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Water Supply History & Information

The New York City water supply system is operated and maintained by DEP’s Bureau of Water Supply, whose mission is to reliably deliver a sufficient quantity of high quality drinking water and to ensure the long term sustainability of the delivery of this most valuable resource in order to promote public health, economic development, and quality of life of the City of New York.

History of the NYC Water Supply System
The New York City water supply system dates back to 1677 when the first public well was dug in lower Manhattan. Today the City’s water supply system is not only an engineering marvel and but one of the largest unfiltered surface water supply systems in the world.
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Water Supply Reservoirs

Water Supply Reservoirs
The New York City water supply system is comprised of 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes which are located up to 125 miles from the City’s five boroughs and are interconnected by a complex series of tunnels and aqueducts.
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Drinking Water Quality
In order to ensure high quality drinking water for nine million consumers, DEP conducts an extensive water quality monitoring program that collects and analyzes water samples from all areas of the Catskill/Delaware and Croton Watersheds.
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Education & Outreach
DEP advances watershed protection through active stakeholder collaboration, broad community outreach, and targeted educational programs for upstate watershed residents and downstate water consumers. A primary goal is to raise awareness about the importance of the water supply, source water protection, water conservation, and environmental stewardship.
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Maps & Documents
Water Supply System Maps
1997 NYC Watershed Memorandum of Agreement
2006 Long-Term Watershed Protection Program Plan
Annual Drinking Water Supply & Quality Report
Recreation Unit Maps
DEP Operations Support Tool (OST) White Paper

Reservoir Levels

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