Page images
PDF
EPUB

resolved against us, through the cunning, subtle wording of that compact.

Senator Phipps. I desire to disagree with the Senator from Arizona. I don't profess to have made a special study of the compact myself, but I don't think the Senator means to imply that the representatives from his own State and those of the five other States who considered that compact do not know nearly as much about it as Mr. Carpenter. If he is the author of that he is a very able man.

Senator ASHURST. The Senator from Colorado knows that I have great respect for his ability as a Senator and as a business man, and he has contributed immensely to and has illuminated these hearings. But I fear that under this compact the lower basin will never get more than 75,000,000 acre-feet every 10 years, or about 7,500,000 acre-feet every year,

Senator PHIPPS. I would hate to have to underwrite the proposition of holding back the surplus.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Kendrick desires to ask a question.

Senator KENDRICK. I want to ask the Senator from Arizona, in connection with his statement, if it is not true that even the people of his own State agreed that the distribution of the waters between the upper and lower basin States was in entire conformity with the spirit of right and equity?

Senator ASHURST. Our legislature refused to ratify the compact.

Senator KENDRICK. I understand they refused to ratify the compact, but did they not insist that the upper basin States were not receiving any more than they were entitled to?

Senator ASHURST, California must have been somewhat alarmed when in her ratification she took pains to make a reservation.

Senator KENDRICK. I think it may be stated here as perfectly reliable that there was a general understanding and a general agreement that there was no controversy between the people of the lower

basin States and those of the upper basin States as to the equities • involved between those two sections, and I think the Senator's own

people, as Senator Phipps has indicated here, were in entire agreement with the terms of that compact when it was finally signed.

Senator ASHURST. I concede that the seven who met in secret were in agreement, but the people of Arizona have never agreed to it.

The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed, Mr. Frisbie.
Senator ASHURST. Pardon me for interrupting.
The CHAIRMAX. No; we are glad to have it in the record.

Mr. FRISBIE. Another statement that was made by the same engineer was that the construction of a dam on the upper river would not relieve the perils from flood down in Mexico. The great peril that exists to-day from flood is due to the great flood waters that come down at certain seasons of the year, due to the fact that this area is constantly rising in elevation, building up a delta down there; great quantities of silt are deposited there. When this dam is constructed at Boulder Canyon or elsewhere the silt contained will be greatly reduced; the flow will be regulated. And maintenance of a levee at that point will be comparatively easy; it won't be necessary to raise it year after year to keep up with that constant rise in elevation of that section of the delta.

Then it was pointed out that the All-American Canal passed through drifting sand, that it would be filled up in no time, that the flowing water would cause a great deal of washing. The fact is that this All-American Canal is not in the drifting sand; it is in a mesa formation. Mr. Allison said that he had never surve; ed this area out there; that he had read the report. If he had read the AllAmerican Canal report he would know that that statement of his is not a fact; that the canal itself is 40 feet below the surface of the mesa formation and is fine material for the construction of a canal. The drifting sands in that area have been studied for several years; we have had stakes out there over 10 years and we have measured the drift of the sand. As I told the committee the other day, it is a very small amount per annum, practically negligible; compared with the great quantity of water that would pass through that canal it would amount to less than three-hundredths of 1 per cent. And I pointed out that there had been a similar canal constructed and a canal maintained in drifting dunes successfully for 59 years.

Senator SHORTRIDGE. Please indicate how they maintain them there-what mechanical device?

Senator PHIPPS. We had that in the record day before yesterday.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Did you explain that?
Mr. FRISBIE. Yes.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. What do they do, erect some barriers?

Mr. FRISBIE. Well, five years after the canal had been constructed they found that up to that time it had not been necessary to do any. thing except to do a small amount of dredging through the sanddrifting section, two dredges operating six months, and with that they were able to keep this canal in first-class condition. That was a report made by an engineer five years after it was open to navigation. It must be remembered in this canal there is practically no velocity, practically negligible, while in this canal we have a great river flowing at a very high velocity which will carry up big quantities of material. It has been shown that over 50,000,000 cubic yards of material comes into the Imperial Canal system to-day; that a great part of that is carried clear through and deposited on the land, and the amount of silt that would go in the canal is negligible compared to the quantities that come into this canal and system at present.

