Eastern Coastal Plain Region Of Southern California - Usgs

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CONTENTS.Letter of transmittal. . . . . .Introduction . . . . .Coastal plain. . . .Crops . . . . . .Irrigation systems . . . . . . . . .San Gabriel system. . .La Habra and East Whittier Water Company . . . .Santa Ana systems . . .Anaheim Union Water Company . . .Santa Ana VaHey Irrigation Company . . . .Santiago Canyon systems . . . . . . . . . . .Serrano Water Company . Carpenter Water Company . . . .Drainage districts . . .Bolsa drainage district . .Willows drainage distriet . .Underground water . . . . .Source . . . . .Permanence of the supply . . . . .Interdependence of wells . . . . . . . . Cost of wells . . . . . . . . . . . .- ription of maps and tables. .--------- -----.-----------. -----Acknowledgments . . . . . . "\V ell data . . . . . . . . "33Index ------31393536

ILLUSTRATIONS.Page.PLATE I. Artesian areas and hydrographie contours in the valley of southernCalifornia. . Pocket.II. Map showing irrigated lands, eanals, and pumping plants in theAnaheim quadrangle . . . . . Pocket.III. Map showing irrigated lands, canals, drainage districts, and pumping plants in the Santa Ana quadrangle . . Pocket.IV. A, An uncemented portion of the upper Anaheim canal; B, Acemented portion of the UI)per Anaheim canal . . .14V. A, Main Santa Ana canal above Bnrruel Point; B, Crest of submerged dam at Point of Rocks, Santiago Canyon.16VI. Map showing wells, artesian areas, and water levels in the Anaheimquadrangle . . . . . . Pocket.VII. Map showing wells, artesian areas, and water levels in the SantaAna quadrangle . . . . . . . . . . Pocket.FIG. 1. Cross section of East Whittier ditch . . . . " . .132. Diagram showing variation in water level near Anaheim, Cal . .243. Chart showing departures from average rainfall at San Bernardino, Cal.274. Chart showing departures from average rainfall at Anaheim, CaL .285. Diagrammatic cross section of southern California coastal plain . . . . . .316. Map showing approximate amounts of dissolved solids in the underground waters of the eastern part of the coastal plain of southernCalifornia . . . . . . . . . .345

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,UNITED STATES GEoLOGICAL SuRVEY,HYDROGRAPHIC BRANCH,Washington, JJ. 0., September 23, 1904.SIR: I transmit herewith a paper entitled "Development of Underground Waters in the Eastern Coastal Plain Region of Southern California," by 1\tlr. W. C. Mendenhall, and recommend that it be publishedin the series of Water-Supply and Irrigation Papers.This report is the first of three papers on the underground watersof the coastal plain of southern California, which are being preparedby the division of hydrology under the general direction of Mr. N. H.Darton. 'Vhen the series is complete it will contain a list of nearlyall the wells in this section of the State, with such data as to waterlevels, irrigation systems, and irrigated lands as could be collected bya careful canvass.The studies, a part of whose results are heing made available in thisway, are planned to cover all the important water-bearing lands of thevalley of southern California. In most instances the facts gatheredconcerning the wells and the distributing systems will be supplementedby a study of the local geology in so far as it controls the amount,distribution, and circulation of the ground waters. The hydrographicdata and the geologic data will then be discussed and issued togetherin one report. In the coastal plain area, however, the geologic conditions being relatively simple, and the hydrographic data being largein volume and of paramount importance, it is deemed best to issue thelatter at once, rather than to delay it pending the working out morefully of the comparatively unimportant geologic problems. Thereforethe tables and maps 'are presented here for the consideration of waterusers, with a comparatively brief text, which is chiefly descriptive,but includes a discussion of the effects of development and drought inbringing about those changes in water levels and in the outlines ofartesian areas which have been most marked within the last five or sixyears.Very respectfully,F. H. NEWELL,Ohief Engineer.Hon. CHARLES D. WALCOTT,.Dirrectorr United States Geological Surrvey.7

