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raj 7 


Irrigation of 

Twelve MilKon Acres in the 

Valley of California 

Col. Robert Bradford Marshall 


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- 
age basin. 

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. 



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: 



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, 
duties terminated. 

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 
National Parks. 

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- 
definitely). ' 

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. 

Member of: 

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 



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 
for water. 

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 



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- 
ings below. 


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 


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. 


(Map A) 

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. 


(Map B) 

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 
power plant 

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. 


(Map C) 

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 
into effect 

(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.