• Constraints on Water Development by the Appropriation Doctrine (invited)

      Lorah, William L.; Wright Water Engineers, Inc. (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      The doctrine of prior appropriation used in the arid western states has encouraged rapid exploitation of our natural water resources. Those who beneficially used the water first, regardless of type of use or efficiency, obtained a perpetual right to always be first. As frontiers for exploiting our natural resources shrink, the Appropriation Doctrine is changing under the stresses of the 1970's. Our water allocations system is changing as new water -use priorities emerge along with changing quality standards. Government at all levels, along with planners and engineers, must understand the institutional and legal constraints put on water development by our historic water rights system so that intelligent decisions can be made in developing and maintaining our natural water resources.
    • 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.