Report of the Special Committee of the United States Senate on the Irrigation and Reclamation of Arid Lands.
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General features of Arizona.-No portion of the Union probably presents such favorable conditions for the artificial catchment of water for agricultural and other purposes as does Arizona. In its great area, nearly double that of the six New England states, are presented physical features peculiarly adapted to the construction and maintenance of an immense system of irrigation based on the storage of water by artificial reservoirs, and the supply of which it will be the endeavor of the writer to show is abundantly provided for by rain-fall.
Were it possible to obtain a birds-eye view of the Territory, the observer would see spread out before him an area equaling Italy in size, consisting of a series of mountainous plateaus, ranging in height from 7,000 feet in the northern part of the Territory, to a few hundred feet in the southwestern portion. Of these plateaus those of the north will be found interspersed with the mountain chains and deep cañons. In some places volcanic cones rise over 5,000 feet above the plateaus, while cañon gorges are cut deep below. To these characteristics the plateaus of the southwestern portion of Arizona present strong contrasts, consisting as they so of level valleys, mesa or table lands, gradually sloping off towards the Gulf of California. Some of these are basins of what have been, at comparatively recent periods, immense inland seas. In places the loss of altitude is so rapid that immense cañons have been cut by erosion through the mountain chains and plateaus, and immense basins have been formed along the water-sheds of all the permanent streams.
These cañons and basins are of great depth and area, and present unrivaled facilities for the construction of a system of artificial reservoirs similar to that established by the British Government in India, where the Himalayas present much the same characteristic features. The streams, which in the north flow through cañons whose precipitous sides tower thousands, of feet above the surface of the water, as they reach the southern mesas roll sluggishly along, with barely sufficient fall to prevent their sinking in the sand.
The areas of these land in Arizona are variously estimated from 6,000,000 to 10,000,000 acres, or an area surpassing all of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, or Belgium, and nearly equaling Switzerland. The vastness of these areas can scarcely be realized from the mere mention of the figures, but their extent can be appreciated when it is remembered that the entire area of such land susceptible of reclamation of the Rhone in southern France is less that 400,000 acres; Spain does not equal this, while the famous Deltaic provinces of lower Egypt possess but about three times this area, and India, the oldest settled of all lands, has but about five times as much as France under cultivation through irrigation.
Irrigation and water storage in Arizona.-The almost level and uniform surface of these lands in Arizona makes this reclamation by diversion of water upon them easy when the water is obtainable, Many streams are now used for irrigation by diverting the water canals. The lands thus reclaimed are close along the banks of streams, where the diversion is accomplished by gravity. So profile and various are the productions of the land already reclaimed that canals and ditches have increased so as to go far to exhaust the available permanent flowing streams. This is especially observed when the stage of supplying streams is at the minimum, occurring during years of scanty rain-fall.
The utilization of water for arable land has forced in some places an approach to the exhaustion of the water supply that can be depended upon during years of extreme drought, at least gone far to alarm the rights held by prior appropriators. Above the existing canals is more land, and in some localities vast quantities, that only want the water brought upon it. This conducting of water to higher levels involves in most cases the necessity of either very long canals, because taken from a point higher up the stream, or storage dams by which a higher level for the exercise of gravity is obtained without increasing the length of canal. We thus see that an increase of the amount of water by storage projects in favored by two considerations: First, tow widen the area of land possible to be reclaimed; and, second, to secure sufficient water during seasons of drought. Such storage being necessary to the general welfare, the question of the practicability of impounding water naturally arises.
The solution of this question is found primarily in an accurate determination of the depth of the annual rain-fall, with both the maximum and the minimum that may be expected in the district under consideration; also any peculiarities of its distribution.
This preliminary investigation is obviously that of the meteorologist and belongs to the signal service, a task it has long been engaged in, and an evidence of its activity will perhaps become apparent from the array of data in this Territory, the last in which savagery has been subjugated. Having reliable data upon the above points, the next subject of investigation is, what amount of waterflow becomes available, due allowance being made for evaporation, the selection of reservoir sites, and proportioning their size to the area of the catchment basin after a study of the drainage area in every particular. These latter questions are for the engineer.
