- Imperial Valley
an irrigated agricultural region in SE California, adjacent to Mexico, formerly a part of the Colorado Desert: it is largely below sea level and contains the Salton Sink.
* * *Valley extending from southeastern California, U.S., to Mexico.It forms part of the Colorado Desert. Intensive irrigation began in 1901 with the opening of the Imperial Canal, which diverted water from the Colorado River. Floodwaters in 1905–07 destroyed the irrigation channels and created the Salton Sea. The valley is now watered by the Hoover Dam and the All-American Canal. With 3,000 mi (4,800 km) of irrigation canals, it contains 500,000 acres (200,000 hectares) of cultivated land.
* * *intensively irrigated part of the Colorado Desert, mainly in Imperial county, southern California, U.S. The valley extends southward for 50 miles (80 km) from the southern end of the Salton Sea (a saline lake) into Mexico. Part of a trough stretching from the Coachella Valley to the Gulf of California (California, Gulf of), it is almost entirely below sea level—235 feet (72 metres) below at the edge of the Salton Sea. Its hot desert climate is characterized by daily temperature extremes. It was once part of the Gulf of California, from which it was cut off by the damlike deposits of the Colorado River Delta Fan. Bordered by sand dunes and barren mountains, it was an uninhabited wasteland until 1901, when the Imperial Canal was opened and diverted Colorado River water into the valley through Mexico. Floodwaters in 1905–07 destroyed the irrigation channels and created the Salton Sea (now maintained by irrigation runoff).Development of the region languished until the completion of Hoover Dam in 1935 and the All-American Canal in 1940. The valley, with some 3,000 miles (5,000 km) of irrigation canals, contains about 500,000 acres (200,000 hectares) of cultivated land. Products include truck crops, alfalfa, cotton, sugar beets, and livestock. El Centro, Brawley, and Calexico are regional commercial centres, as is Mexicali, Mexico.
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