Monday, December 04, 2006

Water Debate in Long Island

The New York Times:

Thousands of years ago, rain fell on Long Island and seeped hundreds of feet through the sandy soil, coming to rest on bedrock. It formed what geologists call the Lloyd aquifer, the island’s oldest, deepest, purest — and scarcest — groundwater.

Now, after 60 years of virtually unchecked suburban growth and consumption of the island’s most precious resource, public officials and civic groups are fighting over control of the remaining water supply. It is as if these were the island’s last drops to drink, which is precisely what environmentalists insist the aquifer should be reserved for.

The battle over the aquifer underscores the broader debate over Long Island’s entire water supply for its nearly three million residents and future development. Preservationists warn that if the island continues on its present path, it will run out of clean water, while other experts are equally insistent that there is enough to last for generations.