In a border dyke irrigation system, when water is diverted from the main water races into smaller ones on farms, a temporary dam must be created at the outlet to each ‘border’ so the water spills through onto pasture. Here, at the Winchmore Irrigation Research Station, the outlet behind the man in the water has been closed with a board, the pasture on the right of it has been flattened by the previous flow of water. He is lifting a corner of the canvas dam to allow water to flow down to the next temporary dam. This is keenly observed by the Duke of Edinburgh during his visit to New Zealand in 1954.
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