The presentation of this paper and data will, it is hoped, go far to show that the meteorologist has been and is performing his functions, and that the engineering questions, it is believed, are ready to be actively entered upon.
Annual precipitation in Arizona.-The chart presenting the average annual precipitation embraces all stations in Arizona and includes a few outside near the boundary line and headwaters of the Gila in New Mexico. The average annual depth of rail-fall is found by taking the aggregate of the monthly averages, which latter are derived by adding the records of each month and dividing by the number of months of the same name taken.
Rising into the more elevated districts of the eastern half, central, and northern parts, characterized as plateau and mountainous, the annual average ranges from 10 to 20 inches, and at a point just over the line in Utah is over 36 inches, and at the headwaters of the Gila 33 inches. It is proper to note in considering these averages that the points of observation are not on the tops of the mountains, nor even high on the slopes, but in most cases in valleys or cañons.
It is no uncommon site to observe heavy rains in the mountains, or at the summits of ridges, while down their steep slopes flow great volumes of water, although at the spot where the gauge is located frequently not a sprinkle would fall. It is for this reason the data represents perhaps the least approximate quantity of actual precipitation.
The distribution of the rain-fall throughout the year is peculiar, there being distinctly two rainy seasons-one in the winter, the other in the summer. these dual wet seasons are very advantageous in renewing the supply to the streams in close succession. this peculiarity of Arizona rain-fall is particularly favorable in contrast to districts where these occurs a single rainy season, and balances largely any deficiency in quantity. Much of the precipitation occurs in the high plateau and mountain districts in the from of snow, which continues to lie on the northern slopes till late in the spring, while upon the higher mountains it does not disappear till late in June.
It is a noteworthy feature of the climatology of Arizona that with the disappearance of the last snows upon the mountain summits commences the summer rains. This fact affords quite a sure means of forecasting the beginning of the summer showers, which can be turned to advantage in husbanding, if necessary, water accumulated in storage reservoirs. It appears that the winter precipitation, though no so great, nor as sure to be relied upon as that of summer, has been observed never to fail to flood the streams each year, and besides its influence is prolonged in the melting of the snow.
The general character of the surface where the rain occurs being steep, rocky, and without thick forest growth, conduces to pass the greater portion of the water that falls down into the valleys at once. Especially is this true of the mountain sides where we have every reason to believe the fall of rain is quite great. At the summits, the rains of summer are of almost daily occurrence, and generally in the afternoons, often extending into the night.
The precipitation of midsummer is quite local in character, while that of winter is more uniform over the face of the country, irrespective of topographical features. One is caused by mountain influences, the other by the proximity of approach of great storms, in low pressure areas, that pass over the country.
The amount of rain-fall as a general rule, as instanced in the Atlantic States, is greatest in those districts that are situated toward the point from which the prevailing wind blows. The contrary, however, of this phenomena is found in Arizona and in the neighborhood of mountain ranges. The prevailing wind over Arizona is southwesterly, and it is on the leeward side of ranges that the greatest pluvial effort is often found. Striking local instances may be observes in the records presented, when studied in connection with the location and topography. The record at Goodwin and Fort Thomas is a very noteworthy local instance, the former being under the flow of the wind from off Mount Trunbull.
The winter and summer rainy seasons.-The winter rains and snows generally occur within the months of December, January and February. Sometimes they begin in November and rarely extend into March. The averages presented in the charts and in the table for these three months show quite well, however the amounts that may be depended upon. The winter precipitation is largely in the form of snow, especially over the mountains and plateaus, and much remains unmelted till late in June, especially that falling on the north side of the higher mountain slopes. For this reason the ill effects of the nearly rainless period intervening between the end of the winter and the beginning of the summer rains is largely compensated by the melting snows which feed the streams.
