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_At the nieoting of the Ashburton County Council to-day the very important .matter.-of the extension and improvement of -the County water supply was raised, and a lengthy report from tlie, County .Engineer as to the practicability, and estimated : cost : of the scheme was submitted. .- The Council hasm tinies pa Jst;been brought face to rate>< with the grave, necessity for extendmg,t.he«water supply, arid has received innumerable . applications from settlers for races. to be constructed. •> It has not been possible "to do this, except ;at[ tho expense of other, settlors, as the atnount of watei*availablo has riot been sufficient to warrant the extension of the present system without obtaining more water from. the Ashburton River. ; The following' is"', '■ 'V"'.•■'}. • • ' "

} i The MEngiheer's Full,, Report, ; ;. K ; copies of which /had previously ,-, beencirculated kariibrig Ymembers of , the Council:.^— ad&' .'i.^"-■;.'■'.!'■• ■-;---.

As instructed ;I.beg to report: oh the proposed increase to the water supply oi'the County, North and South of the Ashburton River, and other matters contained in the*-resolution of the Council, dated'7th November, 1913. Taking the_pracroft scheme, from the Rangitata, River, as a, starting point, which was formerly reported on on the 29th August, 1910, and,-which to me appears of the most importance and accessible of any other source,' whereby an additional supply of water could be obtained, taking the cost'into consideration.

Since my former report on; this scheme, the conditions at the intake from the Rangitata. River have somewhat altered, and the intake sluicegates would require to be placed some six Jchains higher up stream, which would....entail-.: additional cost beyond my former estimate. The present labour conditions would also add, to the cost,. 1 compared to what they were some four years ago. ■■'■••.

Following on the lines, of my} former report the Head Works would be placed in the terrace of river-bed R.S. 30069, ■thej race joining .the main terrace-win R;SY 34205. From the: [intake to :the top of the terrace, a 'distance of 3 miles 52> chains, the y/ork would be; comparatively speaking, heavy, but I do not anticipate any' extensvietrbuble' through slips, br'p^reolation^ as}; the terraqe appears to-bevbf;;a.. good sound fbririation,}. so . far, .as can lie judged from appearances, arid retentive.; From, of the terrace to four miles 50 chains the proposed race i : would lead parallel with the" Cracroft Road. From this point the.proposed route is shown through Res. 2590 ori to where it crosses the Hackthorne, Road in }R.S. 32155, thence along the lower side of thisVbad on to-ihe Hinds River, a'distance in all of 14 |,miles,,<the approxiinate;route of '■■ which is shown by a blue line on the county, map.: ;.-. ■•'■■' f f ■• : 'f'-\--\ ;Y-'"" •? ■"' ..",

The, proposed race, would-be 8 feet wide and 2 feet in .depth for the first four niile^,' and gradually narrowing towards :■ the Hirids River;; and is' estimated to.-provide a supplyjfbr'22s additional miles of races!; It is evident that extensions of races up to 200 miles will not be'required in, the AshJ*-urton-. Rangitata Water Supply district for a number:of years, below the line of the' proposed channel, but' a correspondingly, less quantity of water,woiddybe reg uired from the '<■'■ headwbrks .< in the, South Ashburton River, situated above Mount Somers, equal to the proposed Cracroft supply, which in dry, .seasons would be available, and could be diverted -./'through O'Shea's Greek into the North Branch of the. Ashburton, thereby providing additional water for the Ashburton-Rakaia Plains, which.l.'.propose., should be dealt .with as: follows:—Following the blue line as shown ori the county map, which forms the connection from the North, Ashburton River in R.S. 21942, which is situated, about one mile below the outfall of O'Shea's Greek, . extending on through R.S. 11108, where the proposed race would cross they, Ashburton-Methven Road, thence through Sherwood, crossing the Methven railway, some; distance below Miteham. and connecting with the race ori the Rakaia River Road; R.S. 5821, near,Johns's Road; or the outfall could be extended into the Rakaia-River; some 20 chains out from the, River Road, but this would necessitate some deep cutting. The proposed race would be 6 feet wide in the bottom and generally Ift. Sin.,in depth, and narrowing towards ithe P»,akaia River, where the race would be considerably smaller, and is equal to carry a supply for 200 miles of races'^ or-iiiisJaO vyit is estimated*that £25, miles, additional races would be provided foil, including both' sellerites, that is to say ifrom'the,Rangitata :River near Cracrof t land the North Ashburton' River at Upper ..WirichihbreY

