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A. C. TiUE, Ph. 1)., JHrcrtor. 

E. W. Allen, Ph. 1)., AssisUntt J>irn-tor. 


Elwood Mead, Chirf. 

C. T. Johnston, ^issistmit Chief in Ch(tr(je Central District. 
Samuel Fortiek, Agent and Expert i}t Charge Pacific District. 
C. (t. Elliott, Agent and Expert in Charge' of Drainage LireMigations. 
R. P. Teele, Editorial Assistant. 

C. E. Tait, Assistant in Charge of Maps and Illnstrationx. 


V. S. Depaktment of AauiruLTURE, 

Office of Experiment Stations, 

W((s/u:?ir/ff>f}, />. C Jf(f?/20, 100:L 

Sir: 1 have the honor to transmit herewith and to recommend for 
publication a report on Egyptian irrigation, prepared under the direc- 
tion of Ehvood Mead, chief of irrigation investigations of this Office, 
by C. T. Johnston, assistant chief. 

This report gives the results of observations made by Mr. Johnston 
during the winter of lV^ol-2 on the irrigation works, practices, and 
administrative s^'stem of t^gypt, under authority of the act of Con- 
gress making appropriations for the irrigation investigations of this 
Office, which provides, among other things, for investigation and 
report upon '''the laws '^ * * and institutions relating to irriga- 
tion and upon the use of irrigation water at home or abroad.'' 

The bulletin is illustrated by twenty-tive full page plate illustrations 
and nine text figures, all of which are necessary to a complete elucida- 
tion of the text. 

Respect fullv, 

A. C. True, 

Hon. James Wilson, 

Sfcn torn nf Aijr't culture. 



V. S. Department of Agriculture, 

Office of Experiment Stations, 

W(f.s/ih)(/toN, I). C% Jfai/20, 1003. 

Sn:: T have the honor to sulmiit herewith a report on Etryptian 
irrigation, prepared by C'hirence T. Johnston, assistant chief of irri- 
pition investi^i^ations of this Office. Air. Johnston spent the winter of 
VM)l-*l in Egypt, makino* a study of irrigation methods and laws. 
This repoi't gives the results of his observations and in({uiries. 

In the valley of the Nile irrigation has been practiced for thousands 
of years, and if time and experience were in themselves sufficient w^e 
ouiiht to find water distributed with more skill and used with better 
results there than in anv other countrv. Such, however, is not the 
case. On the contrarv, the irrirators of this countrv have little to 
h^arn from Egypt so fur as practical methods are concerned. The 
nnisoiis for this are not obscure. On<* is the lack of inventive and 
mechanical skill on th(^ part of the fellah. lien* every implement used 
in agricultun* has Ixhmi sul)ject to constant change and improvcmcMit; 
the Egyptian still uses a crooked stick for a plow and beats out his 
corn as did his ancestors in the time of the Pharaohs. In this country 
we have already (»volved special machinery for the construction of 
canals, buildino- of laterals, and cleaning* out and enlaro'ino- of ditches; 
in Eii'vpt manv canals are still cleaned bv throwing- the mud out bv 
liaiul. The le.sson'> of Egypt, therefore, so far as irrigation [)ractice 
is concerned, are of nei»'ativ<' vahie. T1hm-(* is another reason whv this 
i> so. Irrigators in Egypt are paid IT) c(Mits a day. Their methods 
:ire i)()s>il)h» onlv with this low waj^-e rate, hence tlu^v c-an not l)e 
adopttul in a country like ours, whei"e higher wages ai'e [)ai(l. 

The showii^g of th(» yield and pi'oiits of irrigated land in Egv})t is, 
liowe\(M*, full of significance and promi>e to the arid conunonweallhs. 
It !-> oidv on irrigated laud that the axcrau'e net ictui'ii from >Uiiar 
caiK* reacluvs J^SO to S^.') an acre. The re\-enues of the Egyptian ( iov- 
♦ Tinnent from tin* areas dexoted to (late> runs from Sin to '^4.^ an aci'e, 
and the net ])i()tit to tln^ cultnatoi' a|)proximates Sl.^o an tu-i'e. This 
little tia<"t i^i an'ricultural land, no larii'er than the iiTiijabK* art a of 



California, supports between 5,000,000 and 6,00(),000 people, pays the 
expenses of a costly government, and meets the interest on a national 
debt half as large as our own from the returns on agriculture alone. 

Three sul)jects have a vital relation to the future extension of irri- 
gation in this country. These are storage, drainage, and the utiliza- 
tion of water ])y pumping. The great storage works of Egypt have 
especial interest to our Government eng'ineers; but Egypt lias few 
examples of the small storage works such as are being built in lar^e 
numbers ])v private parties in the West and which are destined to be 
an important feature of our irrigation systems. The accumulation of 
alkali in the surface soil, which has alreadv ])ecome a troublesome 
feature in Western irrigation, at one time rendered unproductive 
large areas in lower Egypt. These are lu'ing reclaimed by drains 
which carry ofl the excess of salts and tend to prevent their further 
accumulation. So far as lifting* water from wells or streams is con- 
cerned, the devices in Egypt are inferior to the gasoline and electric 
engines and centrifugal pumps now extensively used in the Wesit. 
Some of the simpler and cheaper devices of Egypt are efficient for the 
lifting of small quantities of water, and there are many places in this 
counti'v where such machines can ])e used to advantao-e. 

Mr. Johnston's description of the dams ))uilt ))y the French and 
English (lovernments will have nuich interest. Their success from 
an engineering standpoint and the great ])enetits which have come to 
the people from this expenditure of government funds are unques- 
tioned. But it is dou])tful if we can adopt the administrative methods 
employed in Egypt. Political and economic conditions in thatcountry- 
ditfer so widelv from our own that methods which are there useful 
are clearly inapplicable here. Egypt is governed by a foreign power, 
which has assumed arbitrary control ovei* the water supply, recot^niz- 
ing no rights "Jis ])elonging to the users of this water. Such a system 
has ])rought a])out an efficient use of the Nile, but it is repugnant to 
American ideas. It is a success in Egypt because of lack of means on 
the part of the agricultural population and lack of the experience in 
business and political affairs, needed for the successful operation of 
irrigation systems under private ownership. The American farmer 
has both the economic al)ility necessary to the management of irriga- 
tion works and the political power and the intelligence to create insti- 
tutions for controlling the water supply which will be in harmony 
with our ideas of free government. The study of Egyptian laws and 
administrative methods, while interesting, is of little value as an 
example to be followed. 

liespectfully submitted. 

EiAvooD Mead, 

Ch !ef of Irr!(/ation In vtstigntiojis, 

A. C. Tkue, ]>h\vi(>r. 



Introduction 11 

A general viow of Ej?ypt 12 

The Nile ' 20 

Nile ^^ajjes 26 

Agricultural seasons 27 

I'^irnis and villa<res 29 

C( )st of raising en >i)s and value of farm products 31 

I)evel()})nient of E^ryptian irrijration 82 

The canals of the Nile Valley 84 

( 'nnstruction an<l maintenance of canals and levees 39 

Water-raisin^r devices 40 

The shaduf 40 

The sakiveh 41 

The Archimedean screw 43 

The natali 44 

l*umping 44 

Duty « )f water 45 

Tlie Cairo barrage 47 

Reservoirs 49 

The Assuan reservoir 52 

The Assiut dam 58 

Drainage 59 

Laws and regulations (il 

Conditions to he considered 61 

Authority of <jfiicials 61 

Causes of litigation (io 

I rriiration and drainage laws ()7 

Installation of water-raising devices 72 

Drainage 74 

The corv/'e 74 

Reform of the c< >rvi'e system 7S 

Conclusions SI 

A])|)endix I S3 

Powers of the governors and inspectors of irri^^ation SI} 

Canals and levees s5 

Order of the Minister of the Interior of July 16, 1S9S 94 

Appendix II 9»> 

Installation of machines for elevating water 9<) 

Appendix III t»;» 

Drainage of swamps and marshes 99 





Manniia Canal Frontispiece. 

Pi.ATK I. Map of Egypt, showing provinces and irrigation circles 12 

II. Fig. 1. — Plowing with ox and buffalo. Fig. 2. — Plowing land which 

has been baked bv the sun lt> 

III. Cleaning a large canal 16 

IV. Fig. 1. — Irrigation basin near Pyramids of Gizeh. F'ig. 2. — Irriga- 

tion ])asin west of Cairo, water returning to Nile in channel 28 

V. Fig. 1. — Irrigating strawberries. Fig. 2. — Perennial irrigation, wheat 

field under check system of irrigation 28 

VI. Fig. 1. — Thrashing Indian corn. Fig. 2. — Thrashing wheat 28 

VII. Plat of the village of Talbia, showing town and tributary farms 28 

VIII. Map showing irrigation works in a portion of the province of Keneh 32 
IX. Fig. 1. — Camels carrying ruins of village to be used for fertilizer. 

Fig. 2. — Cleaning a small canal 82 

X. Map of the Nile Valley from Cairo to the Delta showing the location 

of the barrages and the head works of the principal canals 86 

XI. Fig. 1. — Lateral head gate. Fig. 2.— Head gate of Manufia Canal. .. 40 

XII. Theshaduf 40 

XIII. Fig. 1. — Sakiyehs. Fig. 2. — A steam i)ump on a scow 44 

X I V. Archimedean screw, showing interior construction at right 44 

X V. The natali 44 

XVI. Fig. 1. — The Damietta barrage from eastern bank of the Nile. Fig. 

2. — Rosetta barrage from western bank of the Nile 48 

XVII. Details of the Cairo barrage 48 

XVIII. Map comparing the Nile Valley with that of the Platte River 52 

XIX. Map showing the Assuan <lam across the Nile 52 

X X . The Assuan dam 52 

XXI. Western end of Assuan dam from downstream,- January 7, 1902 52 

XXII. FIl'. 1. — Cast-iron lining for sluiceways being put in place at the 
Assuan dam. Fig. 2. — Deep foundation work near western end of 

Assuan dam 5(i 

XXI II. DiviM>ion dam across the Nile at Assiut (>0 

XXIV. Map of lower Egypt, showing j)rineii>al canals and <lrains 60 


Fi(.. 1. DiaL'ram showing discharge ol the Mississipi»i at St. Louis and of the 

Nil.- at Assuan 22 

2. DiaLMaiii showing discharge of the Nile at As>uan and of {\iv Missouri 

at Kansas ( 'ity 2. J 

:'.. Spur t<» prevent i-iosion of river l)aiiks 25 

4. Nilninetei- nn the Elephantine Island 2«i 

5. Diairrain >h< »\\ inix inaccni'acy «»f land nuni^urements '.){) 

'». Typi<al cr« •>> se«-tion of the Nile \'alley .>."'» 

7. Ib'e u>etl by native farmers :»!» 

S. Cr« ><-s >e<-ti« m\ nf Assuan dam 5.5 

9. Details iti aj'paratus im rai>inLr ^ates, A>-nan «lam 5-4 




Tho studies on which this roport is ))asod wore made durino* the 
winter of li>ol-i> as a part of the work of the irrigation iiivestioations 
of the r. S. Department of Agriculture. The object was not the com- 
piling of an exhaustive treatise on Egyptian irrigation, ))ut rather 
the study of agricultural practices, engineering works, and adminis- 
trativt^ measures for comparison with American works and luethods. 
with a view to the improvement of the latter, giving especial attention 
to administrative methods. 

The plan followed was to become conversant with the irrigation law 
of Egypt, then follow its application in the field. Such a study of 
irrigation administration can best be carried on with Cairo as a base. 
All the engineers having charge of the division of water have their 
otiices there, and it is easy to reach any other part of the countrv from 
that city. Fortunately the laws had })een compiled in French during 
the year ItMil. and copies could be had for the asking. 

The inspector of irrigation was absent from Cairo during the winter 
of llM)l-i>. and his duties were attended to })y the inspectors of Lower 
and Upper Egypt. Tiider any circumstances these two officers and 
the chief of the technical department, who has charge of the installa- 
tion of water-raising devices and the inspection of steam })oilers used 
in connection with puiuj)s, shoulder a large part of the responsi})ility. 
These officers gladly gave such information as they had in their pos- 
s(v-sion, and referred such innuiritvs as thev could not answer directlv 

1 ft ft 

to those who were informed on the sul)ject. 

The great Nile dams would naturallv Ix* examined })v one interested 
in irrigation, and the canals can })e studied with profit. One feature 
of Egyptian irrigation which is almost lacking in America is the use 
of wat(M'-raising devices. The Egyptian fai'mer seldom is a})le to 
secure enough fall to permit the delivcu'v of water })v gravity alone. 
The prol)l(Mn of raising water from some of the streams of the United 
States will have to ))e soIvchI in the near future. Wherever a river 
flows m a canvon or wherc^ the o'rade of a stream is small it is often 
advantageous to lift the vvatiM* to the h(»ad of a canal instead of build- 
iiiir a loniT or difficult line. It also makes the maintenance of laroe 
diversion works unne(*essarv. In view of these facts informtition was 


1 1 


collected relating to the construction and cost of the devices cniplo\'ed, 
their efficiency, and cost of operation. 

In Egypt as in America the use of water on the liigher lands has 
ruined large areas of lower lands by raising the ground water, and with 
it the alkaline salts from the subsoil. Work for reclaiming these alkali 
lands has gone much farther in Egypt than in America, and Egyptian 
methods were, therefore, studied w^ith much interest. 


Northern Africa would be an uninterrupted desert from the Atlantic 
to the Red Sea, except for a narrow strip bordering the Mediterranean, 
if it were not for the Nile. As it is, there is only a thread of arable 
land in the vallc}' of the river, the surrounding desert being absolutel}^ 

Egypt proper extends from Assuan to the Mediterranean. (See 
map, PI. I.) South of Assuan is Nubia, which extends as far south 
as Khartum. " The valley of the Nile is very narrow. But little culti- 
vated countrv is found from Assuan to Luxor; -the width of the vallev 
between Assuan and Cairo varies^ from practically nothing to 9 miles, 
and there are a number of places where the desert touches the Nile on 
either bank, as at the point where the (xebel Silsileh hills cross the Nile. 
Between Edfu and Assuan there are many places where the drifting 
sands from the desert are encroaching upon the agricultural land. 
From Assuan to Edfu, a distance of a})out IJO miles, the agricultural land 
is about equall}' distributed on either bank. From Edfu to Erment, a 
distance of about 80 miles, the agricultural land is nearly all on the 
western shore, having an average width of 8 miles. From Erment to 
Assiut, over 200 miles, a large part of the agricultural land is on the 
left bank. From Assiut to Cairo the agricultural land is i)ractically 
all on the left bank. At a point about GO miles above Cairo the valley 
reaches its maximum width of about Ss mile<, near where the Yusef 
Canal crosses the Lvbian Desert into the Fayum. The ddta proper 
begins some* 1:^ miles below Cairo, and is triangular in shape, being 
nearly 1:^0 miles on each side. The greater part of the irrigabh^ land 
of Egypt lies in the delta, but only about half of th(^ land tiiat is 
actually fanned at the present time is found tli(M-e. TIk^ ivniainmg 
lands are being brought under cultivation l)y drainage and other 
reclamation works. The total agricultural area of Egypt is .').(M)0,(K)0 
acres or about four times the aiva of the State of Uhod(^ Island. 

The writer arrived in Alexandriti in tln^ early part of December, 
l|)ol. An Egyptian winter compares favorably with a Colorado 
summer. Evervthino- is in summer o'arl), the ve^'ettition Ixmuo' more 
attractive than it appears during the preceding hot months. Even 
the natives prefer tiie winter season, although they feel the chill of 
the nii»"ht air and sutler from an occasional shower. 

Map of Eg^pt, Showing Pi 


.Vfter pjissint^ tho ciistoin-house at Alexandria and drivintr throu<^h 
narrow streets to tho railway station the train for Cairo is ))()arded and 


soon the eoiintrv is rwirhed where pahn trees wave their tops on 
oither side. Lower E^ypt in the vicinity of Alexandria is not attrac- 
tive. Much of the land needs draining and a large part of that visible 
from the railway train is devoted to the growing of forage grasses. 
Open drains can })e sihmi on either side and occasionally large canals 
parallel the track. The Mahnioudia Canal, which supplies the city of 
Alexandria with fresh water, lies on the north side of the railwav and 
it is visible a part of the time during the tirst half-hour's ride toward 
Cairo, A roadway is provided on the banks of the canal and the 
native traitic is fullv as interestiniif as the countrv through which the 
railwav has been built. Long lines of camels loaded with cotton are 
followed })v others carrvino* hui:e ])undles of cotton stalks to he used 
for fuel. The stalks completely cover the camels so that it appears as 
if the burden fui'nished its own means of locomotion. The sails of 
tlu* boats on th(* canal are seen when the banks of the canal are low or 
where the railway grade is high, and at times a view of the hulls and 
the cargoes is obtained. Cotton, fruit, straw, sugar cane, and vege- 
tables seem to be thi^ chief articles of exchange. Between 15 and 20 
miles from Alexandria the first cotton lields are seen on the south side 
of the railwav. Farther on camels are Iving in the lields while the 
farmer loads on their })acks farm products of different kinds in readi- 
ness for a trip to some nearby market. The cotton is pressed into 
))al(\'-. which are left on the ground to })e carried later to a water front 
and thence to AU^xandria. In (lualitv the cotton is second onlv to 
American Sea Island cotton and the I'nited States secures from 40 to 
i'}^^ \)vv cent of the entin^ Egyptian staple. The towns and villages 
are all on higher ground than is the surrounding farming land. This 
may be due in ])art to the selection of the site and in part to the 
(gradual elevation of the villaofes as th(* ))uil(liniifs crum})le and new 
ones are erected in their places. The markets are well supplied with 
fruits, among which the mandarin and other oranges seem to predom- 
inate. Dates, tigs, l)ananas, and other fruits are connnon. The cul- 
tivated land crrows richer as the Hosetta I) ranch of th(^ Nile is 
aj)pr()ached. The tig tree, the le})l)ek, the eucalyptus, and several 
varieties of the ])alm add nuu'h to th(» ))eaut3' of the landscape. Acacia 
trees of several vai'ieties are st'cn here and there and the nndberrv 


and numerous kinds of thorn trees a))Ound. Vines of ditlerent l.inds 
trail over l)uildings wherever coriditions permit. 

The Kosctta })ranch of the Nile is reached aftei* a ride of nearlv two 


hours. It is iV^ miles })v rail from Alexandria. The river is bi'oad 


and is covered with craft of various kinds. Just bmond i-; the viilaire 
of Kafr-ez-Zaivat. The countrv M-reatIv im])roves bevond the Uosetta 
branch of the NiU*, and the f tinning scenes around Tanta can not l)e 


surpassed in Egypt. Farmers are in tlicir tields cultivating the ground 
and cleaning away cotton stalks and other vegetation of the summer 
season. Here and there are oxen pulling wooden plows and fanner^ 
are cultivating by hand the land which can not be worked conveniently 
in any other wa}'. Along some of the canals water-raising machine^ 
are in operation. Here and there two sturd}^ men are swinging a basket 
and lifting water from a canal for the irrigation of nearby farms. 
(See p. 44.) Herds of water l)uffalo, cattle, sheep, and occasionaUy 
horses can be seen grazing in the iields of clover. 

A number of large canals, many of which are ))ranches of the Mauu- 
fia Canal, which leaves the Nile at the head of the delta, are seen from 
the train. The Damietta branch of the Nile is crossed, and after pass- 
ing a few small towns and crossing a deep canal, which has been com- 
pleted since the occupation b}^ the English, the Pyramids, 20 miles 
awa}', come into view, and Cairo is reached. 

Many interesting scenes can be witnessed in Cairo itself, showing 
the methods employed b}' farmers and gardeners. Between Cairo and 
Old Cairo to the south are a number of small tracts of farming land 
where the native may be seen at work. Across the ri\'er from (yairo 
a trolley line runs to the P} ramids of Gizeh. Along this for a distance 
of 6 or 7 miles one can see farmers working in the iields almost any 
time. The farms spread out on either side resemble but little those 
with which we are familiar in the United States. No fences are seen 
and no houses have been provided on the farms themselves. The 
farms are narrow, and it is impossible to use a mowing machine 
or a binder on some of them for this reason. Dwelling houses are 
found only in the villages, except where perennial irrigation has been 
practiced for many years. 

Early in December wheat and })arlev are just sprouting from the 
ground in places while some lands are being prepared for the seed. 
Clov^er and beans arc usualh' well advanced. Corn is piled here and 
there along the levees where it is to })e husked during the later winter 
months. The tields of clover on either side are dotted with buffalo 
and other live stock. The farmer himself is a picture not to be for- 
gotten. His long-tiowing black or white gown, while not appearing 
to be designed for the convenience of a laborer, lends attractiveness to 
the farming scenes. 

The view from an}- point along the road to the Pyramids is full of 
interest. To the east is the village of Gizeh, the Nile, and, beyond it, 
Old Cairo and the hills of the Arabian Desert on the horizon. Either 
to the north or south nothing can be seen but green fields, canals, 
levees, and villages of sun-dried brick, sheltered by palms and other 
trees. To the west is the Lybian Desert, the Pyramids of Gizeh, and k 
the Sphinx. The latter looks over the farming lands below and across 
the Nile, as it has for 2,800 years. It is supposed to represent the 


Lino-, Amenemhet III, thi^ great })iiilder luid the reformer of the practice 
)f irrigation in Egypt. It seems that the famous monument to him 
Yiis plaimed so that it should })e a permanent witness of the career of 
he felhih and of the progress of irrigation. 

The fellah, although he has been ruled by one foreign power after 
mother, has been almost as unchanging as his surroundings. ^V^hether 
from lack of ingenuity or because he is satisiied with the appliances 
jf his forefathers, the Egyptian makes very little progress in the con- 
struction or use of agricultural or scientific instruments. The writers 
jf the hieroglyphs on the temples constructed four thousand or five 
thousands-ears ago might have received their inspiration from scenes in 
the fields to-day. The fellah plows his ground with a wooden plow or 
stirs it with a hoe or with a more primitive wooden implement. (PI. 
II.) He cultivates the growing crops with a hoe and harvests them with 
a sickle or pulls the stalks from the ground \>y hand. The grain is 
either beaten out with a flail or trodden and chopped out by means of a 
wooden sledtjfe furnished with rollers carrving disks and drawn bv oxen. 
Egyptian agricultural methods would not look so nuich out of place 
were it not that at the present time considerable areas are owned by 
foreigners who have adopted modern methods. An improved th-rash- 
ing machine may be at work in a field adjoining a plat where a native 
farmer is wearing out the straw in thrashing the grain by a primitive 
method w^hich antedates biblical times. It is not uncommon to see a 
steam plow and one pulled by a camel and a buflalo working in adjoin- 
ing fields. An immense modern steam pumping plant may be operated 
alongside a shaduf or a sakiyeh, and the native when interviewed will 
point with pride to the superior machine he employs. 

After visiting the great barrage below Cairo and noting how the 
structure is maintained by the government, how it scu'ves as a })ridge 
across the Nile as well as a diversion work, how well the navigation 
interests of the Nile and the large canals have been conserved, and 
how beautifully the grounds of the southern extremity of the delta in 
the vicinity of the dam have been laid out in parks, the writer made 
arrangements to visit the Fayum j)rovince at the extremity of tin* Bahr 
Yusef Canal (the water of Joseph), some 75 miles southwest of ( airo. 
The province can best be reached hy rail, going from C airo 4(> miles 
up the river to Wasta and there changing cars for the ('a])ital cit}^ 
Medinet el Fayum. The morning fixed upon for the trip happcMied 
to be fogg}^ and cold for Egypt. But little could l>e >een exec^pt the 
country lying near the railroad. Sugar cane, date-palm trees, and 
wheat fields abound and occasionallv fields of clover and beans could 
l)e identified. After leaving Wasta it requires a run of only a few 
minutes to reach the margin of the cultivated lands. Soon the desert 
was entered and no sign of vegetiition could be seen. Along the mar- 
gin of the valley the hdls break ofl* abruptly and the i-ountry is rather 


rolling*, bat as soon as one leaves the slope toward the Nile the do.-^on 
is comparatively iiat and uninteresting^. 

After traversing* the desert for about thirtv minutes siy-ns of culti- 
vation began to appear, although the land showed that the water sup- 
ply had not been ade(|uate. As the soil is sandy, nmch water is needeci 
to maintain plant growth. But few trees have been planted in thi> 
district and the houses of the farmers are scattered here and there, 
indicating that their location had not been tixed by any prearraiig-ed 
plan. As the flood of the Nile does not reach the Fayum, the village 
life so common in the vallev of the Nile is not essential. As Medinet 
el Fayum is approached the country takes on new life and the soil 
changes to a black loam which yields all kinds of crops in abundance. 
The town is situated along the bank of Joseph's Canal, which furnishes 
the life of the province and adds much to the attractions of the town. 

The country around the town is very productive, and aflords an 
excellent opportunity for studying Egyptian agricultural methods. 
The entire province slopes toward a lake which lies along the margin 
of the desert to the northwest of the capital. The fall of the countiy ' 
is considerable, enabling the farmer to irrigate his field ))y gravit3', as 
is done in the l^'nited States. ]VLanv lifting devices are found along: 
the canals, however, which serve for the irrigation of lands lying 
adjacent to them. To the east of the town the canal is less attractive 
than it is within the limits of the capital, ])ecause it is more tortuous ' 
and the material which has been taken out in cleaning the channel has 
been deposited in heaps along the banks. The thrifty appearance of 
all growing crops is sufficient evidence of the fertility of the soil and 
the effectiveness of the irrigation svstem. Manv trees seldom seen in 
the valley of the Nile can })e found in this j)rovince. Among these 
the olive predominates. Date palms, oranges, and ligs are extensively 
grown and the vine is well represented. 

The conditions of the Fayum have changed but little, as far as we 
have any authentic history, since the time Lake Moeris disappeared to 
give place to an agricultural communit}'. For over three thousand 
years the province has l^een cultivated and the people have enjoyed 
more of peace and prosperity than have the farmers in the valley of 
the Nik\ The ruins of ancient Crocodilopolis lie to the south and 
west of the present capital, and to the east on the edge of the deseit 
pyramids and ruins of inmiense temples are found. 

In returning to Cairo the day was clear, and the entire panorama of 
desert and cultivated land was spread out as the train sped along. 
Farmers were out in the fields, some plowing with their curious wooden 
plows, others digging with the hoe, and others clearing the land or 
cleaning small ditches. Here and there steam plows belonging to 
some larger plantation took the place of the more primitive native 
implements. Drainage work was in progress in places, and occasion- 

Fig. L-PloWiNO with Ox a%d Buff 



ally a piece of land was beino- leveled; crude wooden scrapers drawn 
l)y oxen were alternately tilled from the higher places and emptied 
into the depressions. Some farmers had finished plowing and were 
driving oxen attached to heavy framework drags to break the clods 
and smooth the surface of the fields. 

'^rhe iournev from Cairo to Assuan can be made either bv rail or by 
^vator. By rail one sees the canals and irrierated fields and the different 
methods employed in tilling the soil and cleaning water channels. B}^ 
boat the diversion works at the heads of canals, the water-raising devices 
and irrigation structures near the river can ])est be studied. The 
journey ])y water has some advantages over the trip by rail. The 
boats have regular stopping places, where the surrounding country can 
be studied, and as the valley is in no place more than 9 miles wide, a 
ronsiderabJ(» portion of the farming land between the river and the 
desert can be examined in a few hours. 

Ijcaving Cairo in the morning b}' rail, Assuan is reached the next 
afternoon. The road runs south, on the west side of the river, parallel- 
ing the Ibraimia Canal as far as Assiut; it continues then to Nagi 
Ilamadi, 373 miles from Cairo, where the river is crossed. The 
southern terminus of the road is at Chellal, miles south of Assuan. 
Probably the most interesting part of the trip, to one making a study 
of irrigation and agriculture, is between Cairo and Assiut, a distance 
of 240 miles. The broad Ibraimia Canal parallels the railroad for 
some distance Ixdow Assiut. During the winter it is dry for a short 
time, when the channel is hurriedlv cleaned. Laborers carrvino- 
basket>, which are filled })v means of the hoe, swarm tlie ))anks and 
i)ott:oms of the canal. The side slopes are formed accui'ately and 
smoothed with that instrument in a wa}' seldom e([ualed in the United 
States. There are no plow marks along the banks and runways for 
teams are unnecessary, while the bare feet of the laborers t(Mid to 
smooth rather than scar the surface of the ground. The matei'ial to 
be excavated has been cross-sectioned and each man or compiuiy of 
men is required to remove a certain volume. (See PL 111.) The 
more industrious make the better wa^es. 

The regulating works at Dirut can best be examined by stopping at 
the station for a few hours. These are representative* of tlie \H'st 
regulators in P^gypt. Two large and two small canals })cgin at this 
))laco. The former are the Bahr YuN(»f and tlie li)raimia canals, while 
the latter are the Dalgawi and Dirutieh canals. Running direct fioni 
the Nile and supplying water during the Hood is the Saheliyeii (anal. 
The masonry works run frcmi the ])()int where this canal ent(M's the 
cliunnel above the regulators to the Il)raimia, tlienc(* to the Dirutii^h, 
tlnMice to the Bahr Yusef, and end just bi^vond the point wIkmh^ tlie 
Dak^jiwi Canal has its head. The works ai'e substantiallv ))uilt and are 
nmintained in good condition. One man can operate the li'ates of anv 

277r):>-N(). 130 03 i> 


of the canals })v means of a travelino- winch. On the east bank of tb' 
chiiniiel, about 500 feet a})ove the entrance of the inlet gates of th^ 
Saheliyeh Canal, is a waste gate which discharges surplus water intos 
channel connecting with the Nile. The Dalgawi regulator has tw« 
gates, each nearly 10 feet wide. The Bahr Yusef has live, the DirutieL 
has three, the Il)raimia has seven, and the entrance regulator of tht 
Saheliyeh Canal has two gates. The wastewa}" has live gates. Tlii? 
latter, as well as the regulators of the two large canals, are supplied 
with locks which permit the passage of such ])oats as are emplo\^ed on 
these waterwavs. 

The Ibraimia Canal will henceforth ])e supplied at all times of the 
year from the new headw^orks at Assiut, which have been built in 
conjunction with the reservoir work at Assuan and the diverting* dam 
at the former place. The latter structures are described elsewhere in 
this report. 

The farming country })ecomes narrower as one ascends the river i 
from Assiut. No perennial irrigation is practiced above Assiut except I 
on the lands lying near the Nile, which are served b}" water-raisint' 
devices of various kinds. The Arabian desert breaks off abruptly od 
the eastern bank of the river in many places, and the principal areas 
of farming lands are found on the western side of the river. 

