The money will go to the Lonoke-White Public Water Authority (LWPWA).
U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman along with 1st District Congressman Rick Crawford and 2nd District Congressman Tim Griffin announced the good news in a joint release.
"A strong water system is critical to a community's growth and success," Pryor said. "This project will help provide quality water to residents and businesses in central Arkansas, which in turn will create jobs, boost the local economy, and improve the quality of life for local families."
"It's important that we continue to improve infrastructure to provide citizens with reliable and safe drinking water," Boozman said. "I am pleased these communities have taken a proactive approach in making sure this basic need is met."
"This project will provide a safe and reliable source of drinking water to First District communities. At the same time, updating the aged infrastructure will preserve the aquifers critical for crop production," Crawford said.
"This loan will help ensure that the 100,000 Arkansans who rely on this water system will have access to clean drinking water well into the future," Griffin said. "It is also important for economic growth and jobs, because job creators count on a long-term surface water source."
Comprised of a group of existing water utilities, including the Cities of Austin, Beebe, Jacksonville, and Ward, Furlow Water Users Association, Grand Prairie/Bayou Two PFB, North Pulaski Water PFB, and Vilonia Water Works, most members of the LWPWA currently use well water to meet the needs of the public. Two members have been put on notice by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to reduce or eliminate well pumping before 2025.
This USDA Rural Development loan will allow communities to develop a reliable, long-term supply of safe drinking water. By using surface water, instead of ground water, the project will also help reduce the strain on our aquifers.