[Tagging] Proposed features - RFC 2 - Pressurized waterways

Tod Fitch tod at fitchdesign.com
Mon Feb 19 15:36:35 UTC 2018

> On Feb 19, 2018, at 5:06 AM, John Sturdy <jcg.sturdy at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 4:12 PM, Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com <mailto:pla16021 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>   In my part of the world, an artificial waterway used
> for conveying water is almost always referred to as an aqueduct
> I think of an aqueduct as being a bridge conveying water above ground level; a channel cut into the ground for conveying water is a "leat”.

The large artificial channels carrying water to Southern California from the Colorado River, eastern Sierra Mountains and Northern California are generally called “aqueducts”. For much of their length they are in open channels set into the ground.

As an American English speaker, I’ve never heard of “leat”. And I don’t see “leat" in my old American Heritage Dictionary, so it is apparently not used at all in the US. So I pulled out my microprint Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to figure out what you are referring to.

My OED says that a “leat” is “an open watercourse to conduct water for household purposes, mills, mining works, etc."

My OED says that an aqueduct is “an artificial channel for the conveyance of water from place to place; a conduit; esp. an elevated structure of masonry for this purpose.” So from the first part of that definition an aqueduct need not be an elevated structure.

Based on this, my interpretation is that a leat is probably a smaller more local thing providing water to one or a small number houses or mills. While aqueduct is a more general term for  the works used to transport water from place to place.


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