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Arizona's program practically satisfies every other State's needs in the basin.
The compact divides present and future water in prepetuity. Courts do not even or could not attempt to divide present used on vested rights in perpetuity, and naturally do not attempt to divide unused future water.
The Colorado River compact purports to allocate the waters of the Colorado River in accordance with the terms of a uniform law passed by Congress and the seven states in the Colorado River basin. By referring to the law you will ascertain the fact that it authorizes a compact apportioning the water of the Colorado River * between the States”.
The first fundamental error in the compact is that it does not apportion the water as authorized by the law “between the States" but between arbitrary divisions called basins, the “upper” and the "lower" basins, and this was done without consideration of conditions existing in these two arbitrary basins created. Under the arbitrary conditions established for the division of the water, Arizona, due to economic conditions, is subjected to the same difficulties as the upper basin States and by signing the compact would, in competition with California, be signing away all her rights and hopes for future development.
The second fundamental error in the compact is that all of the water that the upper basin States can ever use (and some eminent engineers claim more water than they can ever use) has been apportioned to the lower basin to irrigate all of the lands susceptible to feasible development and in return for this advantage in allocation of water they give nothing to the lower basin either in recognition of rights, of storage facilities or otherwise.
The third defect in the compact is that no provision is made to prevent water stored in the United States, when it is released and the low-water flow increased, from being applied to Mexican lands and possible water rights acquired in that country.
The fourth defect is that in the allocation of water the upper basin States will be served from the normal flow of the river, while the lower basin must depend on storage and no allowance is made for evaporation losses which will result to the lower basin from the stored water.
Other defects exist.
What is the reason for any compact being negotiated which sets aside the present well established and defined water laws which govern the utilization of water in all of the States of the basin and the principles of which were held by the United States Supreme Court to govern as between the States in the basin? The only answer that can be made logically and truthfully is that it is dictated by the farsighted business acumen of some of the States in the basin who are endeavoring to secure for use, in the distant future rights which they do not now possess under the law. The upper basin States are manifesting no altruism in demanding a compact. They do not take the position that it is immaterial where development is undertaken so long as it is in the United States. They are demanding all that can be gotten for their political subdivisions or States. Why should we not do likewise ?
Economic law may be harsh, but it is the only law that governs. We are told by eminent authorities that $150,000,000 in unearned increment will become attached to the lands of the Imperial Valley as soon as adequate storage facilities are provided to insure a steady supply of water for irrigation and flood control; and that additional hundreds of thousands of millions or perhaps billions of dollars in unearned increment will accrue to southern California municipalities and lands when an abundance of electrical energy is made available. Thus, under the terms of the Colorado River compact, the four upper basin States and California achieve wealth, economic security, and the assurance of the continuation of these benefits in perpetuity.
What about Arizona and Nevada, the remaining two States in the basin? We are told, quoting ex-Governor Boyle, that Nevada can possibly utilize 10,000 horsepower from the Colorado River at this time; that they may eventually utilize 100,000 horsepower and that they may irrigate not to exceed 80,000 acres of land. Mr. Weymouth and Mr. Davis, former chief engineers of the United States Bureau of Reclamation, state 3,000 and 4,000, respectively.
Arizona is in the position, if the present water laws remain undisturbed and unimpaired, of asking nothing. We are fully satisfied with the present laws as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court. We are fully able, under present laws, to protect our interests from all of the other six States in the basin and from Mexico. We do not fear development in California or in the upper basin if the law of priorities, based upon appropriation for beneficial use, remains in full effect. But, if that law is to be disturbed, modified, or set aside, we have immediate cause for alarm. The proposal to set the law aside does not come from us.
We had not been particularly interested in the immediate development of the Colorado River up to the time the compact was discussed. It is only 13 years ago since we obtained the statehood. We have been developing our resources within the interior of this State. We think we have made tremendous strides since 1912; considering our small population it exceeded that of any other state in the union during that period. The Colorado River is a potention asset of Arizona.
