The river furnishes water for irrigating the low fields in the vicinity.
Beginning shortly below Tekrit there are indications of considerable canalization, both for the purpose of irrigating country remote from the river, and also of shortening the course of the river for navigation.
In early times irrigating canals distributed the waters over the plain, and made it one of the richest countries of the East, so that historians report three crops of wheat to have been raised in Babylonia annually.
The experiment was so far successful that, with incredible difficulty, the two vessels did actually reach Meskene, but the result of the expedition was to show that practically the river could not be used as a high-road of commerce, the continuous rapids and falls during the low season, caused mainly by the artificial obstructions of the irrigating dams, being insurmountable by ordinary steam power, and the aid of hundreds of hands being thus required to drag the vessels up the stream at those points by main force.
A project for irrigating the district south of the mountains between Ponce and Patillas was adopted by the Porto Rican government in 1909.
The great bend of the river affords easy irrigation, and the surrounding country is covered by a network of irrigating canals, even the paved streets of the town having streams of cool water running through them.
Long takes off, irrigating 106,000 acres of the Jalaun district; similar works have been carried out elsewhere on the river.
The Japanese and Koreans, and in less measure the Chinese, act as domestic servants, work under white contractors on irrigating ditches and reservoirs, do most of the plantation labour and compete successfully with whites and native islanders in all save skilled urban occupations, such as printing and the manufacture of machinery.
Not go far in irrigating land, many sites which would Spain do admirably for the former would not contain water sufficient to be worth applying to the latter purpose.
Four ways of irrigating land with water are practised in England: (I) bedwork irrigation, which is the most efficient although it is also the most costly method by which currents of water can be applied to level land; (2) catchwork irrigation, in which the same water is caught and used repeatedly; (3) subterraneous or rather upward irrigation, in which the water in the drains is sent upwards through the soil towards the surface; and (4) warping, in which the water is allowed to stand over a level field until it has deposited the mud suspended in it.
The practice of irrigating differs in different places with differences in the quality of the water, the soil, the drainage, &c. As a general rule, when the irrigating season begins in November the water may flow for a fortnight continuously, but subsequent waterings, especially after December, should be shortened gradually in duration till the first week in April, when irrigation should cease.
It is necessary to be very careful in irrigating during frosty weather.
Turning to the left bank, there is the same high-level canal from the upper system irrigating the basins K, P and L, as well as the large basin E in such years as it cannot be irrigated from the main canal.
Here there are two main canals - one following the river, irrigating a series of smaller basins, and throwing out a branch to its left, the other passing under the desert slopes and supplying the basins F, G, H and S.
In the seventeen years ending1896-1897the capital expenditure on such works was Rx.10,954,948, including a sum of Rx.1, 742, 246 paid to the Madras Irrigation Company as the price of the Kurnool-Cuddapah canal, a work which can never be financially productive, but which nevertheless did good service in the famine of1896-1897by irrigating 87,226 acres.
This has had a great measure of success, and the canal itself has proved remunerative, irrigating 123,000 acres in 1896-1897.
Ever since 1870 consideration has been given to projects for irrigating the fertile province of Oudh by means of a great canal to be drawn from the river Sarda.
Long, which, in connexion with two large reservoirs, are capable of irrigating 120,000 acres.
It may be said that, up to the year 1900, irrigation progressed to such an extent that there remained few ordinary localities where water could not be easily or cheaply diverted from creeks and rivers for the cultivation of farms. The claims for the available supply from small streams, however, exceeded the water to be had in the latter part of the irrigating season..
The regular inundations, the ease of irrigating the rich alluvial flats, and the great heat of the sun in a cloudless sky, while limiting the natural ~ora, gave immense opportunities to the industrious farmer.
This river is abundantly supplied with water during the greater part of the year, and two irrigating channels distribute its waters through the district.
The means adopted are: (i.) the plantation of trees; (ii.) the making of irrigation canals and irrigating meadows; (iii.) exploring for, extracting and transporting loam, a process aided by the construction of short light railways; and (iv.), since 1889, the experimental cultivation of fenny districts.
The Irrigation Commission of 1901 advised an expenditure of 30 millions sterling, spread over a term of twenty years, and irrigating 62 million acres in addition to the 47 millions already irrigated at that time; but it was estimated that that programme would practically exhaust the irrigable land in India, and that some of the later works would be merely protective against the danger of famine, and would not be financially productive.
The irrigating capacity of this canal is 1,250,000 acres.
Settlers intending to occupy such lands must satisfy the state that they have entered into contracts with the irrigating company for a sufficient water-right and a perpetual interest in the irrigation works.
The South Platte is much the most important irrigating stream.
Other systems contemplated by the government were the Las Vegas project for reclaiming 10,000 acres near Las Vegas, the Urton Lake project for reclaiming 60,000 acres in the Pecos Valley, and the La Plata Valley project for irrigating about 40,000 acres in the northwestern part of New Mexico, 35 m.
The Copiapo, which once discharged into the sea, is now practically exhausted in irrigating a small fertile valley in which stands the city of that name.
From the most important of these, known as the Madadkatte, an artificial channel is led to a distance of 72 m., irrigating an area of Io,000 acres, and ultimately bringing a water-supply into the town of Mysore.
The Chenab Colony, resulting from the great success of the Chenab Canal in irrigating the desert of the Bar, was formed out of the three adjacent districts of Gujranwala, Jhang, and Montgomery in 1892, and contained in 1901 a population of 791,861.
Under the Carey Act the Twin Falls project, deriving water from the Snake river near Twin Falls, and irrigating more than 200,000 acres, was completed in 1903-1905.
Wide, and well shaded with trees planted along irrigating ditches, fed by mountain streams. Brigham (or South Temple) Street is a fine boulevard running 3 m.
The operation of appendicostomy, or bringing the appendix to the surface and using it as the site for the introduction of the irrigating fluid, has been attended with considerable success.
About 3000 acres (nearly one-half in the narrow extension in the N.W.) were already irrigated in 1909, and surveys had been made by the Federal Reclamation Service with a view to irrigating about 100,000 acres more-10,000 to 14,000 acres in Beaver and Woodward counties, under the Cimarron project, and 80,000 to ioo,000 acres in Kiowa and Comanche counties, under the Red River project.
Of ditch costing about $751.00 per m., irrigating 148,538 acres, which yielded crops averaging $6.61 per acre in value.
Beneath each cap, and near the upper end of the shaft, are a number of vertical slits through which the drainage water which rises passes out into the conduit or trench from which the irrigating streams originate.
Below the bifurcation the river of Babylon was again divided into several streams, and indeed the most famous of all the ancient canals was the Arakhat (Archous of the Greeks and Serrat and Nil of the Arabs), which left that river just above Babylon and ran due east to the Tigris, irrigating all the central part of the Jezireh, and sending down a branch through Nippur and Erech to rejoin the Euphrates a little above the modern Nasrieh.