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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.

Reminder: Application Deadline for Two Water Quality Grant Programs

Applications are being accepted until July 28, 2017 at 4:00 PM for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grant program and the Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grants program (EPG). These grant programs are included in the NYS Regional Economic Development Councils Consolidated Funding Application (CFA). The WQIP program has $88 million available and the Engineering Planning Grant has up to $3 million available. A link to the CFA Resources is available at the Regional Economic Development Councils webpage under the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

Medication Drop Box Locations Map Updated

DEC has updated its comprehensive map of Medication Drop Box Locations and made it easier for people to find the closest one. The map shows the locations of pharmacies and law enforcement agencies throughout New York State that offer residents a safe place to dispose of unwanted or expired medications.

Do not flush or pour down the drain unwanted household medications. Using the collection containers at these "Drop Box" sites protects our waters and the aquatic life that depends on them. DEC will regularly update the map with new locations.

Pharmacies and law enforcement agencies interested in adding a medication drop box collection site to the map should contact DEC at Rx.Takeback@dec.ny.gov.

Harmful Algal Bloom Notifications

New waterbodies with harmful algal blooms have been added June 23 to DEC's Harmful Algal Blooms Notifications webpage.

This week, 7 waterbodies were added to the notification list. There are currently 25 waterbodies with blooms on the list.

Avoid and Report Suspected Blooms

Because waterbodies may have harmful algal blooms 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 harmful algal bloom, or you, your family, or pet has been in contact with a harmful algal bloom, 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

Most recently, WI/PWL Fact Sheets for the following watersheds/waterbodies have been revised/updated:

Current WI/PWL assessments updates are focused on waters in the Delaware River and Saint Lawrence River Basins. These updates are underway and expected to be released in the upcoming months.

Comments on these (or other) assessments are welcome via email.

DEC Proposes St. Lawrence River No Discharge Zone

DEC has petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate the New York portion of the St. Lawrence River as a "Vessel Waste No Discharge Zone." It is illegal for boaters to discharge on-board sewage into any waterbody designated as a No Discharge Zone.

The St. Lawrence River petition is part of DEC's continuing effort to establish No Discharge Zones for all waterbodies and waterways in New York. DEC collaborated with the NYS Department of State and the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation to prepare this petition.

What happens next?

Upon agreement by EPA, a public comment period will be announced in the Federal Register.

More information about No Discharge Zones in New York

Visit DEC's No Discharge Zones in New York State webpage for an overview of No Discharge Zones in New York, including a list of waterbodies currently designated as No Discharge Zones.

Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Webpage Updates

Frequently Asked Questions

A frequently asked questions webpage on Round 14 of the WQIP grant program has been posted. This page will be updated as additional questions are received.

Land Acquisition Projects for Source Water Protection

Frequently asked questions (PDF, 234 KB) regarding the Land Acquisition Projects for the WQIP Source Water Protection category have been posted on DEC's WQIP webpage. The FAQs will be updated as more questions are received.

The presentation slides (PDF, 977 KB) from DEC's May 30 meeting to discuss Land Acquisition Projects for the Source Water Protection category have also been posted.

Great Lakes Nature Based Shoreline Projects

A fact sheet (PDF, 93 KB) on WQIP funding available for Great Lakes nature based shoreline projects has also been posted. These grants are for shoreline stabilization projects located along the open shorelines and embayments of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario (including the Niagara River), the St. Lawrence River and the Finger Lakes. Nature-based projects that repair damage from the recent floods are also eligible.

Final Water Withdrawal Guidance Posted

DEC has released guidance for incorporating flow-related water conditions when issuing water withdrawal permits. The guidance document, Technical and Operational Guidance Series (TOGS) 1.3.12 (PDF, 1 MB), outlines procedures that should be followed to ensure a proposed water withdrawal will not cause any significant adverse impacts to the quantity or quality of the waterbody and the aquatic life that live in the waterbody. TOGS 1.3.12 was developed cooperatively by DEC's Divisions of Water and Fish and Wildlife.

Engineering Planning Grant Frequently Asked Questions Posted

A set of questions and answers about the Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant Program is now online. If you are considering applying for the grant, and have questions, please visit the Engineering Planning Grant FAQ webpage to see if your question is answered there. These FAQs will be updated throughout the application period as additional questions are received so please be sure to check back periodically for updates.

The Engineering Planning Grant Program offers grants to municipalities to help pay for the initial planning of eligible Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) water quality projects. Grant funds can be used to pay for engineering services for the production of an engineering report.

Funding Available to Advance Green Infrastructure Projects in the Great Lakes Basin

The Great Lakes Commission has announced the request for proposals (RFP) for the Great Lakes Emerging Champions Mini-Grant Program - a direct link to a webpage with the RFP and more information is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page. Grants of up to $20,000 will support green infrastructure implementation in municipalities with fewer than 500,000 people. Mini-grant recipients will join the Great Lakes Green Infrastructure Champions Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Network and be paired with a mentor who has successfully implemented green infrastructure in their community.

Funding Opportunities

Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Grant and Engineering Planning Grant RFAs Available

The Requests for Applications (RFA) are now available for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) program and the Engineering Planning Grant. Applications will be accepted starting Monday, May 1, and must be completed by July 28 at 4:00 PM.

These grants are part of the NYS Regional Economic Development Councils Consolidated Funding Application (CFA). The WQIP program has $87 million available and the Engineering Planning Grant has up to $3 million available. Multiple workshops are being held where presentations will be given on both grant programs. The first workshop is scheduled for Monday, May 1 in Albany. A link to the CFA Resources and workshop dates is available at the Regional Economic Development Councils webpage under the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program

The WQIP program is a competitive, reimbursement grant program that funds projects that improve water quality, protect drinking water sources, reduce polluted runoff and restore habitat in New York's waterbodies.

Engineering Planning Grant

DEC, in conjunction with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), is offering grants to municipalities to help pay for the initial planning of eligible Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) water quality projects. Grant funds can be used to pay for engineering services for the production of an engineering report.

Hudson River Estuary Program Grants

Approximately $670,000 in competitive Hudson River Estuary Grants is available to implement priorities outlined in the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda aimed at conserving or improving clean water; fish, wildlife and their habitats; waterway access; the resiliency of communities; and river scenery. This funding is provided by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund through two grant opportunities: Local Stewardship Planning, and River Access Improvements for People of All Abilities. All applications must be submitted in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 PM on July 12, 2017.

Climate Smart Communities Grants

The Climate Smart Communities Grant Program is a competitive 50/50 matching grant program for municipalities to conduct climate change adaptation or mitigation implementation projects, or to undertake eligible actions as part of a strategy to achieve Climate Smart Communities Certification. Eligible implementation projects include those related to flood risk reduction. Applications are due by 4:00 PM on July 28, 2017.

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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