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Division of Water

Mark Klotz, Director
Tom Cullen, Assistant Director

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Welcome to the Division of Water webpage! The Division conducts a variety of programs to protect and conserve New York's waters. On this page you will find information about the Division's programs and recent activities.

What's New in the Division of Water?

The Division of Water uses this page to highlight water-related information that we think may interest you. This page is updated weekly and topics are typically posted here for about 30 days. If a topic has a specific end date (such as a public comment period or an event), the description is removed after the end date.

Harmful Algal Bloom Notifications

New waterbodies with harmful algal blooms (HABs) have been added August 11 to DEC's Harmful Algal Blooms Notifications webpage.

This week, 13 waterbodies were added to the notification list. There are currently 66 waterbodies with blooms on the list.

Blooms Come and Go

Blooms may be short-lived (hours) or long-lived (days). Blooms may also be isolated within a specific part of a lake or widespread throughout the lake. Lakes with isolated blooms will support recreational activities outside of the bloom area.

Avoid and Report Suspected Blooms

Because waterbodies may have HABs that have not been reported to DEC, we recommend avoiding contact with floating mats, scum and discolored water.

If you suspect you have seen a HAB, or you, your family, or pet has been in contact with a HAB, please follow the instructions for reporting a bloom to DEC. If you see it, avoid it and report it!

WI/PWL Water Quality Assessment Updates

There will be no WI/PWL assessment update in August. Monthly updates will resume in September.

Water Finance Clearinghouse Webinars

EPA will host several webinars this month on how to use the Water Finance Clearinghouse, its new water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure funding database. Direct links to the Clearinghouse and webinar registration are in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page. All webinars are 2:00 - 3:00 PM:

  • August 14
  • August 18
  • August 24
  • August 31

Snow Disposal Guidance Final

The Division of Water's Technical and Operational Guidance Series (TOGS) document 5.1.11 "Snow Disposal" (PDF, 216 KB) is now final and posted on the TOGS webpage. This document provides guidance to municipalities and best management practices on how to minimize water pollution associated with snow disposal.

On the Front Lines: Featuring DOW Research Scientist

DEC's new "On the Front Lines" staff profile features Research Scientist Rebecca Gorney, Program Coordinator for the Division of Water's Harmful Algal Bloom Program. Check out the video to learn more about the critical work Rebecca does at DEC and what led her to where she is today.

New EPA Financing Opportunities Tool

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched the Water Finance Clearinghouse, a searchable database to help communities find funding opportunities for drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. A direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

New York State Health Department Releases Draft Filtration Avoidance Determination for the New York City Water Supply

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has released the draft New York City Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD) for public comment. The FAD sets forth the requirements that New York City must follow to continue to avoid filtering its Catskill/Delaware water supply and to ensure safe drinking water for more than 9.5 million New Yorkers. In anticipation of the final FAD being issued this year, the draft has been released for a 45-day public comment period, ending September 5, 2017. To view the draft FAD and for instructions on how to comment, visit DOH's New York City's Filtration Avoidance Determination webpage - a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

TMDL and Nine Element Watershed Plans Fact Sheets

DEC has two new fact sheets available on two types of clean water plans: Total Maximum Daily Load plans (TMDLs) (PDF, 129 KB) and Nine Element Watershed Plans (PDF, 130 KB). Each fact sheet describes why and how that type of plan is developed, and how it can be used to improve and/or protect a waterbody. For more information, visit DEC's Clean Water Plans webpage.

Nearly $1 Million in Grants Awarded to Restore Chesapeake Bay Watershed

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos awarded three grants totaling nearly $1 million for programs in New York's portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Funding for the grants is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. DEC's Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program administers the grants. The grants are for projects to permanently protect riparian buffers through land acquisition and conservation easements. For more information, view DEC's July 14 press release.

Sewage Pollution Right to Know Historical Data through May 2017 Posted

This week, historical sewage discharge report data through mid-May 2017 was posted on DEC's Sewage Discharge Reports webpage. The data comes from NY-Alert reports to DEC of untreated and partially treated sewage discharges, as required by the 2013 Sewage Pollution Right to Know law.

Historical data is added to the website periodically in batches. Notifications of discharges for the last 7 days are located on the Recent NY-Alert Sewage Spill Notifications webpage.

More about Sewage Pollution Right to Know and Alerts

The law builds public awareness about where sewage pollution is entering waterbodies and helps to document wastewater infrastructure needs. The NY-Alert notifications help the public avoid contact with waterbodies that may contain bacteria that can cause illness while boating, fishing or swimming.

Visit the Sewage Pollution Right to Know webpage to learn how to receive sewage spill notifications by phone, text or email.

New Publications Available

Two new Division of Water publications are now available on the DEC website. Protect Our Waters: Funding and Assistance for Planting Riparian Buffers (PDF, 801 KB) describes the variety of federal, state and local technical assistance and funding programs for landowners, municipalities and conservation organizations to plant riparian buffers to improve water quality and wildlife habitat.

Volunteer for WAVE (Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators) (PDF, 1 MB) describes the WAVE program, a citizen science stream monitoring program run by the Division of Water. Although the 2017 WAVE sampling season started July 1, it's not too late to participate (contact

Division Webpages

Carpenter Falls
Carpenter Falls

The Division of Water's webpages fall mainly into one of the two following locations:

  • Water Pollution Control - Information, guidance material and forms about the programs the Division of Water administers to control sources of water pollution.
  • Lands and Waters - Water resource information is divided into the following categories:
    • Watersheds, Lakes Rivers: Information on NYS watersheds and other water bodies
    • Oceans & Estuaries: NYS marine and estuary resource information
    • Groundwater: Aquifer and groundwater information & resources
    • Dam Safety, Coastal & Flood Protection: Program information related to flood protection, floodplain development, dam safety, and coastal management
    • Water Supply & Reclamation: Information on protecting New York's public water supplies and drought information

Division's Mission

The Mission of the Division of Water is to protect and conserve the water resources of New York State. This mission is accomplished through a wide range of programs and activities. Some of these are statewide in their scope and apply to all parts of the state. Other efforts are targeted to address water quality and quantity issues in specific regions of the state, focusing on waterbodies or watersheds where these issues are of particular concern. Still other programs target specific contaminants (e.g., mercury) or sources (e.g., stormwater runoff) or impacts (e.g., acid rain) of pollution.

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