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Third, the districts and the city have need for and will utilize all the water and electric energy available from the Tuolumne River under the terms of an act of Congress.
Fourth, the districts and the city are opposed to and are prepared to fight against any agency using the water or power available from the Tuolumne River in any manner adverse to their acquired interests.
Fifth, the districts and the city have expended huge sums of money in acquiring and developing their utilities and are entitled to every consideration in the protection of their interests.
Sixth, the city and the districts realizing the needs for flood control in the San Joaquin recommend approval by the Congress of bill No. 4485 of the House of Representatives.
(The referred to statement in support of legislation pertaining to flood control of the San Joaquin River and its tributaries is as follows:)
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 fiood control on the San Joaquin River and its tributaries in California which includes the Tuolumne River.
The city of Sau 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 ctiy 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) 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 lines, 60 inches in diameter; one powerhouse of 80,000 kv.-a, capacity; one powerhouse of 3,000 kv.-a. 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 powerhouses are installed, one at La Grange of 4,300 kv.-a., and one at Don Pedro of 37,000 kv.-a, 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. Is 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 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 degre 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 the 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, 1913, 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 the 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 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 food 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 control, if studies now in progress by all parties indicate that such a higher contribution is justifiable.
J. H. TURNER,
Hetch Hetchy Water and Power Department. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.,
March 6, 1944. Approved.
(Signed) E. G. CAHILL,
Manager of Utilties.
(Signed) R. V. MEIKLE, Chief Engineer Turlock Irrigation District.
(Signed) C. E. PLUMMER,
Chief Engineer, Modesto Irrigation District. Senator OVERTON. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF HON. BERTRAND W. GEARHART, REPRESENTA
TIVE, NINTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, CALIFORNIA Mr. GEARHART. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I could interpose to introduce the next witness who hails from the northern end of my constituency.
Senator OVERTON. Yes, indeed.
Mr. GEARHART. He comes as the chief engineer of the Modesto irrigation district, with authority to speak as well for the other great irrigation district immediately to its south, the Turlock irrigation district. These are public agencies which have been operating in California for many, many years, having been organized before the Bureau of Reclamation itself came into existence. These are two great districts which have made an outstanding success of the work, which they have organized and carried on among the people that these districts serve. So successful has been their work that they have been the districts in California to which all other persons similarly ambitious in their plans have pointed to as examples. Mr. Plummer himself, holding the distinguished position of chief engineer, has directed these affairs of one of the districts, the Modesto irrigation district, with such outstanding success that he has won the appreciation of all people who live in his great county of Stanislaus, a county which has been converted because of the successful operation of this district from a barren desert-like community into what might be described as a garden. He and his corporation have certainly made that section of our State bloom like a rose. I take great pleasure in introducing Mr. Plummer.
STATEMENT OF CLIFFORD E. PLUMMER, CHIEF ENGINEER,
MODESTO IRRIGATION DISTRICT, MODESTO, CALIF. Mr. PLUMMER. My name is Clifford E. Plummer of Modesto, Calif. I am chief engineer of the Modesto irrigation district. I am here today representing the Turlock and the Modesto irrigation districts in California. I did not appear before the House committee, but we were represented there by Mr. J. H. Turner of San Francisco, who has just previously testified. The districts which I represent have jointly and cooperatively developed the resources of the Tuolumne River for over 50 years.
I have here a statement prepared by Mr. R. V. Meikle, chief engineer of the Turlock irrigation district in Turlock, Calif. It was his intention to appear before you and present this statement personally, but due to a death in his family he was unable to do so and I am therefore acting in his behalf. Mr. Meikle has been chief engineer of the Turlock district for over 30 years. He has acted for the Modesto district in connection with water-storage projects and control of Tuolumne River. He has been a consulting engineer for other irrigation districts, the State division of water resources, and others. Mr. Meikle's intimate familiarity and knowledge of the Tuolumne River gained from over 30 years of experience leaves him well qualified to pass upon any plans for this river. I shall now read his statement.
Mr. CHAIRMAN: The Chief of Engineers, United States War Department, in Washington, recommends for flood control on the Tuolumne River, Calif., 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 Turlock irrigation district and the Modesto irrigation district approve the plan proposed by the Chief of Engineers, United States War Department, as it affects the Tuolumne River.
The Tuolumne River is now regulated by the following reservoirs : Hetch Hetchy Reservoir (city of San Francisco), 340,000 acre-feet'; Lake Eleanor Reservoir (city of San Francisco), 26,000 acre-feet; Don Pedro Reservoir (Turlock and Modesto districts), 262,000 acre-feet (net) ; Dallas Warner Reservoir (Modesto district), 30,000 acre-feet; Owen Reservoir (Turlock district), 40,000 acre-feet; total, 698,000 acre-feet.
