How irrigation impacted Yuma County
You are probably wondering what and where Yuma County is? What does Yuma County revolve around? What do you see almost everyday while driving around Yuma? Yuma County is a small city located at the bottom southwest region of Arizona, close to the Mexico border. Yuma County revolves mostly around crops, dams, canals and many other agricultural related sources. All of those resources revolve around agriculture and In order to have agriculture they needed a way to distribute water to the fields where the crops are growing. That's when irrigation systems and canals came into play. Irrigation has a major role in Yuma, Arizona. Yuma County started as a small city with a small amount of people. The establishment of the Yuma Auxiliary Project started the building of irrigation in Yuma County. Irrigation plays a huge role in Agriculture, which Yuma County is now known for. Irrigation changed Yuma County forever. Starting irrigation in Yuma County had its positive and negative effects on Yuma, the Laguna Dam and the Siphon played a large role in helping Yuma's irrigation systems begin.
How did the building of irrigation systems and canals begin in Yuma, Arizona? In order
to start building a irrigation system and canals in Yuma County, they needed land to start building on. The buyout of Wellton Mohawk irrigation and Drainage District was the first major step to starting irrigation in Yuma County. Land In Yuma County was bought by the United States and the Wellton Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District for sixtysix million dollars.1 They had two options after they purchased this land, they already had an idea of what they wanted to do with the land but did not know how the residents of Yuma County would be affected. The choice they had to make with the land they purchased was they could use the land for farming and irrigation but the people of Yuma County would have to move away, or no farming land and the residents do not have to move away. They soon came to an agreement of 1
Baldwin, Robert P. Economic impact on Yuma County of the shutdown of the shutdown of the Wellton Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District. 1976.
using the land for crop production and for a irrigation system. This project was estimated to produce thirtyseven million dollars in crop production.2 The buyout impacted approximately fivethousand residents from Yuma County, which had to move away in order for the people who bought the land to start the building process of irrigation systems and canals. The Yuma Auxiliary Project also played a large role in affecting the start of irrigation in Yuma County. It was the first federal project on the Colorado River. The purpose of the Yuma Auxiliary Project was to distribute water around Yuma, Arizona using the Colorado River. The Yuma Auxiliary Project was established by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.3 They created the Yuma Auxiliary Project to irrigate 68,000 acres of land in Yuma County.4"The Yuma Auxiliary's project office worked to furnish water to 2500 acres of land on the "B" Unit of the Mesa by April 1, 1922. Unit "B" eventually irrigated over 3,000 acres an Yuma Mesa"5. When the Yuma Auxiliary Project was completed it had consisted of eighteen miles of laterals and almost four miles of canals.6 This Project is the oldest project on the Colorado River still to this day. Canal diggers were trying to bring the deserts water into the canals instead of using the Colorado River, which ...
Bibliography: Stene, Eric A. Yuma Project and Yuma Auxiliary Project. N.p.: USBR Historic Reclamation Project
Bureau of Reclamation, 1996
Snook, Tammy and Doug Hendrix. Personal Interview. 2013
Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District. 1976
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