National Geographic : 1932 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Charles M. Smyth A I,200-GALLONS-A -MINUTE IRRIGATION WELL IN THE ARKANSAS RIVER VALLEY Colorado has nearly three and a half million acres under irrigation, a far greater area than that of any other State save one. This use of water adds between forty and fifty million dollars annually to the value of Colorado's agricultural crops. Most of the water used in irrigation comes from streams. Texas, and the Federal Government in re gard to the waters of the Rio Grande. The most important State treaty to which Colo rado has been a party so far is the Seven States Pact concerning the waters of the Colorado River, as a result of which the great Hoover Dam is now being built. HIGHWAY PARALLELS COLORADO RIVER Over Tennessee Pass into Colorado's Western Slope country and along one of the headwater streams of the Colorado River runs one of the main highways to the Pacific coast. The road comes to the Colo rado itself at Dotsero. By the time Glen wood Springs is reached the Colorado has gathered in numerous mountain-fed forks and is a sizable stream. Hot springs gush out at Glenwood, and it has been for two generations a Colorado Spa, like Vir ginia's White Sulphur and New York's Saratoga. I drove west from Glenwood through alternating stretches of dry valley and irri gated farms. Passing mile-long cliffs of oil shale, I came to the village of De Beque, where the river plunges into a narrow can yon along which the railway long ago ap propriated the only passable route. Until a year ago the highway turned aside for many miles over a high plateau; but dyna mite and the jaws of steam shovels have gouged a shelf from the towering cliffs, and now a new highway section runs close above the tumbling waters. A few miles downstream are the produc tive orchards that this water has created, square mile after square mile of them laid out in ordered rows that stretch far into the distance. Each year during late August and early September approximately 1,700 carloads of peaches roll east from the or chards around Palisade, a thriving little town that lives by and for peaches.