WELL-BORING IN CHINA.

WELL-BORING IN CHINA.

There is a scheme on foot among a circle of Americans in Shanghai to secure a waterworks concession for Hangchau, if possible, in the near future. What will come of it remains to be seen; but consideration of the subject is important. Chinese cities generally are in great need of waterworks. In some of the larger cities, in times of dry weather, there is positive suffering. In practically all of them the water used is unfit to drink, and in many cases it is the cause of outbreaks of disease which result in the deaths of thousands of people. The Chinese do not appreciate the importance to health of looking after the water supply, but the conditions in many cities are such that the authorities are compelled to give it attention to prevent actual suffering from thirst. Whether the proposed efforts for Hangchau are to come to anything or not, the matter of water suply establishments for a number of Chinese cities may well attract the attention of those interested in such matters in the United States. There will he no difficulty in securing adequate supplies of water for most Chinese cities. Those in the river deltas are near great bodies of water-bearing gravel. The well or gallery system would probably he best for them; an ordinary drivenwell system would probably give excellent service and would he cheap. The need of w’ell boring and driving machinery in China was touched upon by Consul Martin in April, 1903, when he related his experience with the authorities of Nankin in relation to a well he had driven Since that time appreciation of the benefits of r. foreign waterworks system has been growing in this part of China, the practical example of Shanghai probably being the chief reason for the development of sentiment. There is good reason to believe that the authorities generally will be disposed to listen to any propositions looking for public improvements of this sort. At the same time the disposition just now is to keep all enterprise in Chinese hands and to use Chinese capital in their development. The field now opening up. therefore, looks more to well-boring machinery and waterworks plants than to waterworks corporations. Incidental to this subject is the need of pumps, which in the ordinary life of China are practically unknown. The old system of drawing water from wells which has obtained in Asia for many centuries, is still in vogue; but where pumps have been introduced they are welcomed and their utility is appreciated. One of the mission schools in Hangchau has an American wind pump and it is regarded by the Chinese people thereabouts as a wonder. Until the purchasing power of the Chinese is vastly increased, however, there will be little demand for wind pumps, owing to their cost. The grade which can be introduced in China must of necessity he simple and cheap: an article meeting these requirements ought to be received with f?vor immediately.

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