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Twelve MilKon Acres in the
Valley of California
Col. Robert Bradford Marshall
DISTRIBUTED BY THE
California State Irrigation Association
1217 L Street .'. Sacramento, California
^N the preseBtatlon of these plftiu no thovfht
^ is OBtertaliied of moTlng water from one
drainage basin to another nnless and nntD
sufficient water has been dereloped to meet the
fnll Irrigation reqnlrements of the first drain-
No water nser will be glTon less than he Is
now entitled to nor asked to pay for the cost of
constmctlf^n except In proportion to the amonnt
of additional benefit he recelTOS.
What is prlmarialy desired is an immediate
complete snrrey by the State of all possible res-
erroir sites, a determination of the maximnm
amount of water deyelopment practicabley then
the necessary legislation to pnt it into effect.
The situation demands the combined thonghts
and efforts of the entire State.
COL. R. B. MARSHALL
Who He Is and What He Has Done
COL. ROBERT BRADFORD MARSHALL has been connected with the United
States Geological Survey since December 1st, 1889. He started as a field assistant in
Colorado, becoming assistant topographer a few months later and topographer in 1890.
In 1891 he came to California, surveying continuously here from that year until
1902 when he was given administrative charge of all work in California and Recla^-
mation Service detail surveys at Yuma, Arizona.
In 1903 he was given administrative charge of all topographic work in California
and in 1904 these duties were extended to California and Oregon.
In 1905 he was given the title of Geographer with administrative charge of all
work in California, Oregon and Nevada. In 1907 he was appointed Geographer in
Charge of Pacific Division embracing the States of California, Oregon, Washington,
Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Nevada.
In 1908 he was appointed Chief Geographer, in charge of the Topographic Branch
with administrative charge of the entire United States which position he held until the
Fall of 1919.
He has driven with mule teams and buck-board all over the State of Califomla
long years before either the high-ways or the autonK)biles were thought of. For elev-
en years straight he was personally out on the front line, helping gather the data
that today places him in a position to speak with authority.
Men w!ho have worked and traveled with him through the mountains and the val-
leys of Califomla say:
"We who know 'Bob' Marshall know that he knows California, every inch of It,
better than any of us!"
Back in those early days Col. Marshall wondered why they didn't irrigate in
Northern California as they were doing in Colorado, where he had surveyed the year
before. And he then as a young man dreamed that dream of EMPIRE BUILDING
that every man of vision at one time or another has dreamed when he views Cali-
fornia's millions of acres parched and burning in the Sunmier and her millions of acre
feet of water pouring into the Pacific in the winter.
Col. Marshall climbed to the very top of his profession. No year passed that
did not see him progress. At the age of forty-one he was Chief Geographer direct-
ing the work of over a thousand men. But back in his mind always there remained
the ambition to some day be able to submit to the people of California definite, posi-
tive knowledge that the complete irrigation of the twelve million or more acres of
land lying within the Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valleys was practicable from
an engineering stand-point.
Thus for years he has directed the expenditures of the United States Govern-
ment in its Geological Surveys of the State of California with the view of getting for
the people this precise data that was needed before the problem could be viewed from
a State-wide stand-point. He has watched the measurement of the streams that he
might know the amount of water available. And each elevation, whether determin-
ed in the north or south or the east or the west has all been gradually put together
with one well defined purpose in view.
Men who have known Col. Marshall and worked with him say that he was never
known yet to suggest putting a plan of construction into effect until he knew it to be
practicable. He wants his facts before he makes recommendations. It is this in-
born conservatism that enabled the man to work for twenty-five years to perfect a
plan before making it public. During his last year at Washington he devoted almost
his entire time and that of many of the government employees to gathering together
in graphic form the results of these years of surveying over all parts of the State.
Maps of the entire State were made showing in detail the course of the proposed
main canals and the locations of the reservoir sites and much other important data
was made ready.
In the Fall of 1919 Col. Marshall announced to the press that he had this mate-
rial ready. Nearly every newspaper in the State commented favorable upon the sub-
ject or reviewed it from a news stand-point. But very few people took the trouble to
go into the matter seriously and study his report and maps in detail.
