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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.

DECinfo Locator Prototype Available

DEC's new DECinfo Locator prototype application is a map-based way to easily access many documents and public data pertaining to the environmental data of specific sites in New York State. By searching for a location on this map, you will see facility icons where you can view and download water permits, water quality data, and information about clean-up activities for a facility or location. An online survey to provide feedback is available - a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

Currently, this prototype includes the Owasco Lake watershed area (Tompkins and Cayuga counties) and the Newburgh area (Orange County). DEC plans to expand this application to include the entire state. If you would like to see the application expanded to include the rest of the state and other types of environmental data and documents, please provide your feedback through the survey.

Data Solicitation for 2018 CWA Section 303(d) List

As part of the development of the 2018 New York State Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL Waters, the public is invited to provide existing and readily available water quality data and information. This data solicitation period began in the spring and will close on September 29, 2017. NYSDEC will then begin compiling a Draft Section 303(d) List which will be made available for public review and comment in January 2018. States are required to submit their next Section 303(d) Lists to USEPA by April 1, 2018.

New Clear Waters Columns Now Available

Three new columns about water-related issues written by DEC Deputy Commissioner for Water Resources James Tierney are now available. The topics include public outreach, harmful algal blooms and New York State's watershed basin programs. These columns were originally published in the three 2016 and 2017 issues of the New York Water Environment Association's (NYWEA) quarterly Clear Waters magazine.

New Pilot Program to Help Municipalities Improve Sewer Systems Operations

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos and Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) President and CEO Sabrina M. Ty announced that 10 municipalities have been selected to participate in a new $3 million pilot program. In the pilot, an engineering firm will work with each municipality free of charge to develop asset management planning to improve operations, management, and maintenance of wastewater treatment plants and sewage collection and conveyance systems. For more information, view DEC's May 10 press release.

WQIP: Source Water Protection Meeting and RFA Update

Public Meeting

DEC is hosting a meeting with eligible applicants to discuss the Land Acquisition Projects for the Source Water Protection category in the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program.

Date: Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Location: Public Assembly Room 129, DEC Central Office, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207

Pre-registration is required. To RSVP, please email by Thursday, May 25, 2017. Include the names of people planning to attend and their affiliation.

Request for Applications (RFA) Update

DEC now has up to $1.5 million available to municipalities and soil and water conservation districts through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program for nature-based shoreline stabilization projects along the open shorelines and embayments of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and the Finger Lakes. Funding is to reduce erosion, enhance coastal resilience and improve water quality and coastal habitat. Nature-based shoreline projects incorporate natural features and materials alone or in combination with structural components to manage erosion and stabilize shorelines, while enhancing aquatic habitat, natural coastal processes and access to the extent practicable or desired. We encourage municipalities to read the Program Overview (PDF, 772 KB) for more details.

DEC Issues Guidance to Keep Drugs out of New York's Waters

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos today issued guidance for pharmacies and the public to keep unused drugs out of New York's waters. The new guidance, prepared in consultation with the State Department of Health and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, will assist the public, pharmacies, and health care facilities to properly manage unwanted drugs. It also reminds pharmacies, other retailers, and veterinarians of requirements to post notices to comply with New York's Drug Management and Disposal Act. For more information, view DEC's May 12 press release.

Drought Watch Ended in Most of NYS

The drought watch for all of New York State, except for Long Island, has ended due to a return to normal precipitation levels and improved groundwater, stream flow and lake levels. Long Island remains in a drought watch because it has not had the increased precipitation the rest of the state has received. For the latest updates on drought conditions, go to the Current Drought Conditions webpage.

DEC Releases Report on 2016 Lake George Beach Closure

DEC has released the Lake George Beach Pollution Source Investigation Report on the closure of Million Dollar Beach in August 2016 due to unsafe levels of bacterial contamination. The report identifies nearby storm and sanitary sewer systems, possible unlawful and not yet identified discharges of wastewater to storm sewer systems, and two overflows from town of Lake George wastewater sewer systems as potential sources of human bacterial contamination, including E.coli. At the state's direction, the town is conducting an evaluation of its sanitary sewer system. The beach will open for the 2017 season, and DEC will continue extensive monitoring of the beaches. For more information, view DEC's May 5 press release.

