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Senator SHORTRIDGE. But, of course, the quantity of diverted water there is more or less limited. Mr. FINLEY. Yes, sir.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. I mean the amount of the flood waters that come out from the mountain stream, there at that point, where the meeting was held, is not great.
Mr. FINLEY. Yes; that settling operation can only be carried on for a very limited period of the year.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Are you familiar with the San Gabriel Dam enterprise ?
Mr. FINLEY. No, sir, not to any great extent.
Senator JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman, call Mr. Shaw instead of Mr. Mason, who represents the city of Long Beach. A few minutes only will be required.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well. Mr. Shaw. STATEMENT OF CLARK SHAW, CHIEF ENGINEER OF THE MUNICI
PAL WATER DEPARTMENT OF LONG BEACH, CALIF. Mr. Suaw. I am chief engineer of the municipal water department of Long Beach,
Mr. Chairman and Senators, Mr. C. H. Windham, city manager of the city of Long Beach, is one of the executive directors of the Boulder Canyon Dam Association, and has been ill for some time, and was unable to attend this meeting. It was expected that Mr. Bruce Mason or the mayor would be present. In their absence I appear before you to represent and to impress upon you that Long Beach, as a municipality, is vitally interested in the development of the Colorado River, primarily for the bringing of domestic water into this region and for the production of power.
Long Beach, probably, is situated more favorably for water development of the undergound waters than any other vicinity in Southern California. We are at the very low end of what has been presented to you as the coastal plain, and consequently our location is the last to be diminished and the first to be replenished, on account of the seasonal rainfall or water supply. I also wish to bring to this committee the fact that we are very much concerned on account of the receding of our water plane. Mr. Sonderegger this morning called to your attention one of the famous wells of this valley, known as the Bouton well, developed back in the nineties; that at the time of development the water flowed 60 feet into the air. During this last season, from actual measurement, the water was approximately 20 feet below the surface. Mr. SHORTRIDGE. Where is that?
Mr. Shaw. The Bouton well, about 5% miles north of the main part of the city of Long Beach. We, of course, have been looking to the protection of our water and water plane, and at the present time are very much interested in the development of water that is going to enchance the growth of our community and guarantee to us that there will be no retarding in the future.
The CHAIRMAN. Is Mr. Wadsworth present?
STATEMENT OF HIRAM W. WADSWORTH, CITY DIRECTOR OF THE
CITY OF PASADENA, AND PRESIDENT OF THE COLORADO RIVER AQUEDUCT ASSOCIATION
Mr. WADSWORTH. I am city director of the city of Pasadena 'and! president of the Colorado River Aqueduct Association. I am speak. ing in behalf of the city of Pasadena.
The city of Pasadena is vitally interested in the control and development of the Colorado River by the construction of a high dam at or in the immediate vicinity of Boulder Canyon. While interested in a general way in this movement for the benefit of the entire Southwest, Pasadena's particular interest arises from two conditions: The first being the water supply situation, and the second being a matter of power and light.
Primarily we are concerned with the additional domestic water supply available from the river. The major portion of the water supply at the present time used by the city is derived from an underground basin. A small quantity of surface water is available also during certain seasons of the year from a canyon known as the Arroyo Seco. The underground basin consists of a stratum of pervious gravel in which the water is retained by an impervious formation, commonly known as a dike, extending in an easterly and westerly direction, along and easterly from the southerly boundary of the city. Water stored in this basin is derived from the floods and normal drainage from mountains lying to the north. The mountain drainage area tributary to the basin is comparatively small, consisting of 45.1 square miles. The average annual runoff from all of the tributary mountain areas is 27,600 acre feet. The average annual consumption of water from the basin amounts to 33,300 acre feet. The city of Pasadena, through its municipal water department, develops and distributes approximately 50 per cent of the total consumption from the basin. "The remaining consumption is accounted for by numerous other consumers who have sunk wells in the basin and continuously pump water therefrom.
