01/15: Ghardaia, Irrigating an Oasis

Continuing from yesterday’s description of Ghardaia, I want to briefly describe the way many families have been able to equitably divide water within the oasis. Rain events come very infrequently, and when they do it often results in flooding. The solution was a dam, of sorts, collecting the flooded river and dividing the deluge into equal “shares” to be channeled, via tunnels, to different parts of the oasis. These tunnels would end and discharge at streets, turning them into rivers in their own right. These streets, lined with homes and walls, would feed adjacent lots via stone slits embedded in their protective wall. In this way the flood would turn into a stream which would feed the individual farms.

ghardaia irrigation notatedSAM_0386 SAM_0387 SAM_0388   SAM_0408SAM_0401 SAM_0411SAM_0412

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