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Water for The Desert.
With the development of irrigation in the Southwest, and as the magni tude of the irrigation enterprises undertaken by capitalists and invest ors has increased, renewed attention has been devoted to the Colorado River, with reference to its utilization for irrigation. Until recently it has not been considered that this great stream was extensively available for the purpose. The depth of its canyons for hundreds of miles of its course makes it forever impossible that ad jacent lands shall be irrigated; but careful explorations of that portion of the river lying between Nevada and the Gulf of California have thrown new light upon the possibilities of the great desert regions adjacent to its lower courses.. Only two years ago the Imperia' Canal was opened for the improve ment of a vast district, embracing about 500,000 acres in San Diego county, Cal., while thousands of acres more may be ultimately reclaimed in Mexico, south of the Imperial dis trict. The Algodon grant country also has recently been thrown open to set tlement, and several canals are ai ready levying for water upon the great river. A recent reconnoissance, also by the United States Geological Sur vey has shown that it is possible to irrigate several hundred thousand acres of land between Needles and Yuma, by the construction of irriga tion works no more extensive or im possible than many of those which have been built by the British and are now in operation on the Nile. The Colorado River, indeed, in many respects bears a striking resemblance to the Nile. Like the Nile, it rises in a distant mountainous country, its lower courses travese a subtropical and nearly rainless desert, and both rivers empty into great landlocked arms of the ocean at a little less than 32 deg. north latitude. Like the Nile, the Colorado has for long distances along its lower courses created a nar row ribbon of fertile soil in the midst of the desert through which it flows, and has deposited a great alluvial delta adjacent to its mouth. . This delta, in the case of the Colorado, is chiefly Mexican territory. Like the great river of Egypt, the Colorado is subject to an annual summer rise, sufficient to overflow great areas of its border and delta lands. These high waters are rich in fertilizing sediments, are exceptionally free from alkaline salts, and come at an opportune time for ir rigation. Although the climatic con ditions in winter are slightly more severe in the Colorado delta than in that of the Nile, yet these two regions closely resemble each other argicult urally. Some common products are, or may be, alfalfa, wheat and grains of the sorghum class; the date palm, fig, orange, olive and pomegranate, cotton, melons and sugar cane. Value of the Water. In view of its agricultural resem blance to Egypt, in which latter country it is stated that farming pays better than anywhere else in the world, the public is naturally inter ested in the river on which this new Egypt must depend. The Arizona ex periment station has just completed an examination of the waters of the Colorado River, covering the period of a year, with reference to their value for irrigation. The results form a part of Bulletin 44, recently issued by the station, and are a revelation as to the intrinsic value of this great stream for agricultural purposes. In the first place, the water supply which may in course of time be utilized from this river is probably sufficient to irri gate all the land which is adjacent and available. The fragmentary data as yet available relating to the amount of water delivered by the Colorado River indicate that this stream de livers about 15,000,000 acre feet of water annually, sufficient to irrigate nearly 4,000,000 acres of land. Unlike the smaller rivers of the Southwest, the Colorado, because of its great length and its immense watershed, gives at all times a great stream of water, varying from a a minimum of about 4000 second feet in January to about 50,000 second feet in June, the larger supply being available during IMPERIAL PRKSS the warm season when growing crops most require the water. Fertilizing Silts. Of special interest to the farmer are the fertilizing silts carried by this turbid stream. Analyses made during the year of observation show that the silts varied from a minimum of sixty two parts of sediment in 100,000 of water during January to as much as 374 parts during the great annual rise of the river in May and June. During a local storm, also, on the Arizona watershed, enormous quantities of mud were at one time observed washed into the river, raising the amount of sediment as high as 2072 parts in 100,000, over 2 per cent, by weight of sediment. The total quantity of sediment brought down during the year of observation was found to be sufficient to form fifty-three square miles % of dry alluvial soil one foot deep, or to make about 164 square miles of recently-settled submerged mud one foot deep. By means of such figures it is pos sible to understand the agency of this river in shutting off with its deposits that arm of the ocean which after ward became the Salton Basin, and in creating great areas of fertile delta land along its lower courses. The value of these silts to the far mer chiefly consists in the nitrogen they contain which comes in large part with the fertilizing materials swept by storms on the upper water sheds into the stream. Phosphoric acid and potash are contained in great quantities, also; but, considering ni trogen only, the waters of the Colo rado were found to have a fertilizing value of from 53 cents to $3,09 per acre foot during the year. When it is considered that four acre feet, more or less, is "required a year for irriga tion, in the Southwest, it will be seen that these sediments form no mean contribution to the welfare of the farmer. The southwestern farmer, in deed, is blessed with immunity from the heavy fertilizer bills which are often so great a weight upon those who till the soil in eastern and north ern districts. .