Wild Flood.

How Flood Irrigation Works:

Flood Irrigation is a permanent irrigation built into a paddock. There is a channel running on one side of the paddock. When one gate in the channel closes, the water will run over the edge of the channel and across the paddock. When the farmer feels that the paddock has been covered with enough water, he will open the gate in the channel. The water will flow on to the next paddock, stopping more water flowing onto the previous one. Flood irrigation means the water flows anywhere in the paddock, as there are no border dykes (earth mounds) to control direction of the water.


  • It is uncontrolled.
  • It could wipe out a fence or small plants.
  • You could end up with a pond at one end of the paddock and nothing at the other end.
  • A lot of water is being wasted.


  • It's a quick way to irrigate.
  • It's an easy way to irrigate.
  • Very little equipment is needed - eg no tractor, no motorbike, no battery or electricity.


Here you can see the irrigation water running freely through the small canal/channel ready to irrigate the border dykes that you can see starting at the side of each gate.

In 1920 Wild Flood was the first invented way of irrigating a paddock. Although this way was not very efficient, it was the best way farmers had. Then in 1950 - 1960 farmers started putting in Border Dykes. Farmers found this way more efficient because of the mounds of earth built up along the side of the paddock, to prevent water from running everywhere. Border Dykes and Wild Flood were built by horse and plough, hand tools like shovels and picks were also used. Border Dykes and Wild Flood are still being used today, but are less popular as new ways of irrigation have been invented.

© 2007 – Page created by: Alysha & Katelynn.