Definitions for qanat
An underground conduit, between vertical shafts, that leads water from the interior of a hill to villages in the valley
A qanāt is a water management system used to provide a reliable supply of water for human settlements and irrigation in hot, arid and semi-arid climates. Qanats are also called kārīz, kahan, kahriz/kəhriz; khettara; galería; falaj; Kahn or foggara/fughara. Alternative terms for qanats in Asia and North Africa are kakuriz, chin-avulz, and mayun. Common variants of qanat in English include kanat, khanat, kunut, kona, konait, ghanat, ghundat. The qanat technology is known to have been developed by the Persian people sometime in the early 1st millennium BC and to have spread from there slowly west- and eastward. The value of a qanat is directly related to the quality, volume and regularity of the water flow. Much of the population of Iran and other arid countries in Asia and North Africa historically depended upon the water from qanats; the areas of population corresponded closely to the areas where qanats are possible. Although a qanat was expensive to construct, its long-term value to the community, and thereby to the group that invested in building and maintaining it, was substantial.
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