WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has announced funding to finance investments in improved water and wastewater systems for more than 200,000 rural residents in 40 states, according to an article by KTIC 840 Rural Radio.

"Rural businesses and residents need access to clean water and modern waste disposal systems. This isn't just an economic issue, it's an issue of basic health and safety," said Vilsack. "Water and wastewater projects like these help safeguard rural access to a modern, working infrastructure, which in turn ensures a decent quality of life and helps attract — and keep — the best and brightest in small towns across America."

The USDA will provide $203 million to finance 74 water and infrastructure improvement projects, the article reported.

According to the article, Vilsack also referenced the Food, Farm and Jobs bill, which he said would help address the $2.1 billion backlog of rural water/wastewater projects nationwide if it is passed.

Read the full article here.