The Coachella Canal is a 122-mile (196 km) aqueduct that conveys Colorado River water for irrigation to the Coachella Valley in Riverside County, California. It is effectively a branch of the All-American Canal, which was completed in the 1930s. Both are arms of the gigantic Colorado River Storage Project, anchored by Boulder Dam, built under the Bureau of Reclamation. The contract for both canals went to the so-called Six Companies – an alliance of big western construction firms including Kaiser, Bechtel, Utah Construction and Parsons.
Contracts were signed in 1936-37 and work began in 1940 but was interrupted by the Second World War. Work resumed after the war and the canal was completed in 1949. As a September 1934 issue of California Highway & Public Works observes:
“The California District Securities Commission has approved the $10,000,000 contract between the Coachella Valley County Water District and the Federal government for the construction of the Coachella branch of the All-American Canal as a result of the investigation and report of the State Engineer. The Commission has also authorized the issuance of bonds to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation by four irrigation districts totalling $2,375,000 for refinancing loan. …
The area to be served in the Coachella Valley by the proposed canal is about 140,000 acres and the cost of the work which the government agrees to do for the water district is estimated at approximately $10,000,000.”
September 1934 Issue of California Highway & Public Works
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on August 1, 2014.
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