Features of Aqueduct

Underground water through aqueduct :

Malik Ambar was a master minded aqua engineer decided to bring underground water to supply the people of Aurangabad by uplifting water on the surface of the earth for drinking purpose. At a distance of 2.5 miles away from the town a well was dugged at the bottom of elevated hills. The subterrian water current gushed into the well. Underground tunnel was dugged out with providing gradual slope towards town. On both the sides of tunnel walls were raised in brick and lime missionary leaving thousand small cavities for subterrian spring water to fall inside the tunnel. The walls were covered in archway and many man holes were left open for repairs cleaning purposes. Tunnel constructed in brick & lime measuring 3ft with 8 ft. height. The bottom of this tunnel has been provided gradual slope towards the city. Thousands of subterrian water currents gushed water into the tunnel and move fast towards the city. There was a difference of height of 70 feet between source point to the end point.

The technology of this tunnel was very perfect in its construction. There were various arrangements provided in the tunnel taking into consideration the problems arised in those days. At some places earthen pipelines were also built and siphon system was also used and overflow system was also built.

The output of the water for the use of people :

The huge water supply through this tunnel later on terminated to all corners of the city through earthen pipelines measuring 2 inches to 12 inches. At the end point of these earthen pipelines many small cisterns were constructed with fountains in the center to supply the water. The people were collecting water from these cisterns. Near about 600 cisterns were built in the city connected with these pipelines to supply drinking water.

The airtowers were specially constructed at many places over the earthen pipelines to control the flow of water.

The supply section of Nahar-e-Ambari the underground aqueduct tapped into hillsides measured 12,840 ft. length having average width of 3 ft. and height 7 ft. Brick walls raised at both sides of the aqueduct are completely covered in archways over subterrean water to protect from soil to come inside. Thousands of small cavities specially left in the brick walls to allow subterrian water. Solid rock bottom has been provided gradual slopes from its source situated at hillside at 2031 ft. height above the sea-level, to carry water to its destination i.e. Gaimukh (Stone Cow head) erected at the lower height at 1954 ft. S.L. Gravitation forces allows water to flow fast towards the town as there is level difference of 77 ft. in between source and end-points. There are one hundred vertical manholes constructed at every 200ft average length distance over this aqueduct, so as to reach into the bottom of the aqueduct from the surface of ground for cleaning and repains purposes.

Overflow System :

Considering the aquapressure developing inside aqueduct, particularly in rainy season, a highly skilled structure for "Overflow" of water is designed in the aqueduct to provide safety.

Gaimukh (Cow Mouth) :

Ambari aqueduct was mostly passed by the side of a small stream known as Kham river by which a quantum of water inpout is raised. Basin shape catchment area at hillside at source point is enough to keep constant supply of water to the town.

Gaimukh is a terminal point of aqueduct, from onward an earthen pipelines of supply section measuring 12" diameter embodied in 1 ' x 1 ' in lime mortar nutshell. Network of earthen pipelines ranging from 2", 6", 8" diameters connected to more than seven hundred cistern spread all over the town. People used to take water from cisterns and take it to their houses for drinking and other purposes.


Salient Features of Underground Aqueduct

1. Useful only for 2 lacks of population :-

The Nahar-e-Ambari aqueduct was designed only for 2 lacks of population living in Aurangabad. In modern period existing size of aqueduct is very much useful for the small towns and big villages. This can be useful also for a part of big cities.


2. Non Polluted Fresh Drinking Water :-

Nahar-e-Ambari aqueduct is built under the ground to collect fresh water from perennial currents and it allows the water to flow through watertight tunnel of aqueduct. Hence, there is no chance left for pollution of water.


3. Built in Local Bricks and Lime/Cement :-

Locally available material i.e. bricks and lime or cement can be used in construction of aqueduct as it was used in Nahar-e-Ambari and Nahar-e-Panchakki to provide more and more employment to rural people. This indigenous technology is so perfect in it self that even after 400 years there is no maintenance cost moreover not a single person is appointed to look after it.


4. Water for Irrigation of Gardens :-

Nahar-e-Ambari water was also supplied to various gardens. Reasonable taxes were collected. Even in modern times this can easily be made available to villagers for irrigation purposes too.


5. Useful for Sprinkling Method :-

Advance countries are found using method of sprinkling for irrigation. The network of Ambari pipelines spread over the town opens in all cisterns in the form of fountains due to gravitational force. If the scheme of Nahar-e-Ambari is adopted then there will be no need of spending extra energy or expensive motor pumps for sprinkling of water for irrigation.


