Water: Wastewater Management Process
Clean Water Indian Set-Aside Grant Program
The Clean Water Indian Set-Aside Grant Program (CWISA Program) provides funding for wastewater infrastructure to Indian tribes and Alaska Native Villages. The CWISA Program is administered in cooperation with the Indian Health Service (IHS). EPA uses the IHS Sanitation Deficiency System priority lists to identify and select projects for CWISA program funding. To be considered for CWISA Program funding, tribes must identify their wastewater needs to the IHS Sanitation Deficiency System.
The Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Clean Water Indian Set-Aside Grant Program (PDF) (20 pp, 3MB, About PDF) brochure provides answers to questions related to the CWISA Program, including project eligibility, funding, and project administration.
Clean Water Indian Set-Aside Program Infographic 2013
- Print-ready Infographic (PDF) (2 pp, 578K, About PDF)
- 508 Compliant Infographic (PDF) (1pg, 2M, About PDF)
- Established by Congress in 1987, the CWISA Program published initial guidelines in 1989 describing how EPA implements the program. These guidelines were updated in 1995 (both documents are available upon request). The 2013 draft revision Guidelines and Requirements for Applying for Grants from the Clean Water Indian Set-Aside (CWISA) Program (88 pp, 4.2MB, About PDF), updates and clarifies eligible activities and program administration. The revisions are intended to improve the programs' abilities to support EPA's priorities to increase access basic sanitation in Indian country. In addition, to ensure the federal investments are maximized, the new guideline incorporates many sustainability concepts already adopted by the Clean Water SRF (CWSRF) and recommended by the Tribal Infrastructure Task Force (ITF). The final version of the guideline will be made available soon.
- EPA initiated tribal consultation with federally-recognized Indian Tribes in August 2012 and a second set of tribal consultation calls were held in September 2013. Requests for written comments were also distributed. The guidelines for EPA's Drinking Water Infrastructure Grant – Tribal Set Aside (DWIG-TSA) program are available at: http://water.epa.gov/grants_funding/dwsrf/allotments/tribes.cfm#background
- Between June 20 and September 11, 2013, EPA held four Tribal consultation outreach conference calls. The calls were scheduled for EPA to describe the new 2013 guidelines, for the attendees to ask clarifying questions, and to provide consultation comments on suggested areas that EPA should consider during the finalization of the new guideline documents. The meeting notes are available below:
- DWIG-TSA June 20, 2013 Call (PDF) (4 pp, 45K, About PDF)
- DWIG-TSA June 25, 2013 Call (PDF) (7 pp, 216K, About PDF)
- CWISA September 3, 2013 Call (PDF) (4 pp, 34K, About PDF)
- CWISA September 11, 2013 Call (PDF) (12 pp, 76K, About PDF)
- Between September 26 and October 2, 2012, EPA held four Tribal consultation outreach conference calls. Attendees asked clarifying questions and provided consultation comments on suggested areas for EPA to consider during the guideline consultation process. The meeting notes are available below:
Training and Resources
EPA's Water & Wastewater Utility Operation and Maintenance Training for Small, Rural Systems - To serve as a resource for small, rural water and wastewater systems including those operated by tribes, Alaska Native Villages, and territories, EPA has developed a series of Web-based training modules on maintaining and operating small wastewater and drinking water treatment systems. This information is geared toward system operators and managers in Indian country, and could benefit anyone operating and maintaining a small water or wastewater system.
The Tribal Resource Directory for Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment is a catalog of over thirty federal and non-federal programs that offer funding and technical support for tribal drinking water and wastewater systems. The directory was first published in 2006 and the online information was updated in 2012.
The Tribal Infrastructure Task Force (ITF) is led by EPA's Office of Wastewater Management and aims to improve access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation, and solid waste management in Indian country. In 2000, the United States made commitments at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and agreed to support the United Nations Millennium Development Goal to improve access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation around the world.
The Clean Water Act authorized CWISA program funding via one-half of one percent (0.5%) from the Construction Grants Program appropriations for fiscal years 1987-1990. In 1992, Congress gave the Administrator of EPA the authority to take a 0.5% set-aside from the Clean Water Act Title VI (State Revolving Fund) appropriation due to the phase-out of the Construction Grants Program.
Starting in FY 2001, Congress has authorized, through EPA’s Appropriations Bill, an increase in the percent of funds set-aside (from 0.5% to 1.5%) from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund appropriated amount to the CWISA Grant Program. Since 2008 Congress has authorized, through EPA's Appropriations Bill, an increase in the percent of funds set-aside from 1.5% to 2.0%. The CWISA Program Funding table summarizes program funding amounts and number of projects funded between 1987 and 2013.
- EPA Regional CWISA Coordinators
- For up-to-date Indian Health Service program contacts, visit the Indian Health Service Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction.