Arthur Powell Davis.

Irrigation works constructed by the United States government online

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IRRIGATION WORKS



CONSTRUCTED BY THE



UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT



BY ARTHUR POWELL DAVIS

CHIEF ENGINEER, U. S. RECLAMATION SERVICE



FIRST EDITION



NEW YORK

JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC.

LONDON: CHAPMAN & HALL, LIMITED

1917



71990



COPYRIGHT, 1917
BY ARTHUR P. DAVIS



PUBLISHERS PRINTING COMPANY

207-217 West Twenty-fifth Street. New York



TC.



)efcicate& to

JOHN W. POWELL,

THE FAR-SEEING PHILOSOPHER;

FRANCIS G. NEWLANDS,

THE CONSTRUCTIVE STATESMAN; AND

FREDERICK H. NEWELL,

THE FAITHFUL ADMINISTRATOR;

THE PIONEERS WHO BLAZED THE WAY

FOR THE BENEFICENT WORK OF

NATIONAL RECLAMATION



PREFACE

AGRICULTURE by irrigation is one of the oldest occupations
of civilized man. Various parts of the world show evidences that
irrigation was practised long before any historical record was
kept. The remains of prehistoric irrigation works have been
identified and extensively traced in southern Arizona along the
Salt River and in parts of New Mexico and California.

American Irrigation was left entirely to private and corporate
enterprise until the passage, in 1902, of the National Reclamation
Act, which has been amended and modified from time to time by
subsequent acts.

The original reclamation act provided for the segregation of
the receipts from the sales of public lands in the sixteen Western
States and Territories into a special fund to be known as the
Reclamation Fund and to be available for the survey, construc-
tion, and operation of reclamation projects in those States. It
provided that the cost of those projects should be returned to
the Reclamation Fund by the owners of private land or entry-
men on public land in ten annual installments, no requirement of
interest being made. A subsequent act in 1914 extended this
time to twenty years. The original act required the expendi-
ture of the major portion of the funds in the States in which it
had been received. Under this act about one hundred million
dollars have been expended in construction, and twenty-five
projects are now in operation and prepared to deliver water
to about one million five hundred thousand acres of land, about
two-thirds of which was actually irrigated in 1916.

The projects undertaken, unlike the early simple diversions
upon valleys adjacent to the head works, involved, on the contrary,
expensive storage works, high diversion dams, difficult tunnels,
or long, expensive canal work upon side hills, where large invest-
ment was necessary before any water was brought to the land.
Many projects discussed in the early days of the reclamation
work were rejected by the Reclamation Service because they



Vlll PREFACE

were deemed within the reach of private investment. Some of
those same projects were afterward taken up by the Govern-
ment after years of unsuccessful effort to enlist private capital
in their construction.

Inasmuch as all expenses connected with this work are
charged to the water users, care is taken to incur no expendi-
ture not absolutely necessary for the work, and this rule applied
to the publication of annual reports excludes everything not
absolutely required by law, consequently excluding the engi-
neering descriptions of the work and the illustrations which this
would require. It is the object of the present work to supply
this need for the information of the engineering profession, and
of statesmen and others interested in the development of the
arid lands.



