• Economic Alternatives in Solving the U. S.-Mexico Colorado River Water Salinity Problem (invited)

      Martin, William E.; Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station, the University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      A proposed desalting plant is an engineering solution to the effects of a problem which could have been avoided and even now could be reduced on the farm. Water costing $125 per acre-foot will be delivered to Mexico to grow wheat, cotton, garden crops, alfalfa and safflower, of which the average value added per acre-foot was estimated at $80 for cotton and garden crops and $14 for wheat, alfalfa and safflower. The U.S. government, instead of building the desalting complex, could accomplish its purpose just as well by paying each farmer in the Yuma area, in return for the farmers reducing their drainage flow by whatever method they see fit, $114 per acre per year for the next 50 years. With proper management on the farm, the costs of managing salinity need not be high.
    • Metropolitan Operated District for Sewage Effluent - Irrigation Water Exchange

      Cluff, C. Brent; DeCook, K. James; Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      A plan for the reuse of sewage effluent is proposed for the city of Tucson, Arizona. Several kinds of use would be possible, but utilization for irrigation of existing farmland in the Avra-Marana area seems particularly attractive for several reasons: (1) conveyance can be accomplished by gravity flow, (2) no tertiary treatment is required for the presently grown crops, (3) the nutrients in the effluent would be better used, and (4) effluent use would reduce the pumpage of high quality groundwater, conserving it for municipal or other uses. An exchange of wastewater for groundwater for use in the city system is seen as a good alternative to the present practice of the city purchasing farmland in Avra valley in order to acquire the groundwater for conveyance to the Tucson basin. Objectives to maximize the quantity and efficiency of wastewater use may not appear compatible with the profit maximization motive of the individual farmer, and suitable provisions will have to be written into wastewater sales agreements to assure coordination between user and supplier.
    • Salinity Control Planning in the Colorado River System (invited)

      Maletic, John T.; Water Quality Office, Engineering and Research Center, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colorado (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      In the lower reaches of the Colorado River, damages from the increase in salinity to U.S. water users are now estimated to be about 53 million dollars per year and will increase to about 124 million dollars per year by the year 2000 if no salinity control measures are taken. Physical, legal, economic, and institutional aspects of the salinity problem and proposed actions to mesh salinity control with a total water management plan for the basin are discussed. A scheme is presented for planning under the Colorado River water quality improvement program. Recent legislative action is also discussed which provides control plans to improve the water quality delivered to Mexico as well as upper basin water users. These efforts now under study will assure the continued, full utility of Colorado River water to U.S. users and Mexico. However, more extensive development of the basin's natural resources puts new emphasis on total resources management through improved water and land use planning to conserve a most precious western resource - water.
    • United States-Mexico Water Agreements and Related Water Use in Mexicali Valley: A Summary

      DeCook, K. J.; Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      A summary is given of interrelated, technical and institutional events concerning the Colorado River which took place between the United States and Mexico from 1849 to 1974 with emphasis on the 1961-1974 period. Until the treaty of 1944, Mexico had had no guarantee of a specific annual quantity of water, but in the years after 1945, when a guarantee of 1.5 million acre-feet per year was established, more than that amount was available for use. Salinity problems arose, and in 1965 an agreement for a 5-year plan for alleviating the technical and political difficulties surrounding the salinity question was made. In 1973 it was agreed that the United States would build, within approximately 5 years, a facility for desalting the saline drainage water entering Mexico. Fulfillment of the technical provisions for this agreement requires, in any event, the timely provision of federal funds to construct and operate the physical works. The several states should receive assurance that their rights and those of their respective water users will not be impaired within the legal operation of the agreement.