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Section 6 provides that no part of the construction cost of the dam and the appurtenant works shall be charged against any lands irrigated by the waters of the reservoir. If the all-American canal is to be considered as an appartenant work, the bill should be amended. It is believed that the sales of water from this canal will return not only the cost of operation and maintenance, but pay construction costs without interest, as is done on other reclamation projects.
All revenues from power, irrigation, and domestic water supplies should be placed in a common fund and used for the payment of interest, operating expenses, and build up a sinking sund for redeeming the entire bond issue.
In order to give assurance before any large expenditure is incurred that the anticipated revenues from this development will be obtained, the bill should contain a provision that before any bonds are issued and sold and before awarding any contracts for construction, the Secretary of the Interior shall secure the execution of contracts with irrigation districts, municipalities. and corporations, on terms to be fixed, for the deliery of all water to be supplied for irrigation, domestic, and municipal uses, and shall obtain definite commitment for the purchase of power from responsible bidders in an amount to insure a sufficient return from this development to repay the money to be expended with interest within a period of 50 years.
Section 8, which provides for the distribution and use of all water for irrigation, power, and otherwise, in accordance with the Colorado River compact, seems well conceived and is a necessary part of this legislation. This appears to afford ample protection and assurance to those States included in the upper division of the watershed, against the creation of a priority of right through the building of these works, which would impair in any way their right to the volume of water guaranteed to that division in the compact. I suggest for consideration, amendment to the effect that the benefits to be derived from this development shall be available only to those States or the ctizens of those States which have ratified the compact.
I suggest the amendment of section 9 as follows: In line 1, page 11, strike cut the words “the proportionate share” and insert in lieu thereof the words
an equitable share in accordance with the benefits received." After the word
lands," in line 15, insert “subject, however, to the provisions of subsection C of section 4, act of December 5, 1924 (43 Stat. 702)." The first amendment suggested is designed to avoid the necessity of fixing a flat-rate charge without regard to the classification or quality of the land. Experience has shown that a flat-rate charge is undesirable in some cases. The second amendment I believe of prime importance. If soldiers and sailors are to be given a preference, experience has shown that provision should be made for selection. This is desirable for the protection of all prospective entrymen, soldiers and sailors, as well as civilians.
Since section 1 provides for the building of a dam either at Black Canyon or Boulder Canyon, I suggest that line 11, section 10, be amended so as to designate the subfund there mentioned as the Colorado River Dam fund," which would be applicable in either case. The present designation might possibly prove a misnomer. I suggest the following proviso be inserted at the end of section 10 of the bill :
“Provided, however, That no work shall be begun and no moneys expended on or in connection with the works or structures provided for in this act until the respective legislatures of at least six of the signatory States mentioned in section 13 hereof, shall have approved the Colorado River compact mentioned in said section 13, and shall have consented to a waiver of the provision of the first paragraph of article 11 of said compact making the same binding and obligatory when it shall have been approved by the legislatures of each of the seven signatory States, and until the President, by public proclamation, shall have declared that the said compact has been approved by and become binding and obligatory upon at least six of the signatory States."
An approximate estimate of cost, operating expenses, and income leaves no question as to the ultimate solvency of this undertaking if carried out along the lines proposed. The main source of revenue will be power, and the rate assumed is lower than the wholesale prices now being paid in the West. Those of which we have information range from 32 to 8 mills per kilowatt-hour, measured at the switchboard. As the largest consumers of this power would be distant, a low figure of 3 mills per kilowatt-hour at the switchboard has been assumed in the estimates which follow :
Colorado River development, Boulder Canyon Reservoir, all-American canal
CAPITAL INVESTMENT Estimated cost for26,000,000 acre-foot reservoir
$41, 500,000 1,000,000 horsepower poirer development.
31, 500, 000 The all-American canal.
31, 000, 000 Interest during construction, on above 5 years, at 4 per cent. 21,000,000 Total.
Estimated gross revenues from
Sale 3,600,000,000 kilowatt-hours, power at i cent.--
12, 300, 000
Estimated fixed annual charges for
Operation and maintenance, storage, and power..
500,000 5, 000, 000
6, 200, 000 Estimated annual surplus, $6,100,000, or thought to be sufficient to repay the entire cost in 25 years.
The height of this dam as fixed will not prevent the construction of the proposed dams at Diamond Creek or Bridge Canyon. The approval of this project should open the way for other development and encourage the construction of projects above this dam for development of irrigation, power, or other purposes.
Although the difficulties of construction and magnitude of the proposed structure compared with any other for similar purposes are unprecedented, assuming that it is a feasible engineering possibility, the Reclamation Bureau of the Department of the Interior as now organized, with its present commissioner, is competent to construct the works contemplated in S. 1868.
