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home : blogs_old : around the valley November 20, 2014

Around the Valley
By John Bradley, Blythe, ca
Areas of historical interest in and around the valley.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Palo Verde Diversion Dam

John Bradley

The Palo Verde Diversion Dam was built in 1957 and provides all irrigation water to the valley. Located approximately 10 miles up highway 95 from Interstate 10.
Once a year the canal systems are drained for repair. These photos show both perspectives , Full and Empty. Without this gravity irrigation system in the valley there would be no Blythe.
If you've never been or haven't been in awhile , do yourself a favor and take the trip up. These photos don't do the dam justice. It really is amazing.








The next few photos of metal pylons predate the dam. They were the brain child of Ed Calloway ( if my memory recalls from what I've read) and helped catch river debris to prevent levee breaking and valley flooding. Only visible when the dam is drained. I did not think they were around anymore.




Below is a picture of a boat bow sticking up out of the muddy river bottom


Below is a picture of the original rock damn in the background.








Because I always take a lot more pictures than I post on here , and because I'm restricted to posting smaller images on below is a link to view photos that didn't make the cut and that are larger for you viewing pleasure.

Older Blog Entry Links!

Windmills of the Valley

Pattons Cabin

Cibola National Wildlife Refuge

Cibola Cabin

Midland Mine

Wild Animals

Washes Running

Another Old Homestead

Oxbow Road

Petroglyphs In the Mule Mountains

Gargoyle Canyon

Ford Dry Lake

Ehrenberg Cemetery

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Article comment by: Robin Barker-Toon

John, Really enjoy youre pic..Look forward to seeing new ones.My Dad used to take us to the Dam...When youre small the Dam looked so much bigger.So thanks for the memories..

Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Article comment by: Peace Be still

Cool, from the perspective of the artist in me I can only say that no matter how these photos were intended to be represented they are absolutley beautiful.

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011
Article comment by: John B

As far as I know and what I've read is that the current damn location is right below where the water was originally diverted from the river and that was because the narrowness and proximity to the bedrock the river flowed through. It was first blasted using dynamite. Olive lake was originally used as a holding tank of sorts for water to be used for irrigation.

None None - No I do not have any of those photos. I imagine it looks the same and that excess water is just run back into the river at certain outfalls.

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011
Article comment by: Terry Clemens

Awsome Photo's - In the book Desert Man River Man - He talks about the Tri - Pods to hold back water and debris during the Spring Thaw, I always thought it was more by I 10, early irrigation ditches were constructed by the Blythe Land Company must have started above Olive Lake by the current dam ???? just asking, very nive artical

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011
Article comment by: none none

John, any pictures available of the dam pre-MWD-PVID-water deal? Just curious how much less water is making it to the valley. That would be a great perspective of the diversion dam if available. Thanks farmers :)

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011
Article comment by: j B

Thanks Vince. I've still got a lot more places lined up.

Posted: Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Article comment by: vince zarate

always nice jon. your blogs are the only thing i look at on this site anymore. good work.

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