Under the Kinkaid Act, passed by Congress, the United States spent over $2,000,000 in the vicinity of Boulder Canyon and practically none elsewhere on the river. There is some testimony that the Imperial Valley irrigation district has spent half a million dollars in connection with the proposed Boulder Canyon project and we have no information as to how much money southern California municipalities and the State of Nevada and other interests have spent in this connection. The lack of information and data in regard to any other than Boulder Canyon is very succinctly stated by Col. William Kelley, chief engineer of the United States Federal Power Commission, as follows:
The need for more facts is the rather astounding conclusion one must reach from study of the data at hand. While hundreds of thousands of dollars have been expended on intensive investigation at Boulder and Black Canyons, the various dam sites between Boulder and Diamond Creek are untested, as is also the site at Mohave Canyon. Drilling at these sites and sufficient investigation and study to permit estimation of comparable accuracy to be made for each are necessary before a satisfactory conclusion can be reached.
When the Colorado River compact was negotiated the representatives of the State of Arizona had no material facts as to the possibility of development in this State unless the information as contained in the report of Mr. Arthur P. Davis is to be accepted by Arizona as accurate something we are not willing to accept.
The question may be raised that it is not the fault of the other states that Arizona is not in possession of the facts. Our reply is that Arizona is not asking that the law of priorities based upon appropriations for beneficial use be set aside. Arizona is fully content with that law. We think it is fair, equitable and just. Arizona is doing her utmost to acquire facts.
Since the Colorado River compact was negotiated, engineers tell us that it is possible to develop additionally from 700,000 to 3,000,000 acres of land in Arizona from the Colorado River. Other engineers accept the data of Mr. Arthur P. Davis which states that it is only practicable to irrigate some 280,000 acres of land, which includes the Yuma project, in Arizona, from the Colorado River. We think we have secured sufficient information in the past two years to justify the belief that a considerably greater area in this State can be irrigated from the Colorado River.
If Arizona signed the Colorado River compact in its present form we would be signing away our future right to utilize the resources of the river without recompense. If we have something you want and can utilize, economic justice dictates that it be paid for.
The Colorado River compact gives to the upper basin rights which they can not acquire under the law except by putting the water to beneficial use before it is utilized in the lower basin.
Something has been said from time to time about the nationalization of the river; that Arizona is said to have forfeited her rights under the terms of the enabling act granting her statehood to this state. Efforts have been made to distort the law as it relates to navigation and alleged rights the Federal Government might have in a navigable river, are used as a basis for discussing nationalization of this river. In this connection, so long as the courts of this land remain open, Arizona anticipates no menace from that direction. We would expect to get from the courts the same rights that New York might.
Arizona asserts that she is a sovereign State, with rights equal to those of any other State; that she has jurisdiction over the bed of the streams from high water mark to high water mark within this State and all of the water that flows therein except as title has been acquired under existing law, and that between the States of Nevada and California, where the stream is a border stream, that the sovereign rights lay between those two States and Arizona and that any rights as to power sites that the Federal Government may have in the streams are the rights of the proprietor only. Some day that usurped right of the United States will be challenged and Arizona may have the opportunity to show in the Supreme Court that when the Congress of the United States made the reservations as to power sites, that it exceeded its authority in denying admittance of the territory of Arizona to the Union of the States, which comprise the United States on an equal basis with all of the other States.
Arizona asserts that, while the Federal Government as a proprietor may own the lands abutting the dam sites and the lands that will be overflowed, the State of Arizona, as a sovereign, owns the land in the bed of the stream, upon which the dam will be erected and the water in the stream and that it reserves the right to tax and derive revenue from any development in the river in whatever manner the laws of this State may devise.
Any decisions made should first of all stipulate that as between the United States Government and the Mexican Government no water rights will accrue to Mexican lands resulting from any storage facilities provided on the Colorado River or any of its tributaries.
Mr CHAIRMAN, may I file, on behalf of the desert entrymen of the Palo-Verde and Chuckawalla district a petition to this committee?
The CHAIRMAN: Yes.
BEFORE THE HONORABLE UNITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION
In the matter of the relief of the lands and desert entrymen of the Palo
Verde and Chuckawalla district, petition To the HON CHARLES L. McNary, Chairman, and Members of the Senate
Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation in Conference at Los Angles, Calif.
