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Newspaper Page Text
FLOOD PREVENTION PROJECT WILL GIVE FARM
HOMES TO TEN MILLION AMERICANS Washington) D. C March 7. Every human being in the United States will be "directly benefited if Uncle Sam completes his-big job of preventing the annual spring floods in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys, Gifford Pinchot, president of the National Conservation Association, is the authority for.above statement: "How can it "benefit people who dq not live in the -valleys?" you ask; ' ...Pinchot answers; that question: - "By providing' farm homes for 10, 000,000 Americans'. ThoBe 10,000,000 farm people ttflling land reclaimed, by drainage and irrigation will increase the farm piduction, and make it possible for ,th;e city consumer to' get more into his dinner pail. "That means,, too, that the gov ernment would thus provide hun dreds of thousands qf 10-acre farms for the land-hungry." There are other good things pro posed in they$ewlands river regula tion bill, according to "Pinchot. . v "Back in 1908, in the report of- the Inland Waterway Commission to the president," said Pinchot, "it was pointed out that if our rivers were not properly regulated 'they would Become increasing destructive agen cies, injuring both life and property.' "The commission estimated that the annual soil wash in mainland United States Is about 1,000,000,000 tons, of which the greater part is the most valuable portion of the soil. They also estimated that by fully con serving the waters and by utilizing the water power developed in. connec tion with storage and other works, fully three times as much land can be reclaimed in the western half of the United States as is now under ir rigation. This would amount to something like 30,000,000 acres. "Not only that, but something like seventy-five million of acres of over-, flowed swamp lands could be reclaim ed and used under the provisions- of this act. If divided into 40-acre farms -these lands alone will furnish homes lor some 10,000,000 people, i "The national conservation com mission estimated that of the 70 tril lion cubic feet of water annually flowing into the sea 85 per cent to 95 per'-ceht is wasted in freshets and floods. "Less than 25 per cent of the water actually available for irrigation of arid lands is restrained' and ciiverted to such use. "None of our rivers are navigated to more than a small fraction of theif low-water "capacity. "The amount of available water running over government darns and", not how used was estimated by the' chief of engineers at about 1,400,000 horsepower. "The amount of water power now available at a cost comparable with that of steam power was estimated by' the hydrographic. branch of the Geological Survey at the 'time that report was made to be 37;000,000 horsepower. "That amount today available ex ceeds our entire mechanical power how in use and would operate every mill, drive every spindle, propel every train and boat and light every city, town and village in the country. "The Geological Survey estimated that between 1900 and 1908 the total damage by floods in this country was over a.billion dollars, and the greater portion of this loss was in the Mis sissippi basinr "The approach of the flood. season ought to impress on every soul in the country the fact that we are deliber ately permitting the annual destruc tion of millions .of dollars of property and of human lives which cannot be estimated in terms of. dollars and cents, because we delay the start on a comprehensive national policy of river regulation and flood preven tion." '