Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services announced today that $1,500,000 in funding has been made available to eligible applicants by the Water Supply Land Grant Program. This program enables the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to make 25 percent matching grants to municipal water suppliers for the purchase of land or conservation easements critical to their water quality. These water supply lands must be currently unprotected and within the wellhead protection area for a groundwater source or within the source water protection area. They must also be within 5 miles of the intake of a surface water source.
The state enacted the Water Supply Land Grant Program after research documented the need for such a program. Analysis showed that only 11 percent of lands through which water flows to public drinking water sources are protected in New Hampshire and that 39 percent of community water systems do not own the sanitary protective radius around their public drinking water wells. The program’s goal is to protect as much critical water supply and land as possible and to ensure an ample supply of excellent quality drinking water for present and future needs.
The state grants under this program must be matched 75 percent from local sources. These match sources can include donated land or easements that are also within the source water protection area, public funds, transaction expenses, or private funds. There is also a low interest loan fund available from DES that may be used to finance the match.
Since the origination of the Water Supply Land Grant Program in 2000, $3.7 million has been awarded to 17 projects. This has resulted in almost $16.5 million in additional public and private funds and has permanently protected 3,364 acres of land. Funding for the grant program is supported through general funds approved by the legislature and governor.
Eligibility applications are due September 1, 2006. The Department will notify eligible applicants by October 1st and final applications will be due November 15, 2006. Projects will then be ranked by DES and applicants will be notified if they have been selected for funding.
More information about these grants and application forms can be found at the DES web site or by contacting Holly Green at 603-271-3114.
Please contact DES if you are interested in applying for this funding opportunity!