irrigation drain

Encyclopedia Article


A canal or ditch dug near a water source, such as a river, to artificially control and direct water flow toward or away from nearby agricultural lands. These canals are used both to irrigate farmlands in dry times as well as to drain water in times of flood. In the Albuquerque basin, as in many other parts of New Mexico, a system of irrigation drains, called acequias in Spanish, parallels the Rio Grande River. Acequias have been used since the early days of habitation near the river, first by the native peoples of the area and later on by European settlers, to irrigate as well as protect their plantings.

Photo Credit: 

"Los Chicos acequia near Velarde, New Mexico, April 21, 2008" by Markabq is licensed under Public Domain.

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