Cisterns of Bible times were little more than deep pits dug in the ground or shallow reservoirs carved out of limestones rock. Rainwater water directed into these holding thanks and stored for use during the dry season (see notes on Genesis 37:24 and 2 Samuel 17:18-19).
Compared to a spring from which fresh groundwater flowed, a cistern left much to be desired. The water could get contaminated, or the cistern could lose its water supply because of a leak.
Jeremiah criticized the foolish people of Judah for drinking water from springwater was available. They had forsaken the living Lord and were worshiping lifeless pagan gods.
JEREMIAH 2:13- They [the people of Judah] have forsaken me [God] the fountain [spring, NIV] of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.