The Physics
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Volume of Water in New York Reservoirs

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Reservoir Levels Map. New York City Department Environmental Protection. 28 May 2004.
Cannonsville Reservoir: 95.7 Billion Gallons
Pepacton Reservoir: 140.2 Billion Gallons
Neversink Reservoir: 34.9 Billion Gallons
Croton System: 86.6 Billion Gallons
Roundout Reservoir 49.6 Billion Gallons
Ashokan Reservoir: 122.9 Billion Gallons
Schoharic Reservoir: 17.6 Billion Gallons
2.03 Billion m3
(Total Capacity)
A History of Drought and Water Consumption. New York City Department Environmental Protection. 14 April 2004. "Year - 1984 NYC Consumption (Million Gallons per day) - 1465" 5.55 Million m3
Michael A. Principe, William N. Stasiuk, Ira A. Stern. Protecting New York City's Drinking Water Sources -- 2000 APA Proceedings. 19 April 2004. "New York City Supplies 1.35 Billion Gallons of Water per day." 5.11 Million m3

New York City's Water supply system is managed by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP). Nineteen reservoirs, three controlled lakes and hundreds of miles of aqueducts compromise the three separate systems which stretch over a 2000 square mile watershed from the Catskill Mountains down to Westchester County. This system consists of the Croton, Catskill and Delaware Watershed systems and a ground-water supply, the Jamaica Wells, in the Borough of Queens.

The Croton System was originally constructed in the mid 1800s but only a small portion of that system is used. The present system was constructed between 1885 and 1911 and usually provides 10-12% of the daily supply but can provide up to 25% during droughts. The System storage is 94.5 billion gallons and it can transfer up to 90 million gallons a day to the Delaware System via two hydraulic pumping stations, which are only activated during drought conditions. In addition, 100 million gallons a day can be transferred from the Catskill System to the Croton System if there are problems in the Croton Reservoir.

The Catskill System was put into service in 1917 and completed in 1927. It consists of Schoharie Reservoir which diverts water through the 18 mile Shandaken Tunnel to Esopus Creek which feeds the Ashokan Reservoir. These reservoirs have a storage capacity of 140.5 billion gallons. The Catskill normally supplies 40% of the daily demand. The 74 mile Catskill Aqueducts has a capacity of 580 million gallons a day and converts water from the Ashokan Reservoir to Kensico, where it is intermingled with water from the Delaware System.

The Delaware System is NYC's newest and largest source of supply. It began late in the 1930s and includes four source reservoirs with a storage capacity of 320.4 billion gallons. Three of these are in the Delaware River Basin: Cannonsville, Pepacton, and Neversink. Water from these reservoirs is fed through separate rock tunnels to Roundout Reservoir which is within the Hudson River drainage basin. Water from the Delaware System supplies approximately 50% of the daily demand.

Ilya Parizh -- 2004