Ditching from a water system perspective : draining the Swedish water landscape 1200–1900
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJakobsson, E. (2013) Ditching from a water system perspective : draining the Swedish water landscape 1200–1900. Water history, 5(3), pp. 349-367 10.1007/s12685-013-0089-8
In this article drainage in landscapes with a surplus of water will be in focus. A water system perspective will be applied to ditching. Upstream–downstream relations—whether small, as in this article, or comprehensive—cannot be disregarded when studying water systems. A central task in this article is to describe and interpret the ways these dependences have been controlled. In the article, building drainage systems is regarded as the construction of water systems that extends over, encloses and binds together ever larger areas of the water landscape. Examples from slightly more than 500 years of Swedish drainage history are used in the article. As with other activities involving water, the Swedish state has built up social institutions to regulate these activities. These codes of rules coordinating the management and build-up of drainage systems are interpreted from a water system perspective. Reading the sources and results from Swedish agrarian research in light of this new perspective and using a long time perspective, establishes the legacy of the laws on ditch digging. In the article the physical and social dependence that are built in systems of ditches are demonstrated. Simultaneously the new water systems contributed to building a hybrid landscape, as well as they created new communities of which the Swedish farmer became a part.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12685-013-0089-8.