WATER SHORTAGE OF BROOKLYN.
Within a year Water Commissioner Dougherty expects that the borough of Brooklyn, New York, will suffer still more severely than it has hitherto suffered from a shortage of water. The matter has, therefore, been referred to Albany, where a bill, fathered by Mayor Low, has been introduced into the legislature to repeal the Burr act and permit New York in its borough of Brooklyn to get its water supply from Suffolk and Nassau counties The measure will, of course, be strongly opposed by the representatives of each county, especially those of Suffolk, whose monopoly of the water supply in that county has for years stood in the way of Brooklyn being adequately provided for. The opposition seems to be at least selfish, since it iclaimed that the water running to waste in Suffolk county alone, if utilised, would be amply sufficient to supply Brooklyn for many years to come. The system of that borough, it will be remembered, at present ramifies into Queens and Nassau counties and the growth of its watershed has been a natural evolution to Massapequa. It follows, therefore, that an extension of that system in an easterly direction into Suffolk county could be made speedily and at comparatively little cost, and the supply derived from it would be sufficient for years to come. The county in question has an enormous volume of surface water which at present runs to waste, and the character of the volume is such that the gravel which underlies the surface is filled with abundant springs and three sources of supply. Between Baby lon and East Moriches, which is the portion of Suffolk county through which the proposed.extension of the Brooklyn water system is to be built, there are between thirty and forty streams and creeks flowing into Great South bay. From careful gaug ing made during the unprecedented drought in the summer of 1894, it was ascertained that the minimum daily flow from eleven of these streams which it is proposed to utilise for the Brooklyn supply was about S.000,000 gallons of fresh water, of the most wholesome quality. The necessity for doing something at once is obvious, if only a furthei supply is brought to Brooklyn from Harlem by means of conduits across the East river, which would be a costly operation, and. even if Manhattan and the Bronx could spare the water, would involve a delay of many years, whereas the Suffolk county scheme, it is claimed, could he carried out in a little more than two. Manhattan and the Bronx may possibly wait till an additional source of supply is opened up, or till the additional storage reservoirs of the Croton system are built and the waste in the two boroughs is stopped. The situation at Brooklyn, however, admits of no further delay. Its source of supply is limited; its surroundings are low and level: its streams and ponds are few in number; owing to the sandy soil, it is difficult and costly work to build reservoirs; and the loss through seepage and evaporation (the latter due to the open nature of the country) is enormous. Every drop of water has to be numped from lower to higher levels, the result being that, while the storage reservoirs arc not up to the mark, the distributing reservoirs never contain more than at best a very few days’ supply. This, it is insisted, should be remedied bv the building of larger distributing reservoirs at Ridgewood or on the high ground along the Eastern Parkway: of a series of suburban storage reservoirs, of capacity sufficient to afford a three-months’ supply; and of a supply to be obtained from the eastern and central parts of Long Island. This last want can be furnished from the hundreds of millions of gallons which, we are told, are daily running to waste in Suffolk countv. For the accommodation the city of New York will probably have to pay. But that payment will he made as cheerfully in the case of Brooklyn, as it has already been made in that of Manhattan.