Page 129


Page 129
Colorado River problem
Is Part Of,8
Full text
434 KELLY ON THE COLORADO RIVER PROBLEM undertaking any project on the Colorado unless there is a strong public demand and practically no opposition. The people who might be expected to support a proposition for a flood-control dam at Dewey are supporting Boulder Canyon and opposing everything else. Under the circumstances, the only prospect for early development of up-river storage appears to the writer to be in connection with power development. Mr. Jarvis' discussion comprises a brief resume of the Colorado problem and expresses his views on certain phases of the problem. Mr. L. C. Hill discusses the Glen Canyon site as a power site. The writer has never considered such a development probable. If the Glen Canyon Dam is built it will probably be as a storage dam to regulate the flow for projects lower down. Eventually, it might be feasible to develop power at Glen Canyon, but that is hardly likely to be economical in the early stages. Mr. Hill seems to appreciate the desirability of making all the units fit into a plan for full development. He misunderstands, however, the writer's views with respect to the relation between power and irrigation, namely, that power development will proceed more rapidly than irrigation but not that power should be allowed to curtail irrigation. On the contrary, construction at power sites can and should progress so that it will permit and aid the fullest practicable irrigation development. The writer does not agree with Mr. Hill that storage for annual hold-over will be necessary or advisable at Boulder Canyon. Mr. Hill states that about 100,000 acres in Mohave and Cottonwood Valleys would be submerged by a dam near Needles. The total area submerged by the highest dam proposed will be about 75,000 acres and, as shown under the writer's reply to Mr. Davis' discussion, of this less than 25,000 acres can ever be irrigated. In regard to Mr. Hill's computations on evaporation losses in Mohave Valley, it is difficult to determine with any certainty what conditions will be if the flow is regulated to a maximum of 40,000 cu. ft. per sec. The writer's estimate of present evaporation losses is based on the area overflowed by a river stage 10 ft. on the Topock gauge. This stage has been reached in the past few years with flows varying from 35,000 to 60,000 cu. ft. per sec. The writer believes there will be no material reduction in evaporation losses with the flow regulated to 40,000 cu. ft. per see. Of course, if any of the overflowed area is reclaimed and put to beneficial use, it should be deducted from the area producing present evaporation losses. Under the most optimistic estimates not more than one-third of the overflowed area will warrant the cost of reclamation; the writer does not believe that any of it will. In regard to flood protection, Mr. Hill's principal argument is that the writer disregards the opinion of those who have personally been combatting the floods of the Colorado. This is not the case—it was because the writer found considerable difference of opinion among those who have been combatting the floods that he deemed it advisable to make a careful study of the situation. That study is presented in the paper. The facts have been approved

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