The Mission San Diego de Alcala
Waterworks System

Old Mission Dam, also called Padre Dam, was built about 200 years ago by the Kumeyaay Indians under the direction of the missionaries at Mission San Diego de Alcala. Engineers were brought to California from Mexico by the Spanish Crown to develop many projects like this and to train local people to become the craftsmen.

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The Old Mission Dam is only part of a more extensive and complex mission waterworks system. In 1997, I began research on the dam and waterworks and wrote a newspaper article, "Reflections of Old Mission Dam", available online here. Since then, the research has expanded and evolved into a much larger project, resulting in many new discoveries, continued research, additional publications, public & educational presentations (including tours at the dam and a new multimedia presentation), AND our most recent focus ~ preservation of newly rediscovered ruins of the flume and conservation of the dam itself.

Plans for the future include a book, exhibits, 2 school programs, archaeological explorations, an operational model of the system. Also, we hope to gain support for active measures to preserve this impressive landmark, which is unfortunately at risk of further ruin. Check back here soon for a new, expanded waterworks section of this website, now in the works.

~ Bill White

HERE in the Mission Waterworks section of this website:
  • Check back here for new, more in-depth informative web pages currently under construction on the Mission Waterworks System
  • Reflections of Old Mission Dam (first published article on the waterworks system - 1997)
  • Old Mission Dam & Flume, in Water for Southern California (a second in-depth article was published in this SDAG journal - 2001)
  • Mission San Diego de Alcala Waterworks System (an evolving multi-media presentation)

Continue on to Waterworks ~ NEXT PAGE

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