The dry climate of southwest Texas made irrigation crucial for growing the crops that would determine the success of a new mission. Around San Antonio the Spanish used what was known as acequias (ah-SAY-key-ahs), a system of ditches that the Moslems had introduced to Spain. Missionaries and Indians built seven gravity-flow ditches, five dams, and an aqueduct in order to distribute water from the San Antonio River over a 15-mile network that covered 3,500 acres of land.
Questions for Photo 5
1. Using Map 2, locate the Espada Aqueduct.
2. Why would the system have been an important part of mission life in San Antonio?
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