Water Watch NYC

Everything you need to know about water in NYC.

About the Blog

Water Watch NYC is dedicated to staying on top of all things water in NYC. We monitor the comings and goings of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Water Board so that you don’t have to. We are committed to keeping you abreast of all the economic and environmental issues relating to water in NYC.

Finally, an agency with a $30 billion capital plan has some accountability.

God bless America!

20 thoughts on “About the Blog

  1. Hershel:

    See you on November 21 at the Water Board. Make sure everyone on the CAC for the Long Term Control Plan/Open Waters knows about the Blog.

    Bob

  2. You might be interested in this event tonight.

    “TAKING STOCK OF NEW YORK CITY’S DRINKING WATER”
    PRESENTED BY NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

    What: “Taking Stock of New York City’s Drinking Water” – A Public Program
    The results of three groundbreaking studies about the 1997 New York City Watershed Agreement will be presented at a program produced by the Environmental Sciences Section of the New York Academy of Sciences.

    These studies assess New York City’s programs to ensure water quality; outline the status of current water quality and provide a baseline for future water quality assessment; and review the economic impact of the 1997 NYC Watershed Memorandum of Agreement.

    The public is invited to attend.

    When: Thursday, May 15, 2008
    6:00 – 8:00 pm

    Where: New York University – The Kimmel Center for Student Life
    The Shorin Performance Studio (8th Floor)
    60 Washington Square South at LaGuardia Place
    New York, NY 10012
    http://www.nyu.edu/about/virtual.html

    Media: Media are welcome to attend and photograph the event at 6:00 pm.

    (New York City, NY) On May 15th 2008, the New York Academy of Sciences will host an event to address the impact of the 1997 NYC Watershed Memorandum of Agreement. Presenters from The Clean Drinking Water Coalition (CDWC), John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Stroud Water Research Center will present their findings on the following: New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) compliance with federal and state watershed protection requirements, the economic impact of the Agreement on the communities in the watershed, and an overview of trends in water quality in the NYC Watershed.

    The Agreement—intended to protect the quality, affordability and availability of the drinking water of almost 10 million New York City, Westchester and Putnam County residents—has been hailed as an example of enlightened policy making. Under the terms of the Agreement New York City pledged to spend over $1 billion on programs designed to protect water quality and to strengthen the economies of the watershed communities. If these programs successfully protected the system’s water quality, the city could avoid building a federally mandated water treatment plant that would cost several billion dollars to construct and hundreds of millions of dollars a year to operate.

    Representing The Clean Drinking Water Coalition, Cathleen Breen, Watershed Coordinator for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), will present the CDWC’s “report card” on the DEP’s compliance with all federal and state watershed protection requirements as specified in the 1997 Watershed Memorandum of Agreement and USEPA’s Filtration Avoidance Determinations. This “report card” examines how well the DEP is protecting drinking water supplies and working with partners in the Watershed. The CDWC is a partnership of NYPIRG, Riverkeeper, Inc. and The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, all signatories to the Agreement.

    Joan Hoffman, Professor of Economics at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, will present her study of the impact of the New York City Watershed Agreement on the economy of the counties in the watershed. Hoffman’s presentation will look at the economic trends in the watershed and compare them to trends in rural counties elsewhere in the state and nation.

    Bernard W. Sweeney, Director of the Stroud Water Research Center, will present the Center’s findings from its six-year study of the NYC Watershed. The Center monitored 110 streams and rivers and 12 reservoirs to assess current water quality and sources of pollution – and provide a technical baseline for measuring future changes – in the streams, rivers, and reservoirs that supply New York City’s drinking water. The study was funded by a Safe Drinking Water Act grant awarded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the USEPA.

