Interbasin Diversions & Registration
An interbasin diversion is a transfer of water or wastewater by means of a man-made conveyance from one major drainage basin to any other drainage basin. New York State's major drainage basins are defined as one of 17 watersheds identified by various USGS Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC), a standardized watershed classification system developed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
Registration of Interbasin Diversions
Diversions of any quantity from the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin are prohibited by the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact (PDF) (87 KB), as enacted in ECL Article 21 Title 10. Limited exceptions for public water supply systems will only be considered when in compliance with that Compact as is further set forth in subpart 601.10(n) (link leaves NYSDEC's website).
Outside of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Basin, interbasin diversions in New York State that are in excess of an average of 1,000,000 gallons per day must be registered with the Department (PDF) (101 KB). No registration is required If the diversion is already operating as part of a water withdrawal permit from the DEC or the Delaware River or Susquehanna River Basin Commissions. A new or increased interbasin diversion will not be approved if it results in a significant adverse impact on the water quantity in the major drainage basin that is the source of the diversion and from which waters are diverted.
Great Lakes Diversion of Water Proposal by the City of Waukesha, Wisconsin
On January 7, 2016, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Council (Council) and Regional Body received an application by the City of Waukesha for a proposed diversion of Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin water. The project is subject to review under the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact for an exception to the ban on the diversion of Basin water. New York State will participate in review of and decision making on this proposal through the Compact Council process. Details of the application and the ability to submit comments on the proposal are available through the City of Waukesha Diversion webpage (link leaves NYSDEC's website).
Annual Renewal of Interbasin Diversions
Thereafter, renewals of interbasin diversion registrations shall be submitted by March 31 of each year.
Transfer of Ownership
Interbasin diversion registrations must be obtained within 60 days of transfer of ownership of the facilities which create an interbasin diversion.
Information Required for Interbasin Diversion Registration
In order to be deemed complete, an interbasin diversion registration or renewal requires the following information:
- The information requested on the form (PDF) (101 KB) made available by the Department.
- General map. Maps shall be USGS topographic maps, or the equivalent, and must indicate the location of the withdrawal, the diversion and the discharge or return flow. The map shall include the line of divide between New York major drainage basins, and the locations of all inter-connecting pipelines, canals, streams or tunnels.
- Engineer's report. Engineer's report from the professional engineer, licensed by the State, who made the recommendations and/or designed the proposed interbasin diversion. The report shall contain the following minimum information:
- a general description and the engineering features of the existing or proposed interbasin diversion;
- a listing of all related Departmental permit applications or permits;
- a description of the amounts of water or wastewater diverted on a daily, monthly and annual basis; and
- an evaluation of the impacts of the diversion on the quantity of water in the New York major drainage basin that is the source of the diversion and from which waters are diverted.
- Annual Water Withdrawal Reporting Form completed for the previous calendar year. Reporting forms are available for agricultural water withdrawals and for non-agricultural withdrawals.
Remember, no registration is required If the diversion is already operating as part of a water withdrawal permit from the DEC or the Delaware River or Susquehanna River Basin Commissions.
For more information, please review the regulations for interbasin diversions. (link leaves DEC's website)