Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Roosevelt and Reclamation ~ Phoenix Roosevelt Dam History

Roosevelt and Reclamation

President Theodore Roosevelt at the dedication of the Roosevelt Dam in 1911.

In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the National Reclamation Act making it possible to build dams on western streams for reclamation purposes, an important event for the people of Phoenix and the Valley.

Valley residents were quick to supplement this federal action by organizing the Salt River Valley Waters Users' Association on February 4, 1903, to assure proper management of the precious water supply. This organization still functions as the major agency for controlled use of irrigation water in the Valley.

Theodore Roosevelt Dam was started in 1906. It was the first multiple-purpose dam, supplying both water and electric power, to be constructed under the National Reclamation Act. On May 18, 1911, the former President himself dedicated the dam, which was the largest masonry dam in the world. This opened a new era in farming for the Valley and secured the part of our economy that depended on water for its life.

President William Howard Taft approved Arizona's statehood on Feb. 14, 1912. On March 18 of the same year, Gov. George Hunt called the first State Legislature into session.



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