Page 121


Page 121
Colorado River problem
Is Part Of,8
Full text
426 KELLY ON THE COLORADO RIVER PROBLEM Mr. Davis' discussion is a clever composition of facts combined with assertions and partial quotations that misinterpret the writer's views. His arguments appear convincing even to the writer, who knows that many of them are not in accord with the facts. Coming from a man of Mr. Davis' prominence, they will doubtless carry conviction to many. It would be tedious and appear contentious to answer his discussion item by item, but certain additional facts need presentation and certain of his inferences and misinterpretations of the writer's position need correction. Under the heading "Storage in Upper Basin" (page 384), Mr. Davis discards the Ouray Dam site on account of a railroad right of way granted by the Secretary of the Interior. The right of way in question was granted in January, 1922, for a period of five years to the Denver and Salt Lake Railroad Company on Mr. Davis' recommendation. It lies entirely on the west side of the river, extending from about the middle of Sec. 18, T. 8 S., E. 20 E., to the Town of Randlett, and is all above the 4,800-ft. contour. Information is not available as to where the proposed railroad will cross the Green River, but there seems to be no reason why it should not follow up the river and cross just south of Split Mountain, somewhat on the line of a right of way granted some years ago. This latter right of way has now expired so that the location of the proposed railroad in the vicinity of Green River is still under Federal control. The water surface at the Ouray site is at about Elevation 4630. Taken in conjunction with Flaming Gorge and Juniper a storage capacity of about 3,000,000 acre-ft. at Ouray will give full regulation of the Green River at the latter point. This capacity can be obtained by a dam 170 ft. high, that is, with a crest at Elevation 4 800 and a draw-down at 25 ft. A dam of about that height backs the water to the Split Mountain Dam site for the development of which there are now two applications before the Federal Power Commission; it is unlikely that a higher dam at Ouray will ever be built. The Salt Lake Railroad may be a desirable development, but should not be a reason for interfering with a proper development of the Ouray Dam site. Although up-river storage cannot be used exclusively for carry-over storage for the Lower Basin to the extent at one time contemplated by the Reclama-tion Service, it will provide seasonal regulation and can be developed for carryover storage to whatever extent the future may show to be economically feasible. Mr. Davis states that at least 25,000,000 acre-ft. of storage will be needed in the Colorado Basin. In this figure, he duplicates quantities for flood storage and adds a margin for silt storage, but gives no credit for the silt storage that will be provided by power dams. About 86% of the water reaching Boulder Canyon comes from above Glen Canyon, and considering the possibility of storage dams at Glen Canyon and Cataract Canyon in addition to those higher up, this part of the flow can be completely regulated above Grand Canyon. Such regulation can proceed gradually as economic conditions justify and the extent to which it should be developed can be determined by the economic requirements of the future. It will be relatively free from silt deterioration and will have several times the power value of storage at Boulder Canyon. About one-half the remaining flow is a nearly constant increment requiring no regulation, the remainder occurring in erratic flood

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