Thanks Paul and Christoph, both for your feedback and encouragement!

I've now added mention that qanats can be tagged in parallel in terms of
their historic value.
New text:

I've also made a first attempt at defining qanats in general terms, and
explicitly listing names of similar features in other regions (based on the
Wikipedia article). The term "qanat" is therefore used because it is the
most commonly recognised in English.
As part of the definition of qanats, I've stated that they are always
free-flowing, not pressurized/pipe flow. I understand this is generally
true, and if there are exceptions, then a different waterway subtag might
be needed in future.
New text:

Best Regards,


On Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 5:09 PM Joseph Guillaume <>

> Hi,
> I'm planning to map some qanats, underground channels for conveying
> groundwater that have vertical excavation shafts visible from the
> surface/aerial imagery (see proposal for example).
> This was previously discussed in 2013.
> Since then, the role of different waterway tags has been clarified, which
> indicates that waterway=canal is appropriate, combined with subtag
> canal=qanat and tunnel=flooded.
> Qanat shafts are still a little tricky as there are specific tags for
> mineshaft and water_well, but neither of these are really appropriate, and
> don't have a generic version.
> I'm proposing to use a generic man_made=excavation with subtag
> excavation=qanat_shaft.
> Here's the full proposal. Thanks to user emes, who drafted the original
> version in 2013.
> This email has two purposes: it would be great to have the formal proposal
> discussed and approved.
> But if consensus is impossible, I'll be mapping anyway, so I'm hoping for
> some feedback/alternative names before I go ahead and map 100s of them.
> Thanks in advance,
> Joseph
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