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Catskill Aqueduct Shutdown for 2020-2021

Release Date: November 27, 2020

On October 24, 2018 the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) confirmed the start of a $158 million project to rehabilitate the Catskill Aqueduct, which has delivered drinking water from the Catskills to New York City for more than a century. The multi-year project includes a variety of work inside the Aqueduct and at connected facilities. These upgrades will happen on the northernmost segment of the 92-mile Aqueduct, specifically the portion that carries water from Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County to Kensico Reservoir in Westchester County.

DEP will rehabilitate this 74-mile stretch of the Aqueduct by cleaning the inside and repairing a number of leaks, replacing 36 valves at chambers connected to the aqueduct, and performing other structural and mechanical upgrades to ensure proper function of the structure for generations to come.

To safely perform this work, DEP must shut down the Catskill Aqueduct annually for 10 weeks during the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. Each of the shutdowns will begin during autumn to coincide with the annual period of lowest demand on the water supply system. The 2020 shutdown has been confirmed and will begin on November 30, 2020.

The Catskill Aqueduct Repair and Rehabilitation Project (CAT R&R) has been developed in close coordination with communities in the Hudson Valley where the work will happen, along with 20 towns, cities, villages and water districts north of the City that draw all or some of their drinking water from the Catskill Aqueduct. DEP has been in regular communication with these communities to verify that their backup water supplies are ready to serve local residents and businesses during this year’s shutdown. For its part, New York City will rely on drinking water from its Croton System and Delaware System while the Catskill Aqueduct is out of service.

This shutdown will impact members of the Northern Westchester Joint Water Works (NWJWW) which provides drinking water to the residents of the Town of Yorktown, Somers, Cortlandt Manor, Montrose Improvement District, and Village of Buchanan. The NWJWW has been actively preparing for this shutdown through on ongoing capital projects aimed at ensuring a reliable redundant water supply is available.

The shutdown of the Aqueduct will impact the NWJWW’s Catskill Water Treatment Facility for the duration of the shutdown. During this time all water provided to the residents will be from our Amawalk Water Treatment Facility. Although adequate capacity will be available to meet our water demand, we will not have a back-up supply in the event of an emergency. For this reason, the NWJWW along with our partnering members, request the public conserve water as much as possible.

Additional public notices will be provided as required to ensure an adequate supply of drinking water is available to all residents of the impacted area. For more information please contact Matthew Geho, NWJWW Operations Director, at or 914-737-3558 ext #111.