Thanks to lots of rain and wise planning, New York City doesn’t face any water shortage like cities out West. But the city still wants customers to conserve more.
Six thousand water samples collected over seven years along the Hudson, its tributaries and public-access points on New York City’s waterways indicated many areas still fall short of federal clean water standards.
The proposal aims to reduce sewage overflows in the salt-water section of the resilient little river. But the bigger obstacles to fishing and swimming it might lie upstream.
A coalition of water-quality groups outline ways that policymakers, city workers and individual residents can make a dent in the amount of untreated water that taints New York’s creeks, rivers and bays.
WNYC and City Limits teamed up last month for a series of radio stories and investigative articles on the city’s water system. Now, like a great summer beach-read that’s been turned into a blockbuster movie, the entire project has been produced as an hour-long special.
Finish the breakfast dishes, take a shower, flush the toilet, brush your teeth, boil some water for tea and then sit down to hear reporting and interviews on the city’s billion-gallon-a-day empire of water.
Fifty years ago, New York voters approved the Pure Waters Bond Act, a predecessor of the Clean Water Act, which set the national goal of making all our waters safe for swimming. The question now is whether we let the last generation’s investment go to waste.
Last week, the Delaware River Basin Commission—whose footprint includes the city’s largest watershed—issued a drought watch. But the agency in charge of New York City’s billion-gallon-a-day water system says its forecasts show there’s little risk of any protracted problem.
And the advocates that often prod the city’s Department of Environmental Protection to act faster to address pollution support the move. Sort of.