The additional' mileage'; of raceb granted during the past seven years, is 182 miles—Rakaia Plains 130 miles, •■ Rangitata Plains .-52-qm-iles. The. greater; extension of races on the Rakaia Plains, has become.possible through tho opening of the Acton irrigation channel, and the extensions have taken place both/above and '-beloiv- the, line of this channel. : Noyrocoi-d/has: been kept of races applied, fp,r, andf not granted, but I am of the:-'opinion;• that these would amount to a very-small proportion of} the races' granted, as applications have been renewed from time to time-under the plea of necessity,-arid representative deputations interviewing the;CounT cil until such time as aYehictarit con-} sent has been "given in; most}'; cases/ Taking the increased hiikjage granted at; 26 miles per year, as has been the case during the past seven years, and the water estimated to be provided by the schemes under consideration equal tb 425 miles, this would mean that an ade- 1 quate supply would be provided for the next 16 years, at the same rate of increase as has'been granted during the past seven years, which in my-opin-ion/would meet any demands, likely to come forward. ■'•■..:'■'

There is still the Lake Heron and Rakaia schemes which could be dealt with. Tlie former as estimated in 1904 at £27,000, and.t_b latter ;at £300,000, which I consider is out of the question on the score of expense, and also that an efficient supply can be provided at a reasonably cost as detailed above from the Rangitata, River", and by reducing the supply in the Wakanui Creek. It is only by such arrangement as

proposed that additional water: can* be provided on the Rakaia Plains, from the base of the hills, downwards, to the line of proposed channels, as all permanent sources of supply in the : Mount Hutt district have been drawn from to their full extent, except by tapping the Rakaia River. .--.'■.'. .'•.„■•'

, For some time past, it has been apparent to me that the distance from the base of - the hills to the sea (which is approximately 45 miles; as the races run), is too great a distance to'" carry water in a network of open channels as there .is;,, a ■ considerable amount of waste over the 1800 miles of races within the County, be, they ever so carefully attended to;'.' and also, ah endeavour has been made when; extending races, to return the water to the race from which -it has'; been diverted; but thjs has npt always been, adhered to, consequently A gets drained off in a number of branches, which weakens the supply at the lower; end; and B, which received the branches, which are fed' from A, has more than, sufficient. By referring to the map, it will be apparent that the present proposals would ■effeqt an, improvement' in ..this direction -T-ibyYlifting 'the' water from • the prp-< posed mains and distributing,it in; the sriiall races, according'to their'lengths' and other requirements, y y- ■'.;': >■ Such is a brief outline of the proposals submitted to you,; whereby the County water "supply, can be .extended anid other wise, iiliproved. Arid although •;all:-\thej..point.--cdv-erjed;'-:hy--:'tli_;:^'esolu T; tion of the Council have not " been touched, .or;-,.only", hriefly 50,,1 trust'l hay made : myself sufficiently clear: so that this may be a guide for what will be'required in any extension,; of; the water supply -system which may, bo promoted. ■>'*•>. -y. }'...=.-,-,''?'"-^ '„''' f V' 1; Cost.— . Rangitata-Oracroft to Hinds ; River .y... y :..••••;•• £8153 Upper Winchihore to Rakaia -.-':..;■ River ...... ..: .•Y ; ..;:-} ; }£289p^ .-';" '•■'■.•■■.'-. ■•'£11,043. This is exclusive of land; for which I anticipate favourable arrangements could be made., .-..-■< Taking the water; supply district as given at 586,000 acres, this would mean an expenditure of about 4-d per acre over the whole area, or taking the mileage of races as 1800 miles, an additional Id per chain would produce interest on thetotal expenditure at 5 per cent. '.' : y. The Discussion. V The Chairman said that the report was an excellent; one, arid 'had been most carefully drawn up by. the Engineer. The question of the extension of the water supply had been dangling before the; Council for' some time past, but it could not be put off. any longer: Large estates: were being cut up every day, and settlers were clamouring for water.; The Valet ta estate was being sub-divided on Saturday,} but the; land would be rio'use: -unless'j^ater:|w:^:-;proY vided. The-Cburicircbuld*raise,' a'lbaii; but the proposal could, be carried out by means' of ordinary expenditure. The, present total':'■'•revenue: of'"the' Council was, £12,700 ,j and the Council .only struck a rate of -^d:in;, ? the pound,, whereas: it had powers,.to. strike up .to, one•'penny: in the; pound- Jf. the Cburicil, deefded to act onV the} report 'the job would take about two years: to put through.^^y The; Council was:in ;a. position to secure an overdraft from , the bank of ;£ 13,000. . Probably during the next Parliament the Council would try to get a grant towards the cost of the Cracroft Scheme. The. time had come when the Council must.,face its.responr sibilities..'; He' I'd' the 4stiiriated cost a moderate price. ' In reply ..,to, ,Cr.,r;;Studhohne;. the ; .Chairman said that flic..■ipidinary : expenditure for. the last 12 inoriths had been about £9000. - V V y ; : -.y : .:..'.'

