Page images
PDF
EPUB

has slept on its rights, allowing the water to pass to other States, and there. fore it can not oppose the Boulder Dam, because it would interfere with the irrigation of a large acreage of land in Arizona.

Arizona was admitted to the Union of States in 1912, the board of control of the State of Arizona by the provisions of an initiative measure adopted by the people of the State, November 3, 1914, and by an act of legislature of 1919, changing the personnel and organization, but retaining the powers of the board of control in creating the present board of directors of State institu. tions.

From the above statutes are quoted as follows:

INITIATIVE MEASURE, ADOPTED NOVEMBER 3, 1914

Be it enacted by the people of the State of Arizona:

SEC. 2. The board of control is further authorized and einpowered to con. struct, establish, and maintain buildings, dams, reservoirs, flumes, water plants, gas plants, printing plants, and all other plants necessary for the operation and development of the resources of this State.

SEC. 7. Chapter 64--Session Laws of 1919: Wherever in the statutes of Arizona shall appear any words or terms referring to the board or other body having control of the institutions herein named, said board or other body shall be deemed to be the board of directors of State institutions.

Under these provisions of law, Arizona has taken those steps necessary to enable it to function in the comprehensive development of the river in the lower basin. The exigencies of the great war interfered with further action by the State in this direction.

Immediately after the war in 1919 the legislature created the Arizona re. sources board, with special directions for the study of the Colorado River and made appropriations for that purpose.

This legislation bore no fruit as the secretary of the board accepted the findings of Arthur B. Davis of the United States Reclamation Service to the effect that the only land in Arizona feasible of development from the Colorado River were the Parker Indian Reservation, the land opposite Needles, the Yuma project, already developed, and other small acres, making a total of 280,000

acres.

The secretary of the board recommended to the then governor of the State that the State water commission be directed to withhold authority for the development of any project on the river other than the Boulder Canyon project, which was and is sponsored by Arthur B. Davis. This proved unsatisfactory to the people of the State.

In 1921 the legislature appropriated further funds for the inrestigation of the Colorado River and specifically directed the State water commission to make the investigation before the Colorado River compact should be negotiated. Again an unsatisfactory result was had, for, notwithstanding the specific injunction above mentioned, the investigation was not started (August 15, 1922) until a year after the money was available (July 1, 1921). and the report of the investigation of the river (July 5, 1923) was not made until nearly a month after the compact was negotiated and signed (Norember 24. 1922). The Arizona engineering commission that made the investigation was composed of E. C. La Rue, Walter J. Preston, and H. E. Turner. The report of this commission cast the greatest doubts upon the findings of Arthur B. Davis and upset the basis upon which Arizona was figured into the compact by asserting the possibility of irrigating 700,000 acres in Arizona. However, the result was not conclusive and proved unsatisfactory to many citizens who were studying the problem. In September, 1923, Governor Hunt sent another party into the field under the leadership of George W. Sturtevant and E. L. Stan. These engineers reported favorably upon the irrigation of 3.500.000 acres of land in Arizona by means of a high-line canal and the feasibility of Spencer Canyon Dam site.

At the general election in 1924 an initiative measure appropriating $100,000 for investigation of the river was defeated at the polls, although it receired by long odds the largest vote cast for any others of the many measures submitted, not any receiving the approval of the people.

In December, 1924, Governor Hunt sent another party of engineers in the field composed of Frank P. Troth and Earl H. Parker and assistants. This party, among other matters, reported favorably upon the Bridge Canyon Dam

[ocr errors]

site and the possibility of irrigating large areas in Arizona through a tunnel from Bridge Canyon to Yucca.

The legislature in 1925 appropriated $25,000 for each of the ensuing two years for investigation of the river, providing the Federal Government matched the funds. The United States Geological Survey has matched these State funds and engineers are now in the field for the purpose of further study of the possibilities of power and irrigation in Arizona.

In addition to these activities of the State Howard S. Reed was in the field in 1922; so also was Robert H. Williams and George H. Maxwell. The result of these efforts showed a canal could be brought from the Bouse Valley to the vicinity of Phoenix through alluvial valleys and with very little difficulty due to mountain ranges. September 20, 1923, and May 11, 1925, Fred T. Colter, under the authorization of Governor Hunt, filed with the State water commission applications for permits for the appropriation of water at Glen Canyon and at Spencer and Bridge Canyons sufficient to irrigate 3,600,000 acres of land in Arizona. On October 13, 1925, the State water commissioner canceled the permit to J. B. Girand for a dam at Diamond Creek on the Colorado River. On October 20, '1925, the board of directors of State institutions protested before the Federal Power Commission the granting by that commission of a permit at the same place to Mr. Girand.