Large sugar plantations are common, and at the principal towns 
sugar mills are in operation. Light railways have been })uilt through- 
out P^gypt wherever demand for transportation facilities walrrants the 
outlay. These are narrow-gage roads, and the rolling stock is of the 

The Sohag Canal, which was pr()])a))lv once a channel of the river, 
irrigates a large area ))etween Assiut and the town of Sohag during 
the llood of the Nile. In the winter it lies high and dry, while the 
adjoinino" fai-nis are ci*reen, as a result of inundation. At Dendera. 
farther u[) the river, where ruins of the celebrated temple bearing the 
same name have been found, the agricultural lands showed that a sea- 
son of a(lc(|uate wat(M' supply had becMi enjoyed. The temple w^a.^ 
nearlv buried bv the crumbling' nmd bricks of a villa^'e which ofrew 
up a])out it, and has onlv recentlv been thorouulilv excavated. The 
farming lands reach to the base of the temple, and during the flood 
season the water almost toueiies its foundation. The giant temple of 
Anunon at Karnak was orioinallv surroundtnl bv a liioh embankment, 
but this lias be(Mi destroyed in [)]aces, so that now during the flood 
water stands to a considiM'abU^ (h^pth around it. The ruins cover an 
area i,H(»o feet long and -loo feet wid(\ not counting some of the 
smaller and less im])()rt{uit sti'uctures. The farms extend to the orig- 
inal pi'otecting wall of eartli. Detween Karnak and Luxor can be 
seen an escape gate which is opcMied to p(M"nut the watm* of the basin 
to flow l)aek into the Nile as hioh water riH-edes. Across the river the 


Colossi of ]\Ieiiinoii .stand in ti cultivatod tield watered by wells fur- ' 
iiished with sakiyehs. 

From Luxor to Assuau the vallev eontaiiis hut little of interest. 
The famous (juarries where the Silsileh liills reach th(» water's edge on 
either side give one an idea of the immense quantity of stone wliich 
has })een taken out for all kinds of masonry work. A narrow fringe 
of pahii trees lines the ))anks of the river in many places, and the area 
of the agricultural land is limited on either side. 

Assuan, lying on the right bank of the river just ))elow the first 
cataract, is t\\e Mecca of the traveler in Upper Eg3^pt. The Ele- 
phantine Island, lying opposite the town, in the river; the rough, ster- 
ile deserts on either side; the granite points on land, and rocky islands 
in the rapid currents of the cataract each add to the interesting fea- 
tures in the vicinity of the town. The granite quarries in the desert 
to the east and north of Assuan show how that material was taken out 
in the early days of Egypt, and at the head of the cataract ondy 4 
miles up the river one can see how through modern engineering appli- 
ances the same material is now handled. In less than four years the 
engineers of the Egyptian Government have built a dam containing 
1,000,000 cubic yards of granite masonry. Machinery has supplanted 
slave labor; and wdiere thousands of men were formerly required to 
transport large volumes of stone from on(* place to another the task is 
now easily accomplished ))v employing great derricks, steam engines, 
and improved cpiarry tools. 

Bv the river it is but 4 miles from Assuan to the head of the cala- 
met, where the great dam has l)een erected. A footptith follows the 
Nile, another passes through the desert in a direct line, while the rail- 
road runs alono- a former channel of tli(^ river farther to the east. 
The dam is seen tirst if one goes })y either footpath, while if the train 
is taken the island of Philae is in view as soon as the traveler aliuhts 
at Chellal. No one can forget the tirst glimY)se of this island and the 
temples with which its surface is covered. All other islands in I he 
vicinity of Philae ar(^ high and rocky, while this particular one i> flat 
and well adapted for the purpose to which it htis been diHlicated. 
Two miles downstream is the dam. 

The entfineers in charii'c of the construction of the dam wi^re A\illin<>' 
and anxious to i^xplain the construction work in ])rogr<'^> and make 
rlear the function of tlu^ rcs<'r\'oir when compIet(Hl. Some of the 
eno'ineers had Ixmmi at As>uan from the dav th(^ lirst wnvk conunenced. 
They enjoyed an ideal climate during the wiiit(M', hut -utl'ei'jMl nuich 
from the continuous heat n[' the summer. The thermometer raiig(\s 
above I0(l F. in the sliad<' betwe<Mi the early spring and laU^ fall 
months. It often reaches li^n and at times liJn during the smumer. 
But little relief i^ alh»i"(le<l at night, as the granite ro<'ks gi\ <' oil" (In^ 
heat thev ha\c ah^orhed <luiinL|- the da\ . 


Ten thousand workmen were engaged on tlie construction of the dara 
during the winter of llM)l-!>. These men were poorly paid compared 
with the wages of those employed on simihir work in the United States. 
Tliey furnished their own sulrsistence and no slielter had l)een provided 
for them. 

Th(^ best view of the dam is o))tained f rom a position on the left bank 
of the river, just downstream of the structure. From this point its 
entire length is visible. Over it can l)e seen the neighboring islands 
in the river, l^eyond wliicli is Philae and its ruined temples. In the 
foreground are numerous islets which break the river into many small 


The Nile is among the longest rivers in the world, being in this 
respect in the same class with the Amazon, the Kongo, and the Missis- 
sippi, but in discharge it is much below many rivers having shorter 
courses. The following comparison of the discharges of large rivers 
shov.s the relative position occupied by the Nile: 

OniijMirixoti. of discJidi-fjex of fh<: XUt, (taiige.^, IrnnnffJtJi/, TinfJiinnjxifni, (ind Misf^isi^qqn 



Nile (at Assuan) 

(JaiiKos (British India) 

Irravvaddy (Burma ) 

Brahma]>utra (British India) 
Missis^ipl)i (at St. Louis) '> 













j)f r s'<\ 

jt< r .</('. 

])(!' !<er. 

Square mil^o. 

:-;. 800 



12S, 000 




o(), 000 






:i50, 000 

150, m 

1 . 100 

l.SOO. 000 


520, 000 

361. m 


DO 1.000 

33. 000 

120. 000 


' E'>;tiinat»,-d. ''Head of Missouri to inotitli of Mississippi. 

Tile White Nile I'ises in Lake Victoria, in central Africa, and'How.s 
northerly, emptying into tlie Mediterranean, ?),P)<m) miles from its 
souive. From Lake Victoria to Kliartum. where it unites with the 
Blue Nile, is a distance of 2.1(Mi miles. The onlv tributarv flowing 
into the Nile below tlu^ junction of the two main feeders is the Atbara 
River, about VM) miles farther north. Both the Atlxira and Blue Nile 
rise in the Abvssinian Mountains and How northwt^sterlv. From the 
point where the Saubat River joins ilw White Nil(\ ii,3T0 miles from 
the ^iediterranean, only two trihutari(\s add to its discharge, and for 
more than l,(Hio miles the river passes through an absolutely barren 
country. Even after it enters Egypt the width of the cultivated land 
can almost be disregarded in com})aris()n with the bi'oad expanse of 
desert on eitlier side. 

High water of the Whit<^ NiU^ appears during June, and the flood 
does not I'ecc^le until OctolxM*. It furnishes a more uniform flow^ to 
the ii'i-ii^ators of Nubia and Ei-vpt than anv otJKM' triljutarv. It derives 


it.-s supply from the heavy rains in the eijuatorial re<i:ions where it lias 
its source. The hiy-h- water season of ))oth the Blue Nile and the Atl)ara 
))etrins with July and ends with September. These two streams fur- 
nish nearly all of the sediment which has })uilt up the valley of the 
river in Egypt and maintained the fertility of the soil. The etiect of 
the hio'h water from all sources is felt at Cairo soon after the Lst of 
Aut>ust. l)ut owino' to tin* demand for water in upper Egypt during 
the late summer and earlv fall months extreme high water does not 
reach Cairo until toward the end of 8epteml)(M\ when the basins ha\e 
dix-harged into the river. 

While the Nile varies each vear in dischar^'e it is a singultirlv steadv^ 
stream, and in this resjx^ct is unlike the rivers with which we are 
familiar. It has hut one hio-ji-water smison each vcnir, and this h(»gins 
and ends so regularly that irrigators kn»)w when to prepare for the 
tlood. Although the stream is remarkal)l(^ in this respi^ct, its varia- 
tions in discharoe in difl'erent vears allect agriculture greatlv. During 
years of low Nile larger annis go unirrigated. In average^ vears the 
Nile furnishes suflicient water to bring prosperity to Egypt. Once 
in fifteen or twenty vear> it is luuisuallv HIljIi, wIumi large ai'cas are 
devastated ))v floods. If a sudden rise should occur in the Nile, as so 


often happens in many of our A\'estern streams, it would Ix^ a grcnit 
curiosit}' to the natives. 

The accompanying chart (tig. 1) makes a comparison })etween the 
discharge of the Nile at Assuan and of the Mississippi at St. Louis. 
It will be seen that the discharge of the Mississippi is veiy irregular. 
High water may appear at St. Louis at any time ])etween April and 
June, and this maximum discharge may range from i?r)(),(Mi() to nearly 
1.000,000 cubic feet per second. The maxinuun discharge of the Nile 
varies from 30'),0o0 to 4:^0, dOO cubic feet per second. If the Nile 
varied as the Mississippi does at St. Louis, agricultural Egy[)t 
would soon cease to exist, unless the great volumes of water which 
would descend at flood times could l)e stor(Ml and the flow of the river 

Fig. 2 shows the relation Ix'tween the discliargi* of the Nik* at 
Assuan and of the Missouri at Kansas City for i\w four vears begin- 
ning with 1897, giving the maxinuun, mininuun, and metni yearly 
discharges for theses four years. Both streams flow through arid 
countries. The Nile rises in a region of ti'opical niins, jdthoiigh a 
considerable portion of its supj)ly conuvs from the Abvs>iiiian Moun- 
tains and the ranges of central Africa. The Missouri has its source 
in the snow-covered Rockies. It will ))e noticinl that the high-water 
])eriod of the ^lissouri nray occur at almo>t any time between tin* 
middle of April and the 1st of July, while the Nih* reaches its maxi- 
mum near the l>t of September. The di>charg(* of the two streams 
is about the same during January and February and during the lirst 







Fi'.. 1.— JiiaLTuui -h'Avin^^' disdiare:''- <u" tile Mii=i--ip]'i at St. Louis and of the Nile at Assuan. 


nxrt of Au^ifust. It will l)o observed that the discharge of the Nile is 
oiniKii'titivelv luiit'oi'ni. whilt* that of the ^Missouri is exeeediiiolv 

C»b*« ii«t p*» — W l. 

y n$f9ftt9fiin 

iiT('i(ular. Tlie al)>enee of <^reat lluetuation in tlir (lisrhar<^*e of th(» 
Nile can probably Ik* explained by the fact that there are but few 

tributarie.s to the main stream and no local precipitation in Nubia or 

The ancient P^gyptians worshipped the Nile and the sun. All V)ene- 
lits came from these two sources. The inscriptions on main' of the 
temples show the Nile in different phases of its discharge, and many 
of the scenes pictured there represent the rulers or priests navigatintr 
the river. Unfortunately, the tourist seldom sees the Nile in flood. 
Instead of a ofiirantic river he sees a slutriri^^h stream of muddv, unin- 
vitinof water. Its channels are tilled with manv sand bars. Its banks 
may be protected ))y riprai)pino-; they may ))e rocky or sandy to the 
waters edge, or supporting a luxurious growth of wheat, clover, or 
beans. As the river falls crops are planted wherever possible to the 
water's edire until (^xtreme low- water level is reached. The tourist 
observes shadufs and other water-raisino- devices })v thousands, but 
unless he travels otherwise than by ))oat he has })ut little opportunity 
to examine these curious devices for carrying water over the high 
banks of tln^ Nile, nor does he see nuich of the land which is watered 
in this way. He often leaves Egypt without understanding wh}' the 
Nile should be known as the Father of liivers and one of the most 
remarkal)le in tlie world. To an American it looks like the Missouri 
})elow Omaha at low water. The similaritv would l)e even more strik- 
ini*- if the bluffs bordering the ^lissouri were barren sand hills instead 
of l)eing covered with vegetation. 

The low-water period of the Nile continues until the middle of July. 
The critical season is between the middle of ]\Iav and the middle of 
Julv. The sun shines from a cloudless skv and the air is tilled with 
dust. Land not perennially irrigated" is cracked with heat and thor- 
oughly sun })aked. Both man and beast suffer for water except where 
the Nile, the perennial canals, or wells can be easily reached. Even 
the ))i-anches()f the Nile in the delta are practically dry in many places, 
the water all being divert(Hl at th(^ barrage or pumped from the chan- 
nids of the river ])elow this structure. During the tirst part of July 
all are anxiously awaiting the tirst appearance of high water. About 
the 12th or ir)tli of August the basins of Upper Egypt begin to receive 
water. The canals for i)erennial irrigation in ])oth Upper and Lower 
Egvpt are then running bank full and everyone is irrig-ating the crops 
so lately threatened with drought. 

Al)Out the 1st of SeptembcM" the Nile is a mighty torrent, having 
increased from l!^,iH)0 cu))ic feet per sc^cond to 4(H ),()()() cubic feet per 
second or more. Upper Egv])t, with the exception of the land peren- 
niallv irriii'atcd, is a lake dotted with island villages for thirtvto forty- 
five days. After thirty days have expired people are anxious for signs 
of retreating waters and eagerly await reports from Assuan and other 


LhikIh alon^ deep canals which always carry water are irrigated throughout the 
ar, hence the terms "perennially irriv:ated,'' ''perennial irrigation," etc. 


plrtoi's. It i-s lioiioved that if tlio water stiiiids on tlio laiul more than 
ft irt\ diiy.s instvts will lii' plentiful and i-rops will )«■ jKirtially destmyed. 
liy iin>ionf,'pd hijrii water the planting sea^ion is much delayed and the 
harvest extended into the hot spring months, whieh greatly rednee:^ 
tlie yield. The liasins. however, can not lie di'ained until the Nile 
iM-'gtris to fall, iluring all this time the k'vee> must lie watched and 
an army of iiieii working without compensation is called out for this 
dut\-. Ahout the 1st of Oftolier the flood is generally over and the 
liasius hegiii to empty. This is not only a difficult opeiiition in itself, 
!>ut the volume of water turned linek into the Nile causes high water 
uii the lower reaches of t!ie river and lengthens the period during 
which the haidis have to he guarded. In the .!elta tlie Nile runs ahove 





the level of the surrounding agi 
the emhatikiueut-. mean- au ini 

Changes take place in ihc cham.el ..f the Nile during !■; 
high water. Often the <-urrent will change, and wlier 
foniierlv heen a gnulual slnp>. and eonsiderahh' agri.' 
a steep, caving hank will n^niain. The lowland- and the 
Nile which are far'med .■ach year vury consideralily in ai 
sea.son to another. The agiicidtuial land adjacent to 
perennially irrigated, and therefore highly productive 
the Nile hanks ai'e lined with Imildings and expcn-L 
iiiuchiiiery. To protect the land an<l improvements (he 

■ the 


must cither build a mason ly wall ov reduce the slope and riprap it. I: 
is quite common to put spurs in the banks some distance above th^ 
points threatened to throw the cui-rent farther out in the streaii]. 
This is often a dangerous expedient, as the current thus deflected niav 

do considerable damage at other point>. 

Fig. 3 shows one of these spurs con- 



2 CM. 


300.e32 FeeC. 

s ructed l)v the trovernment. 


308.976 Feet. 

308.320 I^«t. 

307.664 Fe^. 

r^Iuch has been written al)out the How 
)f the Nile, vet it has never been care- 
I'ullv measured until recentlv. AlthoucrL 
Nile gages, now known as '' nilonieters." 
were estal^lished at an early date, the 
relation Ix^tween the gage heights and 
the discharoe was never determined until 
during the last half centurv. The meas- 
urements lirst made, even by person? 
qualified for such work, were rough and 
can l)e regarded as only 'approximate. 
The use of th(^ current meter has finallv 
permitted accurate gagings to be made, 
and it will doul)tless not be long until 
enough of these have been taken tc 
give vahie to the gage heights already 

On many of the rocks along the Mlt 
in Nubia extreme high-water levels have 
))een recorded. Such marks were doubt- 
less? -Jhe earliest gages of the Nile. Dur- 
ing 4*lie past few years some old gage? 
have been discovered at Assiut and other 
points along the river. The most inter- 
(\sting and among the most ancient of 
the gages are on the island of Philae. 
The two which can l)e seen to-day are on 
the west sid(^ of the island. Thev cod- 
sist of a narrow stairway leading by a short sul)termnean passage 
from the surface of the ground on the island to the river. The 
gages are placed on the walls of this passageway and are in section? 
of ?) or 4 feet each. The ancient gage is graduated in cubits or 
pics and kirats. On the Nile gag(^ toward the south end of the island 
of Philae there are a number of ditierent scales, the most modevD 
one being graduated in meters and centimeters, similar to the gage 
on Elephantine Island, as shown in the accompanying cut (fig. 4). 

1 307.008 Feet 
abeTe sea leTeL. 

Fig. 4. 

-Nil'inictrr uii liie Klphaiitiiu- 


Iiisti'ad of taking the })ed of the river as the zero of the scale, it is 
referred to mean sea level at Alexandria/' It is impossible, therefore, 
to tell the depth of the water l)y reading the scale. The gage on the 
south end of Elephantine Island is of the same character as those on 
the island of Philae. The modern gage is carefully constructed, being 
inscri})ed on pieces of white mar))le. The gages at Philae are the 
most reliable, as the channel of the river there is composed of granite, 
and from the records of a great manv vears it is found that the aver- 
ago heights of the river have varied but little. The gages on the 
Lower Nile are of little value in comparison, as the bed of the river 
is constantly changing. 

By far the most celebrated of the gages on the Lower Nile is the 
one on the island of Khoda. The graduations are on a pillar which 
stands in the center of a well, the l)ottom of which is connected with 
the Nile by a passage. This column is of stone, octagonal in cross 
section, and the well in which it stands is about IT) feet square. The 
nilometer is graduated in pics and kirats. 

At the present time the irrigation engineers depend for their first 
news regarding the stage of the Nile on telegraphic reports from 
Khartum. The people, however, look to Assuan for their informa- 
tion and are scarcely satisfied until reports are received from that 
})lace. From ap]:>roximate gagings made of the Nile at Assuan the 
writer has prepared a rating table, from which the yearly discharges 
of the river have been computed, as shown in ligs. 2 and 8. These 
diagrams are trustworthy oidy in so far as tlu* gagings are assumed 
to l)e correct. 

The English engineers have estal)lished gauges at a number of points 
along the Nile above Assuan, among which are those at Khartum, Ber- 
ber, Wady Haifa, and Lake Victoria. From the reports received from 
thcvse gaging stations the engineers V^now approximately what kind of 
a flood to expect each year, and the irrigator is advised accordingly. 


There are three agricultural seasons in Egypt. The land not receiv- 
ing perrennial irrigation can take advantjige of but one. This ])egins 
a.s early as the middle of Octol)er and ends with March. The crops 
grown then under the basin svstem are sown innuediatelv after the 

ft. ft. 

suljsidence of the flood, hence the time of })lanting depends upon when 
the fields become dry enough for the seed (PI. IV). The lands in 
southern Egypt are generally ready for the seed about the begiiming 
of November. In the Delta crops are often planted as late as the 20th 
of December. Wheat is tin* principal winter crop, although clo\er, 

" In the name inaiiiuT the hei«:ht of a dam or other structure is usually uivt'U l»y 
ri'ferrinjj to the actual elevation of its base and toj) above sea level. 


barley, heiins, and many otlior products aro ciuite commonly rai.-^ei 

The ground is seldom plowed before the wheat is planted. Th 
seed is scattered over the still moist soil l)v hand, and it is eithe 
tramped into the oround by the cattle or pressed in with a priiuitiv 
w ooden roller. Sometimes the ground is beaten with a piece of avoO'. 
and the grain actually driven into it. The harvest in extreme iippt.' 
Egypt begins in February and is in progress down the river until tb 
middle of April. In upper Kgypt the winter harvest is the uio.^t 
important of the 3'ear ))ecause a large -part of the land there depends 
wholly upon the ancient system of Hood irrigation. 

The sunnner crops are grown between April and August (PI. Y). 
However, a great many crops arc^ })lanted in April and May ^'hich 
are not harvested until the following fall or winter. Among these are 
cotton, sugar can(% and rice, the most valua])le crops grown iii Egf\'pt. 
Kice is generally planted in May and is not harvested until the follow- 
ing November. During (exceptionally dry seasons a ditferent variety, 
which ripens in from sev(Mity to one hundred days, is planted quite 
late in the sunnner. Owing to the short time recpiired for its growth 
it is known as sebani ric(\ meaning seventv-dav rice. Cotton is sown 
in April and picked in Xovem])er or December. Sugar cane is planted 
about the same time, and harvested in the following Januaiy and 

The third season has a length of about eighty days, running from 
August to October and sometimes until November. During this time 
considerable sorghum is raised, the stalks of which the nativ^es eat 
Corn is the chief crop grown, and is second oid\^ to wheat among 
Egyptian cereals in 3 ield. It is probably the most valuable crop to 
the poorer classes. As soon as it ripens it is cut or pulled up by the 
roots and piled on the levees, where the stalks dry thoroughly and 
where the corn is husked. The corn on the ears is then piled on the 
o-round where the earth is tirm and the grain is beaten from the cob 
by heavy sticks in the htuids of the farmers. (PI. VI, tig. 1.) The 
corn is next o-roiuid or crushed and bread is made directlv from it, or 
it is mixed with bean flour l)efore l)eing prepared for food. Wheat 
is thrashed l)v a method almost as crude. A sledge furnished with 
rollers carrying metal disks is pulled by oxen, which travel around a 
stack of wheat until the straw is thoroughly chopped and the grain is 
separated from it. (PI. VI, iig. 2.) The whole mass is then tossed in 
the air and the wind })lows awav the lighter material while the grain 
falls to the ground. This latter process is very tedious, as the straw 
has to be handled many timiNs before the grain is all separated and 

FiQ. 2.— Irrigation Bas[n 

1. __ 




•■ , W- -™ w 




b. r>-.)t. ' •' A^-- , B-. . ' :C, O" ^-r ■. ' £•>._>:. S*.^*. 

Plate VII. 



The term 'Sillago'' as used in Kgypt refers generally to an area 
of land surrounding and including a town. The farmers have their 
dwellings in the towns. In the portions of Egypt subject to inunda- 
tion they are obliged to retreat to the towns during high water. A 
frontage on the river or other source of water .supply is alwavs desir- 
able and these channels are generally boundary lines of farms, the 
dimensions of which are as unusual as the tools used in cultivating the 
ground. To enable the greatest number to enjoy the advantages of a 
water front the width dimension of the farm usuallv lies alono- the 
river or canal. Where water channels do not exist it has become the 
custom to establish a few lines b}^ permanent monuments. These lines 
then become the end ])oundaries of the farm. When a small area is 
sold its length is the same as that of the original tract and its width is 
laid ort' along the lines fixed by permanent monuments. As the area 
owned or cultivated bv each fellah is small, their farms are lono- and 
narrow. A square piece of land containing the same area could be 
worked to much ofreater advantagfo. 

The accompanying map (PI. VII) shows the su))divisions of the farm- 
ing lands of the village of Talbia, near Cairo. The holdings are small 
In the neigh])orhood of this village and the land is (piite productive. 
Tile areas of ten farms, selected more or less at random, ranged from 
<>.<>2 to 1.0 J: acres. 

Any small district throughout which the productiveness uul there- 
fore the rate of taxation is umisuallv uniform is known as a liod. The 
farms of each hod are numbered independently. The ofiicial i(H*ords 
therefore may refer to farm No. 10, hod No. <>, of the village of Talbia. 
I he maps compiled from govermnent surveys show the farms and 
hods with their numbers, ])ermitting any particular farm to })e identi- 
hed. Fences are not provided along farm })oundaries, as they would 
occupy too nuich land. 

In the surveys for the tinance ministry, villages are mapped inde- 
pendently. It is almost impossible^ to make up from thest^ separate 
surveys a general map showing a munber of villages, as the ))oundaries 
<>t the villages are irregular and discrepancies always occur inapi)rox- 
nnate work of this kind. A survey of the ))oundary })etween two 
villages defined by a canal or otluM* water course may be made during 
^he season of h\A\ water. At th(^ tinu^ it mav ]>e imoossibh^ to locate^ 
I'n^ water channel accurately on the map. If the adjoining village be 
surveyed during low water, it is easy to see that maps mad(^ from the 
surveys would not fit when api)lied to each otluM*. Outside of these 
survey.s, the Government possesses littU^ information regarding the 
topojrraphv of the countrv. 

^ nder the French occupation some general surveys wei'e made, but 
i^o moiuunents were estai)lishe(l. The Kni^lish (Migineei's nvr niMkiu"' 


a siirvov of Etrypt and are ostablishiiitr monuments in some cases. It 
is doubtful whether these will have any great permanent value as they 
are not tied to guide meridians or standard parallels. The lack of 
monuments in the survevs of the villages makes it necessary for the 
farmers in the districts inundated to resurvey their lands after each 
su})sidence of the water. A few ])ermanent monuments may al\vav< 
be found in the villacres and from these the rest of the land is laid out. 

The work is repeated until a majority are satisfied that the land ha- 
been properly measured. It would cost the farmer only 5 or In 
cents per stone to establish permanent monuments at the corners of 
his farm, but so fixed has become the custom of remeasuring* the land 
each year that it is preferred to a more convenient system. 

Elnglish engineers in the survey department are handicapped not 
only by their inability to secure the })est kind of assistance in the field, 
but by existing surveys recognized by the native farmer. His ances- 
tors measured land to their satisfaction, and he is content to follow 
their example, not oidy in the surveys but in the computation of field 

Fk;. .'i. — Dia.irram showing inaccuracy of land measurements. 

notes. The Egyptian has a spiu-ial formula for computing the area of 
land to which Iw adherens with a steadfastness which w^ould be praise- 
worthy in a Ix^tter cause. For instance, when a triangular piece of 
o'round is to be survt^ved, only the lenji'ths of the sides are taken. To 
compute the area flic liMigths of two adjacent sides are added, the sum 
is divided by 2, and this <|uotient is multiplied b^^ the length of the 
remaining si(l(^ divided i>v '2. If the tigure happens to be a quadri- 
lateral, the two ()p])osite sides arc added together and divided br- 
and the (|uoticnt is inuhi])ruHl by the two remaining sides added 
tou'c^ther and vdixidcd bv '2. Putting- tlic fornuda in figures and refer- 
rinu* to the acc()nn)anvin<_;" diau'rani. the inaccuracy of the method mav 
be phiinly sccmi (tig. 5 ). 

Area ol trianu'le - . Xv 

2 :2 

. ,. ... , al) + cd ac + bd 
Area of (juadrnateral - X . 


The formula for the area of a trian<>'le never oivos accurate result^<. 
The fornuila for a (|iuidrilator{il is corroct only when the figure is a 

A few years ago an investigation was made to determine the av^erage 
size of the hind holdings in Egypt. At the same time considerable 
information was gathered regarding the number of farms and as to 
whether the owners were natives or foreigners. It was found that 
foreigners owned 5,18t) farms, having a total area of 283,838 acres. 
The average size of these farms was therefore 45.87 acres. There 
were 22,61)9 farms owned by natives who, having considerable influ- 
ence, had secured titles to large areas under the conditions prevail- 
ing prior to the occupation of the English. These people held 
1,420,1S7 acres, the average size of the holdings being 02.59 acres. 
There were 502,810 farms l)elonging to the peasantry. They owned 
2,752,500 acres, making the average size of their holdings 5.47 acres. 
The tottil number of farms in Egypt was 530,548. The total culti- 
vated area exclusive of state lands and the area administered })v the 
Daira Sanieh was 4,4(M),525 acres. The average size of an F^gyptian 
farm was therefore 8.3 acres. The total population of Egypt at the 
time the census was taken was 0,754,(^50, so that one person in lw(4ve 
was a landowner, while SO per cent of the landholders owned less than 
10 ac n»s each. 


The cost of raising diti'erent crops, as well as the yield of tlie sjime, 
varies greatly throughout Egypt. Crops grown in lh(» winter on 
lands employing the basin system of irrigation can i)e matun^l nuicli 
chea})er than those grown under })erenniaT irrigation when^ water must 
be lifted. In the best agriculturtil districts of U})[hm- Egypt sugar 
cane is the most valuable^, crop. In pre[)ai*ing tlie ground for seed and 
sowing the same an outhiy of about S7 [mu* acre must be met. The 
seed costs from Slo to ^12 per aci"c, ii-rination about >^Io, culti\atin<'* 
and harvesting '^14, making tlie total cost per aen^ amount to Sjo or 
S45 per acre. If the land recjuinvs f(»rtiliz(M"s the cost of thest» may 
make the vearlv ex])ense S2.5o hielier. The xield of suoar cane a\'er- 
ages about 32 tons per acr(\ which is worth S12s. The net ])rollt from 
an acre of sugar cane is, therefore, l)etween '"rso and >^^.') ])er acre. If 
tlie land is rented the tenant i)robably piiys from one third to one-half 
of the crop to the owner. The landowner |)ays betweiMi >-.') and >^{i) in 
taxes each year on such land. The cost of raiding eotloii in r])per 
Egypt is about one-third as much as foi* i"ai>ing sugar eane. while tln' 
net profit approximates s.^n per acre, or al)out tiNe-eighths a> much. 
The cost of raising other cro[)s luns from >^[ to >^«*» per acre in rp[)er 
Egyi)t. The principal crops gi'owii there in ord^-r n\' their importance 
are sugar cane, cotton, wheat, Inditm coin, millet, \ eii'etaljh's, beans. 


and clovor. Sohk^ fruit is orrown, especially in the Fayum, Avhere 
oranges, lemons, limes, olives, etc., are c^iiite connnon. 

In the southern half of the delta sut»iir cane is orown principally 
for eating purposes. The cost of raising the cane there is about the 
same as in Upper Egypt, hut the net protit derived from the grouni 
is about twice as great. Fruits of diti'erent kinds are among the ino>t 
profitable crops of this portion of Egypt. The date is grown exten- 
sively, and a si)ecial tax is levied on this fruit. When a tree is cut 
down another nuist be planted in its place. The government revenue 
from an acre devoted to raising dates runs fi-om SIO to §45 per acre. 
The cost of cultivating the ground approximates §^50 per acre, while 
the not protit is a})Out ^ir)() per acre, ('onsiderable land is devoted 
to the growing of different vegetiLi)les. The cost of raising vegetables 
averages about ^15 per acre, while the net protit from the ground is 
about ^55 per acre. 

While some cotton is grown in the northern half of the delta, this 
portion of Egypt must be regarded as essentially a rice district. The 
net profit from the cotton fields is about >^2i) per acre, while rice pays 
from ^() to ^is p(»r acre only. Much of the rice grown in this portion 
of Egypt is planted on groiuid which is being rechiimed and put in 
condition for the i)roduction of more valuable crops. Indian corn, 
barley, wheat, and clovei- are the other crops grown in the northern 
portion of the delta. Some fruit is produccnl in the vicinity of the 
towns jind villag(\s. 


