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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 10

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS* 
suggestion for the relief of the Indians, except the construction of a 
reservoir, which was considered wholly impracticable on account of 
the great expense involved. 
December 27, 1894, this Office again gave to the Department a his- 
tory of the case and suggested that an expert from the Geological 
Survey be detailed to make experiments and prepare himself as a wit- 
ness in the suit which the Department of Justice had been asked to 
institute. 
The same letter stated that the director of the Arizona Agricultural 
College had informed this Office that underlying a considerable portion 
of the Pima Reservation, at a depth of from 25 to 100 feet, there was 
an inexhaustible supply of water, in fact an underground stream, and 
that it had been demonstrated, in a small way, that this water supply 
might be raised by steam pumps and profitably used for irrigating farm 
crops. It was suggested that possibly an expert of the Geological 
Survey might find this plan feasible, or at least be able to suggest 
some other method of supplying the Pima Indians with water. 
May 11, 1895, this Office submitted to the Department a report from 
Agent J. Roe Young that the supply of water allowed to pass by 
the Florence and other canal companies and owners of irrigating ditches 
and reservoirs on the upper river was entirely exhausted, except at 
points where the sunken waters of the river were forced to the surface 
by a natural dam; that the Indians had therefore failed to raise a 
crop and were destitute, and he suggested three alternative methods of 
securing a water supply. The report was referred to the Department 
with the recommendation that if it was found inexpedient to have the 
proposed investigation made by an expert of the Geological Survey, 
the agent be authorized to employ a competent engineer to make a 
thorough examination. September 6, 1895, the Department returned 
Agent Young's report with a report by the Geological-Survey which 
stated that there was not then sufficient information to justify the 
making of recommendations as to the'best methods of supplying the 
Gila River Reservation with water, and that the questions arising were 
not simply those of engineering, but demanded a broad comprehension 
of the underground structure and the behavior of water as influenced 
by geological conditions. 
October 7, 1895, this Office recommended that the sum of $3,500 be 
set aside for the expense of an investigation by the Geological Survey, 
and Mr. Arthur P. Davis, hydrographer, was detailed November 25, 
1895, to make the investigation. June 16, 1896, the Department, in 
accordance with the recommendation of this Office, set aside the sum 
of $900 for continuing the investigation during the fiscal year 1897. 
November 10, 1896, Mr. Davis submitted his report to the Geolog- 
ical Survey, which may be found in Senate Document No. 27, Fifty- 
fourth Congress, second session. He indicated three possible methods 
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