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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 October 20 to DEC's Harmful Algal Blooms Notifications webpage.

This week, 1 waterbody was added to the notification list. There are currently 39 waterbodies with blooms on the list.

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!

Upcoming DEA Prescription Drug Collection

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will conduct a nationwide prescription drug collection on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Collections will be held at many locations around the state and are the best way to dispose of unused and unwanted prescription drugs. For more information and locations, visit DEA's National Take Back Initiative webpage (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section on the right side of this page).

Visit DEC'S Drugs in New York's Waters webpage for more information about drugs in water and DEC's work to keep drugs out of our water.

Webinar Series on FEMA's Community Rating System

The Association of State Floodplain Managers is offering a free webinar series on the Community Rating System (CRS), a federal incentive program that provides flood insurance policyholders with discounts on their premiums in exchange for their community taking actions to reduce flood risk. The target audience for the webinars is floodplain managers, planners and local officials.

Individual registration is required for each session (links are in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section on the right side of this page). Each session runs from 2:00 - 3:30 PM.

  • Oct. 30 - The CRS Green Guide and Natural & Beneficial Functions of Floodplains
  • Nov. 6 - Building CRS Capacity: Success Stories at the Local and State Level
  • Nov. 13 - CRS Open Space Preservation: Tools, Guidance and Success Stories
  • Nov. 27 - CRS Stormwater Management and Urban Flood Management Best Practices

Shower Better Month

October is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program's Shower Better Month (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section on the right side of this page). As a WaterSense partner, DEC is promoting Shower Better Month as an opportunity to improve the water efficiency in homes across the state. Showering is one of the leading uses of water in the home, accounting for 20 percent of residential indoor water use. For the average family, this adds up to nearly 40 gallons per day. By replacing a standard showerhead with a WaterSense labeled model, the average family can save 2,900 gallons of water and reduce their water and energy costs by more than $70 per year.

WI/PWL Water Quality Assessment Updates

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

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

DEC's Drones Assist Division of Water Programs

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that the agency has deployed a fleet of drones across the state to enhance the state's environmental management, conservation and emergency response efforts. Two of the first drone missions assisted the Division of Water's coastal programs.

On Long Island, drone collected images and video of a completed U.S. Army Corps of Engineer coastal storm damage risk reduction project along Fire Island were used to assist in reconnaissance and preparation for the winter storm season.

DEC drones also mapped a two-mile stretch of eroded coastline on Lake Ontario, allowing engineers to assess the damage and confirm that property along the dune system was safe from catastrophic failure, and saving weeks of on-the-ground surveys.

For more information, view DEC's September 25 press release, and check out DEC's Drone Program Takes Off video.

Funding Available to Support Water Quality Projects on Farms

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that $50 million in grant funding is available, over three consecutive application rounds, to help New York livestock farms implement water quality protection projects. The application period for the first $20 million is currently open and closes November 20, 2017.

County Soil and Water Conservation Districts can apply for the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Waste Storage and Transfer System Program on behalf of eligible farmers. The maximum award amount per proposal is $385,000, which includes funding for engineering and construction expenses. Grants will help CAFO-permitted farms offset the cost of water quality protection projects, such as manure storage construction, site preparation and associated best management practices. Direct links to the Governor's press release and the funding program webpage are in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section on the right side of this page.

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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