Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/102

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98
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE CATSKILL AQUEDUCT

The supply of water for New York City is an engineering and economic problem of the greatest possible importance. The supply from the Croton watershed is at present just about equal to the consumption; if the rainfall during the present year should be small, there is danger lest there be an actual water famine in New York City, the harmful results of which would be almost incalculable. The consumption could be considerably lessened by requiring meters in each house measuring the amount of water used, and it would doubtless be desirable to introduce this system, though it would not give permanent relief. The average daily consumption of Croton water in New York City is over 350,000,000 gallons and the increasing population causes an annual increase of fifteen million gallons a day. Unless an interstate agreement could have been made by which water should have been obtained from Connecticut, the Catskill region is the only source that will give an adequate supply for a long period of years. The engineering problems of bringing the water a hundred miles from the Catskill Mountains are of great magnitude; the construction of the aqueduct is nearly equal to that of the Panama canal in difficulty and in cost.

The geology of the region and to a large extent the engineering problems are reviewed in a bulletin issued by the New York Education Department and prepared by Professor Charles P. Berkey, of Columbia University. The facts and illustrations for this note are taken from this report. The surface of the Ashokan reservoir in the Catskills will be 590 feet above the sea, and the High View reservoir within the limits of New York City will have an elevation of 295 feet. The length of the aqueduct between the two reservoirs will be approximately 92 miles and the main distributing conduit in

 

PSM V79 D102 Beaverkill basin of the Ashokan reservoir of nyc.png

A View of the Catskill Mountains, looking across the Beaverkill basin which is to form a part of Ashokan Reservoir.