43 USC 2402 - Rural water supply program

(a) In general 
The Secretary, in cooperation with non-Federal project entities and consistent with this subchapter, may carry out a rural water supply program in Reclamation States to
(1) investigate and identify opportunities to ensure safe and adequate rural water supply projects for domestic, municipal, and industrial use in small communities and rural areas of the Reclamation States;
(2) plan the design and construction, through the conduct of appraisal investigations and feasibility studies, of rural water supply projects in Reclamation States; and
(3) oversee, as appropriate, the construction of rural water supply projects in Reclamation States that are recommended by the Secretary in a feasibility report developed pursuant to section 2405 of this title and subsequently authorized by Congress.

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(b) Non-Federal project entity 
Any activity carried out under this subchapter shall be carried out in cooperation with a qualifying non-Federal project entity, consistent with this subchapter.
(c) Eligibility criteria 
Not later than 1 year after December 22, 2006, the Secretary shall, consistent with this subchapter, develop and publish in the Federal Register criteria for
(1) determining the eligibility of a rural community for assistance under the Program; and
(2) prioritizing requests for assistance under the Program.
(d) Factors 
The criteria developed under subsection (c) shall take into account such factors as whether
(1) a rural water supply project
(A) serves
(i) rural areas and small communities; or
(ii) Indian tribes; or
(B) promotes and applies a regional or watershed perspective to water resources management;

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(2) there is an urgent and compelling need for a rural water supply project that would
(A) improve the health or aesthetic quality of water;
(B) result in continuous, measurable, and significant water quality benefits; or
(C) address current or future water supply needs;
(3) a rural water supply project helps meet applicable requirements established by law; and
(4) a rural water supply project is cost effective.
(e) Inclusions 
The Secretary may include
(1) to the extent that connection provides a reliable water supply, a connection to pre-existing infrastructure (including impoundments and conveyance channels) as part of a rural water supply project; and
(2) notwithstanding the limitation on population under section 2401 (9)(A) of this title, a town or community with a population in excess of 50,000 inhabitants in an area served by a rural water supply project if, at the discretion of the Secretary, the town or community is considered to be a critical partner in the rural supply project.