The Falaj, or how men conquered the arid landscape.
Water being so rare, it was vital to learn how to make the best of it. We define pre-historical civilizations by their major discoveries; the fire age, the stone age, the bronze age. Here, they should call it the water age. The time when men discovered a way to channel water efficiently to survive. That way is called the Falaj; an intricate maze of water ways guiding water from a source to a plantation. The most popular type of Falaj is the Dawoedi Falaj, where the source is usually a well called Umm al Falaj (The mother of the Falaj) from where water is pumped up, and poured into a main channel descending towards a plantation. At the plantation the water channel branches out to each field. Another type of Falaj is called Ghailian, which only captures surface water from rain fall. Each village had to have a Falaj system in order to cultivate crops they could feed on. A wise man was in charge of it, allocating a certain amount of the precious liquid to each parcel according to preset rules and retributions.
Today a truck brings water. It has lost its charm, cost a lot more, but is probably much more efficient. Still you can see some Aflaj (plural) still being used where the plantation remains too hard to reach by modern transport.