| National Rural Water Association
| The NRWA office is located at 2915 S. 13th Street, Duncan, OK 73533
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| NRWA News
The National Rural Water Association
, with its affiliated state rural water associations, is the largest water and wastewater utility membership organization in the United States of America. The NRWA is a professional organization that supports rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...
and small water utilities throughout the nation. NRWA and its state affiliates are organized as a non-profit
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...
trade association, and represent more than 26,696 water and wastewater utility members.
The association provides training, technical assistance and source water protection assistance to the rural and small utilities which comprise 94 percent of the nation’s community water supplies. This assistance is supported by the United States Congress and is provided in partnership with the USDA’s
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...
Rural Utilities Service
is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture , one of the federal executive departments of the United States government charged with providing public utilities to rural areas in the United States via public-private partnerships...
, the Farm Service Agency
The Farm Service Agency is the USDA agency into which were merged several predecessor agencies, including the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service . The ASCS was, as the FSA is now, primarily tasked with the implementation of farm conservation and regulation laws around the country...
and the Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress...
The NRWA and state rural water affiliates also represent rural and small utilities in the regulatory and legislative process.
The National Rural Water Association was founded in 1976 in response to the Safe Drinking Water Act
The Safe Drinking Water Act is the principle federal law in the United States intended to ensure safe drinking water for the public. Pursuant to the act, the Environmental Protection Agency is required to set standards for drinking water quality and oversee all states, localities, and water...
, passed in 1974. The SDWA authorized the United States Environmental Protection Agency to set national health-based standards for drinking water to protect against both naturally-occurring and man-made contaminants that may be found in drinking water. The NRWA was founded because many of the original EPA standards were written for large metropolitan
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...
water utilities, and many smaller utilities did not have the resources to meet those standards.
NRWA’s first meeting in Oklahoma City was attended by eight states: Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Indiana and Texas. States quickly joined the organization with Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa and South Carolina joining in 1977; Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon and Tennessee 1978; and Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, New York and Ohio in 1979.
The Circuit Rider Program
Rural water circuit riders are roving technical experts employed by State Rural Water Associations to provide training and assistance to rural and small water utilities within their state.-History:...
, a signature of NRWA, began in 1980 in 18 states. Circuit riders are roving drinking water and wastewater experts that provided technical assistance to the unities in their area. The program provided another tool for small water systems that did not always have the experience, equipment, training or personnel to deal large or persistent problems.
During its operation, the NRWA has added a variety of training, technical assistance, source water protection
Source Water Protection refers to the concept of protecting source water from overuse and contamination....
and financial programs to assist small water and waste water systems. The NRWA’s network of training and assistance had allowed rural and small community water supplies to maintain compliance with the SDWA at rates similar to metropolitan systems on a percentage basis.
Quality on Tap and Protecting Our Environment
"Quality On Tap – Our Commitment – Our Profession" is a nationwide, grassroots public relations and awareness campaign designed especially for the drinking water industry. QOT is intended to promote a positive image to the public, focusing on the safety of drinking water and the expertise of the technical professional who ensure water quality.
"Protecting Our Environment" is a companion campaign for the wastewater industry. This campaign is designed to publicize the credentials of the wastewater personnel and the role they play in Environmental Protection, especially the prevention of water pollution. Rural water has made environmental protection, especially source water protection, a priority for the industry.
Both of these campaigns were designed to be practical "hands-on" guides to better public relations for rural and small water and wastewater utilities.
The NRWA and its state affiliates provide a range of programs to assist utilities in their governance, management, finance and operations. Annually over 100,000 personnel are trained and over 100,000 types of on-site technical assistance is rendered throughout the 50 United States, and Puerto Rico.
Training and technical assistance is delivered through a cadre of personnel with a range of technical and practical experience. This technical knowledge, combined with the experience of managing and operating water and wastewater systems has allowed NRWA training, assistance and “common sense solutions” that are practical at the local level.
Member Support Services
NWRA and the state associations offer a variety of support services provided to member utilities. All support services are delivered through the state associations. These may include but are not limited to revolving loan funds, insurance, discounts, bond pools, certification, background checks, conferences, legislative events on the state and national level and a VIP Fleet Discount for systems of any size and any number of vehicles.
