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Cut-off drains

A cut-off drain safely discharges runoff water to a waterway. From there water flows either into the natural drainage system or is harvested in storage facilities for further use. Cut-off drains are dug across a slope to intercept surface runoff and carry it safely to an outlet such as a canal or stream. Soil dug is heaped to a ridge below the trench, which acts as embankment protection in case of overtopping. It is suitable for all land uses; but often constructed between different slopes or land uses. Cut-off drains are mainly used to protect cultivated land, compounds and roads from uncontrolled runoff, and to divert water from gully heads. In dry areas they can act as infiltration and water retention ditches. (Mekdaschi & Liniger 2013)