CWSC publishes Report on the implementation of the first Federal water assistance program (LIHWAP)
Thursday 2 September 2021
In this Report, The Center for Water Security and Cooperation analyzes the implementation of the emergency Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) program. While States were required to have submitted their State plans by August 9th, 2021, only 28 States of 49 had published draft plans as of August 24th, 2021. These plans must be approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) before assistance can be issued to low-income households. HHS formally extended the deadline of submission on August 30th to October 15th, likely extending the time households will go without access to water.
In analyzing the 28 plans that have been published we find that the households with the greatest need may not be reached. Between a need that far exceeds the funding appropriated, and state-set rules that do not clearly ensure the households who have been disconnected will be reconnected and the households at risk of being disconnected will not be disconnected, LIHWAP may not stop the wave of water shutoffs on their way.