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



SALT RIVER PROJECT

FIGURE PAGE

1. Roosevelt Dam, looking north Frontispiece

2. Analysis of Roosevelt Darn 11

3. Rock-cut on Mountain Road, Salt River 15

4. Analysis of Granite Reef Dam 22

5. Granite Reef Dam, in flood, looking north 25

6. Concrete Flume on Crosscut Power Canal 29

YUMA PROJECT

7. Plan and Section of Laguna Dam 34

8. Plan and Elevation of Sluice Gates 36

9. Plan and Section of Siphon Spillway 41

10. California Regulating Gates and Sluice Gates 43

11. Reservation Heading, where the Yuma Main Canal and Reservation

Canal join 45

12. Interior of Yuma Tunnel, under construction 47

13. Colorado River Levee, showing spur dikes of brush 51

ORLAXD PROJECT

14. East Park Dam 54

15. East Park Reservoir Spillway 56

16. Diversion Dam, East Park Feed Canal 53

17. Fishway at Diversion Dam 60

GRAND VALLEY PROJECT

18. View of Rolling Dam, Grand River, Colorado 64

19. Headgates, Grand Valley Canal 67

20. Section through body of 70-foot roller 68

21. Section driven End of 70-foot roller 69

UXCOMPAHGRE PROJECT

22. Profile of Gunnison Tunnel 75

23. Tunnel Sections in Rock 77

24. Tunnel in Shale and Gravel 79

25. Interior of Gunnison Tunnel 81

26. West Portal Gunnison Tunnel 84

27. Concrete Chute in South Canal 85

28. Lined Section, South Canal 87

29. Headworks, Montrose and Delta Canal, looking down-stream . . 89

30. Happy Canyon Flume 90

31. Laying High Mesa Pressure Pipe 92

ix



X LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

BOISE PROJECT

FIGURE PAGE

32. Power plant and headworks, Boise Main Canal 99

33. Steel Flume crossing Eight Mile Creek 101

34. Discharge of Boise Main Canal into Deer Flat Reservoir ... 103

35. Upper Deer Flat Embankment 105

36. Lower Deer Flat Embankment 107

37. Upper Deer Flat Embankment, showing beaching of gravel slope . 110

38. Curves of seepage of Deer Flat Reservoir 112

39. Plan of Arrowrock Dam 114

40. Elevation of Arrowrock Dam 115

41. Maximum Section of Arrowrock Dam 116

42. Section of Balanced Valve, Arrowrock Dam 119

43. Arrowrock Dam, looking up-stream 121

44. Atrowrock Dam, looking down-stream 125

45. Steel Forms and reinforcement for concrete pressure pipe . . . 129

46. Removing inside steel forms from concrete pressure pipe. . . . 131

47. Manhole and concrete collars on pressure pipe 133

MINIDOKA PROJECT

48. Spillway of Minidoka Dam. Power House in distance .... 136

49. Jackson Lake Dam 139

50. Scoop Wheel, lifting water 3K feet 146

HUNTLEY PROJECT

51. Sections of Canal and Tunnels 155

52. Drawings of Direct Pumping Station 157

53. Wasteway Gates and Portal of Tunnel No. 3, Huntley Project . 159

54. Concrete Flume over Huntley Main Canal 160

55. Super-passage at Custer Coulee 161

LOWER YELLOWSTONE PROJECT

56. Part Plan and Section, Lower Yellowstone Dam 164

57. Headgates and Dam, Lower Yellowstone Canal 166

58. South Side Abutment, Lower Yellowstone Dam, with portion of

main darn 169

59. Burns Creek Super-passage, Lower Yellowstone Canal . . . . 171

60. Outlet End of Crane Creek Sluiceway, Showing Taintor Gates. . 172

NORTH PLATTE PROJECT

61. Plan of Pathfinder Dam 175

62. Elevation and Section of Pathfinder Dam 177

63. Pathfinder Dam, looking up-stream 183

64. Plan and Elevation of Whalen Diversion Dam 186

65. Plan and Elevation of Headworks, Interstate Canal 188

66. Whalen Dam and Headworks, Interstate Canal 190

67. Typical Section of Minitare Dam 191



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS XI
FIGURE PAGE

68. Spring Canyon Flume, Interstate Canal 195

69. Entrance to Rawhide Siphon, North Platte Project 196

