NAMED AFTER POTTERY WORKS
This expanse of freshwater is reputed to be largest in the Eastern Caribbean. It is about a mile long and half a mile wide, when full. It covers an area of about 320 acres and holds 1 billion gallons of water. This water is held by two dams; the largest is the Potworks dam at the eastern end and the Delaps dam is to the south.
The reservoir is named after an 18th century pottery works at the Garden estate, which was owned by the Codrington family from the early 18th to the end of the 20th century. A part of the dam is built over the site of the works and a 19th century bridge. Skilled black potters using a wheel and kiln technology made sugar pots here. The main product was a conical sugar pot used for draining molasses from raw sugar.
The Potworks dam was planned in the late 1960's. While work was underway in 1968, only 24 inches of rain fell during the entire year; Antigua's average rainfall is 44 inches a year. Scarcely had the dam been finished when great rains filled the reservoir to capacity. Potworks dam and its reservoir were officially opened on 28th May 1970, and there is a small monument on the west of the dam commemorating this event. Potworks served well in 1974, when there was little or no rainfall from January to mid-August. In September 1984, 5.58 inches fell to end a drought. Potworks dam caught 20 million gallons of water.
There is interesting bird watching around the western edge of the reservoir. Some of the year round species include the West Indian whistling duck (Dendrocygna arborea), snowy egret (Egretta thula), cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) and the osprey (Pandion haliaetus).