Irrigation, Drainage and Conservation Systems at the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa and Akka, Israel

“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.”   Isaiah, 35:1-2, Holy Bible, King James Version. 

(Spanish version)

The purpose of this post is to share some photos that I took on my Bahá’í Pilgrimage to the Bahá’í World Center in Haifa and Akka, Israel in  October of 2007.  The Baha’i Gardens are world famous for their beauty, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.  Of special interest to me are the photos related to the irrigation and drainage systems, since I teach a course on this topic at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez Campus.   The Bahá’í Gardens represent an example of the application of cutting edge irrigation, drainage and conservation systems technologies.

October and November is the period when the garden staff replants many of the garden beds, consequently a number of beds were not planted, thus exposing the brown Netafim drip irrigation lines.

Some facts and figures about the Bahá’í Gardens:

  • The central zone of each terrace has been planted with Zoysia grass, annual flowerbeds, santolina and duranta hedges, bushes, and pruned trees.
  • The side zone of each terrace features drought-tolerant, low-maintenance succulents, oleanders, rosemary, lantana, olive, jacaranda, coral, and plumeria.
  • The third zone has been left as natural forest that serves as wildlife corridors.
  • Drought-resistant groundcovers such as ivy, juniper, and lippia have been used on steeper slopes.
  • Birds such as blue kingfishers, ravens, Palestinian sunbirds, finches, quail, Hoopoe birds, hawks, owls, doves, bulbuls, and jays; insects such as ladybugs, praying mantises, and spiders; and animals such as mongooses, hedgehogs, land tortoises, and reptiles are all found on the Terraces.
  • Some 70 local workers from all cultures and religions and 30 Bahá’í volunteers from about 12 countries compose the gardening staff at the Bahá’í World Centre.
  • The gardens use a blend of ancient and modern gardening practices, from mulching and composting to computerized irrigation systems.
  • Natural pest control is promoted through the introduction of beneficial birds and insects.

The photos are divided into the following sections: The Baha’i Gardens on Mount Carmel, The Irrigation System, The Drainage System, Bahji Near Akka, Additional Photos and The Pilgrims.


Eric Harmsen











ADDITIONAL PHOTOS (Some photos were obtained from the Internet)




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