Thousands of Years Old Irrigation System in Spain Saved by 95 Year Old Grandfather

Thousands of Years Old Irrigation System in Spain Saved by 95 Year Old Grandfather. Where he can still work, he will definitely join. Even though Paco Pérez is 95 years old. In his village, no one knew the water system from thousands of years ago as well as he did. I always enjoy seeing water flowing in these canals. With this water we irrigate the fields. From this canal we live. In the Alpujarra mountain region in southern Spain, in the eighth century, Moors settled from North Africa.They create intricately branching water canals. Until now these canals are still in use. Paco and his son Antonio also use their Moorish heritage to irrigate their pepper garden.This water system is an important legacy. Indeed, the Romans had also started making water canals, but the Arabs made it perfect.

But there are also many canals that have not been used for hundreds of years. Now they are restoring the canals together with archaeologist José María Martín Civantos. For him, the use of water canals is broader than just agriculture.Old canals like this are also important for the environment. This is the source of life. Some of the water absorbs into the soil, and comes out again below. So this system supports biodiversity. Branching canals also slow down the flow of water, especially now that the water is decreasing. For Paco Pérez, climate change is something real. In my village it hasn’t snowed for eighteen years.

We used to always sweep the snow off the flat roofs. At that time, snow fell for twelve to fifteen days, even a month. That is now in the past. The dams nearby are also clear evidence of the decreasing water flow. However, in Spain more and more tropical fruit trees are being planted, namely mangoes and avocados, even though they require more water. So farms are increasingly using automatic irrigation systems, where water is distributed through a hose, and drips at the roots of each tree.

For agricultural engineering expert, Eduardo Maldonado, water canals can no longer be used, because on their way, the water seeps into the ground and evaporates. Drip irrigation is most appropriate for the future. Because it is more efficient and can be used for all trees. That way, we save between 40 and 60 percent of water. Meanwhile, for archaeologists, water canals are most suitable for now. Therefore, they try to learn from elderly residents in Alpujarra villages. This knowledge is increasingly being pushed aside and forgotten by people. If we look at its efficiency from several points of view, namely from its ecological use, the impact is greater, especially now, considering climate change. But fewer and fewer farmers are using water canals. As a result, preserving water canals inherited from the Moors that are thousands of years old is increasingly difficult.