The Catskill Watershed Corporation is a Local Development Corporation established to protect the water quality in the New York City Watershed West of the Hudson River (WOH); to preserve and strengthen communities located in the region; and to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of the NYC Water System.
Ninety percent of the 1.3 billion gallons of water consumed daily by 9 million residents of New York City and suburban communities comes from six reservoirs in the five-county Catskill Mountain/Delaware River Region of New York State. The WOH Watershed is home to 72,000 full- and part-time residents who live in small towns among forested mountains and river valleys.
THE MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT
The CWC was born Jan. 17, 1997 with the signing of the landmark New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between city, state, federal and environmental entities, and local municipalities. The Agreement allowed the City to purchase vacant land to prevent development; to institute new stricter regulations on activity in its Watersheds; and, through a US EPA-granted Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD), to avoid filtering its enormous Catskill-Delaware Water Supply. The City was also required to offset the costs and restrictions of increased regulations and land purchases by funding several locally-administered programs. The CWC was created to develop and implement a number of these programs, including residential septic rehabilitation, economic development, education, stormwater controls and salt storage improvements. A Summary Guide to the MOA was produced by the Catskill Center for Conservation & Development.
In November of 2002, a renewed five-year Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD) was granted to New York City by the US Environmental Protection Agency, allowing a continued exemption from building a filtration plant for the City's Catskill/Delaware Water Supply. In 2007 the FAD was again renewed, this time for 10 years. Additional funding was provided for several water quality programs to be developed, continued, or expanded by the CWC. They include septic maintenance, community wastewater management, and stormwater planning.
WATERSHED PROTECTION AND PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL
The CWC appoints three members to the Watershed Protection and Partnership Council (WPPC). The WPPC, made up of representatives of signatories to the MOA, reflects a diverse group of with the common goal of protecting and enhancing the environmental integrity of the NYC Watershed and the social and economic vitality of the Watershed Communities. The WPPC meets periodically to discuss concerns, ideas, information, and recommendations on Watershed protection and economic development issues. It serves as a dispute resolution forum and reviews implementation of the Watershed regulations, partnership programs and water protection milestones. The WPPC, funded by the City and the State, is coordinated by the Department of State's Local Government Services office.