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tion as an aid to the farmer, is seen in the Tho subject of irrigation, it may well be fact that whereas but a few years since the olaimed, is the most important cousiderä. Irrigated area was confined to a comparation effecting the welfare of the State as a

tively limited locality in the southern wholo which has ever confronted the peo part of the State, irrigation enterprises ple of California. It will be conceded are now either. in full operation or are without question that it is in the develop being actively promoted all the way from ment of her agricultural and horticultural Mexico 1o the Oregon boundary line. possibilities that the greatest and most Many localities which in the past most permanent sources of wealth and pros. persistently maintained that irrigation perity in this state are to be found. was not needed have fallen into iine, and Whilo it is true that many branches of

are now prominent in the movement, the industries mentioned have been suc

whicb will not

until every cessfully pursued in various localities

of arid land sball have without the aid of irrigation, yet it must been

provided with the mcans for be conceded that development on those making it productive. All the way from lines has nearly is not quite reached the San Diego to Shasta comes the note of the utmost extent of which it is capable. inauguration of enterprises by which arid Further progress to any considerable ex

lands are to be reclaimed through the aid rent must depend in great measure upon of waters led captive, and fertile lands to the facility with which land and water may be made even more productive through be brought into the closest relationship. the sanie agency. Tho periodical sumFor many years it was considered a mark

ming up of the growth in population and of superiority for any particular locality to wealth of the State and Nation emphasizes be able to clain that "crops could bo grown with all the force of indisputable facts without irrigation.” Why this should and figures that the greater portion of have been so is one of those things that the advancement made in this State pasges understanding. When it is learned within the past decade has been almost that, through irrigation, the singlo great exclusively confined to thogo districts element of chance is eliminated from the where irrigation is practiced. As will be operations of the farmer, who is thereby shown in detail, the contrast between made independent of the freaks and

these localities and those where irrigation Idiosyncrasies of the weather and is en is unavailable, or where opportunities for abled to plow and plant in the absolute

19 doing have not been taken advantage certainty of harvesting, whether the rain- of, is simply startling. Without excepfall be light or heavy, one would naturally tion, wherever irrigation enterprises have suppose that such a boon would be re- been inaugurated, there has been a rapid garded as little loss than priceless. Cer: growth in both population and wealth. tainly if an Eastern farmer were asked Thousands of acres of hitherto worthless what was the greatest drawback under lands have been converted into orchards which he labored, he would assuredly re- and vineyards of phenomonal productiveply that it was the painfui irregularity of Cities and towns have sprung up in the rainfall, through which bis fields were

an almost magical manner, railroads llable to be tooded at one time or burned have been built in every direction, and up at another, and were he to be assured

wealth has multiplied by tens of mil. that an easily found remedy existed there. I lions. for he would go to any extent to avail

On the other hand, with few excoptions, bimself thereof.

the unirrigated sections have either stood These facts are coming to be botter an- still or have actually retrograded. Popuderstood all the time, and it has gradually 'lation has in many cases fallen off, wealth como about that irrigation, instead ol has decreased and a general era of stagbeing regarded as a process to be avoided, nation has set in. The old cry of the If possible, and only made use of when lack of necessity for irrigation has lost its driven to by necessity, is now welcomed as force. It is true it is still sometimes a means of escape from bondage, and one heard, but the question need no longer of the greatest boons that was ever de. be discussed. It is sufficient to point to vised for tho benefit of the tillers of the the undeniable records showing the comsoil.

parative progress of irrigated and unirriThe remarkable advance that has been gated sections. In the face of those made in the popular confidence in irriga- records the most ardent anti-irrigationist

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must hold his penca. "He is not left with

tion of a monopoly in water, by which the an argument which is not completely

owners of land needing irrigation were at answered beforehand.

the mercy of corporations who had the Iru portant as irrigation is, however, and

power to increase the rates demanded at great as has been the progress made dur

their own will. Obliged to have the water ing the last decado, a critical point has

or see his growing crops perish from now been reached. Difficulties have

drought, the farmer found himself in a arisen which require to be surmounted if

most unpleasant situation, and a very any great degree of further development little experience showed the necessity of is to be expected. From a merely local or

so complete a wedding of land and water individual question irrigation has become

that the one should control the other, | a subject of national importance. It is

and there should be no diversity of inuseless, however, to look to the general

terest. Government for assistance in this matter,

Then, too, all the easily available soarces and hence the difficulties must be met and conquered at home, or at least within the

of supply were utilized, while there still boundaries of this State.

remained many millions of acres of land What those

desiring and needing irrigation. To prodifficulties are and how it is proposed to

vide such lands with water involved the meet them it is the task of the CHRONICLE

expenditure of vast sums, far beyond to show, and they will be briefly outlined

what private capital could be induced to here,

investe Storage reservoirs were secr to be The first systems of irrigation made uso

a necessity, while the construction of exof in California were of the crudest char

pensive systems of canals was needed to acter. A single settier near some source

cover the vast area of arid lands that of supply built a small canal and diverted

could only be made productive through the water upon his own land. Sometimes

the aid of irrigatiou. a dozen or more neighboring farmers

Various suggestions were made to meet joined in a sort of co-operative plan and

the emergency, and finally from the necesconstructed and maintained the canal toFether. Only the most readily and cheaply tion of opinion upon the subject arose the

sities of the situation and the crystallizaobtainable water was utilized. No expen

passage of the measure known as the sive work was done on the canals, there

Wright Irrigation law. As amended that being rarely any outlay beyond the personal services of the irrigators them

law is given herewith, being the founda

tion upon which there is certain to be a selves. Many such systems were constructed without the expenditure of a dol- growih through irrigation development lar in money. This plan lasted very well which shall throw into the shade all that

has been accomplished heretofore. That so long as irrigation was practiced on but

law has stood the tests of the courts, bas a small scale and population remained sparse. But as time went on the land be

been pronounced constitutional by recame occupied by thousands who desired peated decisions, and is regarded wher

ever irrigation is a necessity as an epiwater for irrigation. Individual enter

tome of the best knowledge upon the subprise and capital were unequal to the task

ject. of supplying this demand, and hence

This law provides for a district system brose the stock company for the construction of irrigation works. Canals were

of organization, by which the people in built costing hundreds of thousands of any given section, the lands of which

are irrigable from a common source, dollars, and water was diverted from every available source. Under this sys.

may form an irrigation district simiiem many of the most prosperous settle. lar to all intents and purposes to

a municipal corporation -- a city or ments in the State were founded, and

county. Having determined upon the millions of dollars were invested, which

source of supply and the most feasible bore fruit in the rapid increase of popula- munner of constructing tho necessary tion and wealth. As time went on, howover, it became works, estimates are made of the cost oz

such works and the people interested are apparent that, valuable as this method of irrigation development had proved, it pos- cost. These bonds are a first lien upon

empowered to vote bonds to defray that sessed features which were of an objec- all the property in the district to be benetionable character. It tonded to the crea

fited, and the payment of interest thereon

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