Dying wisdom of medieval water management of Aurangabad city - Paper presented at the National Seminar on Water and Culture (2007)

This paper discusses the water management techniques and technology known as Neher.

The city of Aurangabad has benefited from the construction of  aqueducts and canals by its earlier rulers. According to the authors  between 1617 and 1803, a number of aqueducts and canals were constructed. Malik Amber in 1617 AD discovered subterranean water table of mountainous elevated valleys in north of Aurangabad, manipulated and procured a stable and perennial water supply for the population through the construction of  an aqueduct called Khair-E-Jari.

Various people during the 300 years who constructed and maintained these aqueducts are named. One of them, Malik Amber discovered the Kham river valley and its large natural basin of about 150 sq miles. He designed the construction of an underground canal underneath the river bed of Sawangi and Kham river.

Both the canals and the aqueducts use gravitational pull to direct the flow of water towards the city. Features of 7 other canals found in the city are also described. Most of these structures are still supplying water to the city. However, they are in need of some repairs and  maintenance.

The authors conclude with the observation that modern water supply systems have a short shelf life, therefore there is need to learn from the ancient water supply systems to solve our current water problems.

This paper was presented at the National Seminar on Water and Culture organised by Kannada University and Sahayoga in 2007.

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