New York’s Possible Water Famine.
CONCERNING the scarcity of water in this city dependent upon the supply from the Croton watershed, it is no cause for wonder among the intelligent thoughtful people.
It has long since been known that the resources of the Croton River watershed have about reached their limit.
The construction of dams to impound the water should have teen done before the construction of the new aqueduct. The expenditure of $30,000,000 for the new aqueduct, and no water to pass through it, might well excite the attention of the people to the methods adopted by the authorities of this city to improve the condition of its water supply. It would be folly for one to further express any opinion in the interest of water takers. So far as New York is concerned, her water supply is in a deplorable condition, and as to any tangible proposition to better it, none has yet been developed of a character that warrants the people of New York city in accepting it as capable of giving any relief of a permanent and substantial character.
Is it not a disgrace to the municipality—the custodians of the interests of the people of New York city—that her condition to-day relating to water is more precarious than that of any other city in the Union.
The people have been deceived concerning the new aqueduct. What will be their state of mind when the dams are completed at the storage reservoirs and no water is impounded, which is quite likely to be the case ?
What manner of use is it to construct dams to impound water when the conditions of the watershed as to supply will in two years, at the present rate of consumption, be equal to the flow of streams from which it is expected to impound the water ?
The question of impounding the water is perfectly practical if water is to be had in excess of the daily draught. Gen. Duane, president of the aqueduct commission, is quoted in The Evening Post as stating that “ the people of the city have been kept on a short supply for so long a time pending the completion of the new aqueduct, that when this new source of supply was put in use and the amount of water brought to this city was increased from a little more than 90,000,000 to 165,000,000 gallons daily, everyone thought that the supply was ample, and used water in a prodigal manner, * * * and that unless there was a heavy rainfall to make up the shortage, the pressure at the Central Park reservoir might be so diminished that the water would not run to the upper floors of buildings, and possibly, in case of a large fire, the supply might not be sufficient.”
If Mr. Duane, president of the aqueduct board, will pay a visit to numerous private dwellings and down-town warehouses and stores, he will ascertain that water has not been found to flow in them above the first story without the aid of pumps, which are used to elevate the water in hundreds of cases, and since the aqueduct has been completed.
The present condition of affairs is bad enough. A water famine cannot make it much worse.