The line of demarkation between the end of the summer and commencement of the winter rains is not so well defined. The summer rains, as above intimated, seen to begin as the snow disappears from the highest mountains, and continue during most of July, August, and September. Arizona is perhaps favored in having no mountains with summits above the perpetual snow line. To this absence the writer attributes the cause, at least a partial one, of the summer rains in Arizona. If the tops of the highest of the Serria Nevada and Cascade Mountains could be cut off at their perpetual snow line, it is believed that there, too, the summer rains would prevail.
Contrasting Arizona with the Pacific coast States, if she has not so great an amount of rain-fall it comes differently distributed, and experience may prove the dual rainy seasons of Arizona have not unequal advantages with the single but greater one of those States.
The discussion of the cause of these different phenomena was touched upon in "Rain-fall of the Pacific Slope and the Western States and Territories," published by the United States Senate in a letter transmitted by General A. W. Greely, Chief Signal Officer and it repetition in this paper would perhaps be out of place.
The total amount of the summer rains is considerably in excess of that of winter, but comes in almost daily showers. It is rare that they occur as general rains over the whole face of the country, but instances are not lacking when the rain has fallen in down-pours and occasionally the term cloud-burst is not inappropriately descriptive. On the other hand, the winter precipitation is heavy and general while it lasts. It comes like that of the Pacific States, with storms conventionally known as cyclonic or low barometric areas, and the intervals between their occurrence are likewise characterized as cloudless. The variability of the winter rains in Arizona is about the same as that of the seasonal rains in California, that is in quantity and frequency, in ratio to the intensity and recurrence of barometric disturbances. the effect of the rain-fall is obviously of an intermittent character. High and low water occurs in the streams during the rainy seasons, and during the periods of drought some streams become feeble rills or disappear altogether, except over some places where a solid rock stratum brings it to view. This disappearance of the streams is due to the great quantity of detritus, sand, and silt that has washed into the beds of the streams, on the account of the sudden down-pours, and the steepness of the mountain sides.
This feature has given Arizona a reputation for drought and sterility largely undeserved. These conditions resulting in intermittent and for part of the year underground streams, with large volumes in winter, show the need of storage reservoirs to conserve the supply.
The most casual observer of the streams in Arizona, during the winter is impressed with the fact that enough water pours down these rivers to water many times as much land as is possible of reclamation. These rises in the streams force us to repeat that the rain-gauge records show only a fraction of the actual precipitation that can be relied upon for water storage. It is during the summer only that the so-called cloud-bursts or down-pours of torrential rain occur. They are not frequent, however, but some are severe.
The maximum and minimum rain fall.-The greatest and the least depth of precipitation is given for each month and year in tabular form; also in the charts is shown the greatest and least annual rain-fall for such stations as have a record of at least two years, of long enough to warrant its presentation as an approximate type. The minimum amount for any year is a very important item, too, in the consideration of water-storage systems, as it determines the water expectations of the most scanty precipitation seasons. When these amounts are viewed on connection with the great drainage areas, steepness, and character of the slopes there appears little or no doubt but the fall in years of drought even is sufficient for the most extensive reservoirs. The maximum annual rain-fall needs little mentions, as it does not appear so great as to cause alarm. The greatest fall occurring within any number of consecutive hours, however, is more important, and the following table gives the aggregate number of excessive monthly, daily, and hourly rain-falls reported at regular stations of the Signal Service in Arizona during the periods of observation, and the average interval of their occurrence.
In the table above column 1 represents rain-falls of 10 inches or more a month; 2 rain falls of 2.50 inches or more a day; 3, average interval of occurrence; 4, rain falls of 1 inch or more an hour; 5, average interval of occurrence; 6, length of record.
Practical examples of water storage in Arizona.-Arizona has but two complete projects for water storage for purposes of irrigation; one is a small reservoir at Woodruff in the northern part of the Territory. The Mormons operate it with marked success, as the flourishing villages in that community exemplify.
