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household need for Tribal systems is nearly double that
of other small systems. The per-household need in
Alaska Native Villages (ANVs) is 13 times greater than
that of other small systems (Exhibit 1).
Many systems on Tribal lands lack a large customer base
and therefore have difficulty paying for infrastructure
needs. As the need to improve and replace infrastructure
goes unaddressed, the systems' total need increases.
Total need continues to grow since many systems do  not
charge user fees or charge fees that are too low to cover
their costs.
EPA and Tribes are working together to ensure that
everyone served by Tribal public water systems (PWSs)
has a safe and adequate supply of drinking water. Over
950 Tribal PWSs nationwide serve a total of more than
400,000 people. EPA's goal is to ensure that everyone
served by a Tribal system enjoys the full measure of
public health protection envisioned by the Safe Drinking
Water Act.

Like many small drinking water systems, Tribal systems
need to improve their ability to achieve and maintain
compliance with drinking water standards and to protect
their customers' health. This ability, known as "capacity,"
reflects a system's overall technical, managerial, and
financial capabilities. The need for Tribal systems to
improve their capabilities is especially pronounced given
their characteristics and the demographics of the popula-
tions they serve.
System Size. Seventy-five percent of Tribal water sys-
tems are very small (serving fewer than 500 persons) and
23 percent are small (serving 501 to 3,300 persons).

Infrastructure Need. Small systems have a much higher
per household infrastructure need than do large systems
because they must spread the considerable cost of
infrastructure improvement and replacement over a small
customer base. This difference is even more pronounced
for small Tribal systems.  The average 20-year per-
                    ExSiibit 1
      Average 20-Year Per-Household
              fofrastrycture Need
       (Total Meed in January 1995 dollars)
            Source: 1995 Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey
Mon-complfance. The non-compliance rates of Tribal -----
systems are generally higher than those of non-Tribal
systems. According to the 1997 National Public Water
System Compliance Report, more than one-half of all
Tribal systems violated a drinking water regulation, while
less than one-quarter of non-Tribal systems did so. About
one-third of Tribal systems violated monitoring require-
ments for coiiform bacteria, twice the percentage of non-
Tribal PWSs that posted such violations. And the percent-
age of Tribal systems that reported maximum contami-


EPA Region 10
 Works with Indian Health Service, contractors, and the Native
  Association to provide workshops, circuit riders, apprenticeship
  assist Tribes and ANVs in developing their own utility organizations,

 Works with Tribes that have committed to creating enterprise wat
  of the Focus Tribe program is to create viable utility organization
  institutional knowledge, developing organizational structures,
  utility director, and providing necessary technical assistance an
    EPA Region 9
      Provides Public Water System Supervision funds for capacity d
      such as the establishment of utility boards, the development of
      maintenance programs, training programs including training on f
      rate structures, and for comprehensive system evaluations*  

      Provides on-site assistance through outreach, sanitary surveys, and
        EPA Region 8
          Works to build strong Tribal presence for Ion
          Tribal systems by raising expectations of Tribal
          utility boards, and Tribal councils.

          Working to tailor an interactive software pa;
          Outputs include a business plan and actio

          Partners with the Indian Health Service to
          operation of their systems.
            EPA Region 7         ,
              Awarded a Capacity Development grant to in
              With the new meters, the Tribal water utility can ac
              water use.
             tent of
          peration of
          lanagers, Tribal
e needs of small systems.
   to assist Tribes in the
              Will provide three Tribes with Drinking Water Infrasi
              funds for water system infrastructure improvements

              Helped Tribes inventory and cap abandoned water
              groundwater contamination and threats to human
                                                                EPA Region 6
                                                                  Worked with a technical assistance
                                                                  tribal operators outlining the Regi
                                                                  State Revolving Funds.
                                                                  Provides technical assistance to Tribes throi
                                                                  and assistance with preventative maintenai