Over $25,000,000 have been spent by the districts and the city of San Francisco directly on reservoir construction in the development of the Tuolumne River during the last 25 years. This expenditure for storage and regulation of the river has resulted in flood-control benefits to the lower Tuolumne and San Joaquin Rivers. Winter floods on the Tuolumne have been leveled off by the present storage reservoirs. As an example, on December 11, 1937, the computed natural flow of the Tuolumne River amounted to 62,000 second-feet but less than 1,000 second-feet passed the Don Pedro Dam and flowed into the San Joaquin River. Without the reservoirs of the districts and the city this would have been the greatest flood ever to have passed over the La Grange Dam, the diversion dam completed in 1894 by the districts to divert water into their main canals. A flood of approximately this amount occurred in 1911.
The Turlock irrigation district, the Modesto irrigation district, and the Waterford irrigation district own the first appropriative rights on the Tuolumne River, these rights dating back to 1877, and have maintained these rights with due diligence. All operations are carried on with complete agreement between these districts,
When the city of San Francisco selected the Tuolumne River as a source for its domestic supply the Sixty-third Congress having sole jurisdiction over the national park, passed the Hetch-Hetchy grant for the city of San Francisco providing rights-of-way in the park and imposing certain conditions.
The Hetch-Hetchy grant, or Raker Act, did not satisfy either the city of San Francisco or the districts and for 20 years after its passage preparations were made by both sides to take the question of water rights into the California courts. However, in 1934 the city and the districts agreed to work out a plan to abandon litigation and to coperate in the development of the Tuolumne River agreeing that there is sufficient flow in the river to meet the ultimate requirements of the city and the districts if sufficient storage is provided on the stream
The districts are now 85 percent developed and their annual diversion from the Tuolumne at the La Grange Dam amounted to 956,000 acre-feet last year. The ultimate diversion of these districts has been estimated at 1,090,000 acre-feet but this figure will depend on the area of irrigated pasture. The irrigation rights of the districts combined with the domestic rights of the city amount to approximately 1,540,000 acre-feet annually and this is expected to be their ultimate diversion from the river.
The districts have expended a total of about $30,000,000 in the development of their interests on the river for irrigation and for power purposes. The districts embrace a total area of 230,000 acres and operate three reservoirs, two power plants, and about 4,000 miles of irrigation canals. They generate power at their two hydroplants and distribute it to 22,000 consumers within their boundaries. They have successfully distributed power over this area for over 20 years. The total bonded debt of the districts is under $6,000,000 and the average cost of irrigation to the farmer is $1 per acre per year.
The districts in cooperation with the city plan further development of the Tuolumne River, first by the construction of Cherry Reservoir project and later by the construction of the New Don Pedro Dam. The Cherry Valley project is favored by the districts as the first new project to be undertaken because of its lower initial cost, its high-head power plant which would take care of the districts growing power requirements and the insurance which this additional 250,000 acre-feet of storage will afford the districts if space is held in the present Don Pedro Reservoir for flood control.
The new Don Pedro Dam has been selected by the districts and the city as the final structure to complete the development of the Tuolumne River for domestic supply, irrigation, and flood control and must be built to guarantee the ultimate diversion proposed by the districts and the city. These diversions will amount to over 75 percent of the 40-year average annual run-off of the watershed. The average annual run-off from 1928 to 1934 was only 1,152,000 acre-feet as compared with the districts' and the city's ultimate estimated diversion of 1,540,000 acre-feet.
The districts' irrigation can be curtailed somewhat during occasional water shortages, but the domestic water supply of the city will be maintained to meet full demands at all times.
Hold-over storage must be provided on the Tuolume River to guarantee the domestic supply to the city and to supply the irrigation needs of the districts. It has been estimated that the city would require 1,400,000 acre-feet of storage capacity on the upper watershed to carry out its obligations under the Raker Act, and to deliver 400,000,000 gallons daily to San Francisco. Building the New Don Pedro Dam would provide the final storage capacity needed to meet all ultimate requirements.
The general plan which we are supporting with respect to flood control on the Tuolumne River is the use of the present reservoirs to control to a considerable extent the Tuolumne River floods until such time as the Cherry River Reservoir is completed; then the interim flood-control plan can become effective under which definite space will be held in the various reservoirs for floodcontrol purposes. Finally, with the construction of the New Don Pedro Dam all floods will be 100-percent controlled on the Tuolumne River. We concur in the report of the Chief of Engineers with the reservation that the amount of contribution be further analyzed as to its adequacy for the service to be rendered, and we sincerely appreciate the cooperation of the Chief of Engineers in adjusting the requirements of the Government to improve, rather than to impair the districts' and the city's plans for development on the Tuolumne River.
I have discussed the foregoing statement with Mr. Meikle and concur with him in every respect. I also agree with the remarks made by