In 1718, the Spanish settled San Antonio, partly because of its prolific and breathtaking springs—at that time, one of the largest natural spring systems in the known world. The abundance of fresh water, coupled with the Spanish colonial legal concept that water was to be equitably shared by all settlers, led to the building of the system of acequias (canals or ditches) within the settlement. The system is one of the earliest and perhaps most extensive municipal water systems in North America.
This book offers a meticulous chronicling of the origins and often-contentious development of water rights in San Antonio from its Spanish settlement through the beginning of the twentieth century.
What Readers Are Saying:
"In his slim and well-illustrated history Spanish Water, Anglo Water: Early Development in San Antonio, Charles R. Porter Jr. tells the story of early San Antonio, Texas through the element of water. . . This readable and well-illustrated work is a good introduction to San Antonio's water situation and will attract the interested lay reader. . . The work is also a useful addition to the literature on Hispanic water development and the subsequent overlay of English legal ideas in the American Southwest."--Margaret A. Bickers, H-Net Reviews
"This well researched book...could be appealing...to many audiences."--Cristina Rios, Review of Texas Books
"Spanish Water, Anglo Water overflows with insight into the story of water and water rights in the Alamo City. While thoroughly researched, Porter's book is readable history as well. And though the focus is on San Antonio, it is a natural starting point for an overall understanding of water matters in Texas because Texas water law has been much influenced by Spanish law."--Mike Cox, Texana writer for the Austin American Statesman
". . . this book is a must-read for environmental, lawmakers, and public policy experts. . . This wonderful book about San Antonio and its water system is 'WOW!' rated."--Ed Porter, The Lone Star
". . .the modern era. . . Porter expects to narrate in a companion volume. For it to be a success, it should be a more robust and interpretative text."--Char Miller, Southwestern Historical Quarterly
". . . a pleasure to read. . . a necessary read for graduate students and scholars of US legal and environmental history."--Allison D. Huntley, The University of Alabama, Southern Historian