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You have to go back and go through the computations of the wet years and the dry years and get your summations and your increases and your depletions, and then you can find out how much storage you have to reserve for both purposes.
Senator MILLIKIx. But we are talking in terms of capacity.
Senator MILLIKIN. And as I understood it under the calculations that we just finished making a little bit ago, you have 22,000,000 or some variation from that over or under that fits the general category of irrigation water. Now, your testimony is that you might need 6 or 7 million acre-feet of that for irrigation.
Colonel REBER. Per year, sir.
Senator Millikin. Per year. So my curiosity drives to the point of what you are going to do with the difference between the 6 or 7 million and the 20 or 22 million.
Colonel REBER. Senator, may I approach the problem this way. What I am trying to say—and it is perhaps that I am not adequately equipped to use the correct words—what I am trying to say is that you cannot approach the problem of operating a system of reservoirs by merely taking from the total storage that you have available the amount of water which you need for one purpose for one year, and then
say that everything that is left over is to be applied to the other purposes.
What you have to do is to take your total available storage and start at the definite place in your known history of the river. Now, let us assume that we start any place in the period from 1898 to the present moment. I say 1898 because previous to 1898, although we have plenty of records, they are not as accurate as they are since 1898. We assume that there are, we will say, 3,500,000 acres of available potential additional irrigable land above Sioux City. perfectly willing to say for the purposes of this discussion there may eventually be 4,000,000, although frankly the Bureau has not indicated that there is anywhere near that amount. We have to assume a certain draft for navigation. Then you start your operating studies with empty reservoirs.
Of course, the first thing to do is to fill those reservoirs. We take the actual stream-flow records and we go through the computations and we find that, if it is a wet cycle, if we start our operations at the beginning of a wet cycle, we fill the reservoirs fairly rapidlyin 4 to 5 years, I believe. Assuming that the filling starts in a dry cycle, of course, it will take longer. Now, when those reservoirs are filled, we can then make those annual drafts upon them for irrigation and for navigation, and also we have got to assume that our flood storage comes into operation when the floods come down the river; but you follow a definite mathematical computation of the inflows versus the outflows during those years, and you make a summation curve, and you get what is left over at the end of any particular period of time-1930, 1940, 1944.
Senator Millikin. But you build the reservoirs to provide those anticipated annual needs?
Colonel REBER. You build the reservoirs insofar as it is physically possible to do so with existing dam sites on the river. Now, we have gotten into some discussion as to the necessity for Garrison, and some people say that by providing the additional storage in Garrison you go over the economic limit of providing for cyclic storage. We do not think so. We feel that Garrison is necessary for cyclic storage.
Let me put it this way. Even with Garrison in the system, during the wet period, 1912-18, we had a waste of water in our operations. Leaving out economics and leaving out dam sites, suppose we stored every drop of water that came down the river and put it to use. In that way, this would be a perfect system, but unfortunately we cannot do that in practice. The amount of water that comes out of that system for navigation and for irrigation and for power-because of course, the water that comes out for navigation can be used for power, and the water that comes out for irrigation can be used for power-shows to me conclusively that there is not much difference between those interests in the operation of those reservoirs. That is my conclusion after examining the operational studies. Cyclic storage is allotted to each of the major uses on about the same proportional basis as the yearly demands for those uses.
The Senator has indicated that by saying there are only 10,000,000 acre-feet available for flood-control storage, and saying that at a minimum you only need 10,000,000, or approximately 10,000,000 acrefeet for navigation, you have left over somewhere in the neighborhood of 24,000,000 acre-feet for irrigation. We do not operate the system that way, sir.
Senator ROBERTSON. Say, for instance, you have these reservoirs full, how much do you figure that you have got to lower that to take care of the possible flood control the following year?
Colonel REBER. I am very glad, Senator, you brought that point up. By “full” I mean filled up to the bottom of our flood-control surcharge. Now, assuming that they are completely full—and that is what happened in the wet years, 1912–18; they were full right up to the top of that flood-control surcharge—and more water came, we would have trouble. We filled that flood-control surcharge in the spring and in June and July from the snow melt, and then we had to discharge from that surcharge to leave empty for the next year that space in the top of the reservoir, and that is a very important feature of flood control.
