The Aqueducts of the Sultanate of Oman

Sustainable Water-Supplying Systems Irrigating Oases Cities

Authored by: Fairouz Megdiche-Kharrat , Rachid Ragala , Mohamed Moussa

Underground Aqueducts Handbook

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498748308
eBook ISBN: 9781315368566
Adobe ISBN:


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Almost half of the world's land area has arid and semi-arid climates, where rainfall is rare and irregular. Besides, 60% of these lands are in the developing countries (Singh et al. 1990 cited in Al-Ghafri 2012, 192). Despite the low availability of water, civilizations exist there since thousands of years. Man succeeded to fetch and supply water necessary for his subsistence from surface sources or from beneath the ground, which made his settlement possible in harsh conditions as those in the lands of Oman. Indeed, Oman is characterized by little and irregular rainfall, very high temperature, and low humidity in the interior of the country. Talking about settled life in Oman, Costa (1983, 275) writes, “Where life is hard and difficult, sometimes reduced to pure survival, the objet d'art tends to be absent: this, of course, does not mean that in those areas art is absent. Aesthetic values, taste and imagination find their ways of expression in the building styles, in the design and decoration of tools and weapons, in the patterns of weaving and basketry; they are also expressed in the design of the hydraulic works.” By hydraulic works, Costa means those systems that made settlements possible in the territory of Oman, throughout history: the aqueducts named locally aflaj (plural of falaj).

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