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- Colorado River problem
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- 334 THE COLORADO RIVER PROBLEM "Increase of Storage Capacity from 10 000 000 Acre-Ft. to the Available Annual Water Supply. "According to estimates of Bureau of Reclamation engineers the cheapest known storage capacity of 10,000,000 acre-ft. would be the top 65 ft. (approximately) of the large Boulder Canyon reservoir and would cost about $10,000,000. At $1 per acre-foot of storage capacity the increase in storage capacity from 10,000,000 to 20,000,000 acre-ft, would cost more than $20 per acre-foot of increase in mean annual flow. This would be a doubtful investment if the increase in possible power and irrigation development at and below Boulder Canyon be alone considered, but may be justifiable if the additional storage capacity be provided up stream so that the additional flow could be utilized for power purposes through the much greater head available, in the canyon section of Colorado River. "It is concluded that storage capacity in excess of 10,000,000 acre-ft. should not be provided, if at all, until the conditions of water supply under future development are much better known than at present. "Effect of Estimates of Water Supply and Practicable Storage Control on Possibilities of Irrigation Development "The estimates of water supply and practicable storage for the period 1878-1922 indicate that through long periods not to exceed 12,000,000 acre-ft. of water a year may be relied on for future irrigation development above Laguna Dam and for present and future development below that point. "Compilation of irrigable areas in the basin of Colorado River and the adjacent basin of Salton Sea, classified by degree of feasibility, has been made by engineers of the Bureau of Reclamation. These areas and estimated net consumption of water by them and by probable diversions from the basin are set forth in the following table [Table 11]: "TABLE 11.-Irrigable Areas and Water Requirements. (Areas in Thousands of Acres and Shown to Nearest 10,000. Water Consumption in Thousands of Acre-Feet and Shown to Nearest 100,000.) _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Present: Immediate Future: Near Future: Distant Future: Total : Area. Water. Area. Water. Area. Water. Area. Water. Area. Water. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Above Boulder .... .... 770 1,300 1,060 2,000 970 1,900 2,900 5,2000 Between Boulder and Laguna .... .... 170 500 50 200 870* 3,900 1,090 4,600 Below Laguna in United States 470 2,100 430 1,900 .... .... .... .... 900 4,000 Total in United States 470 2,100 1,370 3,700 1,100 2,100 1,840 5,800 4,990 13,600 In Mexico 190 900 300 1,300 310 1,400 200† 900 1,000 4,500 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Grand total 660 3,000 1,700 5,000 1,410 3,500 2,040 6,600 5,810 18,100 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ "* Includes a little over 800,000 acres listed in available areas by Bureau of Reclamation engineers, but excluded from their estimates of water consumption with the following statement : The Parker-Gila Valley Project is not considered fully as feasible as other Class C projects in either basin and as available water supply is insufficient for the inclusion of its entire area at the assumed diversion duty, the area of this project is reduced to fit the water supply. "† This area not dependent on flow of Colorado River at Laguna as it may be served by return flow, waste, etc., near head of Gulf. "The foregoing table [Table 11] does not include 1,500,000 acres of land now irrigated above Laguna Dam, requirements of which have been provided for and excluded from the estimates of water supply.
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