South African Dutch, AfrikaansShow more Calqued on South African Dutch water lij (subsequently Afrikaans water lei) to irrigate.
In the phrase to lead water (occasionally to lead out water):to irrigate; to obtain household water by bringing it from its source through furrows constructed for this purpose.See also sloot sense 1.
Not exclusively South African English, but differing from general usage in that it is commonly used without a prepositional phrase.
1827G. ThompsonTrav. 27I observed with regret the impracticability of leading out the water for irrigating the adjoining lands by dams and ditches, — the usual and only method of cultivating the soil in the interior of Southern Africa.
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