Schenectady County takes action to protect drinking water – The Daily Gazette

ROTTERDAM — Nearly 17 acres of county-owned land that surrounds the Great Flats Aquifer has been designated as open space for drinking water protection — a move officials say will protect a vital water source for the future generations.

Lawmakers unanimously approved the designation on Tuesday, which prevents development of the 16.8-acre plot located on the south side of the Mohawk River in Rotterdam, near drinking water wells in the city and the city of Schenectady. The county acquired the property along Schermerhorn Road in 1996 by foreclosure, according to county tax records.

The move is critical to preserving the estimated 1 trillion gallon aquifer that provides drinking water to most Schenectady County residents and will help ensure the county’s economic prosperity in the future, according to Anthony Jasenski, chairman. of the county legislature.

“Not only does this abundant water supply provide clean drinking water for our residents, it is also a resource that our economic development team has used to attract new businesses and development to our community through growth efforts. smart,” he said in a statement.

Several large companies have moved into the county in recent years and are heavily dependent on water, including BelGioioso Cheese, which operates out of the Glenville Business and Technology Park.

The move follows a warmer than usual summer that saw much of the region struggling with drought conditions. More than 70% of Schenectady County residents are experiencing moderate drought conditions, with precipitation levels nearly 2 inches below normal, according to the US Drought Monitor.

But in other parts of the country, drought conditions, brought on by climate change, have been so severe that lakes have dried up entirely. Residents of states like Arizona and Nevada have been forced to cut back on water use due to drought conditions affecting the Colorado River, while soaring temperatures and lack of rain in California have helped fuel forest fires.

Land preservation around the aquifer’s drinking water wells is the latest step the county has taken since 2004 to protect the aquifer. A vacant body shop near the water wells has already been demolished, and a $15 million cleanup of the Scotia Navy Depot site to prevent pollutants from entering the wells has also been completed in recent years.

Contact journalist Chad Arnold at: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.

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Categories: News, News, Rotterdam, Schenectady, County of Schenectady

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