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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1904, Part I
([1904])

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. 1-128 PDF (50.3 MB)


Page 13

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
He made the following recommendations: 
That the whole matter of securing a permanent supply of water for the Indians
resident on the Sacaton Reservation be committed to the hydraulic engineers
of the 
division of hydrography of this Survey, the investigation to be conducted
along all 
lines which seem to offer a feasible outcome. 
The expenses of this investigation to be paid out of the current appropriation
for 
"determining the water supply of the United States, including the investigations
of 
underground currents, etc.," and supplemented by an allotment of $5,000
from the 
funds of the Indian Office, in this following the precedent established in
the case of 
the investigation of the water supply for the Southern Utes in Colorado and
also for 
the Uinta Utes in Utah. 
The engineers of the division of hydrography to be empowered to make a full
and 
thorough investigation, carried on through the season of drought, and to
prepare 
definite plans and estimates so that the whole matter can be taken up for
action by 
the Department or presented to Congress. 
In returning this report to the Department, November 24, 1900, the 
Office said: 
As admitted by the Director, investigation as to the water supply on the
Pima 
Reservation has been in progress for several years, having been specially
authorized 
by law, without any definite results. There does not appear to be any assurance
that further investigation along the lines suggested will produce any more
satisfac- 
tory results. 
On the other hand the plan proposed by Mr. Graves, who is a thoroughly skilled
engineer, at least so far as construction is concerned, is a "condition
and not a 
theory." To actually construct a ditch which will demonstrate whether
his plan is 
feasible or not will, aside from the cost of the machinery, probably be not
more than 
the sum asked by the Geological Survey for continued investigation, which
would 
only demonstrate what might be done, whereas if his plan results successfully
the 
Indians will be provided with a considerable quantity of water at once, and
a larger 
supply can be procured by the same means. If the result is unsatisfactory
Congress 
can then be asked to authorize further investigation along the lines suggested.
I am therefore of the opinion that an actual test is more economical and
promises 
better results than a mere investigation, even if the confident prediction
of Inspector 
Graves as to its success be not fully credited. I therefore adhere to the
recommenda- 
tion made in my report of Novermber 19, 1900. 
May 22, 1901, Oren B. Taft, president of the Casa Grande Valley 
Canal Company, proposed the purchase of that canal property by the 
Government as follows: 
This canal property, including a complete canal that has been carrying water
for 
over eight years continuously, together with the largest reservoir for storage
of water 
in the West, its franchise, and all its belongings, is for sale, and the
management 
proposes to dispose of it whenever an acceptable price can be obtained, and
it now 
openly offers the property to the Government and proposes to make a sale
of it, if it 
be possible. We are convinced that it is the cheapest and only practical
way of fur- 
nishing the Pima Indians and their reservation with water; that with its
purchase 
these Indians can be supplied within ninety days after the completion of
such purchase 
with a similar supply of water as is now and has been furnished to the settlers
along 
the canal for the last eight years. All sorts of propositions and projects
have been 
and will be suggested to the Government as a means of furnishing this water.
To the 
certain knowledge of the writer, this reservation has been dry for nearly
a month 
13 


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