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Sources and Additional Information

Source(s); The History of Imperial County California edited by Finnis C Farr - 1918 p. 3 and Report of a Geological Reconnaissance in California by William Phipps Blake made during an expedition lead by Lieutenant Robert Stockton Williamson p. 248 - 250

Image(s); Report of the Special Committee of the United States Senate on the Irrigation and Reclamation of Arid Lands 1890 p. 298.5 (p. 951 in PDF File)

Image Alternative (ALT) Text: LifeOfTheSaltonSea.ORG - A typical irrication system in the 19th century used a series of ditches and channels to distribute water to crops.

Image Extended / Long Description (LONGDESC) Text: The image shows a water source diverted from a river and controlled by a weir (dam). It consists of a series of ditches and canals laid out in a grid like pattern, most common in regions that are flat and do not have to consider the contours of the land. These ditches and canals are interconnected and distribute water to crops. Contour lines are shown on one section that show the center of the fields that are irrigated as lower than the edges. This is different from modern irrigation which uses parallel channels to distribute water. A cross section of a weir (dam) is also shown, which illustrates a small drop in elevation between the source of the water and the main distribution channel along with a basic control system for metering the water flow.

The original text, from Report of the Special Committee of the United States Senate on the Irrigation and Reclamation of Arid Lands 1890: This map shows that portion of the property in Kern County, Cal., lying to the north of Kern River and to the west 0 the Southern Pacific Railroad, which J. B.Haggin and his associates have already reclaimed, and are now in process of reclaiming , from an arid, unproductive state, by means of irrigation. The shaded lines indicate the lauds owned by the parties directly interested in this work of reclamation and irrigation, and who also own the net-work of ditches through which such results have been and are to be effected. An idea of the magnitude of these operations can be obtained from this map, keeping in View that the length already constructed of the Calloway Canal amounts to 32 miles, and that an extension is in contemplation of 11 additional miles to be of the same size as the present can al, namely 80 feet wide on the bottom and 120 feet wide from bank to bank. In the “bird’s-eye view” are shown the river, a portion of the Calloway Canal, two distributing ditches, and several contour checks. As indicated by the arrows, the water in the river, arrested by the weir, enters the Calloway Canal through its head-gate and from thence passes into the distributing ditches. ln the latter are shown the “ drops,” acting similarly to the river weir, and forcing the water out of the distributing ditches through the “side gates” of those ditches onto the land enclosed by the contour cheeks, thus accomplishing the actual irrigation. In the “plan of irrigation” are similarly shown a portion of the Calloway Canal, distributing ditches, and checks, together with cross-sections of the Galloway distributing ditch and of land in process of irrigation. The checks are run on a level, and thus at regular intervals of 6, 9,12, 18, or 24 inches, as desired, act as dams to back the water over the space intervening between the check so constituting the dam and the next check above, as appearing in the cross-section. When the irrigation in one check is completed the surplus water from that check is drained into the next check below, the balance of the water required being supplied from the distributing ditch. ,Such is the system of irrigation most general in Kern County, and from its cheapness of construction as compared with other systems and their results, its extreme cheapness of operation, its most satisfactory results in the even and thorough distribution of the water, resulting in thorough irrigation and profitable returns, it commends itself for simultaneous irrigation of large areas most strongly as worthy of a foremost place in irrigation systems.

Additional information from: Wikipedia


Additional information from: Wikipedia


Additional information from: Google Books



Additional information from: Google Books

Life of the Salton Sea