International Exposition of Paris 1867

Agriculture, Industry and Fine Arts

April 1, 1867 - November 3, 1867


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Fountain of the Dhuys

Fountain of the Dhuys at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1867

Those who drink the water from the Dhuys at the Champ de Mars have little idea of what it costs Parisians. Paris is a very impaired creature; it needs water more than all the capitals, and it has less than none, less than London, less than Vienna, less than New York and less than Rome, all things considered. The regime to which M. Haussmann has put Paris is certainly not designed to spare its reserves. The insatiable tarmac does not give the Ourcq canal, which is responsible for supplying it, a moment's respite. The need for watering has become so incessant that it is even necessary to water when it rains. And the squares? I won't put a figure on the thousands of cubic metres that their maintenance requires. In the meantime, enough water has to be found to wash away the rubbish that accumulates in the underground channels.

The Seine cannot even supply enough drinking water; and if more loans were made to it upstream, the downstream course would become a veritable cesspool.

It was therefore necessary to implore the neighbouring and distant naiads to help the altered capital. The Dhuys did not give all that was asked of it, and made it pay more dearly than it had been expected to. After the stingy Dhuys, it was necessary to resort to the Somme-Soude. This will not yet suffice; and one is already thinking of imploring a more powerful goddess, the Loire. The works that have been carried out and those that are being prepared require all the more expense as they are or will be more admirable. But what can be done? "A drop of water in the desert," says the Arab, "is worth a diamond. "

So let the visitors to the Champ de Mars quench their thirst at the fountain of the Dhuys: but... let them leave us a few drops for thirst! We have so little, and it costs us so much!

©L'Exposition Universelle de 1867 Illustrée