Aquifer Protection/Groundwater Protection | Blasting | Lakes and Ponds/Public Waters | Shoreland Protection | Stormwater | Wastewater Engineering/Septic Systems | Water Resources | Wetlands/Wetland Buffers
- Model Groundwater Protection Ordinance - September 2015, NH Office of Energy and Planning and NH Department of Environmental Services
This publication contains guidance and sample language that can be used to update local groundwater and aquifer protection zoning. Technical assistance is also available from NHDES. If your community is considering formally amending your local zoning, please contact NHDES at Pierce.Rigrod@des.nh.gov or 271-0688.
- DES Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau
- American Ground Water Trust
- See the results of the Municipal Land Use Regulation Annual Survey for municipalities with Groundwater and Surface Water Protection regulations.
- Drinking Water Protection Responses - OEP 2014
- Department of Environmental Services sites
- Regulating Drilling and Blasting Activities: Municipal Issues, New Hampshire Town and City, June 2005
- Rock Blasting and Water Quality Measures That Can Be Taken To Protect Water Quality and Mitigate Impacts - 2010 Prepared by Brandon Kernen, DES Drinking Water Source Protection Program
- Official List of Public Waters in New Hampshire as maintained by the Department of Environmental Services
Public waters in New Hampshire are prescribed by common law as great ponds (natural waterbodies of 10 acres or more in size), public rivers and streams, and tidal waters. These common law public waters are held by the State in trust for the people of New Hampshire. The State holds the land underlying great ponds and tidal waters (including tidal rivers) in trust for the people of New Hampshire. Generally, but with some exceptions, private property owners hold title to the land underlying freshwater rivers and streams, and the State has an easement over this land for public purposes.
- DES Lakes Management and Protection Program
- DES Public Waters/Great Pond Program
- DES Dam Bureau – for information about dams, lake levels and stream flows
- Public Water Access Advisory Board
- NH Lakes Association
- Boating in New Hampshire (NH F&G)
- Chapter 483-B Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act (SWQPA) [f.k.a. Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act]
- See the results of the Municipal Land Use Regulation Annual Survey for municipalities with local Shoreland Protection regulations.
This list should not be construed to mean that any municipality has complied with the terms of RSA 483-B, the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act, or that the Office of Energy and Planning has certified such compliance. This list is merely a self-reported statement by municipalities that they have adopted some level of shoreland protection.
- DES Shoreland Program
- Shoreland protection changes - DES Environmental News, September-October 2011
- RSA 483-B has been significantly revised, courtesy of sections 382 through 412 of HB 2 (the budget trailer bill). All changes took effect July 1, 2011. This article summarizes the more noticeable changes; more information will be available at the DES Shoreland Program as resources allow. (From the DES newsletter, Environmental News, September-October 2011)
- A Shoreland Homeowner's Guide to Stormwater Management - protecting your home & environment
- DES Consolidated List of Water Bodies Subject to the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act (including fourth order and higher streams and rivers)
- Chapter 2.1 Permanent (Post-Construction) Stormwater Management from the Innovative Land Use Planning Techniques Handbook
- See the results of the Municipal Land Use Regulation Annual Survey for municipalities with Stormwater Management (post-construction) regulations.
- Responses to the April 19, 2012 Plan-link posting :
"I am looking for examples of towns that have incorporated portions of the 2008 Innovative Land Use Planning Techniques to strengthen 1. The erosion/sedimentation control and 2. The permanent stormwater management sections of their site plan or subdivision regs. I've looked at quite a few on the list on the OEP website and most just have either very minimal language or one of the old models. I have several towns interested in adding some portions of the new model language to improve what they have. Have others used certain portions of the two models (or one or the other)?"
- DES Stormwater Program
- Managing Stormwater as a Valuable Resource - A message for New Hampshire municipalities and water suppliers , September 2001, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Water Division (NHDES-R-WD-01-13)
- Low Impact Development and Stormwater Management , NH DES Fact Sheet, WD-WMB-17, 2010
- New Hampshire Homeowner's Guide to Stormwater Management - Do-It-Yourself Stormwater Solutions For Your Home , NH DES WD-11-11, March 2011 (updated June 15, 2011)
- What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?
- DES Watershed Assistance Section
- NHDOT Guidelines For Temporary Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management , (NHDOT Business Center)
- UNH Stormwater Center - Dedicated to the protection of water resources through effective stormwater management
- Model Stormwater Standards for Coastal Watershed Communities
Prepared by the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center and The Rockingham Planning Commission, December 2012
- The International Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) Database project website features a database of over 530 BMP studies, performance analysis results, tools for use in BMP performance studies, monitoring guidance and other study-related publications.
