Liquid Assets: A History of New York City's Water System

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9780916346744: Liquid Assets: A History of New York City's Water System

THE NEW YORK CITY water system is, by every measure, an engineering marvel. Delivering about a billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million people, it is a complex network of reservoirs stretching out over a vast upstate region and connected by a web of subterranean aqueducts that rival those of the ancient Romans. The system, so pivotal to the development of the nation s largest city and its northern suburbs, was realized over the past 175 years and indeed is still being built beneath the subways and skyscrapers of New York. But clean, abundant water has not come without peril or pain. Thousands of people were forced to relinquish their homes in dozens of communities leveled to make way for the reservoirs of the Croton, Catskill and Delaware supplies. Hundreds of workers died building the tunnels and dams; countless more were injured. The story of the New York City water system is one of genius and daring, sacrifice and tragedy. It is peopled with visionaries, scoundrels and the little men with the picks and shovels who tore away mountains and built new ones to capture the sweet essence of wild rivers far from the Big Apple s teeming streets. THIS EXPANDED VERSION OF LIQUID ASSETS includes 36 new pages and a portfolio of color photos detailing infrastructure projects, watershed protection programs, conservation efforts and recreation and historic preservation initiatives launched since the book was first published in 1999. In Liquid Assets, author Diane Galusha traces the ongoing history of the amazing water system that continues to alter landscapes, transform lives and make possible New York s preeminence among the world s great cities.

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About the Author:

The author is a former journalist with a passion for history. She was editor of The Catskill Mountain News from 1898 to 1996. Since 1998 she has served as communications director and education coordinator with the Catskill Watershed Corporation. She has written several books of local and regional history.


"It is tale of great human endeavor and achievement, of lost lives and homes. . ." --Robert Tendy, "The Nimham Times Magazine," Spring 2000

"Liquid Assets reflects a prodigious amount of research, [it's] not only a good yarn but an invaluable reference book." --Parry Teasdale, "Woodstock Times," Dec. 16, 1999

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