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COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND RECLAMATION
CHARLES L. McNARY, Oregon, Chairman WESLEY L. JONES, Washington.
MORRIS SHEPPARD, Texas. LAWRENCE C. PHIPPS, Colorado. THOMAS J. WALSH, Montana. FRANK R. GOODING, Idaho.
JOHN B. KENDRICK, Wyoming. RALPH H. CAMERON, Arizona.
KEY PITTMAN, Nevada. TASKER L. ODDIE, Nevada.
FURNIFOLD MCL. SIMMONS, North Carolina. SA EL M. SHORTRIDGE, California.
DILL, Washington. HIRAM W. JOHNSON, California.
IIENRY F. ASHURST, Arizona.
11. K. KIEFER, Clerk (1
COLORADO RIVER BASIN
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1925
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Las Vegas, Nev. The committee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 2 o'clock p. m., in the Elks Hall, Senator Charles L. McNary presiding:
Present: Senators McNary (chairman), Jones of Washington, Phipps, Kendrick, Pittman, Oddie, Shortridge, Dill, Johnson, and Ashurst.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will begin their hearing in Las Vegas. Governor Scrugham, according to the list that the chairman has received, you appear as the first witness.
STATEMENT BY GOV. JAMES G. SCRUGHAM, GOVERNOR OF THE
STATE OF NEVADA
Governor SCRUGHAM. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee: On behalf of the State of Nevada I wish to emphasize at the outset that we favor any fair and equitable plan for the development of the river. The Colorado River is an asset of all the interested States and any successful plan for its development must have due regard for the equities and rights of all the States in question. We take the position that the most economic and most feasible site for the commencement of this development is the Boulder Canyon or Black Canyon site, which you witnessed this morning. The reason for this position is primarily a structural one. Nowhere on the entire river, according to the best engineering authority, can the unit costs per unit of power generated per unit of water stored be brought to such favorable conclusions as at that site. This is a monolithic structure, due to the lava flows; that is, we do not have the broken and fractured rock and we have a most substantial foundation and at the closest distance to bedrock of any of the practicable sites which have been investigated. The second reason for advocating the adoption of the site is its contiguity to the markets for what will be produced by the dam.
There will primarily be stored a very large quantity of water and holding back for the flood control of the Imperial Valley, making an additional amount available for irrigation purposes. Thirdly, and perhaps even more important, is the fact that the power generated at this point is comparatively close to the available markets. It is not only close but very much closer to the available markets, therefore giving a very much better chance of amortization of the investment in a reasonable time. I want to call your attention at this time to the fallacy of the claimants of certain sites up the river that the
cost of storage per unit of height is greater than at the Boulder Canyon site. The statement Storage per unit of height” does not
" mean a thing unless we have all other factors entering into it. The only proper consideration is storage per unit of cost, and not per unit of height. I want to bring out this fact again that anyone who states that the Boulder Canyon is wasteful either in money or in water is either uninformed or grossly prejudiced. I recommend a dam be built of approximately 550 feet, for this reason. Any project that is put in should not interfere with other projects that may be in the future practicable. The height of 550 feet, which will constitute a so-called high dam, will not back the water to any of the other proposed sites. It will not back it up and in any way injure the so-called Bridge Canyon site, the so-called Diamond Creek site, and others. If the height is made at 700 or 800 feet, these sites might be injured. I am of the opinion that the most economical and feasible is a dam of approximately 550 feet. That will amply take care of the provisions of flood control and I believe also of any storage requirements or power requirement that will be needed to amortize the investment. The benefit to the State of Nevada from irrigation and power will perhaps be relatively small, but nevertheless this is an asset which we regard as one of the fundamental or basic permanent assets of the State and we desire to protect it. We can probably irrigate approximately 15,000 acres of land by gravity under the most favorable circumstances, and approximately 75,000 acres of land by practical pumping within conditions which we believe we will meet during the next decade.
I do not believe it to be practicable to have a royalty or taxation of power differential between power used within the State or without the State. However, I propose for your consideration this fact, to
Ι which I would like to have you give due attention. The equity of the State of Nevada and the State of Arizona in this particular site lies in their property right to the bed of the stream, it being a navigable water; that is, the bed of this stream from the high-water line to the State line in the center of the stream falls, respectively, to the States of Arizona and Nevada. I think that 'a concession might properly be made by all parties that a certain amount of power generated, the exact figures to be determined by a competent board, may be allocated to the State of Nevada and the State of Arizona. That would be in lieu of any royalty or anything of the kind that might be proposed. I think that this allocation can properly be made both legally and morally as compensation in full for the property rights which the State may have in the site in question. I want to make this as brief as possible, and that is all the formal statement that I wish to go in the record at this time, but I would like to be asked any question that may be properly applicable to the interests to the State of Nevada.
The CHAIRMAN. Governor, what has been your life's work?
Governor SCRUGUAM. I am an engineer by profession for the past 20 years. Prior to my falling from grace and going into politics, I made my living as an engineer.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you personally surveyed the river!
Governor ScrUGHAM, A considerable portion of it. During the past 10 years I have spent probably altogether on the river or in the vicinity of the river.