National Geographic : 1916 Dec
Photograph by George Bell AUSTRALIAN TROOPS EMBARKING FOR FRANCE So long as red blood continues to run in human veins, so long will men continue to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the maintenance of what they believe to be their country's rights. centering at Kalgoorlie, a serious problem was presented. The region is without streams and fresh-water lakes, and wells yield only salt water. The nearest supply in quantity is 300 miles distant. By con verting the salt water into fresh with con densers, by utilizing the few soaks, by storing some of the scant rainfall, by hauling water with camels and later by rail, mining operations could be carried on at great expense. When dry blow ing of alluvial gold had exhausted the rich surface deposits and the equally rich ledge was encountered, the future profits of the field depended not only upon the amount of the mineral-gold-but also upon the mineral-water. To meet this situation a most ambitious scheme was undertaken-the construction of a pipe-line from a point near the coast over desert range and valley to supply an artificial reservoir with 5,000,000 gallons a day. The length of the 33-inch steel main pipe is 351 miles-II5 miles longer than the Los Angeles aqueduct-and the water is lifted by a series of pumps to a height of I, 290 feet. The cost was great, $5,000, ooo for the manufacture of the pipe alone. The water is sold by the government at an average rate of 75 cents per thou sand gallons-a price which seems large to American consumers-but it replaces the wholly inadequate supply of poor water bought at the rate of $8.oo to $12.00 per thousand gallons. Without the Goldfields' pipe line the richest min ing fields of Australia with the cities of Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie, and Boulder would revert to their original state-a forbidding desert.