DEVELOPMENT OF UNDERGROUND VVATERS IN THEEASTERN COASTAL PLAIN REGION OF SOUTHERNCALIFORNIA.Byw.c.MENDENHALl INTRODUCTION.In California generally, irrigation engineering and water development are further advanced than in any other part of the Union, and inno other part of the State has the scientific study of water conservation, distribution, and application been carried out so fully as in thevalley region near Los Angeles. The lands are highly productivewhen water can be applied to them. The climate is semiarid, with arainfall of from 10 to 20 inches in the tillable areas, practically all ofwhich is confined to the winter months. This is not sufficient tomature the more valuable crops, hence irrigation must be resorted to,and the extension of the areas of cultivation is dependent upon anincrease in the water supply. The flowing waters from the mountaincanyons were long ago appropriated, and the attention of irrigatorsand e gineers during the last decade has been turned largely towa1:dthe development of the subterranean sources.As a preliminary step in the study of the amount, availability, distribution and proper use of underground waters, the majority of thewells within the region have been visited. Data have been collected ·concerning the .size, depth, yield, and cost of the wells, and the temperature, purity, and use of the waters. The present and past artesian areas, the irrigated lands, and the main canal systems have beenmapped. Outside the artesian belts the ground-water level--the position of the urface of the plane of saturation-has also been determinedas closely as possible. In sho-rt, the object of the work has been toeollect all information which will be of value in the further development of the water resources or which throws light on pa:st development and its effects. It is planned, as the work continues, to examinecarefully the general geologic conditions in the water-bearing areas,as the depth, form, storage capacity, and origin of the subterraneanreservoir and the circulation of the waters within them are questionsof geology. The extent to which these stored waters may safely be9

10UNDERGROUND WATERS, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-I.[No.137.drawn upon depends upon their amount and the rate at which they arereplenished. Some ob:gervations on the latter question have beenmade, and others more extended and systematic have been begun bythe Survey.By the valley of southern Ualifo1 nia, within which this work isundertaken, is meant that region extending 30 or 40 miles south of theSan Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains, and lying between thePacific Ocean and Cajon and San Gorgonio passes. It includes thegreater part of the productive lands of the southern section of theState, and within it lie most of the prosperous settlements which havebecome famous for their beauty, fertility, and healthfulness.In the preliminary work on the underground waters within thisregion the Survey representatives have examined a bout 11,000 wellsof all kinds, from those but a few feet in depth and used only fordomestic supply or for stock, to bored wells 1,200 feet deep and yielding in many cases copious flows of irrigation water. The amount ofstatistical data which has been thus assembled is larg-e, and throughthe courtesy and interest of water users and irrigation companies isconstantly increasing.The Anaheim and Santa Ana quadrangles, a which, together comprisewhat is called in this paper the eastern coastal plain region, includean area 35 miles long and 15 miles wide, extending from longitude117 45' to 118 , and from latitude 34 to the Pacific Ocean. Thisarea includes the lower portion of Santa Ana River below its lowercanyon through the Santa Ana Mountains. The greater part of theSan Joaquin Hills are within the Santa Ana quadrangle, and thec ntral part of the Puente Hills are in the Anaheim q uadr ngle.Between these groups of hills lies the eastern end of the southernCalifornia coastal plain, including a part of the famous peat lands ofOrange County, and the perhaps equally well-known agriculturallands about Santa Ana, Orange, and Anaheim. Under these lower,comparatively level lands the important underground waters arefound. The artesian basin of the coastal plain, the largest artesianbasin in southern California, with an area of about 190 square miles,occupies the northwestern portion of the Santa Ana quadrangle, andextends along the western edge of the southern half of the Anaheimquadrangle. A broad zone, originally artesian, but not now yieldingflowing water, stretches across the southwestern corner of the Anaheim quadrangle. Within this zone water lies within easy pumpingdistance.a A quadrangle is the unit of survey adopted by the United States Geological Survey for the topographic and geologic atlas of the United States. It is a rectangular area 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or1 degree in extent each way, bounded by parallels and meridians, and having an area of onesixteenth, one-quarter, or one square degree. The quadrangles disregard political boundaries, such asthose of States, counties, and townships. To each is given the name of some well-known place orfeature within its limits. A sheet is the topographic map of one of the above areas.

