Water Quality

The Hudson Valley Regional Council (HVRC) is the recipient of grant funding to assist with Water Quality Planning in the region through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the Federal Clean Water Act program. Through this funding, HVRC provides education and outreach to local municipalities with respect to water quality planning and stormwater management. The current focus of the grant (2019-2023) is to assist municipalities with Drinking Water Source Protection Plans, 9 Element Watershed Management Plans, and education and outreach for MS4 communities.

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Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2)

DWSP2 is a program created by DEC in collaboration with DOH to assist communities to protect their public sources of drinking water. The draft framework provides a step-by-step process towards a community's unique source water protection plan. The program breaks down the process into four phases: Stakeholder Group, Drinking Water Source Assessment, Protection & Implementation Strategies, and Progression & Maintenance.

HVRC is currently assisting communities in the Hudson Valley to protect source water, by providing technical assistance, education, and outreach for the program.

If you would like to work with a TA provider, complete an application and submit 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.

DWSP2 Resources

DWSP2 Land Use Training

HVRC and Pace Land Use Law Center provided a training to New Paltz in December 2021 with help from DEC and DOH. The training covered governance, an overview of the DWSP2 program, land use techniques, and intermunicipal collaboration. Below are the recordings and resource guides prepared for participants of this training:

Video 1: Introduction & Governance 101

Video 2: Land Use Techniques

Video 3: Intermunicipal Cooperation

Watershed Planning

HVRC works with NYSDEC to provide technical assistance for watershed planning and coordinates how to best help communities and watershed-based organizations protect their watersheds.

For a list of HUC-8 and HUC-10 watersheds within the region, see our Watershed Inventory 2021

9 Element Watershed Plan (9E)

9 Element Watershed Plans (9E) are used by communities, watershed councils, and other stakeholders in order to determine how to best protect a watershed from a specific pollutant coming from a non-point source. Common pollutants addressed by 9E plans are nutrients such as phosphorus or nitrogen. The plan consists of these 9 elements:

  1. Identify and quantify sources of pollution in watershed
  2. Identify water quality target or goal and pollutant reductions needed to achieve goal
  3. Identify the best management practices (BMPs) that will help to achieve reductions needed to meet water quality goal/target
  4. Describe the financial and technical assistance needed to implement BMPs identified in Element 3
  5. Describe the outreach to stakeholders and how their input was incorporated and the role of stakeholders to implement the plan
  6. Estimate a schedule to implement BMPs identified in plan
  7. Describe the milestones and estimated time frames for the implementation of BMPs
  8. Identify the criteria that will be used to assess water quality improvement as the plan is implemented
  9. Describe the monitoring plan that will collect water quality data need to measure water quality improvement (criteria identified in Element 8)

Watershed Planning Resources

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)

 

According to New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)’s 2014 ClimAID Climate Risk Information report, the changes we see in the Hudson Valley’s climate are primarily driven by increasing levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases associated with fossil-fuel combustion, changing land-use practices, and other human activities. Greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere and act as a heat trap, increasing the average annual temperature on Earth[3]. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) state that with increased temperatures, there is an increase in overall precipitation. However, since these climatic changes also affects the wind patterns and ocean currents on Earth, this increased precipitation is not distributed evenly[6].

The Hudson River Estuary Program states that, in New York, annual precipitation is increasing and precipitation patterns are changing. This includes an increased frequency of extreme rainfall events[1,4] like the storm, reported by the National Weather Service (NWS), that the Mid-Hudson region saw on July 9-10, 2023, where 4 to 9 inches of rain fell in some areas on a single day[5]. According to NWS, this storm was considered a 1 in 1,000 year event in the parts of our region hit hardest[5]. The Hudson River Estuary Program announced that that the average annual precipitation in the Northeast US has increased 0.4 inches per decade between 1895 and 2011, which is equivalent to 5 more inches of precipitation in 2011 than 1900[4].

The 2014 climate model, ClimAID Climate Risk Information, from NYSERDA projected that by the there will be 13-16 days where greater than one inch of precipitation will occur. This is compared to the 1971-2000 baseline of 10-12 days[2,3]. Additionally, NYSERDA projected that there will be 2-4 days where precipitation will be greater than 2’’ compared to the baseline of 1-2 days[2,3]. Both the Hudson River Estuary Program and NYSERDA agree that these extreme events are only projected to increase[1,2,3,4]. With this extreme rainfall, flooding, and stormwater issues are also projected to increase in our region[4]. Urban areas, due to increased impermeable surfaces like roads and buildings, and low-lying areas are particularly vulnerable[3].

HVRC Stormwater Series

HVRC provided the following training series on stormwater with funding from NYS DEC’s 604(b) Water Quality Planning Program. The trainings covered topics in stormwater management, green infrastructure, and sediment and erosion control. The recordings and presentations are provided below.

Hudson River Watershed Alliance Executive Director Emily Vail’s presentation explored her research on green infrastructure performance at two parking lots in the City of Kingston.  The intent of the research was to examine how green infrastructure is used as a tool to manage stormwater and reduce runoff.

John Dunkle’s, PE, CPESC, CPS4S, presentation investigated stormwater concepts, such as stormwater problems and solutions, the management and maintenance of stormwater practices, and stormwater regulations, including MS4 and construction permits requirements.

  • Erosion & Sediment Control: Priorities & Practices for Protection Water Quality, Soils & Streams | Presentation

This in-person event was held in collaboration with the Orange County Planning Department.  During this in-person stormwater management workshop, Jay Beaumont, PE, explored the principles of managing soil and erosion control on development sites.  A large construction site in the Town of Montgomery was featured as an example of enhanced sediment and erosion control plan adoption.

John Dunkle’s, PE, CPESC, CPS4S, presentation explored in detail various green infrastructure techniques and provided insights into the best management practices for their maintenance.

This in-person event was held in collaboration with the Orange County Planning Department.  During this in-person MS4 General Permit Workshop, Kathy Czajkowski, Mohawk River Coordinator at the DEC and Natalie Browne, Environmental Specialist at the DEC, presented the requirements of the new MS4 general permit (GP-0-24-001).

Grants

Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Lauren Bunce, Water Resources Coordinator

  Technical support related to water resources for all municipalities in the Mid-Hudson region.

  Lauren’s Calendly or email.

More Resources