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Fifth—To ascertain whether there has been any change in the height of beds of the navigable rivers of the State, and if so, to determine as nearly as may be the extent of this change, and the cause or causes to which it is due, and whether change is now taking place in the height of the beds of the rivers, and if so, what legislation, if any, will be effectual in preventing the rise of the beds, or in diminishing the rate of rise.
Sixth-To ascertain the effect of any change in the bottom of the rivers, or the carrying capacity, and in the height of floods in the rivers. Irrigation investigations.
Seventh--To ascertain the position and acreage of all lands in the valleys of the State which are now, or may be in the future, in need of irrigation; to divide these lands into their natural districts; to ascertain the water source or sources from which each district may be most conveniently irrigated; to ascertain the quantity of water which these sources can supply in different years for irrigation; the length of time in each year during which these sources will supply sufficient water for irrigation; make studies of the best means for irrigating each district, and give his opinions and advice to such parties as may be engaged in irrigating a district, or who may be about to undertake the irrigation of a district; and for this advice no compensation shall be received from the parties to whom this advice is given. Debris inquiry.
Eighth--The State Engineer shall also inquire into the relation which hydraulic mining bears to the navigation of the rivers, and to their carrying capacity; to inquire into the question of the flow of debris from the mines into the watercourses of the State; to ascertain the amount and value of agricultural lands and improveinents which have been covered up or injured by the overflow or deposit of debris, coming from the hydraulic and other mines in the Sacramento Valley, and to devise a plan whereby the injuries caused thereby can be averted without interfering with the working of such mines. General Examinations.
Ninth-in addition to making these inquiries, the State Engineer shall make such other investigations as may appear to him to be necessary, and approved by the Governor, for the proper and complete solution of the problems stated in section three.
THE CHARACTER OF THE WORK.
The amount of work laid out for the State Engineer by this law is not to be appreciated, unless the foregoing instructions be carefully read and the subject be deliberately thought over, and even then, the difficulties and expense attending its accomplishment are only to be thoroughly understood by those who have a clear conception of the great extent and varied physical character of our State, and some knowledge of the methods of a physical survey.
By the enactment of these instructions, the State virtually ordered a physical survey of its territory. Indeed it is only upon the results of such an examination can any really valuable discussion of the problems it sought to throw light upon, be predicated ; and, further than this, it ordered a thorough examination=“a proper and complete solution"-of these problems.
In old settled countries, such as France, Italy, and Spain, where irrigation and drainage works have long been in existence, a perfect chaos of conflicting rights and interests, frequent failure in works of improvement, and deplorable unhealthfulness of localities, have resulted from the development of systems of works unguided by the information which such examinations would have afforded. And at this very time, these European States, each and every one of them, are prosecuting physical surveys of their great river basins, and wrestling with the problem of remodeling old and defective systeins of irrigation and drainage works and laws.
Could there be a more pointed illustration of the evils resulting from a lack of system in works, than that of the condition of the sewerage system in San Francisco at this time? Yet just this state of affairs could have been foretold by any well-read engineer, and was publicly depicted fifteen years ago. Nor is this illustration at
all foreign to the subject in hand. Tlie evil results of the unregulated appropriation and use of waters in irrigation are just as plainly to be foreseen now by any one who will dispassionately and without prejudice look into the subject, as have been those of the senseless management of the sewerage system of San Francisco, at any time in the past.
As to the definite uses to which the results of a physical survey should be put by the State, these have been heretofore reported, and will be again referred to in general terms at the close of this paper.
Nothing which I have said is to be taken as implying that the State should, in my opinion, undertake the construction of either reclamation or irrigation works. There is a wide difference between the provision of proper system and laws of government, and the construction of works for local improvement.
THE PROGRESS OF THE WORK.
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In accordance with the law organizing the State Engineer's Office, a progress report was made to the Legislature, under date of January 10, 1880, in which the nature and scope of the undertaking was outlined, and some of the partial results to date were embodied.
The Legislature, at tliis session, passed the "Act to Promote Drainage," popularly known as the "Debris Law," which, with the failure to make a special appropriation for the purpose, cut off all further investigation of the problems of drainage on the part of the State Engineer, and made him virtually engineer to such Boards of Directors as might be appointed to carry on the contemplated drainage works.
