« PreviousContinue »
The fine agricultural area in Imperial Valley experienced its most severe drought last year. Damages approximating $10,000,000 resulted when the Colorado ran virtually dry. When the gates were closed at Boulder Dam in February of 1935 recurrence of this drought was made impossible, as was repetition of the floods that in the past have wrought equal havoc along the lower Colorado Kiver.
During the spring a flood of 105,000 second-feet was recorded in the Colorado River above Boulder Dam. Had this flood passed the dam, there would have been grave danger to the Imperial Valley. The protective levees were cracked as a result of the extended drought, and the considerable cost of repairing them was saved.
Completion of Boulder Dam provided another example of the Bureau's contribution to types of conservation other than reclamation. The great reservoir, 115 miles long, was set aside immediately as a bird refuge. It is being stocked with game fish. In its first few months of existence it attracted many thousands of tourists. Hundreds found pleasure in bathing in and boating on its clear, cold waters. Boulder Dam Reservoir is destined to become one of the most important recreational centers of the Southwest, and the Bureau is making plans to develop it. Its importance in this respect exceeds that of others of the 68 reservoirs controlled by the Bureau only because of its great size and location.
The snowfall on the western watersheds during the winter was sufficient to provide an adequate water supply for all Federal projects. With most reservoirs completely filled and none critically low, the projects entered the cropping season with good prospects for a prosperous year.
CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES DURING FISCAL YEAR
The Bureau during the year continued construction work with funds allotted by the Public Works Administration and accomplished more than in any other year of its history. There were constructed 65.7 miles of roads, 34.4 miles of railroad, 44.5 miles of transmission lines, 313.1 miles of canals and drains, 16 tunnels with a total length of 18,645 feet, 2,671 canal structures, 69 bridges, and 474 culverts. There were excavated 29,247,403 cubic yards of earth and rock, making the total to date 356,209,687 cubic yards. The Bureau used 1,524,302 barrels of cement and placed 1,740,673 cubic yards of concrete. Work on five storage dams was begun. In the Denver office the increased activities gave employment to 700, and design and specification work for the Tennessee Valley Authority was continued.
At Boulder Dam the labor contracts with Six Companies Inc., and Babcock & Wilcox were in progress. Storage in the reservoir commenced in February, and in June of this year the last yard of concrete was placed in the dam. The power house was practically completed, and installation of electrical machinery and equipment was started.
On the Columbia Basin project, Washington, the Mason-WalshAtkinson-Kier organization, contractors for the Grand Coulee Dam, installed a belt-conveyor system to move excavated materials from the dam site, constructed a steel sheet-piling cofferdam on the west side of the river, and at the end of the year had excavated 8,120,000 cubic yards in the dam abutments. The town of Mason City, to house their 3,000 workmen, was completed. A connecting branch railroad from the dam site to Odair on the Northern Pacific was finished and placed in operation. The Secretary on June 5 approved a change order which calls for construction of a 177-foot dam with a foundation which will support the ultimate high dam, in place of the low dam originally planned. J. H. Pomeroy & Co., Inc., San Francisco, Calif., on November 5 was awarded a contract for furnishing materials and erecting the Columbia River highway bridge for $241,868. Other construction work in progress included construction of school building, residences, administration building, and dormitories in the Government camp site, officially designated Coulee Dam.
Additional contracts for earthwork on the ail-American canal were awarded on May 22 to Lewis Chambers Co., New Orleans, La., for 16.6 miles of canal excavation at their bid of $505,506.10, and to Mittry Bros. Construction Co., Los Angeles, Calif., for 6.6 miles at a bid of $260,400. Near Calexico, Calif., 1,487,000 cubic yards of canal excavation were accomplished by force-account methods. Bids were opened on August 23 for construction of the Parker Dam and appurtenant works, a 340-foot concrete arch structure in the Colorado River 12 miles above Parker, Ariz., which will be the diversion dam for the aqueduct of the metropolitan water district. The low bid of $4,239,834 was submitted by Six Companies, Inc., San Francisco, Calif., to whom contract was awarded on September 10. The Bureau is constructing this dam for the district.
Work was in progress on the Agency Valley Dam and storage reservoir on the Vale project, Oregon, and the contract was 66 percent completed at the end of the year. On August 31 a contract for building 27 miles of the Vale Main Canal was awarded to Haas, Doughty & Jones, Marshall & Stacy, of San Francisco, Calif., for $65,204.20. On the Owyhee project the construction work included the North and South main canals, laterals, canal structures, and siphons. On December 27 the Consolidated Steel Corporation, Ltd., Los Angeles, Calif., at its bid of $536,057, was awarded a contract for furnishing and erecting 80-inch diameter plate-steel pipes for the Malheur River siphon, 4.2 miles in length, and 70-inch diameter pipe for the Dead Ox siphon, 1,700 feet in length. Parker-Schram Co., Portland, Oreg., with a bid of $64,764.50, obtained a contract for the Malheur River siphon inlet and outlet structures. J. A. Terteling & Sons, Boise, Idaho, on December 21 was given the contract for 27 miles of earthwork and structures on the North Canal at their bid of $123,894. A contract for 14 miles of the South Canal was awarded on January 21 to Morrison-Knudsen Co., Boise, Idaho, for $232,991.50. This contractor on April 12 obtained a second contract for building structures on the South Canal, the price being $92,388; and on May 21 was awarded a third contract for an additional 11.5 miles of South Canal earthwork and structures, their bid being $127,485. Several small contracts for laterals and lateral structures were given to local contractors.