With the amendments suggested, I recommend the favorable consideration of this bill by Congress. Respectfully submitted.
HUBERT WORK, Secretary. The CHAIRMAN. At this time I desire to put in a letter from Mr. Elwood Mead, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the Interior, showing the interest of the Government in lands in case of the construction of the all-American canal.
(The letter referred to is here made a part of the record, as follows:)
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION,
Washington, December 19, 1925. Hon. CHAS. L. McVAPY,
United States Senate. MY DEAR SENATOR MCNARY: In reply to your inquiry of December 14, 1925, we have no detailed information relative to the status of lands under the allAmerican canal other than is given in the table on page 80 of the report on probleins of Imperial Valley and vicinity. (S. Doc. 142, 67th Cong., 2d sess.) This table shows a net area of 785,400 acres or irrigable land under the allAmerican canal in the United States, divided as follows: Acres
Acres Public 167, 100 Hntered
15, 300 Private 529, 500 Indian.
11, 500 State
14, 700 Southern Pacific Ry47, 300
In the text of the report, it is stated that three figures are approximate, being secured by adjustment from the El Centro land-office records; also the figures for State and railroad lands are for original holdings, sales to individuals not being shown. We have no record of the number of private owners.
Of the above 785,400 acres, the area irrigated in 1922 was 415,000 acres and in 1925 about 450,000 acres according to statement of the president of the Imperial irrigation district. This is all private land, so that the status of the area not now irrigated which will be brought under irrigation by the AllAmerican Canal is as follows:
Acres Private (including Southern Pacific Railway and entered lands.---- 142, 100 Public (including Indian and State lands)--
Total new lands in United States.--.
335, 400 Of this area, 65,000 acres are within the present Imperial irrigation district. Yours very truly,
Commissioner. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Maxwell, we will be glad to hear you.
STATEMENT OF MR. GEORGE H. MAXWELL, EXECUTIVE DIREC
TOR, NATIONAL RECLAMATION ASSOCIATION, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. MAXWELL. Mr. Chairman and Senators, I appreciate very much this additional courtesy on the part of the committee, but with all due deference it occurs to me that the most important question relating to this proposed legislation has really taken the least of the time and received the least consideration from the committee. I do not say that in a sense of criticism at all but merely that it has happened so.
I am very greatly under obligations to my long-time friend from California, Senator Shortridge, for having here brought up the question which I referred to very briefly at Phoenix—the fact that *if the Boulder Canyon Dam is built Mexico gets the water.” The amount of water referred to at that time as being the amount that Mexico would get was 8,000,000 acre-feet per year, based upon the estimate or quantity of water in the river, which is given on page 5 of the Fall-Davis report, known as Senate Document 142, and on page 192 of Water Supply Paper 395, which is Mr. La Rue's first report. That would be water enough to irrigate 2,000,000 acres in Mexico.
Now, the most noticeable thing it seems to me in this whole hearing has been that we have so often overlooked the fact that the Colorado River is a very erratic stream, its annual flow varying from about 8,000,000. acre-feet to 25,000,000 acre-feet. A standardization of that flow of the river averaged over twenty years would produce a regulated flow of 16,000,000 acre-feet, of which from 8,000,000 to 10,000,000 acre-feet, would go to Mexico annually if the Boulder Canyon dam were built to the capacity originally contemplated in the Fall-Davis report; which was 31,400,000 acre-feet. This would irrigate in Mexico an area larger than the total area to be irrigated under that plan in both Arizona and California, which was 940,000 acres in California and 280,000 in Arizona.
Mr. Weymouth, the witness of whom the question was asked about this reference of mine, proposes a dam in which—and if I am not correct, Mr. Weymouth, you will please correct me—the storage ca
pacity under control is 15,500,000 acre-feet, and 10,500,000 acre-feet is dead water, absolutely unusable for any purpose, according to the plan of construction to be adopted. Therefore we must treat the river as being controlled only to the extent of 15,500,000 acre-feet storage under that plan.
The CHAIRMAN. I did not so understand it, Mr. Maxwell, but you may go ahead with your statement.
Mr. MAXWELL. No, I do not want to go ahead if there is any mistake in my figures. As I understood Mr. Weymouth he said 15,500,000 acre-feet of the proposed storage of 26,000,000 acre-feet in the Black Canyon dam would be controlled storage, which could be utilized.
Mr. WEYMOUTH. I said in my plan the whole scheme of development suggested this morning was 24,000,000 acre-feet.
