Copyright © New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts
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by Linda Brownson (page1 of 4 click here for the .pdf file to read more)
Funding available for Shallow Well Demonstration Projects
- high tunnels, orchards, livestock pasture grazing
As part of a multi-agency partnership with: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), NH Association of Conservation Districts (NHACD), United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Northeast Climate Hubs, we are working to help farmers solve on-farm water needs by providing grant funding to demonstrate a newly developed shallow well design.
Specifically, these are dug wells, up-to 20 feet in depth and backfilled with crushed stone and capped with native soil to develop various sized underground reservoirs. USGS developed this design for residential use to help homeowners find an alternate water source to deep wells contaminated with arsenic or MTBE. This demonstration project will look at how these shallow wells function in various agricultural settings with higher water demands.
The three agricultural settings we are interested in testing these wells in are:
1) high tunnels and/or vegetable production
2) orchard and small fruits
3) pasture based grazing systems
We are also exploring using solar pumps as well as traditional hard-wired electric pumps. Landowners will be selected by a competitive ranking process and will agree to participate in monitoring and provide feedback on problems and successes.
NOTE: Installation of a test pipe this year to determine the estimated low ground water level is essential for determining the feasibility of any potential site that might be chosen for this fall.
This project will continue into next year as well, and high water levels for subsequent projects may be determined next spring, which would be additionally useful.
It would be advantageous for farmers that are able, to install these pipes themselves. And the labor and costs incurred would be eligible for Match for those sites that are subsequently selected.