Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2) - July Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Drinking Water Source Protection Program - July Newsletter

This issue's topics:

  • Get to Know Your Technical Assistance Provider!
    • Herkimer Oneida Counties Comprehensive Planning Program

Get to Know Your Technical Assistance Provider!

As you know, the Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2) was created to help municipalities develop and implement their own drinking water source protection plan for the source(s) of their drinking water.

This sounds great, but what if my community needs help? Great news! There are several technical assistance providers (TAPs) available throughout the State to assist communities with developing and implementing their own, unique individual source water protection plan. They are:
  • DOH/NEIWPCC Regional Staff
  • DEC Staff
  • State-hired Consultants
  • New York Rural Water Association (NYRWA)
  • Regional Planning Boards

Each TAP will follow the DWSP2 Framework to work with a community and develop their own DWSP2 Plan.

In this Newsletter, we will get to know one of the Regional Planning Board TAPs, Kristin Campbell, from Herkimer Oneida Counties Comprehensive Planning Program (HOCCPP). 

Herkimer Oneida Counties Comprehensive Planning Program

This year certain programs (e.g. WQIP Land Acquisition, Non-Agricultural Non-point Source Planning Grant) are now offering higher points for communities who are working within the critical area of their accepted DWSP2 Plan. Take a look at the project type scoring rubric to see if an accepted DWSP2 plan could get your community more points!

HOCCPP is one of nine regional planning boards awarded funding through DEC’s 604(b) grant program to work on a number of water quality initiatives including the DWSP2.
As you might have guessed from their name, HOCCPP works in both Herkimer and Oneida Counties. After reaching out to a few communities in their area, the Village of Clayville immediately responded and was eager to work with HOCCPP on a DWSP2 Plan. The community’s enthusiasm made them an easy candidate and a great first community to work with.

Leading the charge on the DWSP2 Plan for HOCCPP is Kristin Campbell, a Principal Planner. We sat down (virtually of course) with Kristin to learn more about her and the work she is doing for DWSP2 as a TAP. Let’s get to know your TAP!

Q: What led Kristin to her current position?

A: Kristin started her source water journey before she even knew it! Her father was a Biology Teacher, so her home was basically a big laboratory. They would often go on hikes to identify birds, different types of trees, and more. The skills she learned in her childhood have proven to be useful with her current water-related work.

Fast forwarding a few years, Kristin received a Bachelor’s in Art History from the University at Buffalo. During graduate school, she started off as an architecture major, but switched directions which led to her Master’s in Urban Planning.

Since graduate school, Kristin has worked in both the public and private sector, within three different counties and at a local engineering firm. This experience allows her to see both sides to planning which is very helpful in her current role.

The basis of her career has been land use and zoning. Projects she has worked on throughout her career include telecommunications, natural gas, renewable energy, and now source water protection!

Q: What is Kristin's current role?

A: Now a Principal Planner, Kristin joined HOCCPP in 2003. Currently, Kristin is working on several projects, mainly involving flood protection and water quality. In addition to the DWSP2 Plan she is working on with the Village of Clayville, Kristin is also working on a huge flood resiliency and floodplain restoration project. We are excited to see how this project progresses!

A conference held by HOCCPP on stormwater.

Photo Credit: Kristin Campbell. A conference held by HOCCPP on stormwater. 

Q: What parts of the job does Kristin find challenging or exciting?

A: Working with others and seeing things through their eyes can be complicated, but Kristin does not mind a good challenge! She thoroughly enjoys working with the local community and figuring out solutions to tricky problems. One thing Kristin finds exciting about her job is that you never know what someone is going to ask (she even has a funny story about a pony - but you will need to ask her about that!). Her job is never dull!

Now that we have some background, let’s move on to her experience as a TAP for DWSP2.

Q: What advice does Kristin have for others who are working on a DWSP2 Plan?

A: Two things that came to Kristin’s mind and they are 1) be organized and, 2) follow the process. What does she mean by this? Thanks to the DWSP2 Framework and additional resources like the Plan Data Summary, creating a DWSP2 Plan is not as difficult as one might think. Using these resources and listening to your community (what their goals and vision are), will allow you to create a plan specific to your community’s needs. There is no need to overthink it!

Q: What are some highlights Kristin would like to share?

A: Kristin said that what was interesting about this process with the Village of Clayville’s is that the drinking water source is located in another municipality, where the Village does not regulate land use by any means. Prior to DWSP2, no one had ever looked at the concept of giving the Village an opportunity to talk to or work with the Town where the drinking water source is located. While developing the DWSP2 Plan, Kristin and the Village looked outside the Village’s boundaries since their drinking water (like many others) does not stop at the municipal boundary. 

Q: Was there anything Kristin did (or learned) under DWSP2 that she enjoyed?

A: Kristin liked gathering information on the community’s history and found that information about how their source water was developed was very interesting. As Kristin was pulling this information together, she saw the “book” open that told a bigger story.

Finally, Kristin told us some fun facts about herself as well as the area she resides in. Let’s dive in!

Q: Where did Kristin grow up?

A: Kristin grew up in the Mohawk Valley, in the Town of Brookfield. Although located in Madison County, Brookfield is in an area where several counties come together, 5 counties in fact! Kristin moved back to the area because she wanted to bring all she learned back home, and work to make a difference in the community she grew up in. 

Q: What is Kristin's favorite season?

A: Kristin appreciates all four seasons because each have a thing she loves, whether it be the spring for gardening or the winter for snow. But considering Kristin loves gardening so much, she figured the spring may be her favorite! When she moved back to the Mohawk Valley, she bought an old house. As she was cleaning up over the first few years of living there, large flower gardens would pop up. Kristin has been maintaining those gardens ever since, and sometimes her children even help her! Her favorite flowers are peonies, which remind her of her parent’s old farmhouse, and roses, which remind her of her grandmother. 

Q: What is Kristin's favorite waterbody in NYS?

A: Kristin loves Lake Ontario! She met her husband while he was stationed on Lake Ontario in the U.S. Coast Guard. Kristin loved waking up to the lake, as well as watching storms coming off the lake. 

Q: What are some fun facts about Kristin's region? What destinations does Kristin recommend people visit? 

A: Did you know that Herkimer and Oneida serve as the headwaters for five major drainage basins that go to the Atlantic? These include the Mohawk Hudson, Susquehanna, Oswego, Black River and Oswegatchie River! The region also has two dams that feed the Erie Canal, the Delta Dam which was built in 1912 and the Hinckley Reservoir which was built in 1914.
A photo taken from Delta Dam Bridge in Rome NY
Photo Credit: Kristin Campbell. A photo taken from the Delta Dam Bridge in Rome NY.
As far as destinations, Kristin recommends Old Forge in the Adirondacks, Oneida Lake, and the Erie Canal. Kristin loves all of the beautiful lakes around the Old Forge area, as well as visiting Oneida Lake when she can. And if you are looking to get on the Erie Canal, Kristin recommends starting from the General Nicholas/Herkimer Home!
A photo taken from Rayhill Trail in Oneida County
Photo Credit: Kristin Campbell. A photo taken from Rayhill Trail in Oneida County.

Share Your Thoughts

Have you begun this process? Or, do you have a program or are aware of a program relevant to source water? Send in any helpful hints or information at source.water@dec.ny.gov and we may highlight them!

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