New York: NEW YORK On the Rocks

New York City, sweating out the most serious water shortage in a century, was chided by Interior Secretary Stewart Udall last week for being "obviously laggard" in meeting the crisis. With all its reservoirs on the rocks, it was clearly too late to rush out and build new ones; in any case, there was no prospect of rain to fill them. Instead, the city reacted with a characteristic blend of hoopla, voodoo and Micawberism.

The Water Supply, Gas and Electricity Department churned out stickers admonishing: DON'T BE A DRIP−SAVE EVERY DROP. To...

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