Senator ROBERTSON. Well, it is the flood control ?
Colonel REBER. Yes, sir; definitely; but I should have said, to make a general remark-of course, I am trying to generalize a rather technical question, the question of reservoir operation, and it is a little difficult to generalize it, but I am doing my best to try to make it clear-we would stay filled up to the top of the conservation pool. By "conservation” I mean irrigation, navigation, water supply, and other uses; and we empty our flood-control surcharge just as soon as we can. Now, in emptying, the mistake is in emptying that flood/control surcharge without putting it to beneficial use. That can be used for irrigation and should be used for irrigation.
Senator ROBERTSON. That would depend, of course, on how late you decided to empty it?
Colonel REBER. Yes, sir; and, of course, that would depend upon how the river was behaving that year, too.
Senator ROBERTSON. Yes.
Colonel REBER. But as a rule you start your emptying operations in August, or possibly July, and that I believe is the time, at least. one of the times, when you need water for growing crops.
Senator MILLIKIN. Mr. Chairman, that concludes my examination of the witness. Thank you very much for your patience. Thank you, Colonel Reber.
Colonel REBER. Thank you, Senator Millikin.
Mr. Chairman, may I add one point to my testimony? This is a matter which I missed in the interest of speed. Senator Millikin asked me my opinion on the proposed amendments of sections 4 and 6 of the bill. Í stated that I personally saw no objection to either of those sections. I should like to add that it seems to me that section 6 as it is written here, making Federal reclamation laws applicable to the irrigation features of these projects, certainly furnishes the same amount of protection to the irrigation interests as they have in other parts of the country today, and it seems to me that the adoption of this particular language, putting the Federal reclamation laws into application on the irrigation features of our projects, should go a long way toward settling this controversy. I have here also certain additional data for the record.
One other thing I should like to introduce for the sake of the record, a telegram which was received this morning by the Chief of Engineers with reference to the actual flood that is now going on in the Missouri River. I shall not read it, because it is merely factual.
Senator OVERTON. Thank you. I think I have no questions to
(The telegram and date referred to are as follows:)
FROM CRAWFORD DIVISION ENGINEER,
Omaha, Nebr. To Office of Chief of Engineers, attention S. P. E. W. F., G. R., N. C. :
Reurtt 11 April, S. P. E. W. F. 192 and ourtt 12 June M. R. D. 0. G. 393. Heavy flows ranging up to about 70,000 C. F. S. from Yellowstone, together with continuous heavy rains from the Dakotas on downstream for the past week are again producing tiood conditions on the Missouri River. Rains have been extensive eastern Nebraska, southeastern South Dakota, and western Iowa, totaling up to 9 or 10 inches for many points in these sections in the past week. Flood conditions on the Elkhorn and tributaries in northeastern Nebraska are improving. Practically all tributaries from southeastern South Dakota to above Kansas City are contributing heavily to the Missouri River flow, especially such rivers as the James and Big Sioux in South Dakota and the Platte in Nebraska.
Stream gage data as follows:
Yankton.. Sioux City Omaha. Nebraska City St. Joseph Kansas City Waverly. Boonville Hermann.
9.2, down 0.4.
Crested Apr. 12.... 13.6, Apr. 9.
29.1, June 19.
23.4, May 21. do..
31.2, May 21.
10.8, Apr. 10.
Forecast is for scattered light showers and moderate thunderstorms in eastern Kansas, eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, and Missouri during next 48 hours.
The regional Weather Bureau office at Kansas City, Mo., has issued today the following flood warning—"very serious flooding will occur along the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebr., to St. Joseph, Mo., and at Nebraska City a stage of 20 feet by tomorrow. This will be 5 feet above the flood stage and slightly higher than the high water of 1943. At St. Joseph the river will be 1 foot above flood stage by tomorrow and reach a stage of 19.5 feet Thursday and Friday."
