Archive for April 18th, 2003

18th April

First Published in The New York Sun, April 18, 2003

By Andrew Wolf

The war in Iraq, specifically the crisis in a city such as Basra, reminds us of the most important reason any community lives or dies — the supply of safe water. The importance of water was a fact of life for New Yorkers of an earlier era, but it has been forgotten by today’s generation of Not-In-My-Back-Yard politicos, who have hamstrung the construction of a federally mandated filtration plant for more than a decade.
The saga of New York’s water problems was brilliantly chronicled by Gerard Koeppel, in his book, “Water for Gotham: A History.”The Perrier of New York’s early days was the Tea Water Pump, located under what is today
the Brooklyn Bridge. Rich New Yorkers could buy clean water pumped from an underwater spring located there. But that did little to insure the health and safety of the average Gotham resident.