GENTLEMEN : The Polo-Verde and Chuckawalla Entrymen's Irrigation Association, a voluntary organization comprised of some 800 entrymen. respectfully submit to your honorable body their petition for recognition as a benefactor under possible legislation and governinental irrigation and reclamation, and respectfully represent:
(a) That your petitioners hold under their respective desert land entry in Riverside County, Calif, lands approximating 217,000 acres; that said lands are arid in character and exceptionally attractive for agricultural and horticultural purpose by virtue of superior soil and climate conditions ; that said lands depend for their reclamation upon waters of the Colorado River.
(6) That said entries were made in good faith by the respective claimants and constitute the last opportunity to exercise the right of land entry to these claimants; that the expenditure incident to the compliance with the Federal laws has aggregated more than $700,000; that incident to the reclamation of said lands preliminary work, maps, contours, etc., including the expenditures made incident to the requirement of the War Department on the Colorado River more than $100,000 have been expended, the whole of the same being virtually lost under existing unavoidable circumstances.
(c) Your petitioners respectfully represent that they are now in a position to submit to any department requiring the same, efficient details, maps, contours, and other valuable data omitted at this time, under the belief that they are all of general knowledge to your committee, and the important instruments incident thereto are now on file with the Secretary of the Interior, report of James Dix Schuyler, formerly engineer of the department of engineering, Panama Canal.
(a) Your petitioners respectfully pray that they be recognized as the proper applicant for benefits under the food control, reclamation, or power projects incident to the Government improvement on or along the Colorado River,' and to be justly entitled to their necessary and requisite amount of water and power for the reclamation of said lands.
(e) That your petitioners be noted and recognized as unqualified supporters
First. Of the Colorado high dam project,
Second, That the All-American (anal as a reclamation project is a necessary adjunct to American developments,
Third, As indorsers of the apparent efforts, objects, and purposes of the Swing-Johnson measure and any necessary and proper amendments thereof, in keeping with efficient engineering advice,
Fourth, That this organization be considered dependent upon and at the mercy of governmental improvement and the reclamation incident to the Colorado high dam project.
(f) Your petitioners respectfully pray for the consideration of your honorable committee and for your support and recommendation of the present contemplated or subsequent legislation conducive to and effective in the reclamation of said lands and the rights of these entrymen to continue and hold upon these lands, and that thereby they be permitted to exercise a right thereto, which, if destroyed, the same con not be exercised subsequently by virtue of the rapidly passing of the eminent domain; that your committee make such recommendations as will best subserve the Nation, the State, and these respective claimants. Submitted with appreciation of this opportunity.
THE PALO-VERDE AND CHUCKAWALLA DISTRICT ASSOCIATION,
By LYMAN FARWELL, President. Attest:
FRANK U. SHERMAN,
Secretary and Treasurer. Address : 307 Western Mutual Life Building, Los Angeles, Calif. The CHAIRMAN. Is Mr. H. B. Hovland here?
STATEMENT OF H. B. HOVLAND, MINING ENGINEER, TUCSON,
The CHAIRMAN. What is your occupation?
Mr. Hovland. Mining engineer. I qualified before the committee in March, 1924. I have a telegram from Governor Hunt in which he asked me to appear before this meeting and represent Arizona in respect to some matters. I have been here two days and I have been struck by one great big outstanding fact. There have been discussions of the great development in this river, and almost all point to the great value of the properties involved in this development, namely, water and power. No exact figures have been set, but no doubt they run up into hundreds of millions of dollars, perhaps into billions of dollars, these values that are being discussed. That has an interest to me in just this way at this moment: Arizona is interested, and California is interested, and other States are interested. These values can scarcely be divided up between the States without issues arising.
Then, it occurred to me at this meeting, and within the five minutes allotted to me, I might set before you 10 points for your consideration, not for our benefit any more than for your benefit. I desire you to consider those 10 points and study them out, because I believe that the issue will come along those lines in the near future.
First. The outstanding part of the Colorado River now in controversy is in the State of Arizona.
Second. The law of prior appropriation and beneficial use as applied by and within Arizona upon waters of the Colorado River within Arizona is controlling as against any other State.
Third. Every major dam hitherto proposed for storage and power, if built, would be set upon Arizona terrain subject to jurisdiction of the State of Arizona.
Fourth. The State of Arizona with due dilligence over years of time has exercised its rights and filed upon Glenn-Spencer-Bridge Canyon sites for the unappropriated waters and power of the Colo