70. Flight of Drops. Baffle posts in foreground 198

TRUCKEE-CARSON PROJECT

71. Headworks, Main Truckee Canal 203

72. Wasteway Gates, Main Truckee Canal 205

73. Plan of Lahontan Storage Dam 207

74. Sections of Lahontan Dam 211

75. Outlet Works, Lahontan Dam 216

76. Lahontan Dam, looking up-stream. Power House in foreground . 219

77. Headworks, Lower Carson Canal 223

RIO GRANDE PROJECT

78. Leasburg Diversion Dam, Plan and Section 235

79. Section of Elephant Butte Dam 238

80. Cutoff Trench, heel of Elephant Butte Dam 242

81. Diversion Flume and Foundation, Elephant Butte Dam . . . 244

82. Elephant Butte Dam, Cableways and Mixing Plant .... 247

83. Cylinder drop, on Franklin Canal 252

UMATILLA PROJECT

84. Lined portion of Feed Canal 255

85. Cold Springs Dam and Outlet Tower 259

86. Drop from the Main Canal 264

87. Plan and Elevation, Three Miles Falls Dam 266

88. Three Miles Falls Diversion Dam 268

KLAMATH PROJECT

89. Clear Lake Rockfill Dam 271

90. Lost River Diversion Works 273

91. Lost River Diversion Dam 274

92. Headworks, Main Canal 275

93. Keno Canal Spillway 276

BELLE FOURCHE PROJECT

94. Headgates, Belle Fourche Feed Canal 279

95. Sections of Belle Fourche Storage Dam 288

STRAWBERRY VALLEY PROJECT

96. Spillway of Power Canal in Winter 292

97. Elevation and Cross-Section of Strawberry Dam 294

98. Strawberry Dam and Spillway, looking south 297

99. Intake of Indian Creek Feed Canal 301

100. Intake of Strawberry Tunnel at East Portal, north end of Reservoir 302

101. Cross-Sections, Strawberry Tunnel 304



xii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

FIGURE , PAGE

102. Strawberry Tunnel, Controlling Works 305

103. Flow of water in Strawberry Tunnel 306

104. Strawberry Tunnel, showing steel forms for concrete lining . . 308

105. Measuring Weir and West Portal, Strawberry Tunnel .... 309

OKANOGAN PROJECT

106. Longitudinal and Cross-Sections, Conconnully Dam 312

107. Trestles on Conconnully Dam, showing method of hydraulic

construction 315

108. Conconnully Dam and Spillway 317

109. Salmon River Diversion Weir 320

110. Main Canal concrete lined 322

111. General view of orchards on Okanogan Project 323

YAKIMA PROJECT

112. Profile and Sections of Bumping Lake Dam 329

113. Spillway, Bumping Lake Dam 331

114. Section Kachess Dam 335

115. Tunnel and Canal Sections, Tieton Main Canal 345

116. Sandbox and transition to lined section, Tieton Main Canal . . 348

117. Tieton Main Canal, lined section 351

118. Steel Flume, Tieton Distribution System 357

119. Plan and Sections, Sunnyside Diversion Dam 361

120. Dam and Headgate, Sunnyside Canal . . 364

121. Sulphur Creek Wasteway, Head works and Drop 369

122. Steel Bridge and wood stave pressure pipe near Prosser, Wash-

ington 372

123. Young irrigated orchard, Yakima Valley 375

SHOSHONE PROJECT

124. Section and Elevation of Shoshone Dam 379

125. Foundation and Abutment of Shoshone Dam 381

126. View of Shoshone Dam 382

127. Corbett Diversion Dam and Sluiceway 385

128. Outlet Gate Structure, Ralston Reservoir .388



TABLE OF CONTENTS



CHAPTER PAGE

PREFACE vii

I. INTRODUCTION 1

II. SALT RIVER PROJECT.

History 6

Roosevelt Reservoir 7

Area and Capacity. 8

Roosevelt Dam 8

Cement Mill 10

Manufacture of Sand 13

Power Development 16

Granite Reef Diversion Dam 22

Canal Systems 26

Joint Head Diversion Dam 31

Water Delivery 33

III. YUMA PROJECT.

Description 34

Laguna Dam 34

Canal System 39

Main Canal 42

Yuma Pressure Conduit 44

Yuma Valley Canals 48

Lateral System 49

Levee System 50

Drainage 52

IV. ORLAND PROJECT.

Relation to Sacramento Project 53 '

