IRRIGATION IN THE WEST.

IRRIGATION IN THE WEST.

In a paper recently read at Bismarck, N. Dak., bv H. N. Savage, supervising engineer of the reclamation service, the progress of the irrigation work done by the government was noted. Plans for the irrigation of more than 1,200,000 acres have been made and funds provisionally appropriated to carry them out. The whole amount available for the work is now something more than $23,000,000. The work already under way or contracted for, or for the construction of which bids have been received or advertised, is widely distributed. Contracts have been awarded and construction begun in Arizona—the Salt river project designed to irrigate 160,000 acres; in Colorado, the Uncompahgre project for watering 100,000 acres; in Idaho, the Minadoka project to reclaim 75,000 acres; in Nevada, the TruckceCarson plan to irrigate 100,000 acres; and in New Mexico, the Hondo project to put water on 10,000 acres of desert land. Bids have been received for the construction of irrigation works in Nebraska, on the North Platte, which arc calculated to bring under cultivation 100,000 acres of rich territory. In the near future, according to Mr. Savage’s report, bids will be invited for the construction of much additional work. In California the Yuma project to reclaim some 85,000 acres is ready to be undertaken by the lowest bidder; in South Dakota the Belle Fourche project is almost as far advanced, and 60,000 acres are to be irrigated. Plans are all but finished for the Wvonung project to get some 142,000 acres in the Shoshone valley under w’ater; in Montana the Huntlet project is well advanced, by which it is expected to ret aim 30,000 acres; a bi-State 60,000-acre project, the Glendive-Fort Buford, which lies partly in Montana and partly in North Dakota, is being perfected; and the engineers in the Northwest are conhdent of being able to carry through a plan to establish pumping plants at Trenton and Bismarck in North Dakota which shall bring a new touch of green to some 61,500 acres. This, in brief, is the record of the tangible results accomplished since the approval of the National Irrigation act in June, 1902

IRRIGATION IN THE WEST.

IRRIGATION IN THE WEST.

At the recent meeting of the Twelfth National Irrigation congress, held at El Paso, Tex., under the presidency of Senator Clark, of Montana, a letter from President Roosevelt was read, as follows: “I wish it were possible for me to accept your kind invitation to the national congress to be held at EI Paso. I need not state to you the deep interest I feel in the cause of national irrigation. Irrigation is. in every fact, one of the means of national expansion which is most effective.” President Diaz, of Mexico, also wrote a letter of regret. In his report President Clark said in part: “The Department of the Interior has withdrawn from entry 43,5004×10 acres, of which some 3,500,000 acres have been found to be inapplicable, and have been restored to the public domain. The total amount of land available for irrigation has been variously estimated to be from 50,000,000 to 60,000,000 acres, which, made productive, will sustain a population of from twenty to 25,000,000 people. Rapid progress in every locality cannot be expected. The work is bt’ing prosecuted in thirteen States and three Territories. The reclamation fund will be reimbursed in course of time by the settler for every dollar expended, reimbursement consisting in the price of the land to which the settler acquires title and in the cost of improvements which shall be assessed to him. No returns can be expected for some years to come, and under the ten-year instalment plan, the reimbursement will be slow. After ten years, the returns will be very large and they may be reinvested in new improvements. In the meantime the aid of the government should be invoked.” Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico were equally anxious about the building of a dam for storing the flood waters of the Rio Grande. Texas and Mexico advocated the construction of a dam at El Paso, and the Federal govenment engineers have approved the plan of New Mexico for a dam at Elephant Butte. The Elephant Butte site was selected, and work will probably be begun soon. The new dam will serve to reclaim 190,000 acres of land in New Mexico, Texas and Mexico above and round El Paso.