Col. Marshall is not a man of large wealth. He has not the funds to inaugurate
an extensive publicity campaign even if it was his nature to do so. He has a large
ranch near Patterson, Calif., that he has been wanting to give personal attention for
some years, so he went down to the ranch, put on overalls and went to work. He asks
no financial reward from the State for the result of his years of labor, and he knows
that in time facts will demand recognition. He feels that he has the facts as Nature
herself has written them.
That the reader may better appreciate the man and his work, some of the more
important Special Assignments with which he has been identified are listed below:
THE FOLLOWING IS A PART OF COL. MARSHALL'S PERSONNEL RECORD IN THE
1903 Established and had charge of office of Geological Survey in U. S. Post Office
Building, Sacramento, California; (had charge of establishing and the in-
auguration of cooperation (topographic surveys) with State of California).
1904 June 14, appointed a member of the Yosemite National Park Commission, cre-
ated by Secretary of the Interior for the purpose of changing the boundary
of the park as authorized by Congress in a provision of the Sundry Civil
Bill of April 28, 1904. Report of commission submitted August 31, 1904,
1906 April 18, appointed by Relief Committee of Sacramento, California, for San
Francisco earthquake and fire sufferers to take charge of $100,000 cash
fund with which to purchase supplies and take same to San Francisco by
river steamboat. Delivered supplies and crew for distributing them to Cap-
tain Wm. V^. Harts, now Brigadier General, Corps of Engineers, at Presid-
io wharf in San Francisco, April 20, at 9 A. M. Had all Geological Survey
property in California, of which he had charge, sent to Sacramento, then
$1600 worth of camp equipment was delivered to Governor Pardee of Cali-
fornia for use by Committee; then telegraphed Director Walcott. Geological
Survey at Washington, D. C, what had been done. Action taken was ap-
1907 Chairman of committee on reorganization of Topographic Branch, Spring of 1907.
1908 March 18, appointed a member of Personnel Committee; on December 12, 1910,
made acting chairman of committee, and on December 2, 1911, made chair-
man of reorganized Personnel Committee; assignment retained to Decem-
ber 10, 1915, when appointed Superintendent of National Parks.
1909 October, visited Hawaiian Islands and inaugurated topographic surveys in co-
operation with Territorial Government. Appointed (Jhief Geographer of
Territory of Hawaii, October, 1909.
1910 October 14, appointed a member of the Sub-Committee on Surveying, Map Mak-
ing and graphic Reproduction of the Departmental Committee on Efficiency
and Economy; December 30, designated temporary acting chairman of sub-
committee (vice A. P. Davis, chairman, then absent from the country) , and
on Jan. 5, 1911, elected by sub-committee as acting chairman during the ab-
sence of Mr. Davis, who did not again serve. April 29, 1911, report of sub-
committee submitted by acting chairman, and duties of members suspended.
December 13, appointed Chairman of Committee on One-Millionth-Scale Map;
assignment retained to Dec. 10, 1915, when appointed Superintendent of
1911 July 19, designated delegate to Tenth International Congress of Greography to
be held at Rome, Italy; October 15-22, 1911, and on August 25. 1911, desig-
nated by Secretary of State as head of the American delegation to that Con-
gress; Congress postponed until Spring of 1912. (Finally postponed in-
September, member of conference in Yellowtone National Park, Wyo., to consid-
er national parks; gave paper on general administration of national parks,
their needs, etc.
1912 Selected by Hon. W. L. Fisher, Secretary of the Interior, to report on advisabil-
ity of creating a national park in vicinity of Elstes Park, Colorado, 1912.
Made report January 9, 1913. Based upon this report the Rocky Mt. Nation-
al Park was created in 1915.
October, member of conference in Yosemite Park, California, to consider na-
tional parks. Gave address on general conditions regarding advisability of
admitting automobiles to park.
1914 Member of Inter-Departmental Committee on Senator Newland's River Regula-
tion Bill, committee making report January 10, 1914, and March 30, 1914.
1915 January 29, appointed by President Woodrow Wilson member of U. S. Geo-
graphic Board, a representative of the Interior Department on the Board
(1918 appointed by the board a member of the executive committee).
