A dry winter coupled with record-breaking temperatures and concern about
global warming have people in the vast New York City Watershed worried
about what may happen to the ecology in the weeks to come... Hudson
Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
Severe drought conditions extend up and down the east coast, and the
lack of water is of particular concern throughout the Catskills -
potentially affecting everything from tourism to fire safety to the
delivery of fresh water to New York City.
The almost snowless winter has New York City Environmental Protection
officials monitoring every bit climatic data in the watershed, including
current precipitation levels and forecasts.
DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland admits there could be drinking water
supply issues. There may be consequences beyond recreation and toruism. Water
temperatures are also warmer than usual.
Ron Urban, president of the Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout
Unlimited - notes the balance of nature has been upset. On top those problems, we have "red flag" conditions that create explosive potential for fires to spread: Jim Thomson is Tourism Director for the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce: he remains optimistic.
And though there may be rain in the forecast, climate specialists say we
need a steady, soaking rain, not a short downpour, to revitalize lakes
and streams and restore proper levels of the water table.