A more important project for water storage is found at Walnut Grove, near Prescott. This latter reservoir was principally built to hydraulic the placer or gold gravel deposits on the Hassayampa Creek, several miles below the basin in which the water is impounded.
A careful estimate of the catchment basin of this reservoir shows it to be about 150 square miles. The few records of rain-fall within this area shows it to be much less than the recorded precipitation at Prescott, a few miles distant, where the least occurring during any year is 10 inches. The Walnut Grove reservoir is said to be capable of impounding 3,000,000,000 cubic feet of water. It is learned on good authority that this reservoir is full and was kept so during the scant rains of 1888. This actual exemplification shows the practicability of like storage systems on the Gila, Salt, Verde, and other streams, the only question apparently being the overcoming the abundance of water that sometimes occurs.
Proposed sites for surveys for storage reservoirs.-My own personal observations, supplemented by those of others, may not be inappropriate in this paper. During the past winter the writer, while on leave of absence, was engaged in surveys in southern Arizona, and examined especially the region about Florence, of which, through kindness of Dr. J. M. Hurley, is presented a map with observations showing perhaps one of the most favorable spots in the country for water storage. The water-shed of the Gila River may be divided into two sections, the upper and the lower, the upper section extending from its source in the mountains of New Mexico, where the rain-fall, as shown by the tables, is phenomenally great, westward down its course to what is known as the Buttes, just above Florence, and a place where the mountains come together. At this point the bluffs are precipitous and the river flows through a narrow gorge not over 200 feet wide at the bottom. The lower Gila River extends from the Buttes down its course, and in a general westerly course for near 200 miles, to its confluence with the Colorado River at Yuma.
The topography, geography, geology, and products of these two divisions are very dissimilar in many respects. A large portion of the upper Gila water-shed is very mountainous, the elevation varying from 2,000 to 10,000 feet. Some places show distinct traces of volcanic origin, the surface of the country being badly broken up. The soil is rich, consisting of decomposed granite, volcanic matter, and vegetable decomposition. Much of the more elevated portion is covered with a thick growth of timber, varying with the altitude from mere brush to the most gigantic pines on the mountains. In this section there are abundant rains, being heavy, as shown by the chart, during the summer, and considerable snow in the winter. Farming in some places may, indeed be carried on without the aid of irrigation.
The rain-fall data presented in this water-shed is perhaps surprising. It is, too, no unusual thing to see snow from 3 to 7 feet deep on a level on the mountains. the lower section of the Gila Valley consists of vast plains interspersed with small mountains mostly of volcanic origin. The elevation of these plains varied from about 150, feet, near the Colorado River, to about 2,000 feet, at the Buttes near Florence. The soil of these plains consists of red clay, sand, and decomposed granite, with vegetable matter washed from the mountains, it being perhaps the original bed of the ocean, that once covered this country. These plains are dry and barren, being covered sparsely with cacti, sage, brush, and similar growth. In this section of the Gila Valley all crops are grown by the aid of irrigation. In extent this vast plain embraces thousands of acres, while the water supply as compared to the amount of land susceptible of cultivation is very limited, and unless ways and means are devised to store and save the immense floods of water from the upper Gila section that semi-annually run to waste in the Gulf of California, there will be but a limited portion of these vast plains, of as good land as anywhere exists, ever brought under cultivation.
The canals taken from the Gila in the vicinity of Florence cover about 300,000 acres of land, including 50,000 acres on the Pima Indian Reservation. These canals nearly exhaust the water at ordinary stage, although they furnish a superabundance of water in the spring of the year in crop season, and also when the summer rains comes early in the upper Gila, to make a second crop; but there occur usually two short periods in each year when there is a scarcity of water in all the lower valley, say, from three to six weeks in June and July and again about the same length of time in November and December; especially during the latter period is the amount needed usually limited.
