Get 35% off 2022 calendars with promo code CAL35 at checkout! Shop now »

For more great books, visit


Nineteen Reservoirs

On Their Creation and the Promise of Water for New York City

By Lucy Sante

Illustrated by Tim Davis

By the author of Low Life, the now-classic history of NYC’s outlaw underbelly—a meticulously researched, evocatively illustrated, profoundly meditative account of the city’s upstate reservoirs

Without the upstate reservoir system that brings fresh water to New York City, the city would have faded into insignificance. But this engineering triumph had a cost: From 1907 to 1967, twenty-six upstate villages, farms, forests, and other natural areas were bought for a fraction of their value, demolished, then submerged to create the Catskills and Delaware watershed systems.

Compelled to understand “the air of permanent mourning” in their vicinity, Lucy Sante marshals the same gifts that made Low Life a now-classic of NYC history: a meticulously detailed accounting of their creation, a trove of rarely seen visual history, and a master of literary nonfiction’s sensibility for the essential paradox at the heart of this story: the triumph NYC’s nineteen-reservoir system represents, and the tragedy of its creation.

Read more

Shipping to the U.S. only. Please see our International FAQ for more information.

Pre-Order From
Meet the Authors
Product Details
Number of pages
Publication date
August 16, 2022