An advocacy group questioned Thursday whether Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s Hinckley Reservoir working group will be capable of improving management of the water body, saying that the working group hasn’t been given sufficient powers to do its job effectively. 



 

An advocacy group questioned Thursday whether Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s Hinckley Reservoir working group will be capable of improving management of the water body. 

Bruce Carpenter, executive director of the Rome-based New York Rivers United water conservation organization, said the working group hasn’t been given sufficient powers to do its job effectively. 

For instance, the working group can’t order changes in the 1920 reservoir management guidelines known commonly as the Rule Curve, he said. 

“Who within the leadership will stand up and really do something?” Carpenter said.
Carpenter called the Observer-Dispatch Thursday in response to the first two days of the newspaper’s special report on the causes of the 2007 water crisis. 

Carpenter said the first step should be a hydrological study of the reservoir’s entire watershed to address some of the following issues: 

* The watershed’s capacity for increases in water withdrawal, such as those sought by the Mohawk Valley Water Authority. 

* Environmental concerns of homeowners. 

* The Canal Corp.’s operating practices. 

True progress needs to start with the governor, Carpenter said. 

“Leadership from the top needs to force all parties to an agreement that changes must be made now,” he said. 

State Assemblyman Marc Butler, R-Newport, and Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, D-Rome, have introduced separate legislation calling for studies. 

State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, said he agrees a study is needed and has also called for a water summit. 

“Everyone is acknowledging the need for a study,” Griffo said.

Observer-Dispatch