Share Your Thoughts
12:00 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

This Week's 'New York NOW' Poll Question


After 14 years without one, should state lawmakers receive a raise? Click here to take survey


Last Week's Results

Should communities consider selling a portion of their water to private companies to help cover the costs of infrastructure improvements?

Yes: 10%
No: 90%

Your comments on selling water for infrastructure improvements:

No. Too many tax giveaways, a small number of low wage jobs, so much plastic trash and pollution at every step. It is plainly disturbing to sell off our resources to a private water company who will sell it for profit. And potentially costly when Niagara wants more. The citizens of Kingston will say, Our water is not for sale to Niagara. -Anonymous

No. Water shouldn't be for sale. -Anonymous

No. It is imperative to weigh the risks and terms involved, especially when climate change challenges water availability. -Avigayil L., Woodstock

No. Governments should better manage the funds they have. -Anonymous

Yes. Niagara bottling company will help boost the economy in our struggling county. Ulster county is in desperate need of jobs. Selling our water will improve old infrastructure and create employment. The company will rebuild and use currently empty buildings to conduct business. Bottling water will be less obtrusive than say the cement companies that have recently left us with unemployment and devastated ground. Let us say no to fracking and other such business and say yes to selling water. We need something to boost our quality of business here in the Hudson Valley. I see this as a good opportunity. IBM used over 1 million gallons of water for 10 years or so without any issues of over use of Cooper Lake. The people over seeing the infrastructure noted that they can legally turn off the tap to Niagara at any time. Let's do it! -Corinne T., Olivebridge

No. Water should be a public commodity not a for- profit private commodity. We already have too much water in plastic bottles even where there is good tap water available.  The toll on the environment because of plastic bottles is enormous. We should be reducing the environmental impact rather than encouraging it. -Anonymous

No. Water is too important. -Anonymous

No. 1) In the event of a disagreement, the corporation will spend  millions for its lawyers which could bankrupt a municipality, and the result would likely favor the company. 2) Water is life. One lost, for whatever reason, it's gone. The town, county, state, region can be negatively affected forever. 3) Eventually the corporation wants infrastructure upgrades they want the municipality to pay for. Sell off or privatizing water is the worst idea in the world. We can live without pretty much anything, but not water. -Jackie K., Lake Katrine

No. Have they considered what damage is going to be done to roads by the constant truck traffic? Have they considered what is Niagara dumping back in the creek since they are going to discharge around 300,000 gals a day into the creek? Then how will that affect the already high water table in Lake Katrine where they will be dumping the water? What will happen to the river? What kind of pollution is involved? And what happens if we get into drought conditions? Also the truck traffic will interfere with kids walking to school. Have they considered how the increase of truck traffic will affect them. How the truck traffic will cause wear and tear on Enterprise Drive, the ramps to 209 and 209. And, how it's going to affect the people whose backyards butt up to the ramp from enterprise drive to take 209 South. Loud trucks and lights at night that will be very annoying. -Anonymous

Yes. Our country's infrastructure is important to the future of America and needs to be taken seriously. -Anonymous

No. If it is sold as a commodity, it violates the Public Trust Doctrine. Instead, communities that need help with their infrastructure can create incentives to help grow local, social enterprises that may need and use the water (e.g., value added agriculture such as mushrooms, craft beers, distillers) that would be willing give a portion of the profits back to the public infrastructure, rather than giving massive tax breaks to polluters, such as the plastic bottled water industry. My organization, was interviewed for this piece (thank you, Jenna!), but we didn't explore this angle. I am on the board of Re>Think Local, another regional organization that supports these types of businesses. It is time for these alternatives to be discussed in the mainstream media. -Jennifer S., Kingston

No. Our water is a precious resource. It should not be "sold" to the highest bidder and certainly not to be put into plastic containers that which do well serve people or the environment. -Lois L., Shady

No. This simply would jeopardize future economic growth in the Kingston area. -Anonymous

No. Water belongs to us all - it is a gift that should not be taken over by a few for their profit. -Maraleen M., Sjokan

No. It would put considerable strain on a critically important local resource. During draught years (such as this one) it would pit private for-profit corporate interests against those of the community. It would mean constant trucking in to Cooper Lake and out of Cooper Lake. It will cause traffic problems at the Kingston roundabout as continuously loaded trucks leave for their destinations day after day after day. Constant trucking will degrade the roadways and lead to expensive and disruptive repairs. -Paul O., Mt. Tremper

No. corporations consider their profits and nothing else and the world is out of balance on every level as a consequence. -Anonymous

