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Water Lifting-Wheel


At Keimoes, on the Orange River, between Upington and Kakamas, is a group of water-wheels used for lifting water from an irrigation canal. These wheels are iron replicas of water-lifting wheels in Japan, which are there constructed from bamboo. Similar wheels have been used in the Middle East and in the Far East for over two thousand years, and it is probable that such wheels inspired Vitruvius to devise his water-mill. The Keimoes wheel is driven undershot, and consists of two wheels, each having twelve spokes, linked by horizontal paddles which drive the wheel. At the end of each paddle is a canister which fills with water as it dips into the canal. When the canister reaches the top of the wheel the water is emptied into an iron trough, from which it flows to channels irrigating the fields.

(Walton 1974:111)

See also molinology

Kakamas Photographer: Viv Mostert'>
Keimoes Photographer: Roger Fisher'>