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STATEMENT OF R. W. SHOEMAKER
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, the part that I wish to discuss is a very small part of the proposition as a whole. There are two power developments in this project, one of them being the Boulder Canyon, about which I am not mentioning.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you please speak a little louder so the Senators can hear you?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. There are two power developments possible in this project. The one that I am discussing is not the Boulder Canyon power development.
The CHAIRMAN. You are to confine yourself to the All-American Canal, aren't you?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is it exactly. But I wanted to make it clear to the committee that there are two power developments possible in this project. Now, this power development comes in this way, that here on the Laguna Dam the water is of an elevation of, roughly, 140 feet above sea level. And at this point here [indicating on map) it is 250 feet below.
The ('HAIRMAN. Designate those last points so the record will show.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Salton Sea. Consequently, this water as coming from the Laguna Dam to the Imperial district is capable of developing power; the water has sufficient flow. Now, if it happens that there are three points, major points, one at Pilot Knob, one here, just before the main canal is taken off, and one farther down here sindicating), right about that point-I don't know how to designate it.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Beginning where?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Right about here, just west of sand hills. Now, I have only had a very short time to look into this, but in a general way, there is about 40,000 to 50,000 horsepower that must be developed at these points, and the value of that power, while it is somewhat problematical, due to the possible effect of the Boulder Canyon Dam, should be approximately equal to the fixed charges on the cost of the All-American Canal; we will say about 75 or 80 per cent.
The CHAIRMAN. Does that include the cost of the refund of the money, interest, and the maintenance and operation charges?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. No; I am just speaking now of the actual development of the All-American Canal. Senator Dill. Would it to build a dam?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. No; in carrying the water from Laguna Dam down the canal you come to a point where you have got to make a change in elevation. Now, there are two ways of doing it; you can take it to a point and let it make a waterfall or you can let it go through turbines and generate power. Now, if the power is not developed, there will have to be a waterfall there, with the only value being scenic. If the power is developed it will pass through turbines and power will be developed. There are other points below that where it would be possible to develop power, all of which could be collected together into one system, but on those points I am not prepared at the present time to make any statement.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you prepared to offer the committee an estimate of the cost of this development?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. That has been already done. There is an estimate in the report, an estimate of about $800,000; I think that figure is certainly ample to cover the cost of the power itself. I think that is about all that I have to say.
The CHAIRMAN. Then you make this simple point—it is an interesting one to me: If you develop the water power of the All-American Canal, the land that would be irrigated would not have imposed upon it any additional burden for bringing the water into the valley? Mr. SHOEMAKER. I believe so, very little, if any. The CHAIRMAN. Does any member desire to ask any questions?
Senator JOHNSON. Just state your occupation, will you please, Mr. Shoemaker?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. I am electrical engineer for the Turlock irrigation district.
Senator Johnson. You have developed the power at that district, have you?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Yes, sir.
Senator Johnson. And it is a going concern and a successful municipally operated power district !
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Also electrical engineer for the Merced irrigation district, doing the same thing.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Shoemaker.
Senator JOHNSON. Mr. Chairman, would you transpose, if you please, the next two, and have Mr. Jennings follow instead of Mr. Rose, and Mr. Frisbie? One of the gentlemen has been called away and Mr. Jennings is here.
The CHAIRMAN. Am very glad to do that. Is Mr. Jennings present?
Senator JOHNSON. Doctor Jennings; he is here, Senator.
STATEMENT OF DOCTOR JENNINGS
The CHAIRMAN. The title of your discussion is "Additional lands to be irrigated by All-American Canal and Coachella Valley interests.” You may state your relations to the project or your present occupation, Doctor.
Doctor JENNINGS. I am a physician by occupation, sir; rancher.
Senator Johnson. How much land are you interested in there, Doctor?
Doctor JENNINGS. One hundred acres, all under state of cultivation.
Senator Johnson. Have you made a study of this particular matter?
Doctor JENNING. The irrigation of the Coachella Valley, I have tried to, Senator Johnson, as I am a member of the board of directors of the Coachella Valley water district.
Senator JOHNSON. All right; will you proceed?
Doctor JENNINGS. I have reduced my remarks to writing, upon request, and in the interest of time.
It is my duty as well as my pleasure to address this committee as an official representative of the board of directors of the Coachella Valley County Water District, a public organization under and by virtue of the laws of the State of California, and unofficially as a representative of the unorganized land, publicly and privately owned, not included within the boundaries of the Imperial irrigation district nor within the boundaries of the Coachella Valley County water district.
The purpose of these remarks will be to impress upon this committee the necessity and the advisability of securing for these lands a competent water supply from the Colorado River. This great river, at once our fear and at the same time our hope, in times of flood threatens to destroy the development in a large part of Imperial and Riverside Counties, that part known as the Salton Sink. On the other hand, because of our geographical position, it affords
only source of dependable irrigation water for the lands in question; consequently we are spending our best efforts not only to assist in the proper development and control of the lower Colorado River but also to provide a way by the construction of the AllAmerican and High Line Canals to make use of this controlled river upon the lands within the United States that are possible of reclamation by the use of these waters.
You have heard of the development in the great Imperial Valley, and while my remarks will bear chiefly upon the development of the lands in the Coachella district, what I will have to say will serve as an index of the return that could be reasonably expected from the vast body of land, both privately and publicly owned, now lying dormant because of no water supply, or partially developed because of an inadequate supply of water, because conditions are practically identical.
