The Ashburton Guardian. TUESDAY, JANUARY 4, 1881. The Plains Water Supply.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 5 p.w.]
The work in connection with the Plains water supply scheme will be completed at a far earlier date than was anticipated by the farmers most likely to be benefitted by it. The initiative part of the scheme—viz., the dam and weir —was out of the contractor’s hands some six weeks ago ; and the next part, which consisted of something over a mile 'of a concrete water-race, about three feet six inches in depth, and two feet six inches wide, has been constructed by day labor for the County Council, under the supervision of Mr. Weymouth Roberts, who returned to town this morning, and reported the completion of his task. Mr. Roberts’ part has been executed in an exceedingly fhort space of time, considering the amount of work involved, and the expedition is mainly due to the exceptionally fine weather experienced during the progress of the work, and the wellknown energy and capability of the “ boss ”in seeing a job through. Following down from the end of the concrete race, which is something over a mile in length, an open channel of an average width of fourteen feet and a depth of eighteen inches, will convey the Pudding Hill stream to Chapman’s creek, and in this creek the water flows for seven miles to Methven. The open channel and the work in connection with clearing the creek, etc., are now in hand, and will probably be finished at the end of the current month. From Methven to a poinr about two miles north of Dromore station, what is known as the trial race has been virtually completed by those energetic contractors, Messrs. John Devery and James Quigley. We can therefore safely prophecy to our readers living on the Wakanui Plains that—making due allowance for absorption in the shingly ground and the evaporation that must be experienced—within six weeks or so a living stream will be running through the driest part of the plains, where water was never known to run before. Each and everyone connected with the development of the scheme are to bo congratulated on the quality of the work done, and the rapidity with which it has been pushed forward, and in this connection the Chairman of the County Council has been very prominent in his endeavors to forward the scheme, and deserves special credit. Mr. E. G. Wright, from his special knowledge of the work required by the scheme, has been exceedingly useful; but the County's thanks are more directly due to him for hiz labors in Parliament in connection with the Act under which the scheme has been started, and doubtless his high reputation as an engineer was not without ts weight on the minds of members of the House, and materially helped the passage of the Bill, by securing the confidence of Parliament. Eying to bis hand as an engineer, Mr. Wright has taken great personal interest in the scheme, and has several times been on the ground in person. Of course the credit of origination and development lies with Mr, Baxter, the County Engineer, whose every available day since the initiation, has been devoted to the work which now promises so well to be a signal success. Before closing, we may just add that the contractors concerned seem to have gone into the work with as much enthusiasm, and been as painstaking over it, as though it had been their own property. The works we have been describing are of course only the initiative ones of the future water supply, but will be of immense benefit during the harvest season, as water can then be carted from the race to farms near Dromore and Chertsey—a most important item during the threshing season. The distribution of the water is a development of the scheme which will place a running stream on or near every farm in the plains, and we can venture to predict that when this becomes a fact—doubtless within the next twelve months—Ashburton will begin a new era of prosperity. It will then be possible to rear horned cattle on plains where they cannot now exist, and in view of an almost certain frozen meat trade between New Zealand and the London market this possibility is a very pleasing prospect.
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