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Irrigation Evolution


Tom Marceau: There is an evolution in irrigation
farming here on the Hanford site. What we are looking at here is one of the
later stages of irrigation. We have ceramic irrigation pipe here. You notice that periodically or all the way
down the line, you have holes. Well, those holes are where the water came
out from the pipe. It filled in the rails. You can see that one of the things about desert
environments is that archeologically, they maintain the scars on the earth that man puts
on them. You can walk down this line. You can still see all of the irrigation paths
and all of the rail lines where the crops were actually planted as you walk down this
line. Like I said, this is one of the later stages. Irrigation started off with wood-staged pipe
wrapped in steel. That is one of the more common things that
you see from the pre-Hanford era. You see this as the later stages. Eventually, you also see concrete pipe, and
actually some steel pipe towards the very end, just before Hanford was taken over for
the war effort. One of the interesting things about this pipe
is that this pipe is exposed. More often than not, these irrigation pipes
were covered over with mounds of dirt so that they were not visible. What you see in the landscape is the mound
where this pipe is buried.

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