ATLANTA — Jan. 20, 2016 — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it will provide a total of $500,000 in financial and technical guidance to help 10 communities plan and finance improvements to their drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, according to a press release.

The funds come from the EPA’s new Water Community Assistance for Resiliency and Excellence (WaterCARE) program, which supports communities with populations of less than 100,000, noted the release.

Through this initiative the agency can help communities to conduct financial evaluations including alternatives analyses, rate and revenue studies, water efficiency studies and resiliency assessments. Services provided through the program may also include developing asset management programs, identifying financing options and partnership opportunities, and providing public engagement outreach and decision-maker training.

“Communities depend on adequate drinking water and wastewater services to survive and thrive, and EPA is committed to providing financial guidance to help them invest in the necessary water infrastructure,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a statement. “The need for resilient and sustainable infrastructure becomes more important as water resources are strained by the impacts of climate change, such as flooding, drought, storms, and sea level rise.”

The communities selected to receive WaterCARE assistance are: Buchanan County, Virginia; the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe, Montana; Gatesville, Texas; Haines Borough, Alaska; the Hoopa Valley Tribe, California; Johnston, Iowa; Lawrence, Massachusetts; Selma, Alabama; the Township of South Orange Village, New Jersey; and Youngstown, Ohio.