Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 66.djvu/114

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designing and constructing under similar conditions, and who already know the essential local facts from personal observation.

The project board takes into consideration all the facts as to water supply, foundations and materials for construction, the design and operation of each part of the work, and the character of the lands to be supplied, the climatic conditions and innumerable details. After going over the conditions on the ground the project board prepares a brief report and recommendations, these being submitted through the regular channels for the approval of the secretary of the interior. When instructions have been received from the secretary contracts are prepared after advertising, in the usual fashion.

Work of construction has already been begun in Arizona, Nevada,

PSM V66 D114 Irrigation canal in arizona.png

Typical View along Irrigation Canal, Arizona.

New Mexico, Colorado and Idaho, and will soon be taken up in other states and territories. In the two and a half years which have elapsed since the passage of the act the conditions in the west have been thoroughly considered, and already funds have practically been allotted to the more important and beneficial projects. The work has not only been on a large scale, but it has been necessary to establish many important precedents and to create institutions which are designed to last for centuries.

The Reclamation Act is very broad and leaves for executive discretion innumerable important details, but it guards carefully a number of points of possible failure. Discretion has been exercised with a