But one can’t look at “water” in a monolithic sense, because not all water is usable for drinking or irrigation. Usable water can be defined, in this instance, as a source that is reliable, consistent, and clean enough to drink or use for irrigation. This includes rivers, lakes, wells, but it does not include oceans or contaminated water. In some circumstances, the water that is at first promising can then become contaminated; water standing in irrigation ditches can become a fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes and other carriers of disease. In addition, the over-use or diversion of water can impact its quality, creating water heavy ...
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...dant amount of flash floods. This lies in contrast to Egypt, which received even less rainfall than Mesopotamia, and was thus totally dependent on the Nile for watering crops. The Nile River flooded regularly, allowing for easy basin irrigation. Lastly, Rome, in contrary to Egypt, grew up on the banks of a river, the Tiber, but substantial amounts of natural rainfall in the area made extensive irrigation for agriculture purposes unnecessary. Rome’s primary water issue was the lack of good drinking water; the Tiber was often brackish and unpleasant, so the Romans had to build aqueducts. All of these civilizations had a separate and distinct relationship with water, and thus each had their own way of dealing with its conditions.
Rooted in the conditions of water sources, reliable water not only impacted the formation of economies, but also helped them flourish.
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