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The Water for the Future program, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will construct a bypass tunnel that will replace a two and a half mile section of the Delaware Aqueduct in the town of Newburgh, in Orange County, where leaks cannot be repaired from within the existing aqueduct. Before the new bypass tunnel can be connected, innovative water conservation efforts will be instituted to reduce the demand on our water supply during the period when the Delaware Aqueduct is shut down, sometime around 2022, to reduce water use in the City by 50 million gallons per day.

At a Glance

Between now and 2022, DEP will implement five major strategies to reduce water use:

  • Retrofits of city-owned properties—saving up to nine million gallons per day
  • Residential initiatives like the Toilet Replacement Program for multi-family buildings and other residential properties—saving up to 30 million gallons per day
  • Collaborations with private sector organizations - like businesses, hospitals, universities, and theatres
  • Water supply system repairs and upgrades, managing water pressure, and refining water meter accuracy and leak detection
  • Reviewing and revising plans to prepare for a drought and other water shortages.

What to Expect

Conservation efforts leading up to the shutdown will largely be passive and will progressively grow over the years, for example as we retrofit fixtures at city owned facilities, optimize our metering and leak detecting systems and roll out the Toilet Replacement Program. During the shutdown of the Delaware Aqueduct, when the city will not have access to half of its water supply, consumers may be asked to play a more active role in their daily lives to reduce their personal water budgets by not watering lawns or not washing sidewalks and cars.

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