News > News > Safeguard Drinking Water > 7 municipalities join Riverkeeper in campaign to protect Hudson River drinking water supply

7 municipalities join Riverkeeper in campaign to protect Hudson River drinking water supply

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 13, 2017
Contacts: Cliff Weathers, Riverkeeper Communications Director, 845-445-8257, cweathers@riverkeeper.org

More than 100,000 people rely on the Hudson River as primary source of drinking water

OSSINING — Seven municipalities have joined Riverkeeper in a campaign to protect the drinking water supply for more than 100,000 people – the Hudson River Estuary.

The seven municipalities — The City and Town of Poughkeepsie, Town of Hyde Park, Village and Town of Rhinebeck, Town of Lloyd and Town of Esopus – began meeting for the first time this summer to focus on their shared drinking water source. Five water treatment plants along the Hudson serve populations in the seven municipalities.

Dan Shapley, Riverkeeper’s Water Quality Program Director, said: “Protecting and restoring Hudson River water quality is important for wildlife, for recreation — and for public health. This first-of-its-kind collaboration between Hudson River municipalities to focus on protecting drinking water at its source is absolutely necessary to build and maintain focus on projects that will sustain these communities for generations to come.”

The municipalities have agreed to collaborate with Riverkeeper on three topics and projects initially:

  • Complete Riverkeeper’s Drinking Source Water Protection Scorecard to provide baseline information and recommendations about strategies for protecting this drinking water source;
  • Jointly support the application of Randy Alstadt, Water Plant Administrator of the Poughkeepsies’ Water Treatment Facility, to be a part of the Coast Guard’s Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment process for the Hudson River; and,
  • Share information about operations and other common issues.

Riverkeeper created the Drinking Source Water Protection Scorecard following the City of Newburgh’s drinking water crisis to empower communities to become effective advocates for the protection of the sources of public drinking water supplies. The Scorecard provides baseline information about the protections in place for water supplies, and identifies steps for improving essential protections through strategies such as hazard assessments, local land use decisionmaking, stream and wetlands regulation and open space preservation. To complete the Scorecard for these seven Hudson River communities, Riverkeeper has contracted with the Center for Watershed Protection, a national leader in the development and implementation of effective stormwater and watershed management practices.

It is anticipated that the results will help to make these municipalities more competitive for grants and other support associated with the historic $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act, which will provide multi-year funding for relevant projects, including $1 billion for clean water infrastructure and over $100 million for a new source water protection land conservation program.

While the effort to protect and restore the Hudson River has been ongoing for years, many are unaware that the mid-Hudson is a source of drinking water. Earlier this summer, Riverkeeper and Mill House Brewing Co. brought public attention to the fact that more than 100,000 people rely on drinking water from the Hudson by brewing a special beer, Ship Rocked IPA.

Robert Rolison, Mayor, City of Poughkeepsie said: “In addition to the vital public health aspects of this, and the environmental urgency which makes this co-ordination essential, the City of Poughkeepsie also supports this initiative because we know that competition for millions of dollars in funding for infrastructure is fierce. Many hands make light work – we know; but joining hands when goals align is what will assure all our communities the best outcome.”

Jon Jay Baisley, Supervisor, Town of Poughkeepsie, said: “Protecting our water source is a #1 priority. The safety and quality of our water source is a driving factor of our economy and the public health of our residents, businesses and visitors alike. The combination of all the towns and cities involved shows the highest priority that is given to our water source.”

Emily Svenson, Deputy Supervisor, Town of Hyde Park, said: “Nearly half the residents of the Town of Hyde Park, and most of the community’s businesses, rely on drinking water drawn from the Hudson River. Working together with other municipalities will enable us to monitor and protect the safety of Hudson River water. We thank Riverkeeper for taking the lead on this collaborative initiative.”

Thomas LeGrand, Board Chair, Dutchess County Water and Wastewater Authority, said: “As the owner of the Hyde Park Regional Water Treatment Facility, which provides potable water to nearly over 10,000 people in the Town of Hyde Park, the Dutchess County Water and Wastewater Authority is fully committed to the protection of the Hudson River, the source of water for the Hyde Park plant. We are pleased to join Riverkeeper and our partner municipalities in this important water quality projection initiative.”

Gary Bassett, Mayor, Village of Rhinebeck, said: “The Hudson River is the source of water for 5,300 Rhinebeck Village and Town customers, as well as a precious resource for every community along its banks. It is an honor for the Village of Rhinebeck to be part of this unique partnership with municipalities that draw water from the Hudson River. We are stronger together as we work to enact policies that will protect the Hudson River for generations to come. “

Elizabeth Spinzia, Supervisor, Town of Rhinebeck, said: “Working together with the other six local municipalities that get their drinking water from the Hudson gives strength to our cause. Together we represent over 100,000 residents. We are so very fortunate to have Riverkeeper’s guidance and resources to protect this precious resource.”

Neil Curri, Chair of the Environmental Conservation Commission, Town of Lloyd, said: “The Hudson River is a major water supply source for the Highland Water District’s 5,000 customers. Like other communities who depend on the Hudson for their drinking water, the Town of Lloyd considers protecting this resource a top priority, and we look forward to working with our neighbors to ensure residents and customers have clean, safe drinking water for years to come.”

Diane L. McCord, Supervisor, Town of Esopus, said: “The Indian meaning of Esopus is described as “Land of Flowing Waters and High Banks”. As the Indians took their livelihood from the Hudson River, our Town of Esopus also takes its livelihood from this precious commodity. We have 4,500 residents who use the river for their drinking water. We thrive on the tourists who flock to our community to enjoy the beauty of this river. It is our obligation to protect this vital lifeline and as a result we have joined with our neighboring municipalities along the Hudson River. We are not one voice but together we are a choir of people, 100,000 + strong, in begging for policies that will help us to protect our Hudson River.”

Deb Caraco, P.E., Senior Water Resources Engineer for the Center for Watershed Protection, said: “We look forward to working with the Hudson Riverkeeper and municipalities in the beautiful Hudson River Valley. We are confident that this partnership will be an important step toward achieving better watershed management in the region and improved drinking water quality for its citizens.”

For more information about Riverkeeper’s Drinking Source Water Protection Scorecard, visit riverkeeper.org/water-quality/drinking-source-water-protection.

For more information about the Coast Guard’s Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment process for the Hudson River, visit riverkeeper.org/blogs/boat-blog/fact-sheet-coast-guard-pawsa-process-hudson-river

COMMUNITIES SERVED BY DRINKING WATER FROM THE HUDSON RIVER ESTUARY

Community

Treatment facility

Operator

Population Served

City of Poughkeepsie

Poughkeepsies’ Water Treatment Facility

Poughkeepsies’ Joint Water Board

81,224

Town of Poughkeepsie
(Poughkeepsie Townwide Water District)  

Town of Hyde Park
(Greenbush and Arbors Condominium Water Systems)

Town of East Fishkill
(including Hopewell Glen water district via Central Dutchess Water Transmission Line)

Town of Hyde Park
(Hyde Park, Staatsburg and Harbourd Hills water service areas, including Zones A, B, D and L)

Rogers Point treatment facility, Hyde Park

Dutchess County Water and Wastewater Authority

9,636

Village of Rhinebeck

Rhinecliff water treatment facility

Village of Rhinebeck

5,300

Town of Rhinebeck

Town of Lloyd
(Highland Water District)

John Jankiewicz Water Plant

Town of Lloyd

5,000

Town of Esopus
(Port Ewen Water District)

Roger Mabie Water Treatment Plant

Town of Esopus

4,500

Population totals are based on figures in Annual Drinking Water Quality Reports.

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