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H. R. 3482 makes no specific reference to the North Canadian River which heads only a few miles east of the head of the Canadian River and flows essentially parallel to that stream for most of its length to their confluence about 40 miles upstream from the junction of the Canadian River with the Arkansas River. This Department interprets the language of the bill to include the North Canadian River as a tributary of the Canadian River, notwithstanding the former's existence to so large an extent as an independent stream.
The bill conditions consent of the Congress to negotiation of the compact upon appointment by the President of the United States of one suitable person from the Department of the Interior to participate in such negotiations, as the representative of the United States. This Department has a vital interest in the subject matter of the proposed negotiations, not only because of the operation by the Bureau of Reclamation of the Tucumcari irrigation project, which derives its water supply from Conchas Reservoir on the Canadian River in New Mexico, but because of the withdrawal by this Department from appropriation of all remaining unappropriated waters of the North Canadian River in Oklahoma (a portion of which was recently released for the benefit of the city of Enid), and because of numerous project investigations by Interior Department agencies, completed or under way in all three of the affected States. À considerable part of the Canadian River Basin is public domain under jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management. Other portions include lands in Indian ownership. Compact negotiations would also affect the
interests of this Department in fish and wildlife conservation and recreation. We shall wish to cooperate to the fullest extent with the States in their efforts to reach a mutually acceptable basis for the apportionment of the waters of the Canadian River and its tributaries.
The Committee on Public Lands believes that the method of determining interstate water controversies through compact negotiations should be encouraged, and unanimously recommends the enactment of this legislation,
GRANTING THE CONSENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO
THE ARKANSAS RIVER COMPACT
MAY 14, 1949.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State
of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. MURDOCK, from the Committee on Public Lands, submitted
To accompany H, R. 4151)
The Committee on Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 4151) to grant the consent of the United States to the Arkansas River compact, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
Page 7, line 8, strike the word "reservoirs" and insert the word "reservoir".
Page 19, line 12, strike out the word “Governor" and insert the word "Governors".
Page 20, line 9, strike the word “Commissioners” and insert the word "commissioners".
EXPLANATION OF THE BILL
The purpose of this bill is to grant the consent of the Federal Government to the Arkansas River compact, signed on December 14, 1948, by Commissioners for the States of Colorado and Kansas. The legislatures of both States have ratified the compact, which provides for a division of the Arkansas River waters between Colorado and Kansas.
The Arkansas River compact is the result of 2 years' negotiation by representatives of the United States, the State of Colorado and the State of Kansas. Prior to this negotiation the States of Colorado and Kansas were in almost continuous litigation over a division of the waters.
The Committee on Public Lands believes that the compact method of settling water controversies is a fair, equitable and just solution.
The basis of this compact is a distribution between the two States based on rate of flow from the storage in the John Martin Reservoir60 percent to Colorado and 40 percent to Kansas, with Colorado having the benefit of accretions to the stream in delivering Kansas' share at the State line.
Oklahoma and Arkansas, downstream States, through which the Arkansas River passes, were not parties to the negotiations since they are not affected by the apportionment of the limited water supply in the upper basin required for irrigation and other consumptive use purposes. A small stream called Trinchera Creek, of the Purgatorire River, is a tributary of the Arkansas River in New Mexico, but the interest of New Mexico is not affected by the compact.
At hearings on this bill held before the Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation of the Committee on Public Lands, Congressman Miles questioned witnesses as to whether or not New Mexico's interest would be prejudiced in any way. The questions and answers are as follows:
Mr. Miles. Was a representative of New Mexico present at the deliberations on this compact?
Mr. Gail L. IRELAND, Commissioner for Colorado. No, there was not.
Mr. MILES. Would you say that New Mexico's rights are protected in this compact?
Mr. IRELAND. Absolutely. We have been very careful to see that the compact does not affect that water in any manner. Therefore it is an open question and may be determined in the future by New Mexico.
Mr. Miles (addressing Mr. George S. Knapp, Chairman, Arkansas River Compact Commission for the State of Kansas). Mr. Knapp, in your deliberation of this compact on the waters, were the waters of New Mexico considered?
Mr. KNAPP. Only in the manner set forth therein. We had material discussions on that. In the beginning of our deliberations, Mr. Charles Patterson, chief engineer of the Colorado Water Board, was a member and later he resigned, as I believe was then reported to you. There were two engineers on the compact Commission. We, as engineers, gave careful thought to the physical situation. Up there in a high mountain area, getting up toward the elevation of Raton Pass, with which you are familiar, or even a little higher, there is a little bit of headwater area between Trinchera Creek involving only a few square miles from which the drainage is from New Mexico into Colorado. Throughout the years, the only actual development up in that high water area is the irrigation of a few acres of hay meadow, and such as that for some ranches lying up in there.
İt is probable that the actual potentialities of that little headwater area of Trinchera Creek have been completely developed because irrigation is old up in the Trinidad country.
Mr. Miles. Would you say that under the terms of that compact, whatever rights they have are protected?
