THE STONY CREEK WATER WARS
Glenn County - Tehama County - Colusa County , California.
(c) 2009, Mike Barkley
Testimony by USA's expert S.T. Harding proving the Orland Project's diversion requirement.
[A re-transcription of the transcript on file in the Angle Archives
Important because it sets the Project requirement at 4.05 acre-feet per
irrigated acre at the point of diversion. From this testimony, all Project
The transcription was made first by optically scanning through Textbridge
software, and then cleaning it up. The public-use photocopier in the Court
Clerk's office is of such a poor quality that the first output from Textbridge
is nearly unusable and requires great effort to clean it up. I am pretty good
at it, but not perfect; I apologize for any errors I may have missed.
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IN THE NORTHERN DIVISION OF THE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA,
BEFORE: GEORGE E. McCUTCHEN, ESQ., SPECIAL MASTER IN CHANCERY
AT WILLOWS, CALIF.
The United States of America,
H.C. Angle, et al.,
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13th, 1923 - 10:00 A.M.
Oliver P. Morton, Esq., Special Assistant to the Attorney General, Los Angeles
For the United States
H.J. Hankins, Esq., of Messrs. Hankins & Hankins, San Francisco, Calif.
R.M. Rankin, Esq., Willows, Calif.
Duard F. Geis, Esq., Willows, Calif.
For their respective Defendants.
MR. MORTON: I will say for the record that the Government, as has been the
understanding all along, has had the intention of supplementing its proof in
chief with some odds and ends and also of supplementing it by way of the
introduction of some testimony as to the water requirements for the Orland
Project. It happens that the two gentlemen, consulting engineers, who will
be used in making a showing of irrigation practice and related
subjects can be here today and a part of tomorrow, and instead of completing
the supplemental proof in chief of the Government at this time, I thought it
best that we use Mr. Harding, both upon the proof in chief and what might be
termed possibly proof in rebuttal with reference to the water requirements
for the lands of the Defendants. In that way his testimony is more or less
related together and in that way it will be a completed whole and will be
more readily used in the record. So I will call Mr. Harding.
- - - - - -
a witness called and sworn in behalf of the United States, testified as
MR. MORTON: Q. Give your full name.
A. S.T. Harding
Q. Where do you live, Mr. Harding?
A. And your profession?
A. Civil Engineer.
Q. How long have you been engaged in the practice of your profession,
A. For the past 18 years.
Q. In this practice have you acquired s special knowledge of or have you paid
special attention to certain branches of engineering subjects?
A. My engineering experience has been largely in relation to irrigation and
particularly in relation to matters of irrigation practice.
Q. I wish you would list for the record, Mr. Harding somewhat in detail, first
your training as an engineer and, second, your experience, particularly
noting, please, your experience along the lines of irrigation practice and
A. I graduated in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1905.
Afler about two years general hydrographic work in the East, I came West and
have been engaged in irrigation work continuously since. For about two years
and a half from 1907 to 1909 I was engaged in general irrigation work,
largely construction, for the Reclamation Service on the Yakima Project in
Washington. I was then engaged for about a year and a half in general
irrigation work, construction, location and investigations in Utah and
California. In 1911 I became Irrigation Engineer with the U.S. Department
of Agiculture, in charge of their irrigations investigations in the State
of Montana, continuing in such charge until 1914. One season there was spent
in the general study of irrigation conditions and development in Montana and
two seasons in detailed experiments and investigations of use of water, in
which we made applications of varying quantities of water to different fields
selected, under actual farming conditions--that is, taking actual farm areas
and handling them either ourselves or measuring the results of operations of
their owners and comparing the results of qantities of water used and crop
yields. That work was located largely near Billings and continued through
the seasons of 1913 and 1914. During the seanson of 1912, I was in California,
engaged on the so-called Water Resources Investigations of the State
Conservation Commission, which brought me into general contact with the
irrigation development in the northern and central portions of this State,
their use of water, and factors of that kind. The season of 1915 I spent
largely on the Minnidoca [Minidoka] Project in Idaho, still in the employ
of the Federal Department of Agriculture, working out a system of adjustment
of their operation or rates in relation to the
water requirements of the soils. They have on that project soils which vary
from those of fairly heavy texture to those of very sandy nature and in their
application of the sysem of rates prescribed by the Extension Act of the
Reclamation Service they were having difficulties in developing a form of
rate which would not unduly penalize those having the more porous soils.
