DRAINING THE ZUYDER ZEE.

DRAINING THE ZUYDER ZEE.

The formidable work of draining the Zuyder Zee has occupied the minds of the people of Holland for over half a century. The project involves the colossal task of reclaiming by far the greater portion of the land devastated by the incursion of the sea into Holland during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, which body of water has since then been known as the Zuyder Zee (South Sea). This reclamation is to be effected by the erection of a massive sea-dyke or wall from Ewijcksluys, about ten miles distant from the Helder, by way of the island of Wieringen, to the Frisian coast opposite, which will then shut off the Zuyder Zee entirely from the ocean except at certain points where locks are to be constructed in the dyke for the passage of steamers and sailing ships. The inland water is then to be divided into four segments where it is shallow—a northwestern, southwestern, northeastern and southeastern—each to be inclosed by a smaller dyke, by pumping out the water, from which so many “polders” or drained areas will be formed, leaving the deeper portion of the water in the centre as a lake, according to the original status quo in the year 1170. Similar polders have already been recovered successfully at the Dollart and at Haarlem lake, so that no serious trouble is anticipated in making them, as soon as the sea-wall is built. This undertaking, it is estimated, will add to the soil of Holland about 800 square miles, suitable for farming purposes. Although the Royal Commission appointed to consider the matter has reported favorably upon it, the project is still before the Dutch Cabinet, whose final sanction must be given before the works can be undertaken, the completion of which is by a gradual process to cover a period of thirty-three years. Expert engineers have given it as their opinion that the project, gigantic as it may seem to be, is feasible from a financial as well as a technical standpoint; some even going so far as to declare it to be “almost a necessity to the State.”

JOHN R. BUCHMAN, Board of Public Service, Canton, O.WELL SYSTEM, WATERWORKS, CANTON, O.

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