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Drinking Water Supply Protection Grant Program

Grants to Massachusetts Agencies and Water
Systems to Maintain Safe Water Sources

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/21/20 3:00 PM


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Grants to Massachusetts nonprofit water systems and agencies for projects to protect existing or future water sources. Funding may be used for acquistions, land surveys, management plans and reports, recording fees, clean-up and demolition costs, and title research and certification costs. Proposals are sought for Financial assistance for the purchase of land in existing Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)-approved drinking water supply protection areas, or land in estimated protection areas of identified and planned future water supply wells or intakes.

Eligible Projects:

  1. Purchase of land in fee
  2. Purchase of a Conservation Restriction (CR)
  3. Purchase of a Watershed Preservation Restriction (WPR)

The Property must be primarily located in an appropriate area to achieve stated objectives. This requirement may be met in slightly different ways depending upon whether the project is to protect an existing well or intake:

  1. Projects to protect existing wells or intakes: Fifty percent (50%) or more of the parcel(s) to be acquired must be located in a DEP-approved Zone I, II, or III (groundwater) or Interim Wellhead Protection Area (IWPA), or Zone A, B or C (surface water). Properties to protect groundwater that contain more than 50% Zone II will be viewed most favorably. Applicants may use the Water Supply Protection Areas available from MassGIS or use the online map at:
  2. Projects to protect future wells or intakes: property must be primarily located within an area identified as of value for anticipated future water supply use through an appropriate process, or that has been tested and included in an application to DEP for a site exam under the new source review approval process. Appropriate planning processes include locallydeveloped and accepted plans such as: drinking water resource management plan, integrated water resource management plan, wastewater resource management plan, regional watershed plan, water assets report, or direct testing. Priority will be given to projects that have already submitted an application to DEP for new source review. 

For additional information regarding program requirements, see:

Eligible project costs include:

  • Property acquisition
  • Title research and certification
  • Baseline documentation report and land management plan (up to $1,500)
  • Recording fees
  • Survey or plan of land
  • 21E compliance, brownfield cleanup, or demolition costs (up to $15,000)

For additional information about permitted uses, see:

This program encourages the completion of projects to serve Environmental Justice populations, to help address the disproportionate share of environmental burdens borne by lower-income and racial minority communities. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 141710

Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum award: $300,000

Term of Contract:

The contract period will begin on the date that EEA signs the contract. Contracts issued pursuant to this BID must purchase the property and expend 100% of the approved project costs on or before the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2020 for FY2020 awards; June 30, 2021 for FY2021 awards) to be eligible for reimbursement.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This BID is open to municipalities, water districts, and non-profit public water systems (PWSs) authorized by the Commonwealth to provide drinking water to the public.

For additional applicant eligibility requirements, see:

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and state agencies are not eligible for funding.

Funding through the DWSP program does not replace or constitute approval of any proposed development of new drinking water sources or groundwater recharge or wastewater discharge.

Ineligible project costs:
- Staff salaries
- Legal fees other than title research and certification
- Application preparation and submission costs
- Buildings, pumps, or other infrastructure
- Equipment or goods
- Appraisals
- Other items as determined by EEA

Pre-proposal Conference:

A grant application workshop was held on December 5, 2019.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 21, 2020, at 3:00 PM.

Grant awards are estimated to be announced about 100 days after the application deadline, subject to budget finalization.

Multiple applications will be accepted from the same entity. Landholdings that are in a single, contiguous tract may be packaged in the same application. Unrelated, separate landholdings must be submitted as individual applications.

Reimbursement rate: 50% of the total approved project cost.

Projects that involve a CR or WPR must have a draft CR reviewed by EEA-Division of Conservation Services (DCS).

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Send applications to:
Nathaniel Thomas
ENV 20 DCS 06
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
100 Cambridge Street – Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114

(617) 626-1187

Grant Coverage Areas:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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