Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association


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The Value Of Commissioner-Run Districts

Working together for the common good of all Long Islanders

We, the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA), commend the recent Newsday/News 12 efforts to inform and educate the public regarding Long Island’s most valuable resource, our single source water supply.

As an association composed of professionals closest to Long Island’s water realities, few understand the intricacies of water production, delivery, conservation and sustainability more than we do. Having been charged with keeping our water safe and affordable, maintaining a plentiful supply and guaranteeing efficient service, we, the independent commissioner-operated districts, are the stewards who represent the people, our consumers, each and every day, without exception.

For the better part of a century, Long Island’s independent commissioner-elected water districts have represented their ratepayers and constituents with vigilance and dedication.  As the Newsday/News 12 articles illustrate, this has resulted in Long Island’s average cost of drinking water being one of the lowest costs in the nation.  The proactive infrastructure upgrading policies of the independent districts associated with the NSWCA have served taxpayers well in other ways.  Most notably, when Superstorm Sandy carved a wide swath of destruction, not a single commissioner-led water district experienced an interruption in service, thanks to the dedicated crews who are local to their communities, and who steadfastly defended their districts.

It should be pointed out that today, the safety of our sole source aquifer and water supply systems must be guarded not only against pollution, overuse and salt water intrusion, but also against potential terrorist activities. This necessitates close working arrangements between government agencies, regulatory bodies, suppliers and the public…a policy heartily endorsed by the members of the NSWCA.

The concept of popular election of local commissioners in locally-run water utilities is as American as apple pie, harkening back to the New England town meetings. The NSWCA believes that having a direct say by voting for men and women who live in the same community, share the same concerns and utilize the same water, is the best way to guarantee safety for all.

We believe in comprehensive, hands-on vigilance and in fighting the good fight, dealing head on with tough environmental issues so many of which are legacies of the WWII and Cold War eras.  We believe in open, honest collaboration with local, state and federal governments.  And we believe in education and outreach to inform the public and to guide them as our neighbors, to help them to genuinely endorse and adopt a fundamental best practices outlook for every community on Long Island.

And we believe that because water is the most essential of all resources, Long Island’s aquifers must be defended with science and a passion for the benefit of our children’s childrens’ children.  We, the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSWCA), representing 21 independently elected districts, maintain that anything less is unacceptable, and we will not settle for less in our respective communities.

– Gary F. Brosnan, President, Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association and Water Commissioner, South Farmingdale Water District