Map 1: Federal Irrigation Projects, 1934
(National Archives and Records Administration)
This map shows all of the Bureau of Reclamation’s irrigation projects in 1934. The names of the projects are shown in capital letters. Early projects are in brown; projects that were new at the time are shown in blue
Questions for Map 1
1. How many early projects can you find? What states are they in? Why do you think federal irrigation projects existed only in these states?
2. Find the Rio Grande. Most of the water in the river comes from melting snow in the mountains of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Settlers in those areas were already using up much of that water by 1900. Farmers in southern New Mexico and Texas claimed that they should have the right to some of the river’s water. How do you think these disputes could be settled? Who do you think should be responsible for making decisions about water rights?
3. Farmers in the Rio Grande valley in Mexico also claimed rights to the water of the river. Who do you think would be responsible for settling this dispute?
4.Find the Rio Grande Project (the Project), the blue area labeled Elephant Butte Reservoir, and the brown area to the south on either side of the river. How long is the Project between the northern end of the reservoir and the southern end of the brown area? Use the map scale to estimate the distance.
Click for a larger version of Map 1