The State has made, before the State water commissioner, filings on the Parker Gila Dam site above Parker, on the Bridge Canyon Dam site, and on the Glen Canyon Dam site for power, irrigation, and otiter purposes, and on October 20, 1925, it filed on the Bridge Canyon with the Federal Power Commissioner.

By these activities Arizona asserts all and due diligence in the initiation of its prior rights and the investigation for the early development of the river for the benefit of the people of the State. The one thing necessary to project these priorities is continued and consistent development of the projects. If Arizona does this it need not fear the outcome.

Arizona is aware but not concerned in certain reports of engineers adversely affecting its hopes of irrigating large areas of land in the State from the Colorado. In this connection it is sufficient to say engineers sometimes make reports that soon after they wish the public would forget. It is pertinant to recall the record of the San Carlos Dam project. It was more than once pronounced infeasible by Engineers of the Reclamation Service, nevertheless it is now under construction. See report of engineers to the Secretary of War February, 1914.

The Columbia River project in Washington was adversely reported upon by the Reclamation Service in 1905 because, forsooth, the certain line examined for the main canal did not appear feasible, yet the Washington engineers made a thorough investigation and found a feasible route and pronounced this vast project practical. Afterwards Gen. Geo. W. Gothals made an examination reduced the estimates of the Washington engineers and pronounced the project entirely feasible without taking account of the 100,000 electrical horsepower that is incidental to the project. In these reports the significant policy is laid down that power should be a coworker in bearing the burdens of irrigation. See reports of Columbia Survey Commission, State of Washington, 1920, and of Geo. W. Gothals, State of Washington, 1921. We recently learned that Elwood Mead has reported unfavorably upon this project.

It is very probable this report is in harmony with the general feeling in Washington, D. C., against financing by the Federal Government any further irrigation projects in the Northern States until the projects already developed reach a sound condition. This condition does not exist in Arizona, on the contrary the Federal projects in this state are remarkably successful. The condition of the north only shows that the greatest use the Colorado River could be put to would be to bring all the water over all the power dams to the lower basin and there give it the added duty of irrigation where it would make its greatest agricultural returns.

E. C. LaRue pronounced a high line canal from the Colorado River in Arizona infeasible. One principal reason offered was the topography of the country would allow of nothing short of a 92-mile tunnel to get away from the river with. Yet Messrs. Trott and Parker find it possible to get away from the river with a tunnel 70 miles in length. See report of Arizona Engineering Commission and map above referred to. Mr. La Rue, however, can be complimented for continually making his opinion conform to additional facts

as he accumulates them. He has insisted upon a complete study of the whole problem.

The special board of engineers reporting on the Sturtevant-Stam open canal project to Secretary Work, expressed very grave doubts of there being 3,500,000 acres of land in Arizona that could be irrigated from the proposed canal It needs only to be stated that nearly every one in Arizona knows there is such an acreage whether any one in Washington does or not. This board further states there was no regulating reservoir on the line of the canal which condition would render the canal impractical. So possibly, it would were this a fact. Fortunately there is a magnifiicent reservoir on the Williams River capable of holding 1,600,000 acre feet of water. See report of Arizona Engineering Commission. Of course engineers who had never been on the ground could not be expected to know this.

The board further states that the canal would be located in 30 or 40 miles of shale along the side of the canyon walls. A small fraction of this distance is nearer the truth as the formation dips away from the canal line. The statement that a tunnel from the Sacramento Valley to the Williams River, 27 miles long, would be necessary is of like nature as the rest. Actual elevations determined in the field show that this canal line would go through this locality with a very short tunnel. Space does not permit the further discussion of this high-powered report, except to add that instead of its being 400 miles from the point of diversion to the Bill Williams it is about 200 miles.

There is also the Herman Stabler report on the water supply of the Colorado River. The actual record of run-off for the 20 years previous to 1923 shows plenty of unappropriated water for Arizona's projects. But this actual measurement of 20 years must be thrown aside so the run-off for many years previous to these years was estimated and averaged in with the actual record with the result that the estimated average run was much less than the actual measurement for the same years, therefore the actual run-off for the 20 years was unsafe and the future would certainly show less than the past 20 years. This appears to be the funniest report yet. It fits in beautifully with the statements that there is not enough water for an Arizona high-line irrigation project.

