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Drinking Water Supply Protection Grant Program

Grants to Massachusetts Municipalities and Water
Supply and Fire Districts 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:

05/10/21 3:00 PM


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Grants to Massachusetts municipalities and water supply and fire districts for projects to protect existing or future water sources. Funding may be used for acquisitions, land surveys, management plans and reports, recording fees, 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 reservoirs.

This grant provides funds to assist in protecting and conserving the quality and quantity of public drinking water supply sources in the Commonwealth. EEA seeks to further the conservation of lands contributing to the protection of drinking water supplies within the Commonwealth. Applications may be to purchase land in fee simple or a CR or WPR. All applicants must specify whether their proposed acquisition will protect an existing well or reservoir or a planned new well or reservoir. The Property must be primarily located in an appropriate area to achieve stated objectives. This requirement is met in different ways depending upon whether the project is to protect an existing well or reservoir or a planned future well or reservoir. 

  1. Projects to protect existing wells or reservoirs: 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 reservoirs: 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 locally-developed 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. The process for the Approval to Site a Source and Conduct a Pumping Test can be found here:

For additional information regarding program requirements, see:

Eligible Projects:

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

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

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

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, 2021 for FY2021 awards; June 30, 2022 for FY2022 awards) to be eligible for reimbursement.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- This BID is open to municipalities and water supply and fire districts duly established by law.

- Municipalities may apply for funds to protect drinking water supply land on behalf of any PWS.
- Municipalities may apply for funds to protect water supply land that is partially or wholly located within another municipality.

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

Prohibited Uses:
Active recreation, intensive agriculture, or developed uses; uses prohibited in 310 CMR 22.00.
Examples: athletic fields, motorized vehicles, row crops, feedlots, large-acreage clear-cutting, swimming pools, play structures, golf courses, buildings, etc.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Please attend the online information session to learn more about the grant program. The information session will be held at 10:00 am on Thursday, April 1, 2021 through webinar. Please email Nathaniel Thomas to register by Monday March 29, 2021 and receive a link to the session.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline to apply is Monday, May 10, 2021 at 3:00 PM

Grant awards are estimated to be announced about 120 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.

Contact Information:

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

Submit one electronic copy of the application via email or file hosting service to

and mail one original copy of the application to:
Nathaniel Thomas, Grant Manager
RE: ENV 21 DCS 10
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
100 Cambridge Street – Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: (617) 626-1187

Grant Coverage Areas:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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