Early Irrigation in the Boise Valley

Control Gate near Richfield ID

Agriculture is the dominant feature of Idaho’s economy and the major portion of Idaho’s agricultural development is predicated upon irrigation. The early pioneering efforts, ambitious as they were, merely opened the door to the vast projects that followed.

The difficulties faced and overcome by the early developers were legion: eastern capital had to be enlisted and fluctuations in the money market compounded this problem; the problems of trial-and-error methods in actual construction while the engineering science developed; increasing operational expenses; inadequate legislative statutes to determine the rights and use of the water and the ensuing litigation in the courts all hampered development. The story of how these problems were solved in the early development of irrigation in the Boise Valley is told in the following informative article by Professor Paul L. Murphy.

Read the Full Article in PDF form HERE.

Diversion Dam, Boise Project

New York Canal

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