The Metropolis Runs Dry

by Richard A. Hogarty, Asst. Prof. of Political Sci.; Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston, MA,


Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 4, Pg. 559-570


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: From 1961 to 1967, the northeastern United States suffered the worst drought in its recorded history. Caught in the fourth year of the unprecedented dry spell, some localities in the Delaware River Valley took extraordinary measures to protect their threatened sources of water supply. The spector of the New York metropolitan region about to run dry loomed as an administrative nightmare for the newly created Delaware River Basin Commission. Under the unrelenting pressure of the crisis, the parties-at-interest buried some of their past differences and improvised. Instead of resorting to court litigation and a judicial settlement, as had been customary in previous conflicts, they broke new ground and resolved the dispute by a combination of administrative negotiation and political pressure. The crisis made new forms of intergovernment cooperation mandatory and, at least, temporarily legitimate.

Subject Headings: Dispute resolution | Rivers and streams | Soil settlement | History | Urban areas | Droughts | North America | United States | Delaware | New York

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