Awards Presented at 2021 Source Water Protection Conference
NHDES DWGB recognized the Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC), the City of Claremont and Hooksett Village Water Precinct (HVWP) at its annual Drinking Water Source Protection Conference on Wednesday, May 19.
MRWC and the City of Claremont each received the agency’s Source Water Protection Award, recognizing their work to protect New Hampshire’s drinking water. MRWC successfully secured $6.9 million in federal funding from the US Department of Agriculture to coordinate water supply and conservation partners, including NHDES, in a statewide effort to permanently protect critical water supply lands and improve land management practices. This new partnership represents an unprecedented opportunity to protect water supply land, with substantial federal funds matched by New Hampshire’s Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund and other sources.
The City of Claremont was recognized for the development of a new source water protection plan that outlines actions to improve public education, water security and other steps to protect the city’s water supply reservoir. The plan establishes clear objectives to monitor key water quality parameters, reduce non-point pollution and expand public education. Other priority actions involve controlling geese and beavers to reduce bacteria and other pathogens, and implementing best practices for recreational land uses and forestry to limit non-point source pollution, among others.
HVWP received NHDES’ Source Water Sustainability Award, given to a public water system, municipality or other entity that significantly preserves the availability of source water through water conservation or other efficiency measures. HVWP was recognized for its outstanding efforts to maintain the sustainability of the Precinct’s groundwater sources through asset modernization, strategic planning, and water efficiency outreach, as well as a commitment to proactive water loss control. The Precinct also completed an asset management plan update that, among other things, will be used to determine the water mains most in need of replacement and to prioritize improvements in the water distribution system.
The annual NHDES Drinking Water Source Protection Conference was held online and attracted 150 water suppliers, municipal officials and volunteers, and industry consultants and covered a variety of drinking water protection topics including how to reduce climate related impacts to drinking water resources in New Hampshire.