Denmark's largest meadow irrigation system
In 1871-72, Store Skjernå Kanal (Great Skjern River Canal") was established by the Danish Heath Society. The 23-kilometre canal, part of Denmark's largest irrigation system, was designed to keep 1,100 hectares of meadowland from drying out. The canal runs…
Irrigation with a bonus
In the early 1800s, interest in meadow irrigation was mounting, since it improved pastureland and therefore allowed farmers to keep more livestock. This in turn gave the heathland farms more manure for their fields, and so improved grain yields. Until about 1910, when interest in meadow irrigation began to decline, around 600 kilometres of irrigation canals were built to keep 10,000 hectares of meadowland watered. The majority of irrigation systems drew water from the West Jutland rivers: Skjern Å, Karup Å, Storåen, Vorgod Å and Varde Å. Store Skjernå Kanal is regarded as the largest and one of the best-preserved heritage structures from the first century of heath reclamation. Many large cooperative meadow irrigation systems were established after the Danish Heath Society was founded in 1866.
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