December 10, appointed Superintendent of National Parks. Resigned Dec. 31,
1916. (During incumbency of Superintendent of National Parks retained
office of Chief Geographer).
1917 February 16, commissioned Major in Engineer Officers' Reserve Corps, U. S. A.
June 18, ordered into active service by Special Order No. 140, War Department.
Received order on and started to comply with same June 22, reporting by
letter to the Director, U. S. Geological Survey, Washington, D. C, for duty
in connection with military mapping then being done for the War Depart-
June 22, Survey Order — ^Military Surveys.
"Major R. B. Marshall, as Chief Geographer in charge of the Topographic
Branch, is instructed to continue general supervision of the topographic
surveys now being made for the War Department. His station will be at
Washington, D. C."
1918 August 1 Special Order No. 179, Extract 178.
"The appointment of Major Robert B. Marshall, Engineer Reserve Corps,
to the grade of Lieut Colonel, Engineers, National Army, with rank from
July 25, 1918, is announced. By order of Secretary of War, Peyton C.
March, General Chief of Staff. Official: H. P. McCain, the Adjutant General."
October 16, 1918.
Honorably discharged as Lieut. Col., Engineers, March 31, 1919, and reap-
pointed Chief Geographer in the U. S. Geological Survey, April 1, 1919.
American Society of Civil Engineers, May 4, 1904.
Sierra Club of California, 1906.
Geological Society of Washington, D. C, February 12, 1908.
Cosmos Club of Washington, D. C, May 11, 1908.
Washington, Society of Engineers, December 12, 1908.
National Geographic Society, 1909.
Canadian Camp Club, Spring of 1911.
Association of American Geographers, 1913.
Luther Burbank Society, 1913.
Honorary member, Colorado Moimtain Club, 1913.
Advisory Committee of Colorado Geographic Society, 1914.
California's Created Opportunity
Reclaiming An Empire-The VgJley of California
Making Homes for 3,000,000 People
Increasing the Present Value More Than $6,000,000,000
By COL. R. B. MARSHALL
I desire to set before you some facts regarding the development of the resources
of California that to me seem to need immediate attention. The Power and the wealth
of California lie in its agricultural lands. These lands are the foundation on which
everything else must stand, and California possesses a richer stock of this fundament-
al resource than any other State or similar area in the United States, if not in the
world, Jind yet a large part of the resource lies dormant. We know it lies there unused,
yet we calmly look on and do nothing to bring it into use. California's potential
wealth in land reaches into billions of dollars; 12,000,000 acres lie all around us bris-
tling with invitations to help ourselves, yet there they remain practically untouched.
The people of California, indifferent to the bountiful gifts that Nature has given
them, sit idly by waiting for rain, indefinitely postponing irrigation, and allowing
every year millions and millions of dollars in water to pour unused into the sea, when
there are hungry thousands in this and in other countries pleading for food and when
San Francisco and the Bay Cities, the metropolitan district of California, are begging
Is it indifference or unreasonable procrastination that makes the people of Cali-
fornia neglect this wealth, or do they not know what they have or how to use it? At
any rate there, in the Valley of California — in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys
combined — in one inmiense tract, lies the largest, richest, and most fertile body of in-
differently used or unused land in the United States — perhaps in the world — an em-
pire the value of whose products, when once it is reclaimed and producing fair returns,
will exceed that of all the present products of California, increase the taxable value
of the land by billions, and treble its population. In its climate, its fertility, and its
fitness for healthful human use the land in the Valley of California can not be sur«
passed anywhere on the globe, and yet to-day probably not 20 per cent of that land
is fully improved, so that it is producing scarcely more than one-fifth of what it can
produce if the people would only use that which Nature has given them; and the re-
maining 80 per cent is used indifferently — millions of acres are not used at all. Cali-
fornia needs more population, and the present population needs more water, and both
may be had by means of one of the most clearly defined engineering projects ever
proposed and at a cost commensurately so low that rapid and permanent settlement
would surely follow.