These programs and services available through the NRWA homepage
or state associations.
Emergency Response/Disaster Relief
NRWA and its state affiliates provide assistance to small systems recovering from disasters. This assistance is considered to be an extension of the regular services provided to small water utilities: "It's the same thing we do every day, just with more urgency and immediate need."
These efforts have been praised for their ability to quickly provide responsive, meaningful assistance to small utilities and support repair efforts months, even years after the disaster.
Rural water relief efforts since 2008 include assistance to areas damaged by hurricanes (Hurricane Gustav
The name Gustav has been used for five tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean:* 1984's Tropical Storm Gustav - Spent most of its existence as a tropical depression hovering over Bermuda, no major damage was reported....
, Hurricane Hanna
Hurricane Hanna was the deadliest storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm was the eighth tropical cyclone and fourth hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. It formed east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands on August 28...
, and Hurricane Ike
Hurricane Ike was the second-costliest hurricane ever to make landfall in the United States, the costliest hurricane ever to impact Cuba and the second most active hurricane to reach the Canadian mainland in the Great Lakes Region after Hurricane Hazel in 1954...
), tornados (Parkersburg Tornado, Picher Tornado, Dierks Tornado and Magee Tornado), floods, and ice storms (2009 Ice Storms
The January 2009 ice storm was a major ice storm that occurred over parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The storm produced widespread power outages for over 2 million people due to heavy ice accumulation...
In 2009, NRWA instituted a training program to educate, train and certify Rural Water staff in emergency response. The program provides training in hands-on skills for field staff, and organizational training for association leaders. Field staff training includes instruction on planning and preparedness, assessment and documentation, safety, power generation, and the operation of emergency generators. Leadership training includes more focus on planning, organization, leadership and management during emergency and disaster situations.
Small communities comprise more than 94 percent of the community water supplies NRWA through its state affiliates represents 26,696 water and utility members from 48 non-profit, state rural water associations that cover the 50 United States and Puerto Rico.
| State Affiliates
| Atlantic States
The H20-XPO is a partnership between the National Rural Water Association and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers to co-locate their national conferences bi-annually, beginning in 2009. The event offers over 80 educational sessions, 1,000 exhibits and 30 acres (121,405.8 m²) of equipment, including hands-on demonstrations. The first co-located event was held October 6-8, 2009 in Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...
The partnership is designed to bring together water & wastewater utility systems, big and small, municipal and rural, operations, management and governance to create the only event of its kind. H2O-XPO is designed to meet the increasing needs of water, wastewater and municipal operations in products, services, equipment and education.
Rural Water Rally
The National Rural Water Association holds and annual Rally in Washington D.C. to further the work of providing drinking water and wastewater services to rural communities. Rural Water professionals, leaders and customers from every state attend the rally to thank their Senators and Representatives for their support and encourage them to further support the goals and needs of the Rural Water Industry. NRWA welcomes V.I.P. guest speakers from legislative staffs and federal organizations, like the EPA and USDA, to share their views and insight to the assembled guests. The NRWA held the first Rural Water Rally in 1986 and has grown in attendance every year.
Great American Water Taste Test
In 1999, the National Rural Water Association hosted the first Great American Taste Test during the Rural Water Rally in Washington D.C. Each of NRWA’s state affiliates selects an entry at their own state taste tests. A gallon of the winning system’s water is shipped to the rally for national judging. Five finalists are selected by a panel of judges during a preliminary tasting. The final five are then judged by a V.I.P panel in a tasting during the Rural Water Luncheon on the final day of the rally.
Each entry is judged on three criteria:
In the event of a tie, the winner is decided by a “Drink Off.” Drink Off was used to decide a winner for first time during the 2009 GAWTT to break a tie between entries between Perdido Bay, Ala. (the eventual winner) and Allen County, Ken.
- Water supply and sanitation in the United States
Issues that affect water supply and sanitation in the United States include water scarcity, pollution, a backlog of investment, concerns about the affordability of water for the poorest, and a rapidly retiring workforce...
- Drinking water quality in the United States
Drinking water quality in the United States is a source of concern about pollutants in certain localities. In 2006, 89.3 percent of the nation's community water systems were in compliance with all of more than 90 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. Most of the systems out of compliance...