an antique land in distress


  • Sameer Lal Jawahar Lal Nehru University



Mesopotamia, Drip Irrigation, Mulching, Hydroponic and Rivers


A few thousand years ago, ancient Mesopotamia became the first civilization that engineered water infrastructure to drive native agricultural systems. That civilization created the earliest irrigation systems known to humankind. The ancient Mesopotamians also won success in creating successful irrigation-driven agriculture in arid and semi-arid conditions. Paradoxically, this very success with irrigation systems became a major factor that triggered the collapse of ancient Mesopotamia. We can now infer the Mesopotamians failed to understand the crucial relationships between water, soil, crops, and sound agricultural practices. This lack of understanding continues to the present day. The invention of drip irrigation systems has allowed modern humans to claim some measure of sustainable success in agricultural techniques practiced in desert zones, arid areas, etc. Such techniques enable modern agriculturists to attain a fine balance between soil, crops, and water. Drip irrigation systems also promote other forms of modern innovation such as soilless farming methods and practices.


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