12: The Roosevelt Dam

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    Due to the profitability of canal consolidation in the 1880s and 1890s investors sought additional water supplies.  The only option for a steady water supply was a federally funded dam and reservoir.  A group of local irrigators, farmers, and land speculators formed the Salt River Water Users Association.  The Association successfully convinced the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to build a dam on the Salt River.  Thus, the first federally funded project under the 1902 Federal Reclamation Act became the Roosevelt Dam.  The result of the completion of Roosevelt Dam was an immediate and unprecedented boom in agriculture.  As a result industrial agriculture increased the demand for water beyond the capacity of the Roosevelt Reservoir.  Businessmen like Chandler started promoting the use of water from an additional source, the underground aquifer. 

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