The Imperial Valley
The first time we came into the Imperial Vally we were mighty astonished to find such a vast agricultural area being so close to a dry desert landscape. The valley is located in southeastern Southern California, centered around the city of El Centro. Locally, the terms "Imperial Valley" and "Imperial County" are used synonymously. The Valley is bordered between the Colorado River to the east and, in part, the Salton Sea to the west. Farther west lies the San Diego and Imperial County border.
The reason for the far-stretched agricultural landscape is the All-American Canal which conveys the rich water supply, from the Colorado River into the Imperial Valley.
|Neatly prepared agricultural fields|
|Irrigation Pipes along the Highway|
It is the Imperial Valley's only water source, and replaced the Alamo Canal, which was located mostly in Mexico. The Imperial Dam, about 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Yuma, Arizona on the Colorado River, diverts water into the All-American Canal, which runs to just west of Calexico, California before its last branch heads mostly north into the Imperial Valley. Six smaller canals branching off the All American Canal move water into the Imperial Valley. These canal systems irrigates up to 630,000 acres (250,000 ha) of good crop land and has made possible a greatly increased crop yield in this originally semi-desert area. It is the largest irrigation canal in the world, carrying a maximum of 26,155 cubic feet per second (740.6 m3/s)
|The All-American Canal as it runs by the Hot Springs LTVA|
The Imperial Valley is rich in natural beauty, local history, and culture. The unique culture of the area blends the two different countries of the United States with Mexico, due to its regional history and geographic location along the international border. This creates a small town atmosphere, and an economy based on agriculture, and a strong work ethic for the people of the valley. From early in January through the winter holiday season, the Imperial Valley hosts many festivals and activities that keep things moving. From the North to the South. Imperial Valley offers visitors and residents a taste of many cultures such as those from Mexico with all its sights, sounds and tastes waiting to be savored.
El Centro is the promising new major commercial and industrial center of Southern California for the imperial valley, being the center of shipping exports as well as being home to retail, transportation, wholesale, and agricultural industries. There are also two international border crossings nearby for commercial and noncommercial vehicles. The city's population was 37,835 at the 2000 census. The 2006 population is 40,563. The city is 50 feet (20 m) below sea level and the largest city in the United States below sea level. Fifty percent of the jobs in El Centro come from the service and retail sector. However, the economic recession hit El Centro and surroundings hard, and the city has a current unemployment rate of more than 25%.
|Strong hispanic traditions in the Imperial Valley|
|Anza Borrego in Spring - blooming Desert|
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