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