News Release Archive

Rural Water Supply Interim Final Rule Available for Review

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615,

For Release: November 17, 2008

Interim Final Rule in PDF
Interim Final Rule in PDF
The Bureau of Reclamation has published the interim final rule which establishes the criteria for the Rural Water Supply Program, a new program at Reclamation. The Program was authorized by the Rural Water Supply Act of 2006 which authorizes Reclamation to participate in projects to develop and deliver potable water supplies to rural communities in the Western United States.

A rural water supply project is a project designed to serve a community or group of communities, including Indian tribes and tribal organizations, each of which has a population of no more than 50,000 people, with domestic, industrial, municipal, and residential water.

Under the Program, States, Indian tribes and entities, created under state law, with water management authority can seek financial and technical assistance to undertake appraisal investigations and feasibility studies to explore potable water supply needs and options for addressing those needs.

While the Act provides Reclamation the authority to undertake appraisal investigations and feasibility studies, it does not provide authority to undertake the construction of water delivery facilities recommended for development under the Program. Those require a specific Act of Congress.

Reclamation is seeking comments on the rule. Comments must be submitted by January 16, 2009 at 11:59 PM EST. Since the Rule was published as an Interim Final Rule, it becomes effective after 30 days on December 17, 2008.

To submit a comment, go to and search the docket identification number BOR-2008-0002 and follow the instructions for submitting a comment. You may also submit by mail to the Bureau of Reclamation, Denver Federal Center, PO Box 25007, Building 67, Denver, CO 80225, Attention: Avra Morgan, Mail Code 84-52000.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Rural Water Supply Program

Interim Final Rule in Text