Letter to the Editor: Alternative to Desalination Water Plant

Expensive Way to Keep the Grass Green. A letter to the editor by Robert Kecskes from Pennington, New Jersey


Dear Editor,

As the retired manager of regional water supply planning for the State of New Jersey, I’ve been reading with interest the debate over the proposed United Water desalination plant in Rockland County.

Based on my 35 years of experience, Rockland County does not have a “water supply” problem; rather, it has a “water irrigation” problem. During hot, dry summers, United Water’s demand nearly doubles. These peaks are primarily due to large homes and businesses that irrigate their lawns.

If Rockland County is anything like suburban New Jersey, less than 10 percent of homes and businesses irrigate and cause these peak demands. Watering a larger home’s one-acre lawn will use 8,000 gallons of water a day. That’s enough water to meet the needs of nearly 30 homes that do not irrigate!

If not for these large demands caused by a small portion of the County’s population, United Water can likely meet the County’s current and projected water supply needs without building the desalination plant. Reducing or even eliminating these peak demands would probably dispose of need for the multi-million dollar plant.

This desalination proposal should not be advanced until all conservation alternatives have been thoroughly and impartially considered. A water audit of these larger users could lead to recommendations that could greatly reduce peak usage. The rest of Rockland County’s residents and businesses should not have to see their water rates double (or more) so that these large users can continue to irrigate without restraint.

Robert Kecskes

Pennington, New Jersey

John Taggart August 25, 2012 at 11:14 PM
YES, I think it the Preserve Ramapo ramapo sight that has a 27 page deposition by the guy in charge of watching our water conditions. I read the whole thing a while ago. Bottom line, fire hydrents go low , we are ENTIRLY DEPENDANT ON RAIN, we eirther have to burn down and evac. 1/3 of the population or get a nwe reliable supply.... or just deny our selves an abundant recource buy not processing and providing it and walk backwards to make control freaks happy, and reduce our greatness.
John Taggart August 25, 2012 at 11:43 PM
My parents bought that land being told it was a protected sanctuary, for ever, for bird migration. Its the polititions who built structure with out the support it needed. We pay the price now.....apoligize for deleted comment yesterday...I'm just on the other side on this one
Eve Sheridan August 25, 2012 at 11:57 PM
I'm sorry about your parent's land. That hurts, I know. I don't want to control others, but I want to control myself for the good of all. I like having abundant water, too. I have not conserved it here, (except during the rare dry years) as we have a septic/deep well system, and I know that what I use will recycle. I just feel that there should be a way to do that on a larger scale. It is really true that de-sal uses a HUGE amount of electricity, even here where the water has less salt than in other places. And that electricity comes from India Point. I have lived at times in places where water was very very scarce, and I know that one can do a lot with a little when necessary.
John Taggart August 26, 2012 at 12:32 AM
We will replace Indian point with a better source. The fact that it needs so much water so fast to control its heat does kill fish. I learned alot in the swamp , my dad would get me 4 tire tubes and 1/2 sheet of plywood so i could push around. More different life in a swamp than anywhere else. Good night Eve.
Eve Sheridan August 26, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Good night, and thanks for that lovely image from your childhood. Have you seen any grasshoppers lately? Miss them--


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