The Plan

Map outlining Gravity Plan

This map details the tunnels, canals, and dams that comprised the Gravity Plan.

The irrigation projects in the early 20th century were born partly out of frontier narratives that merged a sense of destiny with appeals to national pride and the promise of prosperity. Similarly, the Columbia Basin Irrigation League (CBIL) promoted the Gravity Plan as a means to realize the promise of the Western frontier with zealous determination. Equally zealous were backers of the dam who envisioned a growing industrial base arising out of the electricity produced by a large facility at Grand Coulee, in addition to new farms resulting from irrigation. The CBIL, backed by the Spokane Chamber of Commerce, was better funded than their counterparts and garnered endorsements from Panama Canal engineer George Goethals, Herbert Hoover, and Governor Ernest Lister.

Tour of Inspection of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project

In order to woo key members of Congress to hammer out a bill to fund the Gravity Plan, the Columbia Basin Irrigation League, led by Roy R. Gill, wined and dined members of the Irrigation and Reclamation Committee. This brochure contains a 5-day itinerary for a tour of potential Columbia Basin irrigation projects. The Columbia Basin Irrigation League organized this tour for the Congressional Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation. The tour included viewing of sites for the Gravity Plan and the Grand Coulee Dam.