Work on the Ogden River project near Ogden, Utah, was started, and on September 12 the Utah Construction Co. and Morrison-Knudsen Co., with a low bid of $677.898.10, were awarded a contract to build the Pine View Dam in the Ogden River near Huntsville. Relocation of the Huntsville highway around the reservoir was necessary, and the same companies were given the contract on October 6 for $100,196.35. On April 18 the Union Construction Co. of Ogden was the successful bidder for constructing the Ogden-Brigham tunnel on the Ogden-Brigham Canal and was awarded a contract for $77,737.50 on May 25. The Barnard-Curtiss Co., Minneapolis, Minn., on May 25 was given a contract for building the Ogden Canyon conduit, comprising 4.7 miles of 75-inch diameter wood-stave pipe.
Another Utah project, on which construction was commenced, was the Moon Lake project near Duchesne, for which a P. W. A. allotment of $1,200,000 was available. Bids were opened on February 4 for building the Moon Lake storage dam. T. E. Connolly, San Francisco, Calif., was the successful bidder, and on April 2 was awarded the contract for $547,221. The Hyrum storage dam in Little Bear River, on the Hyrum project, was 96 percent completed at the end of the year. On October 31, J. A. Terteling & Sons, Boise, Idaho, was awarded a contract for $27,316 to build the Hyrum-Mendon, Hyrum Feeder, and Wellsville Canals.
A $2,000,000 allotment was available for the Humboldt project near Lovelock, Nev., and a contract for construction of the Rye Patch Dam in the Humboldt River was awarded on November 28 to J. A. Terteling & Sons, Boise, Idaho, at their bid of $256,322.50. Construction of the Taylor Park Dam and storage reservoir on Taylor River on the Uncompahgre project in Colorado was started. Bids were opened on February 18, the low bid of $798,078.50 being submitted by the Utah Construction Co., Ogden, Utah; W. A. Bechtel Co., and Henry J. Kaiser Co., San Francisco, Calif., and Morrison-Knudsen Co., Salt Lake City, Tjcah. Contract was awarded on April 19. On the project distribution system repairs to canals and structures were in progress.
The diversion and outlet tunnel at the Alcova damsite on the Casper-Alcova project, Wyoming, was completed in October, LawlorWoodward Co., of Seattle, Wash., having the contract for $269,905. Work on the first 3.6-mile section of the Casper Canal was in progress during the year. J. A. Terteling & Sons, Boise, Idaho, completed schedule 2 in January. The Utah Construction Co., Ogden, Utah, had schedule 1 approximately 89 percent completed at the end of the year, and schedule 3, being constructed by Edward Peterson, Omaha, Nebr., was 83 percent completed. The value of these three contracts is $609,310. Preliminary work prior to advertising for bids on the Seminoe and Alcova Dams was in progress.
Other work in progress during the year comprised the construction of canals and drains on the Sun River project, Montana: drains and laterals on the Rio Grande project, New Mexico; drains and drain structures on the Yuma project, Arizona; Milk River project, Montana; Boise project, Idaho; and Shoshone project, Wyoming; canals and structures on the Bitter Root project, Montana; and Stanfield project, Oregon; and drains and dike construction on the Klamath project, Oregon-California. At the end of the fiscal year work was in progress on 18 projects in 12 States, and 9 dams were under construction.
The area irrigated in 1934 with water from Government works was 2,837,205 acres, an increase of 8,418 acres over that for 1933.
The area cropped was 2,756,698 acres, a decrease of 41,117 acres.
The total value of crops was $100,943,714, an increase of $16,751,981 compared with 1933, and of $50,751,981 compared with 1932. This increase in crop values was due largely to increased prices received for crops.
During the period 1906, when water was first available, to and including 1934, the cumulative value of crops grown on land irrigated from Government works amounted to $2,071,183,715.
Construction payments in cash and credits from power and other sources received during the fiscal year 1935 were $674,572.09, an increase of $193,379.83 compared with the previous year.
Payments for operation and maintenance were $1,078,896.04, a decrease from the previous year of $43,577.95.
Total payments amounted to $1,753,468.13 compared with $1,603,666.25 in 1934, an increase of $149,801.88. Income to the reclamation fund from all sources during the fiscal year was $4,516,011.35, or $91,148.66 more than for the previous year.
The operation and maintenance expense for the year was $1,132,, 047.66, an increase over the previous year of $23,097.59.
Excess of operation and maintenance cost over receipts for the year amounted to $53,151.62, compared with an excess of receipts over expense of $13,523.92 for the previous year.
Construction work was carried on with funds provided under the National Industrial Recovery Act. Operation and maintenance of the irrigation, drainage, and power systems was carried on with direct appropriations from the reclamation fund, money advanced by the water users' organizations, and revenues from power operations.
The act of March 27, 1934, extended the provisions of previous acts granting temporary relief to water users on irrigation projects and construction charges coming due for the year 1934 were not required to be paid. This explains the reason for the small payments as given under this heading.
On the lower Yellowstone project, in Montana and North Dakota, a tract of 500 acres of public land was opened to entry on June 17. The customary 90-day prior right of entry was granted to ex-service men. There was a steady demand for irrigated land on the several projects. On the Riverton project, Wyoming, a total of 230 farms were actually occupied this spring. Water was available for 32,000 acres, of which 19,200 acres were irrigated. From January 1 to July 1, 1935, 59 homestead entries were made, 37 farm applications were received, 2,076 irrigable acres were taken up, and 12 privately owned farms, with a total area of 1,129 acres, were purchased by new settlers.
On the Shoshone project, Wyoming, there was a decided increase in settlement activities owing to the drought in the Middle West. Forty-eight homestead entries were made on the Willwood division, involving an irrigable area of more than 3,000 acres, and at the end of the fiscal year there were only 14 farm units available for homestead entry.