East Park Reservoir 54

Feed Canal 57

Miller Buttes Diversion 59

Distribution System 60

Delivery of Water 61

V. GRAND VALLEY PROJECT.

Origin and History 63

Description 65

Grand River Dam 66

Main Canal 69

Lateral System 73

xiii



xiv TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

VI. UNCOMPAHGRE PROJECT.

Description 74

Gunnison Tunnel 74

Diversion Dam ^ 82

Canal Systems 82

Settlement of Shale Foundations 86

Iron Pressure Pipe 91

Taylor Park Reservoir 93

VII. BOISE PROJECT.

Description 96

Boise Diversion Dam 97

Boise Main Canal 100

Deer Flat Reservoir 104

Slope Protection 109

Seepage Losses Ill

Arrowrock Reservoir 113

Control Works 118

Construction of Arrowrock Dam 120

Canal System " 127

Drainage Work 132

VIII. MINIDOKA PROJECT.

General Outline 135

Alinidoka Dam 135

Storage System 140

Hydro-Electric System 141

Pumping Stations 143

Commercial Power Substations 146

Canal System 148

Drainage 151

Water Delivery 153

IX. HUNTLEY PROJECT.

Description 154

Canal System 154

Agricultural Results 159

Drainage 160

Water Delivery 162

X. LOWER YELLOWSTONE PROJECT.

Description 163

Main Canal . 163

Diversion Dam 165

Agricultural Results 170

XI. NORTH PLATTE PROJECT.

Description 173

Interstate Canal 173

Pathfinder Dam . 174



TABLE OF CONTENTS XV

CHAPTER PAGE

XI. NORTH PLATTE PROJECT Continued.

Pathfinder Dike ....... ^ 187

Whalen Diversion Dam 187

Minitare Dam 189

Sale of Storage Rights 194

Agricultural Results 197

Fort Laramie Unit 197

XII. TRUCKEE-C ARSON PROJECT.

Description 200

Lake Tahoe Storage Works 201

Truekee Main Canal 202

Lahontan Reservoir 206

Carson Diversion Dam 222

XIII. CARLSBAD PROJECT.

Description 225

Destruction and Purchase 226

Reconstruction 227

Drainage 230

XIV. HONDO PROJECT.

Description 231

XV. Rio GRANDE PROJECT.

Description 234

Leasburg Diversion Dam 236

Elephant Butte Reservoir 237

Mesilla Diversion Dam 251

XVI. UMATILLA PROJECT.

Description 254

Storage Feed Canal . 255

Cold Springs Dam 256

Distribution System 261

West Extension 265

Three Mile Falls Diversion Dam 265

XVII. KLAMATH PROJECT.

Description 270

Main Canal 270

Clear Lake Reservoir 271

Lost River Diversion 272

Keno Power Canal 274

Klamath Marshes 277

XVIII. BELLE FOURCHE PROJECT.

Description 278

Diversion Dam and Feed Canal 278

Belle Fourche Reservoir . - 280

Construction of Owl Creek Dam 281



XVI



TABLE OF CONTENTS



CHAPTER PAGE

XVIII. BELLE FOURCHE PROJECT Continued.

Pavement of Owl Creek Dam 283

North Canal 286

South Canal 287

Agricultural Results 289

XIX. STRAWBERRY VALLEY PROJECT.

Description 291

Power Development 291

Spanish Fork Diversion Dam 293

Strawberry Reservoir 294

Strawberry Valley Dam 299

Indian Creek Dike 299

Feed Canals 258

Strawberry Tunnel 300

Distribution 307

XX. OKANOGAN PROJECT.

Description 311

Conconnully Reservoir 311

Conconnully Dam 311

Spillway 318

Distribution 319

Water Delivery 324

XXI. YAKIMA PROJECT.

General Statement 325

Bumping Lake Dam 327

Kachess Dam 333

TietonUnit 342

Sunnyside Unit 359

Enlargement 360

Pressure Pipes 371

XXII. SHOSHONE PROJECT.

Description . x 377

Shoshone Reservoir 378

Corbett Diversion 384

Drainage 386



XXIII. SETTLEMENT AND CULTIVATION .



. 391



IRRIGATION WORKS CONSTRUCTED
BY U. S. GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION

