MDC’s response to drought worries group opposing bottling plant

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BLOOMFIELD--The worst drought Connecticut has seen in years is causing the Metropolitan District to make decisions about its water supply. Meanwhile, the drought has also brought about renewed questions from a group opposing a water bottling facility in Bloomfield that would draw water from MDC’s reservoirs.

Last week, MDC announced it will likely temporarily suspend releases from the Goodwin Dam, which is located on the West Branch of the Farmington River. MDC said if they continue to release water and if the drought continues, the West Branch reservoir would be depleted.

The West Branch reservoir isn’t used for drinking water, but the group that’s been fighting the Niagara Water Bottling facility in Bloomfield said it does raise questions about water supply.

Save Our Water CT has been fighting the facility being built on Woodland Avenue for almost a year. One of their major concerns all along was the possibility of a drought, given that the facility could draw up to 1.8 million gallons of water a day from the public water supply.

MDC has assured them all along, and continues to say, there is more than enough water to meet Niagara’s needs and the needs of the communities the commission serves.

“I think we have a drought problem and we have a problem with water planning. We have a problem with our water company,” said Donna Landerman of Save Our Water CT.

She added\, “I mean, if the leaders of the water company could not be aware of this problem impending, what were they watching? What were they looking at? I mean clearly drought is an issue in Connecticut and it's an issue all over the country.”

The group continues to organize. Most recently they co-hosted a documentary viewing at the Windsor Public Library with the Windsor Conservation Commission. The documentary called "Tapped" focuses on the water bottling industry.

Niagara’s plant is set to open later this year.

Save Our Water CT hopes when they do open, they will do so with just two water lines instead of their allotted four, capping their consumption below 1 million gallons a day until conditions improve.

Landerman said, “We are in a serious situation. We should be preserving our water and not encouraging large corporate extractors to come and take our water, put it in plastic bottles, and truck it out of state. It’s a very crazy idea.”