Copyright information

“The City’s Currents: A History of Water in 20th-Century Bogotá” was created by Stefania Gallini, Laura Felacio, Angélica Agredo, and Stephanie Garcés (2014) under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

This refers only to the text and does not include any image rights. Please click on an image to view its individual rights status.



Water supply and consumption


Map made by Carlos Clavijo in 1891 and revised by Rafael Álvarez Salas in 1894. By this time, the city of Bogotá was divided into five police quarters and eight ecclesiastical districts called parroquias, which are shaded in different colors on the map. The map identifies the main squares and parks of the city, the government buildings, the educational and cultural institutions, and the Catholic churches, as well as a number of banks, factories, brickworks, hotels, and restaurants. The rivers and streams that descend from the mountains of Monserrate and Guadalupe run through the city, shaping the streets and blocks. Near the San Bruno Rivulet, tributary of the San Francisco River, are the water storage tanks of the Egipto neighborhood, used since the late nineteenth century to store water for the municipal aqueduct service. Northeast of the city, in the foothills of Monserrate, are the Baños de la Tuerta Chepa, an example of what once were public bathhouses.

Historical cartography


Female laundry workers


“Máquinas de lavar ropa: Camacho Roldán & Tamayo”, El Nuevo Tiempo, January 20, 1905, 1.

Primary sources


Bathrooms and personal hygiene


Further reading


Gumersindo Cuéllar Jiménez, Paisaje del río Bogotá (Colombia, S. A.)

Waste and water pollution








For more information on the historical photographs and maps, please go to the respective chapters.