  3. Hopefully you can let me know what we are charged for a gallon (or other measurement) for water and for sewer. Thank you for helping me. Respectfully, Larry Dukes

  4. Hersehl: I am an NYU grad student interested in the way the NYC Water Board makes decisions. I will be at the meeting this Friday. I’m wondering if you will email me so that I could use you as a source for my article. Please let me know as soon as possible. Best, Andrea

  5. Hi there Hershel!

    I am a representative of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and we have a big day planned on July 18th called City of Water Day. It is a huge waterfront celebration out on Governor’s Island that attracts folks from all over the city, with a large portion coming from Brooklyn and Manhattan (but we would like to see other boroughs participate as well!).

    We have people from all types of organizations rowing and paddling over to the island, but people who do not have human-powered boats are encouraged to take a ride on the Water Taxi or the Ferry to come on over and celebrate the water that surrounds us. Last year, the event attracted more than 7,000 people to Governor’s Island, and this year it is planned to be bigger and better. However, we can’t do this without the help of volunteers. On Thursday night, we’re having a big volunteer kick-off meeting, and it would helpful for us if you could make a post about the meeting. See the attached information below and let me know what you could do for us via email (which I believe you could see).

    Thanks so much!
    Elisa Deljanin

    City of Water Day Festival

    ***Call for Volunteers***

    On Saturday, July 18th thousands from the Tri-State region will float, ferry, paddle, row, splash, canoe, and kayak their way to beautiful Governors Island for the 2nd Annual City of Water Day Festival, presented by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (MWA).

    In addition to a breathtaking flotilla of hundreds of human-powered boaters converging on the island from launch points throughout the region the region, this unique and free festival celebrates all that our waterfront could be. Festival highlights include delicious food from local vendors, exciting bands, harbor tours on a variety of historic and educational vessels, kayaking and fishing opportunities, car-free biking, water-themed children’s activities, a Waterfront Action Information Fair, and more!

    Last year over seven thousand people took part in City of Water Day. This year we expect even larger crowds. To make the day a success, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance needs close to 200 enthusiastic volunteers to help with everything from greeting attendees as they arrive on the island, to organizing our Waterfront Advocacy Teach-In, to helping wrangle in canoes and kayaks as they arrive.

    On Thursday, June 11th at 7pm the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance is hosting an Information Session for prospective City of Water Day volunteers. Join us, bring your friends, and be a part of this one-of-a-kind celebration!

    What: City of Water Day Festival Volunteer Information Meeting

    When: June 11, 7pm

    Where: 457 Madison Ave. 4th Floor, NY, NY

    Contact: lmiller@waterfrontalliance.org

    SEE YOU THERE!!!

    The City of Water Day Festival takes place on Saturday, July 18th, 2009 from 10am to 4pm, but some volunteer tasks begin as early as 8am and end as late at 7pm. Follow the City of Water Day Festival at: http://www.cityofwaterday.org

  6. For Immediate Release: Will Environmental Protection City Councilmember Gennaro Protect the Environment?

    (New York, June 10) As the controversy about whether or not the State and Federal governments would allow unconventional gas drilling in upstate rural areas heats up, dozens of environmental activists rallied outside of City Hall on Wednesday in an animated protest to urge Councilmember Gennaro – the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee Chair – to follow through on his declared opposition to gas drilling statewide:

    “Every New Yorker should be worried about the very real and immediate threat of natural gas drilling in our drinking water supply, and join in the fight to get the State to ban this environmentally and fiscally unsustainable activity”. – Councilmember Gennaro

    Also known as ‘frack drilling’, this unconventional form of gas drilling is a dangerous new form developed by Halliburton to transform rock into gas since less costly-to-get-to reserves of “natural” peaked in the U.S. in the 90s. The proposal to use the method which would use and contaminates trillions of gallons of fresh water drawn from rural community aquifers and watersheds currently used by farmers and rural communities has sparked widespread condemnation in Community Boards of New York City and across the state and country.

