Historically, the timeline begins in 1905 when Orange County locales won a legal right to tap NYC water. In modern times, two punishing 20th-century droughts highlighted an accelerating water crisis. Then in 2000, Kiryas Joel unveiled a plan of action: It would build a pipeline to funnel city water to the village via the Catskill Aqueduct. So began 17 years of strife. Neighbors objected. Vociferously. Towns sued. Environmentalists sued. Lawsuits were filed, dismissed, refiled, dismissed again. One appeal is still pending. But hard hats broke ground, financing was locked up, approvals secured, a vast wellfield purchased, and at last, a 7-mile swath of the 13.5-mile pipeline completed. In early June, 425 gallons of water a minute will begin flowing into KJ. Is the saga over? Hardly. Now begins the battle over the next 6.5 miles.



Video:Christina Scotti