Some engineers have said that the reclamation of this Valley of California and ad-
jacent parts of Uie State by one great coordinated project is impracticable, but I pro-
pose to show that the possibility of reclaiming it by engineering is its greatest asset It
is a large undertaking, but this is a day of large undertakings, and although it is a
comprehensive. State-wide job its immediate practicability and success depend only
upon the successive building of its various parts to form a consistent whole, each part
so arranged as to yield instant returns on a proportionate fair first cost — each practic-
ally self-supporting. The project has been thought impossible of execution because
of legal difficulties, but the present laws pave the way for the removal of all obstacles.
For some twenty-five years I have surveyed and topographically mapped areas in
California. During most of that time I have had administrative charge of Uie State Co-
operative Survey and in this connection have traveled all over the State, with the
ever-present thought of the wonderful possibilities involved in the reclamation of its
millions of unused acres. The unusual opportunities thus afforded me for observing
the field conditions throughout the entire State, together with my familiarity with
existing maps and their interpretation, now enables me to assemble in graphic and
concrete form the results of twenty-five years' study; wlithout the detailed map of the
Valley of California made by the U. S.. Geological Survey in cooperation with the State
the study could not be made. I have traveled on the Sacramento River with some of the
commissions that made reports; I have read the Interesting statements of able engi-
neers that it is not feasible to take the waters from the Sacramento Valley into the San
Joaquin Valley, but notwithstanding all the authorities I say it is entirely feasible. It
is not only feasible but necessary. It must be done and it will be done. I desire
therefore to give you the benefit of my thirty years' training and experience in the U.
S. Geological Survey, during which I have seen most of the United States and have
noted its development, to tell you briefly of my observations, and to suggest a general
outline for a plan that will help make the Valley of California the world's greatest
garden. The plan is a large one, larger by many times than the entire program of
the U. S. Reclamation Service for the 16 public-land States, but it is in keeping with
the State, for small ideas have no place in California.
There are approximately 12,000,000 acres of level land in the Sacramento, San
Joaquin, Santa Clara, Livermore, and Concord Valleys, and more than enough water
annually passes through the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers into the sea unused,
lost forever, to put water 3 feet deep on each of these 12,000,000 acres. Who will dis-
pute that, taken as a whole, each of the 12,000,000 acres is not worth an expenditure
of at lease $50, yes even $100, to place It under permanent water control? Who will
dispute that the value of each acre thus put under permanent water control will not
be increased over its present value at least $600 per acre? This would mean an in-
creased State valuation of $6,000,000,000.
Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Bay Cities need water and no doubt would be
glad to spend their proportionate share of the cost of State-wide development when
shown that they will participate in the benefits.
The engineering plans for such a project must be comprehensive, for their exe-
cution must not only assure the complete reclamation of 12,000,000 acres of valley
lands but must also effectively ^d forever control the river floods and insure safe and
continuous river navigation throughout tl^e year. The hydro-electric current gener-
ated along most of the streams would furnish all the power necessaijy for construction
as well as supply more power than would be needed for use on electric railroads, in
municipal lighting, for manufacturing, and for domestic use in the new homes as
they were established, and the sale of this power at fair rates would be a big revenue
producer as noted below under "The Cost."
Consider also that our west coast, particularly that of California, needs protec-
tion, and that there can be no better propaganda foi^ patriotism than to place owned
homes in the hands of present and prospective citizens, for it is well known and rec-
ognized the world over (as has been lately and so truly exemplified in France and
elsewhere) that every man will defend to the death his tract of land, his home, his
castle. Place 3,000,000 more in happy country homes in the Valley of California, and
she will forever defend herself from invasion.
My solution of the whole problem is to turn the Sacramento River into the San
Joaquin Valley, a feat which is now shown to be practicable as an engineering enter-
prise that is possible of execution within ten years and that would justify a cost, if
necessary, of $750,000,000, be safe for the investor, present no legal obstructions, and
provide for the present as well as the prospective land owner the most attractive prop-
osition ever offered in the State. Remember, however, that the plan is a big. State-
wide plan and also remember that success, as California measures success, is assured
only when the enterprise is planned and carried out in its entirety.