Originally all of the agi'icultural lands along the Nile, except a 
narrow strip, de})ende(l ui)on the flood of the river for irrigation. But 
one* cr()[) could ))e grown each year. a!id this in the winter time. Dur- 
ino- tlu^ remainder of the vear the land I'cmaitied fallow. Most of the 
laro'c canals wer(^ built durinu* the twelfth dvnastv (2200-1000 B. C.). 
Ij(^ve(^s w(M*e ])uilt alonji' the Nile and the farminj'* land was divided into 
l)asins, which were HIUhI with water from canals when the river rose 
to a niarkcMl Y)lace at th(^ head of the El Khalig Canal at Cairo. As 
soon as this luMght was readied word wtis sent throughout Egypt: 
th(^ temporary earthen embankiiients ;it tlu^ lunuls of the canals were 
tlien broken, and the water ran to the basins. If the Nile failed to 
rise sufHcicMitlv hio-li to furnish watcM* for the ])asins, considerable 
suiiering resultc^l. If the river was too high, (unbankments would 
l)reak, le\(H's would be washed away, and Avidespread desolation would 
result. It was not only necessary to lill the basins with water, but the 
water had to be red with silt from the mountains and plains of Abys- 
sinia. If th(» land failiMJ to I'eceive th(» deposit of red mud, the yield 
would be reduced. Enii)tynig the basins was e\'en more difficult than 
tilling them. The lower ba^ms had to be emptied tirst, or, if good 

U. b. Dept. of Agr., Bui. 130 Off ce of Expt. Stations. Inigation Investigations. 

Plate VIII. 




























Fig. 2.— Cleaning a Small Canal 


rociflllator^^ were provided between them, the water from all eould l>e 

mil at onee. If one of the embankment> of an ui)per ba>in ))roke, it 

mount devastation to evervthinir below. The basins could not be 

eiii|^tied until the Nile betfan to rei-ede. and there was nearly a> much 

cliiii*»"(^r in havinor the flood continue tix) lonuf as in not havinir -i -^uffi ^ 

cieiit supply of water. This system has >urvived to the present time. 

AVhile the basins tirst laid out were rrude. they have develop*^! after 

iiiuny years ri experience into wcll-rrtrulated >y stems. Expensive 

i*o<jfulators have been constructtMl and canals havi* been maile large 

eiiouirh to carry wati'r to supply the Ituid they were intended to serve. 

Tlio escapes into the Nile have been perfected. The land near the 

^"ile is above the level of the adioinincf farms (tiir- ♦*>). For thi> n^ason 

it is difficult to till th(^ basins neai* the Nile embankmt^its. The irrade 

of the Nile varies from one-half to onc^-third of a foot p(^r mile. 

Owing to this slight fall the canal> hiwe to be (juite large. Ixn-ause 

thcdr irrade nuist be less than that of the river. Even under the most 

favorable conditions thev can not ufain more than a small fi'action of a 

^^ET 5,000 10,000 lg,000 20,000 2g.OOO 30.000 .35.000 40,000 4g,000 gO.OOO 

Fi«i. ♦'.. — Typical crnss sfotion of tlu- Nile V»illry. 

foot ])er mile over the river. When a canal reaches the edge of the 
desert, or, in other words, covers all of tlie arable land except the Nile 
berin, it follows the desert until a new canal is taken out. when the 
tirst canal siphons under the ncnv one and covers the high land along 
the river. The second canal proceeds in the same way and siphons 
under the third. Bv this svstem canals can ))e made to serve the 

■ ft 

entire area of agricultural land. 

PI. VIII shows a portion of the Nile \'alley in the province of Keneh 
where the river has a general course from east to west. The strip of 
irrigated land, bounded })y right line>. is in no [)lace over T miles wide. 
It will be seen that the Kannan Canal heads at the rioht. on th(^ south 
bank of the river, and that the Marashdah Canal siphons under it just 
below the point of diversion. The latter cantd is on a higher line at 
their intersection and waters the elevated lands along the berm of tin* 
Nile for 12 miles below the siphon. The Kannan Canal continues 
westerlv and soon covers all the land to the border* of the desert. Just 

27752— No. 130—08 :] 


before it reaches the Heu Escape, which was built to empty the basin- 
above the south side of the river, it divides, one branch serving- thf^ 
high lands along the desert and the other furnishing water to the 
basins near the Nile. The basin })oundaries are shown by dotted lines 
The canal and basin system on the north side of the river are also 
shown. There are small areas here and there in Upper Egypt which 
are irrigated from w^ells. but the larger part of the land is still flooded 
bv the Nile and enriched bv its sediment, as it has been for thous^and- 
of years past. 

But this ancient S3'stem of irrigation has one great drawback — but 
one crop can be raised each year, while all other conditions, except 
the water supply, favor the raising of several crops. Recogriizino^ 
this, Mohammed Ali in 1S3T began reforms looking to the supplvin^r 
of water to crops during the whole year. The greak barrag"e at the 
head of the delta was })egun in IS-t^, as a part of the plans for peren- 
nial irrigation. The tirst perennial canals were in the delta and the 
Fayum, but tlie system is })eing gradually extended to the south, the 
country between Cairo and Assiut being in a state of transition, and 
the recent great works at Assuan and Assiut })eing for the purpose of 
increasing the area supplied with water throughout the year. 

The returns from the soil have been greatly increased by the adop- 
tion of |)ei'ennial irrigation. However, this system is accompanied 
with certain drawbacks. Only by the old flood-irrigation system can 
the land receive anv c()nsidera))le amount of rich Nile silt, and when 
two or three croi)s per year are taken from tlie ground the soil deteri- 
orates (juite i-apidly. Artiticial fertilizers are necessar}^, and these 
are ex})en.sive in Egy])t. The principal supply of fertilizer at present 
is from the ruins of old towns and villages. This is simply the Nile 
deposit which has ])ee!i used in times past in the manufacture of brick 
for th(^ construction of houses, impregnated with more or less fertiliz- 
ing matter derived from the village wastes. Long lines of camels 
may ])e seen carrying this material to the farms. (PI. IX, fig. 1.) 
Sometimes it is to })e transported in or 15 miles or farther, each camel 
carrving about (KM) pounds, distributed between two wicker panniers 
thrown across his ])ack. 


As has just been pointed out, thiu'e are at the present time two 
kinds of canals in Egypt. First, the perennial canals of the delta, 
which date from the time of Mohammed Ali; the Ibraimia canal, and 
the canals of the Fayum, built like those in the United States, with 
the idea of receiving water throughout the year or whenever crops 
need irrigation. The water of tlnv^e canals gen(U'ally runs below the 
level of the irrigated lands. Second, the flood canals, for filling the 
basins in Up])er Egypt, which letnc^ the river on a much higher level 
relative to its bed. 


III the province of Assuau there are two canals on the left and four 

n the right bank of the river. These supply all the basins in that 

'jorovince during the flood season. The only area watered throughout 

tihe year is a narrow strip bordering the Nile and other water courses 

€jarrying a supply at all times. In the province of Keneh there arc 8 

<'iinals taking water from the west bank of the river and 18 diverting 

^vater from the east bank. In the province of Girgeh 11 canals divert 

\\iiter from the left and 5 from the right bank. 

Among those on the left bank is the great Sohagia Canal, one of the 
oldest water channels in Egypt. It supplies 340, (KK) acres of land. 
At its lower extremitv the Yusef Canal betrins, i)einiif a continu- 
ation of the Sohagia. So ancient are these channels that thev have 
lost much of their resemblance to the canals of to-day and arc now con- 
sidered natural channels. They are very tortuous, and run at but 
slightly higher levels than the Nile. At its head the Sohagia is 230 
feet wide oli the bottom, 278 feet wide on top, and carries a maxi- 
mum of 18 feet of water in depth. Its discharge is about 15,000 cubic 
feet per second. The canal is separated by embankments from the 
first basins it supplies. In the basins farther north the canal 
embankments are omitted. Here the canal is not a boundarv line 
between basins, but flows through each. The length of the canal is 
about (]0 miles. Just below its point of diversion from the river an 
immense masonrv head crate has ])een erected. It is manv times too 
larire for the volume of water carried bv the canal, and it would look 
much more in keeping with the surroundings if the canal wore two or 
three times larj^er. The head oate contains 214 arch wa vs. each of 
which is nearly lo feet wide. The foundation, which rests upon sand 
and gravel mixed with Nile mud, is 131 feet wide and i)k feet thick. 
The superstructure is of brick, except the corner.s and other exi)osed 
parts, which are of stone. The piers are (It fe(^t thick, and are about 
20 feet high from the foundation to the springing lin(^ of the arch- 
wavs. The dischar^je is reo-ulattnl bv raising* or lowcrin*:' flashl)oards 
by means of a winch carried on a car running alo!ig the to[) of the 
structure. The basins fllU'd by the canal iin' emptied at an escape 
not far from Assiut. Until rerentlv thev were drained bv sinn)lv 
making a cut in the basin dike, permitting the water to How back into 
the Nile. This was a very dangerous and destructive practice^ and has 
been reformed by the installation of a masonrv escape. 

In the province of Assiut two canals divtM't water from the left and 
eight fnmi the right bank of the river. On tlie left bank then' are 
also six laterals of the Ibraimia Canal. Tlu^ Yusef Catial is now 
supplied b}^ the Ibraimia at the town of Dirut, r)4 miles north of Assiut. 
The Ibraimia Canal was never supplied with ahead gate until recently, 
when the construction of the Assiut dam made it nec(\^sarv that the 
discharge of the canal be controllinl at Assiut, where innnen>e masonry 


regulators iind division crtitos have been put in. At Dirut there is a 
wasteway in the canal, through which the surplus water can flow back 
into the Nile. Just ])elow the wasteway the division gates are located, 
and at this point the Yusef and two less important canals begin. The 
length of the Ibraimia Canal from Dirut to its lower terminus is about 
130 miles. It flows almost parallel to the Nile, and in no place is it 
ovei* 2 or 3 miles from the river. At Dirut the width of the canal on 
the bottom is about <)5 feet, and the slopes of its banks are 2 horizontal 
to 1 vertical. The depth of water in the canal when full is about 30 
feet. The water supplied to the Ibraimia Canal at Assiut serves to 
irrigate over 1,()()0.()0<) acres of land. About 0(M),0()0 acres of this is 
still irrigated under the ancient basin svstem. 

The Yusef Canal supplies a luimber of ])asins along its course, but 
its principal duty is to furnish the Fayum province with water for 
pereiuiial irrigation. The cross-section dimensions of this canal are 
very irregular. It averages a))out 175 feet in width on the bottom and 
has a depth of ai)out 20 feet. There are levees on each side, however, 
which enal)le it to carrv ^-^O feet of water at high Nile. Durinsf Mav 
and June it carries a})out ()(M) cubic- feet of water per second. During 
high Nile the discharge is about 80,000 cubic feet per second. Dur- 
ing low water summer cultivation is prohibited along the canal except 
in the Fayum province. The entrance to this province is between two 
desert plateaus, and the low ga[) is closed by a dike which completely 
separates the province from the Nile Valley proper. The Yusef Canal 
crosses this dike on a masonry structure composed of three arches. 
The Favum province was formerlv cultivated as the vallev of the Nile 
had always been, but peiennial irrigation is practiced at the present 
time, owing to the increased supply of water furnished by the canal. 
At tiie town of Mcnlinet the canal separates into many smaller ditches, 
and a large ])art of the province is watered by these. About 250,000 
aci'es are cultivated in the province. The slope of the land in the 
Fayum is greater than in any other farming district of Egypt. All 
the land in the province drains into Lake Kerun, which is 130 feet 
below the level of the Meditei'ranean. 

In the province of ]Minieh three canals divert water from the rigW 
bank of the river. Tiie three canals on the left bank are laterals of 
the Ibraimia Canal. These are quite important among the distributing 
w^orks of the province, hi the province of Benisouef six canals take 
water from the left and two from the right bank of the river. There 
is one important 1)ranch of the Ibrainiia Canal in this province. In the 
province of (rizeh three canals tak(» water from the left and one fronJ 
the right bank of the river. Hidow Cairo there are many canals (?!''• 
X and XXIV). The principal ones are those leaving the Nile at the 
barrai»e and the Ismailia Canal, which diverts water from the river at 


\J. S. Dept. of Agr., Bui. 130, Office of Expt. Stations. Irrigation Investigations. 

Plate X. 

Map of the Nile Valley from Caiho tj the Delta. Showing t^e Location of 
THE Barrages and the Head Works o" the P:;inc!Pal Canals. 


The Isniailia Canal deserves special inentioii because it was con- 
st riu* tod wholly l\v contract and in one piece. The Egyptian (lovefn- 
meiit entered into an agreement with the Suez Canal Company to 
construct a navigable waterway from the Nih^ to some point on the 
Suez Canal. The canal was not only to be navigable, l>ut was to be 
capable of furnishing fresh water to the towns along tlie main canal and 
the branch beginning at Ismailia and ruiming parallel with the Suez 
Canal to the town of Suez. In addition, the canal was to sui)ply water 
for the irrigation of a considerable area ceded l)y the government to 
the company. The contract stipulated that the canal should b(} so con- 
structed as to contain 8 feet of water in depth during Hood season of 
tlie Nile, 6^ feet at mean discharge, and 3i feet at low water. The 
canal has two head gates, the older one being in the city of Cairo. The 
second head gate is about 4^ miles north of Cairo, from which point a 
branch canal 2^ miles long connects with the main channel 5^ miles 
northeast of Cairo. For some distance the canal runs northeasterlv 
along the edge of the desert, after which it turns to the east through a 
gap in the desert hills and continues to the town of Ismailia. For some 
40 miles from Cairo it runs above the level of the surrounding country, 
and the water is confined between two parallel embankments. This 
has resulted in considerable seepage, which has destroyed large areas 
adjoining the canal. Some work has been done toward draining a por- 
tion of this count rv. Just before reaching Ismailia a branch of the 
canal takes off to the south and terminates at the town of Suez. In 
digging the canal some traces of an ancient channel leading in the same 
direction were discovered. Historical accounts of an older canal have 
been found. About 600 B. C, King Nekos })egan the construction of 
a navigation channel running between the east arm of the Nile and the 
Red Sea. The channel was never finished, although l:^oj)00 natives 
employed upon it lost their lives in the undertaking. 

The length of the Ismailia Canal from Cairo to Lake Timsali, near 
the town of Ismailia, is about 80 miles. The length of the branch 
leading south from Ismailia to Suez is al)out 53 mih^s. The bottom 
width of the main canal is about 40 feet. The slopes are 3 to 1. The bot- 
tom width of the branch canal leading to Suez is onlv ai)out 25 feet, but 
tlie channel was not well excavated and the width is not uniform. In 
places it does not exceed 16 feet. Many important masonry struc- 
tures are found throughout the length of the canal. Swing bridges 
are numerous, and substantial head gates and regulators are found 
wherever the discharge of the canal has to be changed. Owing to the 
^1^'pth to which the canal has been dug, and the necessity for keei)ing 
it cleaned out so that it will carrv sutticient water for navigation dur- 
iiig low stages of the Nile, large (juantities of silt have to be removed 
t'ii^'h year. Formerly this deposit frei[uently amount(Hl to H.'>0,000 
tubic yards each season. It has l)een reduced to ai)out 1 ♦;(!.( mo cubic 


yar(l> hv partially closintr the hoad orates of the main canal durine 
hi^h water and supplyintr it throutrl*^ the smaller canal already- referred 
to, diverting water 4^ miles north of Cairo. Considerable work i^ 
required each year at the head <rate of the supply canal. It is over a 
quarter of a mile fnmi the Inuik of the river. The channel leading to 
this head trate tills with back water from the river during hig'h Nile 
and inmiense <|uantities of nuul are deposited. 

Maiiv of the canals in the delta are ancient river channels. Those 
taking water from the Nile at the barrage are artificial. Among these 
latter i> the Manufia Canal (frontispiece), which is one of the most 
celebrat(*d in Egypt. It furnishes water for the irrigation of nearly 
all the land in the delta Iving between the two branches of the Nile. 
The head gate of the canal is similar in design to the bari'ag'e itself. 
(PI. XI, lig. 2.) A lock has ])een provided at the head gate, and the 
canal furnishes an important waterway for the internal commerce of 
the delta. The canal is from lOo to 175 feet wide on the bottom, and 
at higli wat(u* carries nearly 3n feet of water in depth. Its summer 
dischai-ge is nearly 4jmh> cubic f(H^t per second. 

The Tewtiki Canal diverts water from the Damietta ])ranch of the 
Nile at the ea>tern (extremity of the bai'i*age. It was begun many 
yejir> ago. but was not liiiished until after the occupation by the 
Enirlisii. It furnish(\s wat(M' for a large area Iving east of the Danii- 
etta bi'anch, and its construction has added greatlv to the value of this 
region through tln^ introduction of p(»rennial irrigation. The Beheru 
Canal lea\ (^s the Rosetta branch of the Nile at the western extremity 
of the ])ari'age. It is about i\o feet wide on the bottom, with .slopes of 
2 to 1. It runs for a considerable distance along the margin of the 
desei't, hence recei\'es large volunu\s of sand which, w^th the silt 
de])o>ited during hioli Nile, have to be cleaned from the channel each 
yv'dv. Cntil recentlv ninu'lv 1, 000. Odd eubie vards had to be removed 
aniuially. and, in spite of the enormous amount of work performed, 
the canal carried less than ^\^>^^ cui)ic f(H't of water per second. The 
Behera Canal is aljout rir* mil(v> long. At its lower extremitv the 
Katat))eli Canal l)et»-ins. It has about the same dimensions as the 
Helieia Canal. It su])plie> all tlu^ smaller canals to the north and 
west. The suri)lus watei* from tlu^ drainage of the land it serves flows 
into Lak(^ Mareotis. The Mahmoudia Canal begins 84 miles from the 
barrage^ of the Kosetta branch of the Nile. This canal runs for about 
15 miles to the northwest and en(l> at Alexandria. It supplies fresh 
water for that citv besides furnishing water for irrigiating a lai'g^ 
area. The Mahmoudia Canal has for a long time l)een supplied with 
wat(»r by means of immcMisi^ pum})s located at Atfeh. Since the repair 
of the barrage the pum})s of Katatbeh have been removed to M^^^' 
which station keeps down the level of Lake Mareotis. 



Nearly all hir^e public works in Egypt have been consU^ucted b}^ the 
c<>rvee (See p. 74.) The s\'stein was niiich abused when the English 
l>c»oran their occupation in 18S2. As soon as possible some relief was 
afforded the corvee by direct appropriations, under which a part of 
these employed on pu})lic works were paid for their labor at a price 
Hxed ))v the government. These appropriations were increased until 
in 18vSl^ all work of cleaning canals was paid for. Since that time the 
corvee has been called out only for the protection of the Nile levees 
during" Hood season, a period of from sixty to ninety davs. While thou- 
sands of men are thus compelled to give tlieir time without compensa- 
tion, it is for the public ])enetit, and the length of their service is short, 
sc^ldoni loncrer than fifteen or twentv davs. Hut little complaint is now 
heard, as the work is necessary and the service nnist be compulsory to 
be efficient. The time will doul>tless come when this service* will also 
be paid for. 

The manner in which the native dijjfs or cleans canals is interestin<r. 

His one tool, which resembles a hoe, is illust!'ated in the accompanying 

sketch (tig. 7). The engineers measure the material which is to be 

removed, and (»ach man or party 

excavates a certain section contain 

ing a known yardage. (PI. III). 

Fre(|uently a number of men will 

work t(^gether, one using a hoe and 

the others cari'vint^ baskc^ts holdino* 

about half a cubic foot of earth. 

The earth is loosc^ned and the liaskets tilled bv the us(* of the hoe. 

Where drv sand is encountered tlu* hands are used to iiil these Ivaskets. 

Children are often seen carrviiii** the baskets, ])iit the hoe is nearlv 

alwavs handled bv the men. lender this method of excavation canal 

sections are made smoother and more reo-nlar than under the methods 

t'ommonly employed in the TnittHl Stat<'s. Steps of earth arc left in 

the banks, enalding those carrying material to walk with (•()nsi(l('ral)le 

oa^e. On the smaller canals and laterals the earth is often loosened 

^vith the hoe and thrown out bv hand. Sonn^tinies it is necessarx" to 

elean these when a foot or mor(* of water i^ standing in tlu^n. in 

which case the material, if pla-^tie, can be easily handled. Wheie the 

hanks are higher, the earth mav be thcown bv a man in X\\o bottom of 

the ditch to another on tln^ ])ard<, and l)y him pitciied out. 

Near Medinet el Fayum a photogra])h was seeui'e(l of a numl>er of 
natives cleaning a small ditch. (IM. IX, tig. i\) The soil \va> a black 
l*>am, thoroughly saturatinl with watiM*. The men loos<Mie(l the mate- 
rial with their hoes whei'e ni^M^ssai'v and riMuoved it bv hand. Tin* 
uiaterial was sufficiently plastic so that i^ach htuidful n^tained its foi'ui 


■Hni' iiMMJ l)v nnlivr fiirincr 


after being deposited. After a day or so in the sun these become dry 
and hard and are of no value in the )>ank of the ditch. On an averaofe 
one man can excavate about 3 cubic vards of earth a dav if the lift be 
not too great. For this service he is paid about 15 cents, which admits 
of the cleaning of a canal at the rate of 5 cents per cubic yard. This 
is the cheapest method of performing the work under Egyptian con- 
ditions. It costs about 15 cents per cubic 3^ard to clean a canal with a 
steam dredge, owing to the higher price of labor necessary to run the 
machine and to the cost of coal. The large canals are usually cleaned 
after the water has been drained out and thev have dried. When it is 
impossi))le to drain them completely the unpleasant features of the 
work are greatly increased. 


As has been before stated, most of the water for irrigation, except 
in that portion of Egypt which still retains the ancient basin system, 
flows l)elow the level of the land to be irrigated, the necessary lift 
varying with the stage of the river. The native machinery for lifting 
water has l)een designed to work regardless of this fluctuation. While 
none of this machiner}^ is eflacient, it servos for the irrigation of a large 
area. The shaduf and the sakiveh are used when the fluctuation is 
great or where the lift is over 5 or 6 feet. Both are of ancient origin. 
They can be applied to almost any lift, are easy to construct, and do 
not require many repairs. 

But little is known regarding the lifting machines used by the ancient 
Egyptians. Probably the tirst devices invented bv them were much 
more primitive and not as efticient as those used to-day. Man^ of 
these machines have l^ecome obsolete l)ecause it was found that they 
did not have as wide a range of application as have the devices now 
generally employed. It may be that the scarcity of the material from 
which the lifting devices were l)uilt has largely aflected the change in 


The shaduf consists essentially of two vertical supports about 5 
feet apart connected by a horizontiil crosspiece some 5 feet from the 
ground, a pole hung on this crosspiece like a well sweep, and a bucket 
suspended from this pole. In many places the uprights supporting 
the crosspiece are made of small sheaves of cornstalks stiffened with a 
coat of Nile nuid. Sometimes the nuid is used alone. The pole is hung 
6 inches ])eneatli this crosspiece, as shown in PL XII. This pole is 
not ])alanced, l)ut is supplied with a counterweight on the shorter end, 
which extends away from the water. Suspended from the other end 
is a long pole to which a bucket is attached. This bucket is usually 
''lade of leather stifl'ened near the top by a wooden hoop. Its capacity 




is approximately '2^ gallons, or one-third of a <-ubie foot. The eoiinter- 
weio^ht is generally a piece of sun-dried Nile mud hehl together with 
stra\v, cornstalks, or sugar-cane leaves. The woodwoi'k is generall}^ 
roug-h and the whole structuie shows a lack of neatness. The operator 
throws his weight on the sweep, the bucket tills, and the counterweight 
raises it to the channel into which it is to he poured. The ground 
where the water falls is protected from erosion hy a matting of vege- 
tal >le liher. A single shaduf can lift water only T) or i\ fe(»t, hut it is the 
custom to install them in series of three oi- four, which work togethei', 
niisiii^ the w^ater from 20 to 80 feet. A number of shaclufs so oper- 
ated need not necessarily be in a line. It is (piite connnon to tind the 
lo>ver shaduf 5(» or even loO feet up or down stream from th<^ others, 
hut it is better to get them as close* together as possi})h», to i-(»ducr the 
loss })\ seepage. 

A shaduf operated by one person can raise about '4 cubic feet of 
water per minute. A man usualh^ works two hours at a time, juul 
two men relieving each other put in about ten hours a day. rhe\' 
can. therefore, with one machine, raise 1,S(M) cubic feet of water i)er 
day. Assuming that at each irrigation the land is covei'cul to a de})th 
of 1 inch, a device of this kind woidd irrigates about half an aci'c a day. 
The following table shows tlui efficiency of ji mmiber of shaduf> on 
which data were obtiiined: 

KtJif'i* fff'ff of fin sltfifhff '/.< ^/ //v/M r-m i.<i itn fl* rtct . 


«.f lift. 


of vj 



CoKt of 


inachiiu"' 'lay r»f 

ten hour*. 

• Area irri- 
Kate'l in 


•f <;ifh 




•r < 

1,1 ;.. 


.1' ' 

-1 of 


1 ■, 

( <.-! |.<-r 
ii'T* ;or 

•,l<il loot 

"1 , i : ' . 

2.S leet 

r'. •>» 


?1. i.'. 

II ( «, 


1 '.(" 


ii.:; I«-et 


. 1 ' 





. ■'/ 

H.;i I'-el 


. ; J 

1 . .'.- 



1 I" 


'Vj fcvt 

. .-;' 1 

. '.-J 

1 . :.- 

II 1 


L J<« 

. • 1 

4. -J 1%-el 


A • » 

1 ■.'■: 

II 1 


. V. 

.').7 feet 




1 •♦ 


1 1 - 

I ' 

•"» n-*'l 

. ■,' 1 

' 1 

_'. "O 


» i • « 

. J; 

y.i f.-el 

■')■ ' 

■ f 

J '_' 



1 n't 


Ill \ ie.-r 

' -'i 


♦ 1 . ' l" 



; '■; 


1''.* iVvi 

. '.-> 

\ t t 

' . o 

1 .; 

' » 

. t, 

iy..i feet 


H * 

*, »-7 

■ ; 



1'.'.4 >et 


I 1 

'.' .'. 


•-il S feet 



'." 7 

' .', 



211 f^t 





•>•■* •'♦-»- T 

---♦ l^-'t 



The >akiveh i.> a> c(jmmoii ;i- tii»- -iki'mii'. It i- «'-tifi;at»'i tf.;it !.,♦••»- 
are l:^jHH>of them in di:it })uit of th«- 'l»lta •.••r.'. .-^i. *:..• ',]n\.>-\.^-- of 
the Nile. There are pr<;bubly .",<». mmm a iro;j'-r, '..-:• ;., K;/- pt. I /.»• 
machine i."* constructed a^ follow-: A ;.oii/,ofir;i. -.'.o :••.'. ■:.••••. )''o.r 
1<' feet in diameter, furni-h*-''! uith •o'/- \)vr^-c\\\/j .« '^>'.^ - .\> rj«- f :'»;;. 
iU circumference. i< ^ui>p<>rrM.l «,ri i '.^-iri.-il -r.afr. * .• .'» '-i »•/. : of 

■ ^ 

which is pointed and rests on ji wooden bearing. The upper end of 
this shaft is o-onerally of small diameter and is thrust through a hole 
in a horizontal beam 22 or 28 feet long and supported at its ends hv 
columns of sun-dried bricks or masonry. Sometimes wooden posts 
or ev(^n two small pieces of wood crossed and tied together are substi- 
tuted for these coUunns. Projecting radially from the horizontal 
wheel is an arm to which is hitched the animal furnishing the power. 
The teeth on the horizontal wheel engage similar teeth on a vertical 
wheel, the shaft of which passes underground to a second vertical 
wheel over the watei* to ])e lifted. The details of this wheel and the 
earthen jars it carries are shown in the accompan3^ing illustration (PI. 
XIII, tig. 1). Where the lift exceeds half the diameter of the wheel 
thc^ jars are attached to a l>elt which passes around a small wheel in the 
water or simply hangs by its own weight. Sometimes the sakiyeh is 
})uilt on a masoiu-v foundation. The shaft of the horizontal wheel 
then has a stone i)earing and the beam supporting the shaft rests on 
the masonry walls. Whih^ the wooden parts have to })e replaced quite 
often, the masonry work is practically permanent. 

An ox or a buti'alo is usually employed to work the machine. P2ac*b 
animal is relieved evcM'v thrin* hours and generalh^ works two periods 
per day. Sonu^inn^s two animals are driven together. This is common 
when a d()u))lc belt. furnisluHl with jars (piite close together, is used, 
or whei'c tlu^ lift is vcrv hio*h. In the Favum the sakivehs are often 
turned }>v the current of tli<^ canals. In the delta the vertical wheel 
carrying the jars is fre(|uently r(^})laced by one having small compart- 
ments built in its circumference. The jars ordinarily used on a sakiyeh 
weigh about 2A^ })<)unds each and hold about half a gallon. A sakiyeh 
will raise from VIO to lS(i cu})ic fc^et of water per hour, depending upon 
the heio'ht of tli(» lift. Ttie cihcitMicv of the device is reduced bv its 
lifting' th(^ water liiniuM' than necessarv i)v about a third of the diameter 
of th(^ wheel. It has b(MMi estimatinl that one sakiyeh will do the work 
of four shadufs. This is a})pr()ximate and is doubtless too high. 

A number- of iin})ro\'enients have been made in these machines 
rcHMMitly and they are now manufactured by British tirms and imported 
into Egypt. Being constructtnl of iioiu the rtrst cost is often prohibi- 
tiv(\ n^})airs are ditticult. and it is not easy to install them where the 
sites lia\<' IxMMi (lesii»*ne(l for lai"o(M" >akivehs. 

Tlu^ cost of operating ji sakiyeh. using one animal at a time, is about 
^I.Tji^ per acre each irrrigation, for lifts not (exceeding 12 feet. From 
12 to IS feet the cost will })robably reach !^2.4(> per acre, and from 20 
to 'in feet, ''^^>.^^u pei' acre. If the animals used are owned by the irri- 
gator, the cost will be consideral)ly reduced. The sakiyeh itself may 
cost all the way from ^10 to Sir)0, depending upon the location, the 
cost of the material of wliich it is constructed, the price of labor, and 
whether or not masonry is used in the walls and foundation. The fol- 
lowing table has })een prepared from notes taken in the field: 


Efficiency of the sakhjeh as a irater-rahhuj device. 

Heigrht of lift. 



two or 
two and a 
lialf hour 


Cost of 



per day of 

ten hours. 

SO. 60 





in ten 


. ()5 

. (;6 


Cost per 
acre each 

SO. 80 
. 95 





per day. 

. 2() 

Area of 
field irri- 

Cost per 

acre for 

each foot 

of lift. 

