Clyde and the near area is the driest part, the hottest part and the coldest part of New Zealand. Water is vital to grow the grapes, stone fruit such as cherries, apricots and peaches and for us to enjoy a wonderful lifestyle with the warmth, the water activities and the activities of the winter months as well.
The water race build was completed in 1922. The steps and sides are built of concrete and very cleverly constructed with three different breaks in direction as well as specifics to create swishing when the flow is high so the sides and bottom of the steps do not disintegrate.
Our irrigation water comes from these steps every fortnight through the summer months from 5.30 till 11.30 Sunday night. Our paddocks have a gradual gradient so the water "floods" them although we have to put canvasses and shutters in the main ditch to guide the water to the places we want it. It is a late night for us but the people after us start their water at 11.30 and go till 5.30 in the morning. The water leaves the dam many kms away and it runs 24 / 7 going different ways to provide irrigation for a huge area. It is up to the landowners to make sure they take and manage their allocated water or they miss out - someone else has the next lot of water.
Water is the lifeblood of our area.
The main photograph is the steps near the bottom after 3 changes of direction, while the extra is higher up in the first section of the steps.