Water with Figuig plays a very important part, for the man as for the ground. The oasis and the history are pilot. In fact, the true important sources of water of Figuig are those known as Artesian;
explained technically as being subsoil waters subjected to a sufficient pressure so that this one makes them go up above the bottom a crack or opening in the impermeable formation located above the aquiferous formation. What wants to say in all simplicity;
Water which emergent (leave) of the ground without the intervention of the man. .
These sources of water are exploited by a technique known as "Foggara" or "Foggaguir"", they are kinds of conduits for the drain or water run-off, more simply. These drains or to foggaguir amount to several - about thirty - and this for a maximum of exploitations as of these subsoil waters.
Water in the history of Figuig (small outline of an animated life):
Let us note here that the essence of this Artesian water is in the high part of the town of Figuig, above Jorf (a reef), which separates Qsar de Zenaga located in the low part of the remainder of other Qsours. The latter are practically beaten on the ground including these sources of water. This topographic situation was for a long time one of the causes of the conflicts between Qsours de Figuig to control this water. These conflicts were very bloody and plunged the city in a climate of hatred and hostility with an aim of monopolizing the sources of water. These macabre events were quoted many times in works illustrating the importance of the control of the sources of water and the means used to reach that point by the means of the force and the bayonets. This course, badly controlled by the inhabitants of Figuig, will end at the beginning of the 20th century, with French protectorate. .
Types of sources of water:
One can distinguish several types of sources of water in Figuig:
sources drained by the Foggaguir technique.
other natural sources underground but not exploited because of their frontier situation with Algeria: Jbel Taghla and Jbel El Melias
the plain of Baghdad and the part south-western of Figuig (Barkoukess), have a sub-surface tablecloth exploited by the use of the wells with motor-driven pumps; this water is salinées.
surface waters in sporadic matter (existence: not always but continuously): the case of the wadi Zousfana and Tfilia (Arlal).
Distribution of water of irrigation in Figuig:
After Foggara came the role of Souagui (seen general):
The seguia ( souagui for several) is the means used to distribute water as of its exit of Foggagguir, it artificial, therefore is built by the man.
In Figuig, the souagui nowadays all are almost concreted, whereas it y' has just a few years (the Nineties), one still found souagui known as not concreted; who are dug in the ground or are trained on the level of the ground by a mixture of sand and stones. The two ways of making have each consequence, as positive as negative. Indeed, the concreted seguia leads water to the target to reach, practically without any water loss, whereas the not concreted seguia (out of ground) allows the dispersion of a certain quantity of water towards the external one, therefore the recipient (the owner of the garden to be irrigated) will see that the quantity that it asked, to decrease.
What is disconcerting, it is that trees and palm trees lived of this water known as lost, whereas maintaining with the concreting, profit this fact less and less for the plants which were on the way of the souagui.
Distributors or iqoudass :
The four main distributing frames which distribute the water of Foggara of Zadderte (Zsar Zenaga)
The distributors or as one call them in Figuig "iqoudass", are the first points which receive the water of Foggara conveyed by the souagui.
Their role is the distribution by equal share of water. Each distributor can be connected to any seguia principal by the means of a complex network of conduits (see the photograph above) according to the selected division.
Iqoudass or these distributors, considering their situation and their construction, is also used by the inhabitants of Ksour like public baths or Hammam (free, of course)
Kharrouba and shares of water:
Kharrouba: constitute the simplest water share, its period of flow is of 45 min.
The Kharrouba instrument : is a watch known as hydraulic which is used to measure the time of flow of water to manage the shares. This instrument is in the form of a spherical half copper container which has a small hole in the content.
To begin measurement, one places the container on a water surface, progressively it starts to fill through the hole until its flow, and consequently, the end on the one hand and the beginning of another.
This measurement technique was used formerly, but today a simple watch makes the deal.
Spree (a turn) : is the period which separates two share for the same person, and who can go 14 minimum days at 16 maximum days in Figuig according to Ksour and Foggara..
Sraïfi: is the person designated by the ksar to control the water shares and to convey her course until her destination, this person is selected according to criteria's of confidence and know-how.
Evolution in Figuig; from Kharrouba to Tighirt:
Presentation of the problems related to Kharrouba:
Kharrouba requires the presence, at the moment of the turn (Spree), of the person concerned in order to begin the irrigation. This requirement causes well cavity certain problems; let us quote some here:
- the person does not need to irrigate her garden because the rain of the made day before or the previous days. - Certain trees of the garden do not have yet need for water, cavity, the excess of irrigation can harm the profitability of some plants.
- Non-attendance of the person responsible for the irrigation for any reason.
- Certain people can have their turn after laying down it sun: difficulty of man?uvre in the night (in general, the gardens with Figuig do not have lighting).
To cure these problems, the figuiguiens invented a method of water management, to give control to the person and not to Kharrouba and which is: The storage of water in basins "of Sehrijs".
This way of making is very simple. Any person not needing to irrigate her garden at the time of her Kharrouba, can forward her water to a basin of storage (it is enough to warn Sraïfi). In this manner one can use his water share constantly of the year according to the need for the gardens and seasons'.
Sehrij: is an enormous basin which is used for storage of water. It is in the form of a pissine. One finds of them several in Figuig and of various surfaces (up to 150 m²) with heights which can exceed the 4 meters. The young people of Figuig also tighten themselves some for swimming.