igh in la Alpujarra, on the slopes of the majestic Sierra Nevada in Andalucía, the silence is broken only by the sound of a stream trickling through the snow. Except it is not a stream but an acequia, part of a network of thousands of kilometres of irrigation channels created by Muslim peasant farmers more than a thousand years ago.
The channel begins at an altitude of 1,800 metres (5,900ft) and, fed by the melting snow, for centuries supplied water to the village of Cáñar and beyond until it fell into disuse in the 1980s through …
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