Chapter Three To Fetch A Pail of Water

Moving away from the Sierra and on to the coastal plain, this chapter looks at the traditional domed wells that ordinary people relied on for their water. It also examines the workings of the ‘norias de sangre’ or animal powered water lifting devices which used to be a common feature in the fields around the area. Back then to El Arteal, and how, in the early 1900’s, the company in charge of the pumping station, went to enormous lengths to purify the water feed for its boilers.

Moving forward to the 1950’s and MASA’s fairytale tower, surely the most picturesque water filtration system in the whole of Andalucia. There was no fairytale ending for Villaricos though, MASA pulled out, leaving them with no freshwater supply whatsoever. And so to more modern times, and how the traditional acequias, or irrigation systems, were superseded by agricultural water deposits and more recently direct feed irrigation pipes.

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Note: Whilst the author has tried to identify and attribute copyright holders to illustrations and photographs, she would be grateful for information about those where this has not been possible and would be glad to rectify any such omissions in future editions. She may be contacted on her site.

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