\\ feet 







SO. 27 

.5 f<*et 


r> .'*<) feet 


r. feet 

7.7.'> feet 

.*> 7.5 feet 


10 feet 


12 .5<.) f et't 


\k\ \'ee t 


1*.» feet 


5 fee t 



In the delta a numlnn- of unusual methods are euiplo^ed for rai.sing 
water from 1 to 4 or 5 feet. One of the most striking* of these, and 
one the least to l)e expected in Egypt, is the Archimedean screw. 
Around an iron shaft some 14 or 15 feet lonef is })uilt a screw, made 
up of thin pieces of wood so fitted together as to be practically water- 
tight. A water-tight wooden cylinder is constructed around the screw. 
The diameter of the cylinder is ordinarily al)out 14 inches, and its 
length does not often exceed S or t> feet. The pitch of the screw is 
ahout 1 reyolution to 1^ diameters. The screw is so attached that it 
will not reyolye on the shaft. The shaft projects from both ends of 
the cylinder and is supported near its extremities ])y posts. The 
screw inclines 30 degrees or less to the horizon, with its lower end in 
the water. To the upper end of the shaft a craidv is attachinl. This 
lifting deyice is shown in the accompanying illustration. (PI. XIV.) 
One or two men usually operate a screw, but in rare cases, wh(Mi the 
screw is especially large or tlie lift considerable, a small cMigine is 
employed. High lifts are practically impossible on account of the 
difficulty of supporting a screw of great length. This deyice^ is more 
efficient than the lifting machines contriyed by the natiyes. One man 
can irrigate from 1 to 2 acres a day with this machine, proyidiul the 
lift be not oyer 2 feet. The efficiency of th(^ Archimed(nui screw is 


shown in the foUowino- table: 

KfficioH'ff of the ^[rcJiimedeaii .sv/v/'' ^/.^' ti iiafei'-i'tii.'<iii'/ '/erirt 

Height of lift. 


of men 



of two 


Cost of 


per (lay ol 
ten h(»nr.s 

Area Cost per 
irrigated acre each 
ill ten I irriga- 
liours. I tioii. 

3.3 feet. 
4.6 feet. 
•■»1 leet. 
5 y feet. 

«o. :>1 
. - ( 

. 29 




.■J I 
. •_•( » 

, 2('. 

A 1 ca I M _ '. _ 

icM irri 

)iv< Marge ,. , , . .,.. acre lor 

. .. J .. llCK HI- , c , 

per <ia\ . . , each toot 


f lift. 

<■;•' f'niif. 
(I. 47 

. .'v_» 
. tl 

. I'VV .v. 
1 J.'J 
111. ^ 


r.. t 


So. OS 

. 01 



In the delta a o'vent deal of water i.s raised by means of another 
curiou.s device, known as a natali. Two men operate a bucket to 
which is attached four cords. These cords are held by the men and 
the bucket is alternately tilled and emptied with remarkable dexterity. 
PI. XV shows this device in use. But little preliminary construction 
is needed l)efore the work of raising water can be commenced. A 
channel is generally dug from the water into the bank of the canal 
and platforms aie made for the men to stand on. Where the water is 
poured into the ditch heading to the fields the bank is protected, as in 
the case of shadufs, })v a matting of vegetable fiber. Two men can 
raise about lOO cubic feet of water per hour to a height of 3 or 4 feet. 
The accompanying tai)le gives some information relative to the 
efBciencv of this contrivanc(»: 

Ktjiciencii i>J flu iidtaii */.<< «/ intti r-rni»iny derive 

HeiKlit ui lift. 

0. 7 foot 
0. H foot 

1.0 fool 
\.h fro I 
l.C) Wv\ 
!.•> U'vX 

2. 1 fi-vt 
2.8 feet 
2. 7 fert 
2. S feet 



of llU'll 


)St of 

Area ir- 

Cost per 1 

Area of 
field irri- 

Cost per 
acre for 





aere each 



per (biy of 

in ten 


j>er day. 

each foot 

of two 





of lift. 


- - 





SO. 2s 

0. 94 

SO. 80 

0. 27 


SO. 43 





. 2(; 




. 2S 

. H> 







. 6(; 















. CO 






. t'.5 






. 5.S 


. 90 





. r.5 









.77 1 

. 20 




Small piun])ing ])huits are becoming common and some expensive 
and well-e([uip])ed pumping stations have been erected in various parts 
of E<jfvi)t. The desion most commonlv met w^ith is an 8-inch centrif- 
ugal pump propelled hy an (S-horsepower steam engine. Coal is 
usuallv burned in these enofines. althouirh corn.stalks and sti*aw are 
substituted for it in Upper Kgypt. Coal costs ^7 per ton at Alexan- 
dria, the price increasing with the distance from that port. 

As (^arly as iss:^ there were i?,()-l:5 pumps and engines lifting water 
from the Nile and from canals. The engines had a total horsepower 
of 21^453. Of the plants 2,22<> were movable and 410 were stationary. 
The stationary engines had a total horsepower of 9,382, while the 
movable engines had a horsepower of 2(>J>T1. Nearly all of these 
pumping plants were located in the delta, although there were a num- 
])er ])etween Cairo and Assiut. Above that there were no movable 
olants and only 17 stationary engines and pumps. The number has 
ot increased appreciably since that time, but modern pumps have, 

F'G, 2. -A STE4M Pump on a Scow. 



in many cases, Ihhmi substituted for tlioseoriofinally employed. Pump- 
ing plants are frequently seen on seows on the river. (PI. XIII, tig. :2.) 
Those go from place to place and furnish water under contract. 
Where the lift is not over 8 or 10 feet and where the owner of the 
field is a part owner in the plant, steam ])umps furnish water at a])out 
^I.IH) per acre for each irrigation. If the farmer is not interested in 
the plant the cost per acre may run as high as ^3.75 or ^4 for each irri- 
iration. Cotton has to be watered four or five times durin"* the ijfi'ow- 
ing- season. AA'heat, maize, and all fodder crops are generally twice 
irrigated. Figures quoted ])V engineers as to the cost of pumping 
water vary greatly. The outlay for this service depends largely upon 
the local practice of the irrigator. ]\Ir. Thorwald L. Smith, agricul- 
turist of the Societe du Behera, which controls a considera])le area in 
the delta, has furnished the following information regardino- the char- 
acter of the pumps employed )>y the society, together with their dis- 
charge, the quantity and cost of coal consumed, etc. The pumps 
employed are either of English or French manufacture, and are not 
superior in any way to those made in the United States. A detailed 
description of them is therefore unnecessary. 

Kxpcnsc of ofieralion per (l:iy of \v\\ Total cost ikt 
liour>. dav. 

I)»MTii»ti<)ii of ct'iitrifiignl pump DischarLrt' — — 

and eiiuiiie. por sccoii.l. Coal.'' ljil)ri- Kiiuim-fr 

('ain>« an<l aixl 

I'ouihK. Co^t. .sundries, tiiviuaii. 

Tell Twelve 
hours, hours. 

17. r..; 1. •_»!•_> :>. 1.') .is \.-i:\ c. s.") «.. i:-{ 

17.r,h \.-lVl .'>.!■'> AS \.i:\ »;. s:; s. 13 

Ciiltic Jut. 

20-inch direct-noting" pnmponnd 
<<»n<lensiii|r Gwynncpnmp i 17.<>r. \.'1\-1 ^:^.\'^ .^o. is .fl.J:i S-t-. ^:^ ?s. 13 

■2()-inch Riistonand Proctor. driven 
h.v l)oli from semiportable com- 
pound condensing engine by 
^anie makers 

1*^ inch Diimont pump, driven by 
hilt from a Rnston-I'roctor com- 
pound condensing portable 

Ifi-inch Rnston-I'roctor pinnp, 
driven by belt from compound 
<f>ndensing portable by same 
makers '. ' lo. r.o 77_> :i. 17 .is I.l'o l.^f. .">. s;i 

l.i-inoh Gwynne pump, driven by . 
belt from single cylinder non 
condensing portable t;. 7(» iw;2 J.'.t^ .Is ].•_':;, r.. s;i 

"Tests running from]; lift. t;.."> feet. ''Coal at 8^.94 per ton. 


Some tests have })een made in ))otli Tpper and Lower PLgypt to deter- 
niine the dut}' of water. The lack of careful measurements of the 
^'ater supplied for irrigation discredits mtmy reports which would 
otherwise be valuable. The rated capacity of the pum])s i.-< too ofttMi 
Used in computing the vokune of water furnishiul. When gaugings 
are made to check the pumps, it is generally found that the diM-harge 
"as been overestimated. The watiM- is u^uallv measured on thc^ ])()rder 


of tho field, so that hut littk^. h)ss occurs hetween the pump and the 
irri^iitcd hind. In hjwer Et'-ypt it has been found that a depth of 
wat(n' of 2..');*) feet is sufficient for the irrigation of cotton. A depth of 
4.3 f<»et is reipiired for rice. The winter crops, which have ali*eady 
been ('luinierated, (hMnand from 1.6 to 2 feet. Although the growing 
«easoii of suj^ar cane, the most vahia))Ie crop in upper Egypt, covers a 
period of nine months, a depth of water of 2.5 feet suffices for its 

Th(* following- diseus>ion of the dutv of water under some of the 
pumi)in<i- phuits of the Societe du Behera, in Lower Egypt, has been 
furnished by ]\Ir. Tliorwald L. Smith: 


* * * Tlie losy throuirh ♦.'Viiporation and absorj)ti()n varies greatly according to 
the foiloNviiiir conditions: 

(1) (Quality of soil: (a) Sandy; (1)) niedinni; (c) heavy. 

(LM Tinu' of year: ^a) Hot: (h^eold. 

(.*>) Nundn'i' ot days elapsed since last watering. 

(4) Oistanccof lield I'roni }>nnip: [a) Water carried in old permanent channel; (b) 
carried in temporary channel lor that jnirticular crop. 

As to the lirst, we tind that in [ix) sandy soil (pure alluvial deposits) the quantity 
of water rc«inirc<l for each watering is about double that wanted for heavy (c). On 
the other hand, such soil cracks less, and, consecpiently, there is not so much loss, 
shoidd tlie time between two waterings be ]>rolonged, as there is in heavy soil where, 
after a lonu' drouLrht in summer, tlu' cracks (nidess tlie land be frequently hoed) 
will contlmie to al»sorl> all the water for some minutes and will conduct it to the sub- 
soil, w hich is salt, where it can be of little use to the surface-feeding crops. 

Second. Time of year makes a difference in two ways: First, because in summer a 
lot (»f water is lost by evaporation so soon as it is spread in a thin layer over the 
baked land, and second, bt'cause in the c«.)oler months the canals are all generally 
running full and conse(|uently all Knv lands can be irrigated by gravitation and are 
more or less w attM-l(»g*jfcd. especially where drainage is bad. In fact, for winter crops 
the only time when ptnnps are ust'd for such lands is when the upper reaches of the 
canals have been closed lor clearance and the water in the lower reaches falls below 
the ground le\ el. 

Thii'd. The number of days between each watering for cotton should be an aver- 
age of lifteen. but thiough want ol water this is frequently prolonged to thirty or even 
nioic. Xatmally from causes mentione<l ab(tve, i. e., cracking, and from the fact 
that e\aporation dii-ectl\' and through the i>lants has been going on continually, the 
lar.d takt's mori' water to show any sign on the surface. For the rice crop these last 
conditions can not obtain, foi- water must be changed in rice tields while the crop is 
youHLT at least evei-y four days, and w hen stn»nger at a maximum of eight days on 
good soil. ( Wlu're the lan<l is very salt the i-rop would suffer very much, if not die, 
in an eiudit-day inti'rval. ) On the other hand, as the rice land is continually wet 
the absorption at tlu' time of watering is much less, and of course there are no cracks. 
However, as the water is on the surface there is great evaporation from sun and wind, 
especially so l(»ng as the j)lant is small and does not shade its own roots. 

In caltulating ( tluM)retically ) the amount of water necessary for each watering, 
about o.'.*4 inches in dei)th would apjiear to be sutlicient. Indeed, in the case of 
cotton w hich is sow n on riilges, one might think that the area of the furrows only, 
into which the water runs, i. e., about half the total area, would be the figure on 
whicli to base the (piantity necessary. But the ridges, being made up entirely of 
loose soil, soak up water at once, especially the first watering or after a hoeing, and 


carry almost as much as a furrow. I may say at once that the 3.94 inches over the 
whole area for cotton, even when the ground is not much cracked, is quite insufficient, 
and in a long furrow that quantity would not reach the end. Of course, to equalize 
the supply to each plant the field is divided longitudinally into narrow belts and 
these belts crossways into short beds. This division is made after the field has 
been prepared and ridged up, the original ridges stretching from one end of the 
field to the other. Between each belt is a small water channel, which is what I 
refer to in 4 (b). In these channels a good deal of water must be wasted. As to 
the permanent waterways we calculate a mean loss of 10 per cent for absorption 
and evaporation. * ^ * ^ 


In 1798 and 1799, during the French occupation, Napoleon called 
attention to the advisability of constructing dams across the Rosetta 
and Dainietta branches of the Nile. Perennial irrigation had probably 
not occurred to him, but he saw the advantage of being able to turn 
the whole discharge of the river down one branch or the other so that 
the lands along either might receive the benefit of the entire flow. 
The dam would probably not have been built had this been its only 
function, but his suggestion may have led Mohanmied Ali to intro- 
duce perennial irrigation in Lower Egypt. 

In 1833 Mohammed Ali favored building a stone dam across the 
Rosetta Branch so that it might })e c^ntirely closed. This would raise 
the level of the water considerablv at the site of the dam and ali'ord a 
better supply to the canals taking water from the Damiettti Branch, 
along which was the larger irrigated area. Before work was begun 
he was persuaded to change his plans. It was suggested to him that 
in place of building a dam across the Rosetta Branch one be erected 
on each branch 6 miles ])elow their point of divergence. The kh(Hlive 
approved this plan and ordered that the stone be taken from the Pyra- 
mids. All protests against this latter scheme were without avail until 
Linant Pasha, a government engineer, showed that, as the Pyramids 
were built from the bottom to the top, they would have to ])e dis- 
mantled from top to bottom, and that the stone thus procured would 
he more expensive than if taken from new quai'ries opened near Cairo. 
Everything seemed now to promise speedy completion of the dam. 
>>orkshops were erected and some material for construction had ])een 
delivered on the ground, when Mohammed Ali again changed his 
mmd and stopped the work. Nothing more was heard of the barrage 
project until 18-12, when ]\Iougel Bey, a French engineer, was called 
to Egypt and his plans, as altered by the khedive so as to inclucU^ the 
lortifications, led to the construction of the barrage as it stands to-day. 
The dam was finally completed in I8<)1 at a cost of ^9,()00,U(M), not 
^'ounting the services of the corvee. Tln^ additional cost of fortitica- 
"Ons, canal head gates, and incidentals made the total outhiv about 
After this vast expenditun^ the dam was of no valuer i\\ce})t as a 


highway across tho Nile. Only the Ro.setta Branch of the barrag-e was 
siippli(»d with g-ates. The additional head produced b}^ closing* these 
caused enough pressure to crack the masonry of the dam. At the 
same time water ran under the structure and a number of springs 
appeared below. During the reign of Ismail Pasha nothing was done 
toward repairing the hariage. Suggestions that it might be put in 
condition to hold ))ack water for the irrigation of lower Egypt were 
never considered seriou>lv. 

The barrage is shown in the accompanying illustrations (Pis. XVI 
and XVII). The Kosetta dam has iM archways, while the Damietta 
Branch has 71. The hei^fht of the archwavs is 41.82 feet from the floor 
of the structui-e to the crown of the arch, or 32. S feet to the spring" line 
of the arches. The archways are 16.4 feet wide, and the piers support- 
ing them are H.r>0 feet thick. The original foundation of the dam was 
sin)ply a layer of concrete 111 feet wide and nearly 9 feet thick, cov- 
ered ])v a stone and ])rick floor 1.^)4 feet thick. As work on each 


section was undertaken, sheet piling was driven to keep the water 
quiet while the concrete was ))eing laid. The piers w^ere constructed 
on this floor. Locks were ])uilt at both ends of each dam and at the 
head gates of the three canals. The flow of water through the sluice- 
ways was to have ])een regulated ])y gates of a new^ design, but they 
never proved satisfactory, although a few still remained in the dam 
until IStM). The gati\s now used close tightly, but a grating, through 
which the water flows at all times, is l)eneath the sills on which the 
gates rest. 

Since the English have ])een in control of Egypt repairs to the barrage 
have been going on almost constantlv. A new floor was laid, widenins: 
the foundation 80 feet on the downstream and 78 feet on the upstream 
side. It w^as thought better to widen rather than deepen the founda- 
tion, l)C(ause the material did not improve with depth. After this 
work was compk^ted new gates were put in the dam throughout. 
These were made of wrought iron and provided with rollers, and they 
slide in cast-iron grooves made fast to the piers. The gates are lifted 
by a traveling winch. One rail for supporting the car carrying the 
lifting device was put on the upstream parapet of the dam. Brick 
towers were ])uilt on the piers to support the second rail. These 
towers, with the gates now employed, are show n in PI. XVII. 

Until 1SJM> the springs on the downstream side of the dam continued 
to flow. Some water came through the gratings, but a large volume 
flowed under the piers. In iSiH) repairs were begun which will doubt- 
less make the l)arrage an enduring structure. Through holes 5 inches 
in diameter, drilled from top to bottom of the piers and lined with 
iron pipes, clay or cement mortar was rannned. it was found in this 
work that large cavities existed under the foundation, and as much as 
40 ])arrels of cement were used for a single pier. The total cost of 


those repairs amounted to ^300,000. Another safeguard has })een 
added to the ))arrage. Across eaeh branch of the Nile below the bar- 
rat^fe low dams have been built, raising* the surface of the water there 
• and corresponding'l}' reducing* the pressure to which the larger works 
are subjected. 

The Egyptian Government had many times prior to 188:^ discussed 
the matter of repairing the barrage. At one time a scheme was on 
foot whereby it was thought that an expenditure of ^6,200,0(K) would 
make the structure servicea})le. Luckilv, the Ara})ic custom of not 
making repairs prevailed in this instance. Another scheme which 
rei'oived the attention of the government was to pump water into the 
canals instead of relying on the barrage at all. This would have 
necessitated an expenditure of nearly ^8. 5(10 J Mio for the estaf)lishment 
of the pumping plant, and an annual outlay of a))out Sl.r^.'iOjKH) to 
keep it in'operation. The government actually made a contract with 
a company to pump water into one of the canals during low water, 
and bound itself to pay at least J^l' a year for this service. So 
successful, however, were the engineers in repairing the dam that by 
Isi^'i the canals heading there were fully supplied. The barrage fur- 
nishes water at a much less cost than a pumping plant, and, as the 
flow is regulated during the season of high water as well as at other 
times, a great reduction is made in the volume of silt which has to 
be removed from the canals each vear. However, until after the 
occupation of the English, lal)or had i)ut little value, and this item 
was probaldy not taken into consideration. 

As early as 1884 the ))arragt^ performed some beneticial service for 
the irrigators of the delta. The alterations which tirst put the dam in 
working order cost about §2,*jr)(),(Mio. One hundred and tifty thousand 
dollars are requirv*d each year for maintenanei^ and operation. While 
the repairs were being carried on, the Tewtiki Canal, taken out at tiie 
eastern end of the Damietta ])ranch of the barrage, was (•oni])lei(Hl. 
Alanv auxiliarv canals and ditches wcm'c du^- and considcra))U^ ri^t'oi'm 
was })rought about in the drai?iagc system throughout tlie delta. 


I'he construction of ri^servoir^ i> a new dei)artui"c on tlu^ pai't of the 
^^.vptian Government. Storinu' water at As>uan diiiiiiu' the winter 
for the })enetit of the irrigator durino' the months of ^(*ar»*itv will 
necessitate changes in th(^ in'igation systiMUs iu)w existing if the >m)- 
ply thu?5 made available is to })c (li>tril)ute(l to the be>t a<l\anlage. 
The water supply atforded by the Nib* i> ^uch that storage woi'k> c;ui 
'>e extended almost indetinitt^lv. or until all of tln^ arai)le land of Kuv])t 
is served by perennial iirigation. 

I'ho total area of Egypt proper, emi)racing the gi-eat Lybian Desrrt, 

27752— No. Vdo—iK] 4 

.'•I » 

whi.h «i»r:ta::-- hvr «ri^-. :•:. i :t lur^» |iart of the Sinai Peninsula, is 
a'*»««;t :*.>•.••-• -^.lair^- ::.:!»--. Of ir.i-* ir-*^ than 3 ]^r c-ent. or about 
K.«»-...-*i :i.r»*^. •a!! ^-v»r '•• .-if.iivai* 'i. The aci-t.>nipanying map (PI. 
X^ !!!• ♦'i!a'»:— a i-onqrir :--•:. t*» '*»e ma-ie of the Nile Valley with that 
of th»- P!art»' Kiv^r. It a :!1 '••- i^.tio-vl that the mouths of the Platte 
ani the Ihi:i;i»-tta ''Ttin'-h **t th«- NiU- aiv e<»ineident. The two rivers 
cr«»^- X:.*' ii«»rth ''N.m.inry »'f C"»»l«»ra !«• nr-ar th»* '^mie point, and Denver 
an«i A-Miai: Vu- oi:ly a f»w n.i:.- ajxirt. Etrypt prop)er, therefore, has 
a^Miiit the --iinie leni^ih a- th»- P'.att*- VaiK*y iroin Denver to the Mis- 
s<:>ur: Kiver. The wiith *>i th*- P'atte ^'al^•y in NehnLska is abotit the 
>an.e a- that <»f the Nile fr«»:ii A— iian to Cairo. Only 5.145.WO acres 
are ii«»w ciiitivattii in the val!»'V of rh»* Nile. A similar area of agrri- 
ciiltund land in N»''»ni-ka wmd i iiavt* pHniueed in l^Hu-rops having 
a total value of a'H»i;t ^i'»'..' »'•••.•»"«». The faniiincr lands of Eg-ypt pay 
Uh>v*' than thi- in tax»*^ i-a* h y»tir. Nehni-ka rei^-eived in liXM» a little 
uvt-r 25*'».« M H »j H H I XT" *u\ all it^ --4 »u!Vt - i»f revenue. Egypt received about 
^r.o J H N I I M M I. N»'hra-ka ha^ m* 'HtiKied inde}itedne>> and bnt a small 
fl(»at!nLr drht. EL''y]>t ha-- a ronipliration of financial troubles, owing 
in til*' aL'^LT^'L'^^tf s.m»;jhm»jmh«. ,.i- s^ni for each acre of aGrricultural 

r)iit lirtlr anr«h' hind in Ippt-r EL'"ypt remains imreclaimed. aiid the 
ar»-a ^-nioyinL'' pt-rrimiu! irriiration can not he extended imtil reservoirs 
arc pi-oviif'd to ^t<»re the water whirh i^ nee«ied in May and June. 
With tlh' growth of th^' re-crvoir ^y-teni l>a>in irrigation will disap- 
p»ai". There ai"e now 11'" (»t the^-e 'm-in^ in I'pper Egypt, varying in 
.'-izf fr<»!n .".oo to o;».ooo inre-. Karli vear nianv of these basins fail to 
rcMcive the vohnnc of water nei'drd anvi the yield of the crops is cor- 
r('-p<»n'iniL'"ly reduced. Taxes on -ui-h land have to l»e remitted, entail- 
iiio- a lo-- to rlie trea-iirv i^i s-j-ui^iutw annuallv. Althoiiofh -the basin 
sv-teni ha- hren L'"reatlv ini]>roved diiriiiL^ the past twentv vears, vet 
SO evi(h-nt are rht^ advantaLTe-^ <»t* ]>ereniHal iri'iL^ition that the demand 
io] re-ervoir- ha- i)eon growing. In Lower Egypt 1.3oojXK) acres can 
})e rerdainie(l when water for irrigation i- made available. According 
t<.) a roiiLfh rh'ternnnation of tlit^ <hitv of water, made l>v engrineers. it 
will re(|uire :);;j'<io r-uhic feet per -ec()nd. or 7."..4«"> acre-feet per day, 
to iii'iL;'at<* thi- land. 

'ihe Mjcan di-charee of the Nih' for Januarv is about 14(M)00 acre- 
feet ixM- dav. For February it i- al»out l<»4.«»<»o. and for March it is 
T.*^.<'<'" acr('-fe(.'t per day. in thi- month falling helow the volimie which 
will he n<*r*d<*d when all tlie irrigable land in Egypt is brought under 
cultivation. In A|)i"il and June the mean discharge per da^' is alx)ut 
51JMIO acre-feet. In May it fall> a^ low as 44.5i»u acre-feet per day. 
The mean di-chartrc in acre-feet per dav for Julv is 182,000. While 
some >hortarr<^* inav occur verv earlv in this month, vet it is not one of 


the critical months. During the remainder of the year the river always 
furnishes more water ttan is needed. 

Mean dMuinje of the Xile, 1873-189^. 



-iMiumry ' 4, 192, C.oO 

Tuiit' .. 
Julv .. 

3, lln, 728 
2, 210, 8.3S 
5, 484, (500 




October . . . 
December . 


19, 050, sm 

9, 329, 700 

Total 92. <;01, 224 

The reservoir system would, during average years, have to supply 
li!0,O()U aore-feet in March, 799,000 acre-feet in April, 1,()0l>,0(H» acre- 
feet in Ma}', 799,000 acre-feet in June, and probably 120,000 acre-feet 
during the first few davsof Julv. The reservoirs Avould have to store 
a total volume of 2,852,000 acre-feet in order to furnish water for the 
irrigation of this land. Even in low-water years the Nile supplies 
plenty of water to fill a reservoir system of much larger i'aj)acity. If 
the reservoir system could be made large enough to maintain a uniform 
flow in the river throughout the year, it would at all times discharge 
about 257,280acre-feet per day, or about 130, OOO cubic teet per second. 
The Nile furnishes an average volume of 92,()O0,0OOucre-feet annually. 
Disregarding losses in storage and transit, it is estimated tluit 27.521,000 
acre-feet of water would irrigate all of the ao^ricultural land. Tnder 
this assumption the land would be covered to a deptii of 4.27 feet. 
This would leave G5,200,o0o acre-feet of Avater unused when Egypt 
was fully supplied. It will be seen that the building of the Assuan 
reservoir, with an estimated capacity of 8()o,400 tu-re-fect. is only the 
tirst step in the construction of storage works. The Wady Kyan site 
alone could probably store al)out 3, 000,000 ucre-feet, enough water to 
supply Egypt, but it could l)e used only in Lower Egypt; but the nat- 
uml flow of the Nile furnishes more watiM* than is needed for ri)i)er 
Egypt. If this site were impioved. the Assuan reservoir would not 
be needed; hence, it will very likely Ix^ tlu» policy of the govertmient 
to build a number of storat^c works similar to the Assuan resiM'voir 
farther up the river. That tlu^ (\\piMise of maintaining these jind the 
(lifliculty of controlling the discharge of water from them will l)e nuich 
greater than for one large reservoir, can not be doubted. 

If reservoirs are construcl(Hl farther up the Nile, tlu\v nuist be 
farther from Egyptian territory, and conMHiuently !nore ditiieult to 
control. Much discussion has oecurriHl us to thi^ finisibility of utilizing 
lakes Victoria and Albert in central Africa as rexM-voirs. i^ut little^ 
has been done toward making survevs in that localitv and no tiiiures 
are available as to the cost of convertiui:- the lakes into -«tora<re works. 



Tho entifineers of the Eofvptian (jovernment have realized for a long 
time that it would }>e necessary to store some of the Nile water ])efore 
I'pper Ktifvpt could receive the ))enetits of perennial irrigation or a 
large area of Lower Egypt be reclaimed. For ten years before work 
was undertaken toward building the reservoir preliminary surveys 
were made and manv reservoir sites were discussed. Investiofators 
resorted to ancient history and brought forth all the known facts 
regarding Lake Moeris, which occui)ied part of the basin now known 
as the Fayum pi'ovince. One American engineer, who had studied 
this subject and made some survevs, held that the Wadv Rvan was 
formerlv Lake Moeris. Whether or not this })e true does Pot matter 


at this time. To-day it is the only practicable reservoir site ))etween 
the Mediterranean and Assuan. (See PI. XIX.) 

Farlv in 1S1>4, after considerable discussion as to how reservoir con- 
struction should be carried on and what sites should be utilized, a 
technical commission was appointt^l. This commission consisted of 
Sir HiMijamin Baker, tin Englishman: Auguste Boule, a Frenchman, 
and (liacomo Torricelli, an Italian. Thev left Cairo Februarv '2^'^- 
and leturned March liH, having examined all the sites in less than a 
month. The Wadv Hvan and a number of Nile vallev reservoirs were 
discussed, th(* majority of the commission finally agreeing upon the 
Assuan site. 

Th(^ Nile, from the town of Assuan to the dam site, is broken into 
manv ii'reuular chaniu^ls. The bed and banks of the river are larsfelv 
com])<)S(Hl of grtmite. The first cataract of the Nile begins where the 
water first encounters tlu^ granite. Engineers agreed that the dam 
should ))e built in this localitv. but as to its exact line there was a 
gi'eat (leal of discussion. ^Ir. Willcocks reconnnended that it be of 
irreuular alignnuMit, run!iifii»' from one island to another, where his 
studies indicated that tht* granite was solid, thus afl'ording a good 
foundation: but the dam a^ tinallv built is straio'ht, and crosses the 
ri\'e]' where rapids lir>t ap])ear. It was originally planned to make 
the dam l<Mi feet high, but when it was found that a dam of this 
height would cause the sui)mersion of the temples on the island of Phila^ 
it wa> detei-mined. in view of the ptotests of those interested in the 
presiM'vation of these* luiii^. to re(hue the height 30 feet, although it 
is possible that it may still ))e raisiul to 1(M) f(»et. This would give the 
r(\sei*voir a storage eapaeity two or three times greater than it now 
has, whili* the* latio bi»tween the cost of the work and the volume of 
water im})ound(Ml would be greatly reduced. (Pis. XX and XXI.) 

The dam is To feet high. 6,4oo fVet long, !i3 feet wide on top, and 
S2 f(H't wide on th(* bottom at the diH^pest })art. It contains approxi- 
mately 1.0(10.000 cui)ic yaids of masonry. The depth of water at the 

Map Comparing thc Nili 


Plate XIX. 



dam will be 65.6 feet when the reservoir is full. The cross section of 
the dam shown herewith (fi^. 8) needs hut little explanation. The 
road^vay running along* the top of that portion of the dam containing 
>luireways is 1().4 feet wide. A large part of the eastern end of the 
dam, containing no sluiceways, is narrower, and the roadway there is 

Radius 21.664 Ft. 

Scale In feet. 

15 20 2S 

3p 3^ 

Fig. s. — Cross section of A-snan dam. 

reduced to 9.8 feet. The ruhhh^ masonry of the IkkIv of the dam is 
laid in 4 to 1 cement mortar, and the downstream slope is faced with 
S(juared rubble laid in the sanu^ mortar and pointed in '2 to 1 cement 
mortar. The upstream slope, being submerged a large ])art of the 
year, is faced with scpiared rubble laid in 2 to I cement mortal* and 
pointed in the same. The batir of the lower slope of the djun is 1 to XL 


Buttiewsps :-i.7r) fi'ct ttiuk miil 'Hi feet wide aiv located Ix'tween each 
set of 1" .-tiii(c\v!u>. i>r alwut ^4" ffet a|»irt. The Imttres.WiS were 
iiddi'd nitliei- for tlic suke of appeainnee than to incitase the strength 
of the Willi. The fimi- locks at the western end of the dam are each 
■2i\U feet \<m<f and :U fe.-t wide. Thev will enable small l>oafcs to jm^s 
at near-lv anv tinte durin-r tile veur. 