With the above assurances it at once becomes a necessity, with "Now" as the
psychologic moment, NOW when we need work and big work to keep our people em-
ployed, and especially NOW when so many soldiers not only need the work but are
seeking such new homes as can here be offered for a minimum of first cost and a
maximimi of yield, and all to be had in a climate and in an environment that defy
OUTLINE OF THE MAIN PB0P08ITI0N
Proia a diversion dam to be built across the Sacramento River above and near Red-
ding water will be carried in large canals down each side of the Sacramento Valley and
thence up each side of the San Joaquin Valley. These main canals will operate by grav-
ity, siphons, or pumps, or through tunnels as may be necessary or expedient. On the main
West Side Canal opposite San f^ncisco a large supply will be diverted for the use of
the "San FYancisco and Bay Cities unit/' as briefly outlined under that heading be-
low. The main East Side Canal will be twice dropped and twice again started at new
and higher levels on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley as shown on Map A. Sep-
arate in construction and operation from the two Valley of California systems as above
referred to, but necessarily cooperative in a State-wide sense, is a third system, out-
lined below under the heading "Los Angeles unit" This system must always be de-
pendent upon the Kern River, which will be diverted through a long tunnel for use in
southern California. To offset the diversion of the Kern River waters from the San
Joaquin Valley the Klamath River will be diverted below Klamath Fidls and caurried
into the upper Sacramento River near Shasta Springs. Above all these grand canals
the tributary streams will be drawn upon through reservoirs, to be built along their
courses, and further flexibility of the total flow will be provided by additional stor-
age below the canals. All these systems are briefly explained under appropriate head-
ENGlNEESINe, CONSTRUCTION, AND LABOR
The U. S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the State of California, has
now topographically surveyed and mapped (primarily for study and use in reclaiming
the Valley of California) the entire Sacramento Valley and the San Joaquin Valley
as far south as Merced; it has also, cooperatively, gaged streams, made profiles, and
surveyed the larger reservoir sites along the principal streams in the State. Prior to
this cooperative survey the U. S.. Geological Survey had mapped practically all the
area draining into the Valley of California and the San FYancisco and Bay Cities sec-
tion, as well as southern California. .. Tims we have all the field data necessary to be-
gin this work and conld start constmctlon tomorrow. A study of these complete maps
now available will convince the layman, the farmer, tjie land owner, and, I hope, any
progressive engineer that the proposed plan of reclamation presents no serious ob-
stacle, for it is only a Big Job.
The undertaking would give emplojrment to thousands of men, Including soldiers,
would make homes for them, and would be a strong factor in keeping labor so con-
stantly employed as to leave little time or tolerance for the agitator. It would also
give employment to thousands of home seekers, who, either having chosen their land
or needing the opportunity to inspect it, would be awaiting the delivery of the water.
The outlines of the various units as described below or as graphically shown on
the exhibits call for some big engineering, is true, but these are days of ever-increasing
needs for bigger engineering and likewise for successfully accomplished results; and
if California should now construct some engineering works larger than any ever here-
tofore constructed it will only be because the world before never had the need that
California has to-day. So with the ever-advancing progress in labor-saving machinery
and a Job big enough to develop it to the fullest, confidence is doubly assured, for the
largest of the engineering features proposed are so well within the factors of safety or
possible construction that we need only consider the cost
RIYEB CONTROL ANB NAVIGATION
Although the control of the Sacramento River for navigation is vested in the War
Department, and Congress has appropriated money for its improvement, the State has
already expended nearly an equal amount for the single purpose of maintaining it as
a navigable stream. But the withdrawal of water for iirigation already almost pre-
empts the supply necessary for summer navigation, and the further the land develop-
ment proceeds the greater the need will become for more water upon which to trans-
port the rapidly growing commerce of the valley.
I do not know how many millions of dollars have been spent in trying to control
the flood waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, and I doubt if anyone
knowiB how much damage to property these river floods have caused. I do know,
howiever, that as long as the present piecemeal attempts to control the river floods
by the foolish levee policy continue, the damage to property, the waste of millions of
dollars' worth of water, and the failure to profit by the vast quantity of products that
could be obtained from the lands now unused will also continue. BYom the tower of
the Post Office in Sacramento I have looked westward over an open sea about 12
miles across, filling the Tolo Basin nearly to Davlsville, at a time when Sacramento
wtas on a depressed peninsula protected by levees — a condition dangerous to both
health and property. The levees have been a source of trouble no less than the hy-
draulic mining debris in making low water in the Sacramento River at Sacramento
today higher than high water in 1860. I also know that it is not possible to maintain
secure river navigation in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys under this pres-
ent pica3rune attempt to control the flood waters by levees and dredges.
