National Geographic : 1904 Jan
THE RECLAMATION OF THE WEST 27 ary between Arizona and Califor nia. Nearly all the important rivers of the arid West rise either in Colorado or Wyoming, in the mountain ranges crossing these states, and flow out from these states, furnishing water for ad joining states. This interstate character of the streams has been held as one of the reasons for fed eral intervention in reclamation, as well as the fact of federal owner ship of the vacant lands. GUNNISON RIVER PROJECT In Colorado the largest project now in construction is that of tak ing the Gunnison River into the Uncompahgre Valley. This river flows in a narrow canyon two thou sand feet deep. This canyon has been regarded as impassable, but Mr A. L. Fellows, one of the engi neers of the reclamation service, and an assistant went through in The 1902 at the risk of their lives. The attempt had been made a Th number of times to go down it by near boats, but without success. These time men did it by means of swimming and by using a pneumatic mattress or rubber bed as a raft. They put in small rubber bags the necessary food and a little underwear. In ten days, by float ing, swimming, and climbing, they suc ceeded in getting through and locating the point at which may be located the headworks to take the water out by a tunnel into Uncompahgre Valley. The tunnel, heading in the steep cliffs, continues near the river for three or four miles in order to gain grade, and then passes through the mountain to the valley beyond. Careful surveys and examinations are being made, and it is believed to be feasible to build the tun nel, if enough irrigable land can be found to justify the undertaking. Another project which has been under examination is that in southern Wyo- Present Water Supply System of Phoenix, Arizona lere are thousands of acres of reclaimable land Phoenix which are capable of producing some s seven crops a year. ming on the North Platte River, at what is known as the Devils Gate, on Sweet water River, a short distance above the point where it enters North Platte River. Unfortunately the amount of water available at this point is small, and after careful examination, there is now being considered another reservoir site at a lower point, where there is ample water for storage purposes. This is on North Platte River itself, below the mouth of Sweetwater River. In northern Wyoming there is an other reclamation project, that on Sho shone River, which here flows through a granite range. Surveys are being made to demonstrate the practicability of diverting this river and carrying it out to the broad plains of the Big Horn basin.