The Near East region extends from Turkey in the north to Somalia in the south and from Mauritania in the west to Afghanistan in the east. It is characterized by aridity and scarcity of water which explains its dependence on irrigation since ancestral times. The aim of this paper is to give a brief overview of the history of water management and irrigation developments in the region, based on remnants and bibliographical research, with a focus on ancient water management techniques and ingenious irrigated agriculture practices, including the use of non conventional water resources. The implications and impacts of these techniques on modern management of water resources and irrigated agriculture are also discussed.

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