NH's Water Quality Gets Boost from Drinking Water Fund

Auburn, Canterbury and Northfield Land Protection Projects Recipients of NH Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund Commission Awards

Matt Leahy | October 31, 2018
Clean Water
A kayaker paddles on the Merrimack River in Canterbury, New Hampshire

A kayaker paddles along Stillhouse Forest on the Merrimack River in Canterbury, New Hampshire. Photo by Jerry Monkman.

On October 1, the New Hampshire Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund Commission awarded $2.4 million for 15 water supply land protection projects.  Among those projects funded were Parker Farms Easement in Auburn and the Stillhouse Forest in Canterbury and Northfield. 

The Parker Farms Forest Conservation Easement is a joint effort of the Forest Society and Manchester Water Works (MWW) to conserve the majority of the last undeveloped parcel of land on Lake Massabesic not owned by MWW.  This forested property has approximately a half a mile of undeveloped shoreline providing a critical natural buffer to Lake Massabesic. Lake Massabesic is the surface water drinking source for over 160,000 residents of the City of Manchester and surrounding towns. Manchester Water Works has stated that this parcel is their top property desired for land conservation. The Forest Society will be responsible for holding, monitoring and enforcing the proposed 87-acre conservation easement.

The Forest Society will acquire the 234 acre Stillhouse Forest as a permanently protected property open to the general public for passive recreational activities. Perhaps more importantly, the NH Department of Environmental Services has identified it as located within a High Priority Water Supply Land area and nearly all of the land is within the  Source Water Protection Area for Penacook-Boscawen Water Precinct’s wells.  In addition, it has over 5,300 feet of river frontage on the Merrimack River, several small wetlands and a perennial stream. 

Both of these awards will support the Forest Society’s on-going work to help ensure the State’s residents continue to have access to clean drinking water. The Commission’s decision to fund these projects represents a long-term investment that will help to lower municipal costs, conserve important forestry resources while improving the quality of the water our citizens drink.  We would like to thank the Drinking Water Commission, led by Senator Chuck Morse, for their commitment to protecting the lands which protect our drinking water.  We would encourage anyone who shares this goal to also thank Senator Morse and the Commission members.

Contact Senator Morse:

Senator Chuck Morse, Chairman
The Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund Advisory Commission
State House
Room 302
107 North Main Street Concord NH  03301

To view the complete list and map of the approved projects, check out this award announcement from NH DES.