How Do People Manage To Grow Crops In An Arid Environment Such As the Middle East?

Irrigation has long been necessary for farming in the Middle East.

Water from the region’s two major river systems, the Nile and the Tigris-Euphrates, has made agriculture possible.

One unusual source of water for irrigation is the qanat system.

For at least 2,000 years, people in the Middle East have dug underground tunnels that funnel water to their villages from wells in uphill areas.

The qanat system has a big advantage over open canals in hot, dry areas.

Since the water is not exposed to the open air, less evaporation takes place.

Farmers in Iran and Oman still rely on qanats for some of their irrigation needs.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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