Abstract: Access to water has always been of strategic importance for urban areas, agricultural purposes and other economic activities. Rapid population growth and urbanization and the subsequent increase in the demand for water have made access to water an important environmental and social issue. This paper examines how water was accessed in the Lisbon region in the nineteen hundreds, a period of time when a specific technological model, commonly referred to as traditional, was in force. Currently, when water management is mostly dependent on technological models based on energy consumption, financial resources, and competition for private management, it would seem that the analysis of how former water systems were organized is a central issue. Through historical evidence from cartographic sources and surveys on water quality and water availability, this article demonstrates: (1) the complexity of the identified traditional water system; (2) the diversity of the water elements that contributed to the functioning of the identified water system; (3) the reliability of such water system; and (4) the value of integrating historical and scientific data to enhance our understanding of the nexus between the human and physical world, within specific temporal and spatial settings. A number of traditional water elements, which existed in the Lisbon region in 1900, are identified and geo-referenced for the first time. These offer important details which will enrich our knowledge of the history of water and possibly allow us to tackle future sustainability issues.