Appalachian Community Technical Assistance & Training (ACTAT) Program

Grants and Contracts Details


Many Appalachian communities are currently entrenched in poverty, lack employment opportunities, suffer from declining populations, experience resource depletion, and have limited financial resources to provide and sustain compliant drinking water and wastewater services for their citizens. The University of Kentucky’s Water Resources Research Institute is partnering with West Virginia University’s National Environmental Services Center and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Water Resources Research Center to collaborate on a land grant university model program providing face-to-face training and technical assistance focused on improving water infrastructure and services to small, rural communities throughout the Appalachian Region. According to the Appalachian Region Commission (ARC), more than 25 million people live in the Appalachian Region with 42% of this population residing in rural areas. This program will focus on Appalachian communities with a population of 2,500 or fewer and areas where the community median household income is less than 80% of the state nonmetropolitan average. Community challenges will be addressed by first seeking to understand their water systems in a regional context. This holistic understanding, combined with a community-centered approach, is designed to lead communities in developing their own solutions to drinking water and wastewater challenges. Our goal is to enable communities to become sustainable and attain financial resources to address utility infrastructure needs. Team members from the three universities will use the Rural and Small Systems Guidebook to Sustainable System Management, and the companion Workshop in a Box: Sustainable Management of Rural and Small Systems Workshop, as the basis for outreach, technical assistance, training, and community system improvement activities. This program creates a step-by-step process leading to community action and utility improvements. Communities in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee will serve as “trailblazer” sites to validate the model program using subject matter experts and community outreach capabilities available through Land-Grant institutions to improve community water and wastewater infrastructure, provide services meeting state and federal regulations, and promote economic development.
Effective start/end date1/1/2012/31/20


  • West Virginia University: $150,000.00


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