NYC Watershed > Basics


Photo: © 2006 Derek Ramsey

Photo: © 2006 Derek Ramsey

Over nine million people living in New York City, Westchester, Putnam, Orange and Ulster Counties enjoy clean, unfiltered drinking water from the Croton, Catskill and Delaware watersheds. The 6,000-mile network of pipes, shafts and subterranean aqueducts carries an average 1.2 billion gallons of pristine water each day from 19 upstate reservoirs. The City water delivery system is a remarkable engineering achievement and the single largest man-made financial asset in New York State.

Four decades ago, the City of New York was known as the mecca of civil engineering and water delivery, and the City water supply was regarded as one of American civilization’s proudest engineering accomplishments. But the City’s reservoir infrastructure is now in a state of disrepair that threatens its ability to continue to supply the City with water. In 2001, Riverkeeper published “Finger in the Dike, Head in the Sand” exposing this deplorable state of disrepair. Years later, little has changed.

While we recognize that the engineering required to fix the City’s crumbling infrastructure is complex, Riverkeeper urges the City to move quickly – from researching to repairing the problems.

  • Croton Aqueduct

  • Delaware Aqueduct

Don't let New York State give up on New York City waters
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