Infrastructure Task Force to Improve Access to Safe Drinking Water and Basic Sanitation in Indian country
In 2000 the United States made commitments at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and agreed to support a United Nations Millennium Development Goal to improve access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation around the world. As a result of this commitment, the US is addressing the lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in Indian Country by reducing the number of tribal homes without access.
An Infrastructure Task Force (“Task Force”) to improve access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in Indian country was formed in 2003. The federal partners of the Task Force are the US Department of Agriculture (Rural Development - USDA-RD), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Department of Health and Human Services through the Indian Health Service, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the US Department of the Interior (Bureau of Indian Affairs - BIA). The Task Force came into effect on June 2007 following the signature by the Department Secretaries of two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) to develop strategies to help achieve the access goal.
All federal partners renewed their commitment to the Task Force in 2013 through signing an MOU to continue federal coordination in delivering water infrastructure, wastewater infrastructure and solid waste management services to tribal communities. The Task Force will build on prior partner successes, including improved access to funding and reduced administrative burden for tribal communities through the review and streamlining of agency policies, regulations, and directives as well as improved coordination of technical assistance to water service providers and solid waste managers through regular coordination meetings and web-based tools.
The lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in Indian Country continues to threaten the public health of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. According to 2010 data from the Indian Health Service (IHS), approximately 12% of AI/AN homes do not have safe water and/or basic sanitation facilities.
The following documents have been developed to document ITF past accomplishments, current activities, and proposed strategies to address access to water and sanitation services on AI/AN lands.
I. Background: Goals, Purpose and Current Membership
- Memorandum of Understanding (2013) (PDF) (6 pp, 1.3 Mb, About PDF)
This document establishes the purpose, common goals, authority and responsibilities of the interagency partnership. (Note: this MOU supersedes the 2007 ITF MOUs that are available upon request.)
- Members Bios (June 2012) (PDF) (18 pp, 461 Kb, About PDF)
This document includes the names and professional biographical information on the tribal and federal staff participants of the Infrastructure Task Force.
II. Fact Sheets & Final Reports
- Accomplishments and Current Activities (March 2013) (PDF) (2 pp, 1.10 Mb, About PDF)
This fact sheet summarizes the work completed by the Infrastructure Task Force from 2010 to 2012.
- Preliminary Engineering Report (January 2013) (PDF) (18 pp, 364 Kb, About PDF)
This document contains the recommended format for preliminary engineering reports for use when planning drinking water, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure.
- Sustainable Infrastructure Goals and Concepts Document (November 2011) (PDF) (4 pp. 113Kb, About PDF)
This document outlines the concepts of appropriate infrastructure and sustainable management entities to guide the coordinated federal efforts to achieve greater sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
- Progress to Date: Meeting the Access Goal (December 2010) (PDF) (13 pp, 207 Kb, About PDF)
This document summarizes the progress made on increasing access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by the Infrastructure Task Force from 2003 to 2010.
- Response to Access Subgroup Report (October 2009) (PDF) (8 pp, 1. 7Mb, About PDF)
This document includes responses to the recommendations of the Access Subgroup and establishes workgroups to address distinct areas to increase access to safe drinking and basics sanitation.
- Meeting the Access Goal: Strategies for Increasing Access to Safe Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment to American Indian and Alaska Native Villages (March 2008) (PDF) (49 pp, 7.86 Mb, About PDF)
This document describes the key barriers to improving access to safe drinking water and wastewater disposal in Indian country and offers recommendations on how to reduce these barriers to increase access.
- Tribal Water Resource Directory
This is a catalog of over thirty federal and non-federal programs that offer funding and technical support for tribal drinking water and wastewater systems.
III. Workgroup Documents & Reports
- Summary of Commonalities and Best Practices from Tribal Utilities (January 2012) (PDF) (2 pp, 1.1 Mb, About PDF)
This document summarizes best practices for ensuring sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation from 5 tribes and 1 tribal utility collaborative.
- Application Processes and Recommended Paperwork Streamlining Opportunities (February 2011) (PDF) (52 pp, 143 Kb, About PDF)
This document presents recommendations for streamlining the application funding process for tribes when applying for infrastructure funding.
- National Environmental Policy Act Requirements (February 2011) (PDF) (38 pp, 575 Kb, About PDF)
This document summarizes in a matrix format the federal regulations requirements and guidance for complying with the National Environmental Policy Act for the Infrastructure Task Force federal partner agencies.
- Map of Water Infrastructure and Homes Without Access to Safe Drinking Water and Basic Sanitation on the Navajo Nation (October 2010) (PDF) (31 pp, 7 Mb, About PDF)
This document presents the results of completed work using existing geographic information system (GIS) data to map existing water and sewer infrastructure and homes without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation on the Navajo Nation.
- Strategies for Improving Technical Assistance Delivery in American Indian and Alaska Native Village Communities (March 2010) (PDF) (20 pp, 208 Kb, About PDF) This document lays out a recommended approach for coordination of technical assistance delivery in Indian country.
IV. Partner Agency Infrastructure Program Guidelines
- US Environmental Protection Agency
- Drinking Water Infrastructure Grant Tribal Set Aside Program (July 2013) (PDF) (115 pp, 2.97 Mb, About PDF)
- EPA Clean Water Indian Set Aside Program (Sept 2013)
(Document is pending final review and approval. The current version is available at www.epa.gov/cwisa).
- Indian Health Service
- US Department of Agriculture
- US Department of Housing and Urban Development
- US Department of Interior
V. Meeting Summaries
- May 09, 2013 ITF Meeting Sumary (PDF) (8 pp, 63 Kb, About PDF)
- February 14, 2013 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (10 pp, 99 Kb, About PDF)
- September 19, 2012 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (9 pp, 70 Kb, About PDF)
- May 16, 2012 - Multi-Agency Tribal Infrastructure Collaborative (MATIC) presentation (PDF) (28 pp, 1.8 Mb, About PDF)
- May 16, 2012 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (12 pp, 54 Kb, About PDF)
- March 21, 2012 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (11 pp, 139 Kb, About PDF)
- January 18, 2012 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (11 pp, 108K, About PDF)
- December 20, 2012 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (12 pp, 220K, About PDF )
- November 3, 2011 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (12 pp, 56K, About PDF)
- October 20, 2011 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (10 pp, 132K, About PDF)
- September 7, 2011 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (9 pp, 70K, About PDF)
- June 30, 2011 ITF Meeting Summary (PDF) (10 pp, 118K, About PDF)
For more information please contact one of the Federal partner representatives or assignees:
- US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Water and Environmental Program
- US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Office of Native American Programs, Office of Grant Evaluation
Phone (202) 402-4274
- US Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service (IHS), Sanitation Facilities Construction Program
Phone: (301) 443-1046
- US Department of the Interior (DOI)
Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Affairs
Phone: (202) 208-5116
- US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Office of Water, Office of Wastewater Management
Deputy Office Director
Phone: (202) 564-0749