>, and the Native
rs, apprenticeships/
n utility organizations

ating enterprise wat<
 utility organization
:ional structures,
ical assistance an
n funds for capacity d
5, the development of
s including training on
stem evaluations.
ach, sanitary surveys, and
a for Ion
is of TribaFi'
are pa

se to
      llfff peration of
          anagers, Tribal
e needs of small systems.

   to assist Tribes in the
it grant to ins
vater utility can a&
inking Water Infras
;ture improvements

> abandoned water
threats to human
                    EPA Region 6
                      Worked with a technical assistanp
                      tribal operators outlining the Regi
                      State Revolving Funds.
                      Provides technical assistance to Tribes thro
                      and assistance with preventative maintenancWand
                                                               llfeting with

            EPA Region 5
              Revised a consumer confidence report fact
              information packets to tribes including a s

              Created a guidance document for tribes on
              Water Infrastructure Grants Tribal Set-Aside
              Granted funds to an Indian Nation College to develop an
              program to enhance the capacity of tribal utilities. A mo
              that promotes cooperation both within tribal agencies art

              Worked with technical assistance providers and Indian
              circuit riders, workshops and training, including a confined
                                                                                               on Tribal

                                                                                      EPA Region 2
                                                                                        Grants funds to Ti
                                                                                        develop water syj

                                                                                      9  Collaborates with
                                                                                        water sources.

                                                                                        Collaborates with
                                                                                        Fund grants and i
                                                                                 EPA Region 4
                                                                                   Works with the Native i
                                                                                   the Rural Water Associ
                                                                                   Service to administer c

                                                                                   Provides funds for cap:
                                                                                   management plans; on
                                                                                   and training for basic I
*Note: There are no Federally Recognized Tribes in EPA Region 3.

              EPA Region 1
               Collaborates with Indian Health Service to manage and administer fund
                on Tribal drinking water systems.

               Collaborates with the Rural Water Association on site visits and with the N
                American Water Association on operator certification activities.
       EPA Region 2
         Grants funds to Tribes for sanitary surveys, source water ass
         develop water system capacity.

         Collaborates with the Rural Water Association on s
         water sources.

         Collaborates with Indian Health Service to administer Drinking Wat
         Fund grants and implement infrastructure repair projects
                                                                ification projects;
EPA Region 4
 Works with the Native American Water Assoc|
  the Rural Water Association on organizatio
  Service to administer construction grants.

 Provides funds for capacity development
  management plans; organization, rate, leak detection, andjAam efficiency studies;
  and training for basic lab techniques and for advanced analyma\tecnniques.
                                                                  Indian Health

  ^Public Water System Supervision Program
    (PWSS). EPA allocates funds to Regional Offices for
    the implementation of drinking water programs on
    Tribal lands. (See box to left).

  * PWSS Capacity Funds.  EPA has received special
    funds intended to improve Tribal capacity. The funds
    target source water protection, capacity development,
    and activities aimed at upgrading or developing
    operator certification training for Tribal drinking water
  ^Drinking Water Infrastructure Grants Tribal Set
    Asides (DWIG-TSA). One and one-half percent of
    the annual Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is
    set aside for Tribal system capital improvement

  ^Drinking Water System Operator Certification,
    EPA is developing operator certification program
    guidelines for Tribes.  Tribes will voluntarily conduct
    their own operator certification programs.

  ^Tribal Capacity Development Activities. EPA
    provides capacity-building grants to tribes; develops
    and distributes informational materials; and develops
    Tribal/EPA Environmental Agreements.
EPA has developed a number of special initiative efforts to
help Tribes ensure safe drinking water.

  * Tribal Operations Committee. The TOC comprises
    19 Tribal leaders or their Environmental Program
    Managers and EPA's Senior Leadership Team. The
    national committee meets to discuss implementation
    of environmental protection programs.

   Preventative Maintenance Tool. Designed for
    Tribal water system operators, this tool details daily,
    weekly, and monthly preventative maintenance tasks.
    Small Systems Workload Model. This model allow:
    users to enter various system data in order to esti-
    mate the resources needed to successfully operate
    their water systems.