At this same session, however, the Legislature inade an appropriation for the continuation of the irrigation investigation. This particular work was thus carried forward during the succeeding year, and with means provided by the Board of Directors of the drainage district formed, the duties of the State Engineer, under the drainage law, were passed. Then a second progress report was made to the Legislature, under date of January 10, 1881.'
In deference to an expressed desire on the part of some individual members to deny further appropriations for the work in hand, it was subsequently represented to the members of the Legislature, at this session (1881), that with the sum of $50,000, should it be appropriated for the then next two years, the work of the department could be brought into such shape that it could, without detriment or material detraction from the value of the results, be closed up for publication over a portion of the State, and the remainder be allowed to rest until such time in the future as it might be deemed expedient to order its completion. At this session there was embodied in the general appropriation bill as passed, an item as follows: "For salary of the Secretary, and for completion of the State Engineer's report on the irrigation problems, and completion of the State map now in course of preparation by said State Engineer, twenty thousand dollars, which sum may be expended as follows: Fourteen thousand dollars in the thirty-third fiscal year, and six thousand dollars in the thirty-fourth fiscal year; provided, said report, map, and works shall be coinpleted during said fiscal year."
The wording of this item was substantially in accordance with the suggestion of the State Engineer to members of the committee in
which the bill was prepared, with the important exceptions—the result of changes or amendments made during the process of passagethat the amount of the appropriation was cut down from $50,000 to $20,000, and the entire State map was ordered completed. The State Engineer thereby received instructions which it has been impossible for him to fulfill. He could not accomplish with $20,000 a work which he estimated would cost $50,000, and he could not finish a map of the entire State when no data existed for its compilation in some quarters. The situation at present, therefore, is as follows:
The report spoken of, but without the cuts, diagrams, and maps to illustrate it, can be coinpleted and carried through the press during the present year, or within six inonths of the end of the term for which the insufficient appropriation was made, but it will take a further expenditure of $4,000 to do it.
The cuts and diagrams to illustrate this report, and without which very much of its value will be lost, can be prepared during that time at a further expense of $1,500.
The maps to which the report will refer, and which necessarily form a part of it, can be completed for publication during that time for a further sum of $2,500.
The general State map and atlas sheet maps of the State, which have been in course of preparation in this office for the past four years, and which have been carried forward as fast as reliable data could be collected for them, can be completed for publication within two years from the date hereof, or before the meeting of the next Legislature, at a further expense of $12,000.
I therefore recommend that the sum of $20,000 be appropriated for the completion of these works, according to the foregoing estimates, and that a sum sufficient to publish the report, cuts, and special maps accompanying it, as may be estimated by the Superintendent of State Printing, be embodied in the appropriation for State printing for the next year.
This action will close the work of investigation undertaken by this Department, dispose of its results, and leave only the actual publication of the State maps to be provided for at the next session of the Legislature.
The report will cover from one thousand to fifteen hundred pages printed in the ordinary official style, and there will be an atlas containing ten to fifteen maps besides a large number of explanatory cuts, diagrams, and illustrations to accompany it.
The State maps embrace, one general map of the State, on a scale of six miles in one inch, requiring a sheet about ten feet square, and twenty-five sectional maps on a scale of four miles in one inch upon atlas sheets, each about one and a half by two and a half feet in dimensions.
It will be seen that almost the entire appropriation recommended is to be devoted to mapping purposes, and an inspection of the maps and personal explanations thereof alone can make clear the special uses for which it is necessary to have the means asked for.
Suffice it to say here, that of twelve thousand dollars for the State maps, by far the greater portion is required to bring the information concerning Marin, Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte, Siskiyou, Shasta, Modoc, Lassen, Alpine, Mono, Inyo, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Diego, and San Bernardino Counties, up to a degree of fullness and reliability reasonably commensurate with that at hand for the remainder of the State.
THE WORK OF THE PAST TWO YEARS.
During the past two years but little field work has been attempted in the line of the irrigation investigation, and that only by way of closing up unfinished jobs of work in certain localities. A inore considerable item has been the collection of data for the general State maps. The office work has been chiefly in the line of mapping, compilation of statistics, and working out results from foriner observations, and the arrangement of authorities on irrigation and water right systeins. Within this time the State Engineer has been called upon for other duties than those relating to the main work in land.
