Water: Fed FUNDS
Assistance - Mentors and Technical Contacts
Federal disaster funding programs are not specifically tailored to water and wastewater utilities. It can be a challenge for utilities to participate and complete the application process. Utilities that have not been through the process before can benefit from those that have. Several utilities that have obtained disaster funding have volunteered to be mentors and offer advice or answer questions. Also, other technical contacts in the water sector or disaster funding area may have information to help you.
There are many benefits to having a funding mentor, the most valuable of which are saving time and avoiding errors when applying for federal funding assistance.
Below is a list of utility and federal government representatives that have experience related to water utility disaster response and recovery and have volunteered to mentor utility officials as they are working through the federal funding process associated with a disaster event.
|Funding Mentor/Email||Type of Representation||Organization||Topic Areas|
|Federal Rep||EPA Water Security Division||General Water Security and Federal Disaster Funding Fed FUNDS, Recovery|
|Federal Rep||FEMA Public Assistance Division||FEMA Public Assistance|
|Utility Rep||East Valley Water (retired)||FEMA Public Assistance/Mitigation|
|Utility Rep||Portland Water Authority||FEMA Public Assistance/Mitigation|
|Utility Rep||DC Water||FEMA Public Assistance/Mitigation|
|Utility Rep||Director Public Works, Keene, NH||FEMA Public Assistance/Mitigation|
|Association Rep||Florida Rural Water Association||USDA Emergency Water Grants, Damage Assessments, Rural Systems|
The following technical contacts may be helpful in answering questions related to disaster-related funding and/or mitigation funding.
- FEMA Regional Offices
FEMA maintains 10 regional offices that serve all 50 states and the territories of the United States. The FEMA Regional Offices work hand-in-hand with federal, state, tribal, local and private sector partners to meet the needs of the region and its citizens.
- State Emergency Management Agencies
Each state has a designated primacy agency whose general mission is to, "protect the lives and property of all its residents when major disasters threaten public safety in any city, county or region of the state." This agency is responsible for requesting a disaster declaration for affected areas within its state as well as dispersing any federal funds that are allotted as a result of a disaster.
- State Hazard Mitigation Officers
These officers are state officials that provide technical guidance, information, and other resources needed for utilities that are interested in conducting a hazard mitigation project.
- Rural Water Circuit Rider Technical Assistance
This U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program provides technical assistance for day-to-day operational, financial, and management problems for rural utilities. It also provides development contracts through the National Rural Water Association (NRWA), which can be used to match FEMA grants for disaster recovery and/or mitigation.
- Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP)
Provides technical assistance for day-to-day financial and management problems for rural utilities and supplements additional funds for project development.
- Water and Wastewater Agency Response Networks (WARNs)
A Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) is a network of water utilities within a state helping utilities respond to and recover from emergencies. The purpose of a WARN is to provide a method where by water/wastewater utilities that have sustained or anticipate damages from natural or human-caused incidents can provide and receive emergency aid and assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, materials, and other associated services as necessary from other water/wastewater utilities in their state. WARN has sample WARN Operations Plans and other Resources that includes job aids to document the costs and repairs of a disaster and thus assist with getting reimbursement. For more information, or to see if there is a WARN operating in your state, please visit the National WARN website.
- State Water Primacy Agencies
Each state has a designated primacy agency that has jurisdiction over public water systems. Primacy agencies are required to maintain a current inventory of public water systems, to apply drinking water regulations to all public water systems within their jurisdictions, and to have enforcement authority adequate to compel compliance with applicable drinking water regulations.
- State Water Commissions
Some states have established state water commissions that deal with various water-related issues such as flooding and flood plain management, water supply and water usage, drinking water and ground water usage, and water resource management. These state water commissions can provide a wealth of technical information and resources to utilities that may have been impacted by a disaster. Utilities should inquire with their state water primacy agency to determine if a state water commission exists within their state.