Groundwater Foundation launches grant program to repair, replace private water wells

Aug. 2, 2023
The Groundwater Foundation’s new nationwide grant program, Water Well Wish, will provide 100% of the funding to repair an existing system or drill a new water well for low-income people.

The Groundwater Foundation announced that it is launching a new nationwide grant program, Water Well Wish, to help low-income individuals repair or replace private water wells.

Water Well Wish was created to help families in need who rely on private water wells but cannot afford the upfront cost of drilling a new water well or having their current system repaired. It is estimated that more than 2 million Americans face water insecurity and lack a reliable source of safe, clean water.

The program will work directly with families across the United States. It will provide 100% of the funding to repair an existing system or drill a new water well. This will provide families with access to clean water for drinking, cooking, personal hygiene, washing dishes and clothes, and more.

Private water wells provide water for an estimated 40 million Americans, largely in rural and underserved areas of the country, and can cost, on average, between $10,000-$30,000 to drill and install.

Because private water wells are not funded by public dollars, their owners are often left with little or no support from local, state, and federal governments. Many water well owners are also unaware of how to properly manage and maintain their systems.

“It’s hard to imagine people in the United States struggling to access water, but it happens every day and in every part of the country,” said National Groundwater Association CEO Terry S. Morse. “Water Well Wish is our attempt to help bridge this divide and provide people with something we all deserve, access to safe, clean water.”

The Groundwater Foundation is operated by the National Groundwater Association, a professional society and trade association of groundwater professionals, many of whom drill and install water well systems.

Water Well Wish will be completely funded by corporate and private donations. Through its former entity, the Foundation for Affordable Drinking Water, it has already assisted 110 families across the United States in drilling new water wells.

For a family to be eligible, they must own and reside in their home, their income must be below their local poverty level, and have been denied a low-interest loan through a federal, state, or local government rural water program.

“We want to provide people with this very basic need of life,” Morse said. “Life expectancy is reduced by 20 years without access to clean water. If you spend your day worrying about where you’re going to get water, how are you expected to succeed or focus on anything else?”

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