No. It should never be a thought!! There are 100 different ways to fix problems.. Selling off precious water to a corporation is not and should never be one of them!! -Jenn J., Lake Hill

No. Water companies will not be satisfied with a portion... -Anonymous

No. Absolutely NO!!!! Water is not a commodity! Aiding infrastructure costs will be Solar, creating JOBS, of RIGHT LIVELIHOOD, we have the experts, we have the need across the country. Make the Hudson Valley a hub for the environment. Lead by example for other states. -White Feather C., Olivebridge

No. Water is a natural resource. It should not be sold to companies seeking to make a profit from bottling and selling it. Plastic bottling of water is a toxic process as well, definitely not safe for our community. -Debra B., Kingston

No. Keep the water in our ware shed. -Mary Ann E., Woodstock

No. It's fundamentally a natural resource for the local community, and I'm sure the people of the community would be concerned about the marketing of their water supply. -Anonymous

No. Water leaves ecosystem community loses it forever. -Anonymous

No. Water is a precious commodity and that's why fracking is so horrible for our environment. -Carol G., Woodstock

Yes. If the supplies are available without harming the regular users, then of course. -Anonymous

No. Over the course of history, I feel Corporations have left a dirty, polluted, destructive trail behind them without any regard for the environment or the people living in those areas. -Lauren, Kingston

No. We need companies that are forward thinking and help build our future and protect our natural resources to enter and become part of our communities. -Sharon B., Saugerties

No. Community Water is for the community THIS is simple: NOT TO BENEFIT CORPORATIONS. -Mercedes C., Woodstock

No. Bottled water is an unnecessary plague! -HERA, Woodstock

No. Water is a precious resource and should be reserved for community of origin. I don't think most municipalities understand its true value. Bottled water is a filthy industry which needs innovation to clean up its industry. We should not be promoting the creation of more plastic water bottles. -Kevin K., Woodstock

No. The assistance is minimal - a few dollars per person, a few low paying jobs vs. the permanent damage done by draining a scarce public resource for private gain, health and infrastructure damage (roads), and the long term tax write off companies receive. -Beverly H., Lake Hill

No. Water is too precious to be sold to companies that will end up polluting the environment with plastic chemicals and  plastic bottles that will then be sold back to us. The cost at all levels is too high!! -Anonymous

No. Our water is not for profit! it is a dire necessity! No corporation should EVER sell our water back to us!! -Anonymous

No. Shortsighted management of natural resources. -Anonymous

No. Water is a natural resource that belongs to everyone. It cannot be owned by anyone. -Thomas H., Kingston

No -Climate change means that there is no way to predict future rainfall. All water boards must be very cautious as our weather keeps changing as more greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere. -Andi W.B., Gardiner

No. Water is a natural resource that, regardless of common law, legislation or legal precedent, cannot be owned by anyone. It exists for use by everyone. The United Nations recognizes the right of everyone to water (Resolution 64/292). As such, its sale to a private or publicly held corporation for the purpose of profit is morally repugnant and an abuse of the capitalist system. -Linda H., Kingston

No. Never sell your water. What happens when it's gone? Then what? Drink your infrastructure?? -Marisa P., Woodstock

No. There are plenty of ways to cover the costs of infrastructure improvement... this is not one of them, as it would add to the costs of infrastructure. -Michele M., Woodstock

No. Definitely not. This water belongs to the local residents and ecosystem. Shipping, bottling, and the privatization of water is bad news for everyone. -Melissa E., Woodstock

No. It destroys the environment, for people, animals and plants. Plastic water bottles are wasteful and  should be outlawed. -Dorothea F., Woodstock

No. It is a public resource and not to be sold. -Elizabeth S., Lake Hill

No. Our water IS a crucial part of our survival, therefore, our infrastructure. -Paul V., Woodstock

No. Water should be free. -Anonymous

No. In the long run I suspect that such deals are likely to cost the communities more than any infrastructure improvements they might undertake on their own. -Peter K.. Woodstock

No, you shouldn't sell a natural resource, can you sell sunshine? -Anonymous

No. Quite often, there is a danger that the increased volume will far outstrip the monies gathered. Also, in the current unpredictable climate conditions, the likelihood of overtaxing resources is almost assured. -Jack M., Kingston

No. Not a sustainable solution. The world is littered with plastic bottles. Shipping water out of the region could have negative impact on the watershed. -Anonymous

No. The private companies have a documented history of draining the community's aquifer, damaging its environment, dumping toxic wastewater back into the water supply - then moving on. -Anonymous

No. This is not the way to handle serving our communities. -Anonymous

No. Neither would I sell my soul to subsidize my creations... -Chip B.

