A photograph of the surface of water.


Throughout the Year of Public Water we will be conducting interviews with experts in the field, delving deeper into the story of NYC’s drinking water. These interviews will be accessible through various platforms and on this site.

A black and white photograph of 8 men and 1 woman, all middle-late aged sitting around a table.
Coalition of Watershed Towns Executive Committee, 1990 Source: Catskill Watershed Corporation.

Diane Galusha

The Fight for Water Access: Liquid Assets and New York City’s Watershed

Writer, water access advocate, and founder of the Historical Society of Middletown, NY, Diane Galusha wrote the book on New York City’s watershed, Liquid Assets: A History of New York City’s Water System, after years of working closely with/in affected communities. Chloe Kellner speaks with Galusha about her time working with the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the landmark MOA.

A black and white map with a part of the Ashokan Reservoir noted blue over existing land. A ring of green surrounds the reservoir, indicating NYC land..
Map of the Town of Olive circa 1890. This map shows the impact of the Reservoir Project on the Town. Source: Town of Olive Archives.

Camila Calhoun

The Community That Watershed Development Forgot: Eminent Domain and a Town Called Olive

Writer, water access advocate, and founder of the Historical Camila Calhoun wrote “A Town Called Olive: A Perspective on New York City’s Water Supply” in 1997. The essay chronicles the story of the forgotten town of Olive in the Catskills, where her ancestors were uprooted for the sake of expanding NYC’s drinking water. Chloe Kellner spoke with Calhoun in July 2020 about watershed consciousness and the impact of the Ashokan Reservoir on different generations.

A photo of a sculpture that looks like a white octagonal table with patterns laid onto the surface. It is placed in a field with people and children gathered around it.
Bahar Behbahani, all water has a perfect memory, 2019. Wave Hill, Bronx NY.

Bahar Behbahani

all water has a perfect memory

Mary Mattingly interviews artist Bahar Behbahani via zoom about her research-based artistic projects that explore underground water systems and water engineering in Persian gardens, including all water has a perfect memory created at Wave Hill, Bronx NY.