GOSHEN – In the fall of 2016, Merlin Entertainment funded the construction of a third well at the Village of Goshen’s well field near the Wallkill River. This well was constructed to present the illusion of abundant water for the Village of Goshen — but if one takes the time to actually study the situation, a very different and less positive image emerges.
The report that accompanied construction of this well clearly shows increasing and significant amounts of water flowing from the Wallkill River toward the wells as withdrawal rates increase. With such withdrawal rate increases, the chemistry of water drawn from these wells will start to resemble that of the Wallkill River.
Because of these and other water chemistry issues, the New York State Board of Health has approved a maximum daily withdrawal of 0.45 million gallons per day (MGD) from this aquifer. Note that the addition of this third well did not increase the permitted maximum daily withdrawal.
These Wallkill River wells comprise just a portion of the total water supply for the Village of Goshen. The primary supply is the Goshen Reservoir. Note that during times of drought when the reservoir’s water level falls to 72 or more inches below its spillway (as it has many times in the past), the maximum permitted water withdrawal from the Goshen Reservoir is 0.25 MGD. When this threshold is triggered by drought, this withdrawal restriction remains in affect for a minimum of 30 days. This leaves the village with a total of 0.7 MGD (0.45 MGD from Wallkill wells + 0.25 MGD from Goshen Reservoir) — which does not cover Goshen’s current average daily consumption of approximately 0.8 MGD.
The report accompanying the well construction reaffirms what the NYS Board of Health had already established — that the well field on the Wallkill River has limited output. In fact, Goshen’s entire water supply has limited output, particularly during times of drought. This demonstrates what many have said all along: the Legoland project is an extreme overcommitment of the limited water resources in the Village of Goshen.
The inevitable upcoming water shortages (made more inevitable by Legoland) will ultimately leave Goshen with no recourse other than to spent in excess of $50 million (as Kiryas Joel has just done) to tap into the New York City aqueduct. That in turn would pave the way for unchecked development that could leave Goshen unrecognizable.