Herkimer’s Fresh Water Wealth
In a world where just under 5 billion people are without water for one month a year, Herkimer has water in abundance. So much so that we seem to be wasting 43 percent of our water annually, according to the Mohawk Valley Authority. A recent audit by the State Comptroller’s Office revealed that almost half of the Mohawk Valley’s drinking water is unaccounted for— 8 to 9 million gallons of water per day.
Audits support the analyses needed for essential infrastructure improvements. “The executive director and plant engineer told us they believe the unaccounted-for water is due to underground leaks caused by an aging water system infrastructure,” the report continued.
Lakes, Rivers and Precipitation in Herkimer County
In our county, we not only get 35 to 45 inches of precipitation per year, but our abundant water resources from The Beaver River, East Canada Creek, West Canada Creek, the Mohawk, and the Independence and Moose rivers provide us a worry-free supply of water. Unlike the rest of the world, the Mohawk Valley is awash in fresh, clean water. ( New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation provides detailed information on 19 lakes in Herkimer County.)
Great Lakes contain the second largest surface fresh water reserve on our planet
All of New York State is considered part of the Great Lakes Region of United States and Canada. Nearby Lake Ontario is only about a two-hour drive. It is directly accessible via the famous Erie canal. Twenty percent of all the fresh surface water on our planet is in the Great Lakes. This resource provides drinking water to 30 million people in the US and 10 million in Canada. The Toledo Blade calls the Great Lakes Region ground zero for our planet’s water needs.
Is a water pipeline in our future?
Popular Mechanics has a fascinating article on one of the most massive water pipeline projects in human history. China’s Central Water Transport project is expected to extend 786 miles and help to provide clean water to a portion of their 200 million urban dwellers in other parts of the country.
As fresh water vanishes from many places due to climate change, poor management and pollution, more and more people will be looking at our water resources as an essential asset for farming, drinking and manufacturing. Perhaps a pipeline will be in our future too.
Our water is a sought after asset that we must manage wisely
Let’s face it – we all need clean water to live. Water is essential for survival. It is an asset more precious than gold, platinum or oil. The Mohawk Valley’s abundant clean water supply is soon likely to be a strong magnet for new community development, agriculture and industry. Compared to the Silicon Valley, the Mohawk Valley has a secure future of stability and growth. Don’t ever undervalue the enormous water wealth of our village, our county and our region. We have it. And they will come.
Let’s be wise stewards of this vital resource in these times increasing scarcity.