In the season of 1916 I was engaged on various work, mainly in California,
such as investigations in relation to damage suits on the Crocker-Hoffman
system near Merced, classifications of lands and other miscellaneous work.
In 1917 I was in the employ of the Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District, which
is the district of land owners in the Sunnnyside unit of the Yakima Project ,
in a study of their water requirements and the classification of their lands,
for use as a basis of their operation rates. I also began in that season a
study of the water requirements under the canals diverting from the Truckee
River, in the adjudication proceedings brought by the Reclamation Service
on that stream. That involved a soil survey and water classification of
some thirty thousand acres in the Truckee meadows and a study of their
irrigation practice and water requirements. In 1918 we continued our
studies on the Truckee River, including the taking of actual fields and
applying water under different conditions and that also included the
investigation of water requirements of the lands under that system in
connection with litigation that was then pending involving water rights
on that system. I also assisted in the operation and management of the
Sutter-Butte Canal during a portion of that season, and later was appointed
by the Food Administration to have supervision of the District of water
from the Feather River, in connection
with food products during the war. In 1919 I did further work on the Minnedoca
Project in connection with litigation that had arisen there or threatened
to arise between the land owners themselves, and continued the Truckee River
investigations as well as other general work. Beginning in 1920, and since
that time, I have been Consulting Engineer for the State Engineer of the State
of California, handling for his office certain investigations, which have
included a general study of the Kern River and its utilization and the
development of plans for a project which has just completed its organization
as the Kern River Water Storage District. That work involved the investigation
in some detail of the practice of the use of waters from that stream and in
the pumping of ground water. We examined the pumping plants in that country
in 1920 and secured data as to the amount of water used under different
conditions of farming operations and in that way made our estimate of use.
In 1920 I began a study which lasted for two years of the water resources of
Tulare County. We again made studies of their irrigation practice, water
requirements and water resources. In 1922 I had charge of an investigation
of ground water conditions and their use in the San Jacinto Basin in Southern
California for the State Division of Water Rights, and I also began, and
which is still continuing, an investigation for the State Engineer of the
proposed water storage district in the San Joaquin River, which included
nearly a million acres and involved the use of water both for pasture crops
and for general crops, under a wide variety of soil conditions and the
investigations of the San Joaquin River and other water storage districts
now before the State
Engineer are still under way. I am still engaged on those. Since 1914 I
have also been a member of the faculty of the University of California,
giving the course there in irrigation practice, operation and maintenance
and irrigation institutions. As to the work in connnection with the Orland
Project, I had visited the Project at various times and began the first actual
contact with the question of water requirements there in 1919 and continued
more or less in contact with those up to the present time.
Q. And, Mr. Harding, you also investigated, did you not, the water
requirements the lands [sic, syntax] along Stony Creek?
A. Yes, I have made an examination of those lands irrigated from diversions
above the Orland Project, as well as those on the Project.
Q. Referring now to the Orland Project and the water requirements therefor,
will you give in outline the results of your investigations in that regard.
A. The work which I have done on the Orland Project has consisted of an
examination of their records, which are more than usually complete, as to
the distribution and use of water, areas and nature of crops grown.
Q. Those are the official records that are kept from day to day and from
month to month upon the Project itself, are they?
A. Yes, they are. I have gone over those and I have gone over the lands in
a general way and have made use of the available soil surveys of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture and all records available in that connection.