MENDENHALL.)TOPOGRAPHY AND OROPS OF OOASTAL FLAIN.11COASTAL PLAIN.The coastal plain, of which the lowlands in these two quadranglesform a part, extends from the Pacific to the base of the Puente Hillsand the Santa Ana Mountains, and from the Santa Monica Mountainsto the San Joaquin Hills. It is about 50 miles long and from 15 to 20miles wide, and has an area of approximately 775 square miles. Itis generally a smooth plain with an elevation along its inland edgeof from 200 to 300 feet, from which it slopes gently to sea level atthe coast. San Pedro Hill rises well above it, and its general regularity is interrupted by a long low ridge which extends from thevicinity of Palms to Huntington Beach. This ridge is not continuous,as a wide valley has been cut through it by each of the larger streamswhich flow across the coastal plain to the sea, thus breaking it into aseries of detached but aligned hills of different heights. This broken .ridge forms the seaward boundary. of the coastal plain artesian basin.Within the area treated in this· paper it is a rather inconspicuousphysical feature, existing as the low, broad mesa about HuntingtonBeach, and perhaps as the similar feature north of Newport and·enveloping the base of the San Joaquin Hills.The coastal plain is underlain by a succession of sand, gravel, andclay beds whose constituent materials were transported to their present position by Santa Ana, San Gabriel, and Los Angeles rivers,and perhaps in small part by the waves and currents of the Pacific.This plain represents a former wide bay which was gradually filled byalluvial debris that has been redistributed, in part at least, by oceanicwaters as beach sands and gravel.Convincing evidence of thisfactor in distribution is furnished by the recent marine shells whichare so often found in deep and shallow wells and on the present surface some miles from the shore line.CROPS.Within the area under consideration crops and soils are varied, as isgenerally true throughout the coastal plain, and irrigation practice isnot at all uniform. In the Anaheim quadrangle about Orange, Fullerton, and Anaheim are many citrus groves, and deciduous fruits andwalnuts are e tensively cultivated. Farther south, in the peat lands,celery is becoming a more and more important crop, and sugar beets,corn, and alfalfa are extensively grown.The citrus groves require the regular application of water throughout the year, irrigation being constant, except when winter rains aresufficiently heavy to serve as a substitute. Practice is not uniform inthe walnut groves, some growers maintaining that irrigation is notnecessary. This may be true in moist lands, where the roots can reachthe ground waters, but generally ranchers find it profitable to apply

12UNDERGROUND WATERS, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-I.[No.137.water during the summer season. Deciduous orchards, generally inthe lower lands, are under irrigation, but in the vicinity of La Habraare a number of flourishing groves which receive only the rainfall.In preparing the peat lands for celery the soil is thoroughly flooded,and often water is turned on ·ag-J.in once or twice before the crop ismature, but in the moister lands one or both of these later applicationsmay be omitted. With sugar beets, also, practice varies. Water isalmost invariably used in preparing the land, and is often, but notalways, applied during the growth of the crop. Corn, alfalfa, potatoes, and peanuts are usually irrigated, while grapes and barley aresometimes watered during dry years, but these, with beans, areregarded as the principal dry crops.On many of the lands which lie under the Santa Ana Valley orAnaheim canal systems, as well as on those watered from pumpingplants, a certain amount of rotation is practiced, and lands which areirrigated one year may stand dry during another or may be planted toa crop requiring much more or much less water than the one grownduring the preceding season. This is possible only with the annuals,of course. Groves or other crops requiring more than one year tomature can not be rotated in this way. These variations in crops andin irrigation practice make it difficult to estimate the duty of water peracre of irrigated land. Citrus lands are regarded as requiring anequivalent of approximately one miner's inch a continuous flow for each5 acres. Other crop :'! require less, some of them very much less.The total area irrigated during the season of 1904 in the Anaheimquadrangle is estimated at 28,800 acres and in the Santa Ana quadrangleat 6,600 acres, a total of 35,400 acres.In this estimate of the total acreage irrigated, and on the mapsshowing irrigated lands (Pis. II and III), those areas upon whichwater is applied in the manner known as "subirrigation" are not. included. Subirrigation consists essentially in releasing the water onthe surface or in ditches which are widely separated, whence it seepslaterally for long distances through the fine sandy subsoil which isunder much of the peat lands. The method is applicable only wherethe water table lies near the surface. It amounts in effect to raisingthis water table locally, so that it may be reached by the roots ofgrasses, corn, beets, and other plants with short root systems. It isnot possible to map the areas irrigated in this way or to estimate theiramount, because the boundaries are wholly indefinite and the landsthus watered are often inseparable from those which are naturallymoist enough to mature crops. This method is applied more generally to pasture lands than to cultivated areas.a Wherever the term" miner's inch" is used in this report the old California miner's inch is meant.This unit is the amount of water that :flows through a l-inch orifice under 4 inches pressure. It isequal to 9 gallons a minute. one-fiftieth of a second-foot, or 14.478 acre-feet a year.

