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Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2)

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If you would like to learn more about DWSP2 and how it could help your municipality, fill out our Interest Form and a member of the DWSP2 team will contact you to discuss further.

Webinar on Navigating Grant Funding: Municipal Success Stories
On Wednesday March 1st, a webinar was held for interested municipalities and other organizations to hear about successful strategies to access and manage grant funding from their peers. Municipalities shared information such as how they access grant funds, what barriers they've had to overcome, lessons learned, the skill sets needed, and who are the key players necessary to access grant funding. View the recording now to see how you can access grant funding (leaves DEC's website).

Together, We Can Protect Your Drinking Water

The Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2) is a locally led, state-supported program that empowers municipalities to take action to improve and protect their public water sources and surrounding environment. The program offers free technical assistance to develop and implement community-specific drinking water source protection plans.

If your municipality is interested in the program, fill out our Interest Form today.

Source Water

Source water refers to surface water (streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs) or groundwater (aquifers) that supplies water to a public water system for drinking or other domestic purposes. One of the most effective ways to maintain the quality and longevity of drinking water is by protecting the source. Protecting drinking source water requires proactive strategies and preventative measures to reduce the risk of contamination, such as:

  • Land Conservation and Protection
  • Monitoring Potential Contaminant Sources
  • Education and Outreach

Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2)

The Drinking Water Source Protection Program is a state-wide program to assist municipalities with proactively protecting their drinking water sources. Communities accepted into the program are provided free technical assistance to develop their own unique DWSP2 plan, leading to actionable steps the municipality can take to protect their drinking water sources now and into the future.

Technical assistance (TA) providers work with the community every step of the way, using the DWSP2 Framework, to facilitate the community specific DWSP2 process. TA providers support:

  • Stakeholder coordination
  • Plan development
  • Data interpretation
  • Source water map development
  • Identifying source water protection methods
  • Guidance and resources on funding
  • Plan implementation

Each municipality will be equipped with a complete source water protection plan, including a step-by-step implementation process to protect their community's drinking water sources.

If you would like to work with a TA provider, please fill out our Interest Form. If you have any questions, reach out to the DWSP2 Team at

Community Benefits

DWSP2 is designed to build off previous work, help align priorities, and fill any gaps within a municipality's current source water protection efforts. They establish a program that incorporates future conditions, challenges, and needs of the water source. Participation in DWSP2 can help municipalities make informed decisions on how to protect their drinking water source and build resiliency. Municipalities participating in the Drinking Water Source Protection Program and their neighboring communities are:

  • Promoting public health and safety
  • Supporting economic viability
  • Enhancing environmental protection and recreational opportunities
  • Strengthening community partnerships and collaboration

What Municipalities Can Expect

The backbone of your drinking water source protection program is a plan. A drinking water source protection plan provides your municipality with a road map to maintaining and protecting your source of drinking water. Each DWSP2 plan will work to address the goals and concerns of the community and their drinking water source(s), providing a holistic and comprehensive approach that includes protection efforts your community already has in place. Communities can expect to receive:

  • Free technical assistance throughout the entire DWSP2 Plan development process
  • Flexible schedule for communities to continue meeting other priorities
  • Mapping the drinking water source and surrounding area
  • Inventory of potential contaminant sources surrounding the drinking water source
  • Actionable list of source water protection methods
  • Guidance on funding sources and strategies for implementing source water protection actions
  • Free technical assistance to start plan implementation

Increase Your Municipality's Funding Opportunities

During the development of a Drinking Water Source Protection Program plan, a municipality's technical assistance provider will help them identify feasible implementation actions and applicable funding sources. The main priority of DWSP2 is for municipalities to implement their source water protection methods. DWSP2 helps take the guesswork out of identifying funding sources and each municipality will be positioned to apply for the funding needed to implement their source water protection program.

To find applicable federal, state, and regional funding sources to which municipalities can apply and receive help when implementing their DWSP2 Plans, view the NYSDEC Funding Finder.

Connections to Other State Programs

In addition, select State grant programs are now offering additional points - including the Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Program and Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program - for State accepted DWSP2 Plans.

Climate Smart Communities offers another opportunity for benefits towards funding sources with the completion of a DWSP2 Plan. A community could receive up to 10 points for their DWSP2 Plan and implementation efforts under the CSC Program.

WQIP is an umbrella program that provides targeted grant funding for five project types that directly address documented water quality impairments or protect a drinking water source. One of these project types is Land Acquisition for Source Water Protection. This project type protects sources of public drinking water by providing funds for the purchase of parcels and/ or conservation easements for land in key areas of an active public drinking water supply's source area. Applicants who are applying to acquire land within their DWSP2 Plan's critical area receive the maximum number of points for some of the scoring criteria.

