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this and like projects should be administered under the reclamation laws and by the agency with responsibility for irrigation in the Federal Government.
You particularly inquire whether the policy relating to the operation expressed in the letter of the Secretary of War, dated February 28, 1944, was arrived at under the terms of the revised agreement (quadripartite) of December 29, 1943. The Commissioner informs me that he considers the terms of this agreement have been complied with insofar as they concerned the Chief of Engineers' plans for flood protection on the Kaweah and Tule Rivers. The disagreement as to which agency should construct, operate, and maintain the Terminus and Success Reservoirs and the method of determining the amount to be paid by the water users appears unavoidable, in view of the legislative provisions controlling the respective operations of the War Department and the Department of the Interior. Sincerely yours,
-, Secretary of the Interior. And the Littlejohn Creek and Calaveras River stream groups. (The letter dated March 29, 1944, is as follows:)
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, D. C., March 29, 1944. Hon. HAROLD D. SMITH,
Director, Bureau of the Budget. MY DEAR MR. SMITH: I am making further reply to your letters of February 8 and March 6 concerning the report of the Chief of Engineers on flood control for the Littlejohn Creek and Calaveras River stream groups, California, which I had referred to the Commissioner of Reclamation for his comments.
I am in agreement with the Chief of Engineers' plan for the construction of the Farmington Reservoir to a capacity of 100,000 acre-feet, of which 45,000 acre-feet would be for irrigation use; the enlargement of the Hogan Dam to provide storage of 237,000 acre-feet at Valley Springs Reservoir, of which 75,000 acre-feet would be for irrigation use, and the excavation of a diversion channel from Duck Creek to Littlejohn Creek, together with related works consisting of channel excavation and levee construction.
I am not in agreement with the Chief of Engineers' recommendation that the Farmington and Valley Springs Reservoirs be operated and maintained under the direction of the Secretary of War and supervision of the Chief of Engineers.
These reservoirs are elements of the great Central Valley project development as contemplated in the plan of the Bureau of Reclamation. The main objective of the plan for over-all development of the great Central Valley is to provide the maximum water supply for irrigation, domestic, industrial, and municipal uses. All component units of the works to conserve and utilize these waters, to be successfully operated for maximum benefits, must be fully coordinated on a regional basis. In the Central Valley such coordination, insofar as the projects undertaken by the Federal Government are concerned, can best be obtained by a single agency operating and maintaining the multiple-purpose elements of the big project. The Bureau of Reclamation has already been authorized by the Congress to construct and operate the key multiple-purpose and water conservation elements of the Central Valley plan. From the standpoint of good Federal administration the other multiple-purpose elements also should be operated and maintained by the Bureau of Reclamation.
The operation by the Bureau of project features with flood control functions should be in accordance with regulations of the Secretary of War insofar as the flood-control element is concerned,
You particularly inquire whether the policy relating to the operation of the reservoirs, expressed in the letter of the Secretary of War, dated February 28, was arrived at under the terms of the revised agreement (quadripartite) of December 29, 1943. The Commissioner informs me that the reservoir capacities proposed in the Chief of Engineer's report are in agreement with those suggested in his comments submitted to the Chief of Engineers by letter dated September 23, 1943. These comments were made after review of the reports of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors and the district engineer, and a field examination by engineers of the Bureau of Reclamation. A copy of this letter is included with the Chief of Engineer's report on the proposed project. Therefore, it may be considered that the terms of the agreement of December 29, 1943, have been complied with insofar as they concern plans for construction. The disagreement as to which agency should operate and maintain the Farmington and Valley Springs reservoirs appears unavoidable in view of the legis
lative provisions controlling the respective operations of the War Department and the Department of the Interior. Sincerely yours,
Acting Secretary of the Interior. Mr. BASHORE. The proposed reservoirs and all other multiple-purpose storage dams in the Central Valley are, in truth, elements of the great Central Valley project, which the Bureau of Reclamation is now constructing and on which we have spent $150,000,000 to date. The purpose of this project is the development and use of the water resources of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys (the great Central Valley of California). Irrigation dominates the plan. All developments in this area must be coordinated, and that coordination can best be obtained by entrusting to the Bureau of Reclamation of the Department of the Interior the construction, operation, and maintenance of the remaining multiple-purpose features.
Each reservoir of the Central Valley system must be used in a unified and closely controlled program. As a result of many years' investigation, the Bureau of Reclamation, in collaboration with the State water project authority and other local agencies, has developed such a program. We also have prepared plans for the many dams, canals, and other works that are needed. Authorization of the reservoirs proposed in this bill independent of the over-all program would seriously impair the operation of the comprehensive project and greatly diminish the benefits that can be expected from the use of the waters.
Water is the greatest of California's natural resources. The continued growth and prosperity of the State are dependent on the full control and beneficial use of available water supplies.
This means that waters now wasted down uncontrolled streams and lost through floods must be controlled and used. It means, as well, that the unbalanced distribution of water and land resources must be corrected. Nearly two-thirds of the water supply of the Central Valley originates in the north, while the greatest irrigation needs are in the south. A water transfer must be made, and that is one objective of the Central Valley project.
