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FLOOD CONTROL

FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 1944

UNITED STATES SENATE,
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE,

Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to adjournment on yesterday, in the Capitol, Senator John H. Overton, chairman of the subcommittee, presiding.

Present: Senators Overton (chairman of the subcommittee), Burton, and Cordon.

Senator OVERTON. The subcommittee will come to order. The Chair has a leter from Senator Johnson of California under date of June 1, 1914, suggesting two amendments, and the letter will be made a part of the record :

JUNE 1, 1944. Hon. John H. OVERTON, Subcommittee, Senate Committee on Commerce,

United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR OVERTON: I present the following two amendments for consideration of your subcommittee and its inclusion in the rivers and harbors bill.

"The project for the Folsom Reservoir on the American River, California, is hereby authorized substantially in accordance with the plans contained in the report of the district engineer, Sacramento, California, dated January 15, 1944, on file in the Office of the Chief of Engineers, with such modification thereof as in the discretion of the Secretary of War and the Chief of Engineers may be advisable, at an estimated cost of $18,474,000.

"The project for Farmington Reservoir on Littlejohn Creek, enlargement of Hogan Reservoir on Calaveras River, and related protection works are authorized substantially in accordance with the recommendations of the Chief of Engineers in House Document No. 545, Seventy-eighth Congress, second session, at an estimated cost of 3,868,200." Thanking your subcommittee for their attention to these amendments, I am, Sincerely yours,

HIRAM W. Johnson. The Chair also has another letter from Senator Johnson of California in regard to flood protection reservoirs, including a statement in support of legislation pertaining to flood control of the San Joaquin River and its tributaries in California, with particular reference to the Tuolumne River. The letter and accompany document will be made a part of the record.

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(The letter under date of June 1, 1944, from Senator Johnson of California, and the accompanying document, are as follows:)

UNITED STATES SENATE,

Washington, D. C., June 1, 1944. Senator John H. OVERTON, Chairman Subcommittee, Senate Committee on Commerce,

United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR OVERTON: Referring to H. R. 4485, the flood-control measure now under consideration by your subcommittee, permit me to quote to you the following letter that has come to me from E. G. Cahill, manager of utilities, city and county of San Francisco:

"I am informed that House of Representatives bill No. 4485, Seventy-eighth Congress, second session, introduced by Judge Will C. Whittington of the Flood Control Committee, is now under consideration by the Senate. This legislation is of vtal importance to the people of central California and the people of the city and county of San Francisco.

"Attached hereto is a statement prepared by J. H. Turner, manager and chief engineer, Hetch Hetchy Water Supply, Power, and Utilities Engineering Bureau, supporting legislation mentioned above. This report was prepared prior to the issuance of the bill; however, the facts contained therein are still pertinent.

"As reported out of committee, the bill provides for authorization of $8,000,000 for the flood-control program on the San Joaquin River and its tributaries. This sum should have totaled $15,885,000, plus $30,000 annual operation, in accordance with the report of the United States Army engineers. The Tuolumne River allotment, per the United States Army engineers' report, was $5,800,000, and it is the desire of the city and county of San Francisco and the Turlock and Modesto irrigation districts that this should be increased, the reasons being as follows:

“The city and the districts have a total reservoir capacity now constructed of 726,000 acre-feet. It is proposed to use the Federal contribution for the construction of the Cherry River Reservoir, which will have a capacity of 250,000 acre-feet, which, with the installation of spillway gates on O'Shaughnessy Dam, will bring the total capacity of reservoirs on the Tuolumne River close to 1,000,000 acre-feet. It is proposed that the city and the districts operate these facilities to give the Government all the flood control desired on this river; that is, the flow of the river will be regulated at all times to maximum necessary to provide ample flood protection.

"The amount of $5,800,000 proposed by the Chief of Engineers, War Depart. ment, as mentioned in the attached report, is considered insuflicient compensation for the degree of flood protection which will be provided, and certainly the reduction of this amount as reported out of committee is unsatisfactory.