There are isii sliiieewavs thi'<.u<.di tlie dam 
idared with tlieir .-ills i-raeticallv im a level v 
Forlv of these low sliiie.-wavs ai-e lined with <■: 
all others Iwinjr lin-'d with a-hlar niasonrv. 
sidered as diiralde us the .irranile. Imt l.y en 
iiiiieh iiastciied, sc, that the sluicewav- eomi 

Of tiiese fiS have been 
lith the bed of the river. 

The ea^t iron is not ooa- 
iployin^ it the work wim 
:ieiiei'd at tlie end of one 


hi^ich- water season could he tinished before the flood attain appeared. 
Soventv-flve sluieewavs have their sills 14. 7H feet a})ove the bed of the 

ft- ft- 

river. Of the hitter 25 are supplied with roller gates and the remain- 
ing- 50 have simph' sliding gates, to be operated only Avhen the head of 
water against them is small. Eighteen sluiceways have been placed 
27. 8s feet and 22 sluieewavs 41 feet above the bed of the river. All 
of the sluiceways except the upper 40 are 6.5(> feet wide and 22.1^6 
feet high. The upper sluieewavs have the same width ])ut are only 
one-half as high. The rollers lie between paths on the gates and paths 
fastened to the niasonrv of the dam. The gates themselves are ])uilt 
up of steel plates, stift'ened l)y rolled steel joists, Avhich in tui'n are 
bolted to the cast-iron roller path beams. The following description 
of the gates and gearing for raising them has been furnished I)}" 
Kansomes & Rapier, Limited, the manufacturers: 

The jrates are siLspended l)y stt't^l-wire rope:^ pat*siiijr aroiiiul pulleys so as to give 
10 partvS of rope. The two ends of the rope are Avound upon a crah barrel i)laeed at 
the side of the roadway at the top of the dam. The era)) gear is sueh that one man 
can operate each gate with the full head of water against it, the gate not being in 
any way couiiter])alanced. ( Fig. 9. ) 

Cast-iron grooves are built into the dam in order to provide the necessary space 
for the gates to work in. These are cast in sections and ))olted together in place. A 
cast-iron sill piece and a cast-iron lintel form the toj) and l)ottom of the sluiceway 
o{)ening. An arclied roof casting supports tlie masonry over the entrance to the 
culvert in front of the sluicewav. 

Owing to the cutting nature of the silt in the Nile water, it has been thought advis- 
able to provide stanching rods (»n each sidt* of the gate and also in the lintel casting. 
These rods will make the gates ])ractically water-tight when shut down. 

In the case of the 50 sluiceways 14.7<> feet alcove the be<l of the river, which are 
without rollers, the gates slide against the planed faces of the groove castings and 
are made water-tight against the faces, and als(» on the sill when the gates are com- 
pletely lowered. The top is rendered water-tight l)y an adjustal)le l)ar l>olted to the 
gate which lowers onto a pngection from the lintel when the gate is in its tinal 

The location of the sluiceways on the high level will permit the 
water of the reservoir to be controlled Avithout its ))eini^ necessarv to 
manipulate the other gates, which will withstand a ])ressure of 8o0 
tons when the reservoir is full. Toward the 1st of Dei-ember of each 
vear the lowest 65 and the 5o ordinarv aates 14. T<) feet above will l)e 
closed. The reservoir will innnediatclv i)e£fin to hll, and the 25 sluii-e- 
wavs furnished with Stonev j^ates will be sh)wh' closed as the discharoe 

ft. • ^^ • r^ 

of the Nile warrants. It is hoped that in this way the reservoir may 
be entire!}' tilled without appreciably atlccting the flow of the river. 
The upper gates Avill be the last to be closed while tlie rcscM'voir is 
filling and the tirst to be opened when the water is turned bjick into 
the Nile in Mav. The shiicewavs furnished with StoniM' Liate^ will 

• ft, ft. »^ 

next be graduall}' opened, and all the gativs will 1k^ raised by the 
niiddle of July, when high water appetirs. Th(\v will remain opiMi 


until the flood has practically disappearea and comparatively clear 
water again flows in the Nile. 

Work on the foundation and lower parts of the dam had to be prose- 
cuted during low Nile. The numerous channels into which the river 
is divided at the head of the first cataract favored this work. Tempo- 
rary dams thrown across one chaimel turned the water into others, 
and, by thus 'changing a))out, each part of the foundation was com- 
pleted and put in shape so that the next flood ^ould pass over it with- 
out injury. Along the west margin of the river immediately above 
the dam it was found necessary to resort to riprapping, as the mate- 
rial is rather line and the current sets in against that bank during 
high Avater. The greatest difficulty in the construction of the dam 
was to find stable material upon which to place the foundation. In 
one of the channels the partly decomposed granite had to be excavated 
to a depth of 00 feet ])elow the bed of the river (PI. XXII, fig. 2), mak- 
ing the total height of the dam at this point over 120 feet. The 
neighboring country supplied a fine ([uality of granite in unlimited 
(|uantities. The Egyptian Railway connects directly with steamers at 
Alexandria, and cement was delivered at Shellal, within 2 miles of the 
dam site. The contractor built light railways from the dam to Shellal 
and to the (luarries. In this way the stone, cement, and other sup- 
plies wen^ i)rought to the point where needed and were lifted direct 
from the cars to their final positions in the dam. The rubble masonry 
stone of which the interior of the dam is composed was carried up 
inclined planes ])y natives to the masons. The cement mortar for 
this work was mixed alongside the dam and handled in the same man- 
ner. The large dimension stone of which the face of the dam is con- 
structed was cut at the (|uarry and shipped as needed. The edges of 
the stone were protected by wooden frames, and other precautions 
were* taken to keep the corners true while the heavy blocks were being 

The first cost of the dam was Si), 740,000, wliich, with interest, will 
be paid i!i ()0 semiamuial installments of $382,845.31 each, the first 
])avnient to l)e due Julv 1, 11M)3. This makes the final cost of the dam, 
including interest, $22,t)7o,Tl8.Gn. The cost of the work, not includ- 
ing the purchase of land which the reservoir covers or the repairs 
made to the temples of Philae. amounts to $11.20 per acre-foot of 
ca})acity. The ultimate cost to the people of Kgypt, including inter- 
est charges, will be §2().r><) per acre-foot. Egypt has also raised 
$5,740,000 for improving canal systems, especially those of Upper 
Egypt, so that the Avat(M- supplied by the reservoir may be distributed. 

As the water stored bv tlu^ reservoir could not serve all the land 
which might be reclaimed in Egypt, it was decided to furnish water 
to the areas alread}^ under cultivation Ijut which sulfer from drought 
during the months of scarcity. That part of the valley l^'ing between 

Fig. 2. -Deep F.'UN! 

IN End ^'F Abhr-'N D■>^ 




Assuan and Assiut was allotted 137,800 acre-feet. The lands between 
Assiut and Cairo were allotted 482,400 acre-feet. Gizeh province 
alone, near Cairo, was allotted 08,900 acre-feet. The territory north 
of Cairo, principally in the delta, was allotted 243,200 acre-feet. The 
sum of these figures is 863,400 acre-feet, thi^ estimated capacity of the 

The engineers have estimated that about 70,000 acres can l)o irri- 
gated from the reservoir between Assuan and Assiut, giving this area 
about 2 feet in deptli, the water })eing measured in the reservoir and 
no allowance made for loss either through evaporation or seepage. 
One authority states that only one-third of the land is cultivated in 
an\' one season, which allows 210,000 acres to be served. It is 
extremely doubtful if over 70,000 acres can ))e served in this portion 
of Egypt during the three seasons of the year. If this area can ])e 
changed from flood to perennial irrigation the amuial yield of the land 
will })e increased at least §700,000. If 210,000 acres could be brought 
under perennial irrigation in this part of Upj)er Egypt, it would mean 
an increase in the returns to the farmer of al)out li^2, 100,000 and in 
the revenue of the state of a})out >^(>0.000 p(»r year. 

The engineers hope to bring under peremiial irrigation 458,000 acres 
of land lying between Assiut and Cairo. Tliis would make an annual 
increase in the returns to the farmer of about $5,7oo,0OO and in the 
revenue of the government of about §950,000. It is estimated that 
100,000 acres can })e brought under perennial irrigation in (rizeh 
province alone, yielding an annual increase in agricultural products of 
nearly §1,000,000 and about §300,000 to the government. By the 
perennial irrigation of 12n,(K)0 acres in the delta it is hoped to increase 
the annual returns from agriculture there by about §3,0OO,O(mi and 
the revenue through taxation by about §4(M),ooO. 

In addition to the direct benetits from the reservoir, it is estimated 
that an average of §1,000,000 will be savi^l each year on the cotton 
crop. One year in live the Nile is so low that al)out §5,(Mmijm)0 is lost 
b\' a failure of a portion of this crop. Besides this, about §.*>,( mio, (MM) 
will ultimately be realized fiom the sale of government land brought 
under perennial irrigation. It is Ijelievcnl that the water stored in the 
Assuan reservoir will add annually to the wealth of the country a total 
of §11,(M)0,000. Land which can be pereiuiially irrigatiul rents about 
§5 per acre higher than that which de])end> upon inundation alone. 
As shown above, the taxes on ])erennially irrigated land are nuieh 
higher than on land not so watered. It is ex])ected that the semian- 
nual payments on the reservoir will ))e met by the increased revenue 
from the lands deriving benefit from the stored water. In the words 
of Sir Alfred Milner. ''The Egyptian (Jovernment is relieved from 
the difficulty of paying for the works until return is riM-eivcd from 
them; until, in othiM- words, they ])ay for thems(^ly(»s." 


There is no doul)! but that land values have increased greatl}^ .since 
the construction of the reservoir })egan, and almost any irrigation 
project in l^pper or Lower Egypt has no trouble in securing financial 
})acking. This demand for farming land and the increasing number 
of capitalists interested in Egyptian agriculture led to a number of 
inciuiries regarding the actual capacity of the reservoir. Engineer's 
were detailed from foreign countries to visit the site of the reservoir 
and obtain figures to satisfy capitalists that the reservoir would accom- 
plish what it was advertised to do. In this wa}', and through the 
annual reports of the government engineers, the Assuan dam has 
probably l)ecome better known throughout the world than any other 
work of (Hjual importance. However, outside of the surveys in the 
immediate vicinity of the site of the dam, little has })een done to deter- 
mine the actual capacity of the reservoir. A survey was begun 
durin^jf tlie winter of 1901-2 to establish the boundary line of the 
reservoir when full. 


The dam at Assiut was constructed for the purpose of raising the 
level of the water so that it would flow into large canals supplying 
water to land on the west side of the river. But one canal leaves the 
river at the dam. At Dirut, a few miles below Assiut, a wasteway 
has been }>uilt and a number of masonry regulators have been provided. 
At this place another channel comes in from the river. This latter 
cliannel is used only during high Nile. A number of divisions of the 
Ibraimia Canal at Dirut furnish water for the only perennial irriga- 
tion in Upper Egypt imtil the Assuan reservoir shall have become 
availal)le. The most important canals below the regulators are the 
Ibraimia, running parallel with the Nile, and the Yusef, which parallels 
the Ii)raimia for a distance, and ends in the Fayum province. 

The Assiut dam resembles the barrage ])elow Cairo somewhat, and, 
like the barrage, is foimded u])on soft material, which necessitated a 
very broad foundation. The gcMieral character of the dam is shown in 
PI. XXIII. Its total length is 2jU(\ feet or about half a mile. The 
height of the roadway above the l)ed of the river is •i'l:. 5 f eet. The piers 
supporting the roadway are ().5f> feet thick. Every ninth pier is 13.1 
feet thick. The sluiceways are 1<).5 feet wide. The depth to which 
water will iiow through the archways during high Nile is 33.5 feet. 
Two gates, each T.S feet high, were provided for each sluiceway. When 
these aie in position they are ca|)ableof increasing the depth of water 
about in feet. The i^ates are raised ])V a traveling winch which can be 
moved to any point along the dam. It is the supposition that the 
gates will not need to be lowered until the latter part of April each 
year, and they will ])e raised ])efore the appearance of high water in 
Tulv. Durino" liiiih Nile all sediment which mav have collected above 


the dam between April and fluly will be washed away. A lock has 
been provided at the western end of the dam. 

This design has proved to be the best for dams where the material 
on which the foundation rests is not solid. It would doubtless nrive 
good service in the Platte, Arkansas, and other American river> where 
the beds of the streams are similar to that of the Nile north of Assuan. 

The Assiut dam cost $1,9S6,()3(). The stone was transported from 
quarries farther up the river and the cement and ironwork were brought 
from England. The Ibraimia Canal head gate, located on the west 
side of the river just upstream of the dam, cost $370,(>O(). It is of the 
same general type as the dam except that it is provided with gates 
which are designed to withstand the flood water. As reser^ oir con- 
struction progresses on the upper reaches of the Nile, dams similar to 
the one just completed at Assiut will have to be erected wherever large 
canals are taken from the river. 


In Eg3"pt, as elsewhere, irrigation and drainage go together. The 
Nile and the canals deposit material along their courses, and, after 
running in one channel for a long period, this deposit raises the chan- 
nel above the level of the surroundino-c-ountrv. The water ultimatelv 
overflows their banks and runs across the low adjacent country, making 
for itself shorter routes to the sea. This chanofe in channels has ttiken 
place many times since Egyptian history was lirst recorded. 

The delta is almost entirely separated from the sea by lakes which 
are supplied l)y rainfall, by water escaping from the river, by water 
from the canals, and by drainage fi-om the tields. The I boundary 
betw^een these lakes and the sea is maintained bv wave action of the 
Mediterranean. The process of draining them would be compara- 
tively simple were it not that in some cases their surfaces are ])elow sea 
level. Before perennial irrigation was g(Mierally extended throughout 
the delta, evaporation alone kept down the l?vel of these lakes and 
they did not injure the bordering farming lands. Many drains had 
been dug, however, by the earlier irrigators. During the periods 
when Egypt was occupied by Turks. Arabians, and others, who paid 
but little attention to tin* condition of the farminof class or to the sue- 
cess of agriculture, many drains wiu-e abandoiu^d. while others were 
used as canals. Laro-e areas, once oood farming:" lands, reverted to 
salt marshes. It is with oreat difticiiltv that this land is ))cinof 
I'eclaimed at the present time. Into such a state of disordi^r had 
things drifted when the Knglish took charge in Issii that many of 
those earlv drains weri^ used for canals {ind canals for drains. Manv 
thousand acres w^hich had previously b(MMi agricultural land reverted 
to the oriofinal swampv condition. rhes(^ an^ biMno* slowlv reclaimed. 


Immense pumping plants have been installed to remove the water 
from the surface, and drains have been dug. The surface of the 
ground is pulv^erized l)efore fresh water is applied. After the water 
has dissolved some of the salts it is allowed to flow away. That which 
is absorbed by the soil reaches the drains and runs away by gravity or 
is lifted hy pumps. This is an expensive and tedious process, but as 
soon as a portion of the salts are removed rice can be grown, and by 
careful use of the water the land continues to improve in tjuality. 
Much land has been thus treated and is now growing cotton and the 
more vahia))Ie crops of Egypt. 

Since the occupation of the English $5,000,000 or $6,000,000 have 
been spent in drainage work. After the barrage was put in condition 
for service perennial irrigation in the delta was greatly stimulated, 
and it became necessary to provide for removing the added volume of 
water drained from the rtelds. Much of this water ran into channels 
tributary to the lakes. (PI. XXIV.) The level of these gradually rose 
and threatened liirgi* areas of adjoining farming lands. Some of the 
lakes were drainc^d by constructing simple works which permitted them 
to flow into tlie sea whenev(»r there was sufficient difference in level. 
Lake Edku }»el()ngs to this class. 

Lak(» ]\hircotis, near Alexandria, has probably given the most 
tr<)u])lo. Its surface varies from T)^ to 11 feet below the sea level. 
Unless it can be maintained at least S feet below sea level large areas 
of adjoining lands already drained revert to their original condition. 
Until 1S1)2 (evaporation kept the li^vel of the lake at a satisfactory 
height and j)umping was not practiced. A pumping plant \vas 
installed in thi* winter of 1S<)2-1)3, but, in spite of the fact that it 
discharged 2iH) cubic feet i)er si^cond, the level of the lake was higher 
the following vcar than it had been for ten vears before. This rise is 
attributed to an increased rainfall as well as to the increased volume 
of wat(4- from the irrigated lands. Soon after the installation of the 
first pumps others wcM'e added, until now th(» ])lant has a capacity of 
1,200 cu])ic feet i)vv sc^cond. The pumps are of the centrifugal pattern 
and are reciuired to raise the water only about lo feet. They operate 
from November until the followin<r Mav or June. The cost of 
pumping is a])out 2o cents ])er acn^-foot, or about (>() cents per 
1,000,000 gallons. 

T!i(^ g()V(M'nnient owns two pumping plants })esides the one at Lake 
]\Iareotis. One of thc^se is for drainino- the* Wadv Tumilat, a narrow 
strip of land in a gap in the Arabian desert northeast of Cairo, where 
a considerable area has been injured by infiltration from the Ismailia 
Canal. The station is located at Kassasin. The otliei* station, located 
at Atfeii and i)reviously referred to, pumps watcM* from the Nile into 
the Mahmoudia Canal. 

U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bui. 130, Off cc ot Exot. St..: nn^. If gation .■ vest gatior.^, 

Plate XXIV. 





























Eg"3'pt was the granary of the world four thoiLsand years ago, and it 
is natural to look to such a country forniodel irrigation laws. Unfortu- 
nately irrigation in Egypt has developed under conditions diti'erent 
from those of any other country. The character of the Nile flood is 
such that until perennial irrigation was introduced there was no need 
of laws and reofulations. Beyond some recent reforms therefore, the 
irriofation code of Egypt is as inapplicable to American conditions as 
aiv the saki3'jeh and the wooden plow. While the present irrigation 
law of Egypt provides that certain canals, drains, and other improye- 
monts are the property of the goyernment, the rights of neither the 
state nor the irrigator in the water of the Nile are defined. There are 
no special regulations regarding the use or the distribution of water, 
and no legal limit is placed on the volume applied to the fields. 
Pleasuring flumes and weirs are unknown. A reform is slowly being 
brought a})out through the gradual regulation of the capacity of the 
lifting devices, but it will be years before these furnish water in ratio 
to the area of the land irrigated. When one of these raising devices 
has to be replaced by a new one, or an altogether new plant is installed, 
the government prescribes the size of the pump, and in this way limits 
to some extent the volume of water furnished to the lands. Many 
large pumping plants have })een installed, which will for years con- 
tinue in use practically as they are to-day. Nearly all of these furnish 
water in excess of the quantity actually needed. The native farmer 
generally raises water by some of the ancient devices, and hence it is 
that he suflfers by the introduction of the large pumping plants which 
rapidly deplete the water supply. 


To enable the positions of the Egyptian in'igation ofiicers to be 
understood it will })e necessary to descrilie briefly the character of the 

ft ft- 

government at the present time, treating only incidentally the com- 
plex foreign relations which have })een entered into during the past 
thirty years. Egypt is divided into fourteen provinces: six of these are 
in the delta and eight in Upper Egypt. The Fayum is one of the latter, 
and includes two oases in the descut. Two oases are also included in 
the province of Assuit. Egypt, as a whole, may be compared to one 
of our smaller States, and the provinces with our counties. The 
accompanying map shows the location of each of these provinces and 
also the irrigation circles oi- districts. (PI. 1.) 

The chief oflicer of each province i> the governor. Under him is 
the council, which is made up of the vict^-governor. the tax gatherer, 
a clerk, an accountant, a superintendent of police, a supervisor of 


canals and pu])lic' works, a head physician, and a supreme judge, who 
is a representative of the Mohammedan Church and is the authority on 
religious affairs. Some of the larger towns have independent gov^ern- 
ments similar to that of the provinces. Each province is divided into 
districts, over each of which there is a chief officer who is at all times 
under the orders of the governor of the province. Under these dis- 
trict officers come the sheiks, who are mayors or local magistrates. 
The larger towns are also divided into precincts, each of which has its 

In theory the government of Egypt is one of the most complicated 
in the world: in practice it is comparatively simple. Tha British niin:r 
ister plenipotentiary and his advisers are the real government. Native 
Egyptian officers have certain duties, but the English have all the 
authority. The theoretical heads of the government are the Sultan 
of Turkey, represented by the khedive; a number of foreign nations, 
including (ireat Britain: while the third and most important is Great 
Britain alone. The government therefore has three heads, only one 
of which is authoritative. Apparently the khedive is an absolute 
monarch: in reality he has no authority except such intluence as the 
local representative of the Mohanmiedan Church in a Mohammedan 
country would naturally have. Then again, Egypt is a dependency of 
Turkey and pays S2.*2i>2,ni)0 annually in tribute to Turkey, receiving 
nothing in return. While the Sultan has no political influence in 
Egypt, he is at the head of the ]Mohanunedan Church. The tinances 
of Egypt ar(^ largely controlled by a commission made up of represen- 
tatives from foreign countries. Foreign judges sit in the mixed tri- 
bunals. Criminal suits airainst foreiirners are tried in consular courts 
of the national it V of the accused, or he is returned to his own country 
and tried by a conii)etont court there. 

A (leciHM* of tli(* kliedive has no weiirht unless sanctioned bv the 
British minister: neither can Ik^ veto a measure au*ainst the advice of 
that official. Before any nunisurc can ])ecome a law it is prepared in 
the shape of a decree by oni^ of tlie seven ministers. The minister of 
the interioi" is tin* prime minister and president of the council of min- 
isters. Under him are the minister of public works, the minister of 
public instruction, the minister of foreign affairs, the minister of 
finance, the minister of justice, and th(^ minister of war and marine. 
These ministers are native Egy])tians, but the undersecretaries are 
British and control the i)()licy of each department. These under- 
secretaries an^ advised by the British minister, and in this way his 
influence is felt through every department of the government. After 
a decree has ]>een prepared by one of the ministers it is submitted to 
the council of ministers and the British financial adviser, or his dele- 
gate, who has a I'ight to attend the meetings of the council. Any measure 
which provides for a change in the financial affairs of the government 


this official has a right to veto. His power in this particular is abso- 
lute, and he is not required to give a reason for his actions. The 
business affairs between Egypt and Turkey are conducted hy the prime 
minister and a special commissioner from Turkey. 

Egypt has no popular government. No elections are held; hence the 
public takes little interest in the affairs of the government. In fact, 
pu})lic sentiment does not exist. Under the organic law of May, 1S83, 
a representative assembly is provided for, but the same act contains 
so many restrictions that the functions of this body are entirely 
advisory. Some of the larger towns of Egypt and the fourteen prov- 
inces have something like local govenunent,.but, owing to the compli- 
cated nature of the control of P^gypt, privileges of this kind can not 
be much extended. About all the advantage enjoyed by the provinces 
or these cities is that their local councils or assem})lies mav discuss 
measures which affect their conmnniities. The council of ministers 
considers their recommendations wlien it meets, and in this wav becomes 
acquainted with public needs as nearly as the council can interpret 

The legislative council, composed of thirty members, meets at Cairo 
about once a month. Fourteen of the members of this council are 
named b}^ the government, and the government reserves the right to 
delegate any other ofhcial to attend its meetings. Nothing can origi- 
nate in this council, but it can examine th(» estimate of expenditures 
and discuss decrees which affect internal administration. The gov- 
ernment is not required to accept amendments made by the legislative 
council, but the reasons for rejecting any amendment must be sub- 
mitted in writing. 

In addition to the legislative counc 11, there is a ))odv known as the 
'^general assembly.'* It is composed of the ministers of state, the thirty 
members of the legislative council, and forty-six delegates, of whom 
thirty-five are chosen from the fourteen provincial assemblies and 
eleven are selected ])v the oovcrmnent. Before this l)odv can meet 
the khedive must issue a decrei^ callinii' for a s(\ssi()n. The assemblv 
should convene every two years: in practice its sessions are irregular, 
and when it meets its sittings ai"e short and the l)usiness coniino' before 
it is of minor importance. It has no legislative pi-ivileges. but can 
veto any measures relating to taxation. N\> ncnv taxes can be im})osed 
without obtaining the consent of the geniu'al asseml)ly. In fact, this 
is its only real power. 

Regardless of the seemingly complicated nature of the government, 
the lawmaking power is (|uite simple. After the council of minist(\rs 
has approv^ed a decree it is transmitted to the khedive. It makes ])ut 
little difference whether he signs it or not. His power of veto can not 
l)e exercised when it conflicts with the advice of the British minister. 
As these acts or decreiv'^ originate with the ministers, and th(^ ])olicies 


of each inini.stor are dictated bv a British iindersecretarv, it is but 
seldom that measures are introdiu-ed that have not the indorsement of 
the Enoflish. . 

The irrigution officials are under the minister of public works and 
include an insjx^ctor-genei"iiI of irrigation, one ins|)ector of irrigation 
for Upp<'r Egypt and one for Lower Egypt, and an^ector -general 
of reservoirs. These officials are all English, and all hut the inspector- 
general of reservoirs have jxM'manent |X)sitions. and his will doubtless 
last until reservoir construction has been completed. In the same 
i*ank with these officials stand six heads of the irrigfation adniinistra- 
tion, who are native Egyptians. The head of the technical service 
is an Egyptian, and this branch is closely allied with the irrigation 
administration. To him are referred all technical questions relative 
to the issuance of licenses for pumps and other lifting devices. The 
survey department is in a way connected with the irrigation work. It 
has an English director. Two other departments, one dealing with 
towns and buildings and the other with antiquities, hav^e but little to 
do with the irrigation administration. The two inspectors for Upper 
and Lower Egypt and the heads of the dniwing and mapping divisions 
have their offices at Cairo. 

Egypt is divided into irrigation districts, which, for convenience, 
are known as circles, and each circle has an inspector. The inspectors 
of the first and second I'ircles have their offices at Cairo, the inspector 
of the third circle is at Alexandria, of the fourth at Mineh, of the 
tifth at Keneli, and oi the sixth at Sohao'. The directors of the first, 
third, and fourth cinles are English. The remaining three are Egyp- 
tian. The inspectors of the circles have immediate charge of cleaning 
canals. l)uilding smaller diversion works, repairing masonry structures, 
keeping gauge heights on the Nile and on canals, and dividing the 
water among canals in accordance with the area under each or as the 
inspector-general may otherwise instruct. Under these men are other 
ottieiais, most of whom are natives, who travel about and see that the 
instructions of the inspectors of the circles are carried out. Ordinarily 
the responsibility of the engineer ends when the water is turned into 
th(^ canals. 

Every canal which serves more than two villages is held to be public, 
and comes dinn-tlv under the irrigation administration. There is 
nothing in the law which re(iuire> a certain discharge to be supplied in 
the canal during any part of the year. There is nothing to prevent an 
irrigation official closing- oni^ canal or all at his pleasure. When water 
is suppli(Ml the canal th(^ irrigator can use as much as he can lift and 
convev to his land. What In^ does not need he is free to waste. Ii 


the canal supplies too much water and floods adjoining land, or it it 
fails to supply enough to iri'igate the farms depending on it, the h'Yi- 
gator has no recourse except to apply for a remission of a part or all 
of the tax ordinarily paid. 


Durintr the sousons of sciin'itv time rotiitions arc onfuived, over 
which the enginoor has ahnost ti))S()hito control. Tlio purpose of the 
adnihiistration is rather to sa\"e the more vahuihle crops than to ])ro- 
tect the irriiJ^ators uniformly. This insures a maxiirium return to the 
treasury through taxation, ])ut seldom affords an impartial and equi- 
table division of the water. For instance, during some seasons rota- 
tions occur everv four days; that is, irriojitors are allowed to use the 
water a certain length of time and then he de})riyed of it for four 
davs. Durino- the warm seasons of the year, in June and July, four 
days of drought is sulHcicMit to kill rice. The fcdlah who has planted 
this ci-op is the sufferei*. and, although his taxes tiri^ remitted, he has 
no income from his land and nmst earn his liyin<>- in some other way. 
It has been found necessary to modify the rotations under some of the 
lont^er canals because it often occurs that the water never reaches the 
lower end of a canal. Usually when water is turned into a canal it is 


allowed to run for a day before any one is ])ermitted to divert it. In 
this way it will run a considerable distance before the volume is dimin- 
ished to any great extent. 

ft i7 


0^ving to the fact that the government controls the diversion and 
division of water there is no litio-ution })etween ii'riu'ators as to water 
rio'hts. Cases arc occasionally bi-ought ao-ainst the o-overnment 
because the water supply is short or ])ecause the size of the pump the 
engineers have permitted to he installed does not sufiice for the irriga- 
tion of the lands it was intended to serve. These cases are becomintr 
rare, as the engineers can generally show that the water was distributed 
as generously as the supply furnished ])y the river would warrant and 
that the volume made available by pumping, if i)roperly used and 
distributed among the irrigators, would have suthced for all. 

Such suits, if the amount of money involved is small, oo lirst before 
the native courts, where, at present, a government ofhcer is usually 
looked upon with suspicion. For this reason an engineer outside of 
the gfovernment service can often oreatlv annoy tiie administration ])y 

^^ ^1 ft^ « • 

making adverse reports or giving t(vstimony in contradiction to that 
presented by the govermnent cngincH'rs. As the irrigation cases in the 
courts are nearly all small and ndatc generally to riohts of way and 

ft, ^^ ft « ft. 

similar questions, the engineers have never had to give thi^n nnich 
attention, and as the Fnulish have slowly instituted reforms in the 

' <^ ft 

court proceedings, just decrees and decisions are now the rule rather 
than the exception. The Kgyptian enginetu's are also favored by the 
absence of any specitic hiws or n^guhitions which would limit them to 
<*ertain prescribed duties. \\\X\\ the power behind them which secured 
them their positions in the tirst phice. they are enabled to take what- 

277r>i>— No. i:^>()-();; :» 


ever dcfisive uctioii is necessarv and to institute such reforms as, in 
their judgment, are plainh^ necessarw 

Another question which often leads to lawsuit against the govern- 
ment is the remission of taxes on the irrigated land or the reduction 
of taxes on the lands where the water has to be pumped. For 
instance, during the summer of 1901, only 38 acres out of a 50-acre 
farm were covered during the Nile flow, leaving 12 acres to be 
watered by pumping. As the owner failed to notify the govern- 
ment at the time that the water was not high enough to irrigate all 
of his land, he was taxed for the entire 50 acres as though it had all 
received the benefit of the high Kile. The government taxes on land 
which has to be irrigated ])y pumped water are only half as much as 
where the land is flooded. A suit of this kind is often expensive, and 
the testimony is generally (piite voluminous. If a native brings the 
suit, and the area is small, involving a loss of less than $500, the case 
goes to a native court. If the land l)elongs to a foreigner the case 
goes to the mixed tribunals. In the former court the proceedings are 
in Arabic, and the records are published in Arabic and English. In 
the mixed tri])unals the proceedings are generally in English, French, 
or Italian, and the proceedings are always published in French or Ital- 
ian. If an ai)peal is taken from the decision of the mixed tribunals, 
the case goes to the court of appeals at Alexandria, where the pro- 
ceedings are in French and are published in French. 

