Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2) 2023 Year in Review

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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DWSP2 2023 Year in Review Title

The Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2) has completed another year of protecting public drinking water sources across New York State. To date, 74 municipalities have worked towards creating action-oriented, community-driven DWSP2 plans to protect their drinking water sources. Sixteen of the communities have completed the plan development process, received state acceptance and are moving forward to implementing their plans.

Many of the communities chose to apply because DWSP2 would assist them in gathering necessary data and strategies to protect against modern-day contamination risks. Communities who participate in DWSP2 receive free technical assistance to update their source water maps, assess potential contaminants in their watershed, identify effective approaches to address those potential contaminant sources, and assistance in implementing their protection and management actions. In doing so, communities can also become more competitive for future funding opportunities and better prepared to stay on the forefront of protecting public health and the environment.

Thank you and congratulations to all technical assistance providers and communities who have participated in DWSP2 this year. We look forward to helping our next cohort of communities and seeing our current participants continue to put their plans into action!

DWSP2 participating municipalities information

Why You Should Participate in DWSP2?

We recently met with key stakeholders from the Town and Village of Ellicottville and the Town of Otisco to learn about their reasons for participating in the program and what they are most proud of accomplishing during their DWSP2 plan development. Read below to learn about their experiences developing their community’s DWSP2 plan.

Map of DWSP2 Participating Communities

Map of DWSP2 Participating Communities

Town and Village of Ellicotville

Interviewed: Ben Slotman, Town Engineer and Bonnie Koschir, Town Planning Board Member 

Why Elicottville Chose to Participate in DWSP2?

The Town and Village of Ellicottville were informed about DWSP2 from their County Health Department. After the program was suggested to Ellicottville, they agreed that their current source water resources and system would benefit from a DWSP2 Plan. While working with a free technical assistance provider this program offered the community a well-rounded understanding of their water system, a united stakeholder group, and an action plan for source water protection. 

What Elicottville is Most Proud of Accomplishing During the DWSP2 Planning Process?

The Ellicottville community was most proud of accomplishing a greater understanding of their water district and aquifer. This understanding will help put Ellicottville in a good position when planning for future protection projects. The DWSP2 process also helped the community create a concise map series and summarize different available datasets. Lastly, Ellicottville’s DWSP2 Plan brought together various stakeholders in the community to protect their source water in a way that fits their community's needs and goals.

 Priority Source Water Protection Actions Identified in Ellicotville's DWSP2 Plan

  1. Reduce the possibility of direct wellhead contamination 
  2. Prevent contaminants from entering the source water area and seeping into groundwater
  3. Protect the source water area from future development

The Town and Village of Ellicottville have also made their State-Accepted DWSP2 plan publicly available. Check it out: Town and Village of Ellitcottville Drinking Water Source Protection Plan (DWSP2).

Otisco Lake

Interviewed: Cody McQueeney, Otisco Lake Treatment Plant Operator; Pete Murphy, Otisco Water Treatment Plant Manager and Town of Otisco Board Member. 

Why Otisco Chose to Participate in DWSP2?

The Otisco Lake watershed communities, including the Towns of Marcellus, Onondaga, Otisco, Preble, Spafford and Tully, wanted to build upon and strengthen existing source water protection and lake management plans. One of the motivations to participate in DWSP2 was to provide Towns, Villages, and farmers in the Otisco Lake watershed with needed guidance to ensure the region has sustainable, high-quality, and cost-effective supply of water now and in the future. The Otisco Lake communities were able to work with a free technical assistance provider to establish realistic goals, reduce duplication of efforts, and create partnerships for source water protection.

What Otisco is Most Proud of Accomplishing During the DWSP2 Planning Process?

The biggest accomplishment for Otisco Lake communities was bringing stakeholders together and hearing new perspectives on source water concerns. By building and strengthening community relationships, stakeholders were able to create an attainable action plan to improve their source water quality.

Priority Source Water Protection Actions Identified in the Otisco Lake DWSP2 Plan

  1. Mitigate sedimentation and erosion in the Otisco Lake Watershed
  2. Incorporate source water protection into Comprehensive Plans and Zoning updates in municipalities, where applicable. 
  3. Develop stormwater management plans for the municipalities, where applicable.

What’s New with DWSP2?

We recently attended conferences across NYS to share information about the free technical assistance available for DWSP2. We were grateful for the opportunity to talk with municipal officials, water operators, and stakeholders at the following conferences:

  • Black River Watershed Conference
  • Central New York Water Works Conference
  • SUNY Potsdam Local Government Conference
  • New York Conference of Mayors
  • New York Rural Water Association Operator Training 
  • Capital District Regional Planning Council Workshop
  • Susquehanna River Conference

DWSP2 Team Tabling at a Conference
NYSDOH Ryan Bell and NYS DEC Staff Lindsey Drew, tabling at the New York Conference of Mayors Fall Training held in Lake Placid, NY.

DWSP2 is a locally led, state-supported program that empowers municipalities to take action to improve and protect their public drinking water sources and surrounding environment. The program offers free technical assistance to develop and implement community-specific drinking water source protection plans. DWSP2 is designed to build off previous work, help align priorities, and fill gaps within a municipality’s current and future source water protection efforts.

If your organization has any upcoming events and would like DWSP2 to participate, reach out to source.water@dec.ny.gov.

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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!

Sign Up

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

Newsletter Archive

Missed last month's edition? Visit the DWSP2 Newsletter Archive to stay up to date.