It is highly desirable and important that the sum of money contributed by the Federal Government should be in an amount close to $10,000,000. At such a sum the Government would be getting full value for the investment and at the same time the city and the districts could proceed immediately with the construction of the Cherry River Reservoir, the installation of drum gates on O'Shaughnessy Dam, and the necessary changes in outlet gates on Don Pedro Dam. In other words, this work could be prosecuted as soon as manpower and materials are available, without recourse to long and doubtful bond issue procedure."

I also attach a statement from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission in support of legislation pertaining to flood control of the San Joaquin River and its tributaries in California, with particular reference to the Tuolumne River.

I shall very greatly appreciate the subcommittee's consideration of these communications in connection with the provision in the rivers and harbors bill dealing with them. Sincerely yours,

HIRAM W. JOHNSON.

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION PERTAINING TO FLOOD CONTROL OF THE

SAN JOAQUIN RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES IN CALIFORNIA, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE TUOLUMNE RIVER (By San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Turlock irrigation district, and

Modesto irrigation district) The Flood Control Committee of the House of Representatives, Judge Will M. Whittington, of Mississippi, chairman, has under consideration a report to the Secretary of War made by the Chief of Engineers, War Department, recommending certain flood control on the San Joaquin River and its tributaries in California which includes the Tuolumne River.

The city of San Francisco (herein referred to as “the city”) and the Turlock irrigation district and Modesto irrigation district (herein referred to collectively as “the districts") have extensive interests on the Tuolumne River, and this statement is made with the approval of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the board of directors of each of the districts, these bodies having jurisdiction over their respective properties on this river.

The interest of the city in the waters of the Tuolumne River dates back to 1901 when appropriations of water were granted to it by the State of California on the Tuolumne River, Eleanor Creek, and Cherry River. These appropriations, together with the extensive rights of the districts on the Tuolumne River and its tributaries, dating from 1877, encompass all of the appropriative waters of the Tuolumne River above the La Grange powerhouse.

The use of these waters by the city and the districts is prescribed by the Raker Act (or Hetch Hetchy grant) and under the requirements of this act of Congress and through cooperative agreements these agencies are making the fullest utilization of this river.

The investment of the city as a result of the construction of the Hetch Hetchy water supply and power project totals, as of June 30, 1943, the sum of $143,000,000. In addition, the city has expended some $60,000,000 in acquiring and improving a local water supply and distribution system in and near the city. The irrigation districts have expended about $30,000,000 in developing their interests on the river for power purposes and for the irrigation of about 266,000 acres of farm land in the great San Joaquin Valley.

Attached is a map showing the properties of the city and the districts and the relative location of the Tuolumne River to the San Joaquin River and San Francisco Bay. This map also shows present and proposed reservoirs.

Briefly the Hetch Hetchy project (exclusive of the local properties) consists of the following: two major storage reservoirs; four diversion or regulating reservoirs; 66 miles of tunnels, over 10 feet in diameter; 71 miles of pipe line, 60 inches in diameter; one powerhouse of 80,000 kilovolt-ampere capacity; one powerhouse of 3,000 kilovolt-ampere capacity; 100 miles of steel tower transmission line. The major storage reservoirs are the Hetch Hetchy with a capacity of 340,000 acre-feet and Eleanor Reservoir of 26,000 acre-feet capacity.

The Modesto irrigation district contains 81,203 acres of land of which about 76,000 are irrigated and the Turlock irrigation district contains 185,000 acres of land of which 170,000 acres are irrigated. The districts have three main reservoirs, the Don Pedro of 290,000 acre-feet capacity, the Dallas-Warner of 30,000 acre-feet, and the Owens of 40,000 acre-feet. The distribution system consists of several thousand miles of canals, laterals, and ditches. Two power houses are installed, one at La Grange of 4,300 kilovolt-ampere, and one at Done Pedro of 37,000 kilovolt-ampere capacity. Power is distributed directly to 22,000 consumers by the districts over their own transmission system.

