The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch (202) 683-2500

Opposition to Desalination Escalates in Rockland County, New York

Statement of Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch


"Public resistance to desalination mounted last week when two towns in
Rockland County, New York, issued resolutions voicing opposition to the
proposed Haverstraw Water Supply Project. The towns of Ramapo and Stony
Point passed resolutions speaking out against the project. An
initiative of the private corporation United Water, the project would
supply water to the Rockland County area by desalinating water from the
Hudson River just north of New York City. Proponents tout the project
as a means of supplying long-term drinking water to the area. Yet,
there are major problems with the proposal.

"If constructed,
the facility will generate a generous annual profit stream for United
Water. Yet, local water customers will pay for United Water's gain in
the form of the rate increases that will be necessary to address the
costs of United Water's capital investment, as well as the massive
amounts of energy that it takes to run a desalination facility. Because
it will draw from the Hudson River, the drinking water the plant
produces may contain traces of radioactive chemicals that pose a threat
to human health. The plant may also damage the local marine
environments and could contribute to global warming. A desalination
facility would be an impractical and damaging investment for a state
trying to lower its carbon emissions.

" Food & Water Watch
and the Rockland Coalition for Sustainable Water applaud the towns of
Ramapo and Stony Point for their commitment to ensuring that area water
infrastructure needs are addressed in the safest, most cost-effective
way possible. Desalination should only ever be considered after all
other possible methods of water conservation and delivery have been
exhausted. Rather than saddling area residents with the financial
burdens of building and operating a desalination facility, conservation
methods such as rainwater harvesting, upgrading leaking municipal water
pipes, and promoting green infrastructure systems should instead be
implemented. We commend the commitment of these municipalities for
their proactive position of protecting consumer interests in Rockland
County and urge other towns in the area to follow their lead and issue
similar resolutions."

Food & Water Watch is a non-profit
organization working with grassroots organizations around the world to
create an economically and environmentally viable future. Through
research, public and policymaker education, media, and lobbying, we
advocate policies that guarantee safe, wholesome food produced in a
humane and sustainable manner and public, rather than private, control
of water resources including oceans, rivers, and groundwater.

For more
information, visit

For more information about the Rockland Coalition for Sustainable Water visit

Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

(202) 683-2500