The Physics
Factbook
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Volume of Water Consumed by New York City

search icon
Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Standardized
Result
The New York City Water and Sewer System. New York City, 1998: 59. "1,172 millions of gallons per day" 4,436,020 m3
(daily)
"Weather Report." New York Times. May 22, 1999: D4. "New York and Westchester reservoir level yesterday … 91.5%, Normal … 100%, Consumption Thr … 1.185 bil. gals." 4,485,225 m3
(daily)
Goldstein, Eric A. Izeman, Mark A. The New York Environment Book. Washington, DC: Island, 1990: 138. "The city itself takes more than 90% of this cut, (1.5 billion tons), just over 1.4 billion gallons." 5,299,000 m3
(daily)
Gilbert Cooper, Linda. The Old Croton Aqueduct. 1992: 5. "The distributions reservoir had a holding capacity of 24 million gallons and was pumping an estimated 26.4 gallons per person per day to residents of the city. (1848)" 9.99 * 10−2 m3
(per person per day)
"Celebrating NYC's Clean Drinking Water."Department of Environmental Protection. "Water flows to NYC through aqueducts and 97% of 550 billion gallons reaches homes and businesses through gravity alone." 2,019,297,000 m3
(total capacity)

New York City's Water system stretches across nine upstate countries. It's three watersheds -- the Croton, the Catskill, and the Delaware -- cover almost 2,000 square miles which is more than six times the size of New York City itself. Normally about 90 percent of New York City's drinking water can be traced to the Catskill and Delaware watersheds. Water systems were created from the 1860s when New York was experiencing terrible drought and fires. New York City's water supply is vital and could be its most valuable capital asset.

Most New Yorkers take New York City's dear and plentiful water supply for granted which can be in danger. The demand for water is large, it is reported that from 1960 to 1980, even as the city's population decreased, the water consumption grew by 350 million gallons per day. From my textbook source, fortunately, it showed water consumption decreasing from 1989-1990. Today, an amazing system of reservoirs, lakes, aqueducts, tunnels, and water mains distributes around 4,000,000 m3 (1.3–1.5 billion gallons) of water to nearly 9 million people every day.

Jessica Howell O'Neil -- 1999