The aim of this paper is to study a Roman hydraulic structure in a little village in Southern Italy in order to learn some lessons from the past and identify potential ideas for implementation. Despite increasing global urbanization a significant percentage of people inhabiting inland areas need critical infrastructure service including water supply systems. The fountain system under consideration in this paper is a good example of a sustainable use of the local territory, which is desirable for modern development of infrastructure. In terms of capital investment and management costs, it is better to try and solve supply issues locally in inland areas rather than to construct mega hydraulic works. During the late Roman Republic, some small inland villagers were obliged to think as well as to act locally. The Roman system investigated here highlights the use of local building elements (and traditional construction techniques) in a sort of ‘zero kilometre’ philosophy.