AskDefine | Define noria

Dictionary Definition

noria n : a water wheel with buckets attached to the rim; used to raise water for transfer to an irrigation channel

Extensive Definition

For the member of the J-pop group BeForU, see Noria Shiraishi.
Noria are machines for lifting water into an aqueduct using energy derived from the water's flow.
It consists of an undershot waterwheel to which are fixed a series of containers that lift water from the river to the aqueduct at a higher level. Unlike the water wheels found in mills, noria do not provide mechanical power to any other process. Its concept is similar to the modern hydraulic ram, which also uses the power of flowing water to pump some of the water out of the river.
The noria can also be powered by other means. Such noria could theoretically be used in series. A noria can raise water to somewhat less than its full height. The largest noria in the world, with a diameter of about 20 meters, is located in the Syrian city of Hama.
It performs a similar function to chain pumps (including the saqiya), and other pumps, that of moving water from a lower elevation to that of a higher elevation, but these are generally powered by other means, not by a waterwheel).


It has been suggested that the cakkavattaka mentioned in an Indian text of c.350 BC was a noria, but others dispute this (see watermill). It is certainly referred to by Lucretius (d. 55 BC), who alluded to 'rivers that turn wheels and buckets. This device may have been used in the ancient Near East since circa 200 BC.
Noria machines later became more widespread during the Muslim Agricultural Revolution and were in large-scale use in the medieval Islamic world, For example, the flywheel mechanism used to smooth out the delivery of power from a driving device to a driven machine, was invented by Ibn Bassal (fl. 1038-1075) of al-Andalus, who pioneered the use of the flywheel in the noria and chain pump (saqiya). Muslim engineers used norias to discharge water into aqueducts which carried the water to towns and fields.


noria in Arabic: النواعير
noria in German: Schöpfrad
noria in Spanish: Noria
noria in Esperanto: Norio
noria in French: Noria
noria in Italian: Noria
noria in Polish: Noria
noria in Portuguese: Nora (água)
noria in Russian: Нория
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