Water Assistance for Natural Disasters (WAND) Program for Low-Income Residential Well Owners

Purpose

The “WAND” Program was created for qualifying homeowners experiencing irreversible water supply or water quality problems due to extreme weather events or natural hazards such as flooding. The WAND Program may provide short-term relief by supplying bottled water, and long-term solutions to improve a homeowner’s water source by replacing the affected well or connecting the residence to a community water supply.

Details about the program are outlined in the DWGTF WAND Initiative Proposal. 

Eligibility

Low-income homeowners are eligible for financial assistance if their primary residence currently lacks a safe or reliable drinking water source due to an extreme weather event. Determination of a qualifying event or natural hazard, and the affected areas, are determined by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and includes events such as flooding and drought. Residential well owners with a household income at or below 50% of the Median Household Income (MHI) of the State of NH, or of their county of residence, whichever is greater, are eligible for 100% financial assistance less a $250 deductible. Verification that the current water source is affected by an extreme weather event is required by a certified well driller or pump installer. Funding is discretionary and subject to the availability of funds and is available after all homeowner insurance has been exhausted. 

Currently, certain areas of the State are in drought and NHDES is accepting applications for low-income homeowners in Rockingham, Hillsborough, Cheshire, Strafford, Merrimack, and Sullivan counties that are currently affected by this extreme weather event.  For more information on drought conditions, helpful tips for homeowners, and known water use restrictions can be found here: Drought Management Program

 For questions regarding eligibility please contact: John.Pasquale@des.nh.gov

Qualifying Services under this Program

Well Mitigation- services to repair an existing well or drill a new well may be covered:

  • Providing temporary auxiliary storage tank and bulk water by the drilling contractor;
  • Increasing storage;
  • Lowering the existing well pump;
  • Deepening an existing well;
  • Installing a replacement well; and,
  • Hydro-fracking an existing well

Connect to an Existing Community Water System – costs of up to $15,000 may be covered for construction of a service connection to an existing community water system for properties located close to an existing water main.

  • Designing, permitting, and installing the connection to a nearby community water system;
  • Installation of the connection of the indoor system to the new service connection.
  • Cost of monthly usage fees are not eligible.

Short Term Relief is available to households during the well mitigation process. Bottled water assistance is available if requested. Note: Temporary bottled water assistance shall be discontinued when well impacts cease to exist, well remediation is complete, or the applicant is determined ineligible for the program.

How to Apply

Applications shall be submitted by the homeowner and a licensed NH Water Well Contractor/Pump Installer. To request assistance, the homeowner must submit Parts 1 and 2 of the application to NHDES.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

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

Reimbursements for Well Drilling

Once a project has been approved and the new well has been installed, the approved cost will be paid directly to the contractor or homeowner. A State of NH vendor code will be required to receive payment. Obtain a vendor code here: Applying for a Vendor Code

Financial assistance is not retroactive, and any work completed prior to notification of approval by NHDES is at risk to the homeowner and the contractor.

Testimonials of Successful Projects

“For many summers, because of low water in our dug well we were always trying to invent new solutions to this problem out of necessity. Our dug well is set next to a stream, but it still went dry. We would haul buckets of water from the brook and collect water from a nearby spring, but last year’s drought hit us especially hard. We are so grateful we were finally able to drill a well!”- Private well owner, Gilsum NH

“Thank you so much, you have no idea how much this means to me and my family.”- Private well owner, Warner, NH

“Thank you so much! I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t thank you enough for your kind words and being the strong voices for me and my family. I am grateful beyond words. I appreciate all the help and support in this process.”- Family in Center Barnstead

General Questions about Drought in New Hampshire?
Send inquiries to:  droughtwellinfo@des.nh.gov