20.3.1827 Lüneburg/D - 12.3.1894 Hannover/D
August Hess graduated in 1850 as a mathematician from the University of Göttingen after having also attended lectures in civil engineering at the Universities of Hannover and Karlsruhe. He was from 1857 a hydraulic engineer at Celle, where he was mainly involved in land drainage. Based on experiments Hess observed that the yield of grass lands is significantly increased when irrigated with river water rich in dung. After a 13 years' stay in Celle he moved to Hannover where he had been appointed county inspector of drainage, a position that he kept for the following twenty years. The Royal Agricultural Society of Hannover presented Hess the Grand Silver Medal; he was elected vice-president of the International Agricultural Congress in Den Haag, Netherlands, and he was awarded the Honorary Diploma during the Bremen Northwestern Exhibition in 1890.
The merit of Hess as a hydraulic engineer was his design and execution of large irrigation and drainage schemes, mainly in Hannover County. He was responsible for the Müden-Nienhöfer irrigation scheme along the Lower Oker River. The sluice gate at its downstream end together with a twin 1.3 m diameter aqueduct is still in use. Hess thus realized an irrigation region of 3000 hectares offering richness to the nearby villages. Another irrigation scheme close to the city of Bremen used spray irrigation with waters from the Weser River. Hess extensively described these projects in books and in addition presented general works on irrigation techniques, such as his 1892 book on drainage engineering and his 1900 Engineering Handbook.
Hess, A. (1856). Der Seeuferbau im Lande Hadeln. Zeitschrift Architektenund Ingenieur-Verein Hannover 2: 449-460.
Hess, A. (1873). Das Project des Rostock-Berliner Schifffahrtskanals. Kuhn: Rostock.
Hess, A. (1887). Gutachten betreffend die Entwässerung der Ilmenau-Niederung in den Ämtern Winsen a.d. Luhe, Lüneburg und Bleckede. König: Lüneburg.
Hess, A. (1892). Fortschritte im Meliorationswesen. Engelmann: Leipzig.
Hess, A. (1900). Landwirtschaftliche Verbesserungen. Handbuch der Ingenieurwissenschaften
3(2/1): 1-86. Engelmann: Leipzig.
Michaelis, X., Hess, A. (1871). Das Projekt des Weser-Elbe-Kanals. Zeitschrift Architektenund Ingenieur-Verein Hannover 17(2): 180-207.
Uhden, O. (1958). Wer war August Hess? Wasser und Boden 10(6): 163-164. P
Uhden, O. (1972). Hess, August. Neue Deutsche Biographie 9: 4-5. Duncker&Humblot: Berlin.

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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