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How to Use sthe Images


Inquiry Question

Historical Context


Photo 1
Photo 2
Illustrations 1a and 1b
Photo 3
Photo 5


Table of

Visual Evidence

Photo 4: Irrigated Cantaloupe Fields, 1930

[Photo 4: Irrigated Cantaloupe Fields] with link to larger version of photo.
(National Archives and Records Administration; photographer unknown)

Questions for Photo 4

This photo shows the two smallest water delivery elements making up the Rio Grande Project irrigation system. Find the irrigation ditch running across the bottom of the image. These ditches carry water from laterals and sub-laterals (smaller ditches that take water from laterals) to individual fields. The ditch is elevated above the level of the field it serves. Why do you think that would be the case?

2. Notice the visible water in the furrows running perpendicular to the ditch. These carry water to the individual plants in the fields. Notice the high earthen embankments on either side of the irrigation ditch. Farmers had to find their own ways to get water from the ditch into their fields. One method had laborers use hoes to cut openings in the embankment to allow the water to flow into the fields. Another method permanently embedded short pieces of hose or pipe in the embankment to allow water to flow to each furrow. How much work would each of these methods involve in a farm field the size of the one shown in the photo? Can you think of any other ways to do this?

Click for a larger version of Photo 4.



Comments or Questions

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