More often than not, the water troughs were made of wood, but depending on location and time period, they could be made of copper or some other metal. Wooden troughs could be sealed with sap or resin from pine or cedar trees, which do a great job of holding a seal. I have a woven prehistoric American Indian basket water jug that is sealed tight with cedar resin, and it still holds water.
Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org