Photo: Leah Rae
When we turn on the tap, we trust that the water flowing from it is safe. In 2016, the City of Newburgh faced a drinking water crisis after discovering a toxic chemical in its primary reservoir. For years, and possibly decades, 29,000 people were exposed.
Riverkeeper was there to assist.
In collaboration with Newburgh residents, we advocated for a full and fair health response starting with free blood testing. We pressed for an investigation and cleanup of the source of contamination, and the state has moved aggressively. Riverkeeper also made the case for a comprehensive source water protection program to improve Newburgh’s drinking water for the future. We are now working to make sure that program is comprehensive — a model for other communities around the state.
Newburgh is not unique for having a poorly protected drinking water supply. It’s just unique in suffering the consequences. The shocking fact is that many watersheds we rely on for drinking water in New York State are vulnerable. That is why it is imperative that we make a long-term commitment to protecting the rivers, streams and wetlands that we rely on for drinking water, and that we restore watersheds that have been degraded. That includes the Hudson River, on which over 100,000 people in the mid-Hudson region rely for drinking water.
The need for investments in water infrastructure is estimated at $80 billion or more statewide, and Riverkeeper has advocated for annual investments of $800 million. The additional need for investments in projects to protect drinking water at its source is also significant, but unknown.
YOU CAN HELP US prevent water pollution and protect the rivers and streams we rely on for drinking water by taking immediate action:
- WRITE or CALL by Tuesday, March 21, and ask the Governor, your Assembly and Senate members to go big on clean water in the 2017-2018 NYS budget. Calls have great impact. Please pick up the phone!
- THANK them for proposing $2 billion, to be spent over five years, for water infrastructure, drinking source water protection and emergency response.
- REQUEST that they allocate that much or more, given the need for $800 million in annual investments for water infrastructure alone.
- SHARE this blog post with ten of your friends.
Here’s a short script supporting a clean water budget in New York:
“Hi my name is _______ and I am calling to ask [Governor Cuomo/ Assembly member/ Senator _____ ] to support water infrastructure, drinking source water protection and emergency response in New York by allocating $2 billion or more to the Clean Water Infrastructure Act. Given the need for $800 million in annual investments for water infrastructure alone, the Clean Water Infrastructure Act will provide a down payment to protect our water. Please go big on clean water in the 2017-2018 NYS budget.”
USE THESE CONTACT PAGES to find your legislator and for phone, mail and email information.
Contact Governor Cuomo here.
Contact your State Senator here.
Contact your Assembly Member here.