Water Management and Rock-Cut Cisterns with Special Reference to the Region of Udhruh in Southern Jordan

Mansour Abed al Zeez Shqairat, Fawzi Qasim Abudanh, Saad Ahmed Twaissi


Jordan has had a long history of water harvesting and water control
systems, some of which are amongst the earliest examples in the world.
These include dams, barrages, channels, qanat systems and cisterns.
This paper focuses on the rock-cut cisterns of the region of Udhruh in
southern Jordan where a group of 28 cisterns were recorded recently.
The history of the rock-cut cisterns, their types and techniques of
construction in Jordan, with a special focus on those of the Udhruh
region will be presented. The evidence for water management systems
in the study region suggests that water management in Jordan during
the Nabataean-Roman-Byzantine periods was more sophisticated and
less wasteful than that of today. Judging by the capacity of the cisterns,
such as those at Udhruh, they covered daily needs throughout the year,
in contrast to today. Renovating the cisterns would provide the local
population with an additional supply of water.

الكلمات المفتاحية

Southern Jordan, Udhruh, Water control systems, Rock-cut

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