Long ago when there were not very many people on the Earth, most people made their homes close to rivers or ponds or streams. They drank and washed and bathed and cooked with this water. When it was all used up-or got too dirty-these long ago people just packed up and moved to another place near water.
People finally learned to build houses that had strong walls and a floor and a roof. They invented many, many things to go into their houses-furniture, stove and refrigerators. They built factories to make all these things. At the same time, they built schools and office buildings and always more houses. Now our way of living is much easier and more comfortable than that people who lived thousands of years ago.
But now, we cannot move our homes to water. We must move the water to our homes. And we do! Because water from mountain lakes is usually the purest and cleanest and best tasting, many cities get their water from such lakes. Uphill and downhill the water may flow for hundreds of miles through giant pipes, from the lake to the city.
Other cities pump water from deep under the ground. But many cities must take water from a dirty river or lake. This water must be cleaned before it can used. These cities build filtration plants. The filtration plants look like factories and are as busy as factories. They are filled with machines that strain dirt and germs from the water.
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It is hard work to give clean water to a city. But we have to do it. Without water we could not have a city. Next time you take a shower, think back through the journey the water may have taken-through pipes and tunnels, aqueducts, a filtration plant-think back, back, back to some river or lake or reservoir miles and miles away from your handy faucets marked Hot and Cold.