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Croton River watershed facts for kids

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This page is about the Croton River watershed, a hydrological feature. For the component of the New York City water supply system with a similar name, see Croton Watershed

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Numerous small natural lakes and ponds, as well as large Lake Mahopac, are part of the Croton River's watershed but not part of the NYC water supply system. A map of the actual Croton Watershed is found here.

The Croton River watershed is the drainage basin of the Croton River and its seven tributary rivers, a hydrological feature in far southwestern New York State. Spanning large swaths of Putnam and Westchester counties, it is over 350 square miles (910 km2) in area and holds some 115 billion US gallons (440,000,000 m3) of fresh water.

Largely physically overlapping the New York City water supply system's Croton Watershed, the Croton River watershed represents the drainage and flow of some seven rivers, one dozen reservoirs, three controlled lakes, large Lake Mahopac, and countless smaller lakes and ponds.

The vast majority of this ends up at the Jerome Park Reservoir in the Bronx via the New Croton Aqueduct, from which it is distributed to New York City. Water in excess of the City's needs spills over the New Croton Dam at the New Croton Reservoir and is carried by the Croton River into the Hudson River at Croton-on-Hudson, New York, about 30 miles north of the Metropolitan area.

Definition

New Croton Dam NY1
The three branches of the Croton River are collected at the New Croton Reservoir. Flow in excess of New York City's needs goes over a spillway at the New Croton Dam there and discharges into the Hudson River

The Croton River watershed is a hydrological feature, the 361 sq mi (930 km2) drainage basin of the Croton River and its tributaries. It is not synonymous with the Croton Watershed, a term describing the rivers, reservoirs, dams, pump systems, and other infrastructure of the southernmost watershed of the New York City water supply system. Numerous small natural lakes and ponds, as well as large Lake Mahopac, are within the river's watershed but not owned, leased, or controlled by the City water supply system (even though they too ultimately drain into it). A map of the actual Croton Watershed is found here.

The Croton River (/ˈkrtən/ KROH-tən) is a river in southern New York with three principal tributaries: the West Branch, Middle Branch, and East Branch. Their waters, all part of the City water supply system, join downstream from the Croton Falls Reservoir. Together, their waters and the reservoirs linked to them represent the northern half of the New York City water system's Croton Watershed.

Shortly after the confluence of the three Croton River branches the Croton River proper, along with its tributary, the Muscoot River, flow into the Muscoot Reservoir, after which it empties into the New Croton Reservoir, which feeds the New Croton Aqueduct supplying water to New York City via the Jerome Park Reservoir in the Bronx. Excess water leaves the spillway at the New Croton Dam and empties into the Hudson River at Croton-on-Hudson, New York at Croton Point, about 30 miles (50 km) north of New York City.

Watershed

Waterways

Lakes and ponds

Reservoirs

Controlled lakes

Aqueduct

Recreation

Limited recreation is permitted within the Croton Watershed. Its guidelines and requirements are listed here.

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