Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Science and Policy

First Advisor

Andrew Morris




Catskills, Delaware, reservoirs, filtration, land acquisition, eminent domain


From 1837 until the early 1970s, New York City constructed a total of 19 reservoirs in the Catskill/Delaware region to meet growing demand for clean drinking water. This historically strained relationship between upstate and New York City officials due to involuntary land acquisition has positively progressed since reservoir construction. However, as New York City has utilized regulations and additional land acquisition to avoid billions of dollars in water filtration expenditures, tensions have again risen. Through interviews with watershed and state officials, this research study has found a more cooperative and trusting relationship can be built with more targeted land acquisition, greater New York City monetary support of watershed economic sectors such as tourism, agriculture, and forestry, more New York City employment opportunities in the watershed, and better communication channels.