BEFORE THE FLOOD:
DESTRUCTION, COMMUNITY AND SURVIVAL IN THE DROWNED TOWNS OF THE QUABBIN
The 412-billion-gallon Quabbin supplies more than 3 million people in the Boston metropolitan area with clean drinking water. And though it seems a part of the “natural” landscape of New England today, the Swift River Valley reservoir, dam, dike, and nature area are actually triumphs of civil engineering. While its creation combined forward-looking environmental stewardship and social policy, the local residents—and the four towns in which they lived—were lost in its wake.
The history of the Quabbin reservoir sheds a critical light on modern issues in the face of climate change. As much a human story as the story of water and landscape, Before the Flood reveals the science behind the ambitious project, the lives of the key players, and the four flooded towns that were washed away forever.
Elisabeth C. Rosenberg is a writer and editor who focuses on the interplay between individuals, demographic groups, and disruptive technology. She has contributed to The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Fast Company, Harvard University Press, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center. She divides her time between Washington, DC, and Amherst, MA.