Public Works Blog

Big Cut

BOR-2Thanks to the Bureau of Reclamation’s Boise Project, the New York Canal was not only completed but also enlarged. This photograph depicts the “Big Cut” of the New York Canal on January 15, 1909. A little over a month later 3,000 Boiseans lined the New York Canal for over a mile to watch water finally fill the large canal.

(Photo by R.E.H. courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation)

Canal Break

BOR-5In February 1910 the New York Canal broke about a mile and a half south of the diversion point where the Boise River supplies water to the canal. Intense labor on the New York Canal, shown here, occurred in 1910.

(Photo by Walt Lubken courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation)

Spillway Goes 21st Century

BOR-8In February 2012 the Bureau of Reclamation installed three inflatable spillway gates at the Boise River Diversion Dam. Prior to the inflatable spillway gates the Dam was controlled manually by adding or removing heavy wooden flashboards. The new spillway gates eliminate hazards that once workers. This photograph shows the downstream side of Boise River Diversion Dam spillway at the inflatable spillway gates.

Flood of 1943

BOR-9As this picture indicates, the flood of 1943 overflowed several Boise farms and acres of pastureland. Since the 1940s the Bureau of Reclamation has worked closely with other government agencies to prevent floods by releasing water into the Boise River to keep water at levels where flooding will not occur.

(Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation)

Desert Ranch


BOR-1The fertile land and shady trees that are hallmarks of The City of Trees owes a great deal to the work and innovation of the Bureau of Reclamation. In the early 1900s several irrigation companies failed in their attempt to irrigate higher lands, like the Boise Bench. The task of supplying water to arid lands fell to the Bureau of Reclamation. Many Boiseans started just like these early settlers who required assistance from the United States Reclamation Service.

(Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation)