The reservoirs are not where the water comes from; they’re just holding tanks, flow buffers for the aqueduct system. The reservoirs are part of a very, very large and very complex system, management of which incurs significant costs not just to NYC residents but to a much larger community.
I know exactly where my water comes from. I pump it out of the ground twenty feet from my house; I know the watershed limits and have walked them on foot, and I know which aquifer my well taps and how deep it runs, and I know about the microbial community that lives in the well water and the sources of pollution in the air and ground that effect it. I know instinctively how local rainfall and weather will determine how much I can pump at any given time; right now, I could continuously pump for roughly 45 minutes at ~60 psi through a 3/4 line before the water table would depress enough that I’d endanger my pump. If I pump through a 1/2 line leading to a shower head I could easily get two hours. I also have a backup water supply; there is a drinking water stream on the property, that feeds the college town just south of me. It has more bacteria and fertilizer runoff in it than my well water, but I’m healthy enough to drink it without harm.
It is quite common for rural people to have the level of knowledge I just displayed about my water supply, rare among suburbanites, and almost unheard of for city dwellers. Water is outside their control.
Stroud Water Research Center and the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development have done some really great work taking young urbanites on exploratory treks through portions of their water supply. The documentary evidence from those projects indicates that most urban families really don’t know where their water comes from, other than very vaguely and theoretically, but many of them will appreciate being given the opportunity to learn about it.
Well, I agree, but there’s a lot of variation among the primary authors, and I (in my green suburban bubble) still enjoy the site despite the sometimes urbanized viewpoint. Maybe all the more since it shows me so many things I would never get to the city to see!
Word! And while I particularly liked the paragraph Rob quoted from Ryan Cooper, the burn is still there even for NYT readers who aren’t New York Upper Class Urban Liberal Upper East Side Cocktail Party Neurotics (which might be a very long code meaning Jewish, but I doubt it, I think Cooper was casting a wider net).