By means of the storage provided by the reclamation scheme we would not only
provide forever for the upper river navigation, but we would make the "Benicla deep-
sea harbor" and also the "Suisun Bay harbor" for river boats, straighten the river
channel and levee it, and then partly divert the river into Suisun Bay for silt de-
posit and obtain further filling by suction dredge from Suisun harbor into Suisun
Bay, thus at once reclaiming both the Suisun marsh and Suisun Bay, for after the
Grand Canal is in full operation there will be practically no silt brought to Suisun
harbor. In this connection we should also construct the sorely needed Port Costa
railroad drawbridge and the much needed Army Point highway bridge (lock and
We used to think in thousands of dollars, then in millions, but now we can think
and arr thinking in billions. Thirty years ago the cost of the Panama Canal would
have frightened the entire United States. Now we have it, and no doubt it is worth to
us and tiie world n»any times more than the $500,000,000 it cost. Twenty years ago
a bond issue in California for $18,000,000 for good roads would have staggered the peo-
ple and been voted down, 20 to 1.. Now we see the absolute necessity for State high-
ways and will continue to build them at any cost up to a hundred million or more.
Therefore, why haggle at an expense of even $1,000,000,000 when we know that the
reclaimed land will within 20 years produce, with the use of the water provided, many
times more than the cost.
The amount estimated as possibly necessary for the reclamation work will, it is
proposed, be raised through a State-authorized bond issue. The interest on these
bonds will be more than met by the revenue produced by the sale of the hydro-electric
current to be generated as construction proceeds and sold as fast as available, and a
surplus will be created for maintenance, depreciation, etc., leaving the users of water
to pay by the purchase of water from the State the cost of construction over a period
of say fifty years.
Therefore, this scheme of reclaiming the Valley of California does not call for
the expenditure of one penny from the State or National treasury. All the general
public will be called on to do is to give their endorsement to the bonds, which will be
secured by the land, thus placing on the market bonds as good and as safe as Govern-
ment bonds. The water users, whether land-owners or municipalities, will pay the en-
tire cost of the construction. Everything done under the plan would be an affair of
community interest; all rates for water, electric railroad rates, navigation routes and
rates would be controlled by a board of directors to be elected by the water users' as-
sociation. Under this plan the bonds would be much sought after by the land-owing
water users, and this would inspire them to expedite the creation of the district and
the completion of the work.
VALLEY OF CALIFOBNU UNIT
We would start the general plan by constructing in the Sierra Mountains reser-
voirs and building a diversion dam across the upper Sacramento River above and near
Redding, the top of the dam reaching an elevation above sea level of at least 440 feet,
and from this initial point the main development would begin by way of two grand can-
als, one down each side of the Sacramento Valley.
All along and below these grand canals, in places where there are ample reservoir
sites, flood water would be stored in foothill reservoirs, to be released for irrigation
early in spring and in low-water periods in August, September, and October. All res-
ervoir sites on any of the streams before they reach the grand canals encircling the
Valley of California would also be utilized.. For additional flow in exchange for the
Kern River, which is to be diverted to southern California, we would divert the Klam-
ath River at an elevation of 4,000 feet after it leaves the lower marsh lands in the vicinity
of Klamath Falls and approximately 16 miles above its narrow canyon (below which it
goes into the ocean unused), take it through tunnels and by canal 40 miles over Shas-
ta Pass near Upton at an elevation of 3792 feet and drop it 1250 feet into the Sacra-
mento River near Shasta Springs developing 375,000 horse power and adding over
2,000,000 acre-feet to the water supply of the Valley of California.
