The Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO) today released the fourth in a series of Discussion Briefs on regional issues: Hudson Valley Water: Opportunities and Challenges. This series seeks to inform citizens and decision makers on key issues, problems and opportunities facing our region.
This latest paper, authored by Scott Cuppett and Russell Urban-Mead, finds that our abundance of water is one of our region’s most important current and future resources. It argues that there is an urgent need in the Hudson Valley for regional water resource planning and protection in the Hudson Valley to assure the region’s future. The authors encourage watershed planning initiatives that integrate best preservation practices with water resource uses, while encouraging economic growth. They recommend approaches and strategies that capitalize on our ecosystem’s ability to provide clean and abundant water through better land use decisions.
Gerald Benjamin, CRREO Director and Associate Vice President for Regional Engagement, notes, "Our abundance of water in the Hudson Valley provides one of our greatest regional opportunities, and one of our biggest challenges. This Discussion Brief effectively discusses both, and shows how the proper protection and use of our water can help assure a vital regional economy and continued excellence of our quality of life."
Urban-Mead says, “With failing aquifers in China, droughts in Russia and legal water battles across our own southern and western states, we should be optimizing water advantages right here at home. We have lots of rain, a river that brings us water from a 12,000 square mile watershed, and climate models that predict only more rainfall in the future.”
Cuppett adds, "Besides our children, water is our Hudson Valley’s greatest future asset. We must change the way we manage our land and water for the sake of our children. Our current and future well-being depends on clean and abundant water. We must protect this asset."
The paper recommends such strategies as:
- Take a holistic watershed approach to water management
- Protection of forests, floodplains, and wetlands
- Promote groundwater recharge to assure that groundwater is replenished
- Replace failing waste water treatment facilities
- Balance competing human and wildlife water needs
- Develop responses for occasional droughts
- Minimize cumulative impacts from land use change on water quality and quantity
- Identify “water ready” sites
The Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO) at SUNY New Paltz is uniquely situated to advance agreement among environmentalists, advocates of development and key government decision makers on economic, social and environmental issues. The Center was established in 2007 to further engage the university and its people with communities, governments, not-for-profits and businesses across our region. CRREO conducts and publicizes research on regional topics; creates and directs select institutes focusing on specific topics of regional interest; connects and partners with local governments, not-for-profits and businesses to initiate reforms and advocate for best practices; contracts to assess the performance of public and not-for-profit agencies and programs; and works to foster intergovernmental collaboration and community engagement.
For a copy of this Discussion Brief visit www.newpaltz.edu/crreo, email CRREO@NewPaltz.edu or call (845) 257-2901. Previous Discussion Briefs can be found at www.newpaltz.edu/crreo/Discussion_Briefs.html.