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The Colorado River Boulder Canyon Project and the All-American Canal
Is Part Of,8
Full text
Project and the United States Government to effect construction of an Ail-American Canal at the expense of Imperial Valley lands. The Secretary of the Interior, acting" for the Government, required this agreement as early as 1918, to protect the Yuma Reclamation project from injury likely to be caused through the operation and maintenance of the present Intake works of the Imperial Valley Canal system. The terms of the contract require that the district proceed with due diligence to construct a canal within the United States and pay the Federal Government $1,600,000 for the right to use the Yuma Project Dam as the place of diversion. The terms of the contract have been complied with to date and are now in full force and effect. The Colorado River-Boulder Canyon project may also be considered the outgrowth of the necessity of a frantic people to save from complete annihilation their property and even their very lives. As it is very well known, the Imperial Valley and portions of Coa-chella Valley lie below sea level, in its deepest part 250 feet. The Colorado River skirts its Southern boundary, riding on a broad ridge of thin silt built up by the river's deposits. From the intake of the canal system which serves Imperial Valley, the drop to the Gulf of Lower California is about 30 feet, while in an equal distance the fall into the interior sink known as Salton Sea is 280 feet. Thus there always exists the tendency in high water when the River overflows its banks to take the steeper grade into the valley's bottom. The Colorado River is the largest remaining undeveloped asset possessed by the United States government within public domain. It has the greatest potential wealth, and the greatest potential power for destruction, of any asset of the Public Domain. In 1905 the Colorado River broke its banks by scouring out the intake of the Imperial Valley canal and discharged its waters into the Salton Sea. It was not returned to its banks until 1907 and then only after the expenditure of millions of dollars. Since then no flood of similar magnitude has reached the lower stretches of the River, but, it is generally conceded, under present physical conditions surrounding the River and the Valley, that if the River should once again get beyond human control it will never again be returned to its channel. Thus Imperial Valley and Coachella Valley would be below the surface of an inland sea, never again to be returned to human occupation—or at least not until the sun of centuries has again evaporated that inland sea. Imperial Valley and Problems of the Lower Colorado River Thus there exists the ever present threat of complete annihilation of property worth over a hundred million dollars, wrested from 3

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