« PreviousContinue »
sources; and (2) those miscellaneous hydrological and other technical, physical, and economic data required for keeping upto-date information essential to properly evaluate the continuing and recurring water-resource development problems. Specific phases of this activity during the fiscal year included the following:
Hydrologic data in Nicaragua. The River and Harbor Act of 20 June 1938 specifically authorized the Corps of Engineers to continue the collection of hydrologic data concerning the proposed canal in Nicaragua. The collection of such data was continued by the Inter-American Geodetic Survey with funds provided by the Corps of Engineers. Basic data were obtained at 16 stations and water surface elevations were collected at 2 lakes in the vicinity of the proposed canal. These data will become a part of the series of annual reports on hydrologic data that have been prepared by the Nicaraguan Canal Survey for the past 20 years.
Cooperative programs with the U. S. Weather Bureau. Operation of a network of rain gages, known as the Hydroclimatic Network, was continued by the Weather Bureau at the request of the Corps of Engineers. Funds in the amount of $338,000 were transferred to the Weather Bureau for operation of the network during the fiscal year 1954. At the end of June 1954, there was a total of 2,876 stations, 2,332 recording, and 544 nonrecording in the program. Data from these stations are published monthly in the Weather Bureau publication, "Hourly Precipitation Data."
The hydrometeorological section in the Weather Bureau was continued during the fiscal year at the request of the Corps of Engineers to review the meteorological aspects of the stormstudy program and to develop theoretical concepts and practical techniques for use in engineering design. Funds in the amount of $93,000 were made available to the Weather Bureau to finance the section during the fiscal year 1954. The principal activities during the year were the publication of two reports on hurricane winds over Lake Okeechobee, Fla.; a preliminary estimate of probable maximum precipitation for the Gila River Basin in Arizona; a set of charts presenting the seasonal variation of the standard project storm for 200 and 1,000 square miles for 24 hours as well as preliminary charts for large areas and long durations, studies of seasonal variation of a number of selected meteorological parameters, partial reexamination of meteorological factors pertinent to floods on the Lower Mississippi River, and other studies involving meteorological aspects of engineering problems.
River and rainfall reporting networks, currently totaling 39 in number, were also continued at the request of the Corps of Engineers in order that frequent reports of river and rainfall data may be available as required by the District Engineers for floodcontrol operation and flood-forecasting purposes. Funds in the amount of $82,413 were transferred to the Weather Bureau for this program during the fiscal year 1954.
Stream gaging program with U. S. Geological Survey. The Geological Survey continued the cooperative program of constructing, maintaining, and operating stream-gaging stations required in connection with Corps of Engineers' activities. The sum of $831,675 was transferred to the Geological Survey for operation of approximately 1,900 stations under this program during the fiscal year 1954.
COLLATERAL PROGRAM BENEFITS
1. WATER SUPPLY-DROUGHT RELIEF
When it was determined that the possibility existed of continuation of general drought conditions in the United States during 1954, the division and district engineers were authorized to increase conservation storage in reservoir projects by use of floodcontrol storage where feasible. Drought prevailed over much of the central and southwestern United States for most of the period, with stream flow lower than it had been in more than a decade on many streams. Storage for municipal and industrial use became critical in some areas.
The operation of Corps of Engineers reservoirs relieved deficient stream flows at many localities. On the Missouri River the release of stored water from the Fort Peck Reservoir augmented flows during periods when natural river conditions were inadequate for navigation, municipal water supply, and pollution abatement. This reservoir made a major contribution to stream flows throughout the 1,867-mile reach from Fort Peck Reservoir to the mouth of the Missouri River. During the summer and fall of 1953, had the reservoir contribution not been available, flows would have been as low as 9,000 cubic feet per second, or about 4,000 cubic feet per second below that required for stream sanitation at Kansas City. Reservoir releases added from 14,000 to 29,000 cubic feet per second to the natural river flow. This timely augmentation increased the water supply available for consumptive uses, and provided flows well above those required for sanitation purposes.
Emergency water supply releases were also made from Canton Reservoir for Oklahoma City, Okla.; Denison Dam (Lake Texoma) for Denison, Tex.; Delaware Reservoir for Columbus, Ohio; and other reservoirs. This adjustment in reservoir operation was permitted as an emergency measure only where specific benefits would result and where no damage would be caused in the
2. PUBLIC USE OF PROJECT AREAS Public recreational use at the civil-works projects of the Corps of Engineers has shown a substantial increase in the past several years. The total attendance of 41,000,000 in the calendar year
1953 compares with 29,500,000 in 1952, and 21,000,000 during 1951.
Progress is being made in enlisting the participation of State, county, and local governmental agencies in the management of civil-works project lands for public park and recreation purposes. In some instances, these agencies have accepted the responsibility of managing entire reservoirs for such purposes. The concessionaires at the projects are performing a public service in providing facilities to accommodate the public so that it may enjoy the collateral benefits of the projects. The projects listed below had the highest attendance during 1953.
Table 17. Altendance at Project Areas, Calendar Year 1953
Lake Texoma (Denison Dam), Okla.-Tex...
OTHER CIVIL-WORKS ACTIVITIES
1. FLOOD FIGHTING AND OTHER EMERGENCY OPERATIONS
The Corps of Engineers during the year participated in and supplemented the efforts of local interests in flood-fighting operations in various areas and at many localities throughout the country. These flood-emergency activities, involving rescue work and the repair, restoration, or maintenance of flood-control work threatened or destroyed by flood, are carried on under the Corps' statutory authority. In addition, disaster assistance was furnished to States and local governments in accordance with the procedures established pursuant to Public Law 875, 81st Congress. The most noteworthy emergency operations during the fiscal year are described in the following paragraphs.
Flood of May 1954, Kootenai River Basin. Snow survey measurements made on 1 May 1954 for key stations in the Kootenai River Basin indicated that the water content of the snow pack was the greatest ever recorded for that time of year. In view of the potential flood conditions then existing, the district engineer at Seattle, Wash., informed the State and local authorities and the general public as to existing potential flood conditions. Corps of Engineers installations were manned on an emergency basis. All available personnel, equipment, and supplies were mobilized to assist State and local authorities.
At Bonners Ferry, Idaho, a large area of valuable agricultural land was subject to flooding. No levee in the valley was assured of withstanding the predicted flood crest. The division engineer, North Pacific Division, maintained close liaison with the commanding general, Sixth Army, and alerted him of the possibility the Governor of the State might request Federal aid in flood fighting. When it became apparent that a major flood was imminent, the Governor of Idaho declared an emergency and requested Federal aid in the flood fight. Federal troops and equipment were immediately dispatched to the area to assist in patrolling and maintaining levees in the town of Bonners Ferry and agricultural levees downstream to the international boundary. The success of the flood fight as directed by the district engineer is evident by the fact that, although the crest stage at Bonners Ferry exceeded the 1948 stage (maximum of record) by 0.2 foot,