Q. These are official records of governmental operations that you are
rererring to, are they not?
A. Yes, very largely. In discussing the water requirements of any project,
the result will depend to quite an extent on the nature of the crops which
may be grown on that project, and for the Orland Project I have considered
it on the basis of three features of crops--summer crops and orchards,
including of course with those the vines; the forage crops will be mainly
alfalfa, with some minor area of other types, and also a considerable area
of pasturage. The summer crops would be such crops as corn, grains and
crops of that kind--that is only crops grown during a portion of the
season. The orchards would include the the nuts, fruits and vines, including
the citrus that may be grown on that project. The present practice and the
nunber of irrigations and the depth of each application on the particular
soils were considered from the records and from discussions with those on the
project. Taking the records of the past as an indication of the tendency
and the probable future division of crops, it isnít necessary to forecast
the probable proportion of the area which will be crops of these three
characters, because the water requirement of them will differ and as the
full area of the project is not as yet irrigated, it isnít necessary to
forecase [pencil change to forecast] the probable division of the area
into those three crops when the full area has been developed, but taking the
records of the past as an indivision [pencil change to indication] of what
that division may be, I find there has been, as is usual with most such
projects, a tendency to irrigate a relatively high proportion of the forage
types of crops and that tendency still continues; that is, there has been
during recent years and is still over 60% of the land irrigated in the
forage types of crops,
Q. You refer there to alfalfa mainly, do you not?
A. Alfalfa is the dominating forage crop on that project, and that includes
both the alfalfa grown for hay and for pasture.
Q. You distinguish forage crops from annual grain or corn crops?
A. Yes, and also from orchard crops, because their water requirements in
general are considerably larger; that is, larger quantities of water are
needed for either summer crops or the orchards, so that the proportion of
the total area which may be in forage crops will affect the resulting total
water requirement. The summer crops are subject to more fluctuation in the
proportion of their area due to variable conditions of price from year to
year and matters of that character. Being annual crops, of course the lands
can be changed in those crops more readily than either forage or orchard
types, and the proportion of the area in them is from 25 to 30% at the
present time. The orchard crops have shown a continuous tendency towards
increase. The proportion in orchard still remains high, and as those coming
into bearing develop, the total of bearing orchards increases. At the present
time the area in orchard is 25% of the total area irrigated on the Project,
including bearing and non-bearing areas. From the past experience in the
division of crops on that Project, it appears that there will be a
considerable period during which the forage crops will occupy probably 60%
of the area irrigated. It may be in the future that the tendency to increase
the area in orchard crops will reduce the proportion in alfalfa, but it is
reasonable to consider that by the time the project is fully developed there
will be some years during which forage crops will be 60% of that of the
total area. It may be that the proportion of forage crops may be dropped
to 50% of the total, but it is probable that there will be a
considerable period when as much as 60% in alfalfa will be expected. During
that period when 60%/ of the area may be in forage crops it is probable that
there will be probably 15% of the area in summer type of crops and the
remaining 25% in orchard. It is possible that those figures may change to
50% in forage crops, 20% in summer crops and 30% in orchard. I have later
worked out the water requirements on the basis of both of these figures as
to the possible division of crops. Coming to the soil on the project, I
find there are three different ways in which the lands may be divided in a
discussion of their water requirements. In various reports, and particularly
the earlier reports that were made in connection with the Project, the soils
were divided into five general groups and the irrigable area of each
determined. I have used as the irrigable area of the Project 20,500 acres,
which is very closely, as I understand, the actual irrigable area.
