path for a sustainable future

Water Resources

The Water Resources element considers how the provision of water and wastewater treatment has affected our development patterns and how our development patterns have impacted the quality of our water.

As a region, we have been blessed with an abundance of water – Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, Oneida Lake, Onondaga Lake, and the Seneca River, not to mention all of the smaller ponds, lakes and streams scattered across the landscape. With this blessing comes a responsibility – to soundly manage our water resources so as to preserve them for future generations to use, manage, and enjoy. Sound management of our water resources should consider all components of the hydrologic cycle and be based on a holistic approach that not only addresses the development, conservation, and management of water resources, but also the impact that our land development patterns can have on this resource.

Several issues and opportunities relating to Water Resources were identified over the course of the planning process. A sample key findings is provided below. To review the complete report, follow the link to the right.

Key Findings

  • Many communities are faced with aging wastewater, stormwater and drinking water infrastructure that is in need of repair and/or replacement. With the age of some systems in Onondaga County exceding 100 years, the repair and/or replacement of these systems is critical.

  • Without an increasing population base, existing County residents incur the costs of operating, maintaining and modernizing aging sewer infrastructure in developed areas, while also subsidizing the future upkeep of infrastructure for new development.

  • The County’s many waterbodies provide drinking water and recreational opportunities for residents, as well as wildlife habitat. It is important to protect those resources with high water quality and improve the water quality in those waterbodies with impairments.