Senator SHORTRIDGE. Assuming the building of the dam?
Mr. FRISBIE. Yes; assuming the building of the dam.

Senator KENDRICK. Mr. Frisbie, is there a considerable acreage of land to be reclaimed under the All-American Canal that could not or would not be reclaimed under the necessary high line-the canal that is now in operation?

Mr. FRISBIE. Yes; there is quite a large acreage that could not be reclaimed any way except by an All-American Canal from Laguna Dam.

Senator KENDRICK. Can you give us the figures as to those acres!

Mr. FRISBIE. The present canal system could not possibly irrigate by gravity more than an additional 150,000 acres. The All-American Canal is capable of irrigating over 400,000 additional acres. It has its source at Laguna Dam, an elevation of about 30 feet above the present heading, and is kept at a higher grade all the way through; it hasn't the fall that the present canal system has.

Senator PHIPPS. What is the general elevation of those mesa lands as compared to the highest levels your ditches will now run by gravity?

Mr. FRISBIE. The mesa lands are about-most of them are about 30 feet.

Senator PHPPs. Yes.
Mr. FRISBIE. Thirty-about 35 feet.

Senator PHIPPS. That accords with my recollection when some years ago it was seriously considered to irrigate those lands by pumping up to the levels of those laterals. That would be feasible, would it not? To raise water 30 feet would not be unduly expensive or prohibitive, would it?

Mr. FRISBIE. It would not be prohibitive, but it would not be as economical as to have a gravity canal and make the original investment necessary to construct that canal.

Senator PHIPPS. Depending somewaht on the cost of the flow line of that canal ?

Mr. FRISBIE. Yes; but assuming the cost as outlined in the AllAmerican-Canal report.

Senator PHIPPS. So there is a possibility of irrigating that land without an all-American canal ?

MR. FRISBIE. They could be irrigated by pumping on them, but it would be at a greater cost than it would be through an allAmerican-canal system.

Senator Johnson. And you have got to irrigate an equal number of acres in Mexico, too, have you not?

Mr. FRISBIE. Yes, Senator; that is in my opinion the big reason for the All-American Canal, the fact that there is not water enough in the Colorado river in the average annual flow to irrigate all of the lands in the lower basin. It means that as long as this canal system is maintained as at present that half of the waters that are diverted through it will have to remain in Mexico, and there is no way to prevent that. The only way that we can get away from that situation is to divert it on American soil and keep it on American soil, letting Mexico have such waters as we do not need on American soil.

Senator Phipps. Unless by negotiation you could secure a modification of your present understanding:

Mr. FRISBIE. I would not think that the modification would be probable when they have the advantage thạt they have at the present time.

Senator Phipps. It might be possible, I should think, if you would enter into an understanding that you propose to put in words that would irrigate an additional area in the Imperial Valley of Mexico at a large expenditure and you would only do that in case the owners of land in Mexico would agree to a modification of their present agreement under which they would limit themselves to a certain measured additional supply of water in any event.

Mr. FRISBIE. Of course the only way that any modification of that kind could be enforced would be through Mexican courts. We would have not jurisdiction over such a measure in our own court.

Senator PHIPPg. I am simply trying to bring out the possibilities of the development of the Imperial Valley; I am not trying to oppose your theories or discredit your statements at all; I hope you don't so understand me.

Mr FRISBIE. No.

Senator Phipps. But my mind is working a little on these possibilities in this great problem, and if I should by some accident manage to point out some feature that has not been given full consideration by you engineers on the ground, why, I would feel very gratified.

The_CHAIRMAN. Have you concluded your statement?
Mr FRISBIE. No, I have not.

Senator Ashurst. Before you proceed, I would just like to clear away the brush and the underbrush a minute. Isn't the situation is this: Under the present situation when you give a thirsty acre in the United States a drink of water you have got to give a like thirsty acre a drink of water in Mexico?

Mr. FRISBIE. Absolutely.

Senator ASHURST. Before you get any water in the American canal you have got to pass it through a Mexican premise?

