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Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems

Information for States about Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems

History of the Capacity Development Program

The Capacity Development Program was created under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996. The three major components of the Capacity Development Program are:

1. Section 1420(a) New Systems

Under penalty of Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) withholding, States must have a program established to:
"ensure that all new community water systems and nontransient, noncommunity water systems commencing operations after October 1, 1999 demonstrate technical, managerial, and financial capacity with respect to each national primary drinking water regulation in effect, or likely to be in effect, on the date of commencement of operations."

2. Section 1420(c) State Capacity Development Strategies

Under penalty of DWSRF withholding, the State must develop and implement a:
"strategy to assist public water systems in acquiring and maintaining technical, managerial, and financial capacity."

3. Section 1452(a)(3) Assessment of Capacity

States may not provide DWSRF loan assistance to systems

  • which lack the technical, managerial, and financial capability to ensure compliance; or
  • if the system is in significant noncompliance with any drinking water standard or variance.

However, States may provide assistance if

  • the use of such assistance will ensure compliance; and
  • the system has agreed to make the necessary changes in operation to ensure that it has the technical, managerial, and financial capacity to comply over the long term.

State Resources

Resources are available for states to use within their Capacity Development Programs. Resources are available in the following categories: