Hinckley Reservoir Working Group Issues Interim Report to Governor Spitzer

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 17, 2007) – Today the Hinckley Reservoir Working Group issued an interim report to Governor Eliot Spitzer describing progress in assessing problems and potential solutions for meeting the water supply needs of Oneida and Herkimer Counties.

Governor Spitzer established the working group in October in response to historic low water levels at the Hinckley Reservoir, which is the sole source of drinking water for approximately 130,000 people in the greater Utica area. A final report containing the group's recommendations is due to the Governor in March.

The interim report primarily describes the working group's assessment to date of demands on the water supply and problems in maintaining an adequate supply of water to meet those demands. In addition to providing drinking water, the reservoir serves as the primary source of water for the Mohawk River portion of the Barge Canal, is a water source for fisheries, and provides water to hydropower facilities operated by the New York Power Authority (NYPA).

The final report is expected to provide recommendations for both short-term and long-term solutions, including possible changes in how water from Hinckley Reservoir and other sources, including Delta Lake Reservoir, should be used in the future.

The working group is chaired by State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., and includes representatives from Oneida and Herkimer counties, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, State Emergency Management Office, State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation, NYPA, the Mohawk Valley Water Authority, and the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The work group's next scheduled meeting is January 8.

The Interim Report can be viewed and/or downloaded at: www.health.ny.gov/environmental/investigations/hinckley_reservoir/docs/interim_report_2007-12-17.pdf