Mr. FRISBIE. Absolutely, and that is the big reason for the AllAmerican Canal. Some of the men representing a small minority in this valley claim that there is no good reason for the All-American Canal. This All-American Canal would absolutely relieve the situation that now exists. It would not only guarantee the waters to these American lands in California, but be a benefit to the State of Arizona. I think that covers everything that I wanted to cover in my statement.

Tle CHAIRMAN. Any question? Thank you, Mr. Frisbie. Mr. T. R. Goodwin.

STATEMENT OF T. R. GOODWIN, ENGINEER OF THE STATE

HIGHWAY COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Goodwin, for the record, will you state your residence ?

Mr. Goodwin. My residence is in Winterhaven, Calif., Imperial County.

The CHAIRMAN. What experience have you had as an engineer? Mr. Goodwin. In the West, with the Reclamation Service from 1915 until 1920, and in this basin ever since.

The CHAIRMAN. What phase of this important subject do you desire to discuss?

Mr. Goodwin. I was asked to present our observations on the building of the new State highway through the California sand dunes-the Yuma sand dunes.

The CHAIRMAN. Does that take practically the same course as this contemplated canal would take?

Mr. Goodwin. Very close.
The CHAIRMAN. It encountered the same difficulties and obstacles?
Mr. GOODWIN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And you met practically the same problems?

Mr. Goodwin. Practically the same. The only difference is the roadway is built on an embankment and the canal is not.

The CHAIRMAN. What is the difference in the elevation of the flood canal and the surface of the road?

Mr. GOODWIN. Well, we follow the contour more or less with the road, and the canal has to go at a constantly reducing grade.

The CHAIRMAN. Very well, just make your statement. Mr. Goodwin. The highway commission, as has already been publicly announced, is about ready to let contracts to construct a road through these sand hills. It has long been considered an impossibility for the construction through that soil. And the observations were entrusted to me leading up to the building of the road. I spent possibly two years, and of that two years at least 90 days in the entire study of the proposition in the sand hills themselves, and have covered the sand hills through the route of the All-American Canal all the way for a matter of six miles north and south and 20 miles east and west. And we have come back to the same route as the All-American Canal every time, parctically the same route. The fact seems to be overlooked largely in considering the building through there that we are building on stable ground that is covered with drifts. Those drifts, as far as the drifts themselves are concerned, if they are of any size, I mean any drifts from 40 to 250 feet, as some of them are don't move to any extent. The only motion that they have is a slight drift, a spilling over the top and on to the lee side of the hill, and it is the opinion of the road engineers that as far as our problems are concerned that can be stopped

by an oiling of the windward slopes.
The CHAIRMAN. That would be north and northwest slopes?
Mr. Goodwin. North and northwest slopes.
Senator DILL. How often?

Mr. GOODWIN. Why, if you used a light oil the chances are that one or two oilings would last you for maybe two or three years. It is a question of penetration; you have got to get a penetration of from 4 to 6 inches so that any local disturbance in the sand won't stir the dry sand out from underneath.

The CHAIRMAN. What distance would you oil ?

Mr. Goodwin. We figure on oiling it on the slope maybe a matter of 10 feet to the road bed. Just to keep the drift from overwhelming the roadbed.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you an estimate of the cost of oiling?

Mr. Goodwin. We have a figure of $55,000 for oiling our 6 miles of embankment there. That is only approximate.

The CHAIRMAN. Is that for one oiling?
Mr. GOODWIN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And you would want to oil every two years?

Mr. Goodwin. I would think that after two oilings the first year it would require very little oiling after you have got that penetration.

Mr. CHAIRMAN. Wouldn't there be a great deal more oiling required than there would in the highway?

Mr. GOODWIN. I don't think it would require as much. One proposition that is largely overlooked is the small amount of wind hours that actually move the sand out there. The Reclamation Service in Yuma have a complete record of wind hours. and it is my recollection that the wind that does the most damage is the wind from 13 to 20 miles an hour from the north and west quarters and over a very small percentage of the year; in March and April are the greatest number of them; but when you come to consider and

« PreviousContinue »