Final Rockland County Water Conservation Plan

Rockland County Water Task Force completed the County Conservation Plan (the "Plan") and presented it to the Task Force in a public meeting on February 19, 2020. Subsequently, it was presented to and accepted by the County Legislature on March 3, 2020, in resolution 97 of 2020. The resolution was later signed by the County Executive, acknowledging and accepting the county-wide Conservation Plan.
Rockland County Water Conservation Plan 2020


Public Task Force Kick-Off Meeting Introducing the New Conservation Consultant

Join Chairwoman Harriet Cornell and the Task Force committees in a public kick-off meeting and discussion on October 22, 2018 (Mo), 5:30 pm. Please, note the new location.

The Task Force will meet in the Rockland County Office Building (Legislative Chambers) to introduce newly hired firm, Jacobs Civil Consultants, Inc., which will help create a Comprehensive Water Conservation Plan for Rockland. A team of evaluators from the Task Force unanimously selected Jacobs as the company best suited to meet the needs of our county. Very important to us was the understanding demonstrated by Jacobs as to the necessity of stakeholder engagement. Funding for the consultants comes from the NYS budget thanks to the help of Rockland's state legislators.

Two members of the Jacobs team will make a presentation about the planning process to develop the water conservation plan. Questions and discussion will follow. The public is invited to attend--so please extend the invitation to others.

I look forward to seeing you on Monday, Oct. 22. -- Sincerely, Harriet Cornell, Task Force Chairwoman


"Preliminary Watershed Assessment of the Ramapo and Hackensack Watersheds in Rockland and Orange Counties" by Dr. Van Abs of Rutgers University

(January 2018) The Task Force commissioned the Preliminary Assessment of the two watersheds that are critical to our water supply in July 2017. The draft was presented to the Task Force and the public at the December 14th Task Force meeting. Dr. Van Abs completed and finalized the report at the end of December 2017, after a few rounds of input from various County departments, Task Force's Groundwater/Stormwater Committee, the full Task Force and the public in attendance.


The report includes "a preliminary assessment of readily available information to identify known critical issues, key missing information that must be developed in support of a complete watershed assessment, and a planning process that will result in plans that address the critical issues in a sound, science-based, implementable fashion. This preliminary assessment provides a solid foundation for development of a comprehensive watershed assessment and management plan in the two watersheds." The primary focus on issues related to water supply (quality and quantity) also includes, by necessity, the issues of flooding and ecological needs that can affect water supply demands and availability over time.

The report discusses land uses, geology, hydrography, hydrology, water supply and demands, water quality, ecological resources, and water infrastructure. The report also makes recommendations and offers several draft scopes of work for watershed projects that can generate the technical foundation for action in both development regulation and the mitigation of harmful impacts from existing development. Recommended actions should provide material benefits for water quality, aquifer recharge, stream flow and ecosystem protection, all of which can positively affect water supply quality and quantity, reducing risks and pressures.

Specific recommended projects include:

  1. Road Salt Management Project.
  2. Assessment of Stream and Riparian Area Integrity.
  3. Recharge Loss Evaluation.
  4. Subwatershed Water Quality Plans for Non-Point Source Pollution.
  5. Stormwater Infrastructure Asset Management Evaluation.
  6. Sewer Infrastructure Asset Management Evaluation.

Some of these projects can utilize existing county resources, data, and information. Other projects would require state or federal grants and hiring of consultants to do some of the more technical and/or field work. The last 3 projects, in particular, are more expensive but would provide sophisticated information in support of development, redevelopment and restoration requirements and projects.

Many thanks to all the individuals and departments that had to come together to make this work possible. Notably, technical review and comments were received from the County's own hydrology expert, Dr. Daniel Miller of the County Health Department. A significant amount of stream monitoring data, GIS data, and other relevant local information were provided by the Division of Environmental Resources's Nicole Laible and Allan Beers, and County Planning Department and GIS Unit (thank you, Acting Commissioner Doug Schuetz and GIS Staff). Comments and other input were provided by the Groundwater & Stormwater Committee under the leadership of Allan Beers. Thank you to Suzanne Barkley for drafting the proposal that initiated this work. The funding for the Preliminary Watershed Assessment was provided by the County Drainage Agency.

Special thank you to our Chairwoman, Hon. Harriet D. Cornell for her constant support and leadership.


