Thursday, May 01, 2008

Where Do We Go From Here?

The "Final Report" of the Hinckley Working Group is out. After reading it . . . if you stay awake . . . you will understand why Upstate NY is the economic disaster that it is . These people -- exclusively government bureaucrats -- do a great job of burning up time, talking to each other, gathering all sorts of information -- but don't really do anything with the information and talk to solve the problem of preventing last summer's crisis from happening again. . . . And they avoid identifying the cause of last year's crisis.

If you don't identify the cause, how can you solve the problem?

As summarized in the DOH press release, the report makes 10 recommendations (numbers mine):
  1. Improve routine communications among agencies involved with the day-to-day operation of the Hinckley Reservoir and enhance communications when elevations and inflows are low.
  2. Improve the aging drinking water intakes and raw water mains.
  3. Consider the use of other available canal sources to help provide water to the eastern portion of the canal system for navigation when water levels are below normal and declining.
  4. Close data gaps to help better assess reservoir conditions and improve forecasting.
  5. Install a standby pump system to pull drinking water directly from the reservoir to help during low water periods.
  6. Consider assessing and upgrading the canal infrastructure.
  7. Consider the feasibility of creating additional storage reservoirs upstream of Hinckley Reservoir.
  8. Request that the State Drought Management Task Force establish a new drought region that encompasses Oneida, Herkimer and parts of Hamilton Counties.
  9. Form a planning and advisory group to study economic, recreational and development issues associated with the water resources and provide information that can be used for local planning.
  10. Preserve and archive the extensive information gathered by the Working Group for use in future planning.
The list is an excuse for more bureaucracy and spending.

The big question not answered is would the crisis have occurred had everyone been following long standing rules such as the 1920 Rule Curve and the 1917 Agreement? The solution to preventing the problem from reoccurring could be as simple as:

DO WHAT YOU ALREADY PROMISED TO DO.

But the public is not told that . . . because government agencies simply want to be free to do what they WANT to do.

This "Final Report" is a recipe for . . . more of the same.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The comment below from Claudia Hutton shows the ignorance of those involved. We will never be able to solve a problem without defining the problem first. To define the problem, one must look at past performance.

Personally I believe this is indicative of a cover-up of either incompetence or a criminal act. Either way, we the taxpayers lose again.


As printed in the Utica OD:

State Department of Health Spokeswoman Claudia Hutton: The department won't comment on whether they think the state Canal Corp. should have cut back on water releases sooner in 2007 because department officials adopted a policy to not look back or voice opinions about what occurred last year. "

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Pretty sad statement from a NYS official.

I would like to commend the Utica OD for their coverage of this issue. It is rare for me to make a positive comment of any media coverage in the Mohawk Valley, but this time the OD deserves it. Job well done.

Anonymous said...

No one should be surprised with the process. There has never been a commission with ordinary people on it. They are made up of those who have no common sence or a way to get any. All that they have concluded was said at the meeting that was held in September at HCCC. Just once I would like to see a sportsman seated on the committe. They are the eyes in the trees and the feet on the ground.

Anonymous said...

No one should be surprised with the process. There has never been a commission with ordinary people on it. They are made up of those who have no common sence or a way to get any. All that they have concluded was said at the meeting that was held in September at HCCC. Just once I would like to see a sportsman seated on the committe. They are the eyes in the trees and the feet on the ground.

waterboy said...

I think the best reading is the "DISSENTING OPINIONS" part.
I think the County Executive shares the same frustration as would anybody trying to solve a conflict.

The Canal Authority uses the phrase "to maintain navigation" as if was 1917 (the backbone of interstate commerce or the gateway to the west). Sorry it's 2008 and primarily recreation. So with that attitude 2007 will happen again because to "maintain navigation" will happen at any cost to Herkimer and Oneida County
residents.

Greens and Beans said...

Closed Circuit for the Governor:

This commission is made up of political operatives with a vested interest beholden to politically motivated operatives who want to whitewash the entire screwed-up situation. It’s evident that the wrong people were appointed to this advisory committee in the first place. Governor, if you really want to get to the bottom of what went wrong and what should be done to safeguard the interests of all of the operatives involved, you would have appointed genuine experts such as Strikeslip and Millicent Rader-Harris to the committee. With these two individuals on board, the public would get the real truth as to what went wrong and the real truth as to how to rectify the problem for many generations to come.

Anonymous said...

Millicent Rader-Harris is only worried about Lead and the Gray Dam.

frankcor said...

Regardless of your feelings about Millicent, it has to be agreed that she is knowledgeable about the Hinckley watershed.

Why is it that government officials value "communications" and "cooperation" so much? Communications don't feed the bulldog. Results do.