When the water in the upper Gila gets low, immediately after it passes through the gorge at the Buttes, where the bed-rock comes to the surface, it largely disappears in the gravel bed that underlies the plains in the lower valley. Canals that are taken out immediately below the Buttes have a steady and consistent supply of water, while those lower down get none in low water, except at a few places where the bed-rock comes to the surface. Notwithstanding this the entire volume of the river might be turned down to the lower sections if it were possible to raise the level of the water sufficiently through the agency of a reservoir. The many thousands of acres of the most valuable land in these lower plains before noted can be successfully brought under cultivation at a comparatively small cost to each acre by constructing a dam in the Gila River at the place above mentioned at the Buttes, some 10 miles above Florence.
A dam constructed there would store a sufficient quantity of water when the river is flush in the two rainy seasons to insure a steady flow of water in all the canals now in use in this valley, and allow a sufficient surplus of water to guaranty the construction of another canal to be taken out of the river at the Buttes of the south side of the river. The capacity of this canal can be as great as all other canals, and would water some of the finest land ever looked upon. This statement may seem an extravagant one, but upon examination of the accompanying map, showing the topography of the country above Florence, at and above the Buttes, it is readily seen that an enormous basin of water can be formed by constructing a dam at that place. It appears that a dam 150 feet high will back the water about 20 miles, giving probably an average depth of some 75 feet for the entire distance. The cañon of the river immediately above the Buttes widens out, and at a distance of one-fourth of a mile it is as much as one-half mile wide on the bottom, and much of the entire distance it is a mile or more wide. The sides of the mountain surrounding this basin are broken by side or lateral cañons that add greatly to the capacity of the basin. The conception of the capacity of such a reservoir can only be appreciated by the engineer and study of such spaces. No cross-sections of this basin have ever been made, as far as known, to calculate the vast volume of the basin, but the above statement it is believed is not overdrawn, and that an accurate survey will increase this estimate. There can be no doubt of the water supply being sufficient to fill this vast reservoir when a dam is once constructed, as a glance at the rain-fall data in the water-shed covering southwestern Arizona, a large part of western New Mexico and Sonora will prove. It is believed this water-shed will not only furnish water for this ideal reservoir, but will also supply many other reservoirs, smaller in capacity, that can be constructed at different places in the lower Gila River valley, and from which many thousands of acres of valuable land can be reclaimed.
The above facts seem to me so patent that it is respectfully urged that this place be investigated for early experiment and surveys in Arizona, under the Government, as there are few spots in the United States, and certainly few in Arizona, where so much can be accomplished with so small an expenditure of means. Indeed, to the person who has looked at the place with the object in view it appears as if nature had largely made this extraordinary place for the purpose.
A dam about 200 feet wide at the bottom and 100 feet high, though the height might be doubled, will, it is believed, accomplish the results heretofore outlines. At this place the best rock, almost in place, can be quarried for constructing the dam, and in the immediate vicinity good hydraulic lime can be burned, as is now done by the Mexicans for use by the cattle men for the purpose of constructing water tanks. With all these advantages, and many other not enumerated that will be found to exist when properly examined, the Government can not too early turn its attention to this extraordinary place, that it may be utilized while it is yet unencumbered by settlers or other claims, so that this, if the first experiment in the storage of water from large streams, may be a success beyond a question.
Some action in this direction by the Government is essential, as the work is of such magnitude that it defers private capital from undertaking it until prominent engineers have pronounced the proposition feasible beyond a doubt.
