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East and out in the West. I have not done so much work in power development.
The CHAIRMAN. You are here at the instruction of the Governor of Colorado?
Mr. BULL. No; I am here to represent the city of Denver, at the request of the mayor.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well, Mr. Bull. You may proceed.
Mr. Bull. Denver is deeply interested in the development of the Colorado River, and especially due to the fact that it needs a certain small supply of the headwaters for a transmountain diversion in order that it may have the necessary water to grow
and expand. Denver, of course, started with no population or wealth in 1858. The population in 1910 was 213,000, and in 1925 was 311,000. The assessed valuation of Denver in 1910 was $355,000,000, and in 1925, $405,000,000. The bank clearings in 1910 were $193,500,000, and in 1925, $1,000,650,000.
Denver is in a locality of very little water supply. The total annual yield of water available for Denver and the immediate vicinity for irrigation is only about 500,000 acre-feet per year. The development of this supply commenced in the early sixties, and by the end of the last century all of the water available for direct use for irrigation and civic supply was developed. At that time the city had about 50,000 acre-feet of water for municipal purposes, and the remainder of the direct flow was used in irrigating about 200,000 acres of land.
It became very apparent at the beginning of this century to the owners of the then private water plant serving the city that something must be done to safeguard Denver's future water supply, and a construction was made of a reservoir in the upper reaches of the Platte River that at that time was of rather huge dimensions. It had a capacity of about 800,000 acre-feet.
It was then felt that the city's future water supply was reasonably safeguarded, but an unusual development occurred along the Platte River which has greatly modified the situation in regard to the future water supply:
About the beginning of this century irrigation securities became a very popular avenue of investment, and as you all know, many irrigation projects were developed throughout the West. In the vicinity of Denver something over $12,000,000 was spent in the construction of canals and reservoirs for the development of lands for flood water in the vicinity of Denver. Some 300,000 acres were put under irrigation. Neither the city nor the water company had any control over this development. The water supply was totally inadequate for such a large additional amount of land under irrigation, and the water supply that the city had developed in storage, through Lake Cheeseman, was used to a great extent in supplying these additional lands.
Improvements were developed, and these lands were placed in a more or less going condition. The result has been that at the present time Denver is faced with the situaiton of having utilized practically all of the water that is developed by direct flow and by storage that is available without actually depriving the lands in its immediate vicinity of water, which the city may have a right to but which,
nevertheless, can not be taken away without returning many lands to an arid state.
This was realized by the city authorities as soon as they purchased the water plant several years ago, and an exhustive examination was made as to the possibilities of securing additional water from the South Platte and its tributaries themselves. It was found that these streams had been so over developed that even with the construction of huge reservoirs not over 20,000 acre-feet of water additional could be obtained, and that only from floods that occurred in years of great flood run-off.
A thorough investigation was then made of all possible ways of obtaining additional water supply, and it was found that the only source lay at the headwaters of the Colorado. There, along the Continental Divide, just to the west of Denver are three tributaries, known as the Blue River, the Williams Fork, and the Frazier River.
Owing to the topography of that country it is not possible to secure water from these sources at low elevation. On the Blue River (Colorado River slope) it has been found that about 125 square miles of drainage area can be diverted to the eastern slope by a tunnel, with a total amount of water available of about 150,000 acre-feet.
On the Williams Fork a diversion at an elevation of 12,300 feet would develop about 314,000 acre-feet more. On the Frazier River, a river farther to the north, which could be developed at an elevation of about 9,300 feet, there could be made available 100,000 acre-feet.
The city has been active in investigating the several projects. The first project from which water will be obtained will be the Frazier. There the Moffett Tunnel Commission has under construction to-day a railroad tunnel at the proper elevation to take water through the canal surveyed to the city. Beside that is a pilot tunnel which is being used in driving the main railroad tunnel, which will then be lined and water brought through the pilot tunnel to the eastern slope.
Senator PHIPPS. Pardon me one moment, Mr. Bull. You have given us the elevation at which the diversion will be made from the Williams and the Frazier, but have you given the figure for diversion from the Blue ?
