« PreviousContinue »
The reclamation project whose waters are impounded behind the great dam that bears his name is doubtless the most successful project of its kind in the world. Its ownership is democratic-not socialistic. Every acre carries a share in the association and a vote. The electric power developed belongs with water ownership and is paying for the project. Is it any wonder that we wish the same principle applied to Colorado River waters within our borders?
If the farmers of this great valley can make their hydroelectric power pay for their project, is it not reasonable to suppose that an irrigation district of ten times its size can do likewise with Colorado River waters?
It may lie with some of you gentlemen to write the formula that will bring about cooperative and scientific development of the Colorado River for the benefit of the United States. Certainly the proposed construction at Boulder Canyon is not the best way to do that thing
The CHAIRMAN. Is Mr. Robert H. Williams present?
STATEMENT OF ROBERT H. WILLIAMS, CIVIL ENGINEER AND
ATTORNEY, PHOENIX, ARIZ.
Mr. Williams. Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the committee: My name, as you have heard it called, is Robert H. Williams. I am a civil engineer-registered civil engineer of Arizona ; also an attorney at law.
The CHAIRMAN. What experience have you had as an engineer!
Mr. WILLIAMS. In 1908, I began carrying chain in Youngstown, Ohio.
The CHAIRMAN. That is all right about the chain, but how many years have you been an engineer?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Well, first I was engineer of the C. L. & W. Railroad. Since then I have ranked as an engineer.
I have a partition in my office. On one side I am Doctor Jekyll, and I guess from what I have heard expressed here as to attorneys, on the other side I must be Mr. Hyde.
The Chairman. Very well. Have you a paper that you want inserted in the record!
Mr. WILLIAMS. Well, I haven't any paper prepared at this time. The CHAIRMAN. You have five minutes only.
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes; I have five minutes. There are a few points that I want to call your attention to, and just a few. I would be glad to talk longer if I had time.
The amount of water that is available in the Colorado River for appropriation in the upper States and the lower States--California and the United States of America-we know amounts to about 14,000,000 acre-feet. That has since been cut down by some engi. neers, but those are the figures we have relied upon for a long time 14,000,000 acre-feet. We have a project here in the Salt River Valley that covers about 250,000 acres, as we know. Just to illustrate the amount of water that there would be, we might say it would more than cover this valley 50 feet deep, if it were applied to the valley. That is, that would be the equated flow of the river. We have a reservoir site at the upper end of the Grand Canyon that will hold at least three years of that flow. We have a reservoir there that will hold at least fifty or sixty million acre-feet if the dam is built high enough.
As I understand it, you are going to visit the Roosevelt Dam and this project to-morrow and you will see there what we regard as the proper engineering development of the river-a river of the class of the Salt River-and the same thing can be applied on a larger scale to the Colorado River. That is our contention.
We notice that California wants to take water to the populous region around the city of Los Angeles. Denver wants to take water--Colorado wants to take water through the range to Denver. Both of these are outside of the basin. We want to take water from the Colorado River and surround this valley with a high-line canal. You have before you one of those people who believes in a high-line canal.
I wish I had time to go into a few of the figures in that connection. I want to say just this much, however, in regard to the representations that have been made by engineers in regard to our so-called visionary high-line canal
The CHAIRMAN. That is the canal that is to be
Mr. Williams. Leave the Bridge Canyon Dam and come by this tunnel that would be 70 miles long, or else follow the bench route along the river, and come to the valleys of central Arizona.
The canyon of the Colorado is 180 miles from where we sit. The Boulder Canyon Dam is 400 feet below where we sit. The outlet of the proposed Glen Canyon Dam is above the top of any of these low mountains that you can see around this valley. We can visual. ize that condition if we can visualize an amount of water let loose annually that would cover this valley 50 feet deep. You can see something of what has been in the minds of people who have been obstructionists, it seems to a lot of us, of everything that has been proposed on the Colorado River.
