• 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.
    • 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.