The irrigated lands of these districts are among the richest in the State of California, producing the following crops : 52,300 acres of fruit trees and vines; 185,100 acres of hay, grain, and legumes; 950 acres of melons; 7,650 acres of miscellaneous crops.

The area of the watershed above the city's dams is 713 square miles and above the districts' dams (but below the city's watershed) is 797 square miles, or a total of 1,510 square miles. The Tuolumne River is the largest tributary to the San Joaquin River. Its effect on the San Joaquin River is obviously great, hence control of the floods of the Tuolumne River is necessary to prevent damage on that river and also on the San Joaquin River below the confluence of these rivers. The principal reservoirs now in operation on the Tuolumne watershed have a total capacity of about 726,000 acre-feet. It is the city's and the districts' ultimate program to increase the above capacities, either by enlargement or new construction, to a total of about 1,800,000 acre-feet.

The taxpayers of the city and the districts have expended large sums of money in developing storage facilities on the Tuolumne River. The operation of these storage facilities now provides a high degree of flood control and to this extent these taxpayers have already made a substantial contribution for flood control to all the people of the State of California. Present structures are insufficient to provide ultimate flood control as prescribed by the United States Army engineers and such additional facilities as are necessary to provide ultimate flood control in the contemplated future development by the city and the districts, should

be compensated for by the Federal Government to extent of the flood protection provided.

Under date of May 25, 1940, the district office of the United States Army engineers prepared a report on flood control of the San Joaquin River, including the Tuolumne River. In this report the district engineer recommended the construction of a dam on the Tuolumne River known as the Jacksonville Dam and for which the Army engineers had contemplated spending about $10,500,000. In subsequent conferences it was pointed out to the United States Army engineers that the construction of the Jacksonville Reservoir would seriously interfere with, if not entirely defeat the plans of the city and the districts for the orderly development of the Tuolumne River and that the storage necessary for flood control could be obtained more economically by cooperating with the city and the districts in constructing the New Don Pedro Reservoir or other suitable reservoirs in the Tuolumne Basin than by independently constructing the Jacksonville Reservoir. At these conferences the relations of the city and the districts were defined to the United States Army engineers who were given copies of the formal agreements between the city and the districts dated February 29, 1940, and November 22, 1943, the substance of which provided that the city and the districts will cooperate in the development and operation of the water resources of the Tuolumne Basin, for conservation and flood control.

In view of the representations of the city and the districts, the United States Army engineers revised their recommendation, which revision was accepted by the Chief of Engineers and was so reported to the Secretary of War. The substance of the revised recommendation is contained in the report of the Chief of Engineers to the Secretary of War now under consideration by the House Flood Control Committee, a copy of which is attached. In section 15 (b), page 7, the Chief of Engineers recommends as follows:

That in lieu of the construction of the proposed Jacksonville Reservoir an expenditure, to the extent justified by proportionate benefits for flood control, estimated at $5,800,000 for the equivalent of 320,000 acre-feet in Jacksonville Reservoir, be authorized toward the first cost of the proposed New Don Pedro Reservoir or other suitable reservoirs in the Tuolumne Basin, provided that local interests construct, maintain, and operate the dams and reservoirs, allocate storage for flood control, and agree to operate such storage in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War.

The plan as recommended in the Chief of Engineers' report just quoted provides for flood control as a part of the orderly economic development of the water resources of the stream and for this reason the city and the districts advocate the approval of this plan.

The economic loss from floods of the San Joaquin River and its tributaries is established in paragraph 4, page 2, of the above-mentioned report to the Secretary of War. The city and the districts concur in all of the statements made, calling attention particularly to the fact that the need for flood control is urgent and immediate.

