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knowledge of hydraulics and of the financing of enterprises for the use of water for irrigation and for the generation of power.
The investigation shall include findings as to the rights of particular States in and to such waters and the availability of such waters for use in such particular States; the quantity flow of such waters throughout the year and throughout the series of years for which data are available; the uses to which such waters are presently applied; the quantity of silt carried by such waters and the effect of the deposit of silt upon the service of existing diversion works and canals; the quantity of public lands which may be irrigated by such waters and the practical limitations for the utilization of such waters for the irrigation of both public and private lands; whether control of flood waters is desirable and economical, and if so, whether such control should be undertaken by the United States or by the State governments concerned; what reservoir sites are available, what reservoirs are practical and feasible, the respective utility of each and the quantity of water which may be severally impounded in such reservoirs; the cost of dams and other works for the impounding of such waters, including the general character of the dams and the locations at which they should be constructed; the potential utility of such impounded waters for the generation of power and the possible markets and localities for the utilization of such power ; the water required for use in the upper basin of the river and the effect of the use of the water in such upper basin upon the flow of the river in its lower course; the objections to the present canal diverting water for the irrigation of lands in the Imperial Valley of California and whether or not a new canal entirely in American territory should be built to convey such waters to lands in said valley and the cost of such new canal; the present use of any of such waters for the irrigation of lands in Mexico; and general and comprehensive conclusions upon all factors involved in the potential utilization of the water resources of said Colorado River basin.
SEC. 2. The commission shall have power to subpæna witnesses and have process for procuring any data and information required in the premises; and shall make its report to the President not later than one year after the date of appointment.
The sum of $100,000 is hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to enable the President to carry out these provisions of this act.
The CHAIRMAN. We have with us Senator King, of Utah, who will explain his bill.
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM H. KING, A SENATOR IN THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES FROM THE STATE OF UTAH
Senator King. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I shall not now trespass upon your time to enter into an explanation of the bill. A perusal of the bill will sufficiently explain its purpose. Aside from my bill or a similar measure I am opposed to legislation by Congress dealing with the Colorado River until the treaty, which has been referred to so frequently here, shall have been ratified by California and by Arizona. I say California because of the reservations subsequently attached to the act of ratification by the Legislature of California. These reservations in effect supersede the act of ratification. Or, at any rate, the reservations attach conditions which change the situation. In my opinion they were improper and not in harmony with the spirit which had led to the formulation of the treaty.
I am unwilling that my State shall be forced into this compact with the reservations which California has attached. These reservations among other things in effect, pledge the Federal Government to appropriate a large sum of money for the construction of a dam at Boulder Canyon. As conditions precedent to ratification, California requires the Government to construct a reservoir the capacity of which will be at least 20,000,000 acre-feet.
I hope that Arizona will adhere to the compact, and that California will withdraw her reservation. Then we could approach a consideration of this question without these insuperable impediments to a fair consideration of the entire subject and try to reach a conclusion satisfactory to all.
Speaking for myself I am opposed to the Federal Government spending a dollar on the Colorado River unless it be for a silt or flood control dam to protect the inhabitants of the Imperial Valley. I do not think it is the function of the Federal Government to appropriate money to build dams to furnish water for the municipalities of California, or power for the inhabitants of California, or other States. The Constitution of the United States, which grants power to Congress to regulate commerce, authorizes it to construct dams for power purposes, or to furnish water for private lands or for municpal uses.
However, I should be glad to see some plan adopted by which the people of California might have an opportunity to erect the necessary dams to furnish water and power to Los Angeles and other municipalities in southern California. I have no objection to the adoption of a plan which will permit development of the Colorado Rver. I think it ought to be developed, but I am opposed to the Federal Government embarking upon a big power scheme, or a scheme to furnish for culinary and domestic purposes water for California or any other State.
