The Department of Agriculture announced $1.2 billion of investments Tuesday to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure for 936,000 rural Americans living in 46 states. Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced the funding, stating “Access to water is a key driver for economic opportunity and quality of life in rural communities.” USDA is providing financing for 234 water and environmental infrastructure projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funding can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents. Eligible communities and water districts can apply online, or through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices. A list of projects is available online at http://www.rd.usda.gov.