Advertising Campaign Is Misleading

Rockland County has a sufficient water supply to fight fires.


An Open Letter to United Water New York about Proposed Desalination Plant

I take strong exception to the manipulative references in your advertising campaign which suggest that there is a possibility of not having a sufficient water supply to fight fires unless your proposed desalination plant is built.  In your mailings I have seen a photo of a burning house and another photo of a dripping fire hose nozzle.  I have heard one of your radio commercials in which a person says, “What if there’s no water to put out a fire?” 

I have spoken with fire officials in Rockland County and I am told that there has never been a situation in which there was not a sufficient water supply to extinguish a fire.  In the past there have been times when the firefighters in the county have experienced water pressure problems, which United Water corrected with better maintenance of their infrastructure.

To use the threat of fire in support of your position is totally reprehensible.  Your innuendo that we do not have or will not have enough water to fight fires is erroneous and irresponsible.  In my 20 years as a firefighter in New York City, I have seen the devastation that fire can cause. 

I have seen the look on the faces of a family who has just lost everything.  I have seen fellow firefighters lose their lives fighting fires.  I find it offensive that you are playing the “fire” card in order to frighten people who might otherwise be opposed to your plans.

For you to suggest that without a desalination plant, the firefighters in Rockland County would not have a sufficient water supply to fight fires in the future is despicable.


Robert D. Jackson, Nanuet
Lieutenant, FDNY, Retired
Member of Rockland County Incident Management Team

Richard October 03, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Bobby, I'm so glad you wrote that letter. United Water will stop at nothing to shove their agenda down our throats and tell any lie to back up their point of view. Thanks for straightening this out.
Dorice October 03, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Thank you Mr. Jackson for your service and profoundly, truthful comment. It is imperative that attention be given to our water supply as part of an integrative watershed. UWNY's scheme to build an expensive desalination plant ensures profit to SUEZ/UWNY shareholders at great expense to UWNY customers. Building an expensive plant that is operationally dependent on electricity along with other high cost features e.g. toxic waste removal is not a reasonable solution to Rockland's water management problems. A shortsighted singular solution to a myriad of ignored problems is wrong. Mr. Jackson aptly points to failed infrastructure as key to one such problem.
mike sullivan October 04, 2012 at 09:20 PM
i agree with united water on this,though it has never happened if we do not have this desalination plant it is a real possibility.We need this in Rockland County,not only for the water but for the jobs,not just construction but permanent jobsonce construction is done.North Rockland needs this to survive,without this tax ratable homeowners will see double% tax increases
Dorice October 04, 2012 at 11:36 PM
While chasing those ratables perhaps you'll spot a leprechaun along the way; both unfounded tales. Read the facts about how many long lasting jobs will come of this. Then factor in offsets for increased water rates. Financial woes are not specific to North Rockland.


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