Funding is critical for rain and stream gauges
These gauges are located in the Susquehanna River Basin, in the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier, where Marcellus drilling, if allowed in New York, is most likely to occur. If anything, more resources should be put into gathering information about the state’s natural resources at this critical juncture. New York just needs to be reminded of Pennsylvania’s experience with water withdrawals where fish kills were caused on at least two streams that were de-watered to feed the needs of a gas company.
Removing the gauges would turn river management into a guessing game, where residents and local communities would be left with very little information about what’s happening in their local waters.
New York should be proud of the steps it has taken to improve its water resources management in the past year. However, removing these gauges now—in the face of potential gas drilling and in light of recent floods—would be taking New York’s water management program a step backward. Federal and state decision makers must find some way to fund these valuable tools before turning their backs on the communities that rely on these gauges to protect local streams and rivers.
[Ron Urban is the chairman of NY Trout Unlimited and a resident of Port Ewen, NY.]