We’re pleased to announce grant funding is available from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to develop and implement programs to protect existing (active or planned) sources of public drinking water. Funding amounts have been increased. Grants are available to water suppliers, municipalities, regional planning agencies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, conservation districts, watershed associations and state agencies.
Applicants can now receive up to $25,000 for projects protecting drinking water sources, including but not limited to watershed planning, delineation of protection areas, assessment of threats to water supply sources, “on the ground” implementation projects, and source security. We continue to fund activities under US EPA’s Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit that protect source water. These activities consist of identification, monitoring and elimination of illicit discharges, particularly high priority outfalls that discharge to drinking water sources or within source protection areas, conducting public education and the design/installation of structural BMPs. Routine operations/maintenance activities are not eligible.
A new focus has been added to our source water protection grant program. Applicants can receive up to $30,000 for a project which addresses climate/weather-related challenges – flooding, drought, stormwater pollution, erosion and sedimentation. This funding is offered to make public water systems more resilient, sustainable and save money in the long-term. Further guidance can be found at the end of the application.
The application packet is now available online to provide sufficient lead time for applicants to work with stakeholders in determining what protections are necessary to address potential contamination threats, coordinate with working partners and determine a budget. NHDES is happy to confer with potential applicants in advance of the development of an application. Applications are due November 1, 2021.
Examples of source water protection projects:
- Development and adoption of municipal groundwater protection regulations similar to NHDES models
- Security enhancements such as fencing, gates, or cameras
- Developing, updating and implementation of local source water protection plans and ordinances with the integration of climate-related goals
- Certain transactional costs associated with land conservation to protect drinking water sources
- Implementation of stormwater best management practices
- Completing state Groundwater Reclassification for community well(s)
- High-risk residential heating oil tank replacement
- Education and outreach campaigns
- Projects which prepare first responders to protect public water supplies
For more information, visit https://www.des.nh.gov/business-and-community/loans-and-grants/drinking-water, or contact NHDES staff if you have questions or wish to discuss your project.
Contact: Bess Morrison, Source Protection Coordinator