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Tues-Wed: Where Our Water Will Come From

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Despite an earlier prediction that water usage in Rockland County would rise, consumption has been falling, calling into question UNWY’s projections and the need to build a desalination plant.

The unions are for it and the environmentalists are against it, joined by 12 villages and 4 out of 5 of towns in Rockland County. On Tues and Wed Oct 1-2, the public will get their chance to weigh in on whether United Water should build a desalination plant at Haverstraw Bay.

Clarkstown South High School, located at  31 Demarest Mill Road in Clarkstown, will host the Tues public hearing. On Wed Oct 2, the public is invited to attend the second meeting at Haverstraw Elementary School at 16 Grant Street in Haverstraw. Both sessions will start at 6p.

In United Water’s corner are a handful of unions that say that the new plant is good for local employment. On the other side are environmentalists and economists who say United Water’s plan to meet Rockland County’s future hydration needs will significantly raise what consumers pay each month with a process that can’t remove radioactive elements from the Indian Point Nuclear facility just across the river. Joining in the Just Say No to United Water chorus are Scenic Hudson, the Sierra Club, Riverkeeper, the Rockland County Executive and Legislature, state legislators, the Rockland Water Coalition and 24,500 people who have signed petitions opposing the plant

United Water New York says Hudson River water from brackish Haverstraw Bay needs to be processed through a new desalination plant to meet the future water needs of Rockland County. The company is seeking approval from the Public Service Commission for a special rate increase to help recoup more than $50 million spent to build a Hudson River water treatment plant. The increase would translate to an annual increase to consumers of $59.54, or about $4.96 per month, for a total average annual bill of $796.25, according to the company.

Earlier estimates of water consumption by Rocklanders which justified construction of the plan have been shown to be overly aggressive bringing into question whether any new construction is needed.

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