Transportation works : transportation of water, irrigation etc

Published on 4 March 2008
Pont du Gard, view from ground level
Pont du Gard, view from ground level
(Rights reserved)
Vanne sens aqueduct
Vanne sens aqueduct
(Rights reserved)

 

Whether it concerns the transportation of water from its resources for consumption in urban areas, or to areas with insufficient water for their irrigation, the length of pipelines or aqueducts put into place to supply towns and irrigate agricultural areas in the whole world since ancient times, can be counted in millions of kilometres.

Often called aqueducts when they ancient, they are sometimes in the open air, such as the Canal de Provence, but they are more often built underground. The diameter of the pipes can be from ten centimetres or so to several metres. Made from terracotta in olden times, they are now constructed from steel, spun concrete and more recently in PVC, PEHD (High Density Polyethylene) or other plastic materials. The materials can be quite different.
In order to carry the water successfully, the pipes must be supplemented with numerous localised works: pumping and regulating stations, waste disposal works, weirs if they are open-air etc.

After passing through the treatment plant which renders the water drinkable, a new pipeline system carries the water to each dwelling, factory or business. This distribution also requires numerous works connected with despatch, pumping, counting and security.