Before it goes anywhere, the city’s drinking water starts out in three major watersheds — the Delaware and Catskill systems west of the Hudson River and the Croton system just north of the city. In 2017, New York City got about 97 percent of its water from the Catskill/Delaware systems and about 3 percent from the Croton system, the DEP said.
The watersheds feed more than a dozen reservoirs and controlled lakes. The largest reservoir, the Pepacton, has a capacity of 140 billion gallons. The Ashokan in Ulster County, pictured, has a capacity of 123 billion gallons.
Officials take measurements throughout the reservoirs, looking at things like turbidity (water clarity) and contaminants, to select the highest quality water available at that moment to be released downstate.
The water supply is so critical to the city that a dedicated police force with more than 200 members works 24…
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