The key units of the over-all plan have been constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation. Among them are the Shasta and Friant Dams, respectively the second and fourth largest concrete dams in the world. The Keswick Dam and powerhouse below Shasta Dam is nearly completed. The Contra Costa canal, with 32 of its 48 miles completed, is in partial operation delivering municipal, industrial, and agricultural water. The Madera canal, nearly half completed, and with the remainder under construction, will be in partial operation next week. The Friant-Kern canal is expected to be begun soon. There is today in storage behind the Shasta and Friant Dams 1,250,000 acre-feet of water. Water released from these reservoirs aids navigation on the Sacramento River, as well as irrigates crops and repels salt water from the delta. Electrical energy soon will Le flowing from the initial units of the Shasta power plant.
The Bureau of Reclamation is completing plans for a post-war program for the Central Valley; plans that will provide the next step in our progress toward the ultimate development of the waters available. Required reservoir capacities are being determined for all major streams, including capacities of the proposed New Melones,
Terminus, Success, Isabella, and the new Don Pedro reservoirs. Our studies have indicated the need for many reservoirs, and data have been assembled on 40 with an aggregate capacity of 20,000,000 acrefeet. The cost of these reservoirs, together with related power plants and lines, and canals and ditches, is estimated at $900,000,000. From these, with due regard for flood-control requirements, the Bureau of Reclamation will soon propose a specific program that will include the reservoirs here proposed by the Corps of Engineers, or substitutes for them that will serve better the ultimate needs. This program will be ready for construction when material and manpower restrictions are sufficiently relaxed.
I want to point out that the Kings River project already is authorized for construction under the Federal reclamation laws. In conformity with principles stated by the President, the Secretary of War has requested this committee to give consideration to striking from the flood-control bill authorization of the Kings River and the Kern River projects therein proposed for construction by the Corps of Engineers. This is likewise in accord with the recent Senate action on the Interior Department appropriation bill. The Senate voted money to finance preconstruction operations on the Kings River project by the Bureau of Reclamation. With your permission, I will introduce into the record the report of the Senate Committee on Appropriations which recommended that action.
(The excerpt from report of the Senate Committee on Appropriations is as follows:)
KINGS RIVER PROJECT, CALIFORNIA
The committee has reinstated the Budget estimate of $1,000,000, of which, $250,000 is provided under the appropriation "Salaries and expenses, Bureau of Reclamation," for preliminary work in connection with the construction of this project which has been authorized under the provisions of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939. The committee is impressed by the statement in the hearings that it is more advantageous to the Government to have the Kings River project constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation because of the indefinite provisions with respect to repayment contained in the pending floodcontrol bill, H. R. 4485, which proposes authorization of the construction of the project by the Corps of Engineers. That bill provides no legislative standard for repayment by the beneficiaries and leaves the repayment obligation of the local interests entirely at the discretion of the Secretary of War. If the Secretary of War should adopt a recommendation made by the Chief of Engineers in House Document 630, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session, the cost to the landowners would be only $4,710,000 as compared to repayments of $9,750,000 which are provided in the Reclamation Bureau plan. The landowners would gain and the reclamation fund would thus lose $5,040,000.
Another effect of the proposed transfer of constructing the Kings River project from the Reclamation Service to the Corps of Engineers would be to escape from the provisions of section 46 of the Reclamation Adjustment Act of 1926 (44 Stat. 636) which provides :
"Such contract or contracts with irrigation districts hereinbefore referred to shall further provide that all irrigable land held in private ownership by any one owner in excess of one hundred and sixty irrigable acres shall be appraised in a manner to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior and the sale prices thereof fixed by the Secretary on the basis of its actual bona fide value at the date of appraisal without reference to the proposed construction of the irrigation works; and that no such excess lands so held shall receive water from any project or division if the owners thereof shall refuse to execute valid recordable contracts for the sale of such lands under terms and conditions satisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior and at prices not to exceed those fixed by the Secretary of the Interior; * * *
The above statute was enacted as a result of an exhaustive investigation of all reclamation projects made by a committee of eminent men, not in Federal employment, selected by Hon. Hubert Work, the then Secretary of the Interior, of which Thomas E. Campbell, former Governor of Arizona, was the chairman. What became known as the Fact Finders Report was transmitted to Congress by President Coolidge on April 21, 1924, and was printed as Senate Document 92 of the Sixty-eighth Congress. The following are extracts from it:
"The provision for reclamation implies that the lands of the arid and semiarid region shall be made susceptible for larger public use, especially by making possible upon these lands the maintenance of homesteads. In fact the family with its life and requirements, is the chief concern of the original reclamation act.
"Moreover, the act aimed to provide a method by which thousands of families with a love for the land, but with little capital, might find opportunity to establish homesteads upon the land and to live the wholesome life of the open country, and to increase the number of the important home-owning, land-owning, homeloving, and land-loving men and women of the Republic.
