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Energy and Environment Cabinet

Kentucky Division of Water

Division of Water
Watershed Management Branch

John Webb, Branch Manager 502-502-782-7126  E-mail:

The mission of the Watershed Management Branch is to manage and protect Kentucky's water resources for present and future generations through voluntary, educational and regulatory programs.

The Watershed Management Branch provides leadership for comprehensive planning and analysis of water quality and quantity, on a watershed basis.  The branch coordinates the Watershed Management Framework, through which watersheds are targeted for planning and implementation. The branch also develops and implements nonpoint source pollution control programs, inventories water sources, issues water withdrawal permits and provides technical support for water management planning, including source water protection. The Watershed Management Branch administers the Water Watch program and provides support to the Watershed Watch program, through which citizens across the state monitor stream and lake conditions. 

Nonpoint Source and Basin Team Section
The section provides leadership and technical support to the Watershed Management Framework, including the Statewide Watershed Management Framework Steering Committee, seven Basin Teams and sub-watershed task forces throughout the Commonwealth. The section also works to improve widespread public understanding of watersheds; supports citizen involvement in monitoring water bodies by coordinating the Water Watch Program and supports the Watershed Watch organizations.

Water Quantity Management Section
The section provides leadership and technical support for water resource management, especially with regard to water allocations and for integrating water quantity and water quality analyses. This section implements the water supply planning, drought monitoring, water shortage response, and water withdrawal permitting programs; and provides significant support to Water Management Planning, in conjunction with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority. These programs ensure long-term security for adequate water supplies to the citizens of the Commonwealth, including protecting drinking water sources (Source Water Protection).

Groundwater Section
The section implements a comprehensive groundwater program that manages, enhances and protects the groundwater resources of the Commonwealth for present and future generations through regulation, technical assistance and collection of resource information. This section also implements the groundwater protection plans, wellhead protection plans, water well drillers certification and ambient monitoring network programs. 

GIS and Data Analysis Section
The section maintains the Department For Environmental Protection (DEP) Consolidated Groundwater Database. The database houses information gathered from water well and monitoring well construction records submitted by Kentucky Certified Water Well Drillers, data from pre-law water wells and springs collected through inspections conducted by DEP personnel and analytical data from water samples collected by DEP personnel.  These data are then submitted per statute to the official state groundwater repository at the Kentucky Geological Survey.

The section also maintains the Assessment Database (ADB), which is used to prepare surface water quality assessments reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The GIS staff work with internal and external groups to fulfill requests and perform analysis using GIS systems. The section also maintains and updates the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) program.

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