The Salt and Verde Rivers.-Having noted the advantages for the impounding of water on the Gila, it would perhaps be unjust to fail in mentioning the existence of quite similar facilities reputed to exist in the salt, or Salido, and the Verde Rivers. Of these the writer has made less investigation, and consequently speaks in a general way, having traversed each river nearly from their sources to their confluence, which is 40 miles northwest of the Buttes of the Gila. The Salt and Verde Rivers are the third and fourth largest streams in size in the extreme southwestern portion of the Union. These rivers after a tortuous course of hundreds of miles through deep cañons and natural basins, whose areas are measured by hundreds of miles, at their junction de-branch into a series of mesa lands, noted for their fertility and extent. Of these lands over a quarter of a million acres within the last few years have by the construction of irrigating ditches been rendered susceptible of raising every variety of semi-tropical fruits that have made California so justly famous, while villages and cities numbering some hundreds, and others thousands, of inhabitants have sprung into existence. That the amount of land that can be now cultivated is but a small moiety of what has been is proved by the fact that far outside the ditches, constructed by the white residents, are to be found the remains of prehistoric canals and acequias, which in places can be traced to miles.
These prehistoric works of irrigation were in their day probably rendered possible by the rivers mentioned occupying, in the vicinity of the military post of Fort McDowell, higher levels than they do at present, levels now made impracticable through the wearing away and lowering by natural causes of the river-beds. The above causes may have been aided by volcanic or seismic action; the evidence of the recent occurrence of the first is well shown by beds of lava-flow; into and across the canals of these prehistoric people, and evidences of earthquake changes abound on every hand. While these causes were lowering the levels of the streams, they were at the same time forming a system of over-drainage through and by which natural basins that were once the beds of lakes were provided with outlets that prevented the accumulation of any quantities of water. So excessive is this natural system of overdrainage that in the water-sheds of the Verde and Salt Rivers, the great magnitude of which an observant glance at any hypsometric map of these areas will reveal, there is not to found a single lake of any extent, although the evidences of the little comment. Some of these basins of the rivers mentioned equal in area some of the small States, and only need closing of the outlets created by the action of the streams to be recovered into immense lakes, whose catchment capacity would be such as to provide water sufficient to reclaim the millions of acres, which in southern Arizona slope gradually away to the southwest toward the Gulf of California.
How vast an amount of water under the present condition of affairs yearly finds its way without being utilized through the channels of these rivers to the sea may be realized when it is remembered that the average annual rain-fall on the water-shed if the Salt River is shown to be about 20 inches and that of the Verde ranging from 20 to 10 inches, Year after year sees the demand upon these streams for water for irrigation become more and more difficult to fill, not on account of scarcity of water so much as by reason of the waste that is permitted during the wet seasons.
The catchment to any considerable extent of the rain-fall annually occurring on the water-shed of the Gila, Salt, or Verde River would not only insure an abundance for all present requirements, but make possible the reclamation of a vast territory that otherwise will always remain desert.
3200. (Sec.2) All rights in acequinas, or irrigating canals, heretofore established shall not be disturbed, nor shall the course of such acequias be changed without the consent of the proprietors of such established rights.
3201. (Sec.3) All the inhabitants of this Territory who own or possess arable and irrigable lands shall have the right to construct public or private acequias, and obtain the necessary water for the same from any convenient river, creek, or stream of running water.
3202 (Sec.4) Whenever such public or private acequias shall necessarily run through the lands of any private individuals not benefited by said acequias, the damages resulting such private individuals, on the application of the party interested, shall be assessed by the probate judge of the proper county in a summary manner.
3203 (Sec.5) No inhabitant of this Territory shall have the right to erect any dam, or build a mill, or place any machinery, or open any sluice, or make any dyke, except such as are used for mining purposes or the reduction of metals, as provided for in sections 6 and 7 of this chapter, that may impede or obstruct the irrigation of any land or fields, as the right to irrigate the fields and arable lands shall be preferable to all others; and the justices of the peace of the respective precincts shall hear and determine the question relative to all such obstructions in a summary manner, and cause the removal of the same by order directed to the constable of the precincts or sheriff of the county, who shall proceed the execute the same without delay.
3304 (Sec.6) Where reduction works or other mining apparatus shall be placed upon lands previously held for agricultural purposes, or persons so holding such lands shall be entitled to remuneration from person or persons erecting or owning said reduction works or mining apparatus, the amount of remuneration shall be adjusted by three or five disinterested persons, or by the probate judge, as the parties interested shall agree; and in case such agreement can not be made, then the party injured may bring suit for damages.
