Page images

Estimated cost of irrigation and power canal from Harquahala

Pass to Lone Mountain Pass and on to Gillespie dam, with 4 power drops of 800 feet in this canal, constructed as unlined canal, and including roads, bridges, drainage, engineering, overhead and contingent expenses.


Total for these two main transmission and power canals
in the Arizona distribution system.---

86, 000, 000

PHOENIX, ARIZ., November 19, 1925. Hon. Geo. H. MAXWELL, Executive Director National Reclamation Association,

Washington, D, C. DEAR SIR: Herewith please find estimate sheets showing the approximate cost of

(a) Storage dam at Glen Canyon with capacity of 40,000,000 acre-feet.

(b) Estimated cost of diversion dam at Bridge Canyon, constructed to a height to discharge water into the transmission canal system at the head gates at a water surface elevation of 2,040 feet, plus a drawdown of 50 feet from the Bridge Canyon storage.

(C-1) Estimated cost of transmission canal (by the river route) from Bridge Canyon head gates to the Arizona-California forks of canal at the Needles, near Topock, Ariz.

(C-2) Estimated cost of the Bridge Canyon-Yucca Tunnel route, thence by canal to the Needles near Topock, Ariz., as in (C-1).

(d) Estimated cost of an all-Arizona canal from the California forks at the Needles Mountains to Sandy River near Signal; thence to and across Santa Maria River, through Butler Valley to a point on the west side of the Harcuvár Range between Butler and Raingras Valleys (herein called Har. cuvar power plant), due to a necessary drop of 200 feet in the canal about 10 miles north of Vicksburg station on the Santa Fe Railroad. This drop of 200 feet will produce over 220,000 horsepower, listed later herein under "avail. able power "); thence via Harquahala mine and a short tunnel to Lone Moun. tain Pass; thence from the Harquahala Tunnel across Harquahala and Big Horn-Hassampa Valleys to and across the Hassayampa, Agua Fria, and New Rivers along the northerly or upper edge of broad and extensive irrigable valley lands for the greater portion of nearly 170 miles to the Granite Reef Dam of the Salt River project ; thence by a bedrock siphon across Salt River ; thence southerly and well to the east of the auxiliary eastern district, east of Higley and Magma stations, through the lower Queen Creek Valley, to and across the Gila River below Florence; thence to a crossing of the Southern Pacific Railroad about 3 miles south of Casa Grande and westerly to a point about 8 miles southwest of Maricopa station. Almost the entire distance of 100 miles along and under the canal from Granite Reef to the terminus near Maricopa is through valley lands of highly exceptional fertility, equal to any in the Southwest.

(e) Am also sending in attached sheet the estimated cost of the Lone Mountain Pass to Gillespie Dam irrigation and power canal.

Please be advised that the estimated quantities on which all these estimates are based were made after personal inspection of nearly every mile of the lines described and estimated herein.

The classification as between earth and rock excavation can not be much, if any, in error, and certainly no one has any more information on that subject than this office.

The unit costs used in all these estimates are 15 per cent in excess of contract costs on similar classes of work under contract during the past year and more than 20 per cent in excess of work done by force account within the past two years.

We will stand on and by our unit prices and quantities on this work.

Exact quantities can only be known after careful location surveys and final estimates have been made.

We desire especially to call your attention very briefly to the great injustice sought to be done a properly designed Arizona-California all-gravity canal by enemies of the project and for almost criminally ulterior motives.

In the discussion of this subject as briefly outlined in the Sturtevant-Stam report the “special board of engineers” (hand picked for the purpose) insisted on including the entire mileage from the Colorado River Forks at Needles Mountains to Maricopa as a part of the proposed flood-control irrigation and power project.

In doing this they forget that the entire cost of all carrals from the ArizonaCalifornia fords at the Needles should, and probably will be, charged to more than 3,000,000 acres of land in Arizona, which acreage may be divided into 30 of more separate irrigation districts. In that event the entire cost of such transmission canals will be prorated over and against the acreage receiving water service therefrom.

You will note from estimate sheet No. 1 that the total estimated cost of Glen Canyon Dam, Bridge Canyon Dam, and complete transmission canal by the "river route” is $247,000,000, and that the cost of the same two dams for the storage, stabilization, and diversion of the Colorado River waters, as shown on estimate sheet No. 2, plus the cost of carriage of these waters by the Bridge Canyon-Yucca Tunnel route, with canal from Yucca to the Arizona-California “ forks" at the Needles Mountains, is $262,000,000.

