Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2) - Monthly Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2) - November Newsletter

Welcome to the first DWSP2 Monthly Newsletter!

 This issue's topics:

  • Introducing the DWSP2 Newsletter
  • About DWSP2
    • What is DWSP2?
    • What is Source Water?
    • How Does DWSP2 Benefit My Community?
    • What is a Drinking Water Source Protection Plan?
    • Where to Start?

Introducing the DWSP2 Newsletter

It's here! As part of New York's Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2), a DWSP2 newsletter has been created to keep its readers in the loop on a variety of drinking water source protection subjects. The DWSP2 newsletter will be delivered monthly and discuss topics such as DWSP2 program updates and new resources available, potential funding sources, implementation projects, and more. 

The DWSP2 Newsletter is designed for any person interested in or working on protecting source waters across New York State. To learn more about DWSP2 or protecting drinking water sources, sign-up for the newsletter.

A View of Seneca Lake

A view of Seneca Lake. Photo Credit: Joel Bernosky

About DWSP2

Let's start with a little background on DWSP2. Below are some answers to the first questions you may have about the Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2). Are you thinking:

  • What is DWSP2?
  • What is source water?
  • How does DWSP2 benefit my community?
  • What is a drinking water source protection plan?
  • Where do I start to help protect my community's source water?

What is DWSP2?

Almost everyone believes that protecting drinking water is a high priority. New York State agrees and launched the DWSP2. The goal is to help municipalities develop and implement a long-term plan to protect their source(s) of drinking water. To accomplish this goal, DWSP2 was created, co-led by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Department of Health (DOH), in consultation with the Department of State (DOS) and Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM).

What is Source Water? 

Source water refers to surface water (streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs) or groundwater (aquifers) that supplies water either periodically or continuously to a public water system for drinking or other domestic purposes. A community may have one or multiple source water(s). Source waters are usually identified in a community’s Annual Drinking Water Quality Report. Check your community’s website or ask for the most recent report available. 

View of Lake George

A view of Lake George. Photo Credit: Grant Jiang

 How Does DWSP2 Benefit My Community?

The purpose of developing a long-term protection plan for source water(s) is to protect public health and safety, and the environment. Using a drinking water source protection plan, municipalities can make informed decisions to achieve and maintain source water protection. Source water protection has additional benefits such as:

  • Avoiding expensive treatment costs
  • Increasing community confidence in their public water supply
  • Creating long-lasting community partnerships

What is a Drinking Water Source Protection Plan?

A DWSP2 Plan will identify a source water(s), document current conditions, and include a plan to maintain or enhance the source water and its surrounding area. The DWSP2 Framework shows how preparing a drinking water source protection plan can be accomplished in four steps:

  1. Forming a stakeholder group;
  2. Assessing the drinking water source and the surrounding area;
  3. Identifying protection and management methods to protect the source water;
  4. Establishing a progression and maintenance protocol. 

Where can you find this Framework? The State has released a working draft that municipalities can use to develop their drinking water source protection plan, “A Framework for Creating a Drinking Water Source Protection Program Plan”. This working draft includes an easy-to-follow summary touching on the four phases of a protection plan, and a resource kit with more detailed information to help communities accomplish each component.

Where to Start?

To learn more about the program, framework, and available resources, visit the DWSP2 webpage.

This webpage expands on the information seen above and also contains links for the DWSP2 Framework and other DWSP2 tools. This webpage is regularly updated and new information is often displayed as a banner across the top.

In addition to the Framework, the State has staff available to assist municipalities with the development and implementation of their drinking water source protection plan.
If communities are interested in participating in this program, they can reach out to the State at source.water@dec.ny.gov.

Share Your Thoughts 

 Have you begun this process? Send in any helpful hints or lessons learned at source.water@dec.ny.gov and we may highlight them! 

 To sign-up for the DWSP2 newsletter, visit the DWSP2 webpage or click here.