This page is about a component of the New York City water supply system. For the hydrological feature with a similar name, see Croton River watershed
The Croton Watershed is the New York City water supply system's name for its southernmost watershed and its infrastructure,[a] an organized entity rather than a mere hydrological feature. Spanning large swaths of Putnam and Westchester counties in far southeastern New York State, it represents the drainage, flow, and operating systems of some seven rivers, one dozen reservoirs, and three controlled lakes falling within the Croton River watershed.[b]
Over 350 square miles (910 km2) in area, the Watershed holds some 100 billion US gallons (380,000,000 m3) of fresh water.[c] The vast majority of this ends up at the Jerome Park Reservoir in the Bronx via the New Croton Aqueduct, from which it is distributed. Water in excess of New York City's needs spills over the New Croton Dam at the New Croton Reservoir and is carried by the Croton River into the Hudson River at Croton-on-Hudson, New York, about 30 miles north of the Metropolitan area.
The Croton Watershed is a term describing a part of the New York City water supply system. It is not synonymous with the biological feature Croton River watershed. Numerous small natural lakes and ponds, as well as large Lake Mahopac, are within the river's watershed but not part of the NYC water supply system (even though they too ultimately drain into it). A map of the actual Croton Watershed is found here.
The Croton River (// KROH-tən) is a river in southern New York with three principal tributaries: the West Branch, Middle Branch, and East Branch. Their waters, all part of the New York City water supply system, join downstream from the Croton Falls Reservoir.[d] Together, their waters and the reservoirs linked to them represent the northern half of the New York City water system's Croton Watershed.
Shortly after the confluence of the three Croton River branches the Croton River proper, along with its tributary, the Muscoot River, flows into the Muscoot Reservoir, after which it empties into the New Croton Reservoir, which feeds the New Croton Aqueduct supplying water to New York City via the Jerome Park Reservoir in the Bronx. Excess water leaves the spillway at the New Croton Dam and empties into the Hudson River at Croton-on-Hudson, New York at Croton Point, about 30 miles (50 km) north of New York City. The river has a watershed area of 361 square miles (930 km2).
- Boyds Corner
- West Branch
- Middle Branch
- Croton Falls / Diverting
- East Branch / Bog Brook
- Cross River
- New Croton
Limited recreation is permitted within the Croton Watershed. Its guidelines and requirements are listed here.
- Including dams, spillways, tunnels, pumps, and related mechanical components not part of a hydrological drainage basin.
- The land areas are the same, but their drainages are not. Numerous small natural lakes and ponds, as well as large Lake Mahopac, are part of the Croton River's watershed but not part of the NYC water supply system. A map of the actual Croton Watershed is found here.
- 86.6 billion US gallons (328,000,000 m3) in reservoirs, roughly 5.5 billion US gallons (21,000,000 m3) in controlled lakes, and 7.5 billion US gallons (28,000,000 m3) in its river system.
- As a result of dam construction, the waters of the Middle and West Branches mingle in Croton Falls Reservoir before exiting as a brief stretch of the West Branch alone, which joins the East Branch at the confluence of the Croton River proper.
- New York State Department of Health Regulations, Part 128-1.6(a)(20) - Definitions: Controlled lake
- Rules and Regulations for the Protection from Contamination, Degradation and Pollution of the New York City Water Supply and its Sources, Final Regulations, Chapter 18 – New York City, Subchapter A, Section 18-16 – Definitions (20) "Controlled lake means a lake from which the City may withdraw water pursuant to rights acquired by the City or as a right of ownership. The controlled lakes are: Kirk Lake, Lake Gleneida and Lake Gilead".
- "Map of the Croton Watershed, at New York City Department of Environmental Protection". Archived from the original on 2019-02-21. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
- Institution of Civil Engineers (Great Britain) (1901). Minutes of proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. The Institution. Retrieved 24 October 2011.