We wish to say of these estimates that in all items which are at all comparable with similar cost items in the Morman Flats Dam and other work recently completed or now under construction in the mountain West, and more especially that under the very efficient management of Messrs. Reed and Cragin, of the Salt River Valley Water Users' Association, our estimated costs in the attached estimates are more than 15 per cent in excess of those for similar classes of construction recently completed or now under construction in Arizona and in other localities throughout the West.

We find no warrant or justification for the excessively high unit costs used by the “special board of engineers” or other critics who have sought by unjust, unfair, and misleading professional and political methods, or by positively " padded " and misleading estimates, such as were resorted to in the review of the preliminary report of the Arizona high line all-gravity canal, by the

special board of engineers,” in their attempt to discredit the accuracy of preliminary estimates of the cost of that project and to destroy all hope for and of a maximum development of the Colorado River.

If our engineer and other critics can not or will not “keep step" with up-to-date methods of construction to reduce construction costs below the unit costs resorted to in the misleading estimates used in their report and criticism of the Arizona high-line canal project, it is surprising that they have not been “let out” of the United States Reclamation Service even more rapidly than has been done in the past few, years, and “still there's more to follow."


Assuming a 40 per cent water apportionment or allocation to California at the Arizona-California forks of the high-line canal at Needles Mountains, we find that California can irrigate all its available land in the Imperial and adjoining districts, some 840,000 acres, and can transmit by gravity over or through the divide into the Los Angeles-San Diego district more than 2,000,000 acre-feet of water.

This amount of water west of the divide will irrigate nearly 2,000,000 acres of land, a total of over 2,840,000 acres in California.

At the power drop of over 3,000,000 acre-feet near Indio, Calif., for irrigation of lands in the Imperial and adjoining districts there may be generated more than 450,000 horsepower of electric energy.

From the 2,000 to 2,500 second-feet of water available to California west of the divide there may be generated over 200,000 horsepower.



Lands irrigable in California from Colorado River water, 2,840,000 acres.

Power available to California from Colorado River water, over 650,000 horsepower.

Diversion of 60 per cent of Colorado River waters at the Arizona-California Forks of a high-line canal will irrigate something over 3,500,000 acres of land in Arizona, allowing only a minimum of benefits from reuse of return seepage and surplus waters.

From water diverted to Arizona at the Arizona-California Forks of a highline canal, there may be developed, at 15 or more power drops " well dis

[ocr errors]

tributed along transmission and lateral canals in the southwestern portion of the State, over 650,000 horsepower of electrical energy.



Flood control along the lower Colorado River.
Lands irrigable in Arizona, 3,500,000 acres.
Power available to Arizona, over 650,000 horsepower.

Now compare the foregoing summaries of benefits presently available to Arizona and California from an all-gravity high-line canal with the maximuin of benefits possible from the proposed Boulder Canyon dam.


(a) Flood control to the lower Colorado River districts.
(6) Irrigation of only 280,000 acres in Arizona.
(c) Irrigation of 840,000 acres (by gravity) in California.

(d) One thousand five hundred or two thousand second-feet of water to California for municipal or irrigation uses. This water to be pumped to a one thousand four hundred feet lift at or near Topock, at an annual cost of more than $30,000,000 for electric energy, interest on pump equipment, repairs, maintenance and operation of pumping plants.

With this maximum use of water from the Boulder or Black Canyon Dam, there will be a stabilized flow of surplus or waste or unused water which can only be used on Mexican lands or go to waste into the Gulf of California.

Please note that the annual charge of $30,000,000 or more per year for pumping high-lift water to California, when capitalized on a 5 per cent basis, represents an investment of more than $400,000,000, a sum largely in excess of the cost of the Glen Canyon and Bridge Canyon Dams, and the high-line transmission canal from Bridge Canyon to the Arizona-California forks at Needles Mountains.

With the Arizona high-line all-gravity canal efficient irrigation water will be supplied to more than 1,000,000 acres of land in Arizona and California with ultimate available power output of over 1,300,000 horsepower, about equally divided between Arizona and California.

Or more briefly summarized on a basis of the comparative ration of benefits available as between the Arizona high-line all-gravity canal and the porposed Boulder Canyon dam, with its maximum benefits, we find the former (and only feasible) plan yet suggested will furnish gravity irrigation to more than three times as much land in Arizona and California as the latter plan and will produce more than twice the amount of electrical energy ever possible by the Boulder Canyon project.

