WIT Press

Clean Technology For Alternative Irrigation Systems


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WIT Press


A. de Miranda


In many countries of the Mediterranean basin, Near and East Asia, as well as in some parts of Central and South America, the so-called “hydraulic noria”, one of the categories of water-wheels, has represented a significant ecological system which has played a leading role in solving the main problem of supplying and carrying water for irrigation. This typology, based on the best employment of the power of the river, is a clean technology for the environment with easy and low-cost maintenance requirements. This paper analyses some different and significant typologies still in use in Syria, East Asia and Central America, focusing on their architectural aspects, ecological characteristics and identifying differences, advantages and disadvantages, by examining the shape and design of the wheels. Keywords: Irrigation systems, landscape, mechanical devices, hydraulic noria. 1 Introduction The “hydraulic noria” represents the most elegant of hydraulic devices. It is an installation which, using the power of the river, raises water to irrigate fields which are usually at a higher level than the level of the water (Figure 1). The system is composed of two main parts, the wheel and the aqueduct. The wheel is mobile and is placed beside the aqueduct, on the bank of a stream, in a vertical position. The wheel is usually made of wood and is built by local craftsmen. The main structure of these water-wheels consists of two pairs of continuous parallel beams perpendicular to each other. They are the main spokes of the structure and are pivoted around a central axis supported at each end by stone walls or poles made of wood. The secondary beams stabilise the structure. The base of the wheel is submerged in the river and turns because of the current. Water is


Irrigation systems, landscape, mechanical devices, hydraulic noria.