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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.

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 the DEC website").

Harmful Algal Bloom Notices

New information about lakes with harmful algal blooms has been posted July 22 on the DEC Harmful Algal Blooms Notifications webpage.

This week, 6 waterbodies in several locations in the state were added to the notification list. There are currently 29 waterbodies with blooms on the notification list.

What is DEC doing about harmful algal blooms?

HABs occur most often in nutrient-rich waters and the best way to reduce the likelihood of blooms is to reduce the amount of nutrients entering a waterbody.

DEC has many ongoing programs and activities to reduce the nutrients going into NYS waters:

For more information, visit DEC's Information about Harmful Algal Blooms webpage.

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!

Drought Watch Issued for New York

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos today issued a drought watch for the entire state of New York following consultation with the State Drought Management Task Force and Federal partner agencies. The drought watch is triggered by the State Drought Index, which reflects precipitation levels, reservoir/lake levels, and stream flow and groundwater levels in nine designated drought regions throughout New York.

A watch is the first 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. However, local public water suppliers may require such measures depending upon local needs and conditions. Visit DEC's Saving Water Makes Good Sense webpage for conservation tips that homeowners can take to voluntarily reduce their outdoor water usage.

For more information, view DEC's July 15 press release.

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 the DEC website").

Reminder: Application Deadline for Two Water Quality Grant Programs

Applications are being accepted until July 29, 2016 at 4:00 PM for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) program and the Engineering Planning Grant. These grants are part of the NYS Regional Economic Development Councils Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) (a direct link is available on the right hand side of this page under "links leaving the DEC website"). The WQIP program has $25.9 million available and the Engineering Planning Grant has up to $2 million available.

Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program

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

Engineering Planning Grant

DEC, in conjunction with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), are 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 and/or consultant fees for engineering and planning services for the production of an engineering report.

Biological Assessment of Christie Creek

The Division of Water's Stream Biomonitoring Unit has published a report on biological sampling of Christie Creek that was completed in 2014. The sampling was conducted to provide baseline water quality information before implementation of agricultural conservation practices designed to prevent excess nutrients from reaching the stream.

Based on the benthic macroinvertebrate community assessment conducted at four sampling locations, water quality in Christie Creek is considered impaired for aquatic life. This stream also experiences strong influences from springs and wetland areas that contribute substantial flow to the stream.

The report is available on the Genesee River Watershed Reports webpage.

DEC and DOH Announce Initiative to Improve New Yorkers Ability to Dispose of Unwanted Medication

New Yorkers now have more options to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired drugs. Governor Cuomo recently signed legislation that will facilitate drug collection efforts by now allowing pharmacies to take back unwanted drugs. Check with your pharmacy to find out if they are collecting unused/unwanted household pharmaceuticals.

For more information, view DEC's June 23 press release.

Find a Great and Safe Place to Swim this Independence Day Weekend

If you plan to swim somewhere other than a regulated bathing beach this holiday weekend--or anytime this summer--DEC has resources to help you make informed decisions about where to go and how to avoid potential hazards. Check out DEC's swimming webpage before you swim or do other activities in the water.

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:

Update efforts for waters of Long Island Sound are continuing. Assessments of waters in drainage basins where NYSDEC monitoring was recently completed - Delaware River, Genesee River and St Lawrence River Basins - are also underway and expected to be released this summer.

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

Sewage Pollution Right to Know Grant Deadline Extended

The deadline for municipalities to submit applications for the Sewage Pollution Right to Know CSO Grant has been extended until August 26, 2016.

Through this grant program, $500,000 is available to assist communities with the detection, monitoring and reporting of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) to enhance compliance with the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act. Individual grants of up to $50,000 will be provided.

Visit DEC's Sewage Pollution Right to Know CSO Grant webpage for more information.

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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