MENDENHALL.]SURE'ACE IRRIGATION IN COASTAL PLAIN.13IRRIGATION SYSTEMS.Three streams supply surface irrigating waters for the Santa Anaand Anaheim quadrangles. These are San Gabriel River, from whichwater is brought to a territory east of Whittier, in the La Habra district; Santa Ana River, in which the important Anaheim Union andSanta na Valley systems originate; and Santiago Creek, which supplies the Serrano and Carpenter ditches, in the vicinity of Villa Parkand El Modena.SAN GABRIEL SYSTEM.LA HABRA AND EAST WHITTIER WATER COM;PANY.The La Habra and East "rhittier Water Company procures waterfrom the San Gabriel Valley, above the Paso de Bartolo, by means ofa battery of wells and pumps. The water is discharged into an oldtiiArea of cross section IZ.7'FIG. 1.-Cross section of East Whittier ditch.ditch which has been covered with concrete and so converted practically into a pipe line (fig . 1). This line extends to Pickeringavenue, Whittier. From Pickering avenue to the La Ha·bra pumpingstation the water flows through a 36-inch wooden pipe line. From thepumping station about 3,300 feet of 26-inch steel pipe is used for thelift of 110 feet to the reservoir above. A 120-horsepower steam pumphas been installed for this lift.From this reservoir about ,6,000 feet of cement pipe extends toan arroyo southeast of the pumping station, and a 24-inch eoncretepipe runs from this point to the center of sec. 5, T. 3 S., R. 10 W.A 22-inch pipe extends thence to the reservoir and pumping station on the west line of the Rancho San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana.From this station a lower 22-inch gravity line extends to the east" sideof Brea Canyon, and a line about 2,000 feet long, with a lift of 66 ·

14UNDERGROUND WATERS, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-I.[No.137.feet, extends to a distributing box above the pumping station, whencea distributing pipe, in part steel, extends eastward to beyond BreaCanyon.From the La Habra station the California Domestic Water Company has a gravity line running southward for 2 or 3 miles towardCoyote Creek and serving the adjacent lands.SANTA ANA SYSTEMS.All of the water flowing in Santa Ana River at Bedrock Canyon,4 miles west of Rincon, where its flow is supposed to be at a maximum, is taken from the river bed and divided equally between theAnaheim Union Water Company, which supplies the lands north ofthe river, and the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company, whichserve s the lands south of the river.A division box of wood, supported by piling, has been built at Bedrock Canyon. One-half the water of the river is diverted here intothe Anaheim Union Water Company's canal; the other half, afterthe division, is returned to the river bed, and is taken out again at theheadworks of the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company's· canal 3miles below.ANAHEIM UNION WATER COMPANY.According to the report of vV illiam Ham. Hall, formerly Stateengineer of California, the Anaheim Union Water Company is thesuccessor to the earlier rights held by the Anaheim Water Company,the Kramer ditch, and the North Anaheim Canal Company and itspredecessors, the Cajon Irrigation Company and the Canon de SantaAna Water Company.The Kramer ditch was the oldest of the water rights acquired. Ithad taken water from the river several years before the founding ofAnaheim in 1857, and had used those waters to irrigate the Kramertract. For its rights, the Anaheim Union Water Company gave 20shares of nonassessable stock.·The Los Angeles Vineyard Society, organized in 1856, secured 1,165acres of land from the Rancho San Juan Cajon de Santa· Ana and awater right based on the riparian rights of the rancho. It built aditch and diverted sufficient water to irrigate nearly 2,000 acres. In1860 all the water rights, ditches, canals, and rights of way belongingto the society were conveyed to the Anaheim Water Company.The Cajon Canal was begun in 1875, under the authority of the Bushact of 1874, which provided for the organization of irrigation districtsin Los Angeles County, under the si1pervision of a county superintendent of irrigation.District No. 1 was organized and built a small ditch, about 3 feetwide on the bottom, to the mouth of the canyon; District No. 2, formed