When Mohammed Ali undertook the execution of the perennial irri- 
gation works in Egypt, he carried on the reform as though he were 
the pr()j)rietor of all the land and water in Egypt. He fixed the rate 
of taxation, hired engineers to design the irrigation works and super- 
intend the construction of the same. Where labor was wanted, he forced 
the fellaheen to leave their farms, either to excavate the canals or to 
work on the numerous irrigation structures connected therewith. The 
Egyptian farmer has long })een used to this kind of treatment. In 
fact, he has never seen anvthiup* else until within the last fiftv vears, 
and it will take him a long time to entirely recover, even if the gov- 
ernment makes it possible for him to do so. It is not surprising that 
a wise irrigation code has not developed in Egypt, when all of these 
conditions are considered. In a countrv where land titles were un- 
known, it would not be presumed that the rights of an irrigator would 
be recognized or protectc^d. 

Mohammed Ali. w hile not granting permanent title to agricultural 
land, instituted manv reforms. Amono- these was the distribution of 
fj'om 2^ to 5 or <> acres of land to each person. This was made quite 
early in his reign, and in 1842 he permitted the holders to dispose of 
their land as they pleased. At no time, however, did they hold any 
actual title to the land thev farmed. Tooether with the lack of titles 
and the weight of taxation, the fellaheen have in many cases been 


forced to di.sposc of their land, and nuieh of this is now included in the 
large estates. 

Lender Ismail large tracts were confiscated hy the government. 
About a lifth of the agricultural area of Egyi)t is either directly or 
indirectly under the control of the state at the present time. Some- 
thing over 500,000 acres have been in charge of the Daira Sanieh, 
which company has a contract with the government that stipulates 
that the land shall bring a iixed price when disposed of. About t>6 
per cent of the tillable land in this area is rented in small parcels to 
the peasantry. They pay on an average about ^2i) per acre per year 
in rentals. The land remaining unsold in 1JM)5 reverts to the govern- 
ment. The land sold prior to that date goes largely to the small 
farmer, and whatever profit is made recomi)enses the company for its 
bringing the land under irrigation and placing it on the market. 
In this way a large area will return again to the fellaheen. About 
440,000 acres are still included in tlic^ domains of the state. One liun- 
dred thousand acres of this land are located in Cpper P2gyi)t and the 
remainder in Lower Egypt. Probably SO.doO acres of this land will 
never be cultivated. 

While Ismail Pasha inflicted many wrongs upon Egypt, one of his 
acts has resulted in ])enetit to the p(^oi)le. lie was indirectly responsil^le 
for establishing the flrst titles to farming land in Eg^^pt. He taxed 
the people to the limit, borrowed money with whatever credit he 
had, and without credit when this was exhausted. In an attempt 
to secure ready monc}' he finally issued a decree providing that all 
persons who paid their taxes six years in advance would be given 
permanent titles to their land. Those who could afi'ord to do so 
took advantage of this ofler, and the titles thus o))tained have since 
been recognized. The law was repealed in LSSd, however, because it 
was not as good a financial nu^asun* as it had promised to be. 


When the English engineers flrst undertook a study of Egyptian 
irrigation it was found that tlie law of Egv])t was fragmentary and it 
was diflScult for them to tell what provisions were in force. As early 
as December, 1885, the public works ministry issued regulations 
defining the respective powers of the governors of provinces and the 
inspectors of irrigation. These regulations (see ]). s;^,) are still in 
force and are among the flrst reforms in irrigation law. - -* 

Such duties as the law of Egypt presi*ril)es for the oflicers in charge 
of the division of water are not clearly deflned. The relative ])owers 
of the director-general of irrigation and the inspector of Upper and 
Lower Egypt and the subordiiititcs ar(^ not set forth. This heaves the 
authority wholly with tlu* diivi-tor-gcncral and enables him to take 
such stepj^j as may in his judgment ho iicccssai'v during times of cmer- 


gency. There is notliino- in the law which would orovern the a(*ts of 
the officials diirinuf times when rotations are necessary. Thev are not 
authorized to distrii)ute the water so as to save any particular crop or 
to favor anv locality or person. When a scarcity of water exists the 
relations between the governors of the provinces as prescribed by law 
have but little force. Water is distributed according' to plans originat- 
ing in Cairo and carried into effect by the inspectors for Upper and 
Lower Egypt and their su])ordinates. Even during such periods no 
attention is given to the necessities of the irrigators. Canals supplying 
water to the most valua])le croi)s receive water in rotation, and each 
irric^ator may raise and use as much as he can while there is water in 
his canal. If waste occurs. Init little attention is paid to it. Under 
this system one canal may ))e favored this year and another the year 

« * ft^ m. 

following, depending upon which serves for the irrigation of the more 
yalua])le crops. The irrigator, it will be seen, has no recourse should 
his water supply fail. An appeal to the officers of the province might 
be heeded, but the engineers of the govermnent would not be con- 
strained to alter their ])lan of distribution. 

It will be seen that the operation of such a system places all respon- 
sibility on the government. The defect in the system is that the i)eo- 
ple are not considered as having any rights, but are treated solely as 
a revenue-producintr ])odv, and a farmer who receives water one year 
has no assurance that he will ])e served the next year. There can be 
no stability in land values and no justice in the operation of a land-tax 
law under such conditions, although the rate of taxation is, to some 
extent, regulated by the value of the farm product's. It seems that 
the time must come when the distriluition will ])e fixed permanentl>^ 
Under such a system the farmer would know, as soon as the stagfe of 
the river was reported from Assuan, as to whether he would be sup- 
plied or not. The couipletion of the reservoir system will do mucli 
toward settling this question, hut it will be fifteen or twenty years 
befon^ the farmers of Egypt can (*xi)ect to receive entire relief. 

The regulation of December. 1885 (see p. 8):^), fixes the relation 
between the governors of provinces and the irrigation officials. Sec- 
tion 1 provides that: '" It is the duty of the governor to see that a just 
distrilmtion of the water is made in the various districts composing 
his province.'' This is followed by a sentence which reduces his 
authority to reporting the needs of irrigators to the irrigation inspec- 
tors and listening to the complaints of the village chiefs. 

The second section recjuires the insi)ectors to report to the govern- 
ors, as well as to the minister of i)ublic works, should it be impossil)le 
to satisfy all demands for water. 

Section 3 defines the duties a!id i)owers of the ins})ectors control- 
ling the distribution of water and permits no gate to l)e operated 

ithout written orders from tluMn. If the governor does not approve 


of the action of the inspector or engineor ho may appeal to the minister 
of the interior, but the order of the inspector will stand until coun- 
termanded by the hioher official. Durino- hi«h Nile, or whenever 
work is necessary to avoid disaster, the orders of the governor super- 
sede those of the engineer, and the engineer gives notice that discord 
exists, when the governor becomes responsible for what takes place. 
As the work is largely of an engineering character, it is only in rare 
cases that the governor prefers to take charge in the lield. 

The classification of impi'ovement works provided for in articles 9 
and 10 is worthy of notice. The governor has nothing to do with 
awarding the contracts for excavation reipiiring the services of more 
than 1,000 men, masonry work costing more than $1^74, or work where 
machinery is necessary. The law provides, however, that the gov- 
ernor shall be notilied as to the character of the contract, and he has 
the privilege of reporting any failure on the part of the contractor to 
the engineer. In smaller improvement works the governor and 
engineer work together, selecting the contractor and supervising the 
work, the governor being the judge as to the relia))ilit3^ of ])idders. 

This regulation not only prepared the wav for thc^ irrigation laws 
that were to follow^, but made it nuich easier to introduce reform meas- 
ures regarding the corvee. As soon as the contractors on large enter- 
prises were brought directly under the minister of public works and 
his assistants a solution of some of tlu* la])or prol)lems could be under- 
taken. It was su])posed at the tinu* the regulation went into force 
that the use of machineiv would tro a lona* wav toward reducinu- the 
labor of the corveo, but exp.u'ience ha^ not proven this to i)e the case. 
While the need of better laws was evident to the enoineers under 
the P^gyptian Govermnent, it was impossible or impracticable to bring 
a])out the enactment of a fairly conqnehensive code until I81>4. 

The first article of this decree (see p. 85) defines a canal as a water- 
way which supplies more than two villages. ThesiMire pui)lic and are 
maintained by the government. A ditch is a channel which provides 
water for one or two vilhiges, or for land ))elonging to one person or 
family, even if located in sev(»ral villages. These latter are private 
property and nuist be maintained by those deriving benefit therefrom, 
but the government may clean them should the owners neglect t') do 
so and tax the cost against the owners. As the number of irrigators 
under anv canal incrinise, the necessitv for uovcM'mnent control in 
this respect evidently l)ecom(\s greater. 

Drains are classified in mueli t\u^ >ame manner as are ditches and 
canals. If a drain serves but one or two villau'cs it is considered as a 
private work, unless it serves more than 2,O()0 acres. In the latter 
case or when it serves more than two xillages it is considered public. 
Drains are maintained under the same reo-ulation as are canals and 
ditche.s. This is proi)ai>ly due to the difficulty of distri))uting the work 


of mainteiuuue fairly among the owners. A provision has therefore 
been inserted in article *2 under whieh any ditch iiiav be considered as 
public property should it serve for the irrigation of as much as 1.000 
acres belonging to several persons. 

Embankments and levees for i)rotecting' the country against the 
flood of the Nile are considen^l public property. These are main- 
tained bv the o'overnment. 

Article G and manv others of this decree have been recommended by 

ft •> 

the inspectors. During the tirst ten or twelve years of English occu- 
pation the provisions of section <*> would have i)een of great benefit in 
many cases. It stipulates that the owners of lands through which a 
public ditch passes can not destroy the same in order to make the land 
tilla))le without the written consent of the pt^-sons depending on the 

If it is necessary to clost* a canal for repairs or in order to give the 
water to others who are in greater need, irrigators can collect no 

indenuiitv from the o()vernment for the loss occasioned bv a lack of 

« ?^ . » 


Article s is ])articularlv interestiniJf to those who have made a study 
of public supervision of water. One of the first necessities under 
such supervision is that the State shall have authority to limit the 
div(^rsion of water wIkmi furthiM' canal construction may injure users 
already on the ground. Even in Egypt, where the Nile furnishes an 
almost uidimited supply during a large portion of the year, it has 
been found necessarv to limit construction work where the rio-hts of 
others are threatened. The intent of the law throuofhout is to dis- 
tribute the cost of iri'igation works in proportion to the benefits 
received ])v each user. This is well illustrated in the article under 
discussion. If a permit is grantcnl authorizing the construction of a 
ditch others may use the works, providing they pay toward the cost 
of construction and maintenance in pro])ortion to the benefits they are 
to receive. 

The procedure for condemning lands for right of way for canals and 
ditches is set forth in article t). 

The value of farming land in Egypt is well illustrated by the pro- 
vision of article 1(> i*elating to enlargements of existing ditches. A 
right of way does not give the canal owners title to land lying on either 
sid(* of the channel; hence when (Mdargement is contemplated it is 
necessarv to condenm the additional land that must be used for the 



Article 12 relates to the diversion of water from canals. No lateral 
can ])e taken from a canal without the approval of the inspector, but 
if it is desired to install a sakiyeh the chief engineer decides the matter, 
and also desiirnates the location of the lateral or sakiveh. Permits are 


applied for and granted under provisions of the decree of March 8, 

Where a ditch, canal, or drain becomes a detriment to agriculture 
in an\" ^va3% it may l)e tilled in at the request of the owners of adjoin- 
ing property, providing anothei* watercourse can ])e used in its place 
without injuring other lands. 

Article 14 illustrated the necessity of limiting the size of ditches and 
head gates to the dimensions ni^cessary for serving the lands irrigated 
therefrom. If water were measurc^l in P^gypt as it is in some of the 
irritfated districts of the United States there would he no necessitv 
for such restrictions. The time and money spent in changing the 
dimensions of canals and masonry regulating works would go far 
toNvard maintaining an adeipiate system of discharge measurements. 

The close relation between irrigation and drainage is evident through- 
out the decree. Article 15 sets forth the procedure for locating a 
drain when the party to be ))enetited and the party through whosV^ land 
the drain is to pass fail to come to an understanding. 

The provision of article 11) is interesting when compared with the 
laws of some of the Western States. The article relates to the break- 
ing of ditch banks, embankments, etc., and prescribes that if such an 
offense is committed complaint is made to the governor, who refers 
the matter to the inspector or chief engineer, who makes an examina- 
tion of the 2f round, after havino* given at least fourteen davs' notice of 
the examination. If the accused is found guilty he is recjuired to 
restore the property or beai* the expcMise of such work as may l)e 
necessarv to restore it. In sonu' of our States the fact that the water 
has been used is prima facia evidence that a ditch bank has been cut 
or a head gate has been tampered with. No notice is necessary and 
the water commissioner has police authority and can arrest the offender 
at once. 

Another example illustrates how slowly the law^ is carried into effect 
in Egypt. If in the judgment of the engineer a small gate needs 
repairs, forty days' notice must be given the interested parties, that 
they ma}' remedy it. If the work is not accomplished in the time, 
another period of forty days is allowed. If the i)arties still fail to 
perform the w^ork the government has it done at the expense of the 

The decree does not define the rights of irrigators, the unit of meas- 
urement, or the basis upon which the water shall i)e divided among 
claimants, while other details of seeming less importance to us have 
been fully set forth. 

The Eg3'ptian government can compel the owner of land through 
which a canal runs to rcmov(^ trees which are found to interfere with 
the full flow of water in the canal. It })ermits cidtivation of a canal 


and its ])anks under certain restrictions, hut assumes no responsibility 
and no claim can be broutjht against it should the crops be lost or 
damaged. If the i)ank is needed for a highwa\' or other purposes, no 
procedure is necessary in order to convert it into such, and the farmer 
who may have planted crops thereon has no recourse. 

The articles relating to otfenses and prescribing penalties therefor 
indicate that the engineers who framed the law desired to cover all 
otfenses which had i)een called to their attention during the previous 
ten or twelve years. The sections referring to navigation are inter- 
esting in so far as they show the importance of the canals to the internal 
commerce of the country. The decree is given in full in Appendix I. 

instaijlation of water-raising devices. 

The decree of March 8. ISSl, relative to the installation of machines 
for raising water, propelled by steam, by a current of watei*, or by 
the wind, provides that persons intending to erect such devices shall 
first apply for a permit, which application is approved or rejected, as 
the minister of public works or the head of the technical commission 
may decide. The decree exhibits })lainly the attitude of the g'overn- 
ment toward the user of water. In article 7 it is stated that the 
approval of the permit carries with it no assurance from the govern- 
ment that water will be supplied the water-raising device. In other 
words, the government may approve of the installation of a water- 
raising device on a canal or a branch of the Nile where the water sup- 
ply is inadetiuate. The government does not kee}) itself informed as 
to the actual di^charoe of the various waterwavs which serve the irri- 
gator, nor do the irrigation othcials know the capacity of the water- 
raising devices which are already in operation. After application has 
))een made for a ])ermit to establish a water-raising device one of the 
otHcials of the technical department makes an examination of the s'te 
whei'c it is proposcnl to erect the machine. The approval or rejection 
of the a})plication generally depends u])on the report of this ofhcer. 
When th(Mii)})licati()n is granted a permit is given the applicant. The 
technical department keeps a supi)ly of the i)ermit ])lanks, which are 
bound in book form. The stu))s of these blanks contain the permit in 
full, one side of the sheet being i)rinted in French and the other side 
in Arai)ic. The permit itself, which is torn from the stuh when the 
application is a})})roved, is printed in Aiabic only. On the reverse of 
the permit are extracts from the law relating to the installation of 
machines for raising water. These extracts are taken from the decree 
of March s, IsSl, and from the decree of April 0, iSSl. The form of 
permit is as follows: 


[Form No. L'S T. P.] 

Minister of Pubuc Works. 
Technical Service. 

Permit No. 


Regular permit for] 
stationary water- ^ Ci'rt 




The applieant acknowledges 
receipt of this permit, together 
with a copy of the agreements 
and conditions imposed and of 
the design. 


1.S9— . 

Correetlv translated. 


-. 1S9— . 


-. residing at 

raising device, j 

province of 


-, is anthor- 

ized, nnder the <ieeree of March 8 and the rules of April d, 1.S.S1, 
relative to water-raising devices, and according to the report of 
the circle of irrigation, under date of at in 

-, province of 

water-raising device 

a capacity of — 

appurtenant to 

The device will be 

— having 
H. P., intended to propel a pump f«»r acres. 

on the 

according to the design 

accepted by the applicant and in conformity with the agreements 
and conditions imi>osed by the aforesaid report, a copy of which, 
together with a copy of the design, is attached hereto. 

The applicant here])y agrees to abide by the i)r<nisions of this 
I>ermit and also by the instructions that will be given him l)y the 
said circle of irrigation, to which this permit must be shown 
whenever it is requested. 

A failure to abide by the conditions and obligations im])osed by 
this jiermit will release the inidersigncd from all provisions of 
this j)errait, without prejudicing the right which the government 
reserves to recover damages and reimbursement for expenses 
incurred. (Article 4 of the decree of March ft. issi. ) 

Done at Cairo. . 1S9— . 

< 'h it/ of Ti I'h )i inil Srrricf . 
Accepted by the midersigned appli<'ant. 

Cairo, . ISO—. 



This permit is of specitil intoivst hoeause it is the only form which 
is recognized i)v the Eoyptiun irrigation hnv. It is the only paper 
which the ofovernment o-ivcs an irrigator that recognizes in anv wav 
the right to divert and use water. It will ])e noticed that the permit 
states the horsepower of the engine which propels the pump and the 
area of the land proposed to he irrigated. It gives no information 
regarding the height of the lift, the size of the pmu}), or the efficiency 
of the engine. 

The decree relatino- to the installation of water-lifting machinery 
other than that just described (Appendix II. }). i)0) is of special inter- 
est, and is of a> nuich impoi'tance as any of the laws or regulations 
governing the use of water. The original decree was issued in issl, 
and its provisions were extended in IStM). Any person may still con- 
struct and maintain a sakiyeh, a shaduf, or othiM* water-lifting device, 
except those nu^itioned in article 1 of the decree of issi, ui)on the 
banks of the Nile. Permission must be obtaintnl from the govern- 
ment before water-lifting- devicc^s of anv kind muv i)e erected on the 
banks of canals. As the Nih^ in many nvspects di tiers but little from 
many of the canals, it i> rather strange that this distinction has been 
made. The levees are more difficult to maintain than are the baidvs of 
the canals. Both classes of channels are ])ubli(' })i'operty, and most 
canals, as well as the rivcM*. are navigabl(\ Navigation inter(\sts. how- 


ever, are secondary to the needs of the irrigator, as is shown in the 
inconvenience to which river boatmen are subjected when the entire 
discharge of the Nile is turned into the hirge canals in the delta. 


The most important drainage work in Egypt is prosecuted by the 
gONcrnment. A large part of the main drains and the largest of the 
pumping plants are therefore under its control. However, there are 
a iuim))er of large holdings, ])oth in the delta and in Upper Egypt, 
where drainage is necessary. The government has also disposed of a 
number of tracts under condition that the land be reclaimed and 
improved so as to yield a revenue to the treasur3\ There are to-day 
large areas in the delta which nuist ])e drained before as much of 
Low(M' Egyi)t will ])e cultivated as was farmed before the invasion of 
the Turks, who permitted the drainage system to deteriorate. The 
Societe du Behera, owning lands near Alexandria, has done much in 
the line of i-eclamation through drainage. Water is first drawn oflf by 
drains or by pumping, and large volumes of fresh water are applied. 
The surface is kept well cultivated, and gradually the salts are removed 
to such an extent that rice can be grown. After a few years of rice 
cultivation more valual)le crops can ])e substituted. 

In 18S() there were about 43S,(MK) acres of public land outside of 
that which had recently been acquired from the khedival estates and 
put in charge of the Daira Sanieh administration. In 1899 this area 
had decreased to 21(>.(HMi acres, the remainder having been sold to 
farmers. In 1S80 the Daira Sanieh administration controlled about 
5:^0.(K)0 acres. In 1S99 they had but 302,000 acres remaining. 

As a consideral)le portion of this land recjuired drainage works, it 
})eeame necessarv for the govei'nment to enact laws which should 
place the work partially under government control. It was essential 
that the government engineers should have authority to direct this 
reclamation, so that the systems planned and constructed by private 
parties should sup])lement rather than interfere with the work already 
performed In' tlie government. Two decrees have been rendered 
relating to drainage. One was issued Fel^ruarv 21, 1894, the other 
not until April 20, 1900. The decrees in full are given in Appendix 
III, p. 99. 


The system of forced and unpaid labor known as the corvee has 
always ])een an important factor in all kinds of public construction in 
Egypt. From Imilding the Pyramids to digging the Suez Canal or the 
excavation of a small drain, the corvee has been called into service. 
Th(^ labor of the corvee has made Eg^pt renowned for the products of 
the soil. 


The conditions under which such a system has obtained a foothold 


in Egypt are largely responsible for the adoi)tion of existing laws and 
reg'ulations governing tlie use of water. The ditt'erence in the stand- 
ing" of farmers in the United States and in Egypt is almost wholly 
produced l^v the operation of the eorvee regulations. If we are to 
make it clear as to why certain laws and practices are particularly well 
adapted to Egypt and not suited to arid An^erica, the relation between 
the fanners called into the corvee sei*\ ice and the ooverniuir classes 
should be set forth in some detail." Formerlv the corvee was called 
upon for all kinds of public and private service. At present the sys- 
tem nmst be considered as an intermediate step ]>etween slavery and 
freedom; manv changes for the ])etter have ))een introduced durincr 
the past one hundred years and the future independence of the Egyptian 
farmer seems assured. 

But little has been recorded of the character of the corvee during 
the earlv historv of Egvpt. The inunense masonrv monuments and 
temples, as well as the irrigation works which still exists, show how the 
unpaid labor was utilized. Up to the time of Joseph, some 17.">o years 
B. C, the practice was recognized, and abuses became connnon after 
the svstem of slaverv inaugurated under his administration came into 
full effect. The government owned the people and everything in 
Egypt from that time until during the early part of the nineteenth 
century. Some of the recent reports dealing with the use and abuse 
of this free labor enable us to realize to what extent the fellah has ])een 
imposed upon. The following report on forced labor by ^Ir. H. 
Villiers Stuart in March. 1SS3, sets forth the faults in the svstem at 
that time: 


The complaints made Upon this siil>ject are that the apportionment is arl)itrary 
and capricious, poor districts ])ein«r re(]uired to furnisli most and wealthy distritts 
fewest lalx>rers. 

The richer class of landowners is also entirely exemi)t. Thev susjirest that in 
lieu of the present system there shoubl be a i>roi>ortionate labor rate upon all land 
alike, instead of throwing the burden upon those least able to bear it. 

Every landowner nj) to 100 acres is liable to forced labor; but he may, if lu* liki's, 
l>ay a substitute. Some^jo and work themselves and some send substitutes. Those 
who possess no land are not liable. 

Those who are liable get no j>ay whatever for their work; neither does the L'<»vern- 
ment provide them with any foo<l whatever. Their friends at home have to send 
them food from their villages. Usually bread dried in the sun is their sole nourish- 
ment. It is sent in sacks, a (M»uj)le of men from each village being «leputed to convey 
it to the scene of operation. They have also to lind their own tools and baskets. 

« The system has ha<l great influence on the j)ractice of irrigation and has made 
^ necessary the enactment of laws which would not be applicable in countries where 
the same conditions do not exist. lu discussing the customs of the i>eople of l^gyi>t 
and the irrigation law there in ojieration, it shoul<l be borne in mind that rcLrulations 
which might operate satisfactorily there would fail in the Unite*! States where 
authority comes from the })eo}>le. 


As 11 matter of fact, their liandsJ are often their oiilv tool}<. With these thev load the 
haekets and excavate the soil. No shelter is j^rovided for them at night nor any 
covering. A certain nuniher of overseers are appointed. These are armed with 
sticks and superintend the work. 

One complaint made universally was that instead of allowing the men of each dis- 
trict to work in their own districts the j^ractice was to send them to distant parts of 
the province, thus needlessly increasing th.e difficulty and cost of feeding them and 
ministering to their wants. 

Common sense would seem to suggest employment on the canals and embank- 
ments in their own neighborhood by preference, because they would then have a 
direct personal interest in the work. 

They complained that there was much bribery and corruption connected with the 
api)ointment of the forced labor, wealthy comnumities thus purchasing partial 
exemi)tions at the expense of those who were too poor to bribe high enough. They 
said that this was the real reason why the system of letting each district find the 
labor for its own 2)ublic works was not adopted, because that would be an obsta(!le to 
these corrupt exemptions. 

All admitted forced labor to be a necessary institution in Egypt, the maintenance 
of canals and embankments being of vital imj^ortance, but there had been great 
abuses, and even now they assured me that men were still forced to labor on the 
estates of the government and of the wealthy i)ashas, but they said that now those 
so emi)loyed on the privileged lands received pay; 2)reviously they received none. 
This abuse, like many others, has been nominally abolished, but nevertheless con- 
tinues, the sheiks conniving. Indeed, it is through their instrumentality ah^ie that 
these abuses are })ossible. 


A cut about 1<S feet deep has been made through *a conglomerate of sand and 
gravel; this trench was Hanked right and left l)y high end)ankments, consisting oi 
the debris excavated. 

From the summit of these ridges to the tloor of the canal was from 85 to 40 feet 
dci'}); along the l)ottom and on the slojx's right and left men swarmed thickly like 
bees on a honeycoml) for a distance of about a mile in length. 

The overseer told nie that the entire forced labor of the i)rovincewas concentrated 
there, 40,000 men in all; that they worked from sunrise to sunset without intermis- 
sion except a brief interval at midday for a meal consisting of l)read soaked in until- 
tei"e(l Nile water. This bread was sent to them bv their relatives, and thev had a 
meal of it ])efori' commencing work and another at night. They have also to pro- 
vide their own baskets for carrying the excavated soil. They were engaged in lin- 
ing these ])askets with gravel (using theii- lingers for the purpose), climbing the 
sides of the cut, an<l tij)i)ing thvu\ on the outer sloj)e. The majority had no imple- 
ments but their hands. A limitc<l number had short j»icks a foot long, which they 
als > hav*' t;) proviJc, the governnuMit contribiitin;j: n.)thing whatever. 

The day was exci'ssiveiy hot, and not a breath of win<l. The temperature in niv 
cabin with all windows o|)en was <S2 degrees in the shade. At the bottom of that 
trench it was much hotter. 1 should estimate it at Hodt-gives. There was al)Solutely 
no shade. In this liery heat and glare and amid dust they toiled all daylong. 
Thev were clad in calico, mostly reduced to rags by the work they were engager? in. 
They wore on their heads felt skull cai)s exactly like those rei)resented as worn hy 
workmen in fourth dvnastv has reliefs. Thev were barefooted. Their calico rags 
formed their only covering at night, and they slei)t on the bare ground in theopenair 
without any kind of shelter, although the niLrhts are often very cold. Among them 
were manv overseers armed with sticks, with which thev often struck the men while 
carrying loads on their heads, without any apparent reason. Many had sore fingers 
and sore feet, for there were sharp flints among the debris. 

7 7 

I have seen negro slavoM at work on tlu' cotton plantations of (Uiba; I have also 
seen the convicts at work at Portland. The conditions nnder which all these labored 
were j^reatly preferal)le to those to wliich these K^yi)tian fellaheen were exposed, 
and it must be remembered that most of them own farms and constitute, in fact, the 
yeomanry of Upper Egypt. 

What struck me most as I gazed on the toiling nmltitude was the i)itial)le waste of 
human labor, for one-fourth the nund)ei', with i)roi)er tools and ai)i)liancesand sutti- 
cient food, and with intelligent and exi»erienced foremen t() direct them, could have 
done the work far better and more (pnckly than the ill-directed efforts of that mob 
of men, without implements, weak fiom scanty diet and exhausted by hardsliip. 
An Knglish navvy woul<l laugh at their work as excavators, but the conditions as to 
food, temi>erature, and exposuie under which they work would kill him long before 
the month was out. Oplilhalmia is one evil that results. lean not imagine a better 
receipt for the wholesale manufacture of this malady than to work men to exhaus- 
tion in liery heat and glare and dust ail day and then to expose them at night to the 
heavy dew and frosty temperature, lying on the bare ground in their calico dresses. 
It must not I )e supposed that because the government pays nothing for it thatthere- 
fore forced lal)or, as now conducted, is cheai); on the contrary, it is most costly to 
the countrv. Everv man there withdrawn from the cultivation of his farm repre- 
sents a familv bv so nmch imi)overished. 

One-half of the able-bodied poj)ulation is engaged for ])etween three and four 
montlis in the year in forced labor. That means that the second croj) on their farms 
is reduced in productiveness by one-half; that on the lands where 4 ardebs (21.76 
bushels) i)er acre could have ])een yielded had all the hands remained at lu»me, only 
2 are yielded owing to deficient irrigation when half the hands are withdrawn; that 
is to say, that it amounts to a tax of 21s. (^5.04) per acre on every acre devoted to 
j^econd crops. Where land is rented, not owned, these second croi)s often constitute 
all the return tlie cultivator gets, rent and land tax entirely swallowing up thelirst; 
the price the government i)ays is the ])auj)erization of the ])eoi»le and the reduction 
of their taxpaying capacity, but that is not the whole price. There are not men 
enough in Eg;^'j)t to cultivate it i>ii)i)erly or to develoj> its resources fully; the gov- 
ernment, grudging the cost of food and implements, is pnxligal only in men, the 
very article that most needs heie to be economized. If thev can save the ex])ense of 
tools by setting four or live mi-n to do the work whii'h one man with tools and food 
could easily accomplish, they send the live men and withhold the tools and food. I 
fear, also, that the sacrilice of men is not merely temi)orary; men can not be exposed 
with impunity to the hardshi})s which 1 witnesse<l. The constitutions and health of 
many must ])e permanently impaired, even their lives shortened. Twenty thousand 
men are said to have i)erishe<l in making the Mahmoudia Canal, and I can well 
l)elieve it after what I witnessed near Keneh. 