"When, however, the locations for projects came under consideration, the advantages of those where the land was in private ownership were vigorously pressed, and it was found in some instances that a project where the land was in private ownership afforded greater opportunities for development and better settlement conditions than could be found on the public domain. As a result, some of the projects include only privately owned land, and on nearly all the projects a considerable percentage of the land was privately owned. Although the Reclamation Service attempted to compel the subdivision of these privately owned lands into the units fixed by law, yet the legal enforcement was found difficult; and what was still worse, in many cases the owners of the land capitalized the Government expenditures and the liberality of its terms of repayment by selling the lands to the settlers at much higher prices than could otherwise have been obtained. The benefits of the Reclamation Act, therefore, went in such cases almost entirely to these speculative owners, and an obligation of paying interest on inflated land prices was imposed upon the settler, in addition to his other burdens.
"Attention is called to this matter, not to criticize the inclusion of private land because agricultural results have justified this action, but to point out the need for new legislation that will ensure that desirable social and economic results of the Reclamation Act shall go to settlers. This means that the act should be amended to prevent the activity of speculators which has marred its operation in the past. Where land was held in large tracts or where speculators acquired options on large areas before the projects were settled, it gave an opportunity of inflating the unirrigated value at which the land could be brought before the Government entered the field, to prices based on irrigated values, under the generous terms of the act.”
Under existing law, as above quoted, reclamation project water is available to any landowner regardless of the size of his holdings provided that he agrees to sell any irrigable land in excess of 160 acres when and if an opportunity occurs at a price not in excess of its fair appraisal value. This law has been in effect for 18 years on more than 60 reclamation projects and there is excellent proof that it operates in a reasonable and equitable manner and is achieving the purpose for which it was intended. It does not require sudden or precipitate breaking up of real-estate holdings but, in an orderly and gradual way, it prevents land monopoly and speculation in benefits created by the expenditure of Federal funds. Most of all, it assures that there will be opportunities for men to secure farms and make homes and livelihood for themselves and their families without incurring a ruinous debt because of the wild gambling of land speculators.
Under these circumstances the committee is of the opinion that the Kings River project should be constructed as now authorized under the reclamation law.
Mr. BASHORE. With regard to the Table Mountain Dam, our position is that you may not wish to authorize now the dam in the manner proposed in this bill. The storage presently proposed might be obtained on tributaries. It would be a mistake to preempt the site on the Sacramento River with a low dam that could not be
raised, if ultimately a high dam should be needed at Table Mountain in order to provide the maximum conservation of the waters of the Central Valley.
I recognize the urgent need for the flood protection to be provided by the construction authorized in section 7. The testimony of the Bureau of Reclamation does not, of course, refer in any way to works which have only flood protection functions. There is no objection to their authorization now. The authorization for the multiple-purpose reservoirs provides for deferment of construction operations until conclusion of the war or until adequate manpower, equipment, and materials become available. Insofar as the multiple-purpose reservoirs are concerned the Bureau's plans are sufficiently advanced to insure prompt and expeditious construction when existing restrictions are removed.
With your permission, more specific testimony will be presented by Mr. R. S. Calland, assistant regional director, Mr. S. A. Kerr, acting chief regional project planning, and Mr. R. P. Bryan of the Bureau's project planning staff located at Sacramento, Calif. · Senator OVERTON. I want a comparison in reference to each of these dams and reservoirs as to what proportion would be used for irrigation and what proportion for flood control. Are you in a position to supply that information? Mr. BASHORE. One of my assistants will supply that information. Senator OVERTON. Which one? Mr. BASHORE. Well, I think I have three assistants here. Any one of the three could supply the information, particularly Mr. Kerr.
Senator OVERTON. You say the Kings River project has already been authorized for construction?
Mr. BASHORE. Yes, sir.
Senator OVERTON. In other words, that has already been authorized for construction by the Bureau of Reclamation. Mr. BASHORE. Yes, sir. Senator OVERTON. Is that by an act of Congress? Mr. BASHORE. That is in accordance with the laws enacted by Congress. It was authorized under the 1939 Reclamation Act, under which the Secretary of the Interior makes a planning of feasibility on the project, and the project is then sent to the President and is by him submitted to the Congress. I think that is feasible, and it is authorized under the Reclamation Act of 1939.
Senator OVERTON. Has a planning of feasibility been made ?
Mr. BASHORE. Not by the Congress, but the Congress provided machinery through which the Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the Interior, makes a planning of feasibility of the project. That is the elastic machinery under which we proceed.
Senator OVERTON. But it still has to be submitted to the Congress.
Mr. BASHORE. The finding is submitted to the Congress, and it has been submitted, being transmitted by the President.
Senator OVERTON. But no action has been taken by the Congress? Mr. BASHORE. There has been no request for an appropriation for the construction of the project, but I referred in my testimony to a request for money to undertake preconstruction plans on the Kings River project, and that money has been voted by the Senate.