Use and Abuse of Southwestern Rivers: Historic Man - The Spaniard
AuthorPolzer, Charles W.
AffiliationSouthwestern Mission Research Center, Tucson, Arizona
KeywordsWater resources development -- Arizona.
Hydrology -- Arizona.
Hydrology -- Southwestern states.
Water resources development -- Southwestern states.
Water resources development
MetadataShow full item record
RightsCopyright ©, where appropriate, is held by the author.
Collection InformationThis article is part of the Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest collections. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science and the University of Arizona Libraries. For more information about items in this collection, contact email@example.com.
PublisherArizona-Nevada Academy of Science
AbstractThe early Spanish explorers did not lean toward rivers and boats. Bred in the culture of an arid land, they naturally explored with horses or by foot, leaving boats and rafts to the English and French. No historical records reveal any Spanish desires or attempts to control river flow or harness desert water resources on any appreciable scale. Yet they transformed the Sonoran desert into a productive garden land never before achieved by indigenous peoples. Pueblos were built on river banks where alluvial fans could be easily irrigated. Small arroyo check dams diverted water into wells and town tanks, while larger diversion dams were built to draw water into canals for crop irrigation. The dams were designedly weak and efficient only to the point of diverting sufficient water for the pueblo. There is no concept of storing water in reservoirs or lakes for periods of scarcity, but only of tapping enough water during periods of excess flow. All surplus water was allowed to flow downstream for the use of others in their struggle for survival. In this way the Spanish achieved a balance between human needs and the limited resources of the desert. The records of the Mexicans and the Anglos have been much more exploitive and destructive.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Water Resource Alternatives for Power Generation in ArizonaSmith, Stephen E.; DeCook, K. James; Fazzolare, Rocco A.; Nuclear Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson; Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)An examination of potential water sources for power plant cooling in Arizona is presented along with information pertinent to Arizona's future water needs relative to electrical usage growth. It has been projected that Arizona's peak electrical power demands in 1980 and 1990 will exceed that of 1970 by some 5000 megawatts and 16000 megawatts of electricity respectively. At present, the bulk of the electrical energy generated in the western states originates at hydroelectric installations. Utilization of nuclear reactors for power generation requires a larger amount of cooling water than is required for a comparable fossil-fueled plant. It is suggested that the utilization of reclaimed wastewater for cooling purposes is a viable and attractive alternative to groundwater pumpage from both economic and ecological standpoints. Savings arise from conservation of fuel normally required for well pumps, costs of well construction are not required, quantities of fresh water should be released for consumption by alternate users, and a previously unused resource would be effectively recycled.
A Rational Water Policy for Desert CitiesMatlock, W. G.; Agricultural Engineering, Soils, Water and Engineering Department, University of Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)Four sources of water supply for desert cities are rainfall, runoff, groundwater, and imported water, and the potential use for each varies. The government can institute various policy changes to eliminate or reduce the imbalance between water supply and demand. Restrictions should be placed on water-use luxuries such as swimming pools, subdivision lakes, fountains, etc. Water pricing should be progressive; each unit of increased use above a reasonable minimum should be charged for at an increasing rate. Runoff from individual properties, homes, storage, and supermarkets should be minimized through the use of onsite recharge wells, and various collection methods should be initiated. A campaign to acquaint the general public with a new water policy must be inaugurated.
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.