The Consul at Mexicali ( Ketcham ) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 15—12:49 a.m.]
21. Reference despatch 266 of July 8, and subsequent despatches.23 Governor Taboada of Northern Territory Baja California stated this morning he has hopes United States Government would arrive at some solution soon to alleviate critical water shortages Mexicali Valley. As last resort, if water to Alamo24 not forthcoming National Irrigation Commission25 plans to construct auxiliary canal just below border in Mexican territories to connect with Alamo, although this project involves danger of flooding land of both Mexicali and Imperial Valleys. Later this morning about 300 farmers representing all Ejidos and Colonias affected held outdoor mass meeting at office National Irrigation Commission. Meeting was orderly but Engineer Esquivel, Mexicali manager Commission,26 stated farmers threaten to take matters in their own hands and with or without sanction of National Irrigation Commission and use [using?] all available trucks and machinery in Valley, will build connecting ditch direct from river to Alamo Canal, a distance of 500 meters on Mexican soil, unless something is done to supply water immediately. Farmers cannot understand reasons why with water available in river Alamo is so poorly [Page 1383] supplied and politics in United States and government red tape are blamed. Urgently request Department do everything possible to overcome impasse as good neighbor policy this section seriously threatened.