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Report of State Engineer 2

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The study of this subject [debris problem] having brought me a sense of the absolute necessity for organized effort in these matters, I can only recommend that the State take charge of the drainage ways and all drainage works, and exercise such control over them as will regulate their use, promote their improvement, and systematize the construction and management of all works designed to promote rapid drainage and prevent inundations….The chief remedy is to be found in storing sands in the canons of the mountain rivers, and this can generally be accomplished by means of dams constructed of heavy masses of stone, quarried from the overhanging and adjacent cliffs, and dumped in rough massive structures across the gorges….There is a necessity for doing this to keep more of the heavy materials, particularly the gravel, from being brought out into the valley streams….All of this can be done; and in view of the interests at stake and good to be accomplished – the prosperity of the hydraulic mines, the protection of the City of Marysville from serious disaster, and the City of Sacramento from injury more remote; the shielding of a large area of valuable agricultural land from serious damage; and the preservation of the great streams of the valley from an almost irreparable injury – I believe I am justified in saying that it can be done at an expenses much within the limits of the benefits to be derived, and the danger averted….I can only say that legislation which will provide for the construction of works designed to prevent the sands and gravel from coming into the valley and streams, and which will provide for the systematic and sustained treatment of the rivers of the valleys to prevent the unnecessary spreading of their waters, will be effectual, and will accomplish the desired end. (William H. Hall, Report of State Engineer, 1881)

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