A cross-section of the new (and old) tunnel, looking south down the Hudson River.
A cross-section of the new (and old) tunnel, looking south down the Hudson River. GRAPHIC PROVIDED

What’s going to happen when the Delaware Aqueduct is shut down?
Attend this Zoom meeting to find out more

| March 21, 2022

A public presentation on a billion-dollar project — repairing a massive leak in the Delaware Aqueduct — that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection has been planning and executing for about 20 years is reaching its final stages and that’s likely to affect the water the Delaware River gets from the city’s reservoirs.

Jennifer Garigliano from the NYCDEP will be explaining more about it and answering questions at Wednesday’s Zoom meeting (see link here) at the Regulated Flow Advisory Committee of the Delaware River Basin Commission. The meeting is set to run from 1 to 3 p.m.

RFAC’s focus is on the flow from the NYCDEP reservoirs (Cannonsville, Pepcaton and Neversink) that feed the Delaware.

The significant leak is where the aqueduct tunnels under the Hudson River on its way to New York City and the repair will take that tunnel (and those reservoirs) out of operation as a source for New York City’s drinking water for 5-8 months in 2022.

The reservoirs will still feed the Delaware River.

NYCDEP states in its fact sheet that:

NYCDEP will continue to meet all its release requirements, including those outlined in the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court Decree and the 2017 Flexible Flow Management Program while the aqueduct is out of service.

Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire has been a journalist for 30 years in New York and Connecticut. She started in weekly newspapers and moved to full-time work in dailies 25 years ago. She knows about the tectonic changes in journalism firsthand, having been part of what was euphemistically called a "reduction in force" six years ago. Now she's working to find new ways to "do" the news as an independent online publisher of news about the Delaware River, its watershed and its people.


  1. Bill Boylan on March 24, 2022 at 10:37 am

    NYCDEP spokesperson Jennifer Garigliano’s RFAC meeting presentation was both clumsy and arrogant. Add to that: frightening for folks who live below the City’s dams. The DEP has cooked the books for decades, refusing to supply the numbers critical to document what their reservoir management “science” is based on.
    Ms. Garigliano’s statement to the effect that the City would not add siphons to help lower Pepacton during the shutdown “because we decided it wasn’t necessary” was chilling. Especially since independent modeling showed clearly that Pepacton’s tiny release valves make the possibility of another 2006 flood disaster highly probable (as in ’04 and ’05 when storms hit and all the reservoirs were spilling).
    Ms. Garigliano defended the DEP’s callous disregard for the public safety by stating that she “didn’t have a crystal ball” to make decisions that could protect us. She also brought up the DEP’s debunked “attenuation” effect that “helps mitigate flooding”. She restated DEP’s arrogant “policy” that Pepacton was “not built for flood mitigation”. It exists only to provide NYC with drinking water.
    This is NOT what DEP representatives told the residents of the town of Pepacton when the DEP took their homes and farms and forced them to relocate downriver BELOW the new dam–and into harm’s way. Somewhere along the line their story has changed DRAMATICALLY.
    The NYCDEP sees flood victims as acceptable collateral damage. They want to continue to overdraft the Delaware reservoirs, bank water and ignore the Safe Yields requirements that are based on standard hydrological practice.
    As of this moment all of the Delaware reservoirs are at or near full/spilling. This reflects DEP management policy: 100% full reservoirs from April right up to hurricane season! This is arrogant disregard for the public safety!

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