With the discoveries of South Africa's diamonds in the 1860s and gold in the 1880s, immigrants flooded into Cape Town and changed it into a major commercial center. Unfortunately, its water supply had not kept pace with the population growth. After several droughts and years of inadequate water supply, the Woodhead Tunnel was constructed between 1887 and 1891. When it failed to solve the water shortage problem, the Municipality of Cape Town determined that a dam and reservoir needed to be built.
The city of Shreveport could not justify the cost of building a water distribution system solely for the purpose of supplying potable water. It was a series of disastrous fires in the 1880s that galvanized support for a pumping facility that would provide ample water for firefighting.
Parker DamState: CACountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Colorado-River-Aqueduct/Creator: Weymouth, Frank E.
Stretching 242 miles from the Colorado River on the California-Arizona border to its final holding reservoir near Riverside, California, the Colorado River Aqueduct consists of more than 90 miles of tunnels, nearly 55 miles of cut-and-cover conduit, almost 30 miles of siphons, and five pumping stations. Supplying approximately 1.2 million acre-feet of water a year - more than a billion gallons a day - it helped make possible the phenomenal growth of Los Angeles, San Diego, and surrounding Southern California areas in the second half of the 20th century.
The Cheesman Dam was the first major dam in the U.S. to incorporate the gravity arch, and upon completion it was the highest gravity arch stone masonry dam in the world. It is the key structure in Denver's water supply.
Three years into original construction, flooding swept away the partially completed rock-filled structure. A solid masonry replacement dam was completed in just five years - a major feat for such a remote and complex project. When it was finished, the dam rose higher than the tallest building in Denver.
In the mid-1800s Virginia City was America's greatest producer of high-grade silver and gold ore. When mining activities began, natural springs provided water to the camps. As the population grew, the Virginia and Gold Hill Water Company was formed to address the need for more water. The company first drew water from tunnels that had been driven into the mountains by prospectors. Water was stored in wooden tanks and sent through pipes into the town.
Four prehistoric reservoirs at Mesa Verde National Park were constructed and used between AD 750 and AD 1180. They are: Morefield Reservoir (in Morefield Canyon), Far View Reservoir (on Chapin Mesa), Sagebrush Reservoir (on an unnamed mesa), and Box Elder Reservoir (in Prater Canyon). These four ancient reservoirs represent extraordinary engineering achievements by the Ancestral Puebloan people. In an arid environment with very little surface water, these prehistoric people found ways to route and capture runoff to create sustainable domestic water supply reservoirs.