As New Hampshire continues to suffer through a drought, the state government is taking steps to help low-income residents whose wells are running dry.
The N.H. Department of Environmental Services announced a pair of measures Friday — financial assistance to improve wells, replace them or connect to nearby water systems, and free bottled-water deliveries to tide households over in the meantime.
The bottled-water deliveries are open to households with residential wells that do not have water because of the drought, and are earning less than 80 percent of the area median household income. That works out to $69,200 for a family of four in Cheshire County, 68,250 in Sullivan County and $75,300 in western Hillsborough County. The eligibility requirements for financial assistance are still being worked out.
The program is backed by $1.5 million in emergency funding from the state’s Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund, according to a news release from the environmental services department.
Just about all of New Hampshire was experiencing a drought as of Tuesday. The driest conditions were in the southeast third of the state, including a severe or extreme drought in much of Hillsborough County, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor tracker. Cheshire County and Sullivan County were in a moderate drought.