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Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems


State Agencies Supporting Water System Partnerships

State of Vermont Water Supply Division 

State Policies and Programs Regarding Water System Partnerships


The DWSRF program prioritizes projects that include water system restructuring, consolidation, or management changes to water systems that will address human health issues and ensure compliance. The priority ranking scores projects based on seven criteria, of which physical consolidation is the second. Projects that include the consolidation or interconnection of two or more systems are eligible for up to 20 priority points. For scale, projects that address acute health risks, such as microbiological contaminated sources, receive up to 120 points. The DWSRF program also administers a Planning Loan Program, which offers funding and principal forgiveness for engineering studies and plans, including for consolidation and system acquisition.


The Capacity Program is involved in assisting publicly-owned CWSs restructure through the formation of fire districts. Fire districts are municipal entities with taxing and bonding authority which can provide services including fire protection, water supply, and wastewater. A fire district is given authority to organize and operate by a Town’s Select Board or by State legislature. Once formed, the fire district is a sovereign entity in or among town boundaries and establishes a prudential committee, by-laws, collection practices, etc. Fire districts are likely to receive more favorable financing terms from the DWSRF program, including access to DWSRF set-aside programs and the ability to adequately charge for water service without having to obtain Public Service Board approval.

Helpful Links to State Resources