3205 (Sec.7) When any ditch or acequia shall be taken out for agricultural purposes, the person or persons so taking out such ditch or acequia shall have the exclusive right to the water, or so much thereof as shall be necessary for said purposes; and if at any time the waters so required shall be taken for mining operations, the person or persons owning said water shall be entitled to damages to be assessed in the manner provided in section 6 of this chapter.
3206 (Sec.8) All by-paths of footpaths across any cultivated fields are prohibited, under penalty of a fine not to exceed $10 for the public acequia, to be assessed in a summary manner by the justice of the peace of the precinct; and if the person so offending shall not have wherewith to pay the fine, he shall be adjusted and sentenced to ten days on the public acequia.
3207 (Sec.9) All owners of arable and irrigable land bordering on, or irrigable by, any public acequia, shall labor on such public acequia, whether such owners or proprietors cultivate the land or not.
3208 (Sec.10) All persons interested in a public acequia, whether owners or lessees of land, shall labor thereon in proportion to the amount of land owned or held by them, and which may be irrigated or subject to irrigation.
3209 (Sec.11) It being impracticable to properly inclose the fields in this Territory, all animals shall be kept under a shepherd so that no injury may result to the fields; and if any damage should result, it shall be paid by the owners of the animals causing the same to be assessed by the justice of the peace of the precinct in a summary manner, and paid to the person or persons whose fields may have been damaged.
3210 (Sec.12) In case a community or people desire to construct an acequia in any part of this Territory, and the persons desiring to construct the same are the owners or proprietors of the land upon which they design constructing the said acequia, no one shall be bound to pay damages for such land, as all persons interested in the construction of the said acequia are to be benefited thereby.
3211 (Sec.13) Immediately after the publication of this chapter, it shall be the duty of the several justices of the peace in this Territory to call together, in their respective precincts, all the owners and proprietors of land, irrigated by any public acequia for the corresponding year.
3212 (Sec.14) The manner of conducting such elections, and the number of overseers, shall be regulated by the justices of the peace of their respective precincts; and the only persons entitled to vote at said elections shall be the owners and proprietors of lands irrigated by said acequias.
3214 (Sec.16) It shall be the duty of the overseers to superintend the opening, excavations and repairs of said acequias; to apportion the number of labors furnished by the owners, and proprietors; to regulate them according to the quantity of land to be irrigated by each one from said acequia, to distribute and apportion the water in proportion to the quantity to which each one is entitled according to the land cultivated by him; and, in making such apportionment, he shall take into consideration the nature of the seed sown or planted, the crops and plants cultivated; and to conduct and carry on such distribution with justice and impartiality.
3215 (Sec.17) During years when a scarcity of water shall exist, owners of fields shall have precedence of the water for irrigation, according to the dates of their respective titles or their occupation of the lands, either by themselves or their grantors. The oldest titles shall have precedence always.
3216 (Sec.18) It shall be the duty of each of the owners and proprietors to furnish the number of laborers required by the overseer, at the time and place he may designate, for the purposes mentioned in the forgoing section, and for the time he may deem necessary.
3217 (Sec.19) If any overseer of any public acequira after having undertaken to serve as such, shall willfully neglect or reduce to fulfill the duties required of him by this chapter, or conduct himself with impropriety or injustice in his office as overseer; or take any bribe in money, property or otherwise, as an inducement to act improperly; or neglect the duties of his office, he shall be fined for each of said offenses in a sum not exceeding $100 nor less than $50, to be recovered before any justice of the peace of the county - one-half of which shall be paid to the county, and the other half to the person bringing suit for the same, - the said suit to be brought in the name of the Territory of Arizona; and said overseer, on being convicted a second time, shall be removed from his office by the justice of the peace of the precinct, and shall take such pay and perquisites as may be due him for services rendered.
