OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 07, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 12

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-03-07/ed-1/seq-12/

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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
"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
"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
"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." '

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