Under the high-line all-gravity canal plan the expense of one year's pumpage of water over the California divide to the west coast districts will pay the entire cost of the bedrock gravity siphons to convey California's entire water supply from the Colorado River to the west side of the river.

I trust the foregoing will at least give you some enlightenment on new phases of the Colorado River problems which will prove helpful in the great work to which you are devoting the best years of your endeavor. Yours truly,

GEORGE W. STURTEVANT. Mr. MAXWELL. Now, another matter, Mr. Chairman, it seems to me there ought to be something in this record to illustrate what Asiatịc settlement is, and what they would do with the 1,600,000 acres for which the effort is now being made to secure the Colorado River for its reclamation.

The CHAIRMAN. What is that, a book or an extract from a book?

Mr. MAXWELL. An extract from The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, showing that on 1,600,000, acres, all under one system of irrigation, the Chinese support a population of 4,000,000 by agriculture alone.

The CHAIRMAN. Very well, that may be inserted.

(The extract referred to was made part of the record, and is as follows:)

[From the Yangtze Valley and Beyond (vol. 2, p. 72), by Bird Bishop] The glory of Kuan is the temple in honor of Li Ping, a perfect in the aboriginal kingdom of Shu, the ancient Sze Chuan, the great engineer, and his son, whose work has redeemed the noble plain of Chengtu from drought and flood for 2,000 years. Just above Kuan Hsien there is a romantic gorge with lofty gray cliffs, down which one branch of the Min, a cold, crystal stream, rushes wildly; but still rafts and boats, carrying lime and coal from above, make the passage, often to their own destruction. On the right bank, high on the cliff, is a picturesque temple in a romantic situation, with a beautiful roof of glazed, green tiles, created in honor of Li Ping or his son, whose name has been so completely lost out of history that he is known only as “The Second Gentleman."

Above this perilous gorge the Min is about 200 yards wide, with more or less mountainous banks heavily wooded, and at the point where the Tibetan road crosses it, on a very fine bamboo suspension bridge about 200 paces long, the grandest temple in China stands, on a wooded height finely terraeed, and adorned with stately lines of cryptomeria and other exotic trees, one teak tree in a courtyard being 18 feet in circumference. These noble shrines, with their fine courtyards and the exquisitely beautiful pavilions and minarets which climb the cliff behind the temple, and are lost among the cryptomerias of the summit, are the most beautiful group of buildings that I saw in the Far East, combining the grace and decorative witchery of the shrines of the Japanese shoguns at Nikko, with a grandeur and stateliness of their own.

This noble temple is scrupulously clean and in perfect repair. Magnificent objects of art, as well as tanks surrounded with exotic ferns, decorate its courtyards ; living waters descend from the hill through the mouths of serpents carved in stone; noble flights of stone steps lead to the grand entrance and from terrace to terrace; 30 Taoist priests keep lamps and incense ever burning before the shrines; an imperial envoy from Peking visits the temple every year with gifts; and tens of thousands of pilgrims from every part of the plain and beyond bring their offerings and homage to these altars.

The temple left on my memory an impression of beauty and majesty which nature and art have combined to produce. Outside, glorious trees in whose dense leafage the lesser architectural beauties lose themselves, gurgling waters, flowering shrubs with heavy odors floating on the damp, still air, elaborately carved pinnacles and figures on the roofs, even the screens in front of the doors decorated with elaborate tracery; while the beauty of the interior is past description; columns of highly polished black lacquer ; a roof, a perfect marvel of carving and lacquer, all available space occupied with honorary tablets, the gifts of past viceroys, while the shrines are literally ablaze with gorgeously colored lacquer and painting, and the banners presented by the emperors wave in front. The galleries facing the effigies of the great engineer and his son are carved most delicately with lacquered fretwork; and on pillars, galleries, and everywhere, where space admits of its decorative use, is Li Ping's motto incised or inscribed in gold,“ Shen tao t'an ti tso yen "-

Dig the bed deep. Keep the banks low."

Although there is a shrine to Li Ping in this splendid “ Erh-Wang” temple, it was possibly erected in honor of “ The Second Gentleman," the temple to the father being (believed by Mr. Grainger) the more recent erection above the gorge of the crouching dragon. Every Chinese Emperor, from the Tsin Dynasty, 246 B. C., downward. has conferred the posthumous title of Wang, or prince, upon Li Ping and his son. A stone tablet in one of the temples records the story, which I learn from Mr. Grainger, who has translated the inscription.

