[permaculture] Qanats, ancient water system.
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Fri Mar 2 05:37:01 EST 2012
On 3/1/2012 11:44 PM, Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:
> Here is a nice video on qanats:
> "The Qanats of Iran"
In Iran alone there are thousands of kilometers of qanats! Just think of
that. There are links from the movie Qanats Of Iran to many dozens of
videos on qanats all over the world, including a research project on
qanats by an American professor who did field work in Syria and
Kurdistan in Iraq. Iran was known in ancient times as the Breadbasket of
the Middle East. I find that fascinating. I am sure those farmers'
success was inextricably linked to their qanat system.
Key line plowing is a method using an Australian Keyline Plow to deep
subsoil and plow the earth. It is used to create a system of thin, deep
water infiltration channels across grades (like a mountain switchback
road) to direct water downhill to sites where it is needed, i.e.
catchment ponds or reservoirs or irrigation canals. This method catches
rainfall that otherwise would be washed away unused by allowing it to
infiltrate a network of channels that direct it in an orderly way to
It would seem that a keyline system and qanats would be a perfect
combination. Upslope water infiltration providing additional water for
the origin of the qanat could be improved with development of a keyline
system on slopes above the first qanat borehole. It would seem that with
modern excavating, trenching and tunneling equipment boreholes could be
made that could be connected by tunnels and trenches with reinforced
concrete pipe set in each to form a permanent water collection and
conduit system. Of course you could just find a water source along a
slope, dig a well and pump the water out but there are still plenty of
reasons why a traditional qanat is a better system: less evaporation and
ground seepage, no energy required to move the water and possibly purer
water at the destination.
There is plenty of need for this amazing technology here in the United
States as we face increased drought conditions. This could provide
irrigation water for small farms growing food for local populations.
Bring ancient proven methods to the modern era and use
state of the art equipment to install the qanats.
More information about the permaculture