It must be accepted for a fact that forced labor exists with the consent of the great 
mas.s of the people of Kgyj>t. 1 have heard them comi)lain of this or that tax and 
suggest its abolition, and I have lu'ard them comi>lain of the unfair apportionment of 
forced labor in their district, but 1 never heard one single j>erson of any class suggest 
the abolition of the forced-labor svstem. Thev admit it to be necessarv, but it does 
not follow on that account that nothing can be <lone to reform its conditions. The 
lirst term of labor should be postponed till the first crops are thrasheil out and sold 
and the second croi)S well established and K-ss likely to suffer from defective irriga- 
tion. The men should be supplied by the government with nourishing food. Two 
or three intervals for f(»od an«l rest should be allowed in thedav, instead of onlv 
one. Proper implements for excavating sIkmiM be sui>i»lied to them. Labor-saving 
machinery should be introduce*! whcii> possil»le. Skillrd foremen should direct the 
works. The men should Ik* divitU'd systeniatically int(» Liangs, i-ach gang with its 
own task marked out, instead ot" tlu' de-ultoiy fashions which now prevail, inv they 
work in a mob and everv man i< in his m'iglibnr's wav. Sonu' slu-lter ouirhi to be 


arran^tMl for the niglit, if po!?iJil)le, or, at any rate, they should ho t«uj)plied with a 
warm wraj>, no matter liow coarse; oM sacks would l)e better than nothing. 


AVhen the English engineers hegtin their work, in 1883, they found 
that all earthwork necessary in the construction and cleaning of canals 
was performed I)}- this kind of labor. I'^nder the original basin sy??- 
teni, ])efore the farmer had a title to the land he cultivated and while 
he was simply a slave, this practice might have been excusable. There 
are no good reasons, however, why it should have been continued after 
the reforms introduced })y Mohanuned Ali were put in operation. 
Under the old system the farmer had nothing to do when there was no 
water, and he could do nothing during the flood. Under the perennial 
S3'stem some kind of farm work is in progress throughout the year, 
and if the farmer is taken awav from his land the results are as serious 
to the taxgatherer as to him. Perennial canals require a great deal 
more labor to keep them in repair than do the ancient inundation 
canals. This is ) because the canals are deeper and carrj^ water through- 
out the year. The whole agricultural population was formerly 
employed a large part of the 3'ear in keeping these canals in condition, 
although ))ut a sniall portion of the people so engaged were directly 
interested in them. So long had the system l^een in force in Egypt 
that inunediate reform was impossi])le. The increased security to land 
titl(\s did nuich toward bringing about a change for the l)etter. The 
first khedival decree relating to the corvee appeared in January, 1881. 

Articles 1 to 4 of this decree prescribe what works shall be main- 
tained i)y the public. 

Article 5 provides that all male inhabitants of the countr}^, of sound 
health, ])etween the ages of L") and 50 years, with the exception of 
thosc^ indicated in the following section, are subject to corvee duty. 

Article <>: The following persons are exempt from corvee dut}': Law 
students of the Koran; those who recite the Koran; persons engaged 
in teaching; studi^its of the moscjues and schools; persons attached to 
charital)le institutions, shrines, convents, and hospitals; those in the 
service of the mosciues, tom})s, and holv places having distinct offices; 
priests, monks, ra))))is, and persons attached to the service of churches, 
temi)les, cemeteries of the \ arious sects and holding permanent posi- 
tions; peo})le having professions or trades who pay professional taxes 
and who exercise their calling; also fishermen and boatmen; the 
w^atchmen of the vilhmes. 

Article T: Every person who is subject to corvee duty can redeem 
himself i)y furnishing a su))stitute. The following persons can redeem 
themselves by a payment in cash: Inhabitants of isolated settlements 
who have l)een included in th(» census; Bedouins who own lander cul- 
tivate the same and who have heri^tofore been exempt from such labor; 
the inhal)itants of the villao'cs working:* on the state domain and the 


Daira Sanieh in Lower E^3'pt, wherever these adininistrations luive 
more than 100 acres, on the condition that the land is not rented and 
that the ransomed men shall devote their labor to cultivation. Forced 
labor is obligatory from the inhal)itants of the villages where rice is 
the predominating crop, or where the land tax is adjusted as it is for 
such villages, Init the corvee duty of such inhabitants will be only half 
of that required from the inhabitants of other villages. 

Article 8: Where a cash payment is permitted in lieu of services, 
about 86 is required in Lower Egypt and about ^4 in Upper P2gypt. 
After the year 18St> the amount of this payment shall be fixed annually, 
and the minister of public works shall so notify the governors of the 
provinces one month befoi'e the commencement of woi'k. The condi- 
tions w^hich shall affect the aniount of this payment are the (piantity of 
material to be moved and the time when it is necessary to perform 
the work. 

Article 9: The minister of public works can, when he deems it nec- 
essary, withdraw^ the privilege of the payment of cash instead of la))or 
as provided for in article 7, or he can substitute machine work for 
hand labor. 

Article 10: The money received in each province from this source 
will be entered in a special register and deposited in the treasury of 
the province and kept at the disposal of the minister of public works. 
These sums can be spent only on works which hav(^ for their object 
reduction or suppression of the corvee. 

Article 11: It is the dutv of the minister of the interior to collect 
and keep in service those su])ject to the corvee. 

The khedival decree issued in 188:^ permitted the .Vra)) farmers to 
redeem themselves from the corvee by u cash paynient, and the same 
decree frees the Bedouins from this service entirely. Under the pro- 
visions of this decree those having political influence gradually secured 
relief from ))oth the payment and the corviM^ service and the whole 
burden fell on the poorer classes. Early in 1SS5 some of the fellaheen 
of one of the districts applied for an investigation to ))e made of the 
corvee conditions. It was found in an examination of the corvee ser\'- 
ice from 145,0O(j acres that the entire number of men furnished cami^ 
from 83.000 acres. The state lands included within this district 
redeemed about half of the renters, and the large landholders, who 
own about 51J,(MM) acres, paid nothing and furnished no labor. 

The partial reconstruction of the barrage in 1885 ])rought about the 
first real relief to the fellaheen. This structure not only furnished 
water for the farmer during the period of low Nile. ])ut also ena))led 
the discharge to be regulated in such a way as to reduce the volumes of 
bilt which were aniuially deposit(Ml. In addition to this relief 8ir)(),(M)0 
wa« spent in paying those who worked on c(»rtain canals. This was an 
experiment to see whether it was pc)'>sii)i(^ to relieve or wholly do away 
with forced labor. The work was entirely successful. Not only were 


the iiihal)itaiits better .sati5;tied to ciirrv it on, J)ut the work was better 
done, and the monev reverted to those who bore the l)iirden of the 
tax. This kind of work is carried on hy contract, and each person is 
paid for the vohnne of earth he removes. Owintr to the improved 
quality of hand la])or it was possible to clean canals in which 125,000 
cu))ic yards of silt had deposited. At first it was estimated that 
machinery would have to be employed when the volume exceeded cubic vards for anv one canal. In IvSSO the first svstematic 
work of cleanintr the canals was undertaken bv the t^overnment, and 
this was uraduallv extended until all earthwork was carried on w ith- 
out the employment of the corvee. The cost of cleaning the canals 
amounts to nearlv ^2.(KK)J)0U per vear. While this is a serious drain 
on the treasury of the country, yet it is a long step in advance of the 
conditions which existed prior to the initiation of reforu). The corvee 
is still called out to watch the banks of the Nile during high water. 

A num])er of decrees have ])een issued dealing with details regulat- 
ing the corvee service, ))ut they are comparatively unimportant. On 
l)ecem])er 19, 18S1^ the followino- decree was rendered: 

We, the klietlive «>t E^rypt, at the instance of our eoiiiieil of niinisterH and in view 
of tlie <lelil)eration!^ of the jreneral ast^embly, ileereo: 
Article 1. The eorvee is suppressed throu^rhout Egypt. 

Aktk Li: 2. Tlie guardianship and charge over the dikes and other works, as well 
as all urgent measures in ease t)f danger owing to the rise of tlie Nile, shall continue 
to ]>e carried out at the expense of the inhabitants. 

Akticlk 3. The corvee aud redenii)tion tax are replaced hy the establishment, both 
on rslniri and Kharadji lands, of a special tax with a niaxinunn tax of $^0.214 j)er 
acre, tlie total produce of which sliall n(,)t exceed §5741,500 per annum. 

The assessment of this tax shall be made by a further decree issued on proposal of 
our council of ministers, after consideration bv the leijislative council. 

Akti(li:4. The i)roduce of this si)ecial tax shall, with the authority of the com- 
missioners (»f the debt, ])e employed un<ler the conditions i)rescribed by our decree 
of the 14t}i of June, ISSU, for the sum of !^l,2;>5,7n0 provided for in the said decree. 
AinuLE 5. ( )ur ministers of linance and i)ublic works are charged, in so far as they 
are each concerned, with the execution of the present decree. 
l)one at the palace of Abdin the IHth of lX>cend)er, 18S9. 

(Siorned) Mkhemet Tewfik. 

l>v the Kliedive: 

Tlie l*resident of the Council of Ministers. 
The Minister of Finance. 

(Si<>:ned) Iviaz. 

The ^Minister of Pu]»lic AVorks. 

(Sitriie<l) ^louAMEi) Zeki. 

]\Iany preliminary steps were necessary ))efore this linal decree could 
b(» rend(M-ed. Some of the foreign powers objected to increasing tax- 
ation for the purpose of relie\'ino- the fellaheen in this work. The 
French were particularly active in this opposition. 

Althouo'h to-day the fellah is not imposed upon as he was twenty 
A'cars ao'o, vet he does not eniov lilxu'tv as we understand it. The 
work of watchino- tlu^ Nile lexees durino- hio-h water results in consid- 


erable hardship to the farmei*. The following table shows the luniiber 
of men called out during the twenty years from ISSO to ISOJ), 

Xumher of )iieii ra/hd (ni for cftrne dutij, ISSO-lSUt*. 

v .« Number ^^ ... Ximiber v ... Number v ... Number 

^^'»^- I of men. ^ ^''''- of men. ^^'^'' of men. ^*'^'- of men. 




110,8.s5 ' lSS.-> l'J5,9oO 1S90 4S,4S8 1J<95 :ir..7S2 

'2.S1,L>H3 ' LSN> yr>.09:5 , isyi 44,9«)1> | lS9t> -J.'). 794 

262,9L»a 1SS7 ,s7. 120 1S92 S4.891 1S97 n.0«i9 

202,i;r>o , iSNs .')S.7ss ]S9;5 :52.7r>2 i isys :u.770 

18M IGo.Ki.'i 1S.S9 49,9(M ' 1894 49. 4SS i 1S99 17.r><;4 

The number of men neediMl in this work depends upon the stage of 
the Nile dui'ing Hood. Thc^ liigluM" the iiood the moi'e men are reijuired 
to watch the banks during this critical period. The difference between 
this w^ork and the cleaning of canals is that those em])loyed in the latter 
scM'vice receive compensation tixed by the govermnent. Service i< 
compulsory in both cases. If an accident occurs to the govermnent 
railway line, men are forced to leave their homes und put it in repair, 
and are paid for their services as the government may deem sufficient. 
It can not be said, therefore, that forced labor luis been abolished. 
Those who are l)est aci(uainted with the conditions admit that the sy<- 
Unw has simply been modi tied and reformc^d. 


The climate of Kgypt i)eing mild, the needs of the people are easily 
satisfied; the population is and the individual holdings of land 
are small. Labor is cheap, enabling nuich to be accomplished by the u.^e 
of crude implements which could be performed protitably in America 
onlv by the emi)loyment of modern machinery. The irrigation canals 
of Egpyt convey water to the farms, but the irrigator nuist raise 
the water for his fields. lie has few other duties which demand his 
time and energv during the growing- .season, and therefore can use 
with profit machinery which recpiires a large expenditure of labor but 
little expenditure of money. In lifting water from the Nile the 
Egyptian deals with the same obstacles as the irrigator in many locali- 
ties in the West wluM'e watei- can be .secured at depths ranging from 
10 to 25 feet, ))ut th(*re tlu* resemblance ceases. The standard of li\'- 
ing of the American inigator is higluM", his farm is larger, and the 
returns from an acre are h^ss. He can not adopt watcM'-raising de\'ices 
of low" efhciency like the shaduf or natal i. The hoe. ])ractically the 
only tool used in distributing water over the fields in Kgypt, has no 
meiit to the Anu^rican farmer. W'c ran not. therefoi*e. learn nuich 
from the Egyptian irrigator. 

Many of the irrigation structures of Egypt are models of tlu^ir kind. 
The barrage below Cairo is one of the most interesting dams in the 
world. Its architecture reflects some of the iccent i)olitical struggles 
in Egypt. The towers which emlxdlish tin* dam should be class(»d 

27752— No. 180— 08 <; 


with the ruins bequotithod to the modern world by ancient E^ypt. 
The })arrage is a nionunient to the French engineers, while the fortifi- 
cations alon^ it lemind us that it was only a few 3'ears ag'O that the 
caprice of the khedive overshadowed the designs of the engineer. 
The Assiut dam follows the general plan of the barrage )>elovv Cairo. 
The design of the dam at Assuan is new in Egypt as >vell as in the 
world. It marks the beginning of a great reservoir system which 
will ultimately control the waters of the Nile and furnish a supph' to 
every arable district of Egypt. The head gates, waste g'ates, regu- 
lators, and ))ridges of the larger canals \vi\\ always be objects of study 
for irrigation engineers of other countries. 

The excellence of the recent irrigation works of Egypt i.s be^'ond 
(piestion. Th(* fame of the dam at Assuan has ))een heralded throughout 
the civilized world; })ut such works are costlv. Before the distributary 
systoius are ])erf(*cted the cost of the system supplied by the Assuan 
reservoir will exceed ^57 per acre of land irrigated. Such an outlay 
is not at present ])r()titable in the United States. It is advisable, 
nevertheless, for us to study the larger irrigation works of Egypt, 
because it may be ])ossi])le for American engineers to modify these 
desicms to suit the needs of irritration here. Manv of the smaller 
details of construction can be leadilv introduced 

The Nile is an easy strt^am to divider, hence laws for the economical 
distribution of water are not so severely tested as they will be on the 
streams of the arid West. Water is diverted only at the lower end of 
the Nile, and not from all its i-amifying tril)utaries, as is the case on the 
^Missouri and Colorado. In addition, Egy])t is one of the few countries 
where the water supply can be made adecjuate for the needs of all by 
storage. This will not l)e ])ossi})le in the United States except under 
rare conditions, where the area of irriga))le land along a river afford- 
ing th(» supply is c()m])aratively limited. In Egypt the demand for 
land will in a few vears exceed the demand for water. With us the 
uvea of irrigable land will ultimately ))e limited ))y the \vater supply. 

Tin* Egyptian irrigation law aims to ))ring about such a distribution 
of the wat(M' of the Nile tliat the country as a whole will produce the 
hirgest returns and the treasury receipts be the greatest. The irriga- 
tion laws of the AN'estern States of the United States are framed to 
])r()tect the individual farmer, and not for the ])urpose of producing 
revenue. This fundamental ditlerence in the objects to be attained 
makes Egypt's administrative system ina])])lic>tble to this country. 
Then* does not seem to be any reason for changing our policy. On 
th(* contrarv. it seems wise that our irrigation administration should 
promot(^ the prosperity of tlu* water user as far as ])racticable, so that 
we mav sav in the words of An)eni, as inscribed on his tomb at Beni 
Hassan, .50 miles above Cairo, ''And behold, when the inundation was 
great, and the owners of the land became^ rich thereby, I laid uo 
additional tax upon the lields." 


Appendix 1. 

Note. — The lawe as given in tlie!?e appendices are free translations of the texts, as 
^iveii in l^a Ix'gislation en Matiere Ininiobiliere en P^gypte, I.e ('aire, Iniprinierie, 
Nationale, 1901. 


[Re^'ilation of December, 1SS5. (ixiiiK tlie relation ]>et\veen the governors and insi»eetorsof irrigation.] 

( 1 ) It is the dnty of the governor to see that a just (listril)ution of the water is made 
in the various districts composing his province. He will make known at an opj>or- 
tune time to the irrigation inspectors aj)pointed V)y the minister of j)u])lic works the 
places where more water is needed and at what times, and hear the complaints on 
siieh subjects as may he a<ldressed to him by the chiefs of the villages. 

(2) It is the duty of the inspectors to satisfy all demands as far as possible, and 
where thev can not for anv reason carrv out these instructions thev shall report the 
matter to the governor and communicate with the minister of pu])lic works. The 
governor on his part shall inform the minister of the interior, and the two ministers 
shall together take the matter under consideration and, if necessary. rei)ort it to the 

At the beginning of each year the governor, with the agricultural council, which is 
assisted by the engineers, shall s|>ecify in the ordinary manner the various works 
which are to be executed and shall determine the number of the corvee necessary for 
cleaning canals and for construction. 

In order that the governor may Ix' able to midertaki* this work with full knowle<lge 
of the facts, the chief engineer shall report to him his estimates an<l <alculations some 
days before the meeting of the agricultural council. 

The governor shall j)Ut himself in direct conununication with the chief engineer on 
all questions which may arise during the <*ourse of the year. If he does not o]>tain 
satisfaction he may a[>|>eal to the inspector, and, if lu'cessary, to the minister of the 

(3) The technical control of the <listrii)ution of water, the partial or com))lete 
closing of gates, belong wholly to the insj)ectors, and nothing may be done without 
their written orders. Conseijuentiy, if the governor l)elieves that it would be better 
to partially open or close any gate he must address the chief engineer, and, if neces- 
sary, the inspector, giving his reasons an<l all possible evidence. The engineer and 
inspector may be able to ai>i»rove and act accordingly. If not, they must exjdain to 
the governor what facts and evidence the minister of the interior and the minister of 
public works should have in case the (juestion is api)ealed to them. 

(4) During high water in the Nile, or whenever neci'ssary to avoid disaster, and 
when the governor does not have near him an engineer whom he may consult, it is 
the duty of the governor to do whatever in his judgment may l)e necessary, wlu^her 
to throw stones in the water or to use an\ other means for addin<: to the se<nritv of 


irrigation worky. In such ca'^es the jj:overnor should telejrraph to the inspector 
immediately, re(|uestinj? the aid of the chief eng:ineer. 

If the engineer of the province he present, he, and not the governor, directs what 
measures to adopt, and he is held responsihle for the same. 

If, however, the governor gives orders contrary to those of the local engineer, the 
latter must ohey, hut at the same time give notice that discord exists, after which 
the governor is responsible for what takes place. 

The inspector shall arrange matters so that the governor may be accompanied as 
often as possible in his journeys along the levees and canals during high water by 
the chief engineer or some one delegated by him, 

(o) The engineers are under the minister of public works, but they owe to the 
governor the res}»ect due to the i)rincipal representative of the government in the 
province. They shouh.l respond to his demands and give him all the information he 
may desire. When the gf)vernor has reason to believe that the local engineer acts 
without or beyond the orders of the inspector in that which concerns the making of 
regulations relative to the use of water, which regulations nuist always l)e commu- 
nicated to the governor and publishe*!, he must study with care the conduct of the 
engineer, make full incpiiries i-egarding his acts as well as the acts of those under 
his orders, and shall make known to the mspector the results of these inquiries. 

( () ) No new work may be undertaken without the i)revious sanction of the council 
of ministers. Concerning im])ortant improvements which the inspector believes 
should be made in the irrigation or drainage of a region, he nnist act in concert with 
the governor, and in all cases thev nuist inform the minister of the interior and the 
minister of j)ul)lic works, who shall be members of the council of ministers. 

In j)ublic im])roven»ents and reforms of less imj)ortance it is the duty of the insj)ect- 
ors to i)ersonally inform the governor regarding what they pro)>ose to do, the effects 
of the i)roposed changes, and the obstacles which they will have to overcome. Noti- 
fication in writing, either English or Arabic, is not suHicient for this, and the inspect- 
ors nuist never fail to exi>lain their ideas at least by maps and diagrams. Because 
of his special knowledge of the agricultural interests the governor can and should 
indicate how the ])roposed work might occasion loss or damage to ^irivate or ])ul)lic 
proi)erty. The two ministers and the council must be informed also. 

(7) The number of the corvee, as before stated, is determined l)y the agricultural 
Council. The governor must decide as to the nund)er of men who should })e inclnded 
in the corvee, and agree with theengineer as to the order in which the canals should 
be cleaned and the time for said work. 

The governor is not to be called up(.n for the technicalcxecutior. of the work; the 
chief engineer is alone answerable and bears all responsibility for the completed work. 

The governor may, should there be occasion therefor, call upon the chief engineer 
to permit those of the corvee who have linished their W(jrk to return home. 

( S) When, for any reason, the inspector <lesires to close a canal for more than four- 
teen days, he must inform the governor of his intention as soon as possible, so that 
the latter may j)resent his objections it he has any. 

(1>) Irrujittlon norh. — Irrigation works may be <livided into two classes. The first 
class includes those for whi<*h bids are a<lvertised in the otlicial journal, which bids 
are su]>mitted under the i)revailing rules of the minister of jniblic works. T/iese 
works comprise all excavation reipiiiing more than a thousand men per day, all 
masonry work costing more than £200 (>^M74), and all work in which mJichinery is 

In work of this class the goveinor will not be consulted as to the choice of the 
contractor, but he shall be informed regarding the nature of the contract. During 
the execution of the work he must, if he deems necessary, call the attention of the 
engineer to the manner in which the contractor is executing the work. 


(10) The yecond eha^s rovers the excavation an<l cleaning of nmall canals^, yniall 
works where mat^onry i.s not needed, and repair of masonry works. Contractors 
shall snbmit bids to tlie governor for work of this class. The ins])ector shall sub- 
mit to the governor a copy of the specifications. The bids shall be opened and a 
contractor chosen to the satisfaction of both the governor and the inspector or his 
assistant. It is not necessary to accej)t the lowest bid. In work of this class the 
governor must always judge as to the reHability of the bidders. The governor 
shouM, if possil)le, favor local contractors. 


[Deoroe of February '2'1, iv.M. conci'rniiiK rcKulatious rt'K'anliiiK <'»iiials and U'voes.] 


Article 1. The word "canal" refers to a water course which serves for the entire 
or partial irrigation of the lands of more than two villages. All canals of this kind 
are considered public property. They are generally constructed and maintained at 
government expense and are a part of the public domain. 

The use and occnpation of banks of canals are permitted only under certain 
restrictions lai«l down in article 21 of this decree. 


Article 2. By the word " rigole" is understood a water cijurse which serves for the 
irrigation of the land of one or two villages or of land belonging to one person or to 
a single family living in one community even if belonging Ux several villages. 

All rigoles are considered private property. The cost of construction and mainte- 
nance is borne by those who derive profit from the works. 

In case of delay in cleaning these works the g<>vernmeiit may perform the work 
at the expense of the proprietors. The sum thus !^)cnt will be distributed by the 
governor in proportion to the taxes i)aid by each, and it will be collected in con- 
formity with the provisions of the decree of March 2o, IS.SO. 

However, if a ditch serves for the irrigation of 1,000 acres belonging to one or 
several persons it can always, u\nm retjuest of the owners, }>e considere<l a public 


Article 3. The word "<lrain" indicates a channel in the earth for carrvinj; awav 
rain water, drainage water, (jr water from irrigated fields. 

A drain is i)ublic when it serves more than two villages; ])rivate when it serxesone 
or two only, unless it drains a surface of more than 2,000 acres in area, when it is 
considered a public work, although it may be situated in one village. 

The public drains are maintained by the govermnent and the private drains by 
the parties interested. The provisions of the second paragraph of the j)receding 
article are applicable to private drains. 


Article 4. "Works for protection against inundation" are levees, transverse and 
longitudinal dikes, and all structures serving to j)roti'ct farms and villages from the 
overflow of water. 

These works are considered j»ublic }»ro|^erty and art' wholly under government 

Private levees uixni the banks <jf the Nile, or those which form the l>oundaries of 
the basins and which are constructed by the owners, must be maintained at the 
expense of those benefited. 


POWERS OF irri(;ation inspectors and chief engineers. 

Article 5. Irrigation insj^ectors are the representatives of the minister of public 
works and have under them the chief engineer and all those in the irrigation admin- 
istrative service. Their powers and their relations to the governor are fixed by the 
regulations of December 31, ISSo. 


Article 6. The owner of land crossed by a public ditch, drain, or other work des- 
tined to serve tlie lands of neighbors can not, without tlie written consent of the 
owners of the lands served, till the land occupied by such works in such a way as to 
destroy the usefulness of the works. 

stoppinct of water-raisin(; machines and closing of canals. 

Article 7. N<j indemnity can be claimed from the government for loss occasioned 
by a reduction or stoppage of the flow of water in a canal resulting from extreme 
necessity or having for its object repairs or changes recognized to be necessary, or by 
any measure which the irrigation inspector may deem necessary in order to maintain 
the volume or regulate the flow of water — such, as for examj^le, the closing of a canal 
or the suspension of irrigation for a certain number of days on all or a part of a 
canal, so that other i)laces in greater need of water may receive it. 

In case it may be necessary to clean or repair a canal the irrigation inspector, 
through his agent, the chief engineer of the province, shall determine when water 
may best ))e dispensed with for irrigation that these operations may be carried on. 
However, having commenced any work of this kind, the irrigation inspector should 
act in accord with the governor, as rc(]uired by the provisions of the regulations of 
December 81, 1885, fixing the }>owers and relations of inspectors of irrigation and 
governors of j)rovinces. • 

The governor should notify and consult those intereste*! or tlieir legal representa- 


Article S. If the citizens of a village desire to construct a canal on their own 
lands for their own use they shall apply to the governor. He will communicate the 
application to the inspector of irrigation, accomi)anying it by his recommendations 
and advice, and if the inspector agrees, the governor will approve or reject the appli- 
cation as the circumstances may warrant. 

Tlie ditch thus authorized shall be constructed at the expense of the applicants 
and their associates. 

However, })rivilcges so extended shall not permit the parties to debar neighboring 
property owners from utilizing the ditch for the irrigation of their lands, even during 
low water, after the original applicants shall have receivtHl what they need for their 
own lands. These neighl)ors shall in such cases become contributors toward the 
cost <•! construction and maintenance in i)roi)ortioii to the extent to which their . 
lands mav be benefited bv the ditch. 


Article 9. AVhen a property owner finds that, without the construction of a ditch 
upon land not l)elonging to him or not served by a Nili " canal or by a ditch already 
constructed on the property of others, it is impossible for him to irrigate his own 
land, on account of his being unable to arrive at an amicable agreement with the 
pror)rietors of tlie private works or their legal representatives, he may make a state- 
ment of the case to the governor, who will communicate the same to the inspector of 

^'A canal whicli (lows onlv durinjr the Nile flood. 


irrigratioii, with hin recommendations and advice. The latter will then examine the 
situation, on the tjronnd, and will ^ive his decision after hearing the parties interested 
or their legal re})resentativcs, should such appear. The chief enofineer of the j^rov- 
iiice or his deputy may he dele<rated for this work. 

Fourteen days' notice shall he given as to the day and hour *)f the insj)ecti()n. 
Biirh notice shall be given either to tlie owners or to their legal representatives, as 
the case may ]>e. 

I^ut if the ditch or Nili canal is to furnish water either running naturally or elevatwl 
hy a machine, and the property owne'rs r)j>pose its construction l)ecause it may injure 
the land it traverses, the inspector of irrigation shall go to the i>lace himself and base 
his report on a careful survey. 

If the rej)ort is favoral)le to the applicant, and the governor, after having acquainted 
himself with the facts, agrees with the ins})ector, a decision to this effect shall be 
rendered by the inspector. This decision shall l)e transmitted, as })rescril)ed by law, 
to tlie opposing {>arties. The latter may, within fifteen days from such notice, a}>peal 
to the minister of i)ublic works, whose decision shall be final. 

If the governor and inspector of irrigation do not agree, the case shall be submitted 
to the minister of public works. The ai)i)licant nuist always pay for the land occu- 
pied by the new ditch and the delin<iuent taxes on the same; also indemnity for all 
damage occasioned. Tlie amount to l)e j>aid shall be fixed by the comuMssion men- 
tioned in article 27 of this decree. 

Article 10 of the decree of March <S, ISSl, is hereby repeale<l. 

iNsiFKKJKxr srri»Lv oi WATKJ{ IN A orrcu. 

Article 10. An irrigator who l)elieves that he does not have sufficient water for 
his purposes, should notify the governor, who should in turn comnumicate with the 
inspector of irrigation, accompanying his rej^ort by liis reconunendation and such 
information as he may deem necessary, so that the inspector may <letermine whether 
or not the ditch which irrigates the cultivated land has sufficient capacity, and as to 
whether it should be enlarged. The inspector will base his judgment cm the extent 
of irrigated land and the character of the irrigated cro})s. 

If the neighboring pro})erty holders object to the enlargement of the ditch, as may 
be recommende<l by the inspector, the provisions of the preceding article are to be 
observed, and if the enlargement is for the passage of summer irrigation water the 
regulation set forth in paragraphs 2, 8, and 4 of article 9 shall a]»i»ly. 

i:\( irAN(;K ok j)iTrnKs. 

Article 11. The rules an<l forms prescribed by article 9 will apply also where a 
party desires to irrigate his land during high Xile ))y means of a ditch other than the 
one which ordinarily serves him, but during low water no exchange of ditches will 
be permitted without the coust'iit of the })arties owning the land through which the 
new ditch woul<l j)ass. 


Article 12. If a party desires to l)uild a lateral gate, or a sakiyeh, or other elevat- 
ing machine on a canal to irrigate the land })ordering the same, he nuist submit his 
request to the governor, who will connnunicate it, accompanied by his reconunenda- 
tions and advice, to the insi)ector of inigation; the latter will refer the matter to the 
rhief engineer of the i)rovince, who, in the case of the sakiyeh, if he ai)j)roves the 
request, will furnish the necessary authorization, but if it concerns a lateral will 
return the papers to the inspector foi" his aj)}>roval. 

In all cases a copy of the authorization shall be transmitted to the governor, 
together with a statejuent that the discharge of the canal is sufficient to sui)ply the 


lateral or the land to be watered by tlie sakiyeh without mjury to those using water 
from the same canal below. 

The chief engineer shall tirst require the applicant to agree to pay all expenses 
incident to and judged necessary for the regulation of the flow of water into tlie 
lateral and the maintenance of the banks of the canal in good condition. He shall 
designate the location of the lateral or sakiyeh. 

Kcgulations for establishing fixed or portable elevating machines operated by 
steam, wind, or water power are set forth in the decree of March 8, 1881. 

It will not be allowable in any case to install a sakiveh or a tabout without firs?t 
securing a j^ermit. This permit will be furnished free of charge. 


Artk'le l.S. When, u|)on the claim of the owners interested or their legal repre- 
sentatives, the insj)ector of irrigation finds that a ditch \< useless for irrigation, an 
obstacle to the drainage of bordering lands, that it absorbs water from bordering- 
lands or loses it in transit, or, in fact, that it is a detriment to agriculture in any 
way, he should, after consulting the governor and after the latter has heard the 
interested parties, comnmnicate his reconnnendations to the minister of public 
works, who will order the canal to ])e closed at the end of the harvest and will per- 
mit the adjoining property holders to fill it up if it be shown that the land irrigated 
by the ditch can ])c watered from another without injuring lands or agriculture in 
any way. Tlie tract of land occupied by the ditch thus filled in shall be subject to 
tlu* laws relating to such land. 



