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 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 a community water supply nearby.

The Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust fund Commission approved funding of $1.5M to this program in October 2020 with an additional $450K in program funding approved in September 2021. The structure of the program was also amended to include water treatment (if deemed appropriate based on water quality results).

For more details about the program, please read the: Low-Income Drought Assistance Initiative (effective 9-13-21)

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  latest U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines and the average statewide Median Household Income (MHI). For questions regarding project eligibility please see application or contact: John.Pasquale@des.nh.gov

Bottled Water Assistance
Bottled water assistance is intended to be a short-term measure to households during well mitigation. Bottled water assistance is available if requested. Note: Temporary bottled water assistance shall be discontinued when drought conditions cease to exist, well remediation is complete, 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 two part application to determine project eligibility and may request additional information as needed. 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.

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

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

Note: In accordance with the drought initiative, NHDES is no longer accepting applications for the following counties:

As of August 3, 2021

  • Cheshire
  • Hillsborough
  • Rockingham

As of August 10, 2021

  • Strafford

As of August 17, 2021

  • Belknap
  • Merrimack
  • Sullivan

Low-Income Residential Drought Assistance Application
Drought Assistance Application Revised 9-2021

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

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