While my home is in Antibes, I’ve had ties to Biot through family since 1990
The gradient of the Brague River in Biot had enormous potential for energy production. Upon settling the area, the Romans promptly built an aqueduct that led to the development of the town of Antipolis, modern-day Antibes. Later, extensive work was undertaken to build several kilometres of canals on both sides of the Brague.
In Biot, water had three main uses. The first was the energy that turned the mills next the river or upstream from the cliffs. They were used to cut wood and stone, to grind flour or to make olive oil. The second use was irrigation: the mills deviated a part of the water in the canals so that it could be used to irrigate the food crops. Finally, water was used for drinking, both by people and animals.
It also had a role in the economy. For example, pottery requires a lot of water, as does farming jasmine, an essential crop for the perfume industry.
In Biot, I’ve seen great and diverse human ingenuity; our ancestors were able to use the natural environment for their survival. This small area of land offers numerous examples of the aptitude of mankind to discover the enormous potential of natural resources.