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In addition to underground canals, the Sinhalese were the first to build completely artificial reservoirs to store water.
Due to their engineering superiority in this sector, they were often called 'masters of irrigation'.
In 15th century Korea, the world's first rain gauge, uryanggye (Korean:우량계), was invented in 1441.
The inventor was Jang Yeong-sil, a Korean engineer of the Joseon Dynasty, under the active direction of the king, Sejong the Great.
It was installed in irrigation tanks as part of a nationwide system to measure and collect rainfall for agricultural applications.
With this instrument, planners and farmers could make better use of the information gathered in the survey.
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Irrigation is the application of controlled amounts of water to plants at needed intervals.
In North America, the Hohokam were the only culture known to rely on irrigation canals to water their crops, and their irrigation systems supported the largest population in the Southwest by AD 1300.
Irrigation systems are also used for cooling livestock, dust suppression, disposal of sewage, and in mining.
Irrigation is often studied together with drainage, which is the removal of surface and sub-surface water from a given area.
The system comprises a network of vertical wells and gently sloping tunnels driven into the sides of cliffs and steep hills to tap groundwater.
The noria, a water wheel with clay pots around the rim powered by the flow of the stream (or by animals where the water source was still), was first brought into use at about this time by Roman settlers in North Africa.