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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.

World Water Day - Student Posters Highlight Watershed Protection

Today marks World Water Day, which this year focuses on safe water for all. Every time many of us turn on a faucet, clean, drinkable water comes out, so it's easy to take it for granted. However, billions of people around the world are still living without safe water.

Everyone has a role in protecting and conserving water. In addition to avoiding waste and using water wisely, it's important to help keep our water clean. What you do at your home and in your community affects everyone downstream of you.

DEC's 2019 We All Live in a Watershed Poster contest invited middle school students around the state to learn about their role in the watershed they live in and how to conserve and protect our water resources.

This year's winning posters, which will be included in a 2020 calendar distributed throughout the state, provide tips and inspiration for protecting our watersheds now and for future generations.

Public Medication Drop Box at DEC Central Office

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced that a medication collection box is now available to the public at DEC's Central Office at 625 Broadway, Albany. The box provides an accessible downtown location where people can dispose of unwanted or unused medications.

Don't live in the Albany area? View the Drop Box map at to find a safe disposal site near you.

SPDES Compliance and Enforcement Annual Report

The SPDES Compliance and Enforcement annual report for state fiscal year 2017/2018 is now available. This report details DEC's compliance and enforcement oversight of facilities permitted under the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) and those activities relating to New York State's authorizations under the Clean Water Act. The report also provides a summary of sewage releases reported to DEC as required under the Sewage Pollution Right to Know (SPRTK) Act.

Request for Proposals to Reduce Flood and Stormwater Risks

DEC announced the availability of $125,000 for the design of a project to reduce shoreline or stormwater risk in one or more of the communities of Catskill, Kingston, Piermont, or Hudson, NY. Eligible projects must reduce risks from shoreline or stormwater flooding and erosion while enhancing habitat value, which may include options for strategic relocation, resilient waterfront structures and infrastructure, natural and nature-based shoreline design, and stormwater green infrastructure. The deadline for proposals is April 19, 2019. For more information, view DEC's March 8 press release.

Applications Being Accepted for Environmental Excellence Awards

DEC is now accepting applications for the 2019 Environmental Excellence Awards program. Organizations that are implementing innovative approaches and technologies, advancing sustainable practices, generating economic growth, harnessing the power of creative partnerships, and achieving extraordinary outcomes are encouraged to apply. Applications are due April 17, 2019.

Great Lakes Commission Grants Available to Reduce Nonpoint Sources of Phosphorous Pollution

Under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Great Lakes Commission has $2.2 million available in 2019 for projects that support site specific and watershed scale efforts for long term reductions in total phosphorus throughout the Great Lakes basin. Applications are due by 6:00 p.m. on March 29, 2019. Visit the Great Lakes Commission Website for more information (link leaves DEC website).

Revised Rulemaking to Amend Water Quality Standards Regulations and the Classification of Upper and Lower New York Bay

DEC is seeking public comments on the revised rulemaking to amend water quality standards regulations and the classification of Upper and Lower New York Bay. The rulemaking to amend Parts 700, 703, and 890 of Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules, and Regulations of the State of New York (6 NYCRR) to adopt new standards for enterococci and E. coli to meet the requirements of federal law and to upgrade the classifications of certain surface waters in New York Harbor was proposed on March 21, 2018. In response to public comment, DEC is making several changes to the original proposal, and seeks written public comment on those revisions. There will not be any additional public hearings related to these revisions. Public comments are due by midnight on April 15, 2019. For more information, including how to comment, visit the February 27 Environmental Notice Bulletin.

New Trees for Tribs Initiative

DEC has launched a new Trees for Tribs program initiative, Buffer in a Bag, to help increase riparian buffers throughout New York State. Qualifying public and private landowners may apply for a free bag of 25 or 50 tree and shrub seedlings. Applications are due by 3 p.m. on April 3, 2019.

Source Water Buffer Funding Available

A total of $5,000,000 in funds are available through the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Source Water Buffer Program (leaves DEC website) for the purchase of conservation easements on agricultural lands that support, expand or enhance water quality protection of active public drinking water sources including but not limited to aquifers, watersheds, reservoirs, lakes, rivers, and streams. Program funds will also be available for the implementation of Riparian Buffer Systems within the conservation easement area that will provide further protection to water quality.

Applications for funding will be accepted through January 2020 from Soil and Water Conservation Districts, or a group of Districts acting jointly.

Livestock Farm Water Quality Protection Funding Available

$18.4 million is available to help New York livestock farms implement water quality protection projects. The funding is provided through the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets CAFO Waste Storage and Transfer System Program (leaves DEC website). Applications are accepted through April 16, 2019.

Water Well Contractor Program Registration

The DEC Water Well Contractor Program is currently accepting applications for the Certificate of Registration for the period April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020. Registration is required each year for all water well contractors who drill or repair water wells in New York State. The on-site contractor must be certified for the work that they are conducting (well drilling and/or pump installation). A Preliminary Notice must be filed prior to drilling a well and a Water Well Completion Report must be filed upon completion of water well drilling. For additional information, contact Water Well Program staff at 877-472-2619 or

Annual Water Withdrawal Reporting

The DEC Water Withdrawal Reporting Program is currently receiving water withdrawal reporting data for 2018. Reporting is required each year for non-agricultural facilities that have a withdrawal capacity of 100,000 gallons or more per day and agricultural facilities that use more than 100,000 gallons or more per day (30 day average). Agricultural facilities that use less than 100,000 gallons per day can Register by using the annual water withdrawal reporting form (PDF, 1 MB). For additional information, contact Water Withdrawal Reporting staff at 518-402-8182 or .

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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