The Biyar Channel near Solomon’s Pools. The sources of water in and near Jerusalem were far too meager to supply the many thousands of people who came to the holy city for the three pilgrimage festivals—Shavuot (Weeks), Succot (Tabernacles) and Pesach (Passover)—with water for drinking and for ritual purification. An elaborate aqueduct system was built to bring spring water to Solomon’s Pools and then to conduct the water from the pools to the Temple Mount.
In 1924, after the British captured Jerusalem, they rebuilt the Biyar aqueduct and added modern pumps, enabling Solomon’s Pools to supply Jerusalem with a quarter million cubic meters of fresh water. Today the Biyar channel still carries spring water to Solomon’s Pools, even though the water is no longer pumped from there to Jerusalem.