Problem DescriptionWater is one of our most precious resources and must be valued and managed wisely. Water is essential to our daily life and public health. We must preserve New York’s water from contamination, the risks of aging infrastructure, and the impacts of climate change. The New York City DEP operates one of the most complex water and wastewater systems in the world. It manages a network of 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes that cover approximately 2,000 square miles of watershed land as far as 125 miles upstate. The City’s drinking water system is the largest unfiltered water supply in the world, delivering approximately one billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to nine million New Yorkers.
- Protect the city’s water supply and maintain the reliability of the water supply system
- Install or repair 500 water fountains and water bottle refilling stations
- Expand green infrastructure and smart design for stormwater management in neighborhoods across the city
- Reduce pollution from stormwater runoff
New York City has approximately 7,000 miles of water mains and over 7,500 miles of sewer mains that incur substantial maintenance, replacement, and management costs. Fourteen large municipal WWTPs treat an average of 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater every day.
To safeguard this invaluable natural resource and more efficiently deliver critical water services, the City has adopted a holistic approach to water management. This is anchored in an understanding of local water cycles and an appreciation for the contributions of smaller-scale, decentralized projects aimed at optimizing the performance of existing large-scale systems. For example, the City has spent approximately $1.7 billion since the 1990s in watershed protection. These investments have helped protect our natural resources and ensure high-quality affordable drinking water, while also avoiding the need for an estimated $10 billion new filtration plant.
Solution StageOne of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
|STAGE||SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED||EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES||RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING||FINANCE REQUIRED||KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED||GOAL|
|Developing and testing3||Mix of design and implementation skills|
|A stronger case with cost and benefit projections developed through practical trials and experiments, involving potential users||Demonstration that the idea works, or evidence to support a reworking of the idea|