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NYC Watershed

Safeguard Drinking Water

Tap Water

New Yorkers are fortunate to have some of the finest tap water in the world. Most of this drinking water comes from three upstate reservoir systems called watersheds. These watersheds provide up to 1.5 billion gallons of unfiltered drinking water to over nine million New Yorkers daily. A remarkable engineering achievement, New York City’s water delivery system is a 6,000-mile network of pipes, shafts and subterranean aqueducts operating for the most part on gravity alone. It is the single largest manmade financial asset in New York State.

Riverkeeper played a critical role in the first broad-based watershed legislation in 1997, and continues to be one of the primary watchdogs enforcing compliance in the city’s three major watershed regions. Our watershed work encompasses the enforcement of environmental laws; monitoring sprawl development in the watershed; working with communities and government on proactive programs to achieve long-term protection of the NYC Watershed; advocating for stronger watershed protection policies on a local, state and federal level; and encouraging New Yorkers to choose tap water over bottled water.

  • Enforcing Pollution PermitsEnforcement & Compliance

  • Gas Fracking in New York State

  • Threats to NYC's Tap Water

  • Riverkeeper's DEP ReportsDEP Watch

  • Phase II Stormwater RegulationStormwater Management

  • Smart Growth