    Councilmember Gennaro’s hearings last Fall were stacked with representatives of homeowners with homes supplied by the Delaware and Catskill Watersheds as well as the NRDC and other national corporate environmental organizations which support gas drilling. The subsequent Resolution 1850 favors gas drilling in Upstate New York setting the stage for the industry to sacrifice profits in part of the city’s water supply while drilling the pristine New York farm country. The demonstrators decried the “irresponsible and ecologically-unsound” two-tiered position for which Gennaro has ‘sold his soul and sold out the environment’.

    At the State and Federal bills introduced by New York State Assemblyman Brennan and Representative Maurice Hinchey respectively were identified as “pro-gas drilling” bills which fail to protect areas outside of the Catskill Delaware watersheds or farmland and rural areas nationwide not draining into municipal water systems.

    Representative Hinchey’s bill imperils farmland and rural communities nationally,” claimed Angelo Panetta, a small farmer whose land abuts the border of the Catskill watershed. “Even though I’m within the supposed protected area, I know that if gas drilling is allowed under the Hinchey NRDC bill, even though I’m within the Catskill watershed, I’ve seen the way these fracking fluids travel underground in places like Wyoming and Colorado.”

    Josh Brengren, one of the activists and a Professor of Environmental Statistics and a speaker at the rally, has been gathering petitions outside his local Queens neighborhood supermarket on behalf of a new anti-gas drilling organization, NYS-H20. “This is the major issue facing our state at the moment especially given Hinchey and DeGette sell-out yesterday to unconventional gas industry in Congress. No one should stand by while the gas industry tries to squeeze gas out of impermeable rock at the expense of our soil, air, water and the future vitality of this state,” he explained to one of the passersby on Broadway, picking up information packets including a DVD.

    Linda Turillo learned about the issue from Mr. Brengren, and has also been gathering petitions signatures for a statewide ban. “Some fake environmental organizations – like NRDC (just look at their Board of Directors) – support so-called ‘clean’ gas as a “transitional” fuel. Turillo declared “climate scientists have made it clear that a rapid transition away from fossil fuels is necessary but Halliburton and these politicians just don’t get it”.

    Many of the 35 activists, including Mr. Brengren, were inspired by the dramatic documentary, Raging at Nature, directed by budding documentarian and enfant terrible, Josh Foxe, which chronicles the devastating impacts of natural gas drilling in Western States.

    NYS-H20, formed to protect water and food supplies in all of New York State from the frack drilling, said they are very troubled by the divide and conquer strategy being deployed by the gas drilling industry through Councilmember Gennaro’s Resolution 1850. “They’re using NIMBY activists who have second homes in the countryside in Pennsylvania which is fed by the same watershed which feeds New York City. They’re deploying these people to make sell-out politicians like Gennaro look good by declaring New York City’s supplies should be specially protected instead of standing with the majority of climate and anti-gas drilling activists who support a ban against the entire industry. I do not understand why this gained any traction.” Jonathen Miles asserted.

    As dozens of activists rallied, policymakers streamed into City Hall, many stopping to learn more about the inadequacies of Resolution 1850. After informing Council Member and Democratic Mayoral candidate Tony Avella about the issues involved he removed his name from Resolution 1850 in anticipation of a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to be forthcoming. Fire Department member Chris Bachely said, “I was impressed by how he listened and was willing to adopt his position when new information came his way. More politicians should be like that.”

    Council Member Gennaro has maintained that his committee has jurisdiction only of the water supply area patrolled by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. In addition they point to two committee hearings he led in support of the Liquified Natural Gas facility promoted by Shell Oil called Broadwater which would have been located at the end of the Long island Sound, many miles from any New York City jurisdiction. Gennaro’s defeated Resolution 1265 stated “…that Broadwater can be operated safely and securely in Long Island Sound.”

    The Shell Oil/Broadwater project was opposed far and wide by environmentalists, including Citizens Campaign for the Environment and Long Island Drinking Water Coalition, among 80 more. The State found the Broadwater proposal to violate the Coastal Zone Management Act and ruled the project inconsistent with the values and uses of the Sound.

