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The Great Flats Aquifer

photo of Mohawk River from the banks in Rotterdam during the fall.

The Great Flats Aquifer is a quality groundwater resource and is one of the most productive aquifers in New York State. It serves as a reliable source of drinking water for over 150,000 residents and businesses in Schenectady County.The Aquifer has an estimated capacity of more than one trillion gallons.

Protection of the aquifer is regulated by the Intermunicipal Watershed Rules and Regulations adopted in 1991. The Rules and Regulations apply to the lands and uses within four protection zones and the wells which comprise the source of public water supply for the City of Schenectady, Village of Scotia, and the Towns of Glenville, Niskayuna, and Rotterdam. The Schenectady Aquifer Protection Zones Map identifies the four zones listed below.  No development is allowed in Zone I with restrictions in place on development in Zones II, III and IV.

Aquifer Protection Zones

  • Zone IV - Tributary Watershed Zone

  • Zone III - General Aquifer Recharge Zone

  • Zone II - Primary Recharge Zone

  • Zone I - Wellhead Protection Zone

Ariel photo of the Mohawk River Valley at Glenville facing west towards Amsterdam.

Photo Credit: Brian Ives

Regional Map of the Great Flats Aquifer

Download Map

As part of ongoing efforts to protect the Great Flats Aquifer, Schenectady County is continuing its efforts to clean up brownfield sites and expand protected open space and parklands within the County. The Great Flats Aquifer is a tremendous resource for residents and a key economic development tool attracting businesses dependent upon a high-quality water supply.

For more information contact the Schenectady County Department of Economic Development and Planning at 518-386-2225.