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WI/PWL Overview

The WI/PWL is...

A Statewide Inventory (Database) of specific waterbodies in New York State that characterizes general water quality, the degree to which water uses are supported, and progress toward the identification of quality problems, sources and improvements.

The WI/PWL is used to...

Provide Baseline Assessments of water quality. Periodic rotating basin assessments evaluate whether the waters of the state support their designated uses. Such assessments are both general (cumulative statewide evaluation of all waters) and specific (evaluation of individual waterbodies) in nature. Results of these assessments are published in the New York State Water Quality (305b) Report.

Focus Division Program Activities (compliance, monitoring, grant funding, EPBS, etc) on addressing those specific water quality issues--both statewide problems (e.g., stormwater, toxic/contaminated sediment) and site/waterbody-specific concerns--where efforts will have the greatest impact.

Maintain a Consistent and Objective Inventory/Evaluation of water quality problems/issues suitable for use in the development of program-specific priority ranking/scoring systems/efforts.

Record the Water Quality History and information for specific waterbodies so that the division can easily respond to questions from both inside and outside the division (including the public) concerning what is known about the water quality of specific rivers, lakes, watersheds.

Monitor Progress of Division Efforts/Programs toward improving the water resources of the state.

Specific Components of the WI/PWL include...

Assessment Categories into which all waterbodies are assigned. These Assessment Categories are:

  • Waters with No Known Impacts (Good Waters)
  • Threatened Waters (Good Waters, but...)
  • Waters with Minor Impacts (Okay Waters)
  • Impaired Waters (Poor Waters)
  • Waters Needing Verification ("Maybe" Waters)
  • UnAssessed Waters (???)

Additional Information

Additional information regarding the Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List can be found in a WI/PWL Fact Sheet (pdf, 670 kb) that is available on this website.


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  • NYSDEC
    Water Assessment and Management
    Division of Water
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY
    12233-3502
    518-402-8179
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