Pipelines are used to transport all sorts of gases and liquids and even solids if they make a slurry. Coal and ore slurries can be transported by pipelines if there is enough water in them. What this post will cover is the use of pipelines to transport water.
Many of the worlds great civilizations have used pipelines to transport water to their cities. This is necessary because there is not enough rainfall in cities to supply the city with adequate water. Also streams and rivers under the city might not carry enough water.
The most notorious builders of pipelines in history were the ancient Roman aqueducts. Aqueducts are often associated with open cut channels, but they can refer to pipelines or any other sort of technology used to transport water. Many ancient Roman aqueducts were pipelines in fact, such as this one from Jerusalem.
Ancient cities had the technology to lay pipes because pipes can be simply made from earthen materials. You can make pipes from stone and pottery. As the Romans are well known for, they used lead to seal their pipes. This drove some of them crazy because lead is a poisonous material. Fortunately, pipelines today contain no lead.
We still use pipelines because they use very little energy to transport water. Compared to transporting water in vehicles, pipes are more efficient. Also if the run is all downhill, there is no need for pumps or any external energy sources at all.
Pipelines do so much more than just transport water. They also protect water from impurities from the outside, such as bacteria, and they are also an on demand source of water. Trucks and so on come in batches, but for water out of a pipe, it’s always there and ready to be used. That’s why pipes have replaced buckets and bowls when using water inside the home.
You might find this resource helpful if you are looking for further information on pipelines.