The island of refreshment

In 2008 I moved from one notoriously left-wing town, Madison, Wisconsin, to another, Cambridge, Massachusetts. In reference to its politics, the former is sometimes called “76(ish) square miles surrounded by reality” and the latter is nicknamed the “People’s Republic of Cambridge.” But now Cambridge is more like “7 square miles surrounded by undrinkable water.”

Map of towns with unsafe drinking water due to Mass. aqueduct break on May 1

Until further notice, 2 million people in greater Boston must boil tap water before it’s safe to drink. But right there in the middle, we happily continue to drink cool, clean water in Cambridge, which has its own separate water supply.

This is all due to Saturday’s break in a massive pipe that carries water into the Boston area, prompting the use of emergency non-potable supplies from reservoirs and triggering aquapocalypse as people raided stores for bottled water, made endless jokes about drinking beer instead or brushing teeth with a bottle of Jack, and found themselves without their Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. (Seems some people freaked out instead of just boiling their water. But maybe it still tastes nasty after boiling. I wouldn’t know here in Cambridge, suckers!)

Directions Magazine’s Adena Schutzberg, who also lives in the area, has written a bit about the geography lessons of the incident and current situation.

The map above was, naturally, born in indiemapper.

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