Page 49


Page 49
Colorado River problem
Is Part Of,8
Full text
ALLISON ON THE COLORADO RIVER PROBLEM 353 Boundary Line, is shared by the speaker. However, the so-called All-American Canal, designed to replace the main canal of Imperial Valley now running through Mexico, should not be built on any of the hypotheses set forth by its sponsors for the following reasons: 1.—It does not add one acre of land to irrigation that cannot otherwise be added at much less expense per acre and in greater acreage. 2.—It does not add one drop of water to the available supply, but, on the other hand, represents an extravagant waste through seepage and evaporation 3.—It does not add one unit of power, but develops less electrical energy for the uses of the American lands than can be developed by the other means suggested herein. 4.—If at all a necessity, it must be a political necessity, and this political necessity is set up by its advocates as the principal reason for its construction. The fact of the present canal being in Mexico is the main reason advocated for the building of a duplicate canal on American territory. The principle, however, is unsound because, as will be shown, Mexico as a water customer is of strict financial value to the American users of water, and, as an ally and neighbor in the use of water, is of great political value in the project. As a matter of fact the new project does not in any sense relieve the owners of the present Mexican Canal from maintaining their flood and irrigation works. 5.—Above all, the construction and the maintenance difficulties and the prohibitive expense of the All-American enterprise warrants a most careful examination before it shall receive the endorsement of the Society in any form. The reasons for this statement will now be discussed. It is proposed under the All-American project (shown on Fig. 19) to bring water from the Laguna Dam (after raising and modifying the dam to care for the additional diversion) through an enlarged canal located along the route of the present Government canal as far as what is known as Siphon Drop; thence continuing along the foot-hills between the mesa and the river bottom-lands as far as Pilot Knob, where it is to divert westerly along the International Boundary Line and plunge directly into the forbidding territory Between Pilot Knob and the Imperial Valley. The plan calls for the abandonment of the gravity system now supplying Imperial Valley through Hanlon Heading at Pilot Knob by way of Mexico. This present supply flows entirely below the surface of the ground at Hanlon Heading and affords a safe delivery of water to Imperial Valley through all seasons of the year. Any desert rain storms along the route of the proposed canal from the Laguna Dam to Pilot Knob can, without difficulty, break it and divert its entire supply back into the Colorado River. The storm regulators provided by the are inadequate to cope with the inevitable cloudbursts draining from the mesa lands along the foot of which the canal is to run. Although the new canal from Laguna Dam should be constructed as far as Pilot Knob, as projected, still the diversion through Hanlon Heading, directly from the river and into the Valley by its present route, should be maintained as a safeguard.

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