Saturday, May 16, 2009

Twenty-Two Point Six

Twenty-Two Point Six Million Gallons Per Day (22.6 MGD) -- That is the amount of water that the Mohawk Valley Water Authority is limited to taking based on Judge Hester's Order that MVWA has the "right to divert at the Hinckley Reservoir water flow at a rate not to exceed 35 cubic feet per second . . . " [cfs - emphasis mine]

Per Today's OD

"Based on current water use, this ruling provides sufficient room to, at the very least, allow us to move forward and address the immediate needs of the towns that have requested water permits," authority Executive Director Patrick Becher said. "And this decision clears the way for the state now to provide drinking water to people who need it without fear of litigation.” . . .

Assemblyman David Townsend, R-Sylvan Beach, said despite the ruling, water line expansion should be possible in Westmoreland, Kirkland and Schuyler, since that water is already accounted for.
“I believe there was always enough water to do those,” he said.

OH REALLY? -- Let's put this 22.6 MGD in perspective.

Here are some figures from p. 30 of MVWA's Series 2003 Bond Prospectus:

While Average Daily Demand equals about 19 MGD (this blogger has seen higher numbers in MVWA engineering reports) Maximum Daily Demand equals 25 MGD -- or 38.68 CFS -- which would exceed Judge Hester's Order.

Perhaps there is enough storage in the MVWA system to handle the Maximum Demand days to avoid drawing more than 35 cfs from Hinckley . . . but it seems too close for comfort. What should be clear is that while Messrs. Becher and Townsend would like extend water service to NEW areas allowing people to get off wells, that will leave NO WATER for increased use in the areas that MVWA already serves. If water is supplied to new housing developments what is left for industrial development?

We can kiss the Marcy Nanocenter "Goodbye" because where oh where would we get the extra 3 MGD it would need to operate?

Of particular concern, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said, is what happens to the authority's plans to extend water lines into potential growth areas in Kirkland, Westmoreland and western Oneida County. The authority has also hoped to extend water lines eastward into the Herkimer County towns of Frankfort and Schuyler.

“It’s not good for job growth,” Picente said. “This decision clearly puts a whole new twist on our water issues and how we deal with it.”

Mr. Picente's concern is misplaced. The county already has a study (done in 1968 by Malcolm Pirnie) that shows that Non-Hinckley water resources are available to supply significant growth in central and western Oneida County, and recommends that they be used. That same study, however, shows that there are almost no water supply alternatives available for Utica and its Suburbs other than Hinckley.

Congratulations MVWA! Your actions have doomed Greater Utica to NO GROWTH.


The Angry Engraver said...

There should be a TOTAL moratorium on all developments looking for water until this garbage gets straightened out.

"Mr. Picente's concern is misplaced. The county already has a study (done in 1968 by Malcolm Pirnie) that shows that Non-Hinckley water resources are available to supply significant growth in central and western Oneida County, and recommends that they be used."That was over 40 years ago. Utica had close to 90,000 residents, NH had probably 12,000 and most of the Western Part of Oneida County was still farmland. Time for a NEW study maybe? There should be more than enough water to go around, well as long as the Canal Corp. doesn't waste it all.

RomeHater said...


I thought I would mention (since my readership has probably moved on) that I have a post about what teacher sin Rome make and why Rome should stop passing School budgets like they were Californai social programs.

Plus, I enabled texting, so I may post once in a while when I'm sitting at the parking lot waiting for people.

Strikeslip said...

Angry - The study was 40 years ago, but it was based on an expectation of significant growth (with Oneida+Herkimer counties going from a combined 330,000 to over 750,000). It's intent was to avoid a shortage.

While the study may be dated, the location of water supplies, the natural qualities of those waters, whether or not they could be suitably treated for potable purposes, and the topographic features where waters may be impounded are not things that would materially change.

The study was very comprehensive. I do not think a "new" study should be done because, frankly, in the highly politicized/controlled by special interests environment local government is in these days, I would fear that a "study" would merely be to justify whatever the special interests want.

I think an UPDATE of that study would be appropriate, however, to address the location of new settlements, population shifts, and legal changes (such as the Federal Great Lakes Compact which would forbid sending water from Lake Ontario to Utica but would allow it to Verona and Western Oneida County).

The Angry Engraver said...

WOW, they seriously hoped that the area's population would be that much????? Holy Cow.

Well maybe they should look at that study then. There needs to be water opportunities for some of the growing areas of the county, and maybe if enough people put their heads together instead of knocking heads, it can be resolved once and for all.

I know my town wants to grow, but we need the water. We've got our own supply but that's not enough for growth IMO. that's one factor than can encourage growth.