Water Tale of Two Cities

Part of the Ecology Disrupted Curriculum Collection.

Two Cities main image


New York City and Baltimore water supplies slide show


Water Tale of Two Cities teacher's guide




Key Idea: Each city has its own water supply, but different water supplies can be affected by the same factors.

Question:  How is the Baltimore water story similar to the NYC water story?
Answers:  Baltimore also receives its water from freshwater supplies that are outside its city limit. Baltimore reservoirs like the Croton Reservoir for New York City are also located where people live.

Key Idea: Salt may be naturally found in water sources, but it is the dose that makes it harmful. 

Question: Think back to the lesson on Salt in Our Lives. Is there salt in your drinking water?
Answers:  I don’t know.  Maybe. We know that salt doesn’t exceed the New York City drinking water standard of 100 mg/L of salt, but we do not know exact figures. The New York City Department of Environmental Conservation does not allow anyone access to those records, which is one reason that we need to look at the Baltimore data to understand New York.

Question: If salt enters the water, how might it get there?
Answer:  Through mineral deposits or runoff that picks up road salt.