Tuesday, July 24, 2012


The following terms of the agreement are permanent and do not expire:

• The Canal Corporation agrees that the Water Authority has the right to use up to 32 million gallons per day of water from the reservoir for its customers.
• The Canal Corporation will not oppose expansion of the drinking water system within the limits set in the agreement.
• The agreement removes a major concern raised by DEC in their permit process over the legal ability of the MVWA to withdraw water from Hinckley Reservoir.
• The 1917 Agreement has been formally modified to eliminate the requirement for the MVWA to maintain Gray Reservoir and provide compensating flows.
• The Canal Corporation will manage Hinckley Reservoir levels above an elevation of 1195’ under normal conditions.
• The reserve amount of water for Herkimer County as required by DEC is guaranteed and becomes supplemental to 32 million gallons per day if MVWA actual use approaches that limit.
• The Water Authority agrees to make any improvements to its infrastructure necessary for these withdrawals, or necessary to expand its customer base.


During the interim period, both parties will work together to develop a new operating protocol for the reservoir to determine if, or when, the Water Authority can ultimately withdraw up to 48.5 million gallons per day. The development of the new protocol — referred to as an “Operational Support Tool” — is being spearheaded by the Upstate Freshwater Institute, a not-for-profit research corporation dedicated to the improvement of water quality and the advancement of freshwater research.

For more information, contact Patrick J. Becher, MVWA Executive Director, (315) 792-0310.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

more water for West Canada Creek...

Water Authority and Canal Corporation reach agreement on Hinckley Reservoir


In 2005, the Mohawk Valley Water Authority took legal action against the New York State Canal Corporation, which wanted the authority to pay for the water it used from Hinckley Reservoir. On Wednesday, high-level representatives of the two bodies joined together, without attorneys, to announce an historic agreement to end seven costly years of litigation. No money changes hands as a result of the agreement.

"The agreement provides an opportunity for the water authority, as I said, to access up to 32 million gallons a day. We currently average about 20 million gallons a day so we now have some excess capacity to be able to help neighbors that might need it," says Mohawk Valley Water Authority Director Patrick Becher.

Neighbors, such as Herkimer County, and economic development agencies like the Mohawk Valley Edge, which has been trying for years to lure a chip fab plant to Marcy. The plants use an exorbitant amount of water on a daily basis.

"This agreement is very good news for example to the folks at Mohawk Valley Edge that are actively having dialogues with industrial users to be able to say confidently that supply on that site will not become a problem in the future," says Becher.

Under the agreement, the State Canal Corporation oversees operation of the Hinckley Reservoir, maintaining a water level not to go below 1195', which is well above the 2007 levels that had the water authority asking its tens of thousands of customers to conserve water.

Both sides are calling this an 'interim' settlement, saying that they're still working together to develop a new operating protocol for the reservoir.