Page 108


Page 108
Colorado River problem
Is Part Of,8
Full text
L. C. HILL ON THE COLORADO RIVER PROBLEM 413 author has given some weight to this in his plan for the development of power, he has not provided sufficiently for irrigation, which should be given prior consideration. Irrigation.—Water storage for irrigation should be as close as possible to the lands to be served. If this were the only consideration, the selection of Boulder Reservoir—to be created by a dam in Black Canyon—would be without material opposition as this reservoir is only 300 miles above the Laguna Diversion Weir, as compared with nearly 700 miles for the Glen Canyon site. Storage reservoirs above the Canyon Section should be built as the need arises, and should be operated to best satisfy the power demand. These reservoirs, when the ultimate development has been effected, will practically equalize the seasonal variations in the flow of the Colorado and will reduce the annual variations. Elimination of annual variations is of primary importance in the conservation of water for irrigation; consequently, there must be provided below the Canyon Section as much irrigation storage as is economical. There is no clause in the Colorado River Compact which provides for the release in a year of low flow of water for the irrigation of lands below the Canyon Section, although it does provide that during 10 consecutive years a total of 75,000,000 acre-ft. must be allowed to reach Lees Ferry. Consequently, a large amount of hold-over storage must be available to assure the lands in the Lower Basin of a continuous supply of water for irrigation. The speaker is of the opinion that a reservoir of sufficient capacity for these purposes can be created most economically at Boulder Canyon. For many years it will be possible to release water from Boulder Reservoir in such quantities and at such times as will satisfy both the power and irrigation demands. Ultimately, the release of water from Boulder Reservoir will approach the variable irrigation requirement of the Lower Basin, except as modified by the regulatory effect of a reservoir farther down stream. The power output of other plants along the Colorado would be so modified as to satisfy that part of the power demand not taken care of by the output at Boulder. Secondary re-regulation of the normal release from Boulder Reservoir should be provided as close as possible to the lands to be served with water for irrigation. As a comparatively small capacity will be required, the best location, as far as is known at present, would be just below the mouth of Bill Williams River. A dam at this point would also divert water into canals to irrigate large bodies of land between Parker and Yuma, Ariz., and in the Palo Verde Valley. This reservoir would also serve as a settling basin and point of diversion for an additional domestic supply for the cities and towns of Southern California the local water resources of which have been exploited to the safe limit. The value of this reservoir for flood control will be discussed later. The author has considered that re-regulation can best be effected with a dam at Topock, creating the Mohave Reservoir. The only objection to this

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