Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association


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Newsday: Aquifer protection well coordinated

In response to Robert Brinkmann’s op ed, “Our approach to water is all wrong”, (April 6), the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association concurs that our public water supply aquifer is a precious natural resource requiring constant vigilance to ensure long-term sustainability. However, Brinkmann’s comparisons aren’t justified.

First, the Long Island aquifer is in fact managed by one agency. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has complete authority over withdrawal by all local water suppliers. The DEC approves all well permits and receives monthly reports from all suppliers.

In addition, an aquifer commission was formed in 2013 by both the Nassau and Suffolk County Legislatures to study Long Island’s aquifer and issue a report. This commission, called the Long Island Commission for Aquifer Protection, consists of experts from county health departments, public water suppliers, the Long Island Water Conference, the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Suffolk County Water Authority, Environmental Advocates of New York and elected officials’ representatives.

The reference to Southern California’s water situation is not relevant because it compares Long Island with a desert-like region with entirely different conditions. The Texas and Florida examples are similarly inappropriate. Neither has such a widespread aquifer system with recharge rates comparable to that of Long Island. In fact, in both of those hot climates, the pumping season is much longer than ours.

Respectfully, Thomas Hand, President, Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association