In the Spring of 1881, at the request of his Excellency the Governor, and the Board of Trustees of the Yosemite Valley, I made a trip to the Valley and laid out and advised concerning certain State works there to be undertaken, and afterwards wrote a report on the subject of the general treatment of the Valley in the matter of its preservation and development, the whole duty occupying somewhat over a month of time.
In the Summer of 1881, under instructions from his Excellency the Governor, I took charge of an investigation of the method and work of construction of the San Francisco Seawall. Subsequently, at my request, two civil engineers were associated with me in this duty, the Governor selecting Mr. Calvin Brown of the Mare Island Navy Yard, and Prof. Frank Soule, Jr., of the State University. This work, performed at intervals between July, 1881, and February, 1882, occupied about two months of time.
The expenses incident to the Yosemite mountain trip and the visits to San Francisco on the Seawall investigation, were not made a charge upon the fund at the disposal of the State Engineer.
The State Engineer has also been called upon, under the provisions of the law, to regulate the bridging of navigable streams in the State, to perform the duties therein specified in connection with three bridges: that over the Sacramento River at Colusa, that over the Sacramento River at Chico Landing, and that over Big River, Mendocino County, near its mouth.
At the request of the State Capitol Commissioners, a plan of improvement for the Capitol Park has been designed and drawn, and the outlines thereof staked out upon the ground to guide the improveinents which have been made. Thus altogether, during the past two years, about four months of time has been devoted by me to State work' other than the official duty of the irrigation investigation.
THE STATE MAPS.
The State maps, heretofore generally described, were undertaken because it was absolutely necessary to have some uniform and reasonably correct and full information, in map form, of the valleys and watersheds of the State, as a basis upon which to consider the drainage and irrigation problems which the State Engineer was ordered to report upon, and no such maps were in existence. At the time this work was commenced, not more than half the counties in the State had county maps; a number of these were old
compilations, known to be radically defective and incomplete. They were not on uniform scales, and would not fit together. During this four years, a number of new county maps have come out, but although these are comparatively full and correct, there is a great want of uniformity of scale; faults of omission are often glaring, and errors in construction almost always plainly to be detected.
The general State map prepared by the topographers of the State Geological Survey, is on far too small a scale, is too indefinite and incomplete in its information for use in the work committed to the State Èngineer. The map of Central California, commenced under the same auspices, embraces but a small part of the territory to be worked upon, was not nearly finished, is incomplete and inaccurate in details as well as in more important respects, and the scale was still too small. In speaking thus of these maps it is not meant to disparage the ability or faithfulness of those who made them. Their work was largely compilation, and the information had not been acquired from which to work. Since the time when these compilations were inade, the land surveys of the General Government have been extended over almost the entire State, the geographical surveys of the General Government have been prosecuted in a large portion of its most unknown parts, and these with State, county, railroad, and private surveys, have made available the information from which a reasonably correct and full set of maps may now be produced.
Within the next two years the general land surveys will have been almost entirely completed in this State, and within the next year the last of a set of geographical sheets will be published, under the auspices of the Government War Department, which show the topography of the Sierra Nevada and Sierra Madre mountains almost uninterruptedly from the Oregon boundary to San Bernardino, and, for the most part, from original and distinct surveys. So that it is just at this juncture when the State maps can be brought out from the fresh and reasonably complete and accurate data.
But these data mentioned are in themselves by no means complete in many important respects, and are frequently conflicting; hence the means required to effect the end is not needed for draughting work alone.
These maps will serve as a foundation for all future physical examinations which the State may make. The agricultural work of the Professors of Agriculture, of the State University, and the inineralogical and geological work of the State Mineralogist, each demand such a foundation as they will afford.
The State should complete and publish them, and sell the copies at as low a valuation as consistent with the cost of publication.
In this connection, I call attention to the fact that, by the last location of the State boundary line southeastward from Lake Tahoe, a strip of territory from a half to three quarters of a mile in width, and for a length unknown, but presumably many miles, has been thrown into the State of Nevada from this State.
The law defining the boundary says that this line shall extend between two certain points in latitude and longitude. According to compilations of the Government land surveys, made under my direction, at the northern end this line strikes west of the point about one