Article 14. If the insi)ector of irrigation believes that a head gate of a ditch is too 
largo or that its flow ]>crmits the i)assageof a volume of water in excess of that needed 
by the land irrigated hy the ditch, heshould so inform the governor, who will invite 
the ])arties interested, or their legal representatives, to meet him on a certain day. 
After having the oi)inion of the inspector stated to them, they will fix, if they approve 
the recommendations of the inspector, the time when changes may be made. The 
time should be so chosen that crops will not need irrigation while the work is being 

If the parties object to the reconnnendations of the inspector, the case will be 
referj'ed by the governor to tlu* minister of ]mblic works, who will act as he deems 
exjtedient legarding the j)roposed changes. 

If it is lU'ccssary to enlarge the head gate of a ditch or to lower the level of the 
bottom of the same so that sulHcient water may be delivered, a certain time shall, 
in like maimer, be fixed for the alterations. 

In all work of this nature the government will In-ar the ex])ens(\ 


Article 15. Wheie, in order to drain liis farm, a party lias to construct a channel 
acioi-s the land of another, and the parties can not coint- loan amicable agreement, a 
coiinilaint shouM be i>resented to the governor, who will transmit it, accompanied 
with his recommendations and advice, to the insjtectoi' of irriL'atiou. The latter will 
fix the course of the drain; the governor and tlu' inspector <»f irrigation shall agree 
as to how the land for the drainaire channel shall be ac(juired. If they fail to agree, 
the case shall be submitted to the minister of pul»lic W(»rks, who, if he approves of 
the construction of the drain, shall take such steps as he may deem necessary to 
accomplish the work. All expenses thus incurred aii<l the indemnity charged must 
be j>aid ])y the i>arties benefited. The construction ..f the drain shall not in any way 
injure lan<l through whi<'h it i»asse>. 



Article 16. A party whose land is injured by a ditch or drain which passes through 
it, whether such injury l)e due to a partial filling in of the ditch or drain (^r to inse- 
cure construction of the l)anks of the same, may appeal to the governor, who, after 
<'Oiisulting with the insj^ector of irrigation or with the chief engineer of the province, 
may order the closing of the ditch or drain or may compel the owners to clean it if 
he deems this sufficient. If the ditch or drain is essential for serving other lands, 
tlie governor will re(juire the owner or owners of the same to keej) it in goo<l condi- 
tion or pay damages to those injured. 



Article 17. When a party finds that a ditch i)assing through his land makes the 
irrigation thereof difficult, and he desires to rei)lace the channel by another, lie may 
present a petition to the governor, who will transmit it, accomi)anied ))y his recom- 
mendations and advice, to the inspector of irrigation, who, after having consulted 
with the governor, will authorize the closing of the ditch and the substitution of 
another at the expense of the owner of the land, i)rovidcd that the new ditch is in 
all respects as good as the fii'st and fulHlls the re(|uired conditions, and that the origi- 
nal channel be not closed until the new one is in comlition to be used. 

But if the ditch concerns only the owner of the land through which it i)asscs, he 
may rei)lace the same by another channel upon his own land without having t<» obtain 
a permit. 


Article 18. If any i)arty disagrees with his associates as to whether or not a canal 
should be repaired, and so notifies the governor, the latter shall delegate the chief 
engineer to make investigation on the ground and ascertain the facts. If it is con- 
sidered necessary t(^ have the repairs made, the governoi- will notify the interested 
parties to do so. 

But if the parties are found to be unable to i>erform the necessary work, either for 
want of labor or money, the government may defray the expen.^es necessary for 
making the rej^airs and reimburse itself for the money so expended by numerous 
payments from those ])enefited, the amounts of such payments to be fixed l)y the 
province according to the means of the parties. The government may renounce all 
claims for reimbursement if tiie i)arties are recognized as l)eing poor. 

The minister of the interior will decide as to whether j)Overty exists or not 


Article 19. If any party complains to the governor that one of his associates in an 
irrigation ditch or drain maintained at the ex})ense nf those interested, under the 
provisions of article 2, has destroyed the l)anks or has filled in or encroached upon 
a part thereof, the governor will communicate the grievance, accompanied with his 
recommendations and a«lvice, to the inspector of irrigation, who will make a personal 
examination of the ground or delegate the chief engineer of the province to do so, 
after having given notice to those interested at least fourteen days in advaiu-e. If it 
is found that dikes have been ilestroyed or channels filled in, the inspector will make 
an estimate of the cost of reestablishing the works as they formerly stood, and the 
governor will re(]uire, acconling to law, the offender to restore the proi)erty he has 
damaged. In case he refuses he will l)e obliged to bear the exj)ense of such rei)airs. 

In case an owner or a tenant complains to the governor that some one has inter- 
cepted the water of a ditch wiiich serves him for irrigation, the gcjvernor, as stated 
in the foregoing })aragraph, will transmit the ('om))laint, ac(\)mpanied with his recoin- 


mendations and advice, to tlie in.spector of irrigation, who will visit the place himself 
or delegate the ehief engineer of the province to do so, after having given notice to 
the intereJ^ted parties at least fourteen days in advance; if it is found that the com- 
plainant actually irrigated his land from the same ditch during the preceding year, 
the insj>ector of irrigation will so inform the governor, who will take such lawful 
measures as may be necessary in order that the water may flow as formerly, and that 
nothing may i)revent his use or enjoyment of the ditch. The governor will proce€*<l 
immediately in the execution of these measures, all expenses being borne by the 
party or parties who intercepted the water. These expenses may be, in all of the 
abo\e cases, recovered in the manner prescribed in the decree of March 25, 1880. 


AjiTicLE 20. If it is found that trees planted on levees, or banks, or footpaths of 
canals are j)rivate property, and are obstacles to the flow of the water, to navigation, 
or to travel on the l)anks, the inspector of irrigation or the chief engineer of the 
province shall order the owner to remove them. If he does not do this within eight 
days, the insjjector, after having obtained the written consent of the governor, shall 
break or cut down the trees, sell the wood, and remit to the owner the receipts from 
the sale after deducting ex])enses. 


Article 21. The customary practice of cniltivating the sides of canals not reached 
by the water and the beds of Nili canals will be permitted, but the cultivator of such 
land can not claim any damage for injury occasioned by necessary repair or clean- 
ing of canals. However, the inspectors will enjoin the agents in charge of the work 
to take all possible precautions to prevent loss to the growing crops. 

A farmer of such government land will not be required to pay rent therefor w^hen 
the croj) shall have been damaged as a result of necessary public work executed 
beff)re harvest time. lie will, however, be obliged to bear the loss of the damaged 


Article 22. If it is necessary to use for a public highway the bank of a canal ordi- 
narily cultivated, or if for any reason it is desired to stop cultivation thereon, the 
ins]>ector of irrigati<jn will re<iuest the governor to inform the farmer that cultivation 
will not ])e })ermitted after the crops then growing shall have been harvested. If, in 
spite of this notification, the farmer persists in using the bank for raising crops he 
will have no claim against the government should the crops be destroyed by order 
of the governor, l^ut if the land along the bank yields revenue through taxation, 
the trovermnent must remit the taxes thereon and declare it a public highway. 



Article 28. If the inspector of irrigation linds a head gate on the bank of the Nile 
or of a (;anal, or any other works of [)rotection, badly constructed or in poor condi- 
tion, or in any way a source of danger to the banks, he will inform the governor, 
who will give orders to the owners of the works to make changes or repairs within a 
period of forty days during the winter season. If the owner fails to do this the 
inspector will request the governor to set aside another forty days for the accomplish- 
ment of the work. 

If, after the second notice on the part of the governor, the owner of the head gate 
refuses to make the changes or re})airs, tlie governor may have the work done and 

^ expense will ])e recovered as provided in the decree of March 25, 1880. 


If the construction of the hea<l gate i.s not tniishe*! at the time of hiirh Nile, the 
inspector of irriiration may order its immoliate closing and ultimate removal where 
tlie i?ecurity of the hanks demand it. He shoulTl be careful to inform the governor 
of li is action, an<l to conduct the water in some other way than throuiih this head 
^ate to the lands usually irriirated. 


Article 24. AV'hen, to protect the country from inun<lation, it is necessary to occupy 
a tract ni land l)idonging to individuals, whether it he cultivated or not, or to destroy 
a l>uilding of any kind situated on the said land, the area of the proj>erty so occui>ied 
will ))e measured, and the valuation will he lixeii by the commission provi«led for in 
article 27. After haviuir lieanl the owner and the insj>ector of irrig-ation the com- 
mission will inform the trovernor of the estimated advantages resulting from these 

The sum fixed by the commission will be paiil by the mini.'-ter of jmblie works. 
No apiK^al can be taken from the decisi<»n of the commi.«^sion. 

In case of danger duriuir hish Nile the irovernor may act immediatelv. lie niav 
occupy land, whether cultivated or not, destroy a house or any other structure in 
the building of works necessary for protection; in this case the estimate of damages 
will l)e made by the governor <»r his deputy, acting with tlie chief engineer or the engi- 
neer of the ilistrict and four ])rominent j>ei*sons, two of whom shall l>e chosen by the 
owners of the property and two by the governor. In case of a tie the governor or 
his deputy sliall cast the <leciding vote. 

The damages shall be paid by the minister of public works. 


ARTICLE 2''>. If the Nile should form, owing to a change in its cliannel, an island or 
a deposit of alluvial soil near a bank uixm whicli is erected an elevating machine 
duly authorized bv the irovernment, ami the government should deem it exT>eilient 
to sell or rent this island or the tract of land, the owner of the machine shall have a 
right to dig a ditch through the alluvial lan<l to ]mu^ water to his machine without 
indemniticati(»n to the tenant or owner. 


Article 20. Boats will ]>e allowed to load and unload their carirc»es at all times at 
the landings established for that })urpose uj*on the banks of the Nile or of canals, 
provided that no damage be <lone to these banks and that tra\el alouL' the same l>e 
not iinjjeded. 

When the landing j)Iaces are separate<l from the water by land ]>i^-IonL:inir to pri- 
vate individuals an<l can not be reached ]*y any other route, the owners of the boats 
and of the land must ai^ree uj»on the location of a roa<l for the traii>jK»rtation of the 
cargoes of the Ik tats, as well as upon a reasonable price for the riiiht of way. If the 
owner of the land o]»jects to the road, he will be obliged to accept the }»rice fi»r the 
right of way fixed 1>y the c<.»mmission j>rovide«l for in article 27. 

Generally, the owners of l>oat- will be permitted to con>truct or rejiair them only 
on the footpaths near the water edL'e. 

]'.oAl:l) OF AI'FKA1SEK>. 

Article 27. A commission is hereby instituted t<' act where parties fail to aL'ree 
on the amount of inilemnity due, whether it be f<'r lands neces-ary for the lon- 
ftniction of <litches or drain- "T for any oth»T ca-r ••! in<lemnity provided for in this 


This comniii?fejion shall be composed of the governor or his deputy, as president, 
the chief engineer, and two prominent citizens of the province chosen by each of 
the interested parties. • 

In case of a tie the president shall cast the deciding vote. 

If the chief engineer is absent or hindered from attending, the inspector of irriga- 
tion shall appoint the principal deputy engineer to take his place. 


AiiTicLE 28. The owners of boats or of cargoes can not claim any indemnity against 
the government for delay occasioned by the closing of a canal or by insufiicient 
water in the canal or in the Nile. They shall be advised of the closing as soon as 


Article 29. If a }»oat is wrecked or runs ashore along the Nile or in one of the 
public canals or in a basin in such a way as to form an obstacle to navigation or to 
the free passage of the water, the governor will notify the owner of the boat, who 
is held responsible for notifying the owner of the cargo to remove the boat, and if 
the latter does not do so within eight days after receipt of the notice the governor 
will have the work done at the expense of the owner, and the latter will have no 
claim against the government for indemnity for any damage which may be done to 
the boat or cargo in the course of such removal. 

If the owner does not pay the expense of removing the boat within eight days 
after notitication to do so, the governor shall have the right to sell the boat and its 
cargo. The returns from such sale shall be remitted to the owner after deducting the 
said expenses. If the expense of removal is in excess of the value of the boat and 
cargo combined and the owner is una])le to i)ay the difference on account of pov- 
erty, such excess shall be borne by the government. 

Shouhl a boat founder in a narrow canal or in a lock or in front of the opening 
of a lock or head gate, etc., so as to stop navigation or render it diflicult or diminish 
the (lisrharge of water in the canal or through a lock or head gate, the inspector 
shall take immediate measures for removing the said boat from the passage so ren- 
dered damrerous, and at the same time inform the governor regarding the whole 

The exi)ense of removing the boat will be borne by the government, but the owner 
will have no claim against the government for any damage which may be done to 
the boat, its accessories, or cargo in this work. 

As to tlie procedure after the boat has been removed from a channel where it 
threatene<l danger to navigation or othei" inteiests, the provisions of the first part of 
this article shall apply. 

establishment of ffkkies on a canal. 

Aktr i.E 1)0. In order to establish a ferry on a canal it is necessary that the pro- 
posed i»Uni and site be api)rove<l by the insi)ector of irrigation, in addition to the 
j)erniit from tlu' minister of finance. 

In rcgaid to ferries already in operation, if the inspector of irrigation believes that 
they ari' so located as to be injurious to irrigation or navigation and that they can 
be moved to a neighboring site without interfering with traffic, he may notify the 
governor to have the change made. 

If such change be not possible, the inspector of irrigation and the governor wiHr 
after conferring, aj)ply to the ministers of finance and i)ul)lic works, who will decide 
whether the ferries should be suppressed oi- not. If they decide that such action 
should ])e taken the ferries shall be relieved from taxes and replaced by bridges 
which sliall be public highways. The owners of tlu' ferries will have no claim for 
"uden\nity airainst the government. 


Article 31. It is prohiV)ite<l, under tho penalties ]>rescribe(l ])y the native penal 
oofle, for anyone to require or collect any payment whatsoever for the priviieores 
which authorized })oats have (^f loading and unloading their cargoes on the banks of 
the Nile, of a canal, or of a })ublic drain. 


Article 82. Offenses will be j)unished by inijirisonment from tifteen days to two 
lucmths and a tine at least eijual in amount to the damages caused, to be judged by 
the minister of j>ublic works, but the line can not in any case exceed twice this 

First, Those who, without special authorizati<^n — 

A. ]Mav have obstructed a water course bv a dike, rocks, or anv other obstacle. 

B. May have opened or closed the gates of locks or interfered with any of the 
machinery which serves to j)rotect the bridges or hea<l gates. 

C. ^lay have broken a dike that was constructed aiToss a canal, with the object of 
closing or reducing the discharge. 

D. ]May have established on the banks of the Nile, of a canal, or of a public drain 
any structure whatever, hydraulic wheel, sakiyeh, pum)^, etc. (all structures or 
machines established under these conditions will be iimnediately removed ). 

Shadufs, natalis, and Archimedean screws may be established without securing 
Iierniits, i)rovided that the banks are not cut oi* in any way damaged. 

E. ]May have cut the l»anks of the Nile or of an irrigation canal or drain, or «'ou- 
striicted a gate for the passage oi water. 

F. Mav have removed the earth forming: the banks. 

(t. ]\Iav have changed in anv wav a lock or a gateconstructe<l of mascmrv, whether 
the lock or gate be i>ublic oi ]>rivate property, ccnistructed u)>on a bank of the Nile 
or of a public canal. 

H. May have removed earth, stone, wood, or any other material from the banks 
of the Nile or of a canal or from any work of ))r<>tection, or who may have committed 
acts which might injiu'e works of art. 

The sheiks of the villages who may have taken charge of these works of art will 
be Vield legally resp(»nsi]^le by the government for the said acts, unless they have 
informed the government that they will no longer act in this capacity, so that 
guardians might be api)ointed by the government. 

Second. Those who may have interred a body in the banks. 

Third. Those who may have taken water from a canal, whether by oi)ening the 
gate of a canal or ditch or by making an opening in the bank or by raising the level 
of the water during the time the inspector of irrigation or other duly apj>ointed 
autliority shall have given notice that water should not be used. 

Article o.S. The following offenders will l)e punished by a tine of from 2."S to 2(X) 
P. T. ($1.23 to $9.SH) and imi)risonment from five to thirty days: 

First. Those who, without written authority from the insi)ector of irrigation, may 
have diverted water from a drainage canal to a public canal. 

Second. Those who, without sj>ecial authorization, may have c(»nstructed over a 
canal any bridge, either permanent or temporary, or who may have estahlishe<l a 
pipe or a siphon. 

Article 34. The following ((ffenders will be punished by a tine of from 10 to 50 
F. T. ($0,49 to $2.47) and nnprisonmcnt fr<>m one to fifteen days: 

First. Those who may havt* <leposite<l upon the banks or berms <»f a canal the 
material ol)tained from excavating orcleanin^' a <litch, acon<luit to a sakiyeh, or a steam 

Second. Those who mav have damaL'e(l the banks of canals or public <liains bv 
ninning water over them fntm the fields or by discharging into tlu' chaniu'l of a 
public drain sand or mud carried bv water. 


Third. Those wlio may have driven .stakes in a eanal to hold fish inj; neii^. 

Article 35. Those who may have thrown into the Nile, a eanal, or a public drain 
dead animals or any other snbstanee which would taint the water w^ill be subject to a 
fine of 200 P.T.( $9. 86). 

Those in charge of the guanis must always remove dead bodies from the water 
and bnrv them. 

Article 8(5. The penalties, fines, and imprisonments provided for in articles 32, 33, 
and 34 may be applied separately. 

Article 37. In addition to the prosecution for offenses as above i>rovideii for, 
offenders will always be required to restore premises to their former condition; if they 
refuse, the necessary work will be performed at their expense by the tjovernment, 
and the sum expended will be recovered in the manner prescribed in the decree of 
.March 25, 1880. 

Article 38. Offenders will be tried before a commission composed of the governor, 
the chief engineer or his deputy, and three prominent citizens of the province, to be 
chosen by the minister of the interior. 

A majority vote shall decide. 

Xo appeal may be taken if the sentence carries a fine only. 

Where the offender is condemned to imprisonment, he may appeal to a special 
committee sitting at the ministry of the interior and composed of the under secretary 
of state as i^resident, a khedival councilor, and a delegate from the ministry of public 

The api^eal must be lodged by a declaration to the province or to the government 
within three davt^ after the decision has l)een handed down. 

The ai)peal will not be receive<l unless the i>arty condemned has at that time paid 
the line and damages imj)osed, subject to refund in case of ac<iuittal. 

Articlk 39. SjKHial regulations of the minister of the interior shall fix the pro- 
ce<iure to be folhnved, whether before the commission or before the special committee. 

Article 40. The sheiks and watchmen of the towns and villages, the overseers of 
the chifiiks and ezbehs," of the government lands, and of the Daira Sanieh will be 
held responsible for the safe-keeping of the dikes and canals and all works of art 
whicli may ])e Icu-ated within their respective jurisdictions and which have been 
eonsigne<l to their care. In case of offense they will be held personally liable for 
the expense of rei)airing the works should the offenders be not apprehended. 

Articlk 41. The fines and other expenses shall V)e collected under the j^ro visions 
of the decree of March 25, 1880. In case the fine is not i>aid, the comiemned shall, 
in lieu thereof, l>e imprisoned one day for each 30 P. T. ($1.48) nf the fine. Such 
imi)risonment will be ordered by the governor. 

Article 42. All previous acts in conflict with this decree are hereby repealed. 


Article 1. All infractions of the law of Fe])ruary 22, 1894, relative to levees and 
canals, shall bi^ i)roven by testimony drawn uj) and signed by the engineer of the 
district ov by a referee appointed by the chief engineer, and signed in adiUtion by 
the omdeh '' or by one of the sheiks of the village in the province where the offense 
was committed. 

'^Chifiiks are concessions of large areas of land related to the Abadieh lands and 
ruled by the same decree of 1842. They were given to the vice-royal family exclu- 
sively. Tnder Abba Pasha, however, the government ceded some of this land to 
several high functionaries of the state. 

Ezbehs are hamlets or settlements isolated from neighboring villages, the inhabit- 
ants not being included in the census of the villages. 

f> An omdeh is the chief of a village; he is superior m authority to a sheik. 


If the omdeh ami the sheikj^ are absent, the said testimony sliall l)e signed hy the 
head officer of the district, or by one of the referees of the i)rovince or of the districts, 
or by an agent of })olice, on condition that they have i)resente<i (h'rect evidence of 
tlie offense. 

In the aV)sence of these otticials (»r of an agent <»f i)once, it will ]>e sufficient in the 
prosecution if the testimony be countersigned, or simply signed, without a sec<)nd 
signature ])eing necessary, by an inspector of irrigation, a cliief engineer, a director 
of public works, a superintendent of contracts, or an engineer ai)pointed by the 
inspector of irrigation. 

If the chief engineer should a})point a referee, or the inspector of irrigation an engi- 
neer, to take testimony in acconiance with the provisions of this article, the governor 
should ))e informed immediately of the name of the person so aj)pointed and the 
object of his appointment. The authority and duties of a person so appointed shall 
concern only a single case or a grouj) of cases or a certain locality, in which the 
appointee must spend a fixed period, such as, for example, the ))reaking of regula- 
tions concerning rotation in the use of water from a certain canal or in a certain 
district during the period of rotation. 

Aktici.e 2. The testimony shall be dated and must contain the following infor- 
mation : 

(1-) The full name, oiH'upation, and residence of the accuse<l. 

(2) Proof of the act constituting the offense and of the time and of the i>lace 
where committed. 

All testimony shall be recorded, together with all the circumstances arising from 
the culpability of the accused, and .«hall be forwanle<l within twenty-four hours to 
the governor, accomi)anied by a statement fixing the amount of damages. 

Artici.k .S. a special register shall be kei)t at the ofHce of the governor by an 
eni})loyee, who shall act as recorder for the conunission. In this register he shall 
enter immediately — 

(1) The date of the receipt of the report. 

(2) The date of the taking of testimony. 

(8) The full name, occupation, and residenct* of the accused. 

(4) The character of the offense. 

Article 4. Within twenty-four hours after receipt of the report the recorder shall 
summon the accused to ajipear ])efore the commission. This summons, in duplicate, 
must contain — 

(1) The full name, occupation, and residence of the accused. 

(2) The character of the offense. 

(8) Citation of the relevant j)rovisions of the law. 

(4) The day and hour when the accused shall ajipear. 

At least three full days must intervene between the date «»f the summons and the 
date of appearance. 

Article 5. An agent of tlie government shall bt' appointed to <leliver a duplicate 
of the summons to the accused. 

He shall make mention of such <leliverv at the bottom of Ixtth the original and 
duplicate summons, and shall affix the date of his signature. 

The accused shall also sign or stamj) the summons. In casi- of refusal i>r absence 
such fact shall be note<l thereon, and the original summons shall be delivered to the 
sheik, who shall acknowle<lge receipt thereof. 

Article H. The recorder shall enter in the register provided for in article :i the 
date of the summons and all j)roceedings to and including the final decision. 

Article 7. The accused shall appear before the commission in jierson on the day 
and hour specified. 

He may not in anv event claim anv irregularitv whatever in the snnim(>ns, for the 
fact of his apj)earance would nullify any such claim. 


Article 8. Testimony duly signed shall be accepted rs fact until proven to the 
contrary. The recorder shall read the testimonj^ together with any report which 
may accompany it. 

Following this the accused will set forth the character of his defense, and, if the 
same court tries the case, he will then give his testimony. 

The character of the defense and the depositions of testimony shall be briefly 
stated by the recorder in a re^xirt. The commission shall, before adjournment, give 
its decision, which must })e justified l)y the facts. 

Thev mav require additional testimonv if thev believe it necessarv. In such 
event they shall lix the day and hour when the new evidence shall be heard, which 
nuist be within fifteen days. 

Aktulk9. If the accused does not appear at the first hearing, the commission 
shall ascertain if the provisions of articles 4 and 5 relating to the summons have 
been observed. If any irregularity be found, they shall order a new hearing, which 
sliall take i)la<'e within three days. 

AjrricLK 10. If the sununous has ])een ))roi)erly issued, judgjnent by default will 
])e given, and no a})i)eal may be taken. 

Ahtklio 11. Where an api)eal is granted in accordance with the provisions of 
articU* 3S of the law on levees and canals, the accused, in making the ap})eal, must 
produce a receipt showing that he has deposited in the treasury of the i)rovince the 
amount of the fine an<l damages which have been imposed. 

The ai)i)eal will not ])e rei'eived if it is not accomj)anied by the said rec^eipt. 

The appeal shall ))e transmitted within three days to the minister of the interior, 
with the decision and the other papers in the case. 

Artki.i: 12. During tlie period of rotation in the sunnner — that is, the period dur- 
ing which rotations ai)j)ly to machines and pumps — the commission shall assemble at 
least once a week. But if, within three days before the time of meeting, there has 
bi'en no sununous, and there is no case of emergency, the governor may give notice 
to the mem])ers of the commission that no meeting will be held during the said 

AirncLK \'.\. The governor shall l)e charged with the execution of the decisions, 
both of the commission ajid of the special committee of a})peal. 

ArrKNDix 11. 


[Di'criT of March s, ISM.] 

Akticlk 1. Any i>erson, befoie cstalilishing a machine lor elevating water either 
for irrigation or drainage, whether the machine ))e stationary or movable, or 
proi)elled by steam or by a current of water, or by the wind, nuist receive permi.«sion 
from the ])ublic works ministry. This i)ermit carries with it no right or title to the 
j)ul)lic or private lands traversed by the pipes, conduits, acpieducts, head gates, or 
occupie<l by the i)umj)ing i>lant, in any way whatsoever. The government remains 
neutral in ail respects in all disjnites between the people and the person receiving 
the permit and lea\('s t»> him all res))onsi})ility resulting from damages which may 
occur in the installation of the ])lant or in anv other wav. 

Ahti i.K 2. The erection of stationary eU'vating machines will be authorized only 
up(»n the banks of the Nile. At the same time the minister of public works may 
make exception and authorize the esta])lishment of suc*h nuichines upon certain 
canals. The minister is to be sole ju<lge of the ex})ediency of issuing a lermit, and 
to him will be left all freedom regarding all agreements and conditions to which it 
will be su))jected, as the case may deman<l. 


xVrticle 8. All machines for elevating water, whether stationary or movaljle, must 
be so installed as not to interfere with travel along the banks or the navigation of 
the canals, to respect all existing rights, and not add to the expense of maintenance 
of the canals or their ))anks, or to the defense of the country against inundation. 

Article 4. In case the applicant fails to comply with the conditions and ol^liga- 
tions imposed by the permit, it will be canceled without any claim on the govern- 
ment on account of such procedure as it may <leem necessary to reimburse itself for 
such damage as mav be done. 

Article 5. A site for the installation of a machine at a certain place may not be 
changed except by the issuance of a new permit, which will be grante<l Avithout 
requiring the payment of additional fees. 

Article (). The (rovernment retains the right, whenever a i)u))lic utility may 
require, such as the execution of public works dangerous to the dikes, irrigation 
works, etc., to cause any authorized pumping plant to be removed. 

Article 7. The permit given for the installati(m of an elevating machine, whether 
stationary or movable, carries with it only the right for the applicants to install the 
plant in order to take water from a canal or the Nile. It carries with it no assurance 
from the government of a sui)ply of water for the machine, nor does it insure a 
passage for the water elevated hy the macthine. The appHcants nuist come to an 
understanding with their associates, or the ])eople whose land they must cross, with- 
out interfering with the government in any way. In order to conduct water over 
waste or other land of the government, the applicant must secure a special permit. 
It is prohibited to make ditches to bring the water along the ])anks of the canals or 
of the Nile, as well as upon the roads or slo[)es of the ])anks. 

Article 8. The ditches or conduits for carrying the water from the machines to 
the land will be constructed in such a manner and be of such a kind as not to inter- 
fere with travel, the flow of water, or with irrigation, according to the rights reserved 
by the people to whom the applicant alone remains responsible. The government 
will allow such construction as it deems safe and necessary for permitting the i)assage 
of conduits under dikes and roads and under or above canals. 

Article 9. For the general good, in case of exceptional low water, or when the 
flow of the canal becomes greatly inferior to the ne('<ls of the agriculture which it 
serves, the public works ministry, in accordance witli a measure generally a])i>licable 
to canals or a single reach of a canal, may or<ler the imme<liate closing of the elevating 
machine, or reduce the capacity of the same in accordance with its location, the 
relative importance of the machine, the area of the land which it iri'igates, and in no 
case will the government incur any responsibility tor damage caused to agriculture. 

Article 10. I'liderthe jirovisionsof article 7, the ministry of public works is, under 
certain conditions, authorized to permit the use of a j)ublic Nili canal for carrying 
water from the elevating machine to the lan<l to be irrigatt^I, under the following 

(1) Such j)ermission will ))e given only during the season of low water and ends 
when the water of the Nik; will flow freely in the canal. 

(2) IVrmission will he given only when the i>roprietors of the hnul who use the 
Nili canal have given their general consent. 

(3) If it is found necessary to construct dams to maintain the level of the water 
along a Nili canal, these must he of earth and thev must be l)uilt hv the (»wnerof the 
machine, in casc^ of necessity, by the governjuent, but at the ex])ense, risk, an«l ]»eril 
of the proprietor, before the water of the Nile can flow freely into the canal. 

(4) Finally, the owner of the machine is alone res])orisil>le to the p(M)ple foi- all 
damage occasioned by the breaking of dams, percolation, and <lelay in Ituildini: the 
dams at the time the supj)ly of water is availahle. 

Article 11. Any jx'rson who, contrary to the foreu'oing }>rovisions <»f this decree, 
may have installe<l a stationary or a movahle machine without receiving a permit, 
must, before August .SI, ISSl, aj^ply for a permit imder the conditions j-rescrihed by 

27T5i>— No. VM)—{)?y 7 



Bnl. 119. Hc-pc.ri.of Iiriwilioii InveHtigatiortH ft,r 19fl niid.'r l.ho rtirwtion ol 

Meail, rbipf. I'p. *H. Price, 50 <«iils. 
lliit. 124. Keport -jf IrrigaHon Investigaiione in Utali, unaer th llrectioii of F.lwo™! 

Mp;.,1, ,^hief, SHsiBted t.y R. P. Teein, A. P. Shiver, A. F. Doremoa, J. D. 

StaniianI, Frauk Adanie, anH G. L. Sweiidi«-n. Pj.. 330. Price, 11.10. 

Hiil. W. rn-icalinti in Hiiiiiii! CliluateB. Ijj i". M King. <'i..\:7. 
Hill. UH. Irrigatifm in Fniit tiiwvhia. }\v E. J, Wickson T: .. 4fi. 
llul. 138. Irrigatioa iu Fit-Id and Ganjeii. Bj- K. J. Wtr'. ^..i >. «. 
I;iil. 158. Hfjwk, Biii/^l Siiiall Irrigation Dik-hes, By G. T. j.,i,nB(<.n sod .1. 
Stanniinl. I'ji. M.