February 18, 2007

On the Water Front
Published: February 18, 2007
ON a raw winter’s day, the water riffling over the spillway of the Ashokan Reservoir looks icy and pure. Set at the eastern end of this vast artificial lake in Ulster County, the spillway curves and drops like a wedding cake, in four tiers, before sending its flow through a narrow granite passage flanked by evergreens. The setting is grand, as befits an enormous public work, a manipulation of nature for the benefit of humanity — or at least for the 8.2 million residents of New York City, 100 miles to the south.