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Holding a billion gallons of water, The Reservoir is one of the Park's most scenic landscapes.
The 106 acre, forty feet deep Reservoir was built in the 1860s as a temporary water supply for New York City, while the Croton Water system was shut down for repairs two weeks each year. At the time, it was unthinkable that a billion gallons of water would last less than two weeks. Today, some speculate that the City would go through that supply in just four hours! Decommissioned in 1993 and no longer used to distribute New York City's water supply, it provides water for the Pool and the Harlem Meer. It is a popular place of interest; there is a 1.58-mile jogging track around it that former President Bill Clinton and Madonna have run around and it is also encircled by the park's bridle trail. It is often visited by tourists, especially when the cherry trees are blooming. It is one of the main ecological sanctuaries in the park, housing more than 20 species of waterbirds: aside from the familiar mallards and Canada geese, there may also be seen coots, mergansers, northern shovelers, ruddy ducks, buffleheads, loons, cormorants, wood ducks, American black ducks, gadwall, grebes, herons and egrets, along with various species of gulls, making it a popular venue for birdwatchers. It was renamed in honor of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1994 to commemorate her contributions to the city, and because she enjoyed jogging in the area, which lay beneath the windows of her Fifth Avenue apartment. The reservoir has featured in multiple works of art, entertainment, and media including the films: the Devil's Advocate, Hannah and Her Sisters and Marathon Man. It has also appeared in the television program Sex and the City.