TO TAKE WATER FROM LAKE ERIE.
Although for the present the needs of New York city in the way of water will be supplied from the Esopus source, there is but little doubt that before another generation has passed another addition must necessarily be made, in order to furnish the metropolis with an adequate supply. Whether that supply shall come from the Adirondacks, lake George, lake Erie or the Hudson river will then be the question. The Hudson river should certainly he dismissed as a source of supply. since, with all the filtration in the world, its waters would never he free from suspicion. As to the Adirondacks and lake George: By that time the rich capitalists of this and other States, unless the government should interfere, will almost certainly have bought up all the land and water rights, so that it will lie too costly for the city of New York to purchase the rights required even hv condemnation proceedings, to say nothing of the additional expense of buying up the addiditional land required for dams and reservoirs. I here remains, therefore, the lake Erie supply, which, ot course, would he inexhaustible. An engineer of the name of Arderson has outlined a plan by which an adequate supply could he obtained from that lake, and the necessity for building reservoirs in Westeheste’r county or‘its neighborhood avoided The idea is to build a large reinforced concrete conduit alongside of the old Erie canal, with outlets to supply adjacent cities and manufacturing districts, if necessary—a source of future revenue to the city. The water would lie taken from lake Erie, which is 564 feet above sea level, and the conduit would follow the right of way already owned by the State of New York —the canal—and, running in nearly a straight line to New Y’ork city or the Cornell reservoir, would deliver 1,000,000.000 gallons of water every twenty-four hours—only one-four-hundredtli part of what flows over Niagara falls, and not enough to affect their grandeur. I11 this way, it is stated, would be avoided costly purchases of land—no small consideration when it is remembered that it has been calculated that for every 5,000 souls within the limits of Greater New York one square mile of land that might be otherwise utilised for agricultural purposes in the valleys comprising the city’s watersheds is taken up by reservoirs or aqueducts to supply these persons with water. That is to say: For the population of 5,000,000. t.ooo square miles of fertile land must he sacrificed to provide an adequate water supply. Now it is not too much to claim that within another generation the population of the metropolis will he doubled, which means that 2.000 square miles of productive land will he needed for dams and reservoirs alone, to say nothing of the cost of building and maintaining these structures. That is to say: Property worth at least $125,000,000 must be destroyed, with whatever villages or towns may be built upon it (and their value a generation hence will be much greater than it is today), in order that New Yorkers may he supplied with water. If. however, the Armstrong nlati is adopted, it is claimed that its results will he the saving of all that enormous expenditure in addition to the $50^.000 called for every year to operate the pumping stations, whose sites, together with the machinery and the condemned water sheds, Mr. Armstrong points out, could he sold, and the proceeds devoted towards paying in whole or in part for the new conduit, whose cost he sets down at $150,030,000. provided it were built simultaneously with the enlargement of the Erie canal.