Description of practice

A grassed waterway is a natural or constructed ditch, usually broad and less steeply sloping than the rest of the field. It is used to conduct surface water from or through cropland, enhancing infiltration, trapping eroded sediment and helping prevent the development of gullies.

Examples of how to use artifical grassed or paved waterways Further information
(see Note below)

AMP60 01

Grassed waterways

Grassed waterways are constructed along natural drainage lines in a field or in an existing watercourse to control erosion. They reduce damage from storm events to agricultural fields.


»Indiana Farmers Union

AMP60 02

Paved waterways

An artificial drainage channel, lined with stones, is constructed along the steepest slope. This paved waterway receives runoff from cutoff drains and graded structures, discharging it to the natural waterway without causing erosion.


»WOCAT technology 4136

AMP60 03

Controlled waterways

Bio-engineered retaining walls are built using bamboo poles, rocks and soil-filled sacks across the slope and strengthened by grass planted on top. Erosion is reduced during the rainy season and water is conserved during the dry season.


»WOCAT technology 1684

AMP60 04

Sunken gully pits

Sunken gully pits are dug to trap water, enhance groundwater recharge and to reduce flow velocity. These pits are often provided with spillways for excess water runoff.


»WOCAT technology 1479

Note: Most of the Further information links are to a full description of the example in the WOCAT database. However sometimes the link may be to similar practices or a research paper. Occasionally the link is to a commercial product in which case it should be understood that this does not imply any endorsement of the product by iSQAPER.

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