The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking stakeholder input via a survey to assist its efforts to distribute funds to help low-income customers with their water bills. The deadline for answering this survey is Tuesday, April 27. Those stakeholders include water utility staff as well as representatives of state, territorial and tribal governments. Back in December, Congress wrapped up its federal spending for fiscal year 2021 in a large, omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 1158 . One section of that act provides $638 million to help low-income customers having trouble paying their water bills. This money is to be distributed by HHS to state governments and then to water utilities. HHS is calling this effort its Low Income Household Water Assistance Program, or LIHWAP, and has dedicated a website for more information. The $638 million must be distributed to states by the end of the current federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. LIHWAP staff hopes to begin moving money to states, territories and tribal authorities by the end of May. In the survey, LIHWAP staff are seeking greater understanding of drinking water and wastewater utility needs, existing customer assistance programs, tribal needs, anticipated technical assistance needs and similar information. They estimate it will take about 50 minutes to complete the survey. Congress provided another $500 million for low-income customer assistance in pandemic relief legislation this spring, H.R. 1319 . That money is to be available until expended. While the current survey only mentions the initial $638 million provided, the answers given will certainly affect distribution of the additional money provided this spring. For more information, see the LIHWAP website or contact Tommy Holmes , AWWA's legislative director.