It is common knowledge that before civilization took possession of this region the run-off was less and the streams were smaller, although running some water continuously. Every old settler in the country will testify to this fact. We have the word of Father Kino, who visited the Casa Grande ruins on the Gila about 1700, that the Gila was a small stream containing many fish. It is now a wide waste of sand at this point during the large part of the year. But this is nothing new. For 7,000 years it has been demonstrated that when man and domestic beast occupy a country, watersheds become denuded and floods rush down to the sea unretarded by vegetation. The logic of the Stabler report is that if the record reached back far enough it would show there was no run-off at all during the 20 years previous to 1922, or that the worthy gentleman intended to restore this region to its primeval state and by so doing reduce the run-off of its volume before the white man came upon the scene.

All these sort of findings by engineers outside of Arizona is causing Arizona to become somewhat suspicious. It may be there is a desire in some quarters to have monuments erected. If so, Arizona is not interested in building monuments. The tenor of these reports in connection with the attitude of other interests outside of the State appear to convey impressions to the citizens of this State that they consider Arizona has very little to say or do in the matter. If this be the case, they will learn that Arizona has a great deal to say in the premises, and that it intends to say it.

From all the foregoing it will be seen that the Boulder Dam is disastrous to Arizona's interests, that Arizona has just cause to oppose it, that it can prevent its construction, and for these reasons it will never be built.

Much has been said about the compact to this committee. I will only say that when it was first promulgated the argument was shouted from the mountain tops that Arizona need have no fear in signing, because there was water enough for all, there was no need for the pact, and the further fact that the fear of inadequacy was the very cause of the pact When the foolishness of this argument became apparent, then the talk was reversed to the effect that there was not water enough for all; therefore Arizona must sign so all the rest of the States could have all and more than they could use, and in this

us

way the consent could be secured for development of the river, this notwithstanding Arizona was the only State that was giving not only a great deal but was being left with only a small fraction of what it could use. There never has been an argument for the pact that showed any benefits to Arizona. In fact, practically every paragraph in it is an attempted rape of Arizona's rights in the river.

To the upper basin States we say, we have no quarrel with you so long as you do not as

sign the pact. If you wait until the whole river and its entire possibilities are investigated and determined you will likely decide there is no need of a compact. We may have something to say if any locality outside the river basin attempts to take water out of the basin.

To Nevada we say you may find great possibilities of irrigation from a high diversion at Bridge Canyon.

To the Imperial Valley we say, we do not question your water rights, nor do we wish to retard your development, but, on the contrary, we offer you everything at Bridge Canyon that you can secure at Boulder Canyon.

To Mexico we say, we might entertain something providing Arizona was given an extended boundary to the Gulf of California so that it could have a wide water port.

To California we say, if the law, the geography, the topography, and the financial status governing give the river to Arizona, why should we divide with you. At any rate you have had the bold affrontery to attempt the invasion of Arizona's territory with the Boulder Canyon Dam without even consulting us, except to ask us to sign a compact which you since repudiated. You are ruthlessly forcing a use of the river that would rob Arizona of its future and at the same time deliver the spoils to a foreign country. We will see you revert to the drifting sands before we will let you get away with it.

To all alike we say, let's think this whole matter out before we fight it out.

To the Federal Government, in behalf of the Imperial Valley, in behalf of the Yuma Valley, in behalf of the Palo Verde Valley, and all other areas on the river floor, and having in mind the greatest use of the river, we say that it should build its flood-control dam at Bridge Canyon and not at Boulder Canyon. A great mass of people in California who are howling for the Boulder Dam do not know where it is, so change the name of " Bridge” to “ Boulder and it will be unanimous.

IMPERIAL IRRIGATION DISTRICT,

El Centro, Calif., December 2, 1925. Hon. CHAS. L. McNARY,

Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: We are handing you herewith draft of proposal which has been formally presented to Arizona, concerning the waters of the Colorado River, a study of which, we believe, will demonstrate to you that California and Nevada are attempting to be abundantly fair with Arizona.

Concerning the division of water, may we suggest :

The coastal-plain cities must have Colorado River water and they have actually made filing on a continuous flow of 1,500 second-feet and issued bonds in the amount of $2,000,000 to start development. This amounts to the first allocation of 1,095,000 acre-feet per annum.