In fixing the justifiable expenditure for flood storage in the Tuolumne Basin at $5,800,000 the United States Army engineers used only the cost of the Jacksonville Dam and appurtenances as a measure of the value of flood control on this stream after deductions were made for the estimated benefits for irrigation and power generation. It must be noted that all benefits assigned to the Jacksonville project contemplated the use of the existing facilities in the basin which are the property of the city or the districts, and no proper allowance has been made for such use. For this reason it is believed that the amount of $5,800,000 is insufficient compensation for the flood-control benefits which the city and the districts will provide.

In concurring in the report of the Chief of Engineers, the city and the districts wish to retain the right to request an increase in the contribution for flood conrol, if studies now in progress by all parties indicate that such a higher contribution is justifiable, San Francisco, Calif., March 6, 1944.

J. H. TURNER,
Manager and Chief Engineer,

Hetch Hetchy Water and Poicer Department. Approved :

E. G. CAHILL,
Manager of l'tilities.

R. V. MEIKLE
Chief Engineer, Turlock Irrigation District.

C. E. PLUMMER,
Chief Engineer, Modesto Irrigation District.

Senator OVERTON. We have today for consideration the subject of Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley, Calif. The Chair has been furnished with a list of a number of witnesses, and will call them in the order of the memorandum.

Mr. Bashore.

STATEMENT OF H. W. BASHORE, COMMISSIONER OF RECLAMATION,

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, WASHINGTON, D. C.

Mr. BASHORE. Mr. Chairman, my name is Harry W. Bashore, Commissioner of Reclamation.

SACRAMENTO-SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, CALIF. Before testifying concerning certain proposed projects, I wish to bring to your attention one other matter. The report made by the Secretary of the Interior on the bill H. R. 4485, recommends inclusion of language under which the irrigation benefits of reservoirs operated by the War Department will be administered pursuant to the Federal reclamation laws. Since this subject was fully covered in my statement before your subcommittee on the river and harbor bill, and since the reasons for inserting similar language in this bill are the same, I will spare your committee a repetition of those reasons. With your permission I submit for the record an excerpt from that statement for incorporation in the record of these hearings.

(The statement submitted is as follows:)

The principle involved in this amendment is far-reaching. This principle goes to the root of the vitally important position that irrigation has in the agricultural, industrial, and other economic pursuits of the 17 arid and semiarid States of the West. To facilitate a full understanding of the role which irrigation has in the life of the Nation, I have had prepared several charts and photographs which will illustrate some of the major points I will emphasize.

The low rainfall in the region west of the ninety-seventh meridian makes the maximum conservation and use there of water for irrigation vital to the maintenance of its agriculture, and, in fact, essential to the support of the population itself.

About 21,000,000 acres in the arid and semiarid West are now irrigated. The water is delivered from storage reservoirs or it is diverted directly from streams for distribution to land that is thus made productive.

Studies indicate that sufficient water could be economically conserved to provide an adequated supply for the 21,000,000 acres now irrigated and in addition provide for the irrigation of about 22,000,000 acres now practically all unproductive. Water, which could be economically stored and diverted to irrigate productive land, is the limiting factor in the expansion of irrigation.

In the 11 far Western States, 73 percent of the agricultural production comes from irrigated land. The great livestock industry of the West, commonly thought of as one aspect of dry-land agriculture, is itself largely dependent on irrigated land for winter forage and for feeding and fattening cattle and sheep for market.

The greater part of the West's 20,000,000 people on 275,000 farms and in more than 1.000 cities and towns, is dependent directly and indirectly on irrigation.

The Federal Government assumed sponsorship for irrigation on the passage of the reclamation law of 1902. It did so as a means of stabilizing the agriculture of the West, of developing the arid regions, and of providing homes for pioneer settlers. A first consideration in the enunciation of the Federal policy was that the construction costs of irrigation should be repaid by beneficiaries.

Ninety-five percent of the cost of the projects in the reclamation program now authorized is reimbursable from irrigation water users, municipalities, and power consumers, and is being repaid. Power, developed as an incident of irrigation, is an essential factor in assuring the repayment of construction costs of multiplepurpose projects.

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