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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.

Regional Harmful Algal Bloom Summits Announced

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the dates and locations of four regional summits supporting the state's comprehensive effort to protect vulnerable lakes and waterbodies in Upstate New York from harmful algal blooms (HABs) (an offsite link to the Governor's press release is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section on the right side of this page). The summits are part of the $65 million four-point initiative unveiled in the Governor's 2018 State of the State to aggressively combat HABs.

Each of the four summits will include an evening session that is open to the public where background information about HABs will be provided. The sessions will include talks by experts, a panel discussion and an opportunity for local residents to share recommendations and ideas.

Summit Evening Session Dates and Locations:
  • Mid-Hudson: Tuesday, February 27 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    SUNY New Paltz Student Union Multi-Purpose Room, 2nd Floor, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561
  • Central New York: Tuesday, March 6 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    SUNY ESF Gateway Center Building, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210
  • North Country: Tuesday, March 20 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    Best Western Ticonderoga, 260 Burgoyne Road, Ticonderoga, NY 12883
  • Western New York: Monday, March 26 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center, SUNY Monroe Community College, the Forum, 1000 East Henrietta Road, Rochester, New York 14623

Septic System Replacement Program

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a comprehensive $75 million program to improve water quality through the targeted replacement of aging septic systems in communities across New York (an offsite link to the Governor's press release is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section on the right side of this page). Through a collaboration between the State Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health, and the Environmental Facilities Corporation, the state will support the new program in 31 counties with $15 million during its first year. Through this program, the state will provide funds to counties to reimburse eligible property owners for a portion of the cost of replacing failing septic systems and installing more environmentally effective systems.

Second Round of Participants in Pilot Drug "Take-Back" Program Announced

DEC announced the second group of participants in the State's $2 million Pilot Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program. Participants include 172 retail pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term care facilities across the state. Under the drug take-back program, DEC will purchase medication collection boxes and pay for the disposal of waste pharmaceuticals collected by participating facilities for two years. Implementation of this pilot program will help improve water quality, protect public health by removing medications from home medicine cabinets, and reduce potential adverse impacts to fish and aquatic organisms.

The pilot program is open and accepting new applications. Retail pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term care facilities are encouraged to enroll online at the Pilot Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program webpage.

"On the Front Lines" Staff Profile Features DOW Employee

DEC's new "On the Front Lines" staff profile features Division of Water Environmental Program Specialist Vince Spadaro. Vince works primarily on the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit program, and serves as Region 5's Flood Program Coordinator. In addition, he partners with the National Weather Service on the Adirondack Snow Survey project, calculating snow depths in the winter to help predict potential floods during the spring thaw.

NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants

Up to $15 million may be awarded for coastal resilience projects under the 2018 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Resilience Grants, available for projects that strengthen coastal communities and ecosystems, improving their resilience to extreme weather or other adverse events. New projects will require a pre-proposal and should focus on resilience through habitat restoration. Funding may also be awarded to projects that strengthen coastal communities and will be chosen from last year's high scoring proposals. Closing date for pre-proposals is March 7, 2018. An offsite link to the grant webpage is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section on the right side of this page.

Grants for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency

Approximately $1,400,000 in competitive grants is available to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary watershed, Jamaica Bay, Long Island Sound, Peconic Estuary and South Shore Estuary Reserve watersheds remove constrictions to improve stream flow, mitigate impact of localized flooding, and restore aquatic habitat connectivity for American eel and/or river herring found in tributary streams of New York estuaries.

Eligible projects include:
  • Dam removal (construction and/or engineering/planning projects)
  • Construction of fish ladders (including engineering/planning projects, for marine only)
  • Replacement or right-sizing of culverts and bridges (construction projects only)
For more information

Visit the Hudson River Estuary Program Grants webpage or the New York State Ocean Action Plan for more details. All applications must be submitted in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 PM on April 18, 2018 (a direct link to Grants Gateway is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section on the right side of this page).

Great Lakes Partner Progress Report

DEC's Great Lakes Watershed Program's 2017 Partner Progress report (PDF, 254 KB) is now available. The report outlines progress on advancing the goals of New York's Great Lakes Action Agenda with the support of the Great Lake's Program's many partners and work group participants.

Water Well Contractor Program Registration

The DEC Water Well Contractor Program is currently accepting applications for the Certificate of Registration for the period April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019. Registration is required each year for all water well contractors who drill or repair water wells in New York State. The on-site contractor must be certified for the work that they are conducting (well drilling and/or pump installation). A Preliminary Notice must be filed prior to drilling a well and a Water Well Completion Report must be filed upon completion of water well drilling. For additional information, contact Water Well Program staff at 877-472-2619 or

Annual Water Withdrawal Reporting

The DEC Water Withdrawal Reporting Program is currently receiving water withdrawal reporting data for 2017. Reporting is required each year for non-agricultural facilities that have a withdrawal capacity of 100,000 gallons or more per day and agricultural facilities that use more than 100,000 gallons or more per day (30-day average). Agricultural facilities that use less than 100,000 gallons per day can register by using the annual water withdrawal reporting form. For additional information, contact Water Withdrawal Reporting staff at 518-402-8182 or .

Water Quality Improvement Projects (WQIP) Webpage Updated

DEC has updated the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program "Contract Process, Documents and Forms" webpage to help WQIP grant recipients understand what the next steps are after they receive their award letter. On this page you will now find steps that need to be taken by grant recipients to move forward with the contract, contract documents for your reference, and links to help you complete the required supporting documentation.

New Clear Waters Column Now Available

A new column about Finger Lakes Stewardship written by DEC Deputy Commissioner for Water Resources James Tierney is now available on the Columns by DEC Staff Appearing in Clear Waters webpage. The column discusses DEC's new Finger Lakes Water Hub, which was created to bring an enhanced, holistic focus to the Finger Lakes, develop institutional expertise and expand community collaborations. This column was originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of the New York Water Environment Association's (NYWEA) quarterly Clear Waters magazine.

N.G. Kaul Memorial Scholarship Application Period

Applications are being accepted for the N.G. Kaul Memorial Scholarship. In honor of the former Director of the Division of Water, up to $5,000 in scholarships is available to students pursuing graduate or doctoral degrees in environmental/civil engineering or environmental science, concentrating on water quality, who show a commitment to government service.

Scholarship Applications are available on the NYWEA Scholarship website (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section on the right side of this page). Applications are due by February 28, 2018.

2017 Hudson River Estuary Coordinator's Report

The 2017 Hudson River Estuary Coordinator's Report is now available. 2017 marked the 30th year of the Hudson River Estuary Program. Read about the steps DEC and its partners are taking to ensure a clean, accessible, and inviting river for those who live and work along its waters and its estuary communities.

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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