NYC Launches Programs to Protect its Water Supply


Wary of more big storms washing out towns and churning up debris around its distant reservoirs, New York City will buy properties in flood zones.

The one-two punch of tropical storms Irene and Lee in 2011 has prompted an additional $70 million of spending by the city.

“There’s a growing recognition that the frequency of severe storms may be increasing. We certainly anticipate that storms — if not exactly like Irene and Lee — but damaging storms are going to be coming again,” said David Warne, assistant commissioner for the city’s Department of Environmental Protection.

The flood-related programs were finalized this month under changes to a federal waiver that allows New York City to avoid filtering its drinking water from reservoirs west of the Hudson River.