IRRIGATION IN THE EAST INDIES.

IRRIGATION IN THE EAST INDIES.

(Communicated.)

The British government is beginning to spend more money in irrigation work in the East Indies. In that territory the Bombay Presidency is the least suited for successful irrigation and the Punjaub the best. In fact, the latter district is the typical province for canal irrigation. The water in its snowfed rivers is boundless in quantity. Its rainfall, however, is so insignificant that it never competes with the irrigation supply. The soil without irrigation is valueless, except on the alluvial banks of the Jumna. The water-table is so deeply situated in an open sand stratum that water-logging or malaria cannot occur. The most extensive area irrigated in one year was just under 2,000,000 acres. The means of conserving moisture employed on the government farm at Allahabad are very successful. They consist in leveling the land in small acres and inclosing these with low earth wells, so as to retain the early rains of the monsoon which are especially rich in nitrogen.

The system pursued in India is different from that in America, where, after all the modern system is only in its infancy. As practised in this country, it is mainly associated with the utilization of the water of small streams or the tributaries of the large rivers, which can be diverted by a limited number of people at a comparatively small outlay of capital, and is in no wise under the supervision of, or supported by the Federal Government. INDICUS ORIENTALIS

NEW YORK, December 18, 1898.

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