Page 104


Page 104
Colorado River problem
Is Part Of,8
Full text
SMITH ON THE COLORADO RIVER PROBLEM 409 manageable and utilizable; or as exemplified in the purchase of great areas of land on the head-waters of the Allegheny and Monongahela for reforestation. Navigation is no more vital to the economic and social welfare of the group of six States bordering the Ohio than is the taming and harnessing of the Colorado to the welfare of the seven States along its course. The Federal Government should pay one-half the cost of the Dewey Dam and one-half the cost of securing 1,000,000 acre-ft. of storage for flood protection at the Flaming Gorge site. It is desirable to have a larger measure of flood control, especially for such years as 1884 and 1909, and it is to be expected that, in time, the stream flow of the Upper Basin will be fully equated, probably at the mouth of the Green River or in the general vicinity of Lees Ferry. It is a disappointment to the writer that the author has not presented a definite plan for complete regulation of stream flow in the Upper Basin, in consonance with the general principles laid down by him. Until a general plan for complete regulation of the flow in the Upper Basin has been adopted, it would be a grave misfortune to give up the Ouray Reservoir site by restoring it to entry and granting a right of way for a railroad to cross it. Test borings that go all the way to bedrock should be made at the Junction site, and borings should be made at Bluff. Just now the urgent problem is to hold back somewhere a part of the June flood, and this can be done by means of reservoirs in the Upper Basin or anywhere above Parker. From the standpoint of protection to the Imperial Valley, the location of the storage is not so important as its immediate availability. The Imperial Valley should not be obliged to wait eight, ten, or twelve years for relief. The development of the Colorado, as here proposed, by a moderate amount of storage, which can be utilized in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California, will prevent the early application of water to great areas in Sonora and Lower California and the subsequent claims of priority rights for those lands. It will retard development in Mexico until projects in Arizona and in the Upper Basin can be gotten under way. The main arguments used by the proponents of the Boulder Project against storage in the Upper Basin are: (1) That it would leave the run-off from a large part of the watershed unregulated; and (2) that the Upper Basin can make full use of the reservoirs situated above the canyon region. These arguments are not sound as has been shown herein. It is true that in order to prevent waste of water to the sea, there must be some reservoir farther down stream, but it will be many years before close control is required. The First Power Project.—The Diamond Creek Project, at the mouth of Diamond Creek, 16 miles north of Peach Springs, on the Santa Fe Railway, is strictly a power project. If the Dewey Dam is built at once, the Diamond Creek Project might well be the first power development for the Lower Basin States. This project has a long list of advantages. It has a shallow depth to bed-rock, indeed, the bed-rock is swept bare during high flood stages; it is the narrowest between canyon walls; the walls are of granite;

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