As a modern activity of the Caucasian race, irrigation in the
United States on any considerable scale seems to have had its
beginning in Utah in the settlement of the Salt Lake Valley.
The early settlements of California, New Mexico, and other arid
States extended the practice of the early Spaniards and the
Indians, and irrigation developed along with the slow settlement
of these then remote regions.

During the early history of irrigation farmers and groups of
farmers naturally confined their efforts mainly to diverting small
streams upon adjacent valleys where the slope of the country
and the topography were such as to make the work easy and
cheap. With the values of land then existing no expensive enter-
prise was practicable. Such development proceeding for nearly
half a century, widely distributed over the arid region, irrigated
in the aggregate a very large area of land. The farmers em-
ployed the cheapest class of construction and seldom counted
their own tune in computing costs, which are hence reported
very low.

A.S land values increased and the easier projects had been
developed, more difficult ones were taken up, sometimes success-
fully and sometimes not. As the difficult problems were attacked,
corporate capital and the district system were employed, and
such projects as they could handle were gradually developed.
The inherent difficulties, however, did not admit of much profit
to the investor. In fact, in a majority of the cases, the investors
lost a large part of their capital, to say nothing of interest and
profits, and though the general benefits in the development of
the country were great and lasting, the losses made it more and
more difficult to enlist private capital in further irrigation enterprise.

1



2 INTRODUCTION

Various laws were passed from time to time to encourage the
irrigation of arid lands, the desert-land act and the Carey Act,
with their various modifications, being the most conspicuous
examples, depending upon the investment of private or corporate
capital for actual construction.

The increasing difficulty of carrying out many large projects
led to the passage in 1902 of the reclamation act, with the avowed
and widely heralded object of enlisting national funds for the
development of projects not feasible by private, corporate, dis-
trict, or State enterprise. This policy, avowed in Congress and
announced repeatedly by the President, was followed by the
Reclamation Service.

The projects undertaken, unlike the early simple diversions
upon valleys adjacent to the head works, involved, on the con-
trary, expensive storage works, high diversion dams, difficult
tunnels, or long, expensive canal work upon side hills, where
large investment was necessary before any water was brought
to the land. Many projects discussed in the early days of the
reclamation work were rejected by the Reclamation Service be-
cause they were deemed within the reach of private investment.
Some of those same projects were afterward taken up by the
Government after years of unsuccessful effort to enlist private
capital in their construction.

Practically all of the projects undertaken by the Reclamation
Service had been abandoned after unsuccessful attempts to finance
them as private projects, or else were new projects so difficult as
not to attract even the attention of promoters.

Prior to the passage of the reclamation act the hydrographic
branch of the Geological Survey had undertaken surveys of some
of the larger and more intricate projects suggested and had made
some stream measurements to shed light upon their feasibility.
After the passage of the reclamation act this work was greatly
expanded and data were rapidly accumulated from which proj-
ects were outlined and estimates made, mainly in the' years
1902, 1903, and 1904. By this time the program had become
crystallized, by which one or more projects in nearly all pf the
arid States had been undertaken or examined with a view to their
early construction. The estimates upon which these projects
were based were necessarily the accumulated experience upon
work of a similar kind which had been carried out within the



RESULTS OF RECLAMATIQN 3

previous decade. The estimates were, therefore, made upon
the basis of work clone during the period of depression and low
prices from 1892 to 1902. The estimates were made at a time
when the country was entering upon a period of rising prices,
which, however, was not foreseen by those concerned. The
result was that the years 1905, 1906, 1907, and 1908, in which
most of the construction work was done, were coincident with a
great boom in railroad construction throughout the West, the
reconstruction of the City of San Francisco after the fire, and a
corresponding expansion of other construction work throughout
the arid regions. Unavoidably, therefore, much of the work
cost more than could have been foreseen from the experience of
the previous decade. The increased cost of living during the
past two decades is a rough index to the increased cost of con-
struction. The cost of railroad and irrigation work carried out
by private enterprise in the West increased in the same period
from 50 to 100 per cent.