No. Public resource and should not be used for private profit. -Cambiz K., Lake Hill

No. water is not a private commodity, it is a basic necessity. Are that many people ignorant of how disease is spread? -Susan B., Queens

No. There's no good reason to be even bottling water in a country that has had water treatment and just plain clean water in the ground and running in rivers. -Bryan R., Woodstock

No. Privatization of a resource that we all need to survive, can never end well. Note Veolia's worldwide endeavors. -Anonymous

No. First of all, look at the big picture. It is time to stop supporting the single serve plastic bottle industry in any way, shape or form. the devastation to our health and environment from the single serve bottle industry is well documented. Kingston can find many other creative ways to raise the money to improve the infrastructure without supporting an industry that is harmful to the health and welfare of its citizens. It is time to stop the knee jerk response for free money without THINKING about the genie you are about the let out of the bottle!  Corporate ownership of water mining rights has been a disaster in many other U.S. cities. Also well documented. Niagara has court cases against them. This is a case where citizens have to get involved to put the brakes on this ill-conceived partnership. -Joan A., Woodstock

No. There has to be a better way. Look at what Nestle has done. Taking water without asking the people. Water rights need to be changed. -Anonymous

No. Water is a human right and should never be exploited or used as a commodity in corporate greed. All over the world, water bottlers' enhanced bottom lines are killing us drop by drop. -Linda F.

No. Water is our most precious resource, which is currently already being threatened and should be protected and reserved even in surplus as worldwide water supply dwindles. I believe it is not something we should be willing to offer up as bargain for other improvements. -Kate M., Kingston

No. Clean, potable Water is a necessity for all life! It is not a commodity to be bought and sold! There are environmental and economic dangers in the buying and selling of water sources,  as is being seen worldwide! This also creates division, a situation of 'have' and 'have nots', those who own the water/drinking source and those who do not... and can have such widespread (and) dire consequences as drought, disease and even death! We must make informed choices for the good of all and not allow the selling and corporate privatizing of Water! -Susan S., Kingston

Yes. As long as they have ensured their rights and needs are not at risk. -Anonymous

No. After these company set their processing/extraction apparatus, and proceed with taking our resources, the infrastructure will be SO DAMAGED, it won't be worth the "cost covering" help. Furthermore, give these companies an inch and they will take 100 MILES. -Ras T., Woodstock

No. That's like asking if you should sell your knees to pay for your hip surgery. -Ida H., Woodstock

No. There are so many details surrounding this issue. The biggest one being that we need to fix a failing infrastructure that, has been stewarded by a board filled with members well past their term limits who seem to see Niagara (Big Water Business) as their saving grace. It is not. Stripping the water and future economic development possibilities and offering them to a company who is known for suing for more than they started with, dumping illegal levels of waste, and paying a fine more affordable than properly dealing with the waste, in an industry known for praying on ailing infrastructures and  taking all... Is ignorant. And the fact that this proposal is even considered at all, and has gotten this far, is a direct pointer to the reality that the Kingston Water Board is not capable of handling the power of Stewardship over Kingston's Water Supply, or managing Cooper Lake. And the arrogance needed to think they have the capacity to take on Big Water Biz legal team in the event they got in too deep is astounding. This is a situation that Is sure to be happening with any municipality dealing with Big Water Business' eye on their water. And since Water has become a commodity, I suggest municipalities get clear on their infrastructures, because those who have not, will become targets (or already are), and once Big Water is let in, small municipalities rarely have the ability to get them out. Even in drought. This is a slippery slope, and I hope that when we steer Niagara away from our water table, they are met elsewhere by municipalities who have done their due diligence to protect their ground and surface water. New York.... Look out, because Niagara, along with Nestle Waters has helped to drain the West Coast (among other areas) and is continuing to do so. They have targeted our water, and they will take as much as they can from our watershed and that is an unhealthy way to preserve resources. -Rachel H., Woodstock

No. Water is priceless and must not be bought or sold from a municipality. Water is for the people, not corporations. -Anonymous

