Thursday, September 28, 2023

A new weather station; the struggles around water funding

weather station

A constant stream of weather information will soon flow from a suite of sensors with a view of the Great Range to phones and computers around the world.

A statewide network of weather stations managed by scientists at the University at Albany this fall will make its first new addition to its 126 sites by opening a new station at the Uihlein Farm in Lake Placid. The site will measure temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity, snow depth and soil conditions and support the work of climate and weather researchers, farmers and private businesses and recreation enthusiasts visiting the heart of the High Peaks.

Thanks to Tim Rowland for covering this newsletter over the summer while I was off on parental leave. Sorry, you’re now stuck with me and my lack of any angling skills for the foreseeable future.

Speaking of Tim, his latest article in a series on the challenges of housing in the Adirondacks touches on a critical issue: water infrastructure and why it’s so hard to fund.

While development in the Adirondacks is meant to be focused in hamlets, the lack of public sewers and wastewater systems limits much needed expansion of housing opportunities. Rowland shows how just a few wealthy seasonal residents can push the income levels of a community beyond thresholds that puts much government funding out of reach. Small populations make the finances of costly infrastructure projects unworkable.

With many grant requests rejected, Adirondack advocates are arguing the benefits of the park in preserving natural spaces for the entire state should count for something when it comes to the state’s coffers.

Don’t give up yet, cautions Maureen Colemen, president of the New York Environmental Facilities Corporation, a state-backed lender for infrastructure projects. Coleman told Rowland that the agency is aware of the particular difficulties of Adirondack communities and encouraged local officials to continue seeking state support.

Photo at top:Researchers will use the old Uihlein Farm weather tower to install a new suite of sensors and equipment. Photo courtesy UAlbany

This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Zachary Matson has been an environmental reporter for the Explorer since October 2021. He is focused on the many issues impacting water and the people, plants and wildlife that rely on it in the Adirondack Park. Zach worked at daily newspapers in Missouri, Arizona and New York for nearly a decade, most recently working as the education reporter for six years at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady.

One Response

  1. David Gibson says:

    Welcome back ! Thanks to you and Tim for your great articles.

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