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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the years 1921-1932
([1921-1932])

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ended June 2, 1921,   pp. [1]-69 ff. PDF (26.8 MB)


Page 21

COMMISSIONER OF .INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
1921, that construction of the dam be undertaken by "force account,"
under the immediate supervision of Assistant Chief Engineer C. R. 
Olberg, of the Irrigation Service, this bureau. 
Actual work on the construction of the dam was begun in Feb- 
ruary, and while many adverse conditions were encountered, nev- 
ertheless the work has progressed very rapidly, and on June 23 En- 
gineer Olberg wired that the main slab under existing conditions, 
would probably be completed by July 4. Upon its completion the 
bulk of the work is over and the danger of any damage resulting 
from unexpected floods passed. This dam will be of material benefit 
to both the Indians and whites in that part of the State of Arizona. 
The appropriation act for the fiscal year 1922 provided $150,000 
for the construction of a diversion dam across the Big Horn River, 
Crow Indian Reservation, Mont. Due to the extreme drought, im- 
mediate work on the dam was imperative if the crops for this sea- 
son were to be furnished water. To meet the exigency a joint reso- 
lution making the money for this purpose immediately available 
was approved by the Congress on May 6, 1921. Work was there- 
after promptly begun on the dam, and the crops in the aggregate of 
three-fourths of a million of dollars have been saved. 
Considerable concern has been manifested by several outside par- 
ties of the State of Idaho interested in effecting an arrangement for 
the enlargement of the Fort Hall irrigation project to include cer- 
tain lands in white ownership. 
The impression seems to prevail among many people that there is. 
much more water available than is necessary for the Fort Hall proj- 
ect as now constituted. Information of the office indicates that the 
total acreage that can be served by the present project when it is re- 
paired and partially reconstructed is about 54,000 acres. The pres- 
ent supply of water is sufficient to irrigate in addition thereto about 
16,000 acres. 
It is the desire to cooperate with these interests where coopera- 
tion is possible, to the end that every drop of available water be 
used upon the lands susceptible to economic irrigation. Supervis- 
ing Engineer Dietz was therefore instructed to cooperate with the 
State engineer of Idaho in obtaining data to enable a thorough 
study of this matter for the purpose of determining some feasible 
plan which will work justice to all concerned. 
There are several methods of securing water for irrigation pur- 
poses, such as damming rivers, pumping from underground reser- 
voirs, or impounding flood waters. The first has been longest used 
and is the most general. Pumping ivater has been resorted to-with 
satisfactory results and in some localities is the best if not the only 
means of supply. This is particularly true in the Navajo country 
where water is especially scarce. During the past year a great num- 
ber of wells have been driven which have proven satisfactory and 
have been the means of adding considerable area to the grazing 
range. 
ALLOTMENTS. 
The allotment work on the Gila River Reservation in Arizona was 
completed and schedules containing 4,869 selections of irrigable and 
nonirrigable land, embracing approximately 96,000 acres, were ap- 
proved. These allotments consist of 10 acres of irrigable land ani 
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