The Community Water System Strategic Planning Grant program, administered through the NHDES Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau (DWGB), has been budgeted $3.75 million of the ARPA funds. This program is intended to assist community water systems in conducting planning efforts to improve drinking water infrastructure. NHDES has developed a program budget that allows grants of up to $50,000. No community match is being requested. Project totals may exceed $50,000; however, only $50,000 will be reimbursed.
The goal of the Strategic Planning Grant program is to provide water systems the ability to initiate a project and position themselves to receive construction funding for an eligible drinking water project. The following are examples of projects for which funds have been budgeted. This is not an all-inclusive list, and other types of projects promoting planning efforts may be considered and recommended for funding after review:
- Preliminary Engineering Evaluations.
- Source Exploration / Hydrogeological Investigation Reports for locating new water supplies.
- Capital Improvement / Water System Business Plans.
- Master Plans.
- Comprehensive Community Planning Studies, which include a public water infrastructure component. Consideration will be given for funding the “drinking water” portion of such studies.
- Other professionally prepared documents that can be used to enhance system capacity, as determined by the DWGB.
The DWGB is currently soliciting applications for this grant through the Water Sustainability Grant Program. Applications are due December 9, 2022.