International

Working to improve water systems in rural America

March 20, 2019

In many rural areas across the U.S., water system infrastructure is difficult to maintain. Rural Republic, Washington, is typical of many small communities that struggle with an aging water system that requires costly repairs. The local Curlew Kai Homeowner’s Association (CK) worked tirelessly to repair its system, including raising water rates for the residents to try to keep up with the increasing expenses. By 2017, however, the cost of maintaining the water system became too much for the town to handle on its own.  

CK applied for financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development program to help rebuild its water infrastructure, but to complete its funding requirements, it had to comply with the USDA’s conditions, which included costly system and engineering design. In its search for funding, CK found Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), a Mercy Partnership Fund investee that provides training, technical and financial resources to rural communities. Among its services, RCAC works with rural towns to bring safe, consistent drinking water to people across the Western U.S. RCAC’s Loan Fund provided a loan to CK, so it could obtain the design engineering services required for the USDA loan/grant assistance. With RCAC’s help, Republic has been able to construct two concrete water storage reservoirs that provide safe and reliable drinking water to residents. 

To learn more about Rural Community Assistance Corporation’s work, visit its website. Rural Community Assistance Corporation is one of more than 60 mission-driven organizations in Mercy Partnership Fund’s global community investing portfolio. Learn more here.