Page 94


Page 94
Colorado River problem
Is Part Of,8
Full text
WEYMOUTH ON THE COLORADO RIVER PROBLEM 399 is not needed to care for irrigation, flood control, and silting in the immediate future is apparent. The provision of this or even a greater capacity at the present time is not an economic blunder, however, as the full control of present flow for the prevention of waste and, therefore, the maximum power output requires a storage of more than 30,000,000 acre-ft. The location of this storage is also an important factor. From the standpoint of flood control and avoidance of irrigation waste, storage should be as near the point of use as possible. To restrict evaporation losses, the reservoir should be deep and located in the Canyon Section. Construction Cost.—Even with the cost of the dams added to the power feature, power can be developed more cheaply at Boulder Canyon for the market available than at any other point on the Colorado River, or elsewhere. Modification of plans for purely storage development to include power development must provide power at a minimum cost per unit, in order that the additional investment may be justified and the burden on the power users reduced to a minimum. The more recent studies have assumed that the cost of storage for irrigation and flood control should be saddled on the power development. Power Output.—Although adequate provision must be made for irrigation and flood control, any accepted plan must offer no avoidable interference with the maximum possible power development. Maximum power output is desirable as the presence of a market in the near future for all power that may be developed below the Park is generally conceded. As power depends on head and quantity of water, it follows that the maximum possible output would be obtained with stream control at the upper reaches of a section and utilization of the entire head below. As no feasible storage possibilities with sufficient capacity exist above the Boulder Canyon Reservoir site, it follows that, in order to obtain a maximum product, the plan adopted must be a compromise between a sacrifice of operating head and of storage capacity. A considerable portion of the energy used in Southern California at the present time is devoted to irrigation pumping, which varies greatly from year to year with the stream flow. No doubt such pumping will continue to take a considerable part of all power marketed there. Some of the power systems with which the Colorado River development would be interconnected are less fortunate in storage possibilities. The best use of Colorado River power is possible only with a large storage reserve at strategic points, that will permit a flexible power output. Destruction of Property Values.—The Mohave Valley Reservoir, if developed to Elevation 600, as proposed by Colonel Kelly, would require the reconstruction of about 26 miles of double-track main-line railroad (Santa Fe). The Town of Needles, Calif., with a population of more than 2,500, would have to be moved to a new site, together with extensive terminal facilities of the railroad company. Irrigable land, to the extent of 40,000 acres, much of it Indian reservation, would be submerged. A school would also have to be moved. Parker Valley Dam, if developed to Elevation 425, would not destroy

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