Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/15

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11
THE POSSIBILITIES OF SALTON SEA

point there are three intakes or openings, for each of which there should have been provided a head-gate. This was not done, however, and over a year ago, during high water in the Colorado, these intakes began to admit more water than was necessary for use for irrigation. This surplus, which at times was very large, naturally sought the lowest part of the desert, and in consequence Salton Sink became 'Salton Sea.' Edwin Duryea, Jr., C. E., of San Francisco, who has made a careful study of the situation for the Southern Pacific Railroad, says that since October, 1904, when the canal first began to carry a surplus, the water in Salton Sink has steadily risen at the average rate of over one half inch per day. At times, during floods, this has even been

 

PSM V70 D015 Unused headgates between intake nos 1 and 2 may 29 1905.png

Unused Head-Gate between Intakes Nos. 1 and 2. May 29, 1905.

 

temporarily increased to the rate of two inches per day. The water used by the irrigation system varies with the seasons from nothing in rainy weather to about 1,000 cubic feet per second; and Mr. Duryea, to show the variations in the surplus of water carried into the region, has made a number of measurements that leave no doubt as to the importance of the danger threatened. On February 14, 1905, the canal received 2,500 cubic feet per second, while about 30,000 cubic feet passed down the river; June 5, about 8,000 cubic feet went to the canal per second and 60,000 down the river; July 18, 18,000 to the canal and 7,000 down the river; October 17, 7,000 to the canal and none down the river; November 20, 6,000 to the canal and 128 down the river; December 13, 10,300 to the canal and none down the river. On November 29, there was a flood in the Colorado River, and it was estimated that the river at Yuma carried a maximum flow of 110,000 cubic feet per second, of which about one-half went into the canal, and thence into Salton Sea.