The Chengtu Plain, which these deservedly honored engineers may be said to have created, is the richest plain in China and possibly in the world. It may be about 100 miles by 70 or 80, with an area of about 2,500 square miles. It produces three and even four crops a year. Its chief products are rice, silk, opium, tobacco, sugar, sweet potatoes, indigo, the paper mulberry, rape and other oils, maize and cotton, along with roots and fruits of all kinds, both musk and water melons being produced in fabulous quantities. From any height the plain looks like a forest of fruit trees, with clumps of cypress, cedar, and bamboo denoting the whereabouts of the great temples and fine farmhouses, with which it is studded.

It has an estimated population of 4.000.000 and is sprinkled with cities and flourishing marts and large villages, Chengtu, the capital, having at least

[ocr errors]


400,000 people. Along the main roads the population may be said to constitute a prolonged village. The abundance of water power produces any number of flour and oil mills, the plain is intersected in all directions with roads which are thronged with traffic, and boats can reach the Yangtze from Kuan Hsien, Chengtu and Chaing Kou.

Oranges reappear in splendid groves, mixed up with the vivid foliage of the persimmons; mulberry trees are allowed to grow their full height and amplitude; spinning and weaving are going on everywhere; the soil, absolutely destitute of weeds, looks as if it were cultivated with trowels and rakes,

as Emerson felicitously said of England," with a pencil instead of a plow." There are frequent small temples, or rather shrines, to the god of the soil, of solid masonry, the image being inclosed by open fretwork, in front of which the incense sticks smolder ceaselessly; the long-drawn creak of the wheelbarrow is never silent during the daylight hours, agricultural energy and activity prevail, and the plain is a singular and perhaps unrivalled picture of rustic peace and security.

The population of 4,000,000 depends not only for its prosperity but for its existence on the irrigation works of Li Ping and “ The Second Gentleman," carried out long before the Christian era. Without these, as has been truly said, “ the east and west of the plain would be a marsh, and the north a waterless desert," and this great area, with its boundless fertility and wealth, and its immunity from drought and flood for 2,000 years, is the monument to the engineering genius of these two men, whose motto, “ Dig the bed deep; keep the banks low," had it been applied universally to rivers of insubordinate habits, would have saved the world from much desolation and loss.

With a faithfulness rare in China, Li Ping's motto has been carried out for 21 centuries. The stone-bunded dykes are kept low and in repair, and in March the bed of the artificial Min, created by Li Ping by cutting a gorge a hundred feet deep through the hard rock of the cliff above Kuan Hsien, and which has been closed by a barrier since the previous November, with its subsidiary channels, is carefully dug out, till the workmen reach two iron cylinders sunk in the bed of the stream which mark its upper level. The silt of the year, which is from 5 to 6 feet thick, is then removed. The whole plain countributes to this expensive work, and a high official, the Shui Li Fu, or prefect of the waterways," is responsible for it.

In late March or early April there is a grand ceremony, sometimes attended by the Viceroy, when the winter dam is cut, and the strong torrent of the Min, seized upon by human skill, is divided and subdivided, twisted, curbed by dams and stone revetments, and is sent into innumerable canals and streams, till, aided by a fall of 12 feet to the mile, there is not a field which has not a continual supply, or an acre of the Changtu Plain in which the musical gurgle of the bright waters of the Tibetan uplands is not heard—waters so abundant that, though drought may exist all around, this vast oasis remains a paradise of fertility and beauty.



The CHAIRMAN. When Mr. Merrill appeared before the committee sufficient time was not accorded him to complete his statement. Consequently he was requested to supply the omission by a written statement, which follows:


Washington, December 30, 1925. Hon. CHARLES L. McNARY, Chairman Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation,

United States Senate, MY DEAR SENATOR : In response to your request, I make the following comment concerning certain of the provisions of “A bill to provide for the protection and development of the lower Colorado River Basin," and since a substitute bill, S. 1868, materially modifying the bill previously under consideration, was introduced on December 21, 1925, and is presumably the bill now under consideration by the committee, I will confine myself primarily to the provisions of that bill. In such comments as I make I wish to be understood as expressing my personal views.

« PreviousContinue »