The Shape of a Ditch


The Shape of a Ditch

Why don't ditches go in straight lines?

Ditch water flows downhill, using gravity. Ditch builders wanted to keep as much land as possible "under the ditch" because only land on the downhill side of the ditch could be watered. There had to be enough drop to the ditch so the water would flow, but not too much, or less land would be "under the ditch". As a result, many ditches ended up closely following curvy contour lines on maps.

Right: The South Boulder Foothills Ditch follows the contour lines along the side of South Boulder Creek.

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