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Organized by regional authorities, every Egyptian had to move about thirty cubic metres of soil in about ten days every year.With this relatively small investment of labour, they kept the system in working order.The boundaries of the fields were marked with boundary stones.These had to be replaced frequently after the inundation, based on cadastral records.The importance of irrigation, of the uninterrupted and fairly shared flow of water, is stressed in the affirmations the ba (the 'soul') makes before the gods of the Realm of the Dead The distribution of water between the periods of flooding was everybody's own business.Until the shadouf came into use in the 16th century BCE heavy earthen buckets were used. It is your own water [together with its timber, its field,] its land, its part of each plot from today on [until] all eternity.

Dikes were built along the banks of the river and the basins which covered between 4 hectares, were carefully levelled.Taking pre-green-revolution wheat yields of about 750 kg/ha Occurrences of corn dearth were frequent.Some estimate that there would have been sufficient grain only every third year. At any rate, Egypt seems to have had grain surpluses often enough, so that they could be stored in state granaries and even be exported.When the water level reached the mouths of the canals, the dams separating the canals from the river were opened and the basins and canals flooded.

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