- DES Wastewater Engineering Bureau
- DES Subsurface Systems Bureau (septic systems)
- State Water Plan Process: Municipalities Have a Crucial Stake, New Hampshire Town and City, April 2009
Water has shaped the history of New Hampshire's communities, in many ways defines their unique character today and will continue to influence their future. The state boasts more than 1,000 lakes and large ponds, 17,000 miles of mapped rivers and streams, 238 miles of ocean and estuarine coastline, and hundreds of thousands of acres of wetlands. Stratified-drift aquifer deposits cover 14 percent of the state and groundwater in bedrock fractures provides water supply via public and private wells to most rural New Hampshire communities. We rely on these water resources for water supply, hydroelectric generation, recreation, tourism, fish and wildlife habitat, scenic beauty and the state's exceptional quality of life.
- DES Water Resources Primer - January 2009
The Water Resources Primer was developed to inform policy makers and citizens about the state's water resources and the challenges faced in sustainably managing them. It was developed as part of an initiative to develop a statewide, comprehensive water resources plan, spearheaded by the Legislature's Statutory Water Resources Committee. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is the lead author, although the document was significantly influenced and improved by the contributions of many volunteer stakeholders and experts.
- Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership
The mission of Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) is to protect and improve the water quality and overall health of the region's two estuaries – Great Bay & Hampton-Seabrook. We monitor and research the region's water ways, encourage all who live, work and play on the Seacoast to take actions to help protect and preserve the places we love, support development patterns that protect water quality, maintain open spaces and important habitat, and restore estuarine resources.
- Buffers for Wetlands and Surface Waters - A Guidebook for New Hampshire Municipalities (November 1995, Revised May 1997)
- Best management Practices to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution: A Guide for Citizens and Town Officials - DES, January 2004
- Wetlands Protection in New Hampshire - Nashua Regional Planning Commission Fact sheet, November 2016
- NH Method
The Method for Inventorying and Evaluating Freshwater Wetlands in New Hampshire (NH Method) provides communities, conservation groups and natural resources consultants a practical method for evaluating wetland functions. Originally published in 1991, the NH Method (2011) has been updated for the first time in 20 years.
- Wetlands Bureau, Department of Environmental Services
- See the results of the Municipal Land Use Regulation Annual Survey for municipalities with Wetland Protection or Wetlands Buffering requirements.
- NH Towns' Wetland Buffer Requirements (January 2010) This chart begun by Betsy Janeway, Webster, added onto by Chris Parker, Dover, and now Francie Von Mertens, Peterborough. Accuracy/completeness not guaranteed and does not represent a thorough inventory of town wetland/shoreland ordinances. Send updates/corrections/additions to Francie Von Mertens firstname.lastname@example.org (603) 924-6550 (Provided with expressed permission.)
- While there has been interest in protecting vernal pools, protecting adequate upland where most of the species live most of the year (non-breeding season) is critical. Rather than placing a circle of a defined radius around the vernal pool, by identifying the adjacent habitat where vernal pool species (typically amphibians) would live in non-breeding season, one can produce an uneven buffer that is more effective in protecting the species that use vernal pools. (From a Plan-link posting by Sandy Crystall, Bow Planning Board on October 20, 2015)
- Vernal Pool Best Management Practices (BMPs) - US Army Corps of Engineers
- Municipal Guide to Wetland Protection
Audobon Society of NH, Nashua Regional Planning Commission, NH Association of Conservation Commissions, NH Office of State Planning, NH Wetlands Bureau, September, 1993 (a very limited number of copies of this publication are available by contacting OEP.
- Protecting New Hampshire's Wetlands: Municipal Issues, New Hampshire Town and City, July/August 2005
- Prime Wetland Designation Activities: 2005- 2008
From 2005 to 2008, the NHEP supported seven Prime Wetlands designation projects in the Seacoast. In 2008, warrant articles to adopt Prime Wetlands were on the town ballot in the communities of Fremont, Hampton Falls, Brentwood, and Newfields. Three of the four warrants were approved. This report utilizes interviews with Conservation Commission Chairs and key conservation professionals to document the activities leading up to the town vote in each of these towns. NHEP expenditures and outreach materials used by the communities are also included. The report concludes with recommendations for other communities preparing Prime Wetland designations.
- Clues to Identifying Forested Wetlands
Wetlands perform many functions that are important to the health of our environment – they protect water quality in our lakes and for drinking, help ensure adequate water supplies, and provide wildlife habitat, flood control, and nurseries for finfish and shellfish. It is for these reasons that wetlands are protected under New Hampshire state law.