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Qanat (changes)

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A qanat is an underground irrigation system fed by springs or groundwater. They are common throughout the Middle East, and they can be found all the way from the Gobi Desert to Spain. They have different names in different cultures: in Berber Arabic, they’re called foggara; in Persian, qarez; in Spanish, acequia, and in Turkish, qanat.

Above is an image created by Sue Hutton showing a cross-section of a qanat in Oman. Structures of this type collect water in the rock, sand, and gravel aquifers at the edges of the mountainous region in northern Oman. They run underground for kilometers, and emerge at oases. In Oman they are also known as dawoodi or iddi falaj.

Besides its use in irrigation, a qanat can also be used together with a windcatcher to cool a building without using any electrical power.

Many qanat in Iraq were destroyed during the American invasion.


You can read more about qanat here:

  • Qanat, Wikipedia

  • Richard Covington,

The art and science of water, Saudi Aramco World,

May/June 2006.

Pages of Asia.