The Croton Reservoir: Water, water, everywhere.
Ever since they started putting that detailed weather map at the back of the Sports Section (usually) in the New York Times
, I've become obsessed with, of all things, the levels of water in the reservoirs that feed New York City. Yesterday, so it tells me, the reservoir levels were at a satisfying 96 percent (whereas their estimated normal is 91 percent). We're not running out of water anytime soon.
I don't quite know why I've fixated on water levels. It could be something to do with the drought we had a few years back. It could be something to do with the fact that I like the green leaves of spring not to fade to the wilted grays of sun-blasted summer. It could be my way of coping with the ever-increasing amount of heat and number of deaths from exhaustion that summer will inflict on America as the climate changes. Who knows? Given I also feel a perverse satisfaction that actual rain amounts over the last year are 63.50 inches as opposed to normal amounts of 49.69, it could simply be the fact that, ever the Englishman, I just prefer it wet.
Actually, it might be more than that. In 1976, England experienced a massive drought. I remember my mother installing a water butt to catch the rainwater from the guttering. We shared bathwater, and made sure the taps were turned off. Everybody did it; it was no big deal; and water was conserved. We don't do that in America: we just let everything metaphorically and actually drip.
Except for reservoirs. They speak of conservation and forethought; of things held back for, er, an un-rainy day. And in this consumption-drenched world, the fact that we have conserved something more than is normal is, well, as refreshing as a cool glass of water.