. Cr. Friedlander, said that,, ras mover of the resolution which had' produced the report,"he would like to., express his gratification at:: the excellent':way in which the Enjgineer had,/gone into the matter. There Was no doubt in the minds of the Council .-or-'/the..' ratepayers about making' the water, supply, scheme as good as possible, arid now it was simply a matter . of/ making , provisjon for the carrying out of -the work. ' They were all unanimous that such a step was. necessary/ They would see from the report that;the Cracroft Schemeywouldpi-oyide for aivadditional 425. miles of races, which would in }th"c opinion of the Engineer /be sufficient for the requirements,- 1 of: the' next: 16 years. He would support - a scheme by which a ■ rate could be struck to, obtain, the money., It was not necessary to go to the ..ratepayers; seeing that the Council had .the power to. strike a rate of one penny in the pound; arid that the present "ate was .orily, one-farthirig in the pound. Si Ich/a scheme,wbuld| bring in a sum of riabriey that would be quite sufficient to cover the. cost of the work. He-thought • ■ the smallest scheme would suffice at present, especially: as it would dp for 16' years. ; The Council would meet all -'requirements by adopting the schehie A ahdy-itYwas Aiikf. duty to give effect tpyaSprppbsaly which/ would confer such a greatfb^neifit on the settlers! 'How to" .raise the/fuhds/was the question. He advocated the striking of a farthing rate, and'-so do the work put of ordinary revenue. He moved that the report .bey. reeeiv.ed, and that the Cracrof t-Wirichiriorb scheme be proceeded with. .Mr^S-fudholme y said: he ;/wished] to r congratulate the-' 1 Erigiriber on his report, ,ankl -. to say that he thoroughly .agreed vfith the remarks of the:' previous .speaker. It was the Council's duty'.'t'&'go on with the scheme/ ■ The' cost: was} within the Council's means, and;there was;not a shadow of a,doubtthat the.!*vV;ork wa.3 heeded in -the interests it of the;Cpuuty. , Theybnlyyquestion in 'his mfind/was'the best means ' of; raising ithe, mqney.:■'■. They simplest way was to sjtriko,; a regular.y rate; of/one ; farthing 'in the }pound,V that would bring in "sufficient money:; to cover the cost of the work. The -Council 'had a revenue/of £12.700, and the ordinary exnbnditiire for/tho last year was/only £9000. That left a surplus of revenue oyer expenditure of-.almost. £.4000. The Council also had the power to borrow from the bf.nk'a sum'of £14, V v.; From, this •it could be seen that j the cost* of ■the, worlYwas/well within tbe Council's -.-means'-/,";/If/the farthing rate was not"| sufficibrit/forythe work he would be a green bio to raising the water rate'-for ■' providing tho remaining balance. That was the fairest way of doing it. There ■ought not to be any delay .'in, the matter, and the scheme should be gone! ori with at once. He seconded Cr. '{Friedlander's.'motion, and he hoped the I i'Cou**cil would agree to tho pro-! posal. ' ' ' Cr. Friedlander said that the farthling rate would bring in £9000. The Council's revenue was partly derived /from rents for reserves, etc. Cr. Lill said that some parts of. tho jCounty havo not been valued for the last seven or eight years. If the Vainer made'a, trip round and'put new (valuations on, the Council would get /additional-revenue that way. The supplying of water was also adding value ito property. Ho agreed that the •Council was quite ; right in taking, the proposal up. He thoroughly supported

the scheme, and said that the Cburicil;:should hot go to^ the ratepayers, but: that the work should: be done: by sti-ik-rv; ing an, extra rate. .■ ;- ■■■'■■ y '-f'ff AA After Crs. Murdoch, Morgan}; HaJr-nY; son, and Caiims had expressed: tlieirapY; proval of tlie scheme, and had stated}; that .they were perfectly prepared y to}: support the action of the Council in go-V irig on with: the Work, the motiori Was;' carried unanimously! : Yr

The Chairman said ii} was gratify ing*}: to him to kuow that the Council was; unanimous.; The only:difficulty, so far};} as he could ;see,- would be in the acquisi- 1\ tion of land. In the ipast history: of 'u tlie Council in connection with; ;the water races ;therb had nevery l>een: ariy:i trouble. The, water always: in-Y creased: the value, ofypropertiesy'-;; :'H.e>ff was ■ certain that, the ratepayers wouldY give": the Council its; hearty 'supportY V;

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COUNTY WATER SUPPLY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8811, 6 March 1914

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COUNTY WATER SUPPLY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8811, 6 March 1914

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