5 Tips for a Successful New Hampshire Drinking Water & Groundwater Trust Fund Application

May 9, 2018

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On April 18, 2018, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) led two workshops to unveil the long-awaited application process for the New Hampshire Drinking Water & Groundwater Trust Fund (DWGTF). The April 2018 workshop sessions were broken into two groups: water suppliers seeking infrastructure improvements in the morning, and a combination of land conservation and source protection groups in the afternoon. Approximately, $50 million in loans and grants will be available this year for infrastructure projects and $5 million will be available for land conservation and source protection. Pre-applications are due June 15th, so now is the time to start planning your application.

About the Application Process

The funding process builds extensively off the existing State Revolving Fund (SRF) program and will follow the same “pre-application” and “final application" phases, which is familiar to most community water suppliers. Historically, only a fraction of SRF applicants were award recipients; however, the DWGTF anticipates financing a significantly broader range of groups and projects. For those projects receiving loans, interest rates will increase SRF rates range from 0.75% to 2.4% (based upon the length of the loan). DWGTF loan recipients will be charged 3.03% (based upon recent NHDES correspondence), but will not be required to comply with Davis-Bacon Act wage rates, Buy American steel requirements, and other requirements needed to receive federal funding.

The greatest appeal of the program is the potential to receive grants. The NHDES estimated that the average grant award would be 25% of project costs with potential for applicants to receive grants up to 50% for systems and projects addressing emergency situations.

5 Tips for a Successful DWGTF Application

Applicants will need to successfully demonstrate the following:

  1. Strong commitment to providing matching funds demonstrating “skin-in-the-game”
  2. Partnership with other groups and agencies (i.e., teaming with other utilities if infrastructure associated with water lines is being considered)
  3. Past commitment to planning as demonstrated through development of an asset management plan
  4. Commitments to energy efficiencies, water sustainability, economic improvement, and innovation
  5. For land acquisition/source protection projects, demonstration of cooperation and use of other funding programs such as the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, Aquatic Resource Management funds, etc.

The fund application previously used for the SRF funds has been expanded to include these more subjective factors that will be weighed by both the SRF and by DWGTF commissioners. It is anticipated that projects that rank highest in the pre-application process will have the greatest chance in receiving generous grants or loan forgiveness.

Pre-applications are due by June 15, 2018 after which time the projects will be ranked and final applications will be due on August 6, 2018. Click here for full DWGTF Loan and Grant Fund schedule.

DWGTF Application Resources:

 

Need Help with your DWGTF Application?

Talk with our engineers if you have projects in mind or questions regarding the process or eligibility.

Get in Touch with Dave Maclean

Dave Maclean, PG, LSP, LEP | Director of Water Supply

Dave has 30 years of experience in water supply and contaminant hydrogeology projects throughout New England and has partnered with the NHDES and many New Hampshire water suppliers to solve water supply and water quality problems.

Get in Touch with Andrea Kenter

Andrea Kenter, PG | Senior Hydrogeologist

Andrea has over 25 years of environmental consulting and regulatory experience, with an emphasis on site hydrogeological analyses and site characterization. She is currently appointed to the 19-member NH Drinking Water and Groundwater Advisory Commission.

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