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Water from the Dawn of Civilization. ©UNESCO 2009
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Water from the Dawn of Civilization

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Language(s): English

Summary/Historical Context

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Water resources

Water is the mainspring of civilization. This was recognized at the dawn of civilization in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Water was conceived as the source of all things, eternal and primeval. This early recognition of the link between water management and civilization is the subject of this documentary.

Civilizations are constrained directly by the quality and quantity of available safe drinking and subsistence water. They are also constrained indirectly by the influence of water on food, energy, transportation, and industry. Human societies have throughout history found new means to secure availability of water where they settled. They have devised ingenious methods to harvest, transport, and store rainwater, spring water, groundwater, and even air moisture. Human societies will thus continue to search for new sources of water, but the cost of procuring water is a function of the combined cost of extraction, harvesting, transportation, treatment, storage, and delivery. There is thus inevitably an economic aspect of water availability.

This film documented and researched the technology and rehabilitation of thousand-year old underground water tunnels called qanats in countries like Syria, North Iraq, Oman, Algeria, Morocco and Spain

WARNING: The film stops abruptly a few seconds before the end of the total running time.

Place/country: Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Sultanate of Oman, Spain, Syria,
Type: Documentary
Credits: Joshka Wessels (director), Dale Lightfoot (participant), Mohammed Khayr (participant),
UNESCO Iraq (publisher),
Published in: 2009

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