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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.

NYS Water Grants Awarded

Governor Cuomo has announced that the second round of NYS Water Grants have been awarded to 102 communities, reflecting $710.3 million in total estimated project costs and $420.5 million in taxpayer savings Statewide. These grants provide assistance to municipalities in funding water quality infrastructure, including drinking water and sewage treatment works projects that protect or improve water quality and/or protect public health.

For more information, view the Environmental Facilities Corporation's NYS Water Grants webpage (a direct link is available on the right hand side of this page under "Links Leaving DEC's Website").

Drought in Effect in NYS - Help Conserve Water

Although recent rains have improved current conditions, most of Western NYS remains under a drought warning, with the rest of the state under a drought watch. You can still do your part to save water.

Take a sprinkler break. Established lawns do not have to be bright green year-round. It's natural for your landscape to turn a little brown at the tips during summer's hottest months. You can cut back on watering without compromising the health of your lawn.

For more tips on conserving water, visit DEC's Saving Water Makes Good Sense webpage.

Harmful Algal Bloom Notices

New information about lakes with harmful algal blooms (HABs) has been posted August 26 on the DEC Harmful Algal Blooms Notifications webpage.

This week, 16 waterbodies in several locations in the state were added to the notification list. There are currently 55 waterbodies with blooms on the notification list.

Why are some lakes on the list more often than others?

HABs may be short-lived (appear and disappear in hours) or long-lasting (persisting for several weeks or months). The lakes that are on the list most weeks may be experiencing multiple blooms or have a persistent bloom. These lakes may be more susceptible to HABs because of high nutrient levels in the lake or the lake's physical and land use characteristics. Some lakes regularly show up on the notification list because of increased reporting to DEC by active surveillance programs and a heightened awareness by lake residents.

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!

Request for Proposals to Administer Adirondack Park Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Program

DEC is seeking proposals for an entity to administer the Adirondack Park Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Program. The program will provide essential support to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species throughout the Adirondacks through a network of boat stewards and decontamination stations. For more information, view DEC's August 16 press release.

NYS Erosion and Sediment Control Blue Book Updated

DEC has finalized updates to the New York State Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control (Blue Book). The Blue Book provides standards and specifications for the selection, design and implementation of erosion and sediment control practices for the development of Erosion and Sediment Control Plans for the SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity. The document is available for download on the Construction Stormwater Toolbox webpage.

Drought Warning Issued for Western New York

DEC issued a heightened Drought Warning for most of Western New York. The rest of the State remains under a previously declared Drought Watch.

A "warning" is the second of four levels of state drought advisories ("watch," "warning," "emergency" and "disaster"). There are no statewide mandatory water use restrictions in place under a drought watch or warning but citizens are strongly encouraged to voluntarily conserve water. Local public water suppliers may impose water use restrictions depending upon local needs and conditions.

For more information, including water saving tips, view DEC's August 3 press release.

WI/PWL Water Quality Assessment Updates

Updates of water quality assessment information for individual WI/PWL waterbodies are announced through MakingWaves on the first Friday of each month. Most recently, WI/PWL Fact Sheets for the following watersheds/waterbodies have been revised/updated:

Updates of assessments for New York City Waters and other waters in drainage basins where 2015 NYSDEC monitoring was recently completed - the Delaware River, Genesee River and St Lawrence River Basins - are also underway and expected to be released during 2016.

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

EFC and DEC Issue Request for Proposals for Municipal Sewage System Asset Management Pilot Program Consulting Services

The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), in conjunction with DEC, has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) looking for a firm to provide consulting services to municipalities chosen for DEC's Municipal Sewage System Asset Management Pilot Program. The selected firm will develop an asset management plan for each municipality and help the communities implement their plan over the next two years. Applications for this RFP are due on August 30, 2016 by 2:00 PM.

In November 2015, DEC requested volunteers to participate in the Asset Management Pilot Program. DEC received a robust response from municipalities interested in participating; applications are currently being reviewed and successful applicants will be notified once a consulting firm is selected through the RFP.

To view the RFP, visit EFC's website (a direct link is available on the right hand side of this page under "Links Leaving DEC's Website").

DEC and NY Sea Grant Announce $192,000 in Grants for Great Lakes Basin Projects and Request Proposals for New Projects

In partnership with New York Sea Grant, DEC announced $192,000 in grants for nine projects that will help Great Lakes coastal communities enhance their resiliency and protect water quality. For more information view DEC's July 8 press release.

New York Sea Grant and DEC are also requesting proposals for new projects that serve to benefit the environment and economy of New York's Great Lakes basin. Proposals are due by September 23, 2016. The full request for proposals and application guidelines are on Sea Grant's Proposals webpage (a direct link is available on the right hand side of this page under "Links Leaving DEC's Website").

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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