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TWDB commits funding through Economically Distressed Areas Program for first time since 2018 Posted on July 12, 2023

A crew connects the first wastewater line in the Montana Vista community in El Paso County in 2020. Image courtesy of El Paso Water

In June, for the first time since 2018, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) committed financial assistance through the Economically Distressed Areas Program (EDAP) for water and wastewater improvements. More than $86 million in financing and grant funding was approved for projects across the state, including several first-time wastewater service projects. 

EDAP funding is meant for economically distressed residential areas where water and sewer services do not exist or current systems are inadequate to meet state standards. To qualify, the median household income of the political subdivision cannot exceed 75 percent of the state average. 

Funding for EDAP is dependent upon legislative appropriations, through which the TWDB received $100 million for the 2022–2023 biennium. Seven entities received commitments for a total of eight projects on June 6, and the agency anticipates committing the remaining funds over the next few months. 

One such project is providing first-time wastewater service to the Montana Vista community in eastern El Paso County, where residents have historically relied on failing septic systems. The project, which will be accomplished in three phases, first received EDAP funding in 2014 to transition residents to a centralized wastewater collection system and decommission the existing septic tanks. Phase I is nearly complete, and the TWDB approved $28.9 million in EDAP funding for Phase II last month.  

“This is an important project for the residents of Montana Vista who, for many decades, have relied on septic tanks,” said Irazema Rojas, chief technical officer at El Paso Water. “This work will vastly improve quality of life and public health for this community, and it would not have been possible without the funding from the TWDB. We are appreciative of their support in helping us provide first-time wastewater services to hundreds of residents.” 

Since EDAP was established in 1989 by the 71st Texas Legislature, the TWDB has committed more than $900 million in grants and loans through the program.  

To learn more about EDAP and other TWDB financial assistance programs, visit the TWDB website 


To learn more about the EDAP projects that received funding commitments from the TWDB last month, read the press releases from the June 6 meeting.

This article is posted in Financial Assistance .