The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, January 25, 1902, Image 1

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It Has Already Brought Prosperity to Western Nebraska
And With National Aid
The State Could Provide New Homes for Millions
Irrigation in Nebraska is no longer
an experiment. Already over one mil
lion and a half acres in the state, once
considered hopelessly sterile and worth
less, have been reclaimed and made
fertile through application of water
from running streams near by. It is
estimated that as many more acres
may be made productive by further
use of this water in quantities that an
nually goes to waste.
One million and a half acres! An
area as great as the combined extent
of Rhode Island and Delaware! And
the soil of Nebraska is known to be
far richer and deeper than the soil of
any of the Atlantic coast states. Con
sidering that farms In the irrigated
districts average 120 acres each, andi
that each farm supports a family of
five members, homes have been pro
vided for 70,000 people in Nebraska
by the diverting of water to a useful
purpose that would otherwise go to
The Platte, Republican and Blue riv
ers are the chief boon of irrigators.
On either side of the Platte in west
ern Nebraska intricate networks of
canals and ditches carry water to
thousands of thirsty acres. Where the
stream enters the state, Scott's Bluff
county, there are 339 miles of ditches
carrying life to 240,000 acres of semi
arid land that without water artificially
supplied would be valuable for graz
ing purposes only. Cheyenne county,
bordering Scott's Bluff on the east, has
248 miles of ditches feeding 96,500 acres;
Deuel county, bordering Cheyenne on
Wn.T--cr on
Is-' 11
Irrigation Canal in Cheyenne County, Nebraska. Court House Rook and Jail Itock, Two Famous Speci
mens of Nebraska Scenery, in the distance.
u ' nil m 1 1 i ) idWEi Liij "PWMPIlliil
T JHtv ' ' - " "fT?S4Jni
Irrigation Canal in Dawson County, Nebnskn.
the east has 283 miles, giving life to
103,700 acres. Lincoln county, which is
also divided by the Platte, has 283 miles
of ditches watering 201,300 acres.
In some localities pumps have been
used for securing subterranean water,
while in others artesian wells have
been bored, yielding a continuous How
of small proportions. These sources
have been inadequate for feeding large
tracts of land, however, and have been
utilized chlelly by gardeners, and oth
ers who cultivate only on a small
scale. The chief resource has been
the diversion of water from running
The supply has been by no means ex
hausted. Secretry Adna Dobson of the
state board of irrigation estimates that
it is possible to irrigate another milhon
and a half acres in Nebraska by util
izing the water that is annually per
mitted to flow unhindered through the
streams of the state. All this Is with
out the use of storage reservoirs. All
that has been done along this line In
Nebraska has been without the aid of
either state or nation. It has been ac
complished through the Investment of
private capital, for the most part in
comparatively Insignificant sums. With
national aid. and the establishment of
storage reservoirs, no one can foresee
the limit to the possibilities.
Some Idea of the value of irrigation
(Continued on page 9.)