Proposed features/Ditch

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please see Key:waterway (is already an often used feature)

Drainage/Irrigation Ditch
Status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: trs998
Tagging: waterway=ditch
Applies to: linear
Definition: *
Rendered as: Thin Blue Line
Drafted on:
Proposed on: 2008-09-01
RFC start: 2008-09-01
Vote start: *
Vote end: *


A tag for drainage ditches used on marshland/low land. These are commonly around 2-8 feet wide, with little to no flow. Could be regarded as a linear pond in look and wildlife. They are commonly connected in a network, with pumphouses lifting water into a river - meaning the land with ditches is below sea level.

The tag waterway=canal has a note saying it's used for irrigation, but a canal is typically large, navigable by boats, with walkways beside. A ditch is narrow, stagnant, unnaviagble even by kayaks, and typically spread in a network across nature reserves and marshland. The tag for Dykes would appear to cover this (Dyke is synonymous with ditch in the UK), but the proposal is actually for a raised water barrier - a dike or levee.

This sort of information is very useful as in marshland, both as there's no other landmarks to navigate by, and also to plan your passage, as dykes are normally too large to jump, and therefore a plank/railway sleeper laid across or a track bridge/gateway is needed to make progress.


Applies to ways only

  • key=waterway value=ditch


A thin blue line


  • Note there is already a waterway=drain in Map Features "An artificial waterway for carrying storm water or industrial discharge." That's what I use for what you describe ... but having said that, it can also encompass quite large flowing artificial waterways, for example the much loved settings used for car chases in Los Angeles-based movies. For me and what I've been mapping, I'd keep that and use waterway=ditch for micro-mapping for those really narrow drainage ditches that farmers use, i.e in the sub-metre width range. I'll be interested to see how the discussion goes and change my mind accordingly. MikeCollinson 07:19, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I think waterway=ditch is a good proposal. I'm used waterway drain but this is rendered thicker then waterway=steam. It should be rendered as a thin slashed line.--Curmet 16:01, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I like this proposal. I would like to use this tag for ditches in polderland. This type of ditch is used for maintaining water levels -both draining and supplying water-, so the tag waterway=drain does not cover this type of waterway. I currently use waterway=stream for tagging ditches in polderland, but as ditches are artificial and not natural like a stream, this tag too is not quite right. In future, I would like to use waterway=ditch instead. --Arie Scheffer 09:58, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
  • I'll add my support too. I've got a feature which is a ditch that I'm adding to the map right now. I'll tag it as waterway=ditch. I'll watch this page and will vote if and when it progresses to the vote. Alex McKee 16:43, 15 August 2009 (UTC)