National Geographic : 1907 Apr
VOL. XVIII, No. 4 WASHINGTON APRIL, 1907 THE Li O2KIBALH L MAGAEN S The entire contents of this Magazine are protected by copyright MILLIONS FOR MOISTURE* An Account of the Work of the U. S. Reclamation Service BY C. J. BLANCHARD STATISTICIAN, U. S. RECLAMATION SERVICE WE are living in an age of big things. It is a creative epoch. Our perspective has broadened to such an extent that it is no longer confined by fixed geographical lines. It embraces the whole world, the undiscovered Poles not excepted. It is the day of the engineer, and in no pre vious period of our history has he occu pied so prominent a place in national af fairs as he does today. The National Treasury and the surplus of huge corpo rations are at his command. Unafraid, he is proceeding to cut a great gash across a continent, through which the shipping of the world may pass. Eighty millions have been appropriated this year to deepen our waterways to relieve con gested traffic conditions. He has tun neled the streets of our great cities for many miles to furnish readier transporta tion. Thousands of miles of steel are being laid to connect new regions with the nation's markets. We are today launched upon a policy of internal expan sion which many have declared to be the most paternal ever attempted. Our gov ernment is actually loaning money to its citizens and making homes for them, and is loaning it as a father to a son-on long time, without interest. On June 17, 1902, Congress enacted a law known as the National Reclamation Act. Briefly, this act provided that the money received from the sales of public lands in fourteen arid states and two ter ritories should be used as a reclamation fund for the construction of the works necessary to irrigate arid lands in those states and territories. By wise provis ions in the law this fund was made re volving. As soon as any work is com pleted the owners of land benefited must begin to return the cost thereof, payments being made in ten annual installments without interest. The money so returned *An address to the National Geographic Society, March II, 1907.