The run off and consumption records indicate an obvious overdraft of water, amounting to 5,700 acre-feet per annum, which is reflected in the fact that the level of water in the basin has receded during the past few years at the rate of approximately 10 to 15 feet per year. It is estimated that present conditions can continue only four or five years longer. Beyond that time it is anticipated that the city of Pasadena and others dependent upon the water supply, representing in all a population of over 130,000 people, will have great difficulty in sustaining the domestic supply of water. The consumption of water in the basin is not wasteful or extravagent. In the city of Pasadena it amounts to 103 gallons per capita per day.
It is recognized, of course, that Colorado River water under most favorable conditions will not be available until a date much later than five years from the present time. For the purpose of carrying the city over the interim a project is under way to appropriate surplus or flood waters from the San Gabriel River. The amount of water available from this source, however, is estimated to be inadequate to permanently supply the cities, and others dependent upon the Pasadena basin, with water. Our San Gabriel project is so designated as to constitute an element—we believe a necessary element–in the system by which water will be brought eventually from the Colorado River for local distribution.
Careful surveys have been made of all available sources of water and the conclusion has been reached that the Colorado River offers the only final solution to the problem. If the coastal plain of southern California is to develop in the future as it has in the past, the flood waters of the Colorado River must be adequately controlled and made available. By the construction of a high dam at Boulder Canyon an amount of water sufficient to supply the cities of Southern California may be stored without injuring any of the present users of water or limiting the future agricultural and urban development of the territory naturally dependent upon the waters of the Colorado.
It is not our purpose to enlarge unduly upon the vital necessity of this development to Pasadena. The simple facts are sufficient to reveal a situation which causes us to feel that every effort should be made to clear away all practical and political obstacles and bring the river under control at the earliest possible moment.
The early and satisfactory solution of the water situation which I have attempted to briefly describe is something upon which our future life depends.
The city is also in the market for hydroelectric energy. We operate a steam plant in which natural gas and fuel oil are consumed for the purpose of generating electricity for supplying light and power to the inhibitants of the city. There is no other utility serving this field. Our production and consumption of electrical energy is constantly increasing. During the last fiscal year there were produced at the plant 48,552,770 kilowatt hours of energy. Water stored at Boulder Canyon would make available a very large supply of hydroelectric energy at a price considerably below the cost of steam generation. In its light and power department the city of Pasadena is a well-administered business corporation and naturally desires to secure its electrical energy at the lowest possible figure. We feel that the construction of a dam in the manner contemplated by the Swing-Johnson bill would place the city in a position where this result might be profitably accomplished. Incidentally, we recognize the relation between the development of power and the water situation. It will be necessary to pump water brought to the costal plain from the Colorado River to a considerable height (although not much more than Pasadena is now lifting water), and for this purpose considerable electrical energy will be consumed. So for as electricity is concerned, our interest in the Colorado River is merely a matter of business. The water supply, however, is a matter of vital necessity and should it become necessary to assist in financing the dam by acquiring and paying for power rights in advance, I am confident that the people of Pasadena will promptly authorize the necessary bonded indebtedness.
Pasadena's interest in the river has extended over a considerable period of years. Shortly after the adoption of the so-called Kincaid Act the city contributed liberally to the cost of research surveys and investigations on the river, Our contributions to this purpose have amounted to some $5,000. The city has participated in the activities of the Boulder Dam Association and the Colorado River Acqueduct Association. Through our law department we participated in farming and introducing a bill in the State legislature contemplating the creation of a metropolitan water district designed to include, on a fair basis of representation, all cities desiring Colorado River water in this section. The proposed act contemplated an organization capable of financing and administering a conduit bringing water to its component cities on a wholesale basis. Unfortunately, and we feel through political manipulation, the bill, although passed in the senate, was defeated in the assembly. Since that time the people of the city of Los Angeles, in no uncertain manner, have indicated that their representatives who voted against the bill were not acting in accordance with the desires of the people, and we have no doubt but that at the next session of the legislature an act will be adopted authorizing the incorporation of the contemplated district. While I am supposed to speak only as a representative of Pasadena at this time, may I not say, as president of the Colorado River Aqueduct Association, that water situations similar to ours exist in many other cities in southern California.
