WESTERN IRRIGATION WORKS.
J. H. Quinton, a consulting engineer of the Federal Government, in speaking of the proposed expenditure of $3,500,000 on irrigation works in the West, says that the complexion of the West will be completely changed by the time the government has completed its five gigantic projects. Of these the Gunnison tunnel or Uncompaghre project is the largest and in many respects resembles the Salt river system of Arizona, which embraces the Tonto dam, now being built. It will irrigate Salt river valley in the vicinity of Phoenix, where the settlers are in great need of water. In the Nevada project the waters of the Truckee river are being carried to the Carson river, and an immense reservoir is being built for storage purposes. This irrigation enterprise is expected to supply 200,000 acres of arid land. The main canal being built in this connection is practically finished, and contracts will be let soon for subsidiary canals. Another large undertaking is the Minidoka project in Idaho, for which the con tract was recently let. This consists of building a dam in the Snake river and several large dams for storage purposes in the mountains. T his project also will irrigate about 200,000 acres of practically arid land. The Hondo project in New Mexico will irrigate about 12,000 acres of valuable land near Roswell, in an extremely productive section. Besides the above projects already begun by the government there arc several others in preparation, for all of which contracts will he let early next year. These are the Soshone project near Cody, Wyo., the Bellefourche project in South Dakota, and the Fort Buford project on the Yellowstone in North Dakota and Montana. There is still another undertaking which may be decided upon this winter, known as the Milk river project in Montana, which will open up a large section of country. As a result of the tests of the underflow in the Arkansas river valley, a site has been recommended for an infiltration gal lory in the neighborhood of Deerfield, Kan., at a point one and one-half miles above the head gates of the Farmer’s ditch. The operations begun in 1901 will be completed this month with the tests of a line of stations at Deerfield and in two locations at Hartford. The conditions at Deerfield have been found to lie the same as those nqar Garden City. I’hc average range of the velocities of the underflow near Hartford has proved to be from six to twenty four hours, and the general direction of the seepage is in an easterly direction corresponding to the slope of the valley. An infiltration gallery is only a very elongated surface well. It is a ditch or tunnel, with its bottom below the water tabic and running as nearly as possible at right angles to the direction of the underflow. In the bottom lands of the Arkansas valley water can lie pumped so cheaply that an infiltration gallery to provide water for such lands would he impracticable. At a point near Lakin and Hartland there is found the mouth of the disappearing stream known as Bear creek. I bis is a perennial stream that disappears as soon as it reaches the sand hills, five or ten miles south of the channel of the Arkansas. As to the possibilities of irrigation through the use of the underground supply: The system is more complicated and expensive than the common practice of using the perennial flow of surface streams. The appropriation of the flow of the rivers by the mountain stations has left the settlers along the valleys of the great plains entirely dependent upon the underground waters for irrigation.