Mr. MAXWELL. Well, 24,000,000 acre-feet and 25,000,000 acre-feet are not very far apart. I read it from your blue print, where it says 15,500,000 acre-feet storage control” referring to the Black Canyon dam. In round numbers, roughly speaking, 15,000,000 acrefeet is controlled storage and 10,000,000 acre-feet is not controlled. Ten million acre-feet is dead water. It what
call “ dead storage and under your plan that part of the reservoir is never to be implied after it has once been filled.
The Colorado River reaches its highest peak along about the 1st of July. That is the period of the year at which the reservoir must be filled-I refer now to the storage space which you refer to as “ 15,500,000 acre-feet storage control."
Now this is proposed to be a power reservoir and you can not develop power with the water in that reservoir for the next three months after July 1 unless you draw the water from the reservoir and let it fall to the base of the dam. There is not space in a reservoir only controlling 15,500,000 acre-feet, or only providing 15,500,000 acre-feet of controlled capacity, to hold back any appreciable amount of water from Mexico unless you fail to develop the power to that extent at the period of the year when it is just as much needed as any other period of the year, in California or wherever, it may be used. Therefore under the plan proposed by Mr. Weymouth, if Mexico is to be deprived of water three months of the year by holding it back in the reservoir, if you have no more storage capacity than is proposed in the Black Canyon dam, which is 15,500,000 acre-feet, you must lose the power for three months in the year which that water would otherwise develop; if you withhold the water from Mexico during that period. That Black Canyon dam is the only dam proposed to be built under the bill now under consideration.
I understood Mr. Weymouth's position to be that unless the allAmerican canal is built his idea of holding this water back in the reservoir against Mexico is inapplicable. There is no question about that. Now, what will the all-American canal do? Undoubtedly the American canal should be built. It should be built if for no other reason than for the effect that it will exercise in preventing Mexico from taking half of the water from the present Canal in Mexico for use below the line which we store in this country.
But all the land they can irrigate under the All-American canal plan, according to the Fall-Davis report, which no one questions, is
940,000 acres in California. Call it in round numbers 1,000,000 acres. If you allow 4 acre-feet head-gate duty you have only 4,000,000 acrefeet required for the irrigation of that 1,000,000 acres. And that is all the water that the All-American canal can keep from going into Mexico. What becomes of the remaining 12,000,000 acre-feet left after deducting 4,000,000 acre-feet from the total flow of 16,000,000 acre-feet? The amount which California proposes to take through the aqueduct to Los Angeles is approximately only another 1,000,000 acre-feet. That makes 5,000,000 acre-feet for California. The area in Arizona which can be irrigated under that plan is only 280,000 or at the utmost only 300,000 acres, for which we will need approxiacre-feet. That makes 5,000,000 acre-feet for California. The area in Arizona which can be irrigated under that plan is only 280,000 or at the utmost only 300,000 acres, for which we will need approximately another 1,000,000 feet. That makes a total in both California and Arizona of only 6,000,000 acre-feet.
Now, I am not considering in this estimate the 632,000 acres in addition which could be irrigated in Arizona with a pump lift of 200 feet, because that project will never be built. That pump lift is uneconomic. Therefore the entire amount of water to be used under the Black Canyon dam in the United States of America, which can not be exceeded without pumping, is only 6,000,000, acrefeet. Mexico would get the remainder from that dam, amounting to 9,500,000 acre-feet annually. The flow of the river, as estimated by Mr La Rue in his original report water supply paper 395, and as estimated by Mr. Davis in the Fall-Davis report, Senate Document 142, is 16,000,000 acre-feet. That would leave 10,000,000 acre-feet to go down the river to Mexico after all the lands irrigable under that plan in the United States of America have been irrigated. And if it is not all stored when you build the first dam at Boulder Canyon on Black Canyon other dams will inevitably be built in the near future, and that entire flow of 10,000,000 acre-feet will go to Mexico by the law of gravity, exactly as I stated it would do. I do not for the moment recall whether it was at Los Angeles or Phoenix.
The CHAIRMAN. I think it was here in Washington last winter.
Mr. MAXWELL. Yes. You will bear in mind that when I was before this committee in Washington we did not have the recent La Rue report. That report was not issued until last September or October. Until then we did not know the facts as we know them now. To a large extent we were forced to rely upon faith and guesswork as to whether or not we could take this water out at an elevation to cover lands in Arizona. We now know that it can be done.
The point I am making with reference to Mr. Weymouth's suggestion that we might dry Mexico up by holding back its water in the reservoir is that, in the first place, it never would be done, because with a dam there from which they could develop power during these three months they would never hold the water back and go without the power just to keep Mexico from getting the water. They will never hold it back just to keep Mexico from getting it, because if they did they would lose the power in the Unit d States of America. So that idea of Mr. Weymouth's is entirely impractical. If you build