Taking these five groups, there would be 3000 acres of coarse gravel soil,
7,000 acres of gravelly loam, 2500 acres of clay, 3,500 acres of black loam
and 3500 acres of sandy loam, giving a total of 20,500 acres [? adds to
19,500]. The class of clay soils as used in this grouping are what is known
locally as hard lands. They are not all as heavy a texture as would be the
clays found in many areas. The area has also been covered by a soil survey
of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It was covered in an earlier survey
known as the Colusa Survey, which was carried out in more detail. The areas
also included in the genenel area are covered by soil survevs of the Sacramento
Q. Of what Departnent?
A. Well, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Using the Colusa Survey, I
plotted the area on the Project on that map
and scaled off the areas of the different soil classes as shown on the soil
survey map and found that there were the following results: 4700 acres of
Sacramento loam, 4200 acres of Sacramento gravel clay loam, 200 acres of
Sacramento silt loam, 8700 acres of San Joaquin loam, 400 acres of San Joaquin
fine loam, 9200 acres of Orland gravel loam, 250 acres of Orland fine sand,
and 250 acres of Orland sandy loam [27,900 acres total?]. There is also in
the operation of the project a further division of the lands over a
continuance of their operation records into a fourth division--what is
called the north side area and the southeast area. The soils in a general
way vary in those four divisions [4?] so that the records of those four
divisions separately give some measure of the difference in use under
different soil conditions on the Project. In studying the actual records of
use on the Project, I have given most attention to the records for the years
1921, 1922 and 1923. That is due to the fact that those are the more recent
years, when the practice in irrigation more nearly represents the present
development. They are also years in which the use was not limited by
shortage in the water supply, such as would have been the case had I used
the records for 1920 or other occasional years when the supply was not
complete. I went over the records for individual farms selected to represent
different crop conditions and used information secured in the reaching of
my conclusions as to the reasonable use on these different soils and crops
within the Project. The irrigation practice consists in serving the larger
part of the lands on what they speak of as a 14-day schedule; that is, with
an irrigation in two-week periods. Some of the lands require the water at
shorter periods and some are able to go somewhat
longer, but in the main the soil is such that relatively frequent irrigations
are given, which with their rather long irrigation season will necessarily
mean a rather large total amount of use for the season as a whole.
Q. What is the length of the irrigation season?
A. It will vary some with the different seasons, beginning ordinarily in March
and running into October and occasionally in November in drier falls.
Q. More than six months?
Q. You refer to the fact that the length of the season somewhat increases
the total amount of water used. Just explain that briefly.
A. The period of time that a soil can carry a crop between irrigations is
dependent on the amount of moisture which that soil can retain from an
irrigation and the rate of consumption of moisture by the crop. Many of the
soils on the Project are ones of rather small moisture holding capacity, that
is, they cannot retain as much water from an irrigation as would soils of more
Q. (interrupting) Would retain, you mean?
A. Yes, would retain. The result is that irrigation needs to be given at
relatively frequent periods, such as 12 to 14 days. With irrigations given at
some period, the number of irrigations during the season as a whole will be
generally proportionable to the length of the irrigation season.
Q. And frequent irrigations, Mr. Harding, are compensated for in part by a
less application than is the case where irrigations are at long intervals?
A. Yes; again governed somewhat by the type of the soil. On the heavier
soils, where the land can be covered, that is,
the water flooded across the area, with a larger amount of absorption, a
relatively small irrigation at each application may be given. On the coarser
soils, which also require irrigations at frequent intervals, the difficulty
of getting the water over those lands without having excessive percolation
loss tends to balance the loss by the frequency of the irrigation. I have
used those three divisions of the lands and soils as a basis in preparing
three estimates of the water requirements for the Project, based on the
actual records on the Project and based also on data which I have on similar
lands in the Sacramento and on some in the San Joaquin Valley. Those are
secured by assuming the proportion of the area that will be used in the
alfalfa, summer crops and orchards and then estimating the number of
irrigations per season and the depth of each irrigation for each of those
crops on each of the soil classes, and from that developing by computation
an estimate of the total quantity of water in acre feet which should
delivered [sic, syntax] to the farms for their complete irrigation of the full
irrigable area on the Project.
Q. Mr. Harding, these results and these investigations and computations
are also based upon your examination of the country--upon your own examination
of the country and the investigation of soil conditions, coupled with these
other things, are they not?
