The Ashburton Guardian. THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 1881. The Plains Water Supply.
town edition: [lssued,at 5 p.m,]
Now that the most important work yet undertaken for the benefit of the. county—the Plains Water Supply—has been so far carried out that the initiative works can be pronounced a success, the next question to consider is—-What are we to do with the water ? The trial race has been brought down to the railway, at a point about two miles north of Dromore Station ; thence a contract .has been let to continue it for. a distance of about five miles to the upper corner of Dundas Farm, the property of Mr. William Saunders, and this contract has to be completed this week. The farmers will have to distribute the water from that point, and the various methods of doing this are subjects of consideration amongst them. At this juncture, and while easy and. cheap distribution is the subject exercising Che farmer’s mind, what appears to us a very valuable suggestion is made —valuable because of its simplicity and the apparent certainty of success it bears on the face of it. Mr. E. F. Wright, son of the member for the district, is well known as a practical farmer, and a genius at inventing labor-saving appliances, and he has suggested this very simple contrivance we refer to, by means of which the water can be utilised for irrigating the dry plains. He proposes to have a double-furrow plough constructed, with the shares and mouldboards set in opposite directions, and an extra sheath or coulter set on to an arm, so that the plough will turn its two furrows in opposite directions — thus excavating a ditch about 16 inches wide by 6 inches deep, and leaving a bank on each side formed by the ground ploughed. The idea seems so feasible and simple, that we have not the least doubt that it will be-put to test at a very early date. Taking every cost into consideration we should estimate that a four-horse team would easily excavate ten miles a day of a ditch of. the dimensions mentioned, at a maximum cost of £2 per day. That is to say, each mile of drain would cost the farmer 4s, A few days will see the Pudding Hill stream flowing down the plains, and we hope a few weeks will prove the correctness of our surmise as to the result by the advent of cattle, &c., on the Wakanui, Chertsey, and Seafield lands. Mr. Wright’s idea will no doubt be found a valuable one on all farms where the irrigation of ■ paddocks is at present costly because of the expense attending ditching. The matter is simply a question of obtaining a left-hand mould-board and an extra skeath, the left-hand mould-board being one that may be replaced at any moment by a right-hand, when the channel ploughing has been finished, and ordinary paddock work is required to be resumed.
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