The Project is Designed
The project itself is incredibly complex, but the concept is simple: Millions of gallons of water will be pulled from Seneca Lake into a canal that flows east and empties 300 yards above Taughannock Falls. That increased flow will not only generate more tourism, but also creates an additional commercial opportunity: At the exact moment the water makes it to the bottom, it will be seltzerized using the latest technologies, bottled and placed on store shelves within 36 hours.
Politicians get more money from tourism, and a share of the bottled water profits. But what about the certain flooding to happen across Cayuga Lake?
State Officials: Economic Benefits will Outweigh the Negatives
While controversial, Governor Hochul allowed the plan to move forward due to the significant economic impact for the region. In addition to the expected 300% rise in tourism, the state will receive 30% of the revenue from sale of the water – $3 per bottle based on the $9 retail price.
Arthur Van de L’eau, New York State Vice Deputy of Waterfall Tourism (Central Region) understands the concerns but wants people to understand the incredible economic benefits:
“Yes the water level will bring challenges – but we cannot ignore the fact that we are going to be bigger and better than Niagara Falls. More water than Niagara, a bigger drop than Niagara and it may take us a few years, but I can assure you that our strip clubs, casinos and souvenir shops will be bigger and better than ANYTHING Niagara Falls has to offer!”
Significant Flooding on Cayuga Lake
While he admitted the 3-4 foot increase in water levels at peak production periods could be “problematic” – he pointed out the newly installed warning system:
60 Minutes before Flooding is Predicted: “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin will play from a series of 36 8,000 watt speakers set around the lake.
And not everyone is unhappy with that – Chad Fitzer- Trumansburg Class of ’75 says “Yeah man I mean the flooding sucks, but not gonna lie – it’s pretty fricken awesome to hear those first few drum beats echo across the lake and Jimmy start to riff. Reminds me of that rager at Big Mike’s house Junior year. Epic.”