Monday, December 27, 2010

Falaj at Salalah - Oman

The other card sent by José is this of with a falah at Salalah, Dhofar in Oman.
"Falaj (pl. aflaaj) means a system for the distribution of water and is commonly used to describe the irrigation channel system downstream of the water's source.

Some aflaaj in Oman were built more than 1,500 years ago, whilst others were built at the beginning of the 20th century. The genius of the Omani builders is evident in the way they tunnelled into the ground to a depth of dozens of metres in order to gain access to the groundwater.
There are now over 4,000 aflaaj scattered throughout the Sultanate, with the highest concentration in Sohar.
When the falaj waters reach the population, the inhabitants draw off their needs and the rest is distributed to agricultural plots according to an exact system of apportioning the hours of the day under the supervision of an elected member of the community. A proportion of the agricultural harvest is allocated as a contribution towards the upkeep of the aflaaj and irrigation ditches.
Since the 1970's the government has taken steps to maintain this precious heritage by restoring aflaaj, and making them more efficient by digging support wells and ensuring an optimum use of water by introducing modern irrigation systems." - in:
In July 2006, five representative examples of this irrigation system were inscribed as a World Heritage Site.

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