Another state program that has connections with DWSP2 is the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program, which is a cost-share grant program that provides funding to address and prevent potential water quality issues that stem from farming activities. Financial and technical assistance supports the planning and implementation of on-farm projects with the goal of improving water quality in New York's waterways. The Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program awards water quality protection projects that focus on environmental planning and best management practice systems, to which DWSP2 fits into.

DWSP2 also intersects several components of Commissioner Policy 29, Environmental Justice and Permitting. By utilizing the State and Federal Opportunities for Environmental Justice fact sheet (PDF), you can determine whether your municipality or source water falls within a Potential Environmental Justice Area. The fact sheet also includes recommendations on diversifying your stakeholder group and potential funding opportunities for environmental justice communities.

Start a DWSP2 in your Municipality

To participate in DWSP2, municipalities are required to fill out an application (PDF) that briefly outlines background information about their water system and any concerns with their water source. Municipalities are encouraged to fill out our Interest Form or reach out to the State at to discuss how the program could fit their needs. Once a municipality's application is accepted by the State DWSP2 team, DWSP2 plan development begins.

Components of the DWSP2 Process

With guidance of your cost-free technical assistance provider, your municipality will follow the DWSP2 Framework (PDF) process, outlined below, to develop a drinking water source protection plan.

Plan Preparation

Completing the Overview of the Water System Worksheet

  • Your municipality will complete the Overview of the Water System worksheet prior to plan development. This one-page worksheet gathers the necessary data to kick off the plan.

Plan Development

Plan development steps are not linear and can be completed in the order that is most efficient for each municipality.

Prepare drinking water source protection maps

  • Your TA provider will delineate and map your municipality's source water areas to help your stakeholder group visualize the drinking water sources and identify neighboring communities that may need to be involved.

Form your municipality's stakeholder group

  • Your municipality and TA provider will identify interested parties that could provide relevant expertise to help you in DWSP2 planning and/or would be involved in protection strategies that you implement later.

Formulating the vision and goals of your municipality's DWSP2 plan

  • Your municipality and identified stakeholders will determine goals and a vision statement that help guide source water efforts specific to your community.

Inventory potential contaminant sources

  • Your stakeholder group and TA provider will use a combination of available data and local knowledge to identify potential contaminant sources around your drinking water source.

Complete drinking water source protection maps

  • Your stakeholder group and TA provider will use a combination of available data and local knowledge to update and complete source water maps. Your municipal staff, water operators, and plan management team can use these comprehensive maps to make important decisions about your water source during and after DWSP2.

Identify protection and management methods

  • Your municipality and TA provider will work together to identify current and future source water protection methods, specific to your community's needs. A timeline will be created to help municipalities successfully implement practical and effective protective actions that help achieve your goals.

Develop an implementation timeline

  • Your stakeholder group and TA provider will create an implementation timeline - including a step-by-step process, cost analysis, and identification of potential funding sources - to guide implementation of protection and management methods.

Finalize your DWSP2 plan

  • Your municipality and TA provider will compile the report, designate members to the plan management team, and submit for review to the state DWSP2 team.


Implementing your DWSP2 plan

  • Your plan management team, with limited assistance from a TA provider, will implement the protection and management methods developed in your plan, utilizing the identified steps, cost analysis, funding sources, and project partners from your DWSP2 plan.


Updating and monitoring the progress of your DWSP2 plan

  • The plan management team will keep your municipality's implementation methods moving forward, provide updates to your stakeholder group, and monitor outcomes.  

To better understand the roles and responsibilities within the DWSP2 plan process, read the DWSP2 Roles and Responsibilities Guide (PDF).

Eligible Communities

DWSP2 is open to all community public drinking water supplies in New York. This program is designed for:

  • Small, medium and large public water supplies
  • Rural and urban communities
  • Public drinking water supplies that do not have updated source water maps
  • Municipalities that have:
    • Groundwater, surface water or both
    • Limited staff capacity for conservation planning
    • A source within or outside their administrative boundary

DWSP2 Communities

Below you will find a growing list of volunteer communities who are working with a TA provider to work through the DWSP2 process. Interested in joining your fellow New York communities?