Mr. KŇAPP. I am quite sure this compact will put no limitation upon New Mexico's right to go ahead and use water up in that high area in any way that the physical circumstances of that high altitude permits. Of course, it is not anticipated that water would be diverted to some other watershed and physically the yield of that small high area is very small. It is not anticipated that the compact will put any limitation whatsoever upon the use of water up in that area.
Mr. Miles (addressing Brig. Gen. Hans Kramer, United States Army (retired), representing the United States on the Arkansas River Compact Commission). General Kramer, in your deliberation and observation in this body in forming this compact, if this Congress should enact this bill into a law, would you say that the water from New Mexico would retain the right to be protected?
General KRAMER. I say this unqualifiedly; yes.
That question has been asked of these witnesses. Having been a resident of your State quite actively for 4 years, I was well aware that somebody in New Mexico would be interested in that question.
In the consideration of that matter, by the Commission, there was some thought on the part of the Commissioners that perhaps the compact should remain silent on the subject. It was my feeling, and I take full responsibility for having in
fluenced the judgment of the Commissioners, that the compact should not be silent, but should make an explicit statement recognizing the existing state of affairs and the physical condition in appropriate legal language.
The compacting party, Colorado and Kansas, could not, under the terms of the act of Congress, have New Mexico join in the interstate compact.
Nonetheless, I felt it was appropriate to give recognition to that little area in the headwaters in explicit terms in the compact, and it was my intent and likewise it was expressed by all the Commissioners who testified that that assertion in the compact fully protects New Mexico and is not intended to give Colorado and Kansas under this compact any right to that water that belongs to New Mexico, whatever those rights may be.
The term "if any” to my mind refers to the fact that those rights may or may not now be determined. They may remain to be determined. I am not so sure there are any legal filings up there in those headwaters. Whatever those rights may be under the laws of New Mexico, they are respected by this compact.
The compact specifically states that it does not establish any general principle or precedent with respect to any other interstate stream.
H. R. 4151 has been amended by the committee to correct certain typographical errors.
This bill has the approval of Members of Congress from Colorado and Kansas, and the Department of the Interior. Pertinent comments from the Department's report are set forth below and further explain the purpose of H. R. 4151:
We recommend enactment of the proposed legislation.
The waters of the Arkansas River Basin have been a prolific source of litigation for many years, beginning in 1901 and ending in 1943, when the Supreme Court dismissed the last suit between Colorado and Kansas with an admonition that the litigants compose their differences by compact. Consent of the Congress to negotiations between the States of Colorado and Kansas was granted by the act approved April 19, 1945.
The United States representative on the compact Commission has been diligent in the determination of the interests of the United States in that part of the Arkansas River Basin under consideration. He has consulted from time to time with the several agencies of the Department of the Interior. Representatives of this Department appeared before the Commission during its deliberations.
While many of the agencies of this Department have interests in the basin, the compact is of especial interest to the Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation-to the former in connection with the investigation and measurement of water resources; to the latter in connection with the utilization of water. Both agencies are specifically requested by the compact to collaborate with the administrative body therein authorized, and with appropriate State officials in, among other things, the systematic determination and correlation of data which may be necessary for the proper administration of the compact. This is proper and desirable; and I assure your Committee of our continued cooperation and collaboration with State officials in the Arkansas River Basin. The Bureau of Reclamation has no constructed projects in the area covered by the compact, but is engaged in a basin-wide investigation of the opportunities for supplementing existing irrigation enterprises and in developing remaining land and water resources. The Bureau of Reclamation also has under study plans to import water from the Colorado River Basin to enlarge the possibilities for such assistance and develop
The John Martin Reservoir, constructed by the United States, provides regu. latory capacity for use downstream in Irrigation District No. 67 in Colorado, and on Kansas lands. The compact provides for the division of this water just as though it were direct flow. This disposition, which will eliminate debits, credits, and other storage bookkeeping, is fair and logical in the circumstances. It will not be disadvantageous to junior appropriators in favor of senior appropriators, as unregulated floodwaters, regulated by the reservoir, are too infrequent to support further direct flow rights. Administration of water apportioned to each State will be by that State's regular officials, supervision by the compact's administrative body being restricted to compact matters. We have no objection to the division agreed upon or to the method of adıinistration provided.
Representatives of this Department discussed at considerable length with the United States Representative the provisions of Article V, paragraph H, which
would seem to prohibit transfers of priority rights now decreod for ditches in Colorado Water District 67 to other water districts in Colorado or points of diversion upstream from John Martin Dam, without a finding of fact by the administrative body that the usable quantity and availability for use of the waters of the Arkansas River to water users in Colorado District 67 and Kansas will not be thereby materially depleted or adversely affected. In view of the ultimate possibility of a transfer or exchange, whereby water imported from the Colorado River might be exchanged for Arkansas River water in Colorado Wator District 67, in order that the Arkansas River water released might be used on land situated upstream or in tributary basins, not readily reached otherwise, this Dopartment would have preferred somewhat more liberal provisions based upon depletion or adverse effect, without reference to source of supply. 1 Prompt enactment of this bill is unanimously recommonded by the Committee on Public Lands.