No. Water is a Public Right--NOT a Private one - and should never be sacrificed to corporate profit  whose negligence and destruction of nature is historic Good Drinking Water is-- and increasingly will be--our most precious natural entity.  Good water nourishes its entire watershed. Water is not to be privately owned and sold back to the public at inflated cost in plastic. Plastic has already become an expensive problem in earth's waterways and oceans. Plastic is basically a hazardous toxin both in its making and its disposal. Science now agrees that plastic is a greater or lesser contaminate to whatever it contains. If our infrastructure is aging, it is the responsibility of our common government on a State level to mend and replace that infrastructure. That's why we have a government for the people and by the people, Corporations are for the corporation's bottom line and by whatever the corporation can squeeze out of the people to achieve that end. Regarding "jobs." The very, very few low-paying jobs this corporation offers our region's people is the same as paying for our gold with toxic lead. -Henrietta W., Olivebridge

No. WATER is a resource not a commodity!!!!! Woodstock water is not for sale!!!!! -Jennifer Z., Bearsville

No. Water will become the new oil - just another natural resource for puny-brained governments to pimp out ad nausea and justify more inflation, taxes and war. -Chris D., Brooklyn

No. It's public resource and these municipalities aren't responding to the public's will to not make a commodity of it. -Kim J., Woodstock

No. Water is necessary for life and God blessed us with an abundance for our use not to sell it for profit.  Since we all use the infrastructure, it is the responsibility of all citizens to help pay for it in a democracy and a civilized society.  If that means raising taxes or floating bonds so be it.  It is time for citizens to stop abdicating their responsibilities to the tyranny of corporate America. -Mary M., West Henrietta

No. This is a frivolous misuse of a precious, scarce resource. -Jeff B., Kingston

No. It is time for us to all wake up and pass laws and appropriations to support food/farms, water, clean energy, and clean air -- it is all about environment and what we require to live and save the planet. The very idea that any company can come in and ship your water off at over a million gallons a day is really incredible. We must invest in infrastructure. Look at CA, a main supplier of food. They have failed to protect the food supply. Farmers change crops to make more money and then realize uh oh not enough water, not enough bees. We need to wake up. -Bonnie L., East Nassau

No. Selling bottled water is a waste of a basic resource. -Tom R., Hagaman

No. We should not privatize our commons our water is the most precious of them all we can't live without it. Make the rich pay their taxes so that we can have good public infrastructure with new and updated sewage and water treatment plants. -Susan W., North Tonawanda

No. Water is a public good. Stop profiteers from stealing from the common weal and using the proceeds to bribe officials into looking away from their theft and pollution of our environment like Fracking. -Bob, Albany

No. The privatization of water is a dangerous road to follow. Selling a million of gallons to local users keeps the water in the ecosystem, selling water to private companies as Nestle removes it from our ecosystem - and the damage it multi-level.    There are creative ways to raise capital for such improvements, however, by the Kingston Water Board's own admission they have not been explored. The Water Board is concerned with a potential water bill increase of 30% - on quarterly bills of about $120. Yet, there seems to be no unsettling when increases of property taxes are in the table, and taxes are much more than $120/quarter. What we sell today, out children cannot get back tomorrow. Our town attorney representing 23,000 people are no match for Nestle's corporate Bulldogs. Just this year we were on alert not to wash our cars in the City of Kingston due to drought conditions. Would Nestle be required to stop pumping? I doubt that. Hindsight is 20/20, and more thoughtful and intellectual discussion must be had on this subject - something SEQR does not address. -Cree Q., Kingston

No. Water is a public resource and public resources should not be controlled by private entities. Infrastructure should be paid for by users and/or government. -Anonymous

Yes. Cities like Kingston have lost significant population since the middle of the last century. It stands to reason that they have excess water capacity. The knee jerk reaction of being suspicious of anything new has contributed to their long-term decline. -John M., Kew Gardens

No. Water is a given right of the inhabiting the earth and is not to be made into an object of profit! -Anonymous

No. There are so many levels of concern about the sale of Cooper Lake water to Niagara Bottling - but no, water is a precious resource, and should not be sold to corporate/private interests. -Alexandra B., Kingston

No. We should not allow commoditization of our natural resources. -Catherine A., Queensbury

No. It is not a commodity but a limited resource. There is no surplus, they are wrong and their numbers are antiquated. Woodstock has preferential access to this water based on the DEC agreement and they don't include the town nor the City of Kingston as involved parties in the SEQR - state environmental quality review. Niagara has sued other communities while the residents were asked to conserve water. The list goes on... -Bill D., Lake Hill

Disclaimer: This is not a scientific poll. It is not intended to be viewed as representative of general public opinion. Rather, results indicate the opinions of a self-selecting group of online respondents which may or may not be representative of more widespread public opinion.

Check weekly for new question/results.