DWSP2 Participant County DWSP2 Participant County
Afton (v) Chenango Lake George (v)* Warren
Allegany (v) Cattaraugus Machias (t) Cattaraugus
Arcade (v) Wyoming Manlius (t) - OCWA Skyridge Community WD Onondaga
Argyle (v) Washington Mayville (v) Chautauqua
Athens (v) Greene Monroe (v) Orange
Auburn (c) Cayuga New Paltz (v) Ulster
Bath (v) Steuben North Tonawanda (c) Niagara
Beacon (c) Dutchess Onondaga County Water Authority Onondaga
Bethlehem (t) - Water District #1 Albany Ossining (v) Westchester
Bridgewater (t) Oneida Otisville (v) Orange
Brookhaven (t) Suffolk Owasco (t) Cayuga
Chautauqua Utility District Chautauqua Peekskill (c) Westchester
Chautauqua Water District #2 Chautauqua Portville (v) Cattaraugus
Cherry Creek (t) Chautauqua Ravena (v) Albany
Clayville (v) Oneida Red Hook (t) Dutchess
Cornell University Tompkins Silver Springs (v) Wyoming
Ellicotville (v&t) (PDF) (leaves DEC website) Cattaraugus SCLIWC* Tompkins
Fishkill (t) (PDF) (leaves DEC website) Dutchess St. Armand (t) Essex
Fredonia (v) Chautauqua Troy (c) Rensselaer
Glens Falls (c) Warren United Wappinger Water District Dutchess
Hector (t) Schuyler Warsaw (v) Wyoming
Holland Water District Erie Watervliet (c) Albany
Hudson 7* Dutchess/Ulster Wawarsing (t) - Kerhonkson Ulster
Ithaca (c) (PDF) (leaves DEC website) Tompkins Wawarsing (t) - Napanoch Ulster
Lake Champlain* Essex

* Hudson 7 application submitted by multiple municipalities: Poughkeepsie (c&t), Rhinebeck (v&t), Hyde Park (t), Esopus (t), Lloyd (t)

*Lake Champlain is a joint effort between Essex Water District, Port Kent Water District, and Willsboro Water District.

*Lake George Village is the primary participant

*Southern Cayuga Lake Intermunicipal Water Commission (SCLIWC) is a joint entity consisting of Dryden (t), Ithaca (t), Lansing (v&t), and Cayuga Heights (v)


The State has a guidance document that municipalities can use to develop their DWSP2 plan, "A Framework for Creating a Drinking Water Source Protection Program Plan." The document includes an easy-to-follow summary of the key components of a protection plan, and a resource kit with more detailed information to help communities accomplish each component. Technical assistance providers will use the Framework, as they work with their communities, to develop DWSP2 plans.

We recommended downloading the following documents for all features to function properly:

Stay Up to Date With DWSP2


The DWSP2 newsletter keeps readers up to date on a variety of drinking water source protection subjects. Anyone interested in or working on protecting source waters are encouraged to sign-up for the newsletter.

More Information about DWSP2

How much does participating in DWSP2 cost?

There are no out-of-pocket costs to communities for the development of a DWSP2 plan. While municipalities are expected to commit time and local knowledge, a free technical assistance provider is available to guide key aspects of facilitating DWSP2 plan development. During plan development, the TA provider will support the municipality by identifying applicable state and local grant programs to help put the DWSP2 plan into action. To find applicable federal, state, and regional funding sources to which municipalities can apply and receive help when implementing their DWSP2 Plans, view the NYSDEC Funding Finder.

Our drinking water is clean, why does our municipality need a drinking water source protection program?

DWSP2 is ideal for communities that want to preserve their clean drinking water because the program is designed to build off previous work, help align priorities, and fill any gaps within a municipality's current source water protection efforts. Current DWSP2 municipalities report that the program helps them connect with their constituents on the topic of protecting source water. Municipalities have used the program to create and strengthen partnerships with neighboring communities and relevant parties to facilitate implementation and increase collaboration on other local planning projects.

How long does developing a DWSP2 plan take?

On average, initial plan development takes about 14-16 months. Plan implementation occurs on an ongoing basis depending on a schedule set by the municipality.

Who needs to be involved in the DWSP2 process?

Communities may build a stakeholder group from an existing board/commission or create an entirely new group, keeping in mind that it is important to include a wide range of stakeholders early in the process, such as local officials, water operations staff, local health departments, conservation advisory committee members, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, etc. The community should make efforts to engage as many stakeholders as they deem necessary to create a comprehensive and lasting protection plan. The size of the stakeholder group will vary. If your municipality includes an Environmental Justice (EJ) area, find our recommendations on diversifying your stakeholder group within our EJ Community Fact Sheet (PDF). Examples of who is typically a member of DWSP2 stakeholder groups can be found in the DWSP2 Framework (PDF).

How is DWSP2 different than SWAP?

Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) was a top down, statewide assessment of public water supplies. In contrast, DWSP2 is a locally led program designed to help municipalities create community-specific drinking water protection plans in a way that strengthens relationships, fosters collaboration, and engages stakeholders. SWAP did not include implementation, while DWSP2 prioritizes implementation of a municipality's source water protection program. Read more from our fact sheet highlighting the differences between DWSP2 and SWAP (PDF).

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