Big ambitions to put water back underground

Mar 23, 2016
Tom Banse/Earthfix

Across the inland West, groundwater reserves are being depleted. Nature can’t replenish the aquifers as quickly as they’re being drawn down for irrigation, industry and drinking water.

But what if, through human ingenuity, we could put large volumes of water back underground at relatively low cost? Irrigators and the state of Idaho are making the most ambitious effort yet to do so in the Northwest.

NYS takes action involving water contamination in Hoosick Falls

Jan 28, 2016

ALBANY — State officials are declaring a site in a Rensselaer County village a state Superfund site to address water contamination from a chemical used in making plastics similar to Teflon.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in December warned residents of Hoosick Falls not to drink or cook with water from municipal wells after tests found contamination with PFOA, a chemical linked to cancer. The chemical was used in making high-performance plastics similar to Teflon until manufacturers agreed to phase it out by the end of 2015.


It’s something most of us take for granted. You turn on the tap, fill a glass of water and have a nice refreshing drink.

But what if that water has been deemed too contaminated to consume? That’s something residents of the Rensselaer County village of Hoosick Falls are confronted with as they try to determine how to move forward and make their water drinkable again.

“We’ve always seemed to have a higher incident of cancer here than other places.”

Flickr/New York Now

This is Cooper Lake. One of the largest bodies of water in the Catskill Mountains holding over a billion gallons and serving as the main source of drinking water for the nearby city of Kingston and some of the surrounding communities. Recently the lake has drawn attention from the California based Niagara bottling which would like to tap into this natural resource so they can package and sell the water all over the country.

Water Department Superintendent Judith Hansen explains the central question facing the Kingston’s Water Board.

Story begins at 16:11


A year ago, environmental groups won a court injunction against the village of Painted Post, preventing them from continuing water shipments for fracking operations in Pennsylvania.

Monday morning, the case was brought before the State Supreme Appellate Division Court in Rochester, with officials from the town in Steuben County vying for a different outcome.