THE BROOKLYN DIFFICULTY.
THE borough of Brooklyn seems to be in a bad way regarding its present and prospective condition of source of water supply. The pith of the Smith case, as published in our last weeek’s issue, shows conclusively the liability of the city for damages occasioned by underground diversion, made manifest by the driven well plants which are an important part of the present source of supply. It would seem as it the Appellate division of the Supreme courtapplies the law of riparian ownership for the government of underground sources of supply as well as to surface sources. This being the case, if it is to protect itself, the city will have to buy the land in which the springs originate. The prospect is not very encouraging, in view of the rapid deterioration of the quality of the water,owing to the increase of population on the watershed. The official authorities having control of the matter, should certainly study the language of Alphonse Fteley, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, who lately remarked that“in many of the large seacoast cities of the country there was only one system of water supply,which is taking toogreat a risk.” He applies the further remark that “where the density of population is great there should always be more than one supply.” Mr. Fteley is distinguished for conservative expression on engineering questions. I his language, however, is emphatic enough, and should be regarded as well worthy of serious consideration and such action as would indicate that the proper authorities controling the matter of sources of water supply not only appreciate the situation, but are able to meet it in a manner worthy of the poniidence and support of the great city of New York. The administration of affairs in Brooklyn relating to water during the past four years has been a lamentable failure. Its leading officials have played with firecrackers instead of guns shotted with a true appreciation of immediate action. This fact the existing trying situation proves, and the present difficulty would not have ensued, iftimely advice had been heeded and adopted.