Page 120


Page 120
Colorado River problem
Is Part Of,8
Full text
KELLY ON THE COLORADO RIVER PROBLEM 425 It is granted that widespread up-stream storage would materially alter these plans, but thus far no agency has proposed such construction and the prospects thereof within a reasonable time limit are decidedly unfavorable. To hold back feasible developments on the Lower Colorado for fear they may not fit in with some theoretical ultimate plan is likely to cause far more loss from delayed development than the possible cost in the far future of reconstruction to fit in with changed conditions. Had the same principle been adopted in the construction of American railroads there would not be a single line from coast to coast to-day. William Kelly,* M. Am. Soc. C. E. (by letter).—The writer has been much interested in the discussions by Messrs. Allison, Fowler, La Rue, Davis, Grunsky, Weymouth, Smith, Jarvis, L. C. Hill, R. A. Hill, Lane, and Debler, each of whom has contributed valuable data or opinions on one or more phases of the problem. The writer will give a brief review of these discussions, and close with an expression of his conclusions. Mr. Allison supports the views expressed in the paper with respect to flood control which, in view of his long connection with Imperial Valley, is very gratifying. He expresses the opinion that there will always be sufficient water for all future irrigation needs and presents data to substantiate this view. Many engineers disagree with him in this respect, but practically all now agree with his further view that power development will precede irrigation development and will materially aid the latter. Mr. Allison's presentation of data on and his discussion of the All-American Canal are valuable contributions, and should prevent the Federal Government from ever taking part in that project. Mr. Fowler brings out clearly and accurately certain important functions of the Federal Water Power Act and their relation to the Colorado River, which explain the point of view from which the writer has approached the problem. Mr. Fowler's reasoning on the distribution of costs among the various interests instead of inflicting it all on the power consumer, is sound. Finally, he brings out more forcefully than the writer the advantages of a well-balanced progressive development over the single large Boulder Canyon plan. Mr. La Rue presents data to show that all the resources of the Colorado will be needed and that probably there will not be enough water to irrigate all the available land. Mr. Allison and certain engineers of the Reclamation Service differ with him in the latter view, whereas Arizona and many engineers who have studied the question agree with him. Nobody can be certain what the future irrigation development will be. It may well be slow as predicted by Mr. Allison, but, considering the vast arid territory through which the river runs, the only safe policy is to see that any project built at present shall involve no ultimate waste of water such as will result from duplicate regulatory storage. Mr. La Rue's recommendations at the end of his discussion have great merit, and are worthy of serious consideration. * Col., Corps of Engrs., U. S. A. ; Chf. Engr., Federal Power Comm., Washington, D. C.

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