The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 40, Issue 2

Article 3
Water and Related Issues in Nineteenth-Century Trinidad

Rita Pemberton


In examining water and related issues in the history of Trinidad in the late
nineteenth century, this study identifies its dual role of sustenance and death. Water sustained the dense forests that framed impressive waterfalls and the rivers and pools that characterized the Trinidad landscapes. But it also proved deadly for the general population, which did not have access to a sustained, potable supply of wholesome water and, as a result, fell victim to a number of water-borne diseases. This paper details the process through which the water supply of Trinidad developed from private control to a public resource.