Yesterday: Hinckley Reservoir: Can officials avoid repeating the same mistakes?
It did not take long to get an answer . . .
Today: Canal Corp., power company refuse to reduce Hinckley releases
Tomorrow: Will I be able to flush my toilet?
According to the 6:11PM version of the OD Article (since revised):
Picente said he is demanding that the water releases be reduced. Requests have been made for the last few days to reduce the releases from 600 cubic feet per second to 400 cubic feet per second for the next several days to allow the reservoir to fill as snow melts, he said.Mr. Picente can demand all he wants . . . but there IS a reason why Canal Corp. HAS to do this: It's called "Riparian Rights" . . . and it's about time that Mr. Picente and Mr. Becher learn about them. Violating rights has consequences.
“There’s no reason they can’t do this," Picente said. “It’s just unbelievable that my community has to go through this in March."
The power company is a riparian landowner, entitled under the law to the FULL FLOW of the stream to turn its turbines. Usually this time of year there is too much flow for the power company to use, so retention of water in Hinckley is a win-win-win for the power company, Canal Corp., and the MVWA.
This year is different. Flows are low enough that the power company can make full use of the entire flow . . . and the power company has the riparian rights to demand the full flow!
If releases were cut down from 600 cfs to 400 cfs as Mr. Picente demands, is Oneida County prepared to loan the power company enough money to make up for the loss of 1/3 of the power company's income while the retention is made? I have not heard of any offers . . . (In the 10:46 PM update, we find out that the Water Authority won't even consider compensating the power company for its losses.)
Perhaps this is just nature . . . but I suspect some gamesmanship here. Oneida County is trying to broker an agreement among Hinckley Reservoir "stakeholders" (including Verona and Vernon who should have no expectation of ever using Hinckley Reservoir water), but leaving out the most important "stake holders" -- Canal Corp, power company and the State -- the entities with actual riparian and sovereign rights. The Board of Legislators is supposed to vote on a "resolution" tomorrow that would demand that the State and power companies agree to "deviations" from prior agreements that would protect the MVWA's water supply. Essentially, they would be asking for something that does not belong to them, but, rather, belongs to the parties left out of the "stakeholder" process. If the OC Board of Legislators approves the resolution, it will be like throwing water on a grease fire! MVWA is supposed to have a 120 day supply in its own storage reservoir, but currently has zero days because it demolished its reservoir.
This is a nice display of arrogance on the part of Mr. Picente, et al. . . . and it is being met in kind by Canal Corp. and the power company.
The power company and Canal Corp. understand what riparian rights mean. Oneida County, Herkimer County, and the MVWA obviously do not. If they did, they would understand just how outrageous their actions in assembling an exclusionary "stakeholders'" group, and their demand for "deviations," appear to those who actually hold the rights.
Deviations made in the past to benefit MVWA's water supply were a gift. There is no right to demand them . . . Riparian rights are not lost by mere disuse. You do not bite the hand that feeds you . . .
Unfortunately, the PEOPLE will wind up paying for the arrogance and stupidity of their leaders.