February 7-9, 2023 | Washington, D.C.

The National Rural Water Rally is a grassroots lobbying effort which brings together hundreds of rural water supporters from around the United States and puts them in direct contact with the people who make things happen in DC. This event gives us an opportunity to gain valuable insight into national issues that affect South Dakota, and to meet with the many rural water decision-makers and supporters from around the nation. This grassroots movement has always been the hallmark of our efforts and the benchmark of our success.


USDA Circuit Riders

Since 1980, Circuit Riders have provided the primary assistance to small communities for the operation of safe and clean drinking water supplies and compliance with water regulations. This assistance protects the sizable investment the federal government has made in rural water infrastructure. Circuit Riders are in the field everyday helping systems with compliance, operations, maintenance, management, disaster response and training. The Circuit Rider program has long been one of USDA’s most successful public-private partnerships, efficiently and effectively using appropriated funds to provide technical assistance and training to rural communities through state based nonprofit associations.


USDA Farm Service Agency Grassroots Source Water Protection

This is the only statewide local community-based initiative ensuring environmentally progressive local land-use decisions without the controversy and bureaucracy of regulatory programs. It provides each state with at least one full-time person to organize and assist rural communities, farmers, and other land-use interests in the implementation of source water protection plans including non-point source (runoff) protection practices in agriculture regions. This initiative allows the people who benefit from environmental protection to take responsibility for achieving it – ensuring its success and eliminating local controversy.


EPA Safe Drinking Water Act Technical Assistance and Training

Since 1977, Small and rural communities have relied on local/on-site technical assistance and training for compliance with the myriad of federal EPA regulations, avoiding EPA fines, and operating drinking water and wastewater supplies. According to small and rural communities, EPA-funded local initiatives are the most effective environmental protection efforts for drinking water & wastewater, ground water, source water, and compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. Small communities want to ensure quality water and stay in compliance  – rural water provides them the shared technical resources to do it.


EPA Clean Water Act Compliance Technical Assistance

Small and rural communities have more difficulty affording public wastewater service due to lack of population density and lack of economies of scale. This challenge is compounded by the fact that rural communities have lower average median household incomes and often have higher rates of poverty. PL 155-270, enacted in October 2018, authorizes a new technical assistance program for small and rural communities to improve water quality, operate and maintain public wastewater treatment utilities and comply with federal Clean Water Act standards.


National Rural Water Apprenticeship Program

Since 2016, NRWA has collaborated with State Rural Water Associations, USDA, DOL, EPA, and local rural water utilities to build the first nationally recognized DOL Registered Apprenticeship program for water and wastewater system operators. Employment data indicates up to 50% of the rural water workforce will leave the water industry over the next 10 years. Rural water and wastewater utilities need a pipeline of skilled workers to help ensure clean and safe water for the public and to maintain the water infrastructure necessary to keep rural service areas economically viable. To date, thirty-four State Rural Water Associations have federally approved Registered Apprenticeship programs and are currently offering a job creation program specifically designed by industry leaders to attract, train and retain the next generation rural water workforce.



Office Hours: M-F 8:00am - 4:30pm


203 W. Center Street | PO Box 287

Madison, SD 57042

605.556.7219 (p) | 605.556.1497 (f)


301 Seaton Circle | PO Box 815

Spearfish, SD 57783

605.642.4031 (p/f)

South Dakota Rural Water is a proud member

of the National Rural Water Association

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