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.

2016 303(d) List Submitted to EPA

The Proposed Final 2016 New York State Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL Waters has been submitted to EPA for review and approval. The Proposed Final List - which will become the Final List upon EPA approval - reflects public review and comment on the previously issued Draft List. More information, including links to the List and DEC's Response to Public Comment, can be found on DEC's New York State Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL Waters webpage.

Reminder: Drug Enforcement Administration to Collect Prescription Drugs

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will conduct a nationwide prescription drug collection on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Properly disposing of drugs keeps them out of our lakes, streams and rivers. Collections will be held at many locations around New York and are the best way to dispose of unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Collection locations in New York can be found on DEA's National Take Back Initiative webpage (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page).

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

Safeguarding Owasco Lake and Addressing Finger Lakes' Water Quality

DEC has announced the establishment of the 'Finger Lakes Water Hub,' a multi-region watershed team to address Finger Lakes water quality issues. Also announced is a $600,000 initiative with Cayuga Community College and others to study harmful algal blooms and undertake pollution reduction projects in the Owasco Lake watershed. For more information, view DEC's October 19 press release.

Drought in Effect in NYS

Even though summer is over, most of Western NYS remains under a drought warning, with the rest of the state under a drought watch. You can take steps to save water inside your home all year.

We know that dripping faucets waste water, but how much? Check out the USGS Drip Calculator to find out how much water might be wasted from leaky faucets in your home (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page). Then, fix those leaks!

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 October 21 on the DEC Harmful Algal Blooms Notifications webpage.

This week, 2 waterbodies in several locations in the state were added to the notification list. There are currently 42 waterbodies with blooms on the notification list.

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!

Final Engleville Pond and Lake Carmel TMDLs

EPA has approved DEC's Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for phosphorus in Engleville Pond (Schoharie County) and Lake Carmel (Putnam County). Both TMDLs are now final.

Visit DEC's Clean Water Plans webpage to download the TMDLs. Engleville Pond and Lake Carmel are listed under the "Small Lakes/Phosphorus" header near the bottom of the page.

Request for Water Resources Research Grant Program Applications

Applications are now being accepted from New York State's higher education community for the New York Water Resources Institute / Hudson River Estuary Program 2017 Water Resources Research Grant Program. Approximately $100,000 is available for research, management, and outreach activities related to water resources in New York. Up to $20,000 is available per project. Projects throughout New York are eligible, but proposals related to the Hudson River Estuary region are particularly encouraged.

Applications are due by Monday, November 28 at 5:00 PM. For more information, including how to apply, go to DEC's Grants Program and Funding Opportunities for the Hudson River Estuary webpage.

Public Information Meetings on Proposed Rulemaking to Amend Lake Champlain Drainage Basin Regulations

DEC will hold two Public Information Meetings on October 13, 2016 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on the proposed rulemaking to amend Part 830 of Title 6 of the Codes, Rules, and Regulations of the State of New York to upgrade the classifications of certain surface waters in the Lake Champlain drainage basin. The meetings will be held at the Town of Plattsburgh Town Office Meeting Room, 151 Banker Road, Plattsburgh, NY 12901. The purpose of both meetings is for DEC to provide the public with an overview of the proposed rulemaking.

Public comments on the proposed rulemaking will be accepted through 5:00 PM on November 7, 2016. A Public Hearing will also be held on November 2, 2016. View the September 7 Environmental Notice Bulletin for instructions on how to comment and for more information about the Public Hearing. The rulemaking documents are available on DEC's Proposed Regulations webpage.

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.

Funding Announced to Help Hudson River Estuary Communities Protect Water Quality, Increase Storm Resiliency

On September 29, 2016, Commissioner Basil Seggos announced a total of $441,091 in grants will support ten projects to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary watershed protect water quality and habitats, conserve open space, and increase storm resiliency.

These grants support planning for local stewardship of the river environment to help achieve the goals of the 2015-2020 Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda. New York's Environmental Protection Fund provides the grants and the DEC Hudson River Estuary program will administer the funds.

The End of a Great WAVE Sampling Season

The three month WAVE sampling season ending September 30 was the most productive season to date. DEC's WAVE project (Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators) partners with citizen scientists across NY State to assess water quality conditions in freshwater rivers and streams.

This year's success was due in large part to partners who serve as local coordinators, recruiting and training their own WAVE teams. Through these partnerships, DEC was able to expand the reach of the project significantly.

Join the WAVE

Sampling will resume again July 1, 2017. There are two ways to participate. Anyone can join an existing WAVE team OR they can attend a DEC training session to become a local coordinator and form your own team. WAVE training sessions will be held next spring in the Lake Champlain, Susquehanna River, and Atlantic Ocean/ Long Island Sound basins. For information on how to become a WAVE participant, contact

Black River Watershed 9 Element Plan Uploaded to DEC Website

DEC, in coordination with Black River watershed stakeholders, recently approved the "Black River Nine Element Watershed Management Plan: Reducing Phosphorus, Nitrogen and Sediment loading in priority Sub Watersheds." Nine Element Watershed Plans identify and describe sources of pollutants, water quality goals, and needed pollutant reductions and actions to meet those goals.

The plan can be accessed on DEC's Nine Element Watershed Plans webpage, and more information is available in DEC's September 26 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 :