I think I can successfully bear out and prove this statement: The first proposal to carry water to the other side of the range originated in Arizona and was taken over to California and proposed to the California people because we knew that the water over there was worth $25 an acre foot to you people; that you needed some of it. We have since learned that you have got three or four times as much water, according to your own survey, as we have in the Colorado River.
Is it unreasonable that if we concede that you need this water for your development that we insist that you cooperate with us in showing what can be done with our own water in our own State before we rush into anything like the Boulder Canyon Dam, which is said to be 400 feet below where we stand?
The pass at Prescott we have to bring our water through is an elevation of 300 feet above sea level and if any water is let down below the Boulder Canyon no water could come into Salt River from the Colorado River.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Where do you want the dam?
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Is that higher than where you are now standing?
Mr. WILLIAMS. The elevation of the Bridge Canyon is 1,207 feet above sea level, and with a high diversion dam, such as proposed there, the river could be regulated below the Glen Canyon Dam and then the water brought through this diversion tunnel we are talking about.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. About what would be the length of the tunnel?
Mr. WILLIAMS. The tunnel would be about 60 to 70 miles long. It would have to be that long.
I hold in my hand here a book on steam-shovel mining. In this book there are résumés, or the history of the costs, in three of the big copper mines of the United States—the steam-shovel copper mines where they strip the overburden in these mines. The average cost in three of the big copper mines, which are the Nevada Consolidated, the Utah Copper, and the Chino Copper, in the first 12 years after steam shovels were introduced was 37 cents per yard for nearly 100,000,000 yards, for 99,000,000 yards of earth and rock removed and hauled from 1 to 3 miles and put in waste dumps. Our mines to-day in Arizona take the ore out of the ground
The CHAIRMAN. Pardon me, let's don't get onto mines. What do you approximate the cost of the construction of 70 miles of tunnel !
Mr. WILLIAMS. Why, it would be it might be from one hundred to two hundred million dollars.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, Mr. Williams, your time has expired. Mr. Fiock.
STATEMENT OF E. J. FIOCK, FARMER, PHOENIX
Mr. FIOCK. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I wish only to appear before you gentlemen as a farmer, and I don't want you to ask me any scientific questions, because I won't be able to answer them as other men who are answering scientific questions
But there are certain fundamental facts in regard to the Colorado River and its development which the people of Arizona are going to rely upon to the last ditch. The pioneers of Arizona came into Arizona and developed the Salt River Valley and other places. This same development can be made from the Colorado River at very much less trouble and expense.
We know what our laws are. We, the people of Arizona, are great hounds, as the saying is, to "let George do it." You have heard, I presume of “George the Fifth.” The reason that we have George the Fifth is that the people of Arizona know that he is going to protect our rights, and until we get such response from the Congress and Senate of the United States as will protect our rights you can expect to find “George the Fifth " there, and he may be “George the Tenth," if you don't.
Senator Dili. Whom do you mean by “George the Fifth”?
Mr. Frock. The honorable gentleman sitting over here at my right. Senator DILL. The governor? Mr. Flock. Yes; the governor.
Senator Dill. The record didn't show who it was, and I wanted to clear it up.
Mr. F10CK. We are entirely satisfied. The CHAIRMAN. Just a moment; you are referring to the governor of your
State? Mr. Frock. We are entirely satisfied, gentlemen, to rely upon our irrigation laws. We know what they are. We know that they are the only equitable way of appropriating water. User is the only way that you can justly and equitably appropriate the water. The farmers by putting the water upon their lands and using it beneficially are the ones who are going to appropriate the water. After the water is appropriated and more than appropriated it is up to the courts to decide to whom this water belongs justly and equitably, and we are willing to rest our case upon those grounds.
There has been mention made of the Boulder Canyon Dam. If the Boulder Dam, the Boulder Canyon Dam, is built, either a low dam or a high dam, the water goes as absolutely to Mexico as the sun is shining. The water is dropped to the 700-foot level and Arizona can not get it out.
