Backwater Meaning

(idiomatic) A remote place; somewhere that remains unaffected by new events, progresses, ideas, etc.

Example: The water held back by a dam or other obstruction
1978, National Opera Association - The Opera Journal page 29
  It's a volume for those who delight in exploring the backwaters of nineteenth-century opera
A rowing stroke in which the oar is pushed forward to stop the boat; see back water