3218 (Sec.20) Upon such removal, the justice of the peace shall order a new election to fill the vacancy thereby occasioned, which shall be conducted in the manner prescribed in the thirteenth and fourteenth sections of this chapter.
3219 (Sec.21) If any owner or proprietor of land irrigated by such acequia shall neglect or refuse to furnish the number of laborers required by the overseer, as required in the eighteenth section of this chapter after having been duly notified by the overseer, he shall be fined for each offense in a sum not exceeding $10 for the benefit of said acequia, which shall be recovered by the overseer before any justice of the peace in the county, and in such cases, the overseer shall be a competent witness to prove the offense or any fact that may serve to constitute the same.
3220 (Sec.22) If any person shall in any manner interfere with, impede or obstruct any of said acequias, or use the water from it without the consent of the overseer, except as provided in section 7 of this chapter, during the time of cultivation, he shall pay for each offense a sum not exceeding $10, which shall be recoverable in the manner prescribed in the forgoing section for the benefit of said acequia; and he shall further pay all damages that may have accrued to the injured parties, and, if such person have not wherewith to pay said fine and damages, he shall be sentenced to fifteen days labor on said public acequia.
3221 (Sec.23) All fines and forfeitures received for the use and benefit of any public acequia, shall be applied by the overseers to the improvements, excavations and repairs which may be necessary on said acequia, and for the construction of bridges where they may be crossed by any public street or road.
3222 (Sec.24) In all cases of conviction under this chapter, an appeal shall be allowed to the probate court, which appeal shall be taken and conducted as all other appeals from the decisions of the justices of the peace.
3223 (Sec.25) The regulations of acequias, which have been worked according to the laws and customs of Sonora and the usage's of the people of Arizona, shall remain as they were made and used up to this day; and the provisions of this chapter shall be enforced and observed from the day of its publication.
3225 (Sec.27) Any person owning lands which may include a spring or stream of running water, or owning lands upon a river, where there is not population sufficient to form a public acequia, may construct a private acequia for his own uses, subject to his own regulations, provided it does not interfere with the rights of others.
[Note.-The foregoing chapter is compiled and taken from the Complied Laws, chapter LV, page 528. There was not legislation upon the subject by the fourteenth, legislature (1887), and this chapter remained unchanged.]
3227 (Sec.1) Any person, corporation or company, owning or using any ditch or canal constructed for the purpose of conveying water, shall construct and maintain suitable crossings wherever said ditch or canal crosses any public highway, or usually traveled road of this territory; said crossing shall be maintained as follows: From the bottom of the said ditch in the roadway there shall be a uniform rise of not more than 1 foot in 3 to the top of the embankment; either said the ditch shall be graveled or macadamized with stone to the depth of not less than 10 inches from the top of one embankment to the other, and the macadamized or paved road across any of said ditches shall not be less than 14 feet wide; provided, that any person or persons, corporation or company may at any of said crossings construct and build a good and substantial bridge to be approved of by the road overseers of the district.
3228 (Sec.2) The road overseer of each of the districts in the several counties in the Territory shall have supervision of said crossings, and it shall be his duty to see that the several ditch crossings in his district are constructed and maintained as provided in the preceding section.
3229 (Sec.3) For neglect or refusal of any person or persons, corporation or company, whose it shall be to construct or maintain such crossings as provided for in section 1, for the period of ten days after being notified in writing by the road overseer of the district in which any such crossing needs construction or repair that such construction or repair is required, such person, corporation, or company shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof before a justice of the peace of any such precincts, shall be fined not less than $10 or more than $100 for the first offense; and not less than $25 nor more than $250, and the costs of prosecution, for each subsequent offense; provided, that whenever such highway or road is constructed, after the construction of such ditch or canal, it shall be the duty of the road overseer of the district to construct and maintain such crossing at the expense of the road fund of the district, and if the same be a any time insufficient, the same shall be paid out of the general fund in the county treasury, to be chargeable to and thereafter collected from such road fund.
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