E#ast Side: Leaving Redding ati about 440 feet above sea the East Side Grand
Canal would flow southeastward along the grade (approximately 6 inches to the mile)
necessary to handle the large volume of water needed, picking up the waters from
each tributary river or stream as it was reached and continuing along the edge of
the foothills far east of Marysville, Sacramento and Stockton, to a point near the
crossing of the San Joaquin River, where the first section of the canal would end. In
order to obtain a higher gradient for the irrigation of the rest of the San Joaquin Val-
ley a second section of the East Side Grand Canal would start from a diversion dam
on the Stanislaus River at an elevation of about 400 feet and be carried high above and
east of Fresno to a point in the valley above Tulare Lake and there dropped. A third
section Would start from an elevation of about 1,000 feet on the San Joaquin River
and flow southward past Bakersfield, around the south end of the San Joaquin Valley,
and down the west side past Coalinga to a point near Dos Palos.
West Side : Leaving Redding at an elevation of about 440 feet above the sea the
West Side Grand Canal would flow southward along the west side foothills through
Creston Pass and deliver water at Benicia at an elevation of about 300 feet, where
an inverted siphon would carry it across Benicia harbor, to a point from which the
West Side Grand Canal would be carried through Martinez tunnel, into and around
the Concord Valley, and into and up the west side of the San Joaquin Valley to its end
near Dos Palos.
For the construction of the Benicia siphon and the Martinez tunnel the South-
ampton power plant (Map B) will be installed, power from which may be used else-
where when needed.
SAN FRANCISCO AND BAY CITIES UNIT
If any further ample water supply is to be had for San Francisco and the Bay
Cities it must be taken from the Sacramento River, and it is therefore planned to tap
the West Side Grand Canal at two points — first at the south end of the Martinez tun-
nel and again near Walnut Creek, where the canal crosses over the Ramon Valley. At
the latter place water will be pumped 200 feet to an elevation of about 490 feet in
Amador Pass, from which there is a double diversion — (1) eastward into the Liver-
more Valley, the canal passing both Livermore and Pleasanton and, after flooding the
large Sunol reservoir, at an elevation of about 300 feet going down Niles Canyon to
near Niles; and (2) westward through San Ramon tunnel to the proposed Haywards
San Francisco proper would then be served direct by means of a pipe line carried
across the bay on the Dumbarton dam and the railroad and wagon bridge between
Niles and Redwood; and the supply at Niles would be further augmented by a parti-
al or total diversion southeastward from the Haywards power plant. The Dumbarton
dam would also offer the means of reclaiming the large south arm of San Francisco
Bay and marsh. The Santa Clara Valley would be supplied by diversion southward
from Niles and around the entire valley and northwestward to a point near Palo Alto.
Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, and Richmond would obtain their water either from
the Martinez tunnel and a string of tunnels, canals, and reservoirs flowing into the
Richmond reservoir at an elevation of about 300 feet or from the Haywards power
plant and thence through Lake Chabot This double source of supply for the Oakland
section obviously suggests the utilization of water stored in Lake Chabot as a possible
further auxiliary supply for San Francisco, thus making absolutely sure the future
supply for all the Bay Cities.
The three poster plants at Southampton (drop 300 feet) , Grayson Creek in Con*
cord Valley (drop 200 feet), and Haywards (drop 266 feet), making a total drop of
765 feet, will develop more power than will be necessaxy to lift all the water needed
for San Francisco and the Bay Cities and provide a permanent supply for the Irrigatios
of the Livermore and Santa Clara Valley lands.
The properties of the Spring Valley Water Company and the other water companies
now supplying the metropolitan district must be taken over by San Francisco and the
Bay Cities and used in their entirety, and there should be no haggling over the pur-
chase price. The water companies should not be allowed to embarrass the cities, and
the cities must be entirely fair to the water companies. Let's handle the proposition
in the big California way, considering the value to all concerned and the good of the
State. Let's be perfectly frank in the matter and do not deceive anyone. For once
at least let's eliminate politics.
