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'File 19/252 Bahrain Water Supply' [‎1br] (3/96)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (45 folios). It was created in 29 May 1939-19 Nov 1942. It was written in English and Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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Extract from letter lio.a/352-i.b/5 of the 29th May
1939 from the i-olitical Agent, Bahrain.
7. x ... .#e know that there are magnificent
artesian water supplies. If howerer State or quasi-State
agricultural projects on a large scale are to he initiated the
first essential is for the Bahrain Government to obtain control
over all artesian water supplies in the island. At the moment
terrifying quantities of good v/ater are being wasted, artesian
wells have been sunk in extravagant profusion and many of them
are not even provided with valves to shut off the flow. His
Highness the Shaikh himself and the A1 Khalifah are among the
worst offenders, and it will need considerable pressure, prefer
ably originating in advice from His Majesty^ Government themselves,
to induce His Highness to agree on his own account and to order
other landowners to put their artesian supplies under Government
control. It should not be a difficult task, though it may take
some time and money, to ascertain by experiment the quantity of
v/ater required to irrigate a specific area for a specific crop
in any particular locality in Bahrain. Cnce this is done all
artesian wells should be fitted with locked valves and meters,
and it should be the business of a properly conducted Government
Department to flow each well to the quantity required weekly.
In certain areas it will be necessary to construct cement
reservoirs, into which the flow from artesian wells can be
directed, in order to make a sufficient head of v/ater to irrigate
more distant areas. I am not normally in favour of State control
over any privately-owned facility, but 1 do greatly fear the
oartial exhaustion of reserves of artesian water under Bahrain if
the present lack of control continues. It becomes a matter of
even greater importance if an extension of agriculture on a
commercial scale comes under contemplation. I have on more than
one occasion already urged-the need for taking periodic readings
of the flow of old and new artesian wells in different localities.
X . X X x X X
• • y

About this item


The documents in this file are all related to the natural water supply of Bahrain.

They include two detailed surveys of the island's water supply, correspondence concerning the status of Bahrain's artesian wells, concerns about the wastage of water in gardens owned by Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa (and other members of the Al Khalifa family) and more general correspondence regarding the usage of water in Bahrain.

Extent and format
1 volume (45 folios)

File is arranged in chronological order, from earliest at beginning of the file to most recent at end.

Physical characteristics

Previously a bound volume, its sheets have been unbound and are now loose. Foliation starts with 1A for the file cover. The first page of the volume is 1B. It continues to the last page. Foliation in pencil numbers in top right corner of recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. . Additional foliation has been rubbed out but is still faintly visible. Further foliation starts with 31 on f.21 and continues to f.27. It is then also rubbed out but traces remain visible. Due to foliation error, we have f.36A and f.36B instead of f.36.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'File 19/252 Bahrain Water Supply' [‎1br] (3/96), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/376, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 6 December 2019]

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