ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico is getting a major grant to help small communities provide safe drinking water. The university was awarded two grants by the EPA.

A $2.7 million grant will provide small communities with the resources and education they need to maintain drinking water systems. Heath Himmelberger, the director of the Southwest Environmental Finance Center at UNM, will lead the projects.

She says these communities face challenges including inadequate funding and the need for maintenance. Himmelberger says they will enlist the help of students in the film and digital arts program at UNM, to create videos and podcasts to educate communities about resources available to them.

“To really try to reach as many people as possible and really help them better manage their wastewater infrastructure and meet environmental regulations, and provide good, safe drinking water to everybody,” Himmelberger said.

Another $1 million grant will help communities with wastewater utilities.