Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 66.djvu/113

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
109
THE RECLAMATION SERVICE.

Young men, graduates from technical schools of good repute, are admitted for examination to the lowest positions and designated as hydrographic aids. As they demonstrate their ability and gain experience they are advanced to the position of assistant engineer, and finally to that of engineer. The service is organized on such a basis that the responsibilities are directly placed, and in matters of judgment the advice of consulting engineers and experts can be had.

The operations of the reclamation service began with a reconnoissance of the entire arid and semi-arid regions. The maps prepared by the topographic branch of the Geological Survey are utilized and the geologic facts which bear upon the occurrence of water above or underground are considered. In fact, every branch of scientific research

 

PSM V66 D113 Irrigated palms in phoenix arizona.png

Driveway at Phoenix, Arizona. Irrigated Palms.

 

which relates to the storage and use of waters is a subject of concern. The principal work is, however, not merely to bring the facts together, but to put these to practical application in the construction of large hydraulic works, such as dams for storing the water in reservoirs, or diverting it from the rivers through canals or aqueducts for conveying it to arid lands. These works are carefully planned and the designs and specifications are passed upon by boards of engineers thoroughly familiar with the subject. When a district engineer, that is to say an engineer in charge of the operations in a drainage basin, has brought his work to a point where it can be passed upon, a project board is convened, the members of which have had broad experience in