Water Supply of London and New York.
There is an interesting coincidence in the fact that the two most populous cities in the world are just now engaged with plans for water supplies that shall be adequate fifty years hence. We place New York next to London because there is only a weak municipal line between this city and Brooklyn, and that line is sure to be obliterated in the not distant future. In looking ahead fifty years we must therefore regard New York at the present time as a city comprising a population of nearly three millions.
New York is much farther advanced than the British metropolis in grappling the important question of water supply half a century ahead. The authorities of London have only reached the primary stage of figuring up the probable population of their town in the future. But the estimates already made are of the highest interest to New York, and in fact to all great cities.
There is considerable divergence of opinion in the probable population of London at the end of the fifty year limit, but the calculation, thought to be most accurate, places the total at 17,500,cxx). We can hardly conceive such an urban aggregation as this, nearly ten times as great as the number of people now within the municipal lines of New York.
But what of New York when London shall reach that astounding figure? Our population now doubles in a little more than twenty-five years; that of London in about thirtyfive years. Therefore, the American metropolis will have a population of about ten millions fifty years hence, fully three times the population of the whole country at the end of the revolution.
Our alert authorities are already actively engaged in making preparations for a water supply sufficient for this mighty city of the future. At an expenditure of less than five million dollars, as the estimates show, the strong capacity of Croton lake will be multiplied fifteen times. This will be accomplished by the proposed dam at the Cornell site. The time allowed for the construction of the dam is six and one-half years, and when it is completed the water supply will be ample for fifty years.