A. Yes they are. I made no direct or detailed effort to determine the
extent of the areas in the different types of soils, but used the already
available soil map of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. I did examine
in the field areas classed as the different types of soil to determine their
nature and the character of their irrigation practice.
Q Go ahead.
A. Using the five groups of soils previously given, from the older project
reports, and assuming that when the full area of the project is irrigated
the proportion of forage crops may be as low as 50%, with 20% of the area
in summer crops and 30% in orchards, I derive a total estimated water
requirement for delivery to the farms on the Project of some 60,150 acre
feet per season. If for the same division of soils the assumption is made
that threre will be 60% of the area in forage crops, the corresponding figure
becomes 62,870 acre feet. The difference in those two figures is due to
the fact that the difference in the proportion of the area in forage crops
results in a difference in the total use as the estimated requirement for such
forage crops is larger for crops such as summer crops or orchards. The
actual estimated use of water in acre feet per acre varies from a maximum
of five acre feet per acre for alfalfa on coarse gravel soil to a minimum
of 1.3 acre feet per acre for orchards on black loam soils. For the various
soil and crop conditions in betwen those two extremes, intermediate figures
of reasonable use, dependent on such conditions, have been used. Taking the
soil classification from the map of the U.S. soil survey and again
estimating a reasonable use for each of these three crops on each of the
soil types, I find for conditions where 50% of the area may be in forage
crops a total estimated requirement for delivery to the farms for the
full irrigable area of the Project of 57,700 acre feet. For the same
conditions, excepting again assuming 60% of the area would be in forage
crops, the corresponding estimate is.55,900 acre feet. Taking the four
geographic divisions of the Project and basing an estimate
of the soils in each of these divisions and the records of existing use of
water within each of these divisions, for conditions where 50% of the area may
be in forage crops, the resulting estimate of the total requirements for
delivery to the farms became 55,100 acre feet. Again estimating 60% of the
area in forage crops, the corresponding estimate of the total requirements for
delivery to the farms becomes 57,600 acre feet. The mean of those three
estimates may be used, that is, each should have a reasonable basis for its
support, and an average of the three for each of the crop conditions would
represent in my opinion a reasonable water requirement for the irrigable area
of the farms. For the conditions where 50% of the area is considered to be
in forage crops, 20% in summer crops and 30% in orchards, the average is
57,600 acre feet as the reasonable requirement for delivery to the farms. For
the other conditions, where 60% of the area is considered to be in forage
crops, with 15% in summer crops and 25% in trees, the average becomes 60,100
acre feet. That represents in my opinion the reasonable water requirement
of the lands classed as irrigable within the Orland Project when they are
fully developed, the figure being the quantity required for delivery to the
farms, that is, no conveyance losses are included in that figure.
Q. I think you have already stated, Mr. Harding, that gauged upon the fact
that morre than 60% of the area is now in forage crops that it is a reasonable
assumption to say that for a considerable period after full development, still
60% will be in forage crops and that condition might persist?
A. Yes, in my opinion the eventual proportion of forage crops may become as
low as 50%, but there will probably be a
period in which the Project will have to meet a condition of irrigation of
its full area with as much as 60% in forage crops and it will require a water
supply adequate to meet that demand during that period.
Q. And that period is indeterminate?
A. Yes, it is of necessity indeteriminate because it involves the future
tendency in the nature of crops, which is only a matter of prediction at
the present time. I do however believe we will have as much as 60% of the
land in forage crops. If that is done the resulting estimate for the Project
would be, in round numbers, 60,000 acre feet per season delivered to the farms.
The Project will of course require diversions of larger amounts than the
quantity necessary for delivery to the farms, due to the losses in conveyance.
I have made an examination of their records covering both seepage loss from the
canals and regulation loss from them and have made estimates of the probable
future amount of such seepage loss and of the amount of loss which in my
opinion would be a reasonable loss and a loss which would be provided for
in the amounts of water which the Project may be permitted to divert.
