The glossary of Traditional Water Systems explains in drawing and word the term water in relation to the landscape, its form aspects and in relation to people. To understand function and meaning of the water, and its position in the system and territory, it is crucial to take the entire water system (catchment area) as a starting point to define these three categories: water landscape elements, water works and water stories. By listing the terms in alphabetic order, the glossary will work as a reference book.

Within these categories, a strict protocol on how to draw and describe these glossary-terms helps to get the information designers may need. The glossary is made for them.

The protocol asks for: project name, climate, year, water type, landscape type, altitude, soil condition, materials, temporality, form, use or function and meaning.

By describing and drawing water landscape elements, water works and water stories of different systems – situated in different cultures, and constructed during different times – similarities between them are revealed. After a few years of research, it might be possible to arrange them according to a few prototypes.


Air Nyusu, Aqueduct, Balong, Baoli (water works), Baoli (water stories), Bund, Canal, Cleaning the Mosque, Curugan, Dewatering motor, Ereng, Gnarraban, Hauz, Kamalir and Nandur, Latrine, Mostra d’acqua, Nasone, Nyusu Air, Pān – 汴, Pi – 陂, Race, Rise husking station, Sawah, Smoking trees, Solokan, Thê – 堤, Trap, Tsùn-thâu – 圳頭, Tsùn – 圳, Weir, Wet ploughing