[VIDEO] Why Towns were Lost Under New York’s Water Reservoir

Compared to other cities in the United States, New York City is often said to have the best drinking water in the country in terms of its cleanliness, pH level and even its taste. But this high quality of water is not easy to come by, and New Yorkers only have this luxury due to a complex and intricate water supply system that pulls in water from the surrounding upstate areas. Run by the New York City Board of Water Supply, the entire system involves three massive aqueducts, three main tunnels, three controlled lakes, over 20 reservoirs and various other structures such as smaller aqueducts, waterways and treatment plants. Overall, it is an obvious marvel of engineering achievement, but unbeknownst to most, the six major reservoirs that were created in the 20th century came at a heavy price. The land which was required to build these reservoirs was already inhabited but numerous albeit, sparsely populated, farm towns in the upstate area. But the need for water in New York City seemed to outweigh the opinions of a few small farming communities and so these towns were relocated. Now, the land is completely underwater at the bottom of each of these reservoirs. But what remains of these flooded towns and how exactly did this area go from being small rural towns into a vast body of water?

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's with his partner and son. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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