Page 88


Page 88
Colorado River problem
Is Part Of,8
Full text
GRUNSKY ON THE COLORADO RIVER PROBLEM 393 requires a vast outlay for damages to cities, railroads, and other property, and costs about the same per acre-foot stored, besides destroying a great alluvial valley susceptible of high development. The author deserves thanks for the frank official declaration of the settled policy of the Federal Power Commission, in his statement that: "All the development needed on the Colorado will be built by private capital under adequate Federal and State regulation if the river is given over to development under the Federal Water Power Act." This declaration is in the face of the mandatory provision of the law that the Commission shall give preference to applications from municipalities, such as are on file for the privileges of the Colorado power sites. That this defiance of law is a settled policy of the Power Commission is an important fact in considering legislation affecting not only the Colorado, but any other stream under its jurisdiction. If the author really believes his statement that the Mohave is a good power site, and should be the first development, why does he not require the power companies to begin their development by building the Mohave Reservoir? None of the power companies has applied for this privilege, and they would probably spurn it, as the results would not pay for the damages caused to railroads and other property. The mere mention of such a proposition should be considered absurd, as it really is. C. E. Grunsky,* Past-President, Am. Soc. C. E.—The Colorado River presents one of the nation's largest and most pressing domestic problems—a problem which, however, has its international aspects, that, through inaction on the part of the Federal Government, are annually growing more serious. As Adviser to the Secretary of the Interior in 1907, the speaker called attention to the anomalous situation which had resulted from the operations of the California Development Company, whose canal located in part in Mexico was supplying irrigation water from the Colorado River to the lands in Imperial Valley, California, and suggested a plan of procedure to prepare the way for a comprehensive treatment of the river problem which would be advantageous both to the United States and to Mexico. Nothing came of the suggestion, however. The problem cannot be solved without giving consideration to the fact that the Colorado is an international river. The interstate pact formulated by a Commission headed by Herbert Hoover, Hon. M. Am. Soc. C. E., now ratified by all the interested States, except Arizona, will be, when consummated, only a first step toward the solution of this problem. If State boundaries are to be considered and conflicting interests between upper and lower groups of States are to be recognized, as indicated in the pending pact, then, too, the States within the two groups may well ask, as does Arizona, "What will be the situation 40 or 50 years from now?" Each of the States in the upper group wants to know what proportion of the water which is to be left in the river for use of the lower group of States it will be expected to furnish—just as each of the States of the lower group may desire *Cons. Engr. (C. E. Grunsky Co.), San Francisco, Calif.

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