Training and Technical Assistance to Improve Water Quality and Enable Small Public Water Systems to Provide Safe Drinking Water

Funding Agency:
Environmental Protection Agency

The nation has made significant progress in addressing environmental and public health needs over the past fifty years, but more remains to be done. At the same time, the cost of facilities, programs, services, and activities needed to meet environmental challenges continues to grow. Many communities with significant drinking water system technical, managerial, and financial capacity needs have not been able to access federal funding and financing programs to address these concerns. EPA recognizes that existing environmental gains cannot be preserved, nor further progress achieved, unless tribes, state and local governments, utilities, and non-governmental organizations have the resources to develop and sustain water infrastructure and to pay for the growing costs of protecting the environment and public health.

As EPA looks to support continued environmental progress, we are mindful that many communities have never been able to access safe and reliable infrastructure, and many communities are already dealing with the impacts of climate change. Climate change acts as a threat multiplier, exacerbating existing stressors that impact public health, degrade the quality of our waterways, and destabilize the critical water infrastructure we rely upon. Disadvantaged communities are particularly vulnerable to these impacts. Vulnerable populations include low-income communities and communities of color, children, elderly, Indigenous people, and tribes.

EPA provides technical assistance (TA) to help communities identify water infrastructure needs, plan for capital improvements, maintain regulatory compliance, improve resiliency, build capacity, and apply for the range of eligible projects under various grant programs. Through this grant program, EPA seeks to support communities at the drinking water system level, including operational, environmental and financial resource challenges they face. With the funds included in this opportunity, EPA will carry out its mission of protecting human health and the environment by ensuring that the vital services are provided and reach the drinking water systems in communities who need them most. EPA is committed to providing technical assistance to meet the needs of utilities and communities, as a compliment to those efforts of states and other federal agencies.

Accordingly, with this RFA, EPA is seeking applications from organizations with a demonstrable history of providing effective, results-oriented technical assistance to public water systems. The Agency’s priorities include maximizing funds to provide significant benefit to drinking water systems in communities of need; tackling the climate crisis; and advancing environmental justice and equity. EPA believes this funding plays a significant role to ensure continued access to resources to support infrastructure improvements that protect public health, safeguard the environment, and mitigate environmental justice concerns at the public water system.

Deadline: Jan. 26, 2023

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

National Priority Areas:

  • National Priority Area 1: Training and Technical Assistance for Small Public Water Systems to Achieve and Maintain Compliance with the SDWA, including Improving Financial and Managerial Capacity
  • National Priority Area 2: Training and Technical Assistance for Small Publicly-Owned Wastewater Systems and Onsite/Decentralized Wastewater Systems to Help Improve Water Quality and Sustainable Operations
  • National Priority Area 3: Training and Technical Assistance for Private Drinking Water Well Owners to Help Improve Water Quality

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants under this competition are nonprofit organizations, nonprofit private universities and colleges, and public institutions of higher education.3 For-profit organizations are not eligible to apply. States, municipalities, tribal governments, and individuals are not eligible to apply. Nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying activities as defined in Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 are not eligible to apply. EPA may ask applicants to demonstrate that they are eligible for funding under this announcement.

All applicants must demonstrate in their application submission how they will contribute a minimum non-federal cost-share/match of 10 percent of the total amount of federal funding requested for the project. 

Applications must address one, and only one, of the three National Priority Areas listed in Section I.B, although eligible organizations may submit more than one application under this competition as long as each one is separately submitted and addresses only one National Priority Area. Applications that address more than one National Priority Area in a single application will not be reviewed. In addition, applications for National Priority Area 2 must address the two elements of that priority as described in Section I.B or they will be rejected.

Amount Description

The total amount of federal funding potentially available under this announcement is approximately $25,700,000, depending on Agency funding levels, the quality of applications received, agency priorities, and other applicable considerations. It is anticipated that approximately one to five cooperative agreements will be awarded in National Priority Area 1 and one to two cooperative agreements will be awarded in each of the National Priority Areas 2 and 3, respectively, as described in Section I.B of this announcement. It is anticipated that awards made under National Priority Area 1 will total approximately $22,000,000 in federal funds; awards made under National Priority Area 2 will total approximately $1,000,000 in federal funds; and awards made under National Priority Area 3 will total approximately $2,700,000 in federal funds. It is anticipated that the cooperative agreements funded under this announcement will have two year project periods. See Section I for more information on award ranges for each National Priority Area.

Funding Type





Community Outreach and Engagement
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

January 26, 2023