Bridges for conveying water, called aqueducts or water bridges, are constructed to convey watercourses across gaps such as valleys or ravines. The term aqueduct may also be used to refer to the entire watercourse, as well as the bridge. Large navigable aqueducts are used as transport links for boats or ships. Aqueducts must span a crossing at the same level as the watercourses on each end. The word is derived from the Latin aqua ("water") and ducere ("to lead"). A modern version of an aqueduct is a pipeline bridge.They may take the form of underground tunnels, networks of surface channels and canals, covered clay pipes or monumental bridges.
Ancient bridges for water
Although particularly associated with the Romans, aqueducts were likely first used by the Minoans around 2000 BCE. The Minoans had developed what was then an extremely advanced irrigation system, including several aqueducts.
In the seventh century BCE, the Assyrians built an 80 km long limestone aqueduct, which included a 10 m high section to cross a 300 m wide valley, to carry water to their capital city, Nineveh.
Bridges were a distinctive feature of Roman aqueducts which were built in all parts of the Roman Empire, from Germany to Africa, and especially in the city of Rome, where they supplied water to public baths and for drinking. Roman aqueducts set a standard of engineering that was not surpassed for more than a thousand years.
Ancient Indian aqueduct in Hampi
Navigable aqueducts, also called water bridges, are water-filled bridges to allow vessels on a waterway to cross ravines or valleys. During the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, navigable aqueducts were constructed as part of the boom in canal-building. A notable revolving aqueduct has been made on the Bridgewater Canal. This allowed vessels to cross at high and low levels while conserving water (compared to building locks).
- The Pont du Gard in southern France
- Barbegal aqueduct, France
- Aqueduto de São Sebastião, in Coimbra, Portugal
- Eifel aqueduct, Germany
- Caesarea Maritima, Israel
- Patras, Greece
- Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain
- Acueducto de los Milagros, Mérida, Spain
- Tarragona, Spain
- Almuñécar, Spain (5 aqueducts – 4 still in use)
- Valens Aqueduct, Istanbul, Turkey
- Aqua Augusta, Italy
- Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus, as part of the Porta Maggiore, Rome, Italy
- Skopje Aqueduct, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
The Aqueduto dos Pegões in Tomar
- Wignacourt Aqueduct, Malta; built in the 17th century to transport water from Dingli and Rabat to the new capital city Valletta; today, most of its arches still survive in the localities of Attard, Balzan, Birkirkara, Fleur-de-Lys and Santa Venera
- Tabarja, aqueduct runs throughout the entire ancient town and is still actively used by the farmers of the area (built 1700-1750)
- Aqueduct St-Clément, Montpellier, France – 17th century
- Bar Aqueduct, Montenegro – 16th century
- Aqueduto da Amoreira, in Elvas, Portugal (built 1537–1620)
- Águas Livres Aqueduct, in Lisbon, Portugal (built 1731–1748)
- Aqueduto de Óbidos, in Óbidos, Portugal (built 1570)
- Aqueduto de Setúbal in Setúbal, Portugal (built 1696)
- Aqueduto dos Pegões in Tomar, Portugal (built 1593)
- Água de Prata Aqueduct, in Évora, Portugal (built 1531–1537)
- Santa Clara Aqueduct, in Vila do Conde, Portugal
- Carioca Aqueduct in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (built 1744–1750)
- Aqueduct of Teruel, Spain
- Roquefavour aqueduct, France – built between 1842 and 1847
- Winnipeg Aqueduct, Manitoba, Canada – built between 1915 and 1919
- Mathur Aqueduct in Tamil Nadu state, India
- Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales, UK
- Longdon-on-Tern Aqueduct the world's first Cast Iron Navigable Aqueduct, designed by Thomas Telford
- Surviving Spanish aqueducts in Mexico:
- Aqueduct of Querétaro, Mexico – built between 1726 and 1738, 1.3 km long and featuring 74 arches
- Aqueduct of Zacatecas, Zacatecas.
- Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque, Zempoala, Hidalgo Mexico - built between 1553 and 1570
- Aqueduct of Morelia, Michoacán, built between 1735 and 1738
- Aqueduct of Los Remedios, Naucalpan, Mexico, 1765
- Aqueduct of Acámbaro, Guanajuato, built in 1528
- Chapultepec aqueduct, Mexico D.F.
- Kavala aqueduct, 16th-century Ottoman aqueduct in Kavala, Greece
- High Bridge, part of the former Croton Aqueduct, built in 1848, is the oldest surviving bridge in New York City
- Rostokino Aqueduct in Moscow, Russia (built 1780 — 1804)
A small disused aqueduct in Leeds, England
- Sextus Julius Frontinus, De Aquaeductu Urbis Romae (On the water management of the city of Rome), Translated by R. H. Rodgers, 2003, University of Vermont
- Aqueduct entry from Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
- Chanson, H. (2002). Certains Aspects de la Conception hydrauliques des Aqueducs Romains. ('Some Aspect on the Hydraulic Design of Roman Aqueducts.') Journal La Houille Blanche, No. 6/7, pp. 43–57 (ISSN 0018-6368)
- Chanson, H. (2008). "The Hydraulics of Roman Aqueducts: What do we know? Why should we learn?" in Proceedings of World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2008 Ahupua'a, ASCE-EWRI Education, Research and History Symposium, Hawaii, USA, Invited Keynote lecture, 13–16 May, R.W. Badcock Jr and R. Walton Eds., 16 pages (ISBN 978-0-7844-0976-3)
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