LOS JLBTGELES UNIT
At a cost of $25,000,000 Los Angeles has recently constructed a splendid 225-mile
aqueduct from the Owens River valley, but this supply will not meet the phenomenal
growth of Los Angeles for more than 50 years, even for the city and county alone,
whereas there are now elsewhere in southern California fast-growing towns that need
relief and much acreage that needs water to put it under fullest development. The
only ample supply of water is the Kern River, which at a reasonable cost would pro-
vide all the water southern California can reasonably get and perhaps would need
for 150 years. Does southern Califomia want approximately four times more water
than is now carried in the present Los Angeles aqueduct? If southern California does
not Join the large scheme at the beginning and Kern Siver water is once used in the
Grand Canal system — a use which will affect the entire plan of constmction — ^then
southern Califomia can not get the Kern Biver water in the future*
The electric power now taken from the Kern River near Kemville to southern
Califomia would be continued until additional power could be furnished from plants
on the South Fork and other rivers farther north. Thus the supply of both water and
power to southern California can be increased to an ample amount without harming
the San Joaquin Valley in jthe least, and the San Joaquin valley users of the Kern Riv-
er water near Bakersfield* cannot object if they are given an ample permanent supply
of water from the Grand Canal.
We would construct a 300-foot dam across the Kern River near Kemville, below
the junction with the South Fork, which would impound a lake approximately 40
square miles in area with a surface elevation of about 2,700 feet. This immense body
of water would be taken by the long "Kern River tunnel" to the Mojave Desert, above
Mojave, crossing about 700 feet under the present Los Angeles aqueduct near Cinco.
The proposed new aqueduct would be carried eastward and southward to a point near
Clearwater (reached by the Portal Ridge tunnel), where after a drop of about 300 feet
it would intersect the present Los Angeles aqueduct at an approximate elevation of 2100
feet, at a total distance of 90 miles from the Kemville reservoir. But as the Los An-
geles aqueduct is not large enough to carry the Kern River water below Clearwater
the proposed lower aqueduct would be therefore continued alongside it
For additional storage and power needed we would construct 200-foot dams and
make four reservoirs (the Ramshaw, Monache, Kennedy and Rockhouse) on the South
Fork of the Kern River and from two of these and the South Fork would develop
electric power from a total drop of 4,000 feet.
I therefore recommend to the people of California:
(1) That the Legislature of California immediately authorize the appointment of
a commission of five comprising a broad-minded ''Big business" man, as
chairman, a civil engineer, a hydraulic engineer, an electrical engineer, and
a contracting engineer, to report to the Legislature (through the Governor)
within three months as to the general practicability of the proposed plan of
State-wide reclamation and make the necessary appropriation for the expenses
of their investigations.
(2) That upon favorable report of the above-named commission to the Legislature
the Legislature at once enact the necessary legislation to put these plans
(3) That the United States Senators and Representatives in Congress from Cali-
fornia be requested to use their best efforts to secure national legislation
to allow railroad and highway bridges to be built across the Strait of Car-
quinez and to turn over the control of the navigable portions of Sacramento
and San Joaquin rivers to California, because of the national importance
(a) of reclaiming 12,000,000 acres of land the products from which would pay
large income taxes into the Federal Treasury and (b) of making homes for
soldiers and citizens without cost to the National Government.
This Valley of California scheme differs somewhat from other plans for caring
for the unemployed, especially from other ideas to make homes for the soldiers. This
work will be so extensive that it will furnish employment to more of our soldiers of
the world war than will ever apply for or need work, and after they have worked as
long as they care to, they will no doubt, in large numbers, acquire some of the re-
claimed lands and remain to enjoy the large returns that surely await the fortunate
owners of farms in the Valley of California. The plan herewiUi presented is based
upon common sense as well as science. Further, this plan does not call for a single dol-
lar from the State or National treasury. There is no question about its being successful
from every possible point of view, for in the Valley of California we have the best lands
and climate, the most fertile and lasting soils, the largest returns from the soils, the best
water in ample quantity — in fact, every possible condition to make country life ideal.
We have no stumps to remove, no swamps to drain, no mosquitos to exterminate, no
frost to destroy the crops, no industrial conditions to adjust — simply one large ideal
opportunity to enthuse the most skeptical — and the entire scheme can be finished and
in full operation with assured success in ten years.
ROBERT BRADFORD MARSHALL.