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Federal clean water project funding available for American Samoa

Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata

Washington, D.C. — American Samoa is in line for a Bureau of Reclamation $11 million available among four U.S. territories for projects to provide domestic water supplies to U.S. territories. The combined funding requested across all proposals submitted by a territory under this opportunity cannot exceed $2.75 million.

This funding announcement is an addition to an announcement earlier in May of $5.5 million, making a total of $16.5 million available (up to $4.125 million each) among the four territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands for projects benefiting households that do not have reliable access to potable water.

“Reliable, safe drinking water with related infrastructure is a top priority,” said Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata. “We have lots of rain, but island water storage and distribution challenges are different from the mainland, and I appreciate this federal support.”

“This funding through the Investing in America Agenda will assist in bringing clean, reliable drinking water to communities that need this most across the U.S. territories,” Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton said. “As we move forward with these historic investments, we are looking to assist with meeting the basic needs of disadvantaged communities and help them to adapt to impacts of climate change.”

Reclamation will accept proposals for financial assistance until September 22, 2024, or requests that the funding be used by Reclamation to provide technical assistance. Technical assistance arrangements do not entail a transfer of funds to the applicant and Reclamation cannot provide any construction support under this option. Reclamation will accept letters of interest for technical assistance until August 25, 2024.

The Bureau encourages applicants to submit proposals and letters of interest as early as possible. The Domestic Water Supply Projects program has no cost-share requirements for territories.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes funding for grants, contracts, or financial assistance for disadvantaged communities for up to 100 percent of the cost of planning, design or construction of water projects that are primarily aimed at providing domestic water supplies to communities or households that do not have access to domestic water supplies in a state or territory.

Reclamation provides engineering services and technical assistance to the U.S. territories through an interagency agreement with the Office of Insular Affairs. Reclamation will now begin conversations with the U.S. territory stakeholders to determine the allocation of the funding to meet their water supply needs.

“The U.S. territories face unique challenges in supporting their communities with clean, reliable water supplies, including aging infrastructure and sea-level rise,” said Commissioner Touton in the initial announcement earlier in May. “Investments from the Investing in America agenda will assist Reclamation in supporting the U.S. territories as they seek a reliable water supply for their communities and citizens.”