BREAKING NEWS: Power of the People–Aquarion Withdraws Water Diversion Permit
BREAKING NEWS–March 14, 2019, 1:45 p.m.–Aquarion Water Company released a statement today announcing it has withdrawn a permit it filed with the state to withdraw water from a well it owns in the Cannondale section of Wilton. The application drew an outpouring of local protest from residents, town officials, environmental organizations and other stakeholders who spoke out against the utility’s plan to divert up to 1,000,000 gallons of water per day from the well and the nearby Norwalk River.
A community information session was held on Tuesday, Feb. 26, attracting an overflow crowd to Wilton Library, where CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials, as well as Aquarion representatives, heard overwhelming public opposition to the application.
Wilton First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice released a statement following Aquarion’s announcement:
“The Town of Wilton is pleased with Aquarion’s decision to withdraw their water diversion permit application. We are encouraged by and expressed our support for their intention to build upon their current conservation efforts.
I would like to thank all who assisted Wilton in our efforts, beginning with our leadership team of Environmental Affairs Director Mike Conklin, Town Counsel Ira Bloom, Special Counsel Steve Studer and Consultant Brian Blum. Thank you to my fellow members of the Board of Selectmen for approving the necessary funding to support our team.
Thank you to our partners, Mayor Rilling and his Norwalk staff, Trout Unlimited, Norwalk River Watershed Association, Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound, Harbor Watch, Earthplace, Rivers Alliance of Connecticut and the residents of Wilton and surrounding towns and Representative Gail Lavielle, who provided thoughtful and informed commentary at the recent public informational meeting. Lastly, thank you to the officials at D.E.E.P, particularly, Doug Hoskins, for agreeing to hold the meeting.
Our combined efforts demonstrate that transparency and collaborative, fact based advocacy lead to good outcomes.
Statement from Aquarion
“Following discussions with Wilton town and state officials, environmental organizations, residents, and other stakeholders, Aquarion Water Company announced today that it will not seek a diversion permit for its Cannondale well in Wilton. The company will instead focus on using other Aquarion water sources while continuing to expand conservation efforts throughout its service area.
“Over the past several months, Aquarion has held a dialogue with both community stakeholders and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) on the proposed diversion permit for our Cannondale well,” said Dan Lawrence, Aquarion’s Director of Engineering and Planning. “Given the feedback we’ve received and our ability to continue using our other water sources to ensure the reliable delivery of safe, clean, quality water to our customers, we will be withdrawing the permit application.”
Aquarion will also continue to build upon conservation efforts across its service territory. Aquarion encourages all of its customers to follow a twice-weekly irrigation schedule and maintains a mandatory, twice-weekly irrigation schedule for customers in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Newtown, Stamford and Westport.
Customers interesting [sic] in learning more about how they can conserve water can visit www.aquarionwater.com/conserve.