"Moving Ahead: Effective Water Planning Approaches"

(March 2017; Presentation by Dr. Daniel Van Abs, PhD)

  • TF Meeting featured presentation on March 27, 2017 at Clarkstown Town Hall 
  • About Presentation:
    • Dr. Van Abs discussed how two regions in New Jersey have developed programs to protect and manage regional water resources through task force planning processes, and lessons learned from similar efforts
    • Presentation Slides
    • Presentation Recording split into parts (coming soon)
      1. Part 1
      2. Part 2
  • About Dr. Van Abs: 
    • Dr. Van Abs is currently Associate Professor of Practice for Water, Society & Environment at Rutgers University. He was Senior Director for Planning & Science with the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council from 2007 to 2012. He managed Council staff efforts regarding development and implementation of the Highlands Regional Master Plan. Before that, he served as Director of Watershed Protection Programs for the New Jersey Water Supply Authority for more than eight years, creating and managing source water protection program for the Raritan and Manasquan river watersheds under Raritan Basin Watershed Management Plan. Dr. Van Abs also managed New Jersey's water supply, wastewater and watershed management programs at the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. He received the 2010 Peter Homack Award from the NJ Chapter of American Water Resources Association for his achievements in water resources management. Dr. Van Abs has published many peer-reviewed and conference papers in the watershed management field, and is co-editor of a new Rutgers University Press book (June 2016) Taking Chances: The Coast After Sandy. Dr. Van Abs is a frequent public speaker and commentator in news media on water resources and water infrastructure issues.

Summer 2016 Drought Debrief and Water-Saving Tips:

  • Current Status: 
    • Drought Watering Restrictions Lifted as of September 22, 2016. For more information visit Department of Health website or click here
  • Summer Drought Alert Debrief 2016
    • The Drought & Flood Committee representative of the Department of Health delivered a presentation at the public TF meeting on September 22, 2016. The presentation explains drought triggers and debriefs on how these triggers played out this summer when drought alert with mandatory restrictions was issued despite a relatively normal water levels in Lake De Forest. To view the presentation, click here: Drought Update Presentation - 09-22-16
    • With questions on the subject, please contact the TF Coordinator

State Public Service Commission (PSC) Documents & Comments - Case No. 16-W-0130

PSC E-Filing Platform: Proceeding on Motion of the Commission as to the Rates, Charges, Rules and Regulations of Suez Water New York Inc. for Water Service (case 16-W-0130)

Wastewater Reuse Studies for Rockland County Sewer District No. 1:

The attached updated reuse study was prepared on Task Force recommendation for the Rockland County Sewer District No. 1 (SD#1), represented on the Task Force by Dianne Phillips. Currently, the Orangeburg Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) allows for treatment of effluent flow up to 28.9 mgd (millions of gallons per day) on a 12 month rolling average in accordance with the current SPDES permit.
The consultant updated the 2002 draft Reuse Study by modifying Alternative No. 2 (Section 7.2) based on various improvements since the last report was drafted. Updates now include choice of two discharge locations with two flow conditions to provide four alternatives that would convey 2 or 5 mgd of high quality effluent water from the Orangeburg WWTP to the Hackensack River Basin, discharging into either Lake DeForest or Lake Tappan, depending on the chosen alternative. Cost estimates of planning, construction and annual operation for each alternative are included in the report.

Task Force Green Infrastructure Project with Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT):


Task Force Drought & Flood Committee - Drought Model Presentation & Video:

Amy Vickers Presentation & Report:

State Public Service Commission (PSC) Documents & Correspondence - PSC Ref. Case No. 13-W-0303:

PSC E-Filing Library Link: Proceeding on Motion of the Commission to Examine United Water New York, Inc.'s Development of a New Long-Term Water Supply Source


Water Task Force GIS Map Application

RC_Map.jpgThis interactive map provides data pertaining to both surface and groundwater in the Rockland County vicinity.  Users can display many layers including wetlands, lakes, streams, groundwater, watersheds, soils, topography, parcels and impervious surfaces.  A user can search for a location by address, intersection or tax ID, sketch on the map, measure distances, save or print a map.

Press Releases:



Important Documents:

Links lead either directly to PDFs or off-site to a source that contains information. The list may be periodically expanded and/or updated.