In Great Falls, Tester Speaks at Montana Rural Water Systems Association Annual Convention

Tester highlighted investments in rural water infrastructure from his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, American Rescue Plan Act, and 2023 government funding bill

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today addressed hundreds of Montanans at the 43rdAnnual Montana Rural Water Systems Association Technical Convention in Great Falls. In his remarks, Tester highlighted critical investments in rural water infrastructure he secured through his bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the 2023 government funding package, and stressed the need for further investment in rural water projects.

“As a third-generation farmer, I know water is life,” said Tester. “Water is critical to raise our crops, and it’s critical for our communities that support us. Clean, affordable water is absolutely essential for Montana’s number one industry… I want you to know that I’m working every day to make sure the federal dollars we’ve secured together are getting out the door and into your communities as soon as possible.”

Tester has worked tirelessly to ensure that rural communities have access to modern, reliable water infrastructure. In the 2023 government funding package, Tester secured $8.67 million for the Rocky Boys/North Central Rural Water System and $3.9 million for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the Milk River Project, which included $43.5 million for upgrades to the Fresno Dam.

In February, Tester secured $77.56 million through his bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for the Rocky Boy’s/North Central Montana Regional Water System, $15 million for the Fort Peck/Dry Prairie Rural Water System, and $25 million for the Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System. And last March, Tester secured $101.5 million for Montana rural water systems – the first tranche of the approximately $271 million he secured for rural water infrastructure in IIJA.

Last April, Tester secured $127 million in competitive water and sewer grants for Montana from ARPA. The state’s ARPA Infrastructure Advisory Commission approved $118 million for 95 water and sewer projects and $8.8 million for 34 irrigation projects. This direct funding was delivered as part of the $1.369 billion Tester secured for Montana’s cities, towns, counties, and the state of Montana for health and economic crisis response, water and sewer projects, internet connectivity, and additional funding for Tribes.