Water Wheel

a picture of something

This is a canal paralleling the Gariep (aka Orange) River in the Northern Cape of South Africa. Around the turn of the 19th century missionaries moved into this area and developed water irrigation systems that supported the development of an orchard industry which is still going strong, with an increasing focus on table grapes. The dry conditions facilitated drying fruit, so this is essentially the tried apricot and raisin capital of the world. Or at least, southern Africa.

This water wheel turns with the force of the water in the canal, and with the wheel rotates a cup which picks up a small amount of water with each rotation, dumping that into a sluice that feeds to an irrigation pipe or ditch.

Comments

  1. #1 Charlie
    July 3, 2010

    It’s a noria, Greg. Part of it is a waterwheel, just like part of your car is the engine. The waterwheel part is undershot paddle, no more than 30% efficient (and probably far less) but obviously enough for the task. Poncelet would harvest more spark… thanks for the pic!