I may summarize the attitude of the city of Pasadena by stating that we earnestly urge the favorable consideration by this committee and the Congress of the United States of the Swing-Johnson bill, or legislation which will serve a like purpose, for developing the Colorado River under the direct control the the Federal Government, for the benefit of the Southwest. To permit this, one of our greatest natural resources, to pass into private control would, we feel, be a great error. We have no quarrel with private capital but are convinced that the best interest of the people and the State can be served most advantageously by permitting public, as well as private corporations, to participate in the labor and the benefits involved. To this end we urge your active cooperation.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Mr. Wadsworth, you have just stated that what you have given us in respect of Pasadena applies to all the other towns and cities around th re?
Mr. W ADSWORTH. That is my opinion in regard to the water supply; that that is the condition in general. Of course, there are exceptions.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. It is not for my benefit, for I happen to be more or less familiar with the situation, but for other members of the committee, I ask these questions.
Mr. W ADSWORTH. I know that in the organization of this Colorado River Aqueduct Association we had delegates present from 39 different cities and towns, which showed their evident interest in the matter.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. You mentioned, and I again direct your attention to th: San Gabriel enterprise. While that might afford some relief by way of additional supply, it, of course, is not adequate to meet the present or future demands.
Mr. WADSWORTH. I would say, Senator, from our point of view, that we are adopting this method simply as a makeshift, until such time as the Colorado River water can be brought in.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. The county has voted some twenty-odd million dollars has it not, to build a dam in the San Gabriel ?
Mr. WADSWORTH. Yes, for the building of the dam there. I think they figure $25,000,000 on the San Gabriel dam; the $35,000,000 bond issue to be used in different places.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. You know of no other adequate supply than the Colorado River, do you!
Mr. WADSWORTH. I know of no other adequate supply than the Colorado River. The board of directors of the city of Pasadena has made careful investigations in all dir ctions and have not been able to find anything, even for our city. Under our present zoning ordinance, our city planners inform me that the total population of our city can be expected to amount to 265,000 people eventually. We have at the present time probably 70,000 in the city proper, and, as I have stated, 130,000 drawing from the Pasadena Basin.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. But in order for that large population to remain there, they have got to have more water?
Mr. WADSWORTH. They have got to have it.
Senator ODDIE. What is your idea of the effect of the forest fires of this whole southern California area on the cover of the watersheds?
Mr. WaDsWORTH. The danger, it seems to me, from forest fires, although I am not a student of them-is that in the burning off of the brush-most of the covering of our mountains is brush h re, especially on the southern slopes—in burning it off, it leads to disintegration of the soil, the washing down of the soil, and consequently a quicker passing off of the rain. I think the brush on the mountains hold back the rains as they fall and allow them to sink into the ground and be conserved.
Senator ODDIE. Already have forest fires done considerable damage in this southern California area?
Mr. W ADSWORTH. There is no question about that.
Senator ODDIE. Is there a constant menace from forest fires in the future?
Mr. WADSWORTH. I think there is, just as long as people are allowed to go into the mountains.
Senator Oddie. Is there a possibility that under certain conditions several fires at once or larger fires than heretofore might destroy a very much larger area than has been destroyed!
Nr. WADSWORTH. I think there have been numerous instances where we have had several fires in the southern California mountains all at the same time.
Senator ODDIE. Do you believe this condition is an added argument for bringing more water into this section?
Mr. W ADSWORTH. Why, I don't see how you could get away from the fact.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. I suppose it is a fact, isn't it, that barren mountains means sterile valleys? Mr. WADSWORTH. Undoubtedly, as the water cannot be conserved.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. And the forest growth would prevent these disastrous washes?
Mr. WADSWORTH. One would have to go into the mountains and see where the soil has been carried down.
Senator ODDIE. In places of this kind, where the rains have washed the soil away as a result of forest fires, do you understand that it will take a long time to build up that surface covering again?