Highways and railroad routes have been seriously interrupted, especially in northeastern Nebraska. All traffic has been suspended on highways west and south from Omaha along the Elkhorn and Platte Rivers. The Union Pacific, and Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroads south and west are blocked at the Elkhorn and Platte Rivers, and the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha, and the Chicago & North Western northwest from Omaha are blocked. Railroad traffic is expected to be opened soon,
Personnel from the Omaha district are on 24-hour duty extending the evacuation and flood-fighting work to the Missouri River in addition to that on the Elkhorn and Platte Rivers. The Seventh Service Command is being kept advised. Adjutant General, Washington, D. C., not notified. E. N. D. D. I. V. M. R. D. 0. G. 439. 1826Z.
In addition to this telegram, the following information on the current flood on the Missouri was received by telephone last night, June 13, 1944. At 8 p. m. the stage at Omaha was 17.0 feet. At 10 p. m. the stage at Nebraska City was 19.4 feet which is 0.4 foot below the maximum level of the 1943 floods at that point and the river was still rising. It is now expected to go to 20.0 feet at that point.
A rather critical situation is developing in the Nebraska City area on both sides of the river. Six local levees in that vicinity have failed since the night of June 12. The levee, built by private interests on the east bank protecting the city of Hamburg, Iowa, is again in serious danger as two breaches are developing, one 342 miles above Nebraska City and the other 9 miles below that community. Emergency flood-fighting outfits are being rushed to these points, including prisoners of war. Only by strenuous efforts was this protection levee saved in the April flood of this year and it now looks that, despite similar efforts, there will be serious failures.
In my testimony on June 8, I said that I would amplify briefly my statements on the value of the Garrison Dam for flood storage and cyclic storage. I think that the best illustration which I know of its value for flood control is to note the effect that it would have had on the flood of 1881, the maximum of record for long stretches in the upper river, if that dam had been built at that time. The peak flow of the 1881 flood at Sioux City, Iowa, has been estimated at 360,000 cubic feet per second. Assuming that Garrison and the other main stem reservoirs had been in operation at that time, they would have reduced that peak flow to about 180,000 cubic feet per second at the same point; that is, Sioux City. If Garrison had not been in the system, the other reservoirs would have only reduced the peak to approximately 200,000 cubic feet per second. This latter figures approaches very closely the maximum flow that it is safe to carry in the leveed floodway between Sioux City and Omaha.
As for cyclic storage, the recent report of the State engineers of the States of the Missouri Basin indicates that the Engineer Department's figure of 23,050,000 acre-feet per year as the average annual flow of the Missouri at Sioux City is a bit high. The reason for this statement, as I understand it, is that there is not sufficient cyclic storage in our system of reservoirs to obtain such a flow. This statement points out to me very clearly that the only way that we can increase this annual flow is to increase our cyclic storage, and Garrison will do just that.
Furthermore, Garrison is of great value in providing silt storage. It is just below the mouth of the Yellowstone which is a heavy silt contributor to the Missouri. While I gladly admit that the Bureau's plan of tributary reservoirs on the Yellowstone will have great value in reducing the silt content of this latter river, I still feel that the silt storage provided in Garrison is necessary for the protection of the other main-stem reservoirs farther downstream, because it may be a great many years before all of the Bureau's tributary reservoirs are built.
One other point, I believe, is of interest to the committee. There are in North Dakota some 200,000 to 300,000 acres of potentially irrigable land lying generally east and southeast of the Garrison Reservoir. This acreage has been considered for irrigation in the State water plan of the State of North Dakota and does not appear in the Bureau of Reclamation's Plan for the Missouri Basin. As I understand the situation, these acres can be irrigated from the Garrison Reservoir.
Again let me emphasize what I consider to be the necessity for a prompt authorization in the immediate future of the flood-control plans of the Engineer Department for the Missouri Basin. We must have this authorization before we can make detailed construction plans for post-war work. One of the deciding factors in getting work under construction is the requirement that the local interests furnish the lands and rights-of-way for levees and flood walls. Before they can furnish these lands, they must know exactly what they are required to get. Detailed construction plans are necessary to furnish them this information. Very frequently they