Dark Mountain 13: Doing and Despair

[this story was originally published in Dark Mountain 13: Being Human in the Thick of the Present]

In the mid-nineties, the quality of New York City’s drinking water had below what the US Environmental Protection Agency considers potable. Building a sufficiently large water filtration plant would cost $6–8 billion; running it another $300 million a year. The alternative was to restore New York City’s watershed in the Catskill Mountains for some $1–1.5 billion by reducing land use and fertilizer and sewage input. Balance restored, the soil, root systems and micro-organisms would resume filtering and purifying New York’s water for free. Not surprisingly, the city council opted to restore and conserve the Catskill Mountain Watershed for what was a comparative bargain. Continue reading