Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/453

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433
LOS ANGELES.

a mysterious quality—the dreamed-of orange-groves in mass.

The city has created a considerable part of its debt by its water system, in which it has spent probably $200,000. The works are of an ephemeral character, which will in time be replaced by something more substantial. The simple trenches and wooden flumes permit waste of water, and are costly to keep in repair. One of the principal ditches, however, is carried through a hill some three-quarters of a mile in a tunnel of six feet in section. There have been formed also numbers of durable reservoirs or artificial lakes for the storage of additional water in winter to supplement the river at its lowest.

We rode out among the villas and gardens and observed the practical application of the water. The main ditches are three feet by two, the lesser about two by one. The "head" is the nominal standard of measurement of the babbling fluid. The head should be a section of one hundred square inches, delivered under a certain uniform pressure, but it is in practice loosely administered.

"The irrigators want their work done" says the Zanjero; "that is the main point. Some lands take more, others less, according as they are sandy or hold water. A head of fifty inches on the east side will do as much as one hundred and twenty around the city."

Fan-palms, India-rubber-trees, and tall bananas grow freely on the lawns where a little pains is taken. You stop now to exclaim at a comfortable home embowered in myrtle, orange, and vines, the dark, glossy foliage starred with golden fruit and red roses, a spot for any romance. Again, it is a long arcade or temple of arbor-vitæ, extending across the whole front of a garden, and