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Arkansas to receive $280 million for water projects

Michael Hibblen
Water flows near the Arkansas State Capitol during a storm on April 16, 2022. A state steering committee has approved allocating about $280 million for water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure projects.

Arkansas will receive $280 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan to tackle water problems statewide.

About $270 million will be used on water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure projects, and $10 million will be doled to assist areas in eastern Arkansas with the transition from groundwater to surface water and help preserve the Sparta and Alluvial aquifers.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson created a Water and Other Infrastructure Working Group to assist the Arkansas American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Steering Committee in identifying water infrastructure projects. The working group conducted a needs survey that identified more than $5 billion in water, wastewater, and stormwater needs across the state. The working group made a subsequent funding proposal which was approved by the Steering Committee in August and by the Arkansas Legislative Council today.

“In January, I laid out my W.I.N.S. in 2022 initiative. One of those initiatives was infrastructure, and I am delighted the Arkansas Legislative Council has approved $280 million to improve our state’s water infrastructure,” Hutchinson said. “I appreciate the Department of Agriculture, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, ARPA Steering Committee, and members of the General Assembly who have worked diligently to secure this funding for a critical need in our state.”

The $270 million in one-time grant funding for water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure projects will be administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture through the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. Projects will be determined for eligibility consistent with the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) Final Rule. Funding will be limited to a maximum of $5 million per entity for each project type.

Eligible entities must apply for the grant funding by Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. Applications and additional information on the grant program can be found at this link.