Q. Mr. Harding, you referred to distribution and seepage losses. Is there
also a coefficient in there that is based upon evaporation loss?
A, Seepage, as the term is generally used, includes the evaporation loss.
Usually and normally, seepage and evaporation are measured and considered
jointly. Seepage is ordinarily the larger item of the two, and the
percentage may or may not include the evaporation.
Q. Then, when you speak generally of seepage loss, you are using the generic
term, which covers seepage and evaporation losses?
A. Yes, the proper term would probably be conveyance losses. The conditions
of irrigation on the Project necessarily result in more regulation waste
than is required on a good many systems; that is, we have a Project where
the delivery to each farm is based upon the requirement of that farm as
to periods between irrigation. There is no uniform period between
irrigations used throughout the Project, so that there is more shifting
around of the water between the laterals and between the individual farms,
which will of necessity result in certain periods of the supply reaching the
lower ends of the laterals without diversion. That is measured and is noted
in their records as the regulation waste. The proportion of the regulation
waste is naturally larger in the earlier months of the season when the
irrigation is more irregular and when farms may not take water at certain
periods. During the main irrigation months the demand is more regular and
the proportion of regulation waste becomes less, and there records
indicate that during months such as July, August and September their canals
are operated with a very small amount of regulation waste. In the earlier
months the regulation waste may amount to a considerable portion of the
diversion. I have gone over their records for conveveyance losses, that is,
seepage and evaporation, and find that even with the considerable amount of
concrete lining now in use on the stream [er, canals?] that the conveyance
losses are averaging about 25% of the diversion. The figures for the past
three years for the season as a whole were 26% in 1921, 25% in 1922 and
1923. It may be that with the additional lining that is contemplated, the
seepage losses may be reduced slightly below these figures. The present
existing canal systems represent a higher standard of practice in
prevention of seepage than is usual throughout the general irrigation practice
in this area.
Q. You mean that the present practice on the present Orland Project is
superior to the usual practice in the Valley?
A. Yes, they have already gone further in preventing losses than is the usual
practice. They have what may be regarded as a better built system than the
average in the Sacramento Valley. So that I have used as reasonable conveyance
loss for the Project 25% of the amount diverted. I have used various figures
for the regulation waste, varying those figures in the different months of
the season as appears reasonable; that is, the proportion that would be
reasonable would be larger in the early and late seasonal months as compared
with those at the heigth [sic] of the demand. The figures which I have
used for regulation waste are 20% of the diversion in March, 10% in April,
5% in May, 3% in June, zero in July, August and September, and 5% in October.
The actual diversion by the Project will vary in different months of season,
so that an estimate of the total acre feet per season does not give much
guide to the capacity of the canals required, unless we distribute that
diversion to the months in which it will probably occur. The irrigation
demand begins gradually in the spring, reaches a fairly steady amount during
the main summer months and gradually diminishes again in the fall period. I
have examined the records of the Projeect and determined the percentage
of the total seasonal diversion that has occurred in each month of the
season's operation and find that the probable or normal division of the
diversion during the months of the season would be such that of the total
diversion during any season one would expect to find in a normal year that
that diversion would occur in March, 9% in April, 16% in May, 19% in June,
20% in Ju1y, 18% in August, 13% in September, and 4% October. There will be
variation from those averages in different years, depending upon whether or
not the crop season is relatively larger in the spring or otherwise, or the
time at which fall rains may begin. But a general average schedule of
diversion would be expected to be in accordance with the figures given.
Using those percentages and applying them to the estimate of 60,000 acre
feet required for delivery to the farms, the requirement for delivery to the
farms in each month of the season can be secured, applying to that monthly
requirement for delivery to the farms the estimated conveyance loss of 25%
for all months and the regulation waste for each month in the amount which
has been given, we have the basis for computing the total requirement in acre
feet for each month of the season. I have made such computation, which shows
that in order to be able to deliver 60,000 acre feet per season to the farms
during the entire season it it would be necessary to divert 83,000 acre feet
at the headgates of the canal.
