September 1, 1821: Water Supplies on the Sante Fe Trail; 1965: Formation of Trinidad and Tobago Water Authority

September 1, 1821:  “On September 1, 1821, Captain William Becknell and a party of traders left Arrow Rock, Missouri, to trade horses and mules with American Indians and hunt wild game on the plains. The expedition met a troop of Mexican soldiers in November and traveled with them to Santa Fe, where they were greeted warmly. Their trade goods, including calico and other printed cloth, sold at high prices in the isolated Spanish town. The Becknell party returned to Missouri on January 30, 1822, after only 48 days travel. Profits from the expedition were so high that other trading ventures were organized almost immediately. Thus began the lucrative trade along the Santa Fe Trail….

[One dangerous segment of the trail was an] approximate 50 to 60 mile stretch [that] was usually devoid of water during the dry season and was considered by those who traveled the region to be traversed without delay. Not only was water a scarce commodity but also the trail markings were invisible with no landmarks to guide the traveler. It was not until the mid-1830s, during an uncommonly wet year, that wagons were to leave their imprints in the form of permanent ruts. It was only then that the trail could be traveled with any degree of certainty.”

Part true and part legend…After running out of water, the men had tried everything from killing their dogs and their mules’ ears to drink their blood, when they spotted a buffalo evidently gorged with water. They killed the animal and drank the water from its stomach. They followed its tracks to water, thereby saving the expedition.”

Commentary:  Now that is what I call water reuse.

September 1, 1965: The Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobagowas formed by an act of Parliament to manage the areas of: Hollis, Arena and the Navet dams in Trinidad. WASA is now the sole water and sewerage provider in Trinidad and Tobago. WASA also maintains the Hillsborough Reservoir along with various other freshwater wells in the aid of providing municipal drinking water for needs of the country. The purview of the authority also extends to the country’s sewage treatment plants.

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