National Defense Causes Shortage in Fresh Pond

Perhaps Harvard men should stop worrying about Mount Holyoke's dearth of water and should start worrying about their own situation.

Although nothing has happened to cause undue alarm, the shortage of water in Cambridge is serious enough for the Cambridge water board to prohibit the washing of cars in filling stations and garages.

"Because of national defense work there has been an enormous drain on Cambridge's water supply," said Superintendent Timothy W. Good last night. "Consumption has jumped from 12 to 17 million gallons a day, and top capacity production is only 15 million."

Metropoitan Boston has no worries, despite the rain deficiency, since it can fall back on the huge supply which is being stored up in the Quabbin Reservoir in western Massachusetts. But Cambridge does not belong to the Metropolitan system, and its only reservoirs are Fresh Pond and the series of ponds in Lincoln.

At the present time the reservoirs in Lincoln are extremely low, and within the last few days have been completely dry in some places. Furthermore, Fresh Pond is at least 10 feet below its naval level. Yet the danger is by no means immediate to the city, for it has 40 or 50 days' supply left in the various reservoirs.


The Water Board will meet tonight to decide whether it will join the Metropolitan system or will sink wells to take care of the deficiency. Naturally, the Board does not wish to give up its present system and pay out $185,000 to join the Metropolitan system. It is possible that Cambridge could join the system temporarily "for the duration," and revert to its own system when the crisis passes.

It would be relatively simple to switch over to the Metropolitan culvert in an hour or two but it would cost the city much more to make a permanent than a temporary change.