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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.