The Past and Present of Underground Aqueducts in Algeria

Authored by: Najet Aroua , Abdelkrim (Krimo) Dahmen

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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Biodiversity and life in general can expect surprising outcome within the Sahara desert, a drought-ridden country in the middle of Africa. Many secrets, including groundwater, are buried under dunes. The climate change did paradoxically favor agriculture and subsequently sedentary lifestyle by 4000 BP (Côte 2014). This date also corresponds to the beginning of the last aridity cycle (Rognon 1989). During that long adaptation period, inhabitants developed ingenious techniques to capture groundwater, according to the local physiography and hydrogeology, such as underground aqueducts, which are more generalized in the arid zones in Algeria, where underground aqueducts used to supply many oases across the Algerian Sahara in the regions of Bechar-Tindouf, Gurara-Tuat-Tidikelt, the M'Zab valley, the Ahaggar Southernmost, and around the Hodna lake. The Gurara-Tuat-Tidikelt, the M'Zab Valley, and the Chegga system in some places around the Hodna Lake may constitute the most relevant functional cases in Algeria.

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