    In addition, the Council regularly considers issues of a national or international scope, with Gennaro himself voting on resolutions having to do with Sudan as well as a vote against a resolution opposing the Iraq War in 2003, activists pointed out.

    Marie Winter, who came to the rally from Prospect Park and visits upstate New York and goes hiking regularly said, “Leave this gas where god flung it.”

    By Wanda Rivera http://www.fraudwater.com/images/Gennaro.gif

  7. Stephen DeVillo, Development Associate of the Bronx River Alliance, will lead a walking tour along the route of the Old Croton Aqueduct in the Bronx on Saturday December 12th at 10 am. The tour will start at the Jerome Park Reservoir and head south toward the High Bridge.

    Reservations, Matt Malina mm1566@nyu.edu

  8. DEP is violating the CWA. EPA should be taking enforcement action against DEP. Didn’t I read something about an ongoing CSO investigation? EPA R2 might know something about it.

  9. I am from Delhi, In Delaware county, I am new to your blog and moments ago read the comment from Pete. While I understand your concern for your water supply. Strictly opposing fracking amongst other resource mining is killing our long suffering economy. While the DEP allows for blue stone mining, and that is a major industry of the area, it is simply not enough. To prevent any contamination of the water supply NYC has been relentlessly purchasing land in Delaware county and others. Consistently they are paying 1.5 to 2 times what the property value is to ensure that they take control of the land which is then rendered useless for anything. Kindly they have recently opened much of the land for hunting and other outdoor recreation. However, in the spirit of your blog I find it necessary to inform you of the wasted money that is destroying both your water bill and our economy. While the water board agreements and leases are providing greater opportunities for government waste, there is literally millions, of dollars spent each week on properties that will never benefit NYC, your water supply or the current residents of the area around the land. I hope that this information is useful to you in your quest to inform the public. thank you. David MacClintock

  10. Hi Everyone,

    I’m planning a laid-back charity event for young professionals date TBA for May (1st, 7th, or 8th). The charity supported will be http://www.charitywater.org/.

    At the moment, I’m looking for sponsors for the event or interested parties in helping the effort. Please let me know if you’d like to learn more!

    nicole@nicolevelasco.com

    Thank you,
    Nicole

  11. I am from Delhi, In Delaware county, I am new to your blog and moments ago read the comment from Pete. While I understand your concern for your water supply. Strictly opposing fracking amongst other resource mining is killing our long suffering economy. While the DEP allows for blue stone mining, and that is a major industry of the area, it is simply not enough. To prevent any contamination of the water supply NYC has been relentlessly purchasing land in Delaware county and others. Consistently they are paying 1.5 to 2 times what the property value is to ensure that they take control of the land which is then rendered useless for anything. Kindly they have recently opened much of the land for hunting and other outdoor recreation. However, in the spirit of your blog I find it necessary to inform you of the wasted money that is destroying both your water bill and our economy. While the water board agreements and leases are providing greater opportunities for government waste, there is literally millions, of dollars spent each week on properties that will never benefit NYC, your water supply or the current residents of the area around the land. I hope that this information is useful to you in your quest to inform the public. thank you. David MacClintock
    +1

  12. I hope you have a nice day! Very good article, well written and very thought out. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

  13. Many thanks — I ought say, impressed with your site. I will put this to my facebook wall.

  14. How can one easily find the frontage rates annually stretching back at least 20 years?

  15. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  16. Nice post, I love the website.

  17. Any statistics on the how many buildings have complied with Local Law 84 which includes data on water consumption?

  18. Hi – are you still active on this blog? I am a native New Yorker and my goal is to affect the scam that is bottled water in NYC. I recently wrote this. http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20141116/OPINION/141119876/council-should-try-the-local-waters PLEASE join me on FB in demanding that NYC Council lay off bottled water. https://www.facebook.com/groups/751021868241569/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s