Funding Opportunities

In addition to the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) and Engineering Planning Grants that were announced last week, DEC has other new funding opportunities available:

Hudson River Estuary Program Grants

Approximately $670,000 in competitive Hudson River Estuary Grants is available to implement priorities outlined in the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda aimed at conserving or improving clean water; fish, wildlife and their habitats; waterway access; the resiliency of communities; and river scenery. This funding is provided by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund through two grant opportunities: Local Stewardship Planning, and River Access Improvements for People of All Abilities. All applications must be submitted in the Grants Gateway by 3:00 PM on July 12, 2017.

Climate Smart Communities Grants

The Climate Smart Communities Grant Program is a competitive 50/50 matching grant program for municipalities to conduct climate change adaptation or mitigation implementation projects, or to undertake eligible actions as part of a strategy to achieve Climate Smart Communities Certification. Eligible implementation projects include those related to flood risk reduction. Applications are due by 4:00 PM on July 28, 2017.

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:

Current WI/PWL assessments updates are focused on waters in the Delaware River and Saint Lawrence River Basins, as well as concluding updates for New York City area waters. These updates are underway and expected to be released in the upcoming months.

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

New WI/PWL Annotated Fact Sheet and Updated WI/PWL Worksheet
  • An Annotated Fact Sheet (PDF, 109 KB) is now included on our website. The document explains the components of a WI/PWL Fact Sheet and is a helpful resource to reference when completing the WI/PWL Worksheet.
  • The WI/PWL Worksheet (PDF, 350 KB) is now a fillable PDF worksheet. The WI/PWL Worksheet is used to capture and submit waterbody specific information to be considered in the water quality assessments.

Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Grant and Engineering Planning Grant RFAs Available

The Requests for Applications (RFA) are now available for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) program and the Engineering Planning Grant. Applications will be accepted starting Monday, May 1, and must be completed by July 28 at 4:00 PM.

These grants are part of the NYS Regional Economic Development Councils Consolidated Funding Application (CFA). The WQIP program has $87 million available and the Engineering Planning Grant has up to $3 million available. Multiple workshops are being held where presentations will be given on both grant programs. The first workshop is scheduled for Monday, May 1 in Albany. A link to the CFA Resources and workshop dates is available at the Regional Economic Development Councils webpage under the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program

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

Engineering Planning Grant

DEC, in conjunction with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), is 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 services for the production of an engineering report.

Grant Funding Available for Mohawk River Watershed Projects

Approximately $200,000 in Mohawk River Watershed Grants Program funding is available to municipalities and not-for-profit organizations to implement the Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda. Examples of eligible projects include restoration of aquatic habitats, installation of green infrastructure projects to address stormwater runoff, right-sizing of culverts, restoration of natural stream conditions, and development of environmental education programs. Applications must be submitted online through the Grants Gateway by 3 p.m. on May 24, 2017 - a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

Volunteers Wanted for Stream and River Monitoring

DEC is looking for volunteers to monitor streams and rivers as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project. Participate by: (1) serving as a local coordinator who coaches and coordinates their own team of WAVE participants (must attend a full day training); (2) sampling independently (must also attend a full day training); or (3) joining a local team led by a WAVE local coordinator (no training required).

This year, WAVE training sessions are being offered in the Susquehanna River, Lake Champlain, and Atlantic Ocean/Long Island Sound basins in May at the following locations: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, Broome Co. (May 10); Gilbert Lake State Park, Otsego Co. (May 11); Connetquot River State Park Preserve, Suffolk Co. (May 17); Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Suffolk Co. (May 18); Dwyer Memorial Park, Cortland Co. (May 23); SUNY Plattsburgh in partnership with the Lake Champlain Research Institute, Clinton Co. (May 30); Willsboro Visitor Center, Essex Co. (May 31).

For more information or to register for a training session, contact the WAVE Coordinator.

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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