I recently discovered this page on the NYC.gov Environmental Protection site. It’s pretty cool: if you are worried about NYC’s water supply, you can get up-to-date information on where our reservoirs stand.
When I ask my students to cite sustainability issues, they often point to how water is wasted in NYC on things like spraying off driveways or over-watering lawns and plantings. And while I don’t want to endorse wasting water under any circumstances, the robustness of NYC’s water supply makes water conservation issues a lot less worrisome than most other issues we think of when we think about urban sustainability.
The NYC water system is a triumph of ecosystem services and design. Ecosystem services — specifically the preservation of watershed ecosystems that filter NYC’s water before it trickles into our many reservoirs — assure the quality of our water supply. And a genius design that predominantly uses gravity to transport water to its urban users lowers the impact of our water consumption due to expenditure of energy.A Minor Post, Ecosystem Services, Green Design, Public Policy, Sustainable Urban Design, Urban Ecology, Water Supply, Web