Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)

  • Home
  • Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)

Local assistance to help with paying your water bills

Water usage costs continue to rise, and our continuing drought doesn’t help matters. If you’re falling behind on your bills, CAPK’s Energy Programs may be able to help you pay for your water or wastewater bills through our Water Utility Assistance program.

What is LIHWAP?

Established by Congress in December 2020, the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), helps low-income households pay down their residential water or wastewater bills.  This new federal funding program offers a one-time benefit of up to $15,000 for bills accrued during any time frame.  Eligibility for LIHWAP services can vary depending on income, availability of funding, water system participation, place of residence, and other factors.

water utility asistance local assistance graphic
how does the water assistance program work graphic

How does the Water Assistance program work?

Our Energy Programs team works to make the process as simple as possible for you. Once you submit a completed application with all required documentation, we review your application to determine which programs you’re eligible for. After reviewing your application, we work to ensure you receive the most assistance possible. Water Assistance is usually paid within 8 weeks directly to your water company.

Households that qualify could reduce their water or wastewater charges, or both if their bills include both services, by up to $15,000.

Income Guidelines

To qualify for LIHWAP, your household income must be within the following guidelines:

Persons in Household Monthly Income
1 $2,700.17
2 $3,531.00
3 $4,361.83
4 $5,192.75
5 $6,023.59
6 $6,854.43
7 $7,010.21
8 $7,010.21
9 $7,321.78
10 $7,477.56

*For families/households with more than 10 persons, add $155.78 for each additional person.

What are the LIHWAP program eligibility requirements?

Applicants who are income-qualified and meet all other LIHWAP eligibility requirements are eligible for services on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to eligible households with past due water service bills or past due on rent, particularly those households that are at risk of being disconnected or are disconnected.

Your application must include a completed Water Intake Form (CSD41) and Landlord Verification Form (CSD040).

You must also submit the following documentation:

Proof of Government Identification (ID)

  • Applicants must provide proof of government identification (ID) to receive assistance. Identification must include a photo. 
  1. State identification (ID) card
  2. Tribal identification (ID) card
  3. Driver’s license
  4. U.S. passport or passport card
  5. U.S. military card (front and back)
  6. Permanent Resident Card
  7. Certificate of Citizenship
  8. Certificate of Naturalization
  9. Employment Authorization Document
  • An expired government issued ID is acceptable for a period of one year from expiration date.  For seniors 60 and over, an expired government issued ID is acceptable regardless of expiration date.

Proof of Household Income

  • You must provide proof of income from all household members or proof of participation in CalFresh or CalWORKs, or proof you have received utility bill assistance in the past 120 days. If any member of your household is a current recipient of CalFRESH or CalWORKS, they are categorically eligible for LIHWAP and do not need to provide income documentation.

    If any member of the household has received LIHEAP assistance within the past 120 days of the LIHWAP intake date, they are categorically eligible for LIHWAP and do not need to provide income documentation.

Utility Bill

  • Copy of water or wastewater bill or property tax bill where water or wastewater bills can be identified.

A household with water or wastewater utilities included in rent must be past due on their rent. The following documentation is required:

  • Copy of signed landlord agreement confirming the landlord-tenant relationship and that water and/or wastewater utilities are included in rent
    • If the tenant is past due, the number of months and the amount of water and/or wastewater utilities past due.
  • Copy of water and/or wastewater utility bill for services provided to the rental property occupied by the renter applicant.

Is your water provider enrolled in LIHWAP?

Your water provider must be enrolled in LHWAP in order for you to receive assistance. Here are the providers in Kern County enrolled in LIHWAP as of April 25, 2023:

  • Arvin CSD
  • Cal Water
  • Casa Loma Water Company
  • City of Tehachapi
  • City of Wasco
  • Lamont Public Utility District
  • Rosamond Community Services District
  • City of California
  • City of Delano
  • City of McFarland
  • City of Shafter
  • Dune 3 Mutual Water Company LLC
  • East Niles Community Services District
  • Frazier Park Public Utility District
  • Krista Mutual Water Company
  • Lake of The Woods
  • West Kern Water District
  • Rand Communities Water District
  • Indian Wells Valley Water District

Don’t see your water provider on the list? Call and ask them to enroll in LIHWAP today.

Directions to apply for LIHWAP

In order to apply for LIHWAP assistance you may call 2-1-1 to schedule an appointment or have an application mailed to you or you may download the LIHWAP application here.