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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Watershed Rules

Through Env-Dw 902, Protection of the Purity of Surface Water Supplies, water suppliers and municipalities can petition NHDES to enact watershed regulations to prohibit certain incompatible land and water uses on or near their surface water supply source and its tributaries. This rule is somewhat unique in that the protection process is typically initiated by the water supplier, who asks NHDES to adopt specific provisions for a specific source. Then, once NHDES adopts the provisions, the water supplier becomes an agent of the state in monitoring for compliance with and enforcing the rule.

One of the advantages of this approach is that water suppliers are often able to protect the entire watershed of a surface water source, regardless of municipal boundaries. This means that a municipality that depends on a source whose watershed may extend into a neighboring town can extend their protection efforts to that community.

To aid water suppliers in taking advantage of this rule, NHDES has developed a model rule and enforcement guide to help water suppliers in their source protection programs. Using the model rule as a starting point, a water supplier or other local petitioner(s) can draft a proposed rule and submit it to NHDES. NHDES will then work with local stakeholders, solicit public comment, hold a public meeting, and take the final proposed rule through the formal state rulemaking process. The enforcement guide details the steps local officials and water suppliers can take to ensure compliance with the rule."


Guidance Documents



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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
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