Mr. BULL. The Blue River development is at an elevation of 9,500 feet.
The important things for this committee to consider in this matter are: First, that it is the only source of additional supply for the city of Denver. If the city is to grow and have the population and financial strength that its location gives it, it must have this water supply.
The second thing to consider is this, that the amount of water that can be obtained is not based upon the amount of money that the city may spend or its desirability for water, but it is strictly limited by the topography of the country, which makes it impossible to go below certain elevations to obtain water. Some 250,000 acre-feet is all that the city of Denver could possibly get from these various sources.
Senator PHIPPS. At that point--if you will pardon the interruption—what is the expectation of the authorities of Denver as to rapid increase in population upon the completion of the Moffett Tunnel and the connecting line that would put Denver on a transcontinental route?
Mr. BULL. The best authorities that I have interviewed on this subject—quite an extensive investigation was made by a board of engineers for the city of Denver and they showed that the rational growth of Denver should show at the end of this century a population of a million.
The last important feature of this situation is this: It is impossible for the city of Denver to develop all of these projects at once. Regardless of the amount of money that might be available or the desirability of the city to do this work, it must bring the water into use slowly, because it can not send into the Platte Valley large quantities of water, more than it can consume rationally and put it in such positions for
temporary use that it does not retain the control of the water. For that reason it will take at least 25 or 30 years before all of this water could be developed. It is therefore necessary that whatever is done in the development of the Colorado River, if Denver is to secure this supply, it must be safeguarded in carrying on the development slowly and in such a way that it will be economic and efficient.
I believe, gentlemen, that gives you the whole story, unless you have some questions to ask.
Senator JOHNSON. How long a time would it take to develop this, did you say!
Mr. BULL. I believe it would take at least 25 years before the last of that water could be brought in.
Senator JOHNSON. Denver, by reason of her progress, growth, and prosperity, needs assistance in getting an additional water supply?
Mr. BULL. It is essential.
Senator JOHNSON. And you have gone to the sources that you have indicated in order that the supply may be obtained ?
Mr. BULL. Yes; it is the only place we can get it.
Senator JOHNSON. I wish we could aid you. We would do everything in our power to help you if it were possible. Now, you are going to obtain that water supply by virtue of tunnels, are you?
Mr. Bull. Yes, sir.
Senator Johnson. And the distance of the particular supply from the point to be supplied is about what, if you please?
Mr. BULL. Do you mean the length of the tunnels?
Senator JohnSON. I would say the length of the transmission of the water. How far will you transmit the water?
Mr. BULL. In the Frazier River development there will be about 30 miles of canal and 6 miles of tunnel; on the Williams Fork, 18 miles of canal and 3 miles of tunnel; on the Blue, about 25 miles of canal and about 111/2 miles of tunnel.
Senator JOHNSON. Is the last one that you named what you call the Moffett Tunnel?
Mr. BULL. No; that is the Frazier.
Senator JOHNSON. And you desire to proceed, I assume, at your convenience and as reasonably rapidly as possible with your development?
Mr. BULL. From the Frazier source; yes. That is the one where the tunnel is now partly driven by the Moffett Tunnel Commission.
That should be completed in the rather immediate future, necessarily, because money is now invested in the water tunnel and water should be brought through it.
Senator JOHNSON. That work is being prosecuted by whom? Is it being prosecuted by the city or by private enterprise ?
Mr. BULL. It is being prosecuted by what is known as the Moffett Tunnel district, which includes the Denver and the northwestern counties of Colorado.
Senator Johnson. That is, it is being prosecuted by the people themselves rather than by a private corporation?
Mr. BULL. Yes, sir.
Senator JOHNSON. That is, I assume, what would be akin to what we term a water district in the State of California ?
Mr. BULL. Well, it is really a tunnel district. The water is also included with it.
Senator JOHNSON. The water is an incident to the tunnel, under your system?
Mr. BULL. I am not sure as to the statute, but the statute covers the building of both tunnels.
Senator JOHNSON. Do you wish the work on the Moffett Tunnel and the work of supplying Denver with municipal water deferred until there shall be some agreement in the upper basin of the Colorado?
Mr. BULL. I do not see how it can be now. It is within about a quarter of being finished.
Senator JOHNSON. You would hardly wish then that the matter of obtaining a water supply for the city of Los Angeles should be deferred until there was an agreement there, would you?
Mr. BULL. That is rather out of my line of work. I believe this, sir, that it is essential that all these things be done.
Senator JOHNSON. Surely; I quite agree with you.
Mr. BULL. Denver and Colorado are just as much interested in seeing the southern basin developed as the northern basin, because it is all one great economic development.
Senator JOHNSON. I think they are. I quite agree with you in that. And so far as domestic water supply is concerned, you deem it, as we do, of paramount importance, do you not? Mr. BULL. It is absolutely important to the city.
Senator JOHNSON. Of course. People can not live without it any more than our people can live without a domestic water supply. And quite as important as that, too, is the protection of the lives of those who are threatened by flood on the Colorado. You would admit that, would you not?
Mr. BULL. Certainly.
Senator Johnson. So that so far as you are concerned you would throw no obstacles in the way of the development of either your part of the country or any other part of the country?
Mr. BULL. No; our only concern is to be sure that we are going to get water.
Senator JOHNSON. Surely, and we will try to aid you in that. That is all, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions? If not, we are obliged to you, Mr. Bull. That will end your presence before the committee.
Senator Kendrick, have you a witness? Senator KENDRICK. Mr. Hopkins will go on at this time, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, this is Mr. S. G. Hopkins, of Cheyenne, for six years commissioner of public lands of the State of Wyoming; afterwards assistant secretary of the interior, for, I believe, four years, under Mr. Franklin K. Lane; now, I believe, commissioner of interstate water rights for Wyoming, an appointive position under the governor.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well, Mr. Hopkins, you may proceed.
STATEMENT OF S. G. HOPKINS, COMMISSIONER OF INTERSTATE
WATER RIGHTS FOR WYOMING, CHEYENNE, WYO.
Mr. HOPKINS. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Carpenter's very able and exhaustive presentation has enabled me to abbreviate my discussion of the matter under consideration very much, and I shall occupy but a very limited amount of your
time. Wyoming's interest in the Colorado River situation lies in the fact that Green River, one of the two large streams that unite to form the Colorado, has its source in that State, and with its tributaries forms a large drainage basin in the south western part. According to the report of Mr. La Rue, an engineer in the Geological Service, published in Water Supply Paper 395, at page 133, the Green River drains an area in Wyoming of 17,340 square miles. A considerable portion of this area is mountain ranges and forests, but much the larger portion of it is rough pasture lands. The region is arid and this stream and its tributaries affords the only source of water supply for the reclamation of the lands in that basin. There is some difference of opinion as to the acreage in the basin in Wyoming that may ultimately be reclaimed by irrigation. Mr. La Rue, in Water Supply Paper 395, at page 158, estimates the area in Wyoming under irrigation at the time his report was made (1913) at 280,000 acres, and he estimates an additional area of 300,000 acres which ultimately may be irrigated.
In 1915 the then governor, now Senator, Kendrick, initiated a movement whereby a cooperative investigation by the State and the Department of Interior was made to ascertain the possibilities of reclamation of lands in the Green River Basin in Wyoming. Two eminent engineers, one selected by the State and one by the Department of Interior, spent considerable time in the investigation and study of the irrigable lands and water supply, and submitted their report to a board of review, composed of Elwood Mead, now Director of the Bureau of Reclamation; James B. True, then State engineer of Wyoming; and E. G. Hopson.
The conclusion reached by this board from the investigations made was that approximately 400,000 acres were under irrigation and in incomplete projects, and that approximately 600,000 additional acres could ultimately be reclaimed.
In view of the thoroughness of the investigation and studies made of the irrigation possibilities in this basin in Wyoming, the high