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Contact EPA Pacific Southwest

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Drinking Water Tribal Set-Aside Funds (DWTSA)


If you have any questions about Region 9's DWTSA program, please contact: Emmanuelle Rapicavoli (rapicavoli.emmanuelle@epa.gov), Drinking Water Tribal Set Aside Coordinator (415) 972-3969

On this page:


To assist federally recognized tribes within EPA Region 9 to improve public water system infrastructure.

Examples of Eligible Activities

Infrastructure projects funded through the DWTSA must address the most significant threats to public health associated with public water systems that serve tribal populations. Examples of eligible activities include:

  • Rehabilitate or develop drinking water sources (excluding reservoirs, dams, water rights);
  • Install or upgrade drinking water treatment facilities treatment facilities;
  • Install or upgrade drinking water storage facilities;
  • Install or replace transmission and distribution pipes;
  • Replace aging infrastructure;
  • Install new transmission, distribution or service lines to connect existing homes to a public water supply;
  • Water efficiency projects (e.g., installation of meters);
  • Expansion, consolidation or development of a new public water system; and
  • Develop preliminary engineering reports (PERs).

Eligibility Requirements

Only federally recognized Indian tribes within EPA Region 9 may submit proposals that benefit eligible public water systems (PWS). PWS eligibility is limited to:

  • Community water systems and non-profit, non-community water systems;
  • The system must serve an Indian Tribe;
  • The system must be in compliance with the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations unless the project which is being funded will ensure compliance;
  • The system must be operated by adequately trained and certified operators.
  • The water system utility must have or be able to develop the technical, financial and managerial capacity to properly maintain the water system.


Approximately $6.5 million of FY18 funds may be available for projects ranging in size from $30,000 to over $2 million. Tribes may request that projects be awarded as either a grant to the Tribe or an interagency agreement with the Indian Health Service. This assistance will be awarded under Section 300j-12 of the Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. §1452.
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number is 66.468.

How Do I Apply for Funding?

To be considered for FY18 funds, EPA must receive proposals by November 9, 2017.

All Project Proposal Applications must include the following:

  • Project Proposal Form; and
  • Tribal Government Endorsement.

Construction Project Applications must include:

  • A Preliminary Engineering Report (PER); and
  • Any supporting documentation.

Planning Project Applications must include:

  • A detailed project proposal and description of the health deficiency;
  • Proposed budget;
  • Timeline for completion;
  • The outcome of the project must be the development of a PER.

E-mail one electronic copy of the proposal and any documentation to:

Emmanuelle Rapicavoli (rapicavoli.emmanuelle@epa.gov)
Electronic files exceeding 8MB must either be separated into emails not exceeding 8MB each, or saved on a memory device and mailed.


Mail one hard copy of the proposal and any documentation to:

Emmanuelle Rapicavoli, WTR 3-2
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA  94105

Important Dates

November 9, 2017 - EPA must receive proposals by this date, including the proposal form Project Proposal Form (DOC), tribal government endorsement, and any preliminary engineering reports and supporting documents.
Proposals received after November 9, 2017 will not be considered for funding.

December 2017 - EPA will notify each applicant of the draft proposal priority and whether the project was selected to continue with the application process.

February 2018 - Applicants can submit comments on the draft prioritization. For projects selected to continue with the application process, applicants must submit responses to any EPA comments. All applicants, including applicants for planning projects, must complete capacity, financial and managerial checklists listed below.

March-August 2018 - EPA will notify applicants of the final priority list and funding decision, along with guidance letters for projects to be funded by a grant.

May-August 2018 - Tribe submits grant application, or Indian Health Service submits draft Memorandum of Agreement and Project Summary (exact dates will be included in funding decision notification letters).

September 2018 - EPA awards funds for selected projects.

Contents of Guidelines

Fiscal Year 2018 DWTSA Guidance (PDF) (49 pp, 1.6 MB)

  1. Description of Program
  2. Award Information
  3. Eligibility Information
  4. Step 1: Proposal Submission Information
  5. Step 2: Comments on Draft Prioritization, Capacity and Managerial Checklists and Final Feasibility Studies
  6. Step 3: Grant Application/Interagency Agreement Process
  7. Funding Allocation Methodology
  8. Award Administration Information
  9. Agency Contacts
  10. References
  • Appendix A: Standardized Preliminary Engineering Report Template
  • Appendix B: Sample Grant and Interagency Agreement Programmatic and Administrative Conditions
  • Attachment 1: Project Proposal Form (DOC) (2 pp, 44 K)


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