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Floaveitan – Historic Irrigation

Region: South Iceland
Coordinates: 63.9425653° N 20.8169267° W

“Floaaveitan” (irrigation) was built in the years 1918-1927 . It covered meadows of size of 12.000 hectares. This remarkable machine, which was imported for the project, was named “Járnbitagrýður”. She dug ditches that were 11 meters wide and 5 meters deep. One very strange man, Gudbrandur Jonsson, called “the professor”, who a was Catholic went for a meeting with Pope Pius. Pope didn’t know much about Iceland but had received news of this remarkable project, the “Flóaáveitan”.

Source: Gudmundsson, Sigurdur Gretar.

“Floaaveitan” are irrigation canals that run through the entire county of Flói or from river Ölfusá in the west to the river Thorsa in the east. This great project of its time consisted of a 300 km long trenches that were largely digged by shovels and 900 km of flood embankments. “Floaaveitan” with its irrigation made a major transition in farming and production in the region. The construction of the irrigation began in 1922 and the opened for operation in 1927. Still today does it play an important role in water reservoir in the Floa-area. The input irrigation is at Hvita, were an information board is located. To the east of the inlet is a marked trail (4.4 km walk, the other way).

When King Christian X and Alexandra Queen arrived for a visit Iceland in 1926 and almost no roads existed in Iceland; they strongly asked from their host, to arrange travel all the way east to the flood portal at “Brunstadaflot”, to see this impressive structures which great stories had been told about in Denmark.

Floaveitan is on the Saga trail South Iceland.

Photo Credit: Visit South Iceland

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