• .:• •'•■■ Free From Alkali. But most of our irrigating streams are generous literally to a fault, for they frequently become charged with alkaline salts to such an extent that the lands irrigated by them are seri ously injured thereby. Fortunately, however, the Colorado is an exception to this rule. At times of low water the river is observed to contain ap preciable quantities of alkaline salts; but during the great annual rise, when the volume of the river is swelled by the melting snows of Colo rado, Wyoming and Utah the fresh snow water results in a stream of remarkable purity, containing for weeks at a time, during May and June, as low as twenty-five parts of salt in 100,000 of water. The fresh ness of the Colorado and the mildness of its salts are indeed fortunate com pensations of nature, for the districts which will in future be irrigated from this supply are many of them quite alkaline, and will require to be flooded and drained of their noxious salts by just such a pure water supply as will be available. It is safe to say that the irrigable districts adjacent to the Colorado River will, when they are developed and utilized, be among the richest lands in the whole irrigated West. The semitropiral climate, tne diver sity of agricultural products possible, the strong markets for agricultural products in the adjacent mining dis tricts, and the intensive agriculture demanded and made possible by such commercial and agricultural conJi tions, indicate that when the Colorado shall be as well understood and brought under as good control as is its great parallel, the Nile, there will be developed another, an occidental Egypt within its domain. Despair never ventures in where hope is present. The devil never discards a, weapon until he has given it a thorough trial. People who read the Bible as a mat ter of duty miss most of the good things in the greatest of books. HEADQUARTERS FOR First Class Farm Implements DEERING «S*ss ============= BALLAND Mowers ROLLER "*" 'bfM^^^^f ' Jde.AivlJ.Nlj .g&Z?'^ it ' -'* ' THE SOUTHWICK HAY PRESS 127 of these presses sold in Southern California. Capacity 15 to 45 tons per day. The latter amount has been baled in one day on many of these presses when oper- ated by first class men. write foii pkintisd matter HAWLEY, KING <& CO. LOS ANGELES, 0 " 1 "*". Dealers in Agricultural Implements and Vehicles. What We Live On. Value of the principal products of Southern California for the past year estimated by the Los Angeles Cham ber of Commerce: Citrus fruits $14,000,000 Gold and Silver 5,674,000 CoDner 220,000 Petroleum 6,000,000 Borax 1,274,700 Hay 3,300,000 Vegetables and fruits con sumed 3,1)00,000 Dried fruits and raisins 2,000,000 Grain 3,000,000 Canned goods i,duu,uuu g^ 3,600,000 Fertilizers' ••••••' ••• • • • 635,000 Nuts '.' 1,400,000 Cement, clay, brick, sand stone and granite .... 1,278,000 wine 400,000 „ , ** ' " ' I^UUU^UU Butter ........... 780^000 Be 1 800,000 Asphaltum ' '. '. '. '. VM •' ' •' •• • • '«25,UU0 E 525,000 rjelerv 300,000 Poultry .' .* .' . . ' ...... . . 339,000 Fresh fish • 302,000 Canned fi5h........ 155,000 Wool 100,000 Vegetables exported .... 350,000 Salt mineral waters, Lithia, Mica, Serpentine 474,800 Honey « 000 Lime pork, beef, mutton, dressed 3,234,000 cheese 165,000 Olives and olive oil 100,000 Miscellaneous manufact ured products 24,000,000 $81,992,900 Irrigation in Arizona. Extensive preparations are being made for tno reclamation of arid land near Yuma in Arizona. A syndicate of San Francisco capitalists, repre sented by Charles H. Mau, has con cluded negotiations for the purchase of the right of way, canals and head ing of the Rockland Canal Company, headed by John N. Speese. The syn dicate is amply provided with capital to complete the construction of the canal, undertaken by the Rockland Canal Company, and work on the big ditch will be resumed as soon as pos sible. The Rockland canal lies be tween the Colorado and Gila rlvere, and when completed will provide water for a great track of fertile land. — Pomona Review. A municipality is never better than the people want it to be. Misery loves company and usually has no trouble finding it. A Sweet Thing. The largest bee-keeper in the world is a Californian, who has 6000 hives, producing 200,000 pounds of honey yearly. In Greece there are 30,000 hives, producing 3,000,000 pounds of honey; in Denmark 80,000, producing 2,000,000; in Russia 110,000, produc ing the same; in Belgium 200,000, producing 5,000,000; in Holland 240, 000, producing 6,000,000; in Prance 950,000, producing 23,000,000; in Ger many 1,450,000 and in Austria 1, 550,000, each producing 40,000,000 pounds of honey. But in the United States there are 3,000,000 hives, be longing to 8,000 bee-keepers, and pro ducing 82,000,000 pounds of honey yearly. Fiber Plants for the Desert. An experiment is to be made in the growing of fiber plants, at Imperial, on the Colorado Desert, including sisal, from the cultivation of which large fortunes have been made in Yucatan, Mex., and mescal, Irom which, not only ropes, but coarse clothing, are made in Mexico, as well as a popular drink. Thomas Beach, of Imperial, is the man who is going to experiment with these plants. — Los Angeles Times. Railroad to Imperial. Track laying on the branch of the Southern Pacific leading to Imperial was completed this week and the workmen are now leveling and put ting in sidings. In a short time a regular service will be instituted to Imperial and there will be no longer any need of making the long, dusty ride over the plains. The wonderful growth of Imperial is a source of amazement to those even who pre dicted an instant success for the new colony.— Riverside Enterprise. holiday Edition. The holiday edition of the Imperial Press of Imperial, California, has been issued, and comes to our desk filled with good things concerning that part of the country. It is ex ceedingly well gotten up, and the pro prietors may feel proud of their effort. In speaking of the paper in general we are pleased to see that they are possessed of the proverbial modesty of all editors, stating that "The Im perial Press speaks for Itself every week, and no section of the State is better represented in the newspaper field than is Imperial — ago and size of settlement considered.— Phoenix Arizona Democrat. A weak faith is a poor foundation for a high hope. Some men hitch their wagons to stars and then throw their weight against the brakes. 7