The new Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) will provide payments directly to water vendors. Above all, households can receive payment assistance for past-due charges, fees, and taxes for drinking and wastewater services. The water assistance program started in October 2021. It will run until September 30th, 2023, or until there is no money left. 

It is vital for families in our communities to have much-needed water for safe homes and health. Plus, being able to help families before they are disconnected can save the costly fees of turning the water service back on.

Community Action of Southeast Iowa is in charge of LIHWAP for Des Moines, Henry, Lee, and Louisa Counties.

How Do I Qualify?

  • It mirrors the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), meaning you must qualify for federal LIHEAP benefits.
  • Total household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines (same as LIHEAP).
  • Must demonstrate legal U.S. status.
  • A current water crisis must be present.
    • Already disconnected from service
    • Has received a disconnection notice
    • Is currently on a payment plan with the vendor and cannot make the next payment.

You can apply for LIHWAP year-round. You can call or visit your nearest center.

Take a look at the flyer for LIHWAP here.

Not in Southeast Iowa?

LIHWAP is available for all 99 counties in Iowa. Therefore, if you are not in our service area, visit the DCAA’s Where to Apply.


The Iowa Department of Human Rights and Division of Community Action Agencies run the program. Funding is through the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan. For more information, visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights LIHWAP page.

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