Friday, August 17, 2007

Water Fight!

It was an interesting scene last evening down in Herkimer at the public forum on the MVWA expansion, and it was covered by the Herkimer Telegram, the Observer-Dispatch, the Sentinel, and News-10-Now. The Sentinel's coverage seems the most complete if you only have time to read one article.

We got to see (again) Mr. Becher's little demo with what appeared to be a fish tank, a plastic bowl and a shot glass to make a point that the MVWA's withdrawals are insignificant. Then we got to hear Mr. Goebels of Canal Corp. explain why MVWA's withdrawals ARE significant after all -- in essence, when the tank is not full, the shot glass is important.
"We have a serious drought right now," the Canal Corp. official said, but later noted that levels are supposed to fluctuate." (Sentinel)
While I have no reason to doubt Mr. Goebel's calculations on MVWA's impacts on water levels, I have to question his conclusion that we are now in a drought. This year certainly does not seem to have been unusually dry to the point that most people would call it a drought . . . and there was that snowy February. Maybe some statistics are in order.
"It was built for one purpose: to supply water for canal needs," he said. (OD)
Well, that may be true, but it has also been adapted for power-generation, and recreation use has been encouraged.

Additionally, there is downstream power generation, predating Hinckley. And I guess that is what makes MVWA's attitude so disturbing, which was made clear (but unreported in the media) when Mr. Becher alluded to power being sold on the spot market at fluctuating prices. The impression was made that there was something wrong with a profit being made, and that this should give way to MVWA's use. But isn't that why compensating reservoirs were required -- for MVWA to put into the system what it takes out -- to neutralize its impact -- so others can use the stream too? And isn't it MVWA's destruction of its compensating reservoir (along with expansion plans) that brought this controversy on?

None of the other interested parties on this issue comes with unclean hands.

Of all the uses of Hinckley water, only MVWA actually takes the water away, out of the West Canada Creek drainage basin.


Utica-Post said...
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Utica-Post said...
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