Where did water come from, when there was no tap in Hong Kong a century ago?

The history of Hong Kong's water supply strides over one and a half centuries, along with the city development. Convenient and stable water supply is now taken for granted, yet when we traced back to the past, Hong Kong was like what the TV historical dramas have shown, and water came from hillside streams, rivulets, as well as from subterranean water sources.

Around 1841, during the early development of Hong Kong, the majority of residents drew water from wells and streams, or even constructed bamboo aqueducts to lead  water from hillside streams to their homes and fields. While Europeans usually dug private wells near their homes to get water.

Until 1851, the Government set aside in its budget for sinking wells to provide water to the public for free. The Government also constructed small ponds at the upper parts of main streams for public use. However, such constructions could not cope with increasing demand for water...

Source: Water Supplies Department

Image: Hong Kong Commercial Daily