Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Division of Water

Mark Klotz, Director
Tom Cullen, Assistant Director

Sign up for DEC Delivers

Enter email address:

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.

Clear Waters Column on Eliminating Trash in our Waters

Trash in our waters is a water quality issue that everyone understands and can even help address. Read about some solutions for achieving "trash-free" waters in a recent column written by James Tierney, DEC Deputy Commissioner for Water. This column was originally published in this summer's issue of Clear Waters magazine. See this and other Clear Waters columns by DEC staff on DEC's website.

Past columns are available on other topics, including wastewater infrastructure funding, restoring the Great Lakes, climate change, enforcement of federal and state laws, and reducing phosphorus in New York's waterbodies.

More about Clear Waters

Clear Waters is the quarterly publication of the New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA). A direct link to the NYWEA website is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page. The Division of Water regularly provides columns for Clear Waters.

Drought in Effect in NYS - Help Conserve Water

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. Install water-saving plumbing fixtures. A low-flow showerhead saves up to 7.5 gallons a minute. 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 has been posted September 23 on the DEC Harmful Algal Blooms Notifications webpage.

This week, 14 waterbodies in several locations in the state were added to the notification list. There are currently 69 waterbodies with blooms on the notification list.

Harmful algal blooms in rivers

This year, HABs have been found in several slow moving streams and rivers. As with lakes and ponds, look out for and avoid any floating mats, scums or discolored water in streams and rivers, and report any suspected blooms.

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!

Public Comments being Accepted on Proposed Rulemaking to Amend Lake Champlain Drainage Basin Regulations

DEC has announced proposed rulemaking to amend Part 830 of Title 6 of the Codes, Rules, and Regulations of the State of New York (6 NYCRR) to upgrade the classifications of certain surface waters in the Lake Champlain drainage basin. These reclassifications are necessary in order to meet federal Clean Water Act goals for water quality.

Public comments on the proposed rulemaking will be accepted through November 7, 2016. Two Public Information Meetings will be held on October 13 and a Public Hearing will be held on November 2. View the September 7 Environmental Notice Bulletin for instructions on how to comment and for more information about the meetings and hearing. The rulemaking documents are available on DEC's Proposed Regulations webpage.

Public comment period for draft Maintenance Guide for Stormwater Practices

DEC has made the draft Maintenance Guidance for Stormwater Management Practices available for public review and comment. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on how to inspect and maintain the stormwater management practices found in the New York State Stormwater Design Manual. Written comments must be submitted by October 7, 2016. View the September 7 Environmental Notice Bulletin for more information, including how to submit comments.

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.

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.

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.

More about Division of Water :