[THIS IS THE SOURCE OF THE
4.05 a-f/acre: he is using gross acreage of 20,500 acres, p. 3115 & 3125;
60,000 a-f p. 3124 & 3121, with 25% conveyance = 83,000, but that's more
than 25%; even so, 83000/20500 = 4.0487 a-f/acre, or 4.05 rounded]
Q The canals you are referring to now, Mr. Harding, are the north and south
diverting canals of the Project, are they not--the main distributing canals?
A. Yes, there is no consideration in that figure of any losses in Stony Creek
above that point, or in the storage of water. It is the amount that would
have to pass the headgate of the north and south diversions in order to
deliver 60,000 to the lands in the Project.
Q. That would be the combined storage and natural flow during the season?
A. Yes. Taking those
figures for the total acre feet of diversion in the different months of the
season, the mean diversion in second ffet [sic] that w [sic] would be required
in each month to maintain those deliveries can be computed; that is, one
second foot of flow will give two acre feet for 24 hours, and knowing the
number of acre feet that we need, the diversion in each month of 30 or 31
days, as the case may be, the equivalent average diversion in terms of
second feet can be computed, and we find on making such a computation that
the month of maximum [c typed changed to x handwritten] diversion
would be June and that an average diversion during that month of 266 second
feet would be required to deliver the proportion of this total requirement
which it is estimated will occur in that month. That is, the sum of the
diversion in the north and south canal would have to average 266 second
feet in June in order to enable the Project to deliver the 19% of its total
seasonal requirements, which would occur in that month. That figure of
266 second feet represents the flow at the heads of these two canals and
is again independent of any stream losses above those points; that is, it
represents the diversion, regardless of the source from which such supply
might come. That figure of 266 second feet would in my opinion represent
the reasonable diversion capacity of the canals serving the 20,500 acres of
irrigable land within the Project.
Q. And would also represent, if you can state it in that fashion, for the
purpose of making it clear, the water right that the Project would require
in diversion units?
A. Yes, that would be, in my understanding, the degree to which the
Project would be entitled under a reasonable standard of irrigation practice
to water requirement of the lands which it is attempting to serve.
Q. An approximation of 265 or 266 second feet?
Q. Does that complete main body of your testimony?
A. That completes the main body of my testimony relative to the water
requirements of the Project lands.
MR. HANKINS: Q. Mr. Harding, do you consider a 25% transmission loss a normal
loss of an irrigation project of this type?
A. Yes, if in that answer is included a consideration of the nature of the
soils, through which these canals have to pass. You might have systems
serving equal irrigated area of similar shape where with different soil
conditions the percentage of conveyence loss might be considerably less.
MR. MORTON: Q. It might also be considerably more?
A. It might, although on the whole the conveyance conditions on the Orland
Project are more than average unfavorable, that is, there is a more than
average amount of coarser soils.
MR. HANKINS: Q. Do your records show the number of miles in the Project?
A. There is such a figure, I haven't it exactly but my recollection is it
is in the neighborhood of 150 miles. Mr. Weber can correct me on that if
I am not correct.
MR. MORTON: I am told it is 148 miles.
MR. HANKINS: Q. Then your seepage loss is based on 148 miles of canals?
A. It is, except of course that no particle of water covers any such distance;
that is, the average distance traveled by water in the canals would be very
much smaller than that amount.
Q. But that is the foundation of your computation of seepage loss?
A. It is the existing canal system, yes.
Q. What amount of this seepage loss can be cured through concreting, say,
a third of the canal system.
A. There is over a third of the canal system concreted in which these
losses occur. That figure which I have given you is based on the actual
loss during the seasons of 1921, 1922, and 1923, and in all of those seasons
there was a considerable mileage of the canals which were concreted, the
amount increasing each year as additional lining was done between the seasons,
so that the figure of 25% is their existing loss on the basis of the canals
as they are now lined.
