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OFFICE OF THE STATE ENGINEER,
To the Honorable Senate and Assembly of the State of California:
I submit this report concerning the work of the State Engineering Department, unincumbered with accounts and data of partial results, in order that you may have at hand in a concise and manageable form, a statement embodying the essential facts respecting the origin, object, condition, and economic value of this work, as well as to render an accounting for the past two years.
At the outset, I respectfully represent that I do not take the responsibility of recommending a continuation of this work with a view to its present prosecution to completion, as it was marked out in the law which originally directed its undertaking, nor the incurring of other expense than that necessary for properly putting before the public that portion of it now in hands, and which is in an advanced state for publication.
THE DEPARTMENT AND ITS WORK.
The State Engineer Department was created by an Act of Legislature approved March 29, 1878, and the State Engineer was therein instructed to undertake certain works of inquiry and investigation, as follows:
Duty in general.
SEC. 3. The duty of the State Engineer shall be, under the direction of the Governor, to investigate the problems of irrigation of the plains, the condition and capacity of the great drainage lines of the State, and the improvement of the navigation of rivers.
SEC. 4. In order to carry out the purpose specified in section three, it shall be required of the State Engineer to ascertain as nearly as possible the following named facts, and to express opinions as is hereby required.
First-To ascertain the present water-carrying capacity of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, in the different sections which are liable to overflow.
Second--Whether this carrying capacity can be increased, and, if so, by what means, and at what cost.
Third-The maximum quantity of water which may reasonably be expected to present itself on any day, at the head of any of the sections of the rivers as before mentioned.
Fourth-Whether it is possible to make the rivers carry the maximum quantity thus ascertained, and if not, to suggest such other measures as may be judicious for the relief of the rivers and the protection of adjoining lands, and to give detailed estimates of the cost of the suggested works.