“This Splendid Country Is to Be Reclaimed”

Richard J. Orsi

in Sunset Limited

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780520200197
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940864 | DOI:
“This Splendid Country Is to Be Reclaimed”

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  • History of the Americas


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This chapter discusses public irrigation, starting with the movement for public irrigation in Southern Pacific country that began during the early 1870s. It then introduces William H. Mills, who became the leading architect of Southern Pacific water policy. The chapter mentions his fight against hydraulic mining, and shows that he was one of the earliest and most influential advocates of centralized water planning. It also shows Mills' support for state water management. The chapter then examines the Wright Act, which resulted in several irrigation districts that were plagued by difficulties different from those of the private water companies.

Keywords: public irrigation; William H. Mills; water policy; hydraulic mining; centralized water planning; state water management; Wright Act; irrigation districts; irrigation agencies

Chapter.  14792 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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