The 300,000 acre-feet allocated to Nevada is more or less an arbitrary figure. It is perhaps slightly more than Nevada can ever use, but being a relatively small amount it seemed fair to give Nevada all that it is likely that she can ever use.

The next two allocations cover the present perfected rights; that is, the water that is now actually being applied to the land. These rights being fully and completely established and the water now being put to beneficial use could hardly be disturbed by a compact in any wise.

Arizona is given all of the Arizona streams and their tributaries. In other words, all the water which Arizona could possibly contribute to the river in any way is being forever set aside to the use of Arizona.

The remaining allocation, or paragraph (e), under Article III, is the only one about which there could apparently be any argument. Here we offer to divide all the remaining water one-half to Arizona and one-half to California. Owing to the fact that California has a much larger perfected right than Arizona, one's first impression might be that this 50-50 division is not equit. able, but an examination of the facts, we believe, demonstrate conclusively that it is more than equitable.

The known projects in California which are feasible of reclamation by gravity and including the water for municipalities of southern California will require about 4,783,000 acre-feet of water per annum. The known projects in Arizona which can be irrigated from the Colorado River by gravity will require not to exceed 1,020,000 acre-feet of water. On that basis the water to have a proper economical division should be on a basis of approximately two parts to California and one part to Arizona. An equal division of the remaining waters will give California less water than will be required for the known feasible projects. In order to justify this division the ParkerGila Valley project in Arizona must be taken into account. Various estimates are made of the amount of land in this project which can be irrigated. Same estimate it as high as 640,000 acres. Other engineers place the amount as low as 250,000 acres, none of which can be irrigated without a 200-foot pump lift and approximately 14 miles of tunnel, which in any event postpones the reclamation of this land for many years. If this project is not taken into account the requirements for Arizona for future use will be about one-half the requirements of California for future use, and yet California has offered to make a division on an equal basis.

Article VI of the proposed compact is a further inducement to Arizona to enter into this agreement. The effect of this article is to guarantee to Arizona annually approximately $500,000 either as taxes or in lieu of taxes.

The Arizona committee has not rejected the compact. Whether they will accept it or not remains to be seen. But in any event we believe California and Nevada have made an offer which is abundantly fair. Respectfully yours,

IMPERIAL IRRIGATION DISTRICT,

By F. H. M IVEY, Secretary. (Following paper submitted with letter :)

The States of Arizona, California, and Nevada by their proper authorities have appointed representatives for the purpose of negotiating a compact be. tween said States in reference to the use of the waters of the Colorado River, and after negotiations between said respective representatives they have agreed upon the following articles :

ARTICLE I. The purposes of this compact are to provide for the equitable division and apportionment of the use and benefits of the waters of the Colorado River; to establish the relative importance of different beneficial uses of said water; to promote interstate comity; to remove causes of future controversies; to bring about the effectiveness of the Colorado River compact; and to secure the development of the Colorado River.

ABT. II. As used in this compact (a) the term “ Colorado River" means the main stream of the Colorado River at and below Lee Ferry, together with any and all tributaries within any of the signatory States entering said river below Lee Ferry, except the Gila River and its tributaries, the Williams River and its tributaries, the Little Colorado River and its tributaries, and the Virgin River and its tributaries; the mouth of each said rivers above excepted shall be deemed to be the highest point to which the flood or back waters from the Colorado River may extend, whether caused by artificial means or otherwise.

(6) The term “ Colorado River compact" means that certain instrument or compact respecting the Colorado River signed by the commissioners from the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, and approved by Herbert Hoover, as representative of the United States of America, at Santa Fe, N. Mex., November 24, 1922.

(c) The term “ operative horsepower” shall be understood to mean the average for the year at the plant switchboard of the daily maximum generated horsepower that is sustained continuously for a period of 90 minutes.

(d) All other terms, words, phrases, or expressions used in this compact shall be understood to be used in the same sense and with the same meaning as used in the Colorado River compact hereinabove defined.

ART. III. (a) The States of California and Nevada hereby release to the State of Arizona any and all claims of every kind or nature to the use of the waters of the Gila River, the Williams River, and the Little Colorado River, and all of their respective tributaries, for agricultural and domestic use, and the States of Arizona and California hereby release to the State of Nevada any and all claims of every kind or nature to the use of the waters of the Virgin River and all of its tributaries for agricultural and domestic

« PreviousContinue »