World’s Largest Aqueducts, Moving Billions Of Gallons Of Water Daily

By: | May 21st, 2013

8475914917_113007df80_b

Two of the more interesting tunnels that humans build are transportation tunnels for trains and cars and water aqueducts supplying large cities.

The largest existing aqueduct in the world is the Thirlmere Aqueduct in North West England built between 1890 and 1925 and running 96 miles over and through hill and dale of the English countryside in pipes, streams, tunnels dams and aqueducts.

Thirlmere Dam Raven_Crag

Thirlmere Dam Raven_Crag

The United States has the second largest “water tunnel” with a storage capacity of 550 billion gallons and providing 1.2 billion gallons of fresh water per day to the New York City’s 8 million residents; 95% of the aqueduct’s water is moved by gravity. The “Big Apple” water system has three aqueducts and three tunnels. The aqueducts serve as reservoirs and the tunnels serve as the distribution system.

New York's Water System

New York City Reservoirs & Aqueducts

  • New Croton Aqueduct – completed in 1890 brings water from New Croton reservoir in Westchester and Putnam counties and supplies about 10% of New York City’s water needs.
New Croton Aqueduct (Image Courtesy www.nyc.gov)

New Croton Aqueduct (Image Courtesy www.nyc.gov)

  • Catskill Aqueduct – completed in 1960 brings water from two reservoirs in the Eastern Catskill Mountains and supplies about 40% of New York City’s water needs
Catskill Aqueduct (Image Courtesy www.nyc.gov)

Catskill Aqueduct (Image Courtesy www.nyc.gov)

  • The Delaware Aqueduct – completed in 1945 brings water from tributaries of the Delaware River in the Western Catskills and provides about 50% of the New York City’s water supply.

Delaware Aqueduct

New York City Tunnels & Distribution System

  • New York City water tunnel number one-completed in 1917 runs from Hillview reservoir under the central Bronx, Harlem River, Westside, Midtown and lower East side and under the East River to Brooklyn where it connects to tunnel number 2.
  • New York City water tunnel number 2 – completed in 1935 runs from Hillview reservoir under the central Bronx, East River and Western Queens to Brooklyn where it connects to tunnel number one and the Richmond tunnel to Staten Island.
  • New York City water tunnel number three, the largest New York City construction project in history has a distribution system including an extensive grid of water mains 6,500 miles long.

David Schilling

David lives in Boston in close proximity to Boston University, Boston College, MIT, Harvard, Northeastern as well as Bostons leading companies and labs. You can also find David on Google+.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 

More articles from Industry Tap...

Tell Us What You Think

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...

4 thoughts on “World’s Largest Aqueducts, Moving Billions Of Gallons Of Water Daily

  1. gerhard blom
    May 28, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    i am interested in fish farms and fresh water mussels do you have any news?

  2. Mike Hawes
    May 29, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Dear David,

    The Image of the Catskill Aqueduct (Image Courtesy http://www.nyc.gov) is incorrect! This is an image of the area between Muizenberg looking out over the Cape Flats and False Bay, Western Cape, South Africa if I am not mistaken! The Dam in the photo is the Silvermine Dam

    Look at the Flora, it is most decidedly Mediterranean.

    Many thanks for the interesting articles!

    1. David Russell Schilling
      May 29, 2013 at 6:49 am

      Will correct. Thanks for the headsup!

    2. Gerry Hewitt
      May 30, 2013 at 4:45 am

      Certainly Silvermine with the Hottentots Holland moutain range in the distance and Cape Hanklip to the far right. The lakes at the back of Muizenberg are also visable. A strange coincidence if two places on earth look so much alike.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *