Page 111


Page 111
Colorado River problem
Is Part Of,8
Full text
416 L. C. HILL ON THE COLORADO RIVER PROBLEM evident that a flood was imminent on the Gila, the entire flow of the Bill Williams, and that water already released from Boulder Reservoir, could be held back in the Parker Reservoir until the Gila flood had receded. As Parker is closer to Yuma than the last important tributary on the Gila, such a method would be entirely practicable. The author has resorted to another method of handling the floods of the Colorado River, which does not meet with the approval of engineers long experienced in the actual control of these floods. In order to avoid the possibility of a dangerous coincidence in the flows of the Colorado and of the Gila at Yuma, Colonel Kelly proposes that the stored flood waters shall be released at the rate of about 80,000 sec-ft. By so doing, all flood waters would have been removed from the reservoir before the season for Gila floods. The hydrograph, Plate I, shows that this would be entirely unnecessary in more than half the years. As intelligent operation of the flood-control reservoir would practically obviate the coincidence of floods from the Gila and the Colorado, the speaker can see no sound reason for disregarding the opinion of those who have personally been combatting the floods of the Colorado. The engineer of the Palo Verde District has stated—according to the author—that if no levees are provided, the lands of this district would be flooded when the flow exceeds 50,000 sec-ft. and that bank protection is required at floods of more than 35,000 sec-ft. It is the opinion of the engineers of the Yuma Project, that floods of the Colorado should be reduced to 40,000 sec-ft. and that a continuous flow of 80,000 sec-ft. would be almost as hazardous as no control whatsoever. The average flow of the Colorado after regulation is effected will be from 15,000 to 30,000 sec-ft. No channel maintained by such a flow will carry a flood discharge of 80,000 sec-ft. unless both levees and bank protection are provided. Conclusions.—It is the firm opinion of the speaker that when all factors are taken into consideration, it will be found that the Boulder Canyon Project will most nearly satisfy the physical and hydraulic conditions and at the same time will fit in best with existent economic conditions. The U. S. Bureau of Reclamation plan should not be adopted without modification, neither should irrigation be subordinated for power, as would be the case under the plan of development advanced by the author. The speaker has made no reference to the All-American Canal, as he considers that this matter particularly concerns the Imperial Valley and that it should be entirely divorced from the general development of the Colorado River. From the attitude of the Mexican Commissioner at the time the speaker conferred with him as American Commissioner on the allotment of the waters of the Colorado River and of the Rio Grande, it is quite probable that an equitable settlement can be made which will be satisfactory to both Mexico and the United States. Such a treaty should be negotiated as soon as possible. All efforts should be concentrated toward the immediate construction of a dam in either Boulder Canyon or Black Canyon that will fit into the ultimate plan of development, while creating for immediate use a reservoir of

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