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An ancient irrigation system consisting of a tunnel dug at a very slight upward gradient into rising ground so that water from deep within the earth runs out to the surface. Qanats were developed in Persia and later adopted throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

[Persian qanāt, from Arabic qanāh, qanāt-, tube, canal, qanat; akin to Hebrew qāne and Akkadian qanû, reed; see qnw in Semitic roots.]


(Civil Engineering) an underground channel for directing irrigation water
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Up until the 1970s, Quetta used the karez system to irrigate its farmland.
He gave the example of the Karez system in Balochistan which survived for two thousand years but is now being destroyed by the advent of tube wells and other modern systems.
Karez system is vanishing principally due to subsidized electric and diesel pumping of groundwater, due to which the watertable is declining at 3 m/year in many parts of Balochistan.
The enemies used bunkers and an intricate karez system to attack the Marines.
Add to that the collapse of the ancient underground water cisterns--known as the karez system, frequent droughts, the receding snow melt from the Hindu Kush, and an insurgency that now sees control of water as a weapon and the prospects for a stable and flourishing agrarian society as Afghanistan moves to transition in 2014, look grim indeed.
It is accessed through a series of underground tunnels known as a karez system (Figure 1).
There were several areas in the north inside streambeds, areas to the west around the karez system, and south in an orchard (see diagram) that could not be observed.
The Karez system has been closed and people are faced with an acute water shortage.
The enemy also used the ditches from the karez system or the walled gardens inside a village as cover during contact and concealment during their exfil.
Mir Zaman Momand told Pajhwok Afghan News the projects included water heads, retaining walls, wells, water supply pipelines, street construction, micro hydroelectric power units, a Karez system and roads.
Agriculture Director Hayatullah said that 8,470 of 10,000 hectares of farmlands were watered through spring and karez system.