Low-Income Residential Drought Assistance Program

Description of the Drought Assistance Program for Low-Income Residential Well Owners
For low-income qualifying homeowners experiencing drought-related loss of a safe, reliable source of drinking water at their primary residence, this program for residential well owners may provide short-term relief with the provision of bottled water and financial assistance for activities associated with improving or replacing the homeowner’s well or connecting the residence to an available community water supply.

The Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust fund Commission approved funding of $1.5M to this program in October 2020: Emergency Drought Assistance Initiative (10-23-20)

The effective date of this assistance is June 23, 2020 and applies to projects that have been completed prior to approval through this application process and new projects.

Program Frequently Asked Questions

Emergency Drought Program FAQ (12-6-20)

Income Eligibility Criteria
This program is to assist low-income New Hampshire residents with a primary residential water well impacted by drought. Compare you total household income to the income criterion which is based on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines and the average statewide Median Household Income (MHI): Income Eligibility Guidance For questions regarding project eligibility please contact: droughtwellinfo@des.nh.gov

Bottled Water Assistance
The provision of bottled water is intended to be a short-term measure until your household receives well mitigation assistance. Bottled water assistance can be provided if requested.  If you are interested in receiving bottled water, please complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/wellwaterhelp
Note: The temporary deliveries of bottled water shall be discontinued when drought conditions cease to exist, if the required application is not returned completed within the proper timeframe, or the applicant is determined ineligible for the program.

Well Mitigation Assistance
Well mitigation assistance applications shall be submitted by the homeowner and a licensed NH Water Well Contractor/Pump Installer. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (“NHDES”) will review the information to determine project eligibility and may request additional information to justify the proposed cost. Any work completed prior to notification of approval by NHDES is at risk to the homeowner and the contractor. Funding is discretionary and subject to the availability of funds. Any residential well improvement project must first be granted official approval to successfully receive contractor payment or reimbursement.

This program may cover well water improvement projects already completed earlier during this drought, retroactive through June 23,2020.

Note: Well contractors/pump installers are extremely busy; if you have not already contracted a licensed NH Water Well Contractor/Pump Installer, scheduling an appointment for a well assessment now is strongly recommended. You can search for currently licensed water well and pump contractors in your area here: Licensed Well Contractors in NH

Low-Income Residential Drought Assistance Application
Emergency Drought Assistance Application 2021 (Adobe pdf)
Emergency Drought Assistance Application 2021 (Word doc)

Vendor Codes
Reimbursements costs for approved projects will be paid directly to the contractor or homeowner. A State of NH vendor code will be required for reimbursement. Obtain a vendor code here: Applying for a Vendor Code

Current Drought Status
More information on the current drought condition, helpful tips for homeowners and known water use restrictions can be found here: Drought Management Program

General Assistance
Send inquiries to:  droughtwellinfo@des.nh.gov