MENDENHALL.]SURFACE IRRIGATION IN COASTAL PLAIN.15later, joined the first district and the canal was enlarged to its presentsize. After an expenditure of 40,000 the work was abandoned.In 1876 the Stearns Rancho Syndicate organized the Canon de SantaAna Water Company, with a capital stock of 200,000, and took possession of the canal. No work, however, had been done at the end oftwo years.In 1877, seven landowners organized the Cajon Irrigation Companywith a capital stock of 20,000. They filed on 4,320 miner's inches ofwater at the head of the partly completed Cajon canal, took possessionadversely to the claim of the Canon de Santa Ana Company, andbrought suit to quiet title. The suit never came to trial, but possession on the part of the new company was never strongly resisted bythe older, less active organization.The stockholders o:f the new company, although not wealthy menand having a hard struggle to raise the necessary means, managed tocontinue construction upon their canal. At the time when they weremost deeply involved, they sold one-half interest to the AnaheimWater Company for 20,000, and with these :funds continued the work.In 1882, because of defects in their original organization, they reorganized, taking the name of the North Anaheim Canal Company,whose rights had been purchased for 500 in 1878. This last-namedcompany was organized in 1872 to irrigate land northwest of Anaheim. Its ditch, with a capacity of 1,500 miner's inches, rarelyreceived water except in winter.The joint ownership of the Cajon canal by the Anaheim WaterCompany and the Cajon Company was never a satisfactory arrangement. Disagreements about the division of water led to lawsuits,and in 1884 a consolidation, resulting in the formation of the presentAnaheim Union Water Company, was effected.Under its present organization, which was completed in tTanuary,1884, the 1,200,'000 capital stock of the company is divided into 12,000shares, of which 8,004 shares, representing 8,004 acres under irrigation, have been sold, the balance being held as treasury stock. Thepar value of the stock is 100 a share, and the present (1904) marketvalue is about 65 a share. Stock in the water company is not appurtenant to the land, but may be bought or sold independently.The main canal, of cement or earth construction, has a capacity ofabout 26 heads of 100 miner's inches each. The minimum supply isgiven as about 800 miner's inches. Hall gives the length of the maincanals and branches as over 100 miles, and the officers of the company·state that about 35 miles of laterals are cemented. (See Pl. IV.)One share of stock entitles the owner to one head of 100 miner'sinches for one-half hour during each run throughout the summer season

