The Yuma Project provides water to irrigate 68, acres in the vicinity of the towns of Yuma, Somerton, and Gden in Arizona, and Bard and Winterhaven in California.
The project is divided into the Reservation Division, which consists of 14, acres in California, and the Valley Division, which consists of 53, service in Arizona. The original features of the project include Laguna Dam on the Colorado River, the Boundary Pumping Plant, one Powerplant, and a system of canals, laterals, and drains. Laguna Dam has not been used as a locations structure since Following the authorization of the Yuma Project Yumathe United States purchased the properties of the original ditch companies. The first Colorado River water was delivered through the siphon to the Arizona side of the river on June 29, The lands in the Indian Unit of the project are a part of the reservation lands and are owned by Indian allottees.
The land that is irrigated is leased to various operations and is administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Bard Unit of the division is private land. Work began on the distribution system of the Reservation Division in and the deeded land was opened to settlers in The Bard Irrigation District was organized in to represent owners of the patented land in the Bard Unit.
Construction work on Laguna Diversion Dam began in July The pumping plant and dating distribution system were repaired and improved. A new heading with a capacity of cubic feet per second was built for the distribution system early inand a scoop wheel with a capacity of 80 cubic feet per second was installed at expectations heading to provide for irrigation at times of low water. The principal canals were constructed in Fertile bottom lands ranging from 90 to about feet in elevation make up both divisions of the project.
Flax, alfalfa, cotton, vegetables, cereal grains, and citrus, grown on the Reservation Division, are the most profitable crops.
Winter and early spring vegetables have become predominantly important. Southern Arizona is an area famous for its intense heat during the summer months. Temperatures average over degrees fahrenheit during July, and may exceed degrees. The winter lows only drop to the mid-twenties. Though the area can be excruciating to humans in the summer, it offers plant life a day growing season. The long season gives southern Arizona farmers an edge over their northern counterparts, year round production. Unfortunately, the same climate offering warm temperatures for crops, does not as generously provide water for them.
Annual precipitation only averages 3. She exacted a price for every success they achieved.
Yuma is in the extreme southwest of Arizona, in the extreme southwest of the United States. They established agriculture in the area before the arrival of the Spanish.
The Quechans relied on the force of the Colorado River for irrigation and fertilization of their crops. After the floods, the Quechans returned to the river bottoms and planted their crops in the fertile soil deposited by the Colorado. Anza and Garces led an expedition of thirty-four soldiers in to Yuma, contacting the Quechan Indians whom the Spanish called Yumas; derived from Spanish for smoke. The conflict resulted in a Quechan massacre of all Spanish males at the missions on July 17, Francisco Garces lay among those killed. Soon after, Anglo-American trappers penetrated Mexican territory above the Gila River, by way of the Gila Trail, in the s; looking for beaver.
Later one of his officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Philip St. President James K. Congress considered the price for all the territory too expensive, and Santa Anna, the President of Mexico, would only sell the small section below the Gila. In accordance with a amendment to the Dawes Act, each Quechan on the Yuma Indian Reservation received ten acres, and the government opened the remaining land to white settlers.
In the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, ending the war inthe United States agreed to recognize ownership under Spanish land grants.
Nevertheless, the U. The United States appealed the decision, gaining a reversal in and obtaining title to the land. The resulting gravity systems proved unsatisfactory because of silt accumulation in the headings. Squatters who moved into the area, had to deal with inconsistent annual runoff supplying their crops with water. The government returned the Algodones Grant to entry inand prospective farmers began filing on the best tracts.
However floods prevented any consistent farming of the land. Subsequent surveys determined the viability of reclaiming the nearby arid land under the Reclamation Act of June 17, 32 Stat. Secretary of the Interior Ethan A. Hitchcock authorized the project May 10, The Irrigation Land and Improvement Co. Supreme Court.
Inspection locations (level ii/iii)
The case may have been settled prior to the scheduled court date inbecause it never went before the Court. Reclamation assumed control of the property the same year. With a vision toward expanding irrigation, Reclamation considered extending the project to the mesa even before completion of the diversion works at Laguna Dam. Initial surveys of Yuma Mesa began in Congress authorized the project in an act of January 25, 39 Stat.
Sellew as Project Engineer. Project work commenced with construction of Laguna Dam. Reclamation engineers faced the problem of deing a dam to control the Colorado River and divert water to ading canals, while preventing silt from entering the canals.
Projects & facilities
Engineers studied dams in other countries to aid in determining the dam de. White and Company July 6, White started work on July 19, Cement delivery for Laguna Dam began as a complicated operation. The company shipped material by railroad to Yuma. At Yuma they either loaded it on a steam boat or into wagons. The rock comprising fill for the dam constantly gave White problems. It came from quarries in the abutments at either end of the dam structure.
The rock fractured too much with annoying regularity, often 50 percent of the quarried rock went to waste. Reclamation refused to release White from the contract, but admitted the construction material did not meet expectations.
A supplemental contract emerged from the conference, paying the company compensation for losses and extending the deadline. Reclamation took over construction of Laguna Dam by force on January 22, Reclamation built a levee on the California side of the Colorado. The Service gained the cooperation of the Southern Pacific Railroad and built a rail line on the levee.
After completion of the rail line in Marchthe railroad delivered supplies directly to the work site on the California side of the dam. In addition, workers prepared sluiceways to divert water around the dam construction. Fragmentation of the rock forced Reclamation to line the sluiceways with concrete. Reclamation closed the cofferdams on December 11,and water bypass commenced. Upon closure of the cofferdams, Reclamation laid standard gauge railroad track, on a trestle across the closure, to connect the rock quarries. Work crews dumped loose rock from the trestle as fast as possible to keep the water from washing it away.
Large pumps operating between the cofferdam structures evacuated water from the dam site. Reclamation dredged the alluvial deposit under the center of the site to a depth of twelve feet, after pumping out most of the water. Before placement of the walls, laborers drove six inch wood sheet pilings into the bed under the sites for the walls. The pilings protected against see, and for the third wall provided a foundation over the soft bottom. The upstream crestwall reached an elevation of feet above sea level.
Reclamation located the second wall 57?
They put the third 93? Below the downstream wall they constructed an apron of stone forty to fifty feet wide, to protect the dam against any cutback from the river. Reclamation began paving the top of the dam with ? The quarries did not have enough suitable rock to continue this method of pavement, so Reclamation opted for an eighteen inch layer of concrete.