Old Quabbin Valley


Boston’s history has included a long reach for adequate water supplies. The city controls a complex system of aqueducts and reservoirs stretching 80 miles into western Massachusetts and culminating in the large Quabbin Reservoir, which was created in the 1930s by flooding four towns and six villages. This documentary focuses on Boston’s latest, bitterly controversial scheme to meet its growing need for water–to skim floodwaters of the Connecticut River and divert them via an aqueduct to Quabbin. The centuries-old struggle between the state’s urban east and rural west is investigated, highlighting especially the question of home rule.

(Florentine Films, 1981, 16mm, color, 30 minutes.