The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 1889 MARRIGATION.
The winter time when rain is falling perhaps too freely, is scarcely the most seasonable time to bring the Irrigation question prominently before farmers, with the expectation that it will receive favorable consideration and support. Tho ratepayers m the district between the ABhbarton and the Rnkiia rivers are, howovor, called upon to express their opinion next Tuesday, at the several polling places, upon the proposal to increase the watar supply m their district Though, as we have said, tho present supply of water may be sufficient for tho winter season, each summer sees the County Council besieged by applicants for more ivater, which they are unable to grant from tho summer supply that has hitherto been available, although they admit the principle of every land holder m the district being entitled to his share of ihe water by paying for it. The pro posal now before tho ratepayers is to take advantage of the provisions of the Local Bodies' Loans Act by accepting a loan of £5000 from Government, for the purpose of constructing the head-works, races, etc., necessary to bring from the River Rakaia a supply sufficient^ for the requirements of the district specified. It is now rather late m the day to point out to our readers the immense advantage of a sufficient and regular water supply, They remember well the change which the water race system has wrought m the conditions of life on the plains. They know to what an extent land has been increased m value by the water supply. They have heard of tho whole face of nature m certain parts of Australia baing changed irom an arid desert to fertile fields, gardens and orchards. They have Been one of tho worst bit 3of land m the district, the County Council farm at Elgin, transformed from being barren, save for weeds, into land yielding luxurious cropß of every^description. All question of the benefits of irrigation has thoreforo been decided m favor of the syptem, »nd* ratepayers have every motive of self-interest to add to their desire for the cummon good m inducing them to vole for the present proposal The Rakaia extensions have a claim upon tho ratepayers which has not been embraced m previous parts of the scheme of irrigation which wo hope oue day to see completed, that is, it provides suffi cicnt water to permit of tho irrigation of gardens and orchards, and thus farmers and others will ba enabled to judge for themselves of the benefit to be derived from the complete system - for wlrch, it should be pointed out, the present works are applicable. It si nld also be pointed cut to the ratepayers m tho Southern part of the district that tho Rakaia supply will increaßß their supply by relieving the River Ashburton races of the heavy drain upon them now made by the service of the north-east part of the district. It is thercforo the duty of every ratepayer to go to the poll next Tuesday, and record his vote m favor of the proposal. We would particularly point out the necessity of voting, as the Act provides that those who do not vote tor tho proposal are to be held as voting against it. The cost of the extension is nothing as compared with tho benefits to be gained, the rating power being limited to one-tenlh of a psnny m the jE/^When this extension are completed there will bo m the county no less than 950 miles of water races, and we think no one can say that he feels ihecost a burden to him.