Kentucky Governor to Provide Clean Drinking Water

Gov. Beshear Announces $30 Million to Provide Clean Drinking Water, Improve Systems Across Kentucky

Submissions open for additional $250 million from Cleaner Water Program for local utilities

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 21, 2022) – Governor Andy Beshear announced $30 million in funding to support 29 projects that will provide clean drinking water and improve water systems for 1,245 households across the commonwealth.

“Having clean, reliable water service is a basic human right, and from the start of my administration I have prioritized funding major upgrades to these crucial utilities all across the commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said.  “We’ve provided hundreds of millions of dollars to communities through my Cleaner Water Program, enhancing regional systems and providing service for the first time to many residents and businesses.  This latest round will provide $30 million to fund 29 projects that will make our people healthier and our communities more resilient.”

The Cleaner Water Program is part of Gov. Beshear’s Better Kentucky Plan, which is creating 14,500 jobs and helping to build better schools, expand access to high-speed internet, improve infrastructure and deliver clean drinking water and quality sewer systems across Kentucky.

The Governor also announced that an additional $250 million from his Cleaner Water Program is now available for local utilities to submit projects for a second round of funding.

New Projects Announced

Twenty-nine recently approved projects are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA).  An initial $250 million was appropriated through a bipartisan agreement at the close of the 2021 General Assembly for clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky.  New projects approved for funding from the Cleaner Water Program include:

Breathitt County:  $3.3 million for the Breathitt County Water District to extend a waterline, providing service to 86 households.  The project will also construct a 100,000-gallon water storage tank, a 20,000-gallon water storage tank and one pump station.

“On behalf of Breathitt Water District and the residents of 30 East, we would like to thank Gov. Beshear and others for making it possible for nearly 100 homes on the Highway 30 East of Breathitt County to receive clean potable water,” Breathitt County Water District Chairman Bobby Thorpe said.  “This investment for the future will not only help current residents, but also their children, grandchildren and many generations to come.”

Campbell County:  $1 million to the Northern Kentucky Water District to extend a waterline 3.8 miles to serve 56 households in rural areas.

Christian County:  $2,036,451 for the Christian County Water District to extend waterlines along 39 rural roadways to provide water to unserved and underserved residences.  In addition, a new pump station will be constructed to assist with filling a water tank in the Crofton area.

Floyd County:  $1,909,717 for the Southern Water & Sewer District to construct a 200,000-gallon water storage tank, booster pumping station, pressure reducer vault, solenoid vault and 19,000 linear feet of waterline.

“This will provide water to the new station being built for the Left Beaver Rescue Squad, the highway garage, Floyd Central and economic development along 680,” Floyd County Judge/Executive Robbie Williams said.  “We would like to thank Gov. Beshear and our local legislators for helping secure funding and helping out Floyd County.”

Morgan County:  $2,988,000 for the Morgan County Water District to construct 39,000 feet of waterline, two pump stations, one new 150,000-gallon water tank and a 9,000-gallon tank.

“This project is going to be very helpful for our community,” Shannon Elam, general manager of the Morgan County Water District said.  “We estimate that we have about 70 families here in the county that will benefit from this Cleaner Water grant program.”

Kenton County:  $1 million to the Northern Kentucky Water District to construct 5 miles of waterline extension to serve 81 households in predominately rural areas.

Pendleton County:  $915,000 to the East Pendleton Water District to extend waterlines to unserved Wagners Ferry and Marquette Roads.

“We are excited to learn of the selection of three water projects for Cleaner Water Program funding to serve unserved rural areas of Campbell, Kenton and Pendleton counties,” Meghan Sandfoss of the Northern Kentucky Area Development District said.  “Properties in these areas currently rely on cisterns and hauled water, so the investment of Cleaner Water Program funds will bring safe, reliable drinking water to these Northern Kentucky residents.”

Additional Cleaner Water Program Funding

Today, Gov. Beshear also announced an additional $250 million in funding for his Cleaner Water Program and asked local utilities to submit projects for the second round of funding.

“These funds build on the $250 million appropriated last year to deliver quality, clean drinking water to Kentuckians and maintain our sewer systems,” Gov. Beshear said.  “Investing in our water infrastructure is a fundamental way we are building a better Kentucky by improving the wellbeing of our people while we fuel our record-breaking economic momentum.”

Starting July 21, water resource coordinators, representing Kentucky’s 15 Area Development Districts (ADDs) and Area Water Management Councils, may submit project profiles through the Water Resource Information System (WRIS) portal to indicate interest in funding from the Cleaner Water Program.  Eligible government agencies, such as city-owned water or sewer utilities, water commissions, water and sewer districts and water associations, may collaborate with a coordinator and council to submit a project.  There are 713 public drinking water and wastewater utilities in Kentucky.

The application process will be ongoing throughout 2022 until all funding is committed.  KIA will begin reviewing projects this summer and make awards continuously throughout the year.  All grant awardees must obligate the funds by December 31, 2024.

Cleaner Water Program

Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, $500 million has been appropriated through a bipartisan agreement with the General Assembly to provide clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky since 2021.  The 2022 funding will be allocated based on each county’s proportion of the state’s population, with the exception of Jefferson County’s share, which is discounted by 50% based on its high per capita allocation from the federal act.  A list of the allocations by county can be found here.

“The projects funded through this program will help Kentuckians for years to come,” Dennis Keene, commissioner of the Department for Local Government and KIA board chairman, said.  “Quality water infrastructure is a basic need and investing in it is the smart thing to do.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2019 projected that Kentucky faces nearly $14.5 billion in water/wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, including over $8.2 billion in drinking water upgrades and $6.2 billion in sewer system improvements.