Adduction and Distribution of Water

Part of the History of Mechanism and Machine Science book series (HMMS, volume 8)

The surface of a lake, more than the sea, conveyed the perception of horizontal direction and absence of current. Rivers and torrents on the other hand illustrated the close relation between inclination, current and movement of the water. It was by following these examples that ancient civilizations were able to build aqueducts, which were no more than canals with potable water. As for the very ancient cisterns, these became the complement of the aqueducts, doubling their capacity as they could be filled during the night when there was no water consumption and emptied for the day.

Contrary to pastoral societies that would lead flocks wherever there was an abundance of water and pasture, moving continuously and adapting to a nomad existence, for agricultural societies this criterion was completely antithetical. Since fields certainly could not go to the water, in some manner the water had to be channelled to the fields. This resulted in a sedentary society in which survival depended on technical abilities connected with irrigation and then with the planning of permanent settlements. From those remote days city and water became closely connected, one not being possible without an abundance of the other.


Water Distribution System Thermal Bath Barley Grain Hydraulic Mining Clay Pipe 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

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