It is not that I have any hostility to California. I agree absolutely with what Governor Dern has stated as to the close relationship existing between California and my own State, Utah. And I know that the resources of California are so enormous as to justify large expenditures by municipalities and by private capital for the development of power and for the taking of water from the Colorado River to supply the needs of municipalities of southern California.
I have felt that even if legislation were authorized this session—and in my opinon it will not be authorized—it will take several months to agree upon a plan of development. I have attempted to study the plans which have been suggested by the Reclamation Service and by Mr. La Rue; I have looked over the exhaustive surveys made by Mr. Walter Clark, an eminent engineer residing in Los Angeles. He was formerly associated with General Goethals, and perhaps now; and I have had conferences with Mr. Mulholland, the mayor of Los Angeles, and many of the leading citizens of California, with a view to determining if a plan had been sufficiently matured to justify embarking upon the work, even if Congress and interested parties were in agreement upon the treaty and desired to hasten the construction of this great enterprise. My opinion is that the information now available is not sufficient to justify embarking upon a project which may call for tens of millions of dollars.
I am inclined to think that Boulder Canyon is the best place for the first dam, although if I were asked to vote now and accept responsibility in the matter I should hesitate to unrevocably commit myself to Boulder Canyon. There are so many projects suggested that I think a study should be made by disinterested parties, by engineers of the highest standing, appointed by the President of the United States, to submit at the earliest possible date—and I should be willing to fix six months as a limit within which they are to report—the result of their studies and investigations, so that when Congress is ready to act there will be no delay.
I believe that those who are promoting this proposition for legislation looking to the development of the Colorado River, will make time by having a report of the character which my bill calls for. I think this bill ought to be reported, in the interest of expediting the construction of works on the Colorado River. But I shall not ask now that the committee take it up for consideration.
And may I say in closing that Senator Smoot, the Representatives Leatherwood and Colton from Utah, and myself, who were granted an opportunity to file a brief statement of our position, will ask a little time to file it, and hand copies to members of the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you mean by construction of a silt dam?
Senator King. I mean for flood control. I used the word “ silt as including flood control.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. I was going to ask if you included flood control in that proposition?
Senator King. Yes; I used the word in too narrow a sense, because I meant flood control.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. I understand now.
The CHAIRMAN. In reference to your bill, I see that you provide that a report shall be made within a year. Do you wish to shorten that time to six months!
Senator King. I should be willing to shorten that to six months, yes, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. And you are making that suggestion to the committee.
Senator King. Yes; I have no objection to that. But I think that we should have some eminent engineers to make a study and a report, and when we get that there would be less difficulty in getting action by Congress. I think really in the interest of legislation, the passage of this bill would be an advantage.
Senator Jones of Washington. Would you have this board of engineers recommend an initial construction on the lands or would you have them report just generally?
Senator King. I provide here that
The investigation shall include findings as to the rights of particular States in and to such waters and the availability of such waters for use in such particular States ; the quantity flow of such waters throughout the year and throughout the series of years for which data are available; the uses to which such waters are presently applied; the quantity of silt carried by such waters and the effect of the deposit of silt upon the service of existing diversion works and canals; the quantity of public lands which may be irrigated by such waters and the practical limitations for the utilization of such waters for the irrigation of both public and private lands; whether control of flood waters is desirable and economical and if so, whether such control should be undertaken by the l'nited States or by the State governments concerned; what reservoir sites are available, what reservoirs are practical and feasible, the respective utility of each and the quantity of water which may be severally impounded in such reservoirs; the cost of dams and
other works for the impounding of such waters, including the general character of the dams and the locations at which they should be constructed: the potential utility of such impounded waters for the generation of power and the possible markets and localities for the utilization of such power: the water required for use in the upper basin of the river and the effect of the use of the water in such upper basin upon the flow of the river in its lower course; the objections to the present canal diverting water for the irrigation of lands in the Imperial Valley of California and whether or not a new canal entirely in American territory should be built to convey such waters to lands in said valley and the cost of such new canal; the present use of any of such waters for the irrigation of lands in Mexico; and general and comprehensive conclusions upon all factors involved in the potential utilization of the water resources of said Colorado River basin.