The lands I have referred to may be visualized by referring to the map, as it will depict not only the areas within the various subdivisions under consideration, but also the acreage the engineers of the Reclamation Service believe to be the most feasible of and proper for immediate development in each of the subdivisions. Thus we find in the Imperial irrigation district a total of 515,000 acres, of which 100,000 acres yet remain to be reclaimed; in the East Side Mesa there are 160,000 acres of land with none under cultivation; in the Dos Palmas area 5,000 acres with a few acres under partial development. The lands within the boundaries of the Coachella Valley County water district amount to 72,000 acres. Of this amount the survey made by the Water Commission of the State of California, in 1923, shows that 13,000 acres are under cultivation; and last, the West Side Mesa lands, comprising 33,000 acres, of which some few acres are under cultivation. In the aggregate this represents 270,000 acres of land outside of the boundaries of the Imperial irrigation district, or a grand total of 785,000 acres against which it is intended to charge the construction costs for the AllAmerican Canal, amounting to $29,793,000, or a per acre charge of approximately $37, excluding Mexican lands.
The lands under the extension above referred to within the United States outside of the Imperial irrigation district are charged with an additional per-acreage cost of $2.21 for power development and $53.57 for a carrying canal and distributing system, or a total charge of $93.68.
This area of land selected by the engineers of the Reclamation Service represents what might properly be termed the cream of this proposed project and not the entire acreage, as their report shows that ultimately 433,000 acres may be reclaimed or an additional 162,000 acres divided as follows: East Mesa, 10,000 acres; Dos Palmas, 2,000 acres; Coachella Valley, 63,000 acres; West Mesa, 87,000 acres.
The ultimate acreage given approaches more nearly the figure of 437,000 acres considered to be agricultural land by the three gentlemen who made the soil analyses
of lands under project. These men were Charles F. Shaw, professor of soil technology, University of California ; Mr. S. W. Cosby, of the same institution; and Mr. A. T. Stroham, of the Bureau of Soils, United States Department of Agriculture.
The two questions immediately pressing upon us are, first, is there a need for this development, and second, will the return of construction costs be repaid ?
The CHAIRMAN. May I ask a question there, to clear this in my mind? You assess the liability of $37.50 an acre on that land irrigable and not now receiving water?
Doctor JENNINGS. Provided the canal was built.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. That is, the land that is irrigable, not now in the district, and can only be made fertile by the use of water.
Doctor JENNINGS. That is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. Where do you get the additional sum that brings it up to the figure you mentioned a minute ago?
Doctor JENNINGS. That line here is the high line canal. It extends all around this area and clear back to the Mexican boundary line, carrying water to our irrigable lands by the gravity system. There are other canals running off here, and here under the pumping system, from the point where the Southern Pacific Railroad reaches from the All-American Canal. There is a certain fixed charge—all around here there are certain fixed charges. The sum total of those charges gives you a figure, when divided by the acreage, of $37 per unit of cost.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that the cost to the land that would be placed under irrigation, assuming that the construction of the All-American Canal went through?
Mr. JENNINGS. That is only a part of the canal.
Doctor JENNINGS. The total cost is $93.68. The $37 of the cost of the All-American Canal is prorated over the entire area of land, 780,000 acres of land.
The CHAIRMAN. Then what is the additional charge to be placed upon the land for receiving water under the All-American Canal ?
Doctor JENNINGS. $37.50 is the cost of the All-American Canal unit.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you allowed a deduction for the horsepower which might be developed there and credited to this charge? Doctor JENNINGS. No, sir; I have not, because at that time it was considered a négligible quantity and was not figured into these cost estimates.
The CHAIRMAN. Are the farmers now receiving water, perhaps an adequate supply of water, desirous of assuming the additional burden in order to develop the country?
Doctor JENNINGS. I may answer that question in this way: During the last congressional election we had in this eleventh district the issue was the All-American Canal issue, and in our own district the vote for Congressman Swing, representing that district, was 30 to 1. In the Imperial Valley irrigation district I don't know just what the figures were, but they were very high. It was high all over the district. Congressman Swing carried that whole district against his opponent by a vast majority.
The CHAIRMAN. If the charge on the irrigable land is $93.68 an acre, how do you intend to repay it, and what length of time do you want?
Doctor JENNINGS. The time provided in the bill, I think, is 20 years.
The CHAIRMAN. The reclamation act provides for a payment of 5 per cent of the gross income, which works out in about 80 years.
Doctor JENNINGS. I think those points will develop as I proceed, gentlemen.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
Doctor JENNINGS: In answer to the first question I would say that the proponents of this reclamation project have been met with the argument that there is an overproduction of farm products at the present time; consequently, no new reclamation projects should be developed, as the products will still further depress market conditions. This attitude is perhaps for the moment sound, but taken over a period of years it can not apply, because no one can say what shortages will exist a year or two hence where overproduction may exist now. It is further unsound because it is a general policy of disapproval and does not take into consideration the fact that certain projects may be properly and wisely fostered because their location makes possible the production of early and special crops that are not in competition with general farm products. This policy is unsound because most of the inability to dispose of farm products is perhaps not due to an overproduction, but rather to an improper distribution and improper marketing of such products.
It is unsound because in 1924 the United States imported $425,000,000 worth of crude foodstuffs and food animals, even corn from the Republic of Argentina being among the articles, also quantities of wool and cotton. It is unsound because it attempts to maintain and compel higher prices by limiting production. It is unsound because it would limit the establishment of new farms of small area and would seriously undermine the greatest asset this country has its rural communities.
In contrast to this general tone of depression-broadcasted in many farm journals and by certain farming communities-it is helpful and gratifying to know that leaders among us, men who have a direct duty and responsibility in knowing the facts, speak differently.