Q. In your opinion, will this seepage loss ever be reduced in this Project,
assuming that reasonable amount of concreting will be done and that that
work will be continued?
A. My opinion would be that it might be possible to somewhat reduce this
seepage loss but that any requirement for lining which would make such
reduction would be setting up a standard of practice that isoutside [sic,
run together] of the ordinary practice now in use in the Sacramento Valley.
I think also that the reduction which might be brought about by further
lining would not be perhaps a very large part of this 25% loss.
MR. HANKINS: I think that is all.
MR. MORTON: Q. What, if you know, Mr. Harding, is about the average
mileage of water on the Project? I under that that [sic, syntax] figure is
affected by the size of the canals and matters of that kind, which make
it a somewhat variable figure, but I would like to know.
A. I did not make any detailed computations, but judging by the general
locaton of the canals and the irrigated area, the average distance which
the water travels in the canals between
the point of diversion and the delivery to the land would probably be
somewhere around 10 or 12 miles.
Q. If you wished to make a rough calculation--and which again would be a
variable figure--you would get somewhere around 2% per mile?
A. Yes, the present average conveyance loss, expressed in terms of per cent
per mile, would probably be somewhere in the vicinity of two or two and
one-half per cent.
Q. That or course is not an accurate way of estimating loss, as I
understand it, Mr. Harding, for this reason: that in large canals the wetted
perimeter is a very much larger figure and therefore the loss is reduced?
A/ [sic] For the same rate of seepage expressed in terms of the water
which seeps from a canal per square foot of water with which the water is
in contact the percentage of loss will be much larger in a small canal as
the so-called wetted area is relatively larger to the proportion of the
water in the canal.
Q. We have on the Project a number of large canals and also a number of
A. Yes. The canal system is relatively compact on the Orland Project. There
is approximately 140 acres of irrigable land for each mile of canal system,
which is much higher than is found--or where the topographic conditions
make the irrigable area a less solid area than it is on the Orland Project.
MR. MORTON: If there are no further questions, I will start Mr. Harding on
the other branch [upstream non-USA diversions] of his testmony.
THE MASTER: It is practically noon now, and we will adjourn until 1:15 p.m.
Table of Harding "Rules" in the transcript:
pp. 3107-3128 HARDING, SETS UP PROJECT REQUIREMENTS, re-transcribed, above
pp. 3129-3130 HARDING, INVESTIGATION OF UPPER WATERSHED LANDS
pp. 3133-3138 HARDING, STANDARD OF PRACTICE in determining requirements
pp. 3143-3144 HARDING, DELIVERED PLUS CONVEYANCE IN DIVERSION NUMBER
pp. 3145-3148 HARDING, AMOUNT & MONTH OF MAXIMUM DIVERSION
p. 3149 HARDING, 150-DAY SEASON
pp. 3151-3152 HARDING, MORE ON MONTHS OF MAXIMUM USE
p. 3153 HARDING, FLOWS vs. MONTHLY TOTALS
pp. 3170-3171 HARDING, ROTATION
pp. 3174-3175 HARDING, HEAD vs. RIGHT; ROTATION
p. 3183-3184 HARDING: MONTH OF MAXIMUM USE
p. 3185 HARDING, CONVEYANCE LOSSES, HEADS, VOLUMES, ROTATION
pp. 3190-3191 HARDING, CONVEYANCE THROUGH SOIL TYPES
p. 3212 HARDING, INFO FROM ERIKSEN, REMOTE TRACTS
pp. 3212-3215 HARDING, CONVEYANCE LOSSES/STUDY THROUGHOUT THE WEST
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Return to Stony Creek Water Wars.
--Mike Barkley, 161 N. Sheridan Ave. #1, Manteca, CA 95336 (H) 209/823-4817