler system that is fed by city water you will now have to comply with state environmental regulations that require backflow preventer valves to be installed on those lines.  more 

JEA to spend $1.6 billion to keep up with water demands of growing population  As the population in Jacksonville continues to grow, it's going to cost JEA more than $1 billion to make sure that water gets to all homes in the area.  more

Report finds log likely caused June's sewage break in Longboat Key | Your Observer  It appears the town of Longboat Key's June sewage break was not as large as initially expected. more

Septic-to-sewer plans to improve water quality | Okeechobee News  There was good news at the Dec. 11 meeting of the County Coalition for Responsible Management of Lake Okeechobee.  more

Delray Beach Schedules Preventative Chlorine Flush Of Drinking Water Lines, Fire Hydrants In accordance with best practice, the City of Delray Beach has scheduled a chlorine flush from Sunday, January 10, 2021, to Saturday, January 30, 2021. more
This Week in Water History

Protest Against Impure Water

December 10, 1910Municipal Journal article-Protest Against Impure Water. New Albany, Ind.-Col. Charles L. Jewett, acting for the law department of the city of New Albany, has filed with the Indiana Public Service Commission in Indianapolis a petition asking for the investigation by the commission of the water supply furnished by the New Albany Waterworks Company. It is alleged in the petition that the water is not pure and wholesome, and that the company has not complied with the terms of its contract and franchise, granted August 26, 1904, and for more than three years has failed, neglected and refused to furnish the city pure and wholesome water, as its contract specifically provided. The petitioner avers that the water company has furnished nothing but impure and unwholesome water, containing large amounts of mud, filth, sewage, industrial waste and other foreign matter. The petitioner asks that an investigation be made by the Public Service Commission, and that an order be entered requiring the water company to make improvements, additions and changes in its system.

For more articles on what went on this week in water history, click here.
Florida Rural Water Association | |
2970 Wellington Circle
Tallahassee FL 32309