Enfield Aquifer Study Fundraising Letter

Dear Enfield Neighbors,
Please see the important letter below from the Enfield Aquifer Study Fundraising Group
Dear Enfield Neighbors,
In order to ensure the safety of our local water supply now and for the future, an Enfield Aquifer Study Fund Raising Group has formed to help the town raise money to offset the cost of a comprehensive study of the Enfield Aquifer.  All donations are tax-deductible. (For a printable version of this information, please click here.)

Please consider making a donation to this critical project if you are able to do so! 
Why are we raising money for this? 
Conducting an aquifer study is an important step in protecting our water supply against the danger of contamination from hydrofracking and other potential environmental threats.  Paying for a project of this size is not easy for a small town, so your help (and that of your friends and neighbors) is essential. 

The U.S. Geological Survey and Tompkins County Planning Dept. entered into a 20-yr agreement in 2000 to study the valley-fill aquifer segments within the county on a systematic basis. The funding ratio was split 30% USGS, 35% County, and 35% Town to initiate and conduct a study.   The total cost of an aquifer study is about $270,000 but the Town of Enfield’s portion will be approximately $90,000, to be spread out over several years.  The Town has allocated some funding in its budget for the project, but it is not nearly enough.   As a result, we are pursuing grants, and we are seeking private donations.   The more we raise, the more viable the project becomes and the more quickly it can be completed.  
What's an "aquifer study"? 
The U.S. Geological Survey maps the local aquifer to determine the sources, quantity, quality, and location of the water resources in the aquifer, as well as its susceptibility to contamination. Completing such an investigation takes several years. 
The study’s objectives are to help the Town and County define the geometry (width, depth and layering) of the aquifer within their area and other geologic and hydrologic aspects such as recharge areas to the aquifer, water quality, type of aquifer (confined or unconfined), and current and potential water use from the aquifer.  In one case a 3-dimensional computer model was developed which shows the time it takes for water to replenish pumping wells. 
Having this critical information about the aquifer system allows the County and Towns to make well-informed decisions on how best to manage and protect our vital water resources.  In some cases the studies have determined critical recharge areas that should be protected and additional sources of groundwater not yet discovered.  The program has been successful in other towns in Tompkins County that have already participated, and the cooperative nature of the program has allowed close relationships to be developed between the USGS, Town, and County working together toward a common goal. 
Additionally, the information will provide local government, water managers, businesses, and homeowners with ground-water information to help ensure that there will be: 1) a safe and plentiful drinking-water supply, 2) water available for economic development, and 3) healthy aquatic environments. The study will build upon the USGS data collection efforts in the State. 
Why do we need this now? 
The Town's attorney says it would be difficult, if not impossible, to create an aquifer protection law without the information provided by an aquifer study.  The most recent version of New York's proposed regulations on hydrofracking would protect several large city aquifers from the possibility of contamination from this form of gas drilling. However, smaller aquifers, such as the one in Enfield that we depend on for our drinking water, remain completely unprotected. 
A local Aquifer Protection Law could limit various activities both immediately above the aquifer and in areas such as hillsides and streams that feed it.  The Town Board enacted our current moratorium on hydrofracking in part to give the Town time to complete an aquifer study and pass such a law. 
To preserve safe drinking water in Enfield, it's essential to get every possible layer of protection in place. 
If you would like more information, or would like to get involved with the Enfield Aquifer Study Fund Raising  group, please contact us by emailing enfield.aquifer@gmail.com
We would be happy to talk to you!  Also, if you have friends or family who might be interested in donating to this cause, feel free to forward this email to them.

Thank you for helping our community study and protect our shared, critical water resources! 

How to contribute: (just send a check as outlined below, or you can print this email and tear off the bottom to mail with your check.)

Tear here --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To support the Enfield Aquifer Study: 
Contribute ___$25 ___$50  ___$75 ___$100    Other________ 
• Make checks payable to: Social Ventures 
Social Ventures is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.  

• Enter on the memo line of the check: Enfield Aquifer Study Fund 
Social Ventures will use all funds raised to help the Town of Enfield pay for the study. 

 Mail to: Enfield Aquifer Study Fund, PO Box 571, Ithaca, NY 14851 

We will send you a written acknowledgment of your donation. 
Name: ______________________________________ 
Address: ____________________________________ 

We thank you for your generous support of this critical project!

The Enfield Aquifer Study Fundraising Group