    Tribal Capacity Development Resource Hand-
    book. This handbook, currently under development,
    will provide a comprehensive guide to assist Tribes ii
    building system capacity to provide safe drinking
When conducting its direct implementation and special
initiative efforts, EPA works in conjunction with a number
of different agencies and organizations.

The Agency has entered into a Memorandum of Under-
standing with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department
of Housing and Urban Development, and the Indian Health
Service. This memorandum identifies areas of mutual
interest, encourages coordination, and promotes efficient
and integrated use of resources. The agencies will coordi-
nate activities such as operator training, technical  assis-
tance, surveys, and construction or maintenance of water
supply facilities.

Other collaborative efforts are underway with the:
  *  Rural Utilities Service
  *  National Rural Water Association
  *  Rural Community Assistance Corporation
  *  Bureau of Reclamation
  *  Administration for Native Americans
  *  Economic Development Administration

For additional information, please see the list of contacts
located on the reverse side.

                    Exhibit 2:
    Percentage of PWSs with Violations
        Any Reported    Monitoring/       WICL/TT
          Violation       Reporting

                   M Tribal (Excluding ANVs)
                   H Non-Tribal
        Source: 1997 National Public Water System Compliance Report
nant level (MCL) or treatment technique (TT) violations
was more than twice that of non-Tribal systems (Exhibit
Demographics. The demographic characteristics of
Tribal communities add to the challenge of providing safe
water. Tribal systems face serious socioeconomic chal-
lenges, such as a poverty rate nearly 3 times the U.S.
national average (Exhibit 3) and a median household
income less than half that of the United States (Exhibit 4).

This widespread  poverty severely limits the resources
available to meet current and future drinking water needs
and to address other public health concerns, such as the
lack of complete plumbing facilities. The incidence of
disease and rates of mortality among Tribal members are
considerably higher than the national averages.  .._	

In the absence of approved Tribal Public Water System
Supervision (PWSS) programs, EPA Regions are the
primacy agents and  directly implement the drinking water
program on Tribal lands.

Given the magnitude of the challenges facing Tribal water
systems, EPA pursues an integrated strategy to ensure
safe drinking water for Tribes. Source water protection is
a central element of this strategy. Effective protection of
                    Exhibit  3
   Percentage of Population in  Poverty
       Tribal & Alaska     Rural U.S.      Entire U.S.
         Native Areas
                                   Source: 1990 Census
                    Exhibit 4
         Median Household Income
U.S. National
 Source: 1990 Census
source water results in lower treatment costs and en-
hanced public health protection. Source water protection
effective treatment, proper operation and maintenance,
and sound system management are all rooted in a Tribal
system's technical, managerial, and financial capacity.
Following is a cross section sample of projects EPA has
undertaken to assist Tribes in developing and maintaining
the technical, managerial, and financial capacity neces-
sary to consistently deliver safe drinking water and  protec
public health.

   U.S. EPA Headquarters
     American Indian Environmental Office    (202) 260-7939
     Office of Ground Water& Drinking Water  (202) 260-5543
         Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 1-800-426-4791 or e-mail: hotline-sdwa@epamail.epa.gov
   U.S. EPA Regional Tribal Capacity Development Coordinators
         Region 1     (617)918-1559
         Region 2     (212)637-3564
         Region 4     (404) 562-9900
         Regions     (312)353-2000
         Region 6     (214) 665-6444
         Region 7     (913)551-7440
         Regions     (303)312-6270
         Region 9     (415)744-1818
         Region 10    (206)553-1200



http://www.epa.gov/earth 1 r6/6xa/tribal/tribal.htm




'  Additional" Contacts
     Administration for Native Americans
     Bureau of Indian Affairs
     Bureau of Reclamation
     Indian Health Service
     National Rural Water Association
     Rural Community Assistance Program
     Rural Utilities Service
(202) 690-7776
(202) 720-0962