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Management of New York City’s Watershed Michael A. Principe, Ph.D. Deputy Commissioner New York City Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Water.

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Presentation on theme: "Management of New York City’s Watershed Michael A. Principe, Ph.D. Deputy Commissioner New York City Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Water."— Presentation transcript:

1 Management of New York City’s Watershed Michael A. Principe, Ph.D. Deputy Commissioner New York City Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Water Supply October 10, 2005

2 Presentation Outline  Development of NYC’s Watershed Protection Program  Costs and Funding  Contractual Mechanisms Supporting Watershed Protection  Major Program Elements

3  Primarily a surface water supply  19 reservoirs & 3 controlled lakes  System Capacity: 550 billion gallons (over 2 billion kiloliters )  Serves 9 million people (1/2 of population of New York State)  Delivers approx. 1.2 billion gallons (4.5 million kiloliters) per day to the City  Source of water is a 2,000 square mile (5,180 square kilometer) watershed in parts of 8 upstate counties  Operated and maintained by NYCDEP

4  Located primarily West of the Hudson River  Rural, mountainous watershed  70% forested, low population, significant agricultural uses  Shallow soils and porous rock produce high quality water  City has Filtration Avoidance Determination for these supplies CATSKILL AND DELAWARE SUPPLIES


6 Governmental Agencies Involved in Watershed Protection  Program involves agencies from: Federal (USEPA) State New York City 8 upstate counties 60+ towns and villages  Crosses multiple jurisdictions, all outside of NYC  New York has strong “home rule” tradition

7 Issues Driving City to Watershed Protection  The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1986 and the Surface Water Treatment Rule of 1989 established objective and subjective criteria for avoidance  Concern over whether City could meet subjective criteria City owned less than 8% of watershed City regulations outmoded  City alarmed by potential cost of filtration plant (originally estimated at $4-8 billion)  Firm belief by NYC that reliance on end-of-pipe solutions alone is not prudent; best approach is to protect quality of water at its source

8 Development of Watershed Protection Program  DEP received first filtration waiver from EPA in 1993  Waiver conditioned on implementation of protection programs  DEP designed comprehensive monitoring program to assess threats to water quality  Based on assessment of threats, management programs designed and implemented

9 Watershed Memorandum of Agreement  MOA established collaborative approach between City, State, watershed residents, environmental groups and regulators  Signed in 1997  Allowed City to proceed with Watershed Regulations, Land Acquisition and Partnership Programs  City had to agree to fund programs

10 Contractual Arrangements  DEP contracted with local public, private and non-profit entities to use City ratepayer funding to implement programs  Groups include Catskill Watershed Corporation, Agricultural Council and county agencies  All contracts subject to City procurement rules

11 Catskill Watershed Corporation  MOA created the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC)  CWC comprised of local representatives  Voting rights apportioned based on percent of land in watershed  CWC provided with $160+ million of City funding for wastewater, stormwater and economic development programs

12 How is Watershed Protection Funded?  DEP is funded by water and sewer rates  Revenues and expenses are managed by the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority, an independent entity established in 1984  Revenues collected by the Water Finance Authority are independent from other NYC funding and cannot be diverted to other NYC programs  The Water Finance Authority collected $1.7 billion in 2004. $900 million of this was used for water supply operations and debt service

13 Water & Sewer Rate Structure  Water rate = $1.65 per 100 cubic feet  Average single-family house pays about $220/year for water  Sewer rate = $2.62 per 100 cubic feet  Consumption decreased by nearly one-third since 1980s due to conservation  NYC rates are lower than most major US cities including Dallas, Los Angeles, Washington, Boston and Atlanta

14 Watershed Protection Program

15 Types of Watershed Protection Programs  Protection Programs – Designed to prevent future degradation of water quality; large scale and evaluated over the long-term.  Remediation Programs – Designed to address specific problems and are expected to result in measurable decreases in pollutants; small scale and evaluated over the short-term.

16 Watershed Protection Programs Remedial Protective  Stormwater Controls  WWTP Upgrades  Sewer Extensions  Septic System Rehabilitation  Salt & Sand Storage  Stream Corridor Protection  Watershed Rules & Regulations  Land Acquisition  Agricultural Programs  Forestry Management

17 Major Watershed Protection Program Elements  Land Acquisition Program More than 385,000 acres (156,000+ hectares) solicited 68,000+ acres (27,660+ hectares) acquired/under contract 21,000+ acres (8,565+ hectares) under contract for Agricultural Easements

18  Partnership Programs 2,000+ failing septic systems remediated Nearly 50 stormwater retrofits funded 44 stormwater BMPs installed Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) being upgraded to tertiary treatment (25 WOH, ~70 EOH) 7 new WWTPs being constructed  Watershed Agricultural Program 2900+ Best Management Practices (BMPs) implemented 1,775 miles (2,857 km) of stream buffers protected through Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program New initiatives on small farms and EOH farms Major Watershed Protection Program Elements

19 Grommeck Farm During Construction

20 Following Best Management Practice (BMP) Implementation

21 One year after BMP Implementation

22  Watershed Rules and Regulations Updated in 1997 to address WWTPs, septic systems and stormwater runoff Designed to protect sensitive areas: streams, wetlands, reservoirs and steep slopes 1,000s of projects reviewed to date Coordinated field inspection and patrol with Engineering and NYCDEP Police City funds most costs of compliance Major Watershed Protection Program Elements

23  Heavy agricultural uses  4 large wastewater treatment plants  Excessive nutrient loading to reservoir led to eutrophication DELAWARE RESERVOIR BASIN

24 Watershed Protection Provides Results

25 What does watershed protection cost? ProgramCost New Infrastructure Program (1st 7 communities)$96,664,016 Community Wastewater Program (5 communities)$10,000,000 Septic Rehabilitation & Maintenance Programs$30,100,000 Sewer Extension Program$10,000,000 Wastewater Plant Upgrades (non-City-owned)$272,000,000 Wastewater Plant Upgrades (City-owned)$271,000,000 Alternate Design Septic System Program$3,000,000 Stormwater Retrofits$15,175,000 Future Stormwater Controls$31,700,000 Farms & Forestry$91,000,000 Land Acquisition (includes farm easements)$295,000,000 Stream Management Program$28,000,000 Kensico Water Quality Protection Program$43,000,000 East of Hudson Non-Point Source Control Program$68,000,000 Miscellaneous Programs - CFF, Good Neighbor, etc.$97,300,000 Catskill/Delaware UV Plant$670,000,000 Total$2,031,939,016

26 Thank You

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