Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2) - December Newsletter

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

This issue's topics:

  • Technical Assistance Providers Available to Protect Your Drinking Water!
    • What can I expect?
  • Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board
    • Q&A with Allison Gaddy

Technical Assistance Providers Available to Protect Your Drinking Water!

Have you heard that the State is looking for communities interested in working with a technical assistance provider (TA provider) to develop and implement a DWSP2 Plan for their source of drinking water? 
If you would like to work with a TA provider, we encourage you to visit the DWSP2 webpage and complete an application. Once completed, submit the application by using the submit button at the bottom of the PDF. If you have any questions, reach out to the DWSP2 Team at source.water@dec.ny.gov.

What can I expect?

TA providers work with each community every step of the way, using the DWSP2 Framework, to develop a DWSP2 Plan specific to their community and drinking water source. TA providers will:
  • Help establish stakeholder workgroups. 
  • Assist with coordination of stakeholder workgroup meetings.
  • Gather water quality and/or water quantity data and assist with interpretation.
  • Gather information on potential contaminant sources.
  • Help identify and/or delineate source water protection areas.
  • Help prepare or update source water assessment maps.
  • Offer assistance creating protection areas for groundwater systems using advanced numerical modeling.
  • Aid with identifying implementation strategies to address current and future potential contaminant sources and land uses.
  • Assist in source water protection project implementation.
  • Offer guidance on funding sources to fund such projects.
  • Provide guidance on writing and maintaining a local drinking water source protection plan.

Fill out an application today!

Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board

Our focus for this Newsletter is to get to know another one of our Regional Planning Board TA providers, Allison Gaddy, from the Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board (LCLGRPB).

LCLGRPB 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.

The LCLGRPB office is located in the Village of Lake George and serves Warren, Washington, Clinton, Essex, and Hamilton Counties. LCLGRPB is working with six community water systems on Lake George to create a unified DWSP2 plan for Lake George. The community water systems are located along the west side of Lake George within the Village of Lake George, Town of Lake George, Town of Bolton, Town of Hague, and the Town of Ticonderoga. LCLGRPB decided to work with these communities since several of them already had strong partnerships and this project could naturally pair with and improve the water quality work that is already being done in the area.

Leading the charge on the DWSP2 Plan for LCLGRPB is Allison Gaddy, a Senior Planner who has been working for LCLGRPB for almost three years. Allison graciously answered a variety of questions we had for her so we could learn more about her and the work she is doing for the communities on Lake George as a DWSP2 TA provider. Let’s get to know your TA provider!

Lake George from Tongue

Photo Credit: Allison Gaddy. Lake George from Tongue

Q&A with Allison Gaddy

First, we wanted to get a little background on Allison, find out what led her to her current position, and learn more about what her work entails...

Where did you go to school? “I attended the University of Vermont and received a BS in Business Administration and then University at Albany where I earned a MS in Regional Planning.”

What led you to this career? “I became interested in the field of planning while traveling in Southeast Asia. The way humans interact with their built environment is very interesting to me and seeing how small changes in that environment can alter how a person feels made me appreciate the work that planners do.”

What sort of duties do you have at work? “I work with communities throughout Warren, Washington, Clinton, Essex, and Hamilton Counties on a range of programs including community planning, watershed revitalization planning, and revitalization initiatives. I also do a lot of grant writing for both our organization and our communities.”

What is something you find challenging about your work? “The things that make my job challenging are also the things that I like about my job. Working on a variety of programming keeps me engaged and learning, but constantly learning new things can also be challenging.”

What is the most exciting part of your job? “The most exciting part of my job is working with communities to help them hone in on a project and find funding to get those projects implemented.”

Lake George Waters

Photo Credit: Allison Gaddy. Lake George Waters

Since Allison has been championing the unified Lake George DWSP2 plan, we wanted her to share some thoughts on DWSP2 and what she hopes to see as source water protection changes into the future…

What advice would you give to others working on a DWSP2 Plan? “Make sure you ask questions; you may be surprised by how much local knowledge accumulates in our communities.”

Are there benefits of the program that you would like to share that others may not know about? “I think the DWSP2 plan should be looked at as a first step in long-term planning for projects in your community. Whether it be land acquisition for source water protection, updating a comprehensive plan or zoning ordinance to include water quality protection priorities and initiatives, or understanding what infrastructure upgrades are needed and mapping a chart for how to get there.”

What source water protection changes would you like to see looking to the future? “Something that we see a lot in our region is the issue of aging drinking water infrastructure. Although the source itself is probably not threatened by this, it is a threat to drinking water quality and access and I think it should be considered when completing a DWSP2 plan.”

DWSP2 is not the only project Allison is working on. Let’s find out what other efforts LCLGRPB is completing in the area...

What other projects are you working on besides DWSP2? “I am working on a Watershed Action Plan for Lake George, a Green Infrastructure Plan in the Village of Whitehall, a plan which quantifies the phosphorus reductions from implemented water quality improvement programs in the Lake Champlain watershed, our office just released an economic resiliency plan for our five-county region, Forward Together, and we will be kicking off an economic regional housing assessment in early 2022. I also work with both the Champlain Watershed Improvement Coalition of New York (CWICNY) and the Upper Hudson Watershed Coalition advancing water quality improvement projects in their respective watershed and administering their WQIP grants. Finally, I am working with the Village of Speculator to construct a historic Adirondack fire tower in the heart of the Village. This project is funded by a NYSDEC Adirondack Smart Growth Communities grant and is a fun and important tourism and education-based project.”

Of course we could not end the interview without asking Allison some fun questions first! Here are some interesting facts about Allison…

What is your favorite way to unwind after a busy day? “I like to go for a walk or jog around my home in Glens Falls.”

What is your favorite waterbody in NYS and favorite water-related activity? “Lake George. I also like canoeing on the smaller lakes and rivers throughout the Adirondacks.”

Do you have an annual summer tradition? “Camping on the Lake George Islands is a tradition that my husband inherited from his family, and we are passing that onto the next generation.”

What is the coolest thing you have ever seen or done? “Traveling in India for two months has been my favorite experience. I saw so many things, ate delicious food, and met great people!”

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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