The work so far has resulted in the provision of reservoirs,
carriage and distributing systems, and other works by which
the United States is prepared to deliver water to 1,680,000 acres
of land, of which 950,000 were actually irrigated by settlers in
1916, and this area is considerably increased during the present
year. The annual product of this acreage is estimated at over
822,000,000, and a large number of prosperous homes have been
established and many towns and villages have sprung up.

The Reclamation Service has had an exceptional opportunity
for developing and trying on a large scale many ideas and methods
in hydraulic construction. While it has endeavored to be con-
servative in everything which involves risk, yet, wherever pos-
sible, the effort has been made to adopt the latest and best in
design and construction.

The question may be raised at the outset whether these works,
built with funds provided by the Government, are of such char-
acter that they can be considered as typical or suggestive for
private or corporate effort. In answer to this it may properly
be claimed that although large funds were available, yet in the
organization and conduct of the work, from its initiation, every
reasonable safeguard was adopted to secure economy and effi-
ciency in construction. A system of cost keeping was instituted
fully up with the times, and the engineers in charge of the work



4 ^ INTRODUCTION

at all times have felt a professional and personal pride in showing
that they could, and did, execute these difficult operations in
remote localities and under pioneer conditions not only well,
but economically. It is true that in any public work there are
certain conditions inseparably connected with Governmental
methods which tend to add to the cost, such, for example, as
those growing out of changing administrations with varying
policies frequent and often unfriendly investigations, the delays
which result from legal complications and the imperfectly devised
civil service employment schemes, the complications in the auditing
and handling of public funds, and because of many other con-
ditions which result from the fact that in Government work
clerical and legal details are often more highly esteemed than
ultimate results, or, as popularly expressed, "Efficiency is held
down by red tape."

Notwithstanding this condition, which under the peculiar
organization of the Reclamation Service has been kept to a mini-
mum, the engineers and others connected with this work feel a
proper pride not only in its performance, but in the economy
with which the work as a whole has been performed.

One of the most notable features connected with this work,
from the standpoint of organization, is the fact that these works
are widely distributed. The engineering features of the Reclama-
tion Service presented greater difficulties than most large works
because of their variety and wide distribution throughout the
Western part of the United States. Each project had its peculiar
problems and required special and individual treatment. The
work was not an enlargement or duplication of units and organi-
zation on a grand scale, where one man could see nearly every
part of the work in a day, but, on the contrary, was of such a
nature that no one man could see all of the important features
even in continuous travel for months.

A serious handicap to the prompt construction of reclamation
projects authorized by the law of 1902 was the paucity of
data concerning the water supply upon which they must
depend.

A considerable amount of data had been collected by the
hydrographic branch of the Geological Survey in the decade pre-
vious to the passage of the Act, but the greater part of this was
in the East, to which the Reclamation Law did not apply.



DATA AND PRECEDENTS 5

The relatively small amount of data on stream flow that did
exist in the West was, however, invaluable so far as it went, and
constituted practically the only available water data upon which
to undertake these works. The topographic maps of the Geological
Survey were of great value wherever they existed, but these again
were completed for only a small portion of the arid regions.

The so-called irrigation branch of the Geological Survey in
1889 and 1890 made a few preliminary investigations of proposed
irrigation projects, but these were scarcely started before they
were stopped for lack of appropriation, and very little of the data
collected thereby could be used, except the stream measurements
and topographic maps above referred to.

The work laid out for the Reclamation Service was nearly
unprecedented. While a considerable area of lands had been
irrigated in the West, this was confined mainly to the diversion



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