The state is offering emergency aid and bottled water for low-income homeowners whose drinking water wells are running dry due to the ongoing drought.
The state’s Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund is putting up $1.5 million for the relief program, which is the first of its kind in any drought.
Low-income homeowners whose private wells have run dry can request temporary free deliveries of bottled water for drinking and cooking.
As a permanent fix, those homeowners can get funding to remediate dry wells or connect to a public water system.
The money may also cover drought-related water expenses incurred since late June, as well as water quality testing for remediated wells.
“These upgrades are expensive and are often completely unaffordable for some of our friends and neighbors,” says state Sen. Chuck Morse, who chairs the state commission that oversees the trust fund, in a press release. “This program will be a lifeline to those who otherwise could not afford these essential upgrades.”
Officials say the drought is persisting, despite recent rain and humidity. Conditions remain extreme in Southeastern New Hampshire in particular.
“Residents still need to take every action to conserve water now and for the foreseeable future,” says Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Bob Scott in the state’s release.
Learn more about the drought's connections to climate change through our reporting project By Degrees. This story was updated Monday to include the fact that this program is the first of its kind.