How Did Ancient Greece Get Its Water?

Ancient Greece is known for its incredible contributions to art, philosophy, science, and culture. But have you ever wondered how they managed to get water in a time when modern plumbing systems were non-existent? Let’s explore the ways in which Ancient Greece got its water.

Natural Springs

One of the primary sources of water for Ancient Greeks was natural springs. The country is blessed with numerous natural springs that are found even in the driest regions.

These springs were often located on hillsides and provided a reliable source of fresh water to nearby settlements. Greeks would build settlements around these springs and use gravity to bring the water down to their homes.


Aqueducts were another essential way Ancient Greece got its water. The Greeks built aqueducts that brought fresh water from distant sources like rivers, lakes, and even mountains. These aqueducts were sometimes built underground or overground using arches.

The most famous of all the aqueducts was the one built by the Romans in Athens known as Hadrian’s Aqueduct. This aqueduct was over 60 kilometers long and brought fresh water from Mount Parnitha to Athens.


Wells were also a common source of water for Ancient Greeks. They would dig wells near their homes or settlements to access groundwater. The depth of wells varied depending on the region, with some going as deep as 20 meters.


Cisterns were another ingenious way Ancient Greeks got their water. These large underground tanks were used to collect rainwater during the wet season, which would then be used during dry spells. Cisterns could be found in almost every settlement throughout Greece and were an essential backup source of drinking water.


In conclusion, Ancient Greeks had several ways of getting water, and they used each method depending on the location and availability of resources. From natural springs to aqueducts, wells, and cisterns, the Greeks were able to ensure a reliable supply of fresh water for their daily needs. These ancient methods may seem primitive by today’s standards, but they were incredibly effective and innovative for their time.