MI Grants Aim For Affordable Water For Low-Income Households

Michigan Community NewsLansing, MI - Helping Michigan communities upgrade water infrastructure and keep drinking water rates affordable – particularly for low-income households – is the goal of a grant opportunity announced by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

Applications are due February 19, 2024, for $5.7 million in funding through the MI Clean Water Plan, which provides support improving drinking water quality and affordability.

“Ensuring healthy drinking water for all Michiganders requires a team effort because going it alone is not an option in some communities when it comes to removing lead pipes, replacing aging mains, and upgrading other backlogged water infrastructure,” said EGLE Director Phil Roos. “This is why we’re continuing to find ways to assist cities, towns, and villages, with a specific focus on the needs of underserved low-income communities.”

The State of Michigan has invested more than $4 billion since 2019 through the MI Clean Water Plan to upgrade local water systems.

 Recipients can include Michigan water supplies, counties, townships, villages, and others. Applicants are required to complete the Affordability and Planning Grants Application (EQP1063) and attach a Project Workplan and Project Cost Detail. Applications and Plans shall be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

There is no local funding match required for the grants, which are funded through Michigan’s general fund. Grant funding is restricted to activities that improve consumer affordability and/or drinking water quality. Eligibility will be project specific and determined on a case-by-case basis by EGLE pursuant to the scoring criteria included within the proposal. Eligible activities under the grant may include:

  • Develop and implement an income-based water rate structure.
  • Pursue and implement water system regionalization, collaboration, or consolidation efforts that improve water quality and/or affordability for residents. Efforts could include:
    • Planning costs related to water systems joining together in regional authority
    • Planning costs related to water systems connecting to other water systems
    • Water systems developing collaborative agreements to share services, equipment, bulk purchasing, and other operational costs
  • Conduct drinking water distribution system leak detection studies and develop plans for resolving leaks in water systems that purchase water from another source.
  • Develop or update project planning (e.g., engineering, design, and legal) or application documents needed to better position projects for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) funding.
  • Planning costs to construct sewer laterals to connect low-income households* with failing septic systems to available public sewer.
  • Planning costs to construct service lines to connect low-income households* with failing or contaminated private wells to available community water system.

*A low-income household is defined as less than 200 percent of federal poverty level. Individual households must be verified by the municipality.

Details about eligibility, the application process, and other information is available at the Affordability and Planning Grant webpage.

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