And may I add that if there are public lands to be irrigated the objection of some would be greatly mitigated if not removed for an appropriation by the Congress.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. There are many acres of public lands to be irrigated.
Senator King. I have been advised to the contrary, and am very anxious to have that fact made known.
Senator Joxes of Washington. Do you not think that such a commission should be directed to recommend what dam should first be constructed?
Senator King. I have no objection to that at all.
Senator Jones of Washington. Do you not think that ought to be done?
Senator King. Well, when I asked for conclusions I did not know but what their conclusions would indicate their preference there.
Senator Jones of Washington. I think it should be specifically provided for.
Senator King. I think, Senators Johnson and Shortridge, that there has been no purpose in my bill to limit the investigation or to divert attention from matters which the commission might conceive to be of importance. I have included in the bill authority to investigate the so called all-American canal;—however I might add that in my opinion it ought not to be built by the Government even if one were deemed necessary or wise. There is a large amount of data that the Reclamation Service has, and a considerable amount that Mr. La Rue has, and Mr. Clark has surveys I think that cost him more than $100,000, and maps also that would require days to examine
Senator Jones of Washington (interposing). There is no doubt about the data, but
Senator KING (continuing). And the officials of the city of Los Angeles have a vast amount of information, all of which should be collected and studied. And the Edison Power Co., I am told, though I do not know it to be a fact, have a large amount of data, which should be considered.
Senator Jones of Washington. I would be of opinion that if we provide for a commission of this kind it should be given ample time to make a most careful investigation in order that its report should be pretty conclusive.
Senator KING. I think so too, and yet I did not want to delay the development of the Colorado River by individuals or corporations or the United States if it is to construct a flood-control dam.
Senator Jones of Washington. Do you provide in your resolution for ample borings where they have not been made? Do you authorize them to provide for that?
Senator KING. No, but
Senator Jones of Washington (interposing). I think that ought to be done. They would not be able to reach a conclusion without that.
Senator PITTMAN. And $100,000 would not go very far for that kind of work.
Senator King. I did not want to terrify anybody when I first offered this resolution.
The CHAIRMAN. I think it might be well to remark that in all of the hearings held by this committee none of the engineers who have appeared before us have been satisfied with the borings made at any site except the Boulder Canyon or the Black Canyon, the view being that the borings are inadequate upon which to base a definite view as to a dam site.
Senator Jones of Washington. And at many of them there have been no borings at all.
Senator King. This is a tentative measure which I commend to the study of the committee. After the bill now under consideration by you gentlemen has been disposed of I shall ask permission to appear before the committee and request that it be taken up in the regular order.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. This whole resolution seems to proceed upon the theory that there has been no full and exhaustive study of the subject ?
Senator King. May I say that in my own opinion, from talks I have had with officials and from the reports which have been made by the Reclamation Service and Mr. La Rue, which I have examined, from my conversations with Mr. Mulholland, and I had a number of interviews with him, and with the mayor of Los Angeles, and with the Board of Water Supply-I do not remember the technical name of the board—and many others, I did not find any crystallized sentiment founded upon exhaustive studies and scientific investigations, which would justify the selection of any certain plan of development. I found a variety of opinions, and considerable uncertainty. And I say it not by way of criticism, I found very much to be desired in the way of information with respect to the geology of the country and the engineering problems involved. I do not think that any private company with the data which has been assembled, would be willing to enter upon this enterprise, which will cost anywhere from $60,000,000 to $150,000,000. Additional light must be had. Engineering problems of great dimensions are involved and they must be studied still further.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Wherefore you offer this resolution.
Senator King. Yes. It is to get the necessary data, because I know that development of the Colorado River is sure to come. Believing that it is a necessity, and desiring the development of the river I think we ought to have the fullest possible information, at the earliest possible moment, so that when we have determined whether it shall be done by the Federal Government or by private individuals,