6. Useful for "Water Drip" Method :-

Technology to make economic use of water the system of water-drip method has been strongly advocated everywhere for irrigation. But this system also requires motor pumps and electricity. Nahar-e-Ambari method could be the best system for water-drip for irrigation, at a very nominal cost. There is no need of motor pumps and use of electricity.


7. Useful for Minor Irrigation Projects :-

Taking water to each farmers field is the primary objective. This scheme is known as minor irrigation project. The Nahar-e-Ambari method can be most appropriate and also economical to fulfill this objectives on relatively permanent basis which shall bring about "Green Revolution" within shortest possible time.


8. No Need of Electricity, Motor Pump or Diesel or any energy :-

The system of Nahar-e-Ambari is practically based on the simple principle of gravity and siphon. The subterranean water under elevated hills has been brought to the plains of town with the help of gravitational forces through underground conduits, which have the necessary and required slopes. Hence, without any external energy being used the water gets uplifted at desired level in the towns situated in lower heights. Hence, the question of using extra energy for upliftment of water does not arise. Consquently a large quantity of diesel of electricity is saved and expenses on costly motor pumps are avoided.


9. The New Opening for E.G.S. Schems :- (40% and 60%) :-

Unfortunately the modern technology based on western science does not go back to the past glory of science to derive benefit from it. Indigenous Nahar-e-Ambari looks crude but has proved its reliability and validity and its long service. Construction in bricks and lime of Ambari conduiet is the best example to install less expensive projects. It requires 40% local material and 60% labour and hence useful to undertake under E.G.S. (Rohiyo) scheme. Nahar-e-Ambari project is enable to employ more and more local people mostly of rural areas.


10. No Need of Filteration Plant :-

Expensive filteration plant is a must in every modern system of supplying drinking water. Indigenous Ambari aqueduct scheme does not require any such plant because it is totally covered with brickwork from all slides. Ambari aqueduct allows only filtered subterranean perennial water currents which come from long distance through underground soil. Ambari aqueduct technique does not require any reservoir and hence question of pollution of water does not arise. Since last 400 years there was never a case of water pollution in Nahar-e-Ambari, on the contrary, it is always providing fresh mineral water.


11. No Maintenance or Repairs Cost :-

Every modern scheme of water supply needs electricity, motor pumps, cost-iron pipes, filteration plant and these require regularly maintenance and repairs. Nahar-e-Ambari aqueduct system does not require any amount to be spent on its maintenance for hundreds of years or so. Its like a free gift.


12. Few Person Required :-

Ambari technology is so perfect and overlasting that it had never require regular staff for maintenance. In the last 100 years there was not a single person appointed to look after it. As this scheme is very simple it requires very few persons for the distribution of water.


13. No Loss of Water :-

It has been an accepted fact that 70% of water of open canal gets evaporated or drained in to the earth while supplying water from one place to destinity. Ambari aqueduct technology is fully closed and hence 100% water reaches the consumer.


14. Useful at "Rain-Shadow" Areas :-

People living in rain shadow areas of the hills always face problem of scarcity of water. On the other hand people living in rain-fall areas on the other side of the hills get ample water. The technology of Ambari subterrean aqueduct can bring water to the rain-shadow areas from the rainfall areas.


15. No Problem of "Dam Affected" :-

The problem of Dam-affected people always arise whenever a large dam or reservoir is constructed. Since the Ambari aqueduct is built below the surface of the earth the problem of "Dam-affected" does not arise.


16. Waste Land Problem :-

It is a waste of fertile land if it is brought under the reservoir area. It is a national waste too. The Ambari aqueduct passes beneath the earth and farmers do not have any problem in making use of the land over the aqueduct. In this way fertile land can be saved by Ambari method of water supply.


17. Possible to Construct in Modern Days :-

Indigenous system of Nahar-e-Ambari was followed in 18th century at Aurangabad supplying water to the people even today. There is no difficulty is adopting Ambari technology even in modern days. 30% of the geographical area of India is feasible for such projects. Local people "particularly of rural areas can be employed under" Guarantee of Daily wages scheme.

It is high time that the Government should seriously consider & adopt Ambari aqueduct technology. This will help it to save money, time and energy on one side and on the other it can solve the acute problem of shortage of drinking water in many parts of the country upto some extent. Aqua scientists and aqua engineers must ponder over the possibility and feasibility of making use of this technology and persuade the government to go for it.