1 ()UNDERGROUND WATERS, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-I.[No.137.of minimum supply. When. water is abundant there is no time limit,and all the water that the irrigator desires to purchase may be takenout. The water to which ownership of stock entitles the holder is paidfor at present according to the following schedule:Charge for water under canals of Anaheim Union Water Company per head of 100 miner'sinches per hour.November, December, January, and February ------- 0.30March . . . . . . . 40April and October . . . . . - . . 50. May and September . . . . . . 60June, July, and August -·- : . 80In addition to these payments for water, assessments are made eachyear to pay interest on debt and to make improvements. Of lateyears these assessments have averaged about 3.50 per year per share.SANTA ANA VALLEY IRRIGATION COMPANY.aThe water rights of the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company,which serves the greater part of the irrigable lands south of SantaAna Rivet as far as Santa Ana and Tustin, are based on the riparianrights of. the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana to one-half of the waterof Santa Ana River.When this· ranch was partitioned among its owners by decree of thecourt in 1868, each owner was given the right to divert from the riverhis share of the water for irrigation. A number of ditches were constructed fron1 time to time on the· basis of this right, the majority ofthem being afterwards abandoned. The rights of one of these weresecured by the Chapman ditch, which was extended as far as Orangein 1871. In 1873 it was sold to the Semi-Tropic Land and Water Company and extended to Santa Ana and Tustin. This ditch and the W atson ditch, which it supplied, diverted one-half the waters of the river;the other half, which belonged to the irrigators north of the river,was in large part lost in the sandy bed of the stream before reachingthe head of the Anaheim ditch. The result was a shortage of water onthe lands served by the Anaheim ditch, and a suit was begun againstthe Semi-Tropic Water Company to establish the right of the Anaheimditch to water amounting to its full capacity. In the lower court thedecision was against the Semi-Tropic Company, but in an appeal thisdecision was reversed, the case remanded for trial, and a recommendation made by the court that the litigants agree upon an equal divisionof the water. This recommendation was accepted, litigation ceased,and the south-side irrigators have since held undisputed possession ofone-half the flow of the river.a The sketch of the earlier history of this organization, as of the Anaheim Union Company, is condensed from " Irrigation in California," by William Ham. Hall.


.MENDENHALL.]SURFACE IRRIGATION IN COASTAl, PLAIN.17In 1877 the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company was incorporatedwith a capital stock of 100,000, divided into 20,000 shares. Hs objectwas to extend the benefits of irrigation to the 20,000 acres of the original rancho entitled to water. Improvement of the original systemwas immediately begun and has been gradually extended until nowthe greater part of the main canal and laterals are cemented, and excellent service is rendered.Of the 20,000 shares, 16,055 are sold, the balance remaining in thetreasury. The par value is 5 per share; but as all assessments areadded to the cost of shares, and as the value of the property hasincreased, these now (1904) have a market value of about 60.The stock is appurtenant to the land, and may not be sold independently of it. Each share entitles the holder to 1 head of 100 miner'sinches of water for a half hour each run during periods of scarcityand for an hour during ordinary periods. When water is abundantthe irrigator may use all the water he wishes by paying the currentrates. These rates are, during the day, 20 cents per 100 miner's inchesper hour; during the night, 10 cents per 100 miner's inches per hour.The company is well managed, has a small debt, and its system is insplendid condition. Service is rendered at a very low rate. The maincanal (Pl. V, .A.) extends from the intake in the lower canyon of theSanta Ana to Burruel Point, a distance of about 9 miles. More thanhalf of this canal is cement lined, with an average width at bottom of12 feet, a depth of 5 feet, and a width at top of 22 feet. Its capacityis about 7,000 miner's inches. Below Burruel Point the main canal·isdivided into an upper and lower canal, from which a complete systemof laterals forms a network through the country served. The .principal" laterals, as well as the main lines of the system, are shown onPl. II.SANTIAGO CANYON SYSTEMS.Two small but efficient and interesting irrigation systems are servedby the waters of Santiago Canyon.At a narrow point in the canyon, known as the Point of Rocks, about2! miles above Villa Park, a very successful submerged dam (Pl. V, B)has been built across the channel of the stream. It extends from rimrock to rim rock, a distance of 110 feet, and has a maximum height,where the channel is deepest, of 19 feet. At this point its width onthe bottom is 12 feet. It has a uniform width at the top of 3-! feetalong its entire length. An earlier clay dam had been built at thesame point, but after its partial destruction by floods the present rockand concrete structure was built in 189: by the Serrano and Carpenter associations, jointly, at a cost of 3,700. All of the underflow ofSantiago Creek

ground Waters in the Eastern Coastal Plain Region of Southern Cali fornia," by 1\tlr. W. C. Mendenhall, and recommend that it be published in the series of Water-Supply and Irrigation Papers. This report is the first of three papers on the underground waters of the coastal plain of southern California, which are being prepared

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