California has only a limited area of land upon which she can put this water. There will be from 14,000,000 to 16,000,000 acre-feet of water stored annually behind the Boulder Canyon Dam. California would not use more than five or five and a half million acre-feet of water. Where is the rest of that water going?
Now, those are the questions that you must seriously consider when you are considering Arizona's future. It is water and it is power that is entirely in Arizona-belongs just as much as the power and the water that is in Arizona.
We do not wish to infringe upon California's rights. On the other hand, we hold that California has no right to infringe upon our rights without consideration. All we ask of any of the States is that they give us due consideration of our rights, and we are willing to give them the same consideration.
We have no fault to find with the upper basin. They have to use all the water they can. We have no fear of the upper river basin. The only ones we fear are the syndicates in Mexico. California is willing to grab all the water they can get under the lower part of the development of the Colorado River, which will break Arizona's laws. That is what we are fighting California for, and that is what every one of you gentlemen would be fighting for if anybody were infringing upon the interests of your State.
Arizona is the only State among the seven States that has no use for a compact. All the other States have certain interests which they would like to see protected. Our present law does not give them this protection. They must have certain protection in regard to getting the right to use water in the future under the slow development of the upper basin States.
California has no dam sites under which she can develop her water, because Arizona controls half of the dam sites between Arizona and California in which she can store water. Arizona controls half of the dam sites between Arizona and Nevada and approximately from 12 to 13 dam sites entirely in Arizona. For that reason these other States are extremely anxious to get us to enter into some kind of an agreement by which they may receive some protection to their interests. If we were in their position, we would be striving · just as earnestly to get protection for the future as they are. But, as I say, our rights are already protected by our laws as they are now upon our statute books, and we are willing to leave it to our laws. I thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I am obliged to you. Hon. Samuel White.
STATEMENT OF HON. SAMUEL WHITE, ATTORNEY AT LAW,
Mr. Wute. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Samuel White. My business is that of attorney at law; residence, Phoenix, Ariz.
The CHAIRMAN. You have lived here since you removed from Oregon?
Mr. White. I have lived here since the close of the late unpleasantness or late war. I was a resident of the State of Oregon at the time I entered the service of the United States Army.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well, Judge.
Mr. WHITE. I assume, this committee being largely composed of lawyers, that they are familiar with the legal situation as applicable to the Colorado River.
I am of the opinion that no development will ever be completed on the Colorado River until the States interested in the development get together in some kind of an arrangement for the settlement and adjustment of their various rights and contentions.
Arizona occupies this position: I assume that you all know this, that when this section of the country was taken over by the United States Government after the close of the Mexican War the Government of the United States took the bed of the Colorado River in trust for the whole people of the United States, or for the people of the State when organized out of that Territory.
The State of Arizona, by virtue of its sovereignty, owns the bed of the Colorado River for the use and benefit of all the people of the State of Arizona. That being true, it seems to me that it is fruitless to undertake to build a dam—whether the Government or anybody—to build a dam in the Colorado River until these differences are harmonized and the States come together in some kind of a compact, an agreement by which they can develop the Colorado River.
But until that is dune Arizona, standing on her rights, says to you gentlemen that neither the Government of the United States nor any other power can build a dam in the Colorado River without the consent of the State of Arizona. That being true, why, it seems to me the part of wisdom on the part of some of these States, instead of coming to Arizona with a belligerent attitude, to come with a view of adjusting these conditions in a peaceable and amicable manner.
As far as the right of eminent domain is concerned, that is with the State. The Government of the United States has no power to exercise the right of eminent domain as against the sovereign State of Arizona in the Colorado River, the bed of the Colorado. It is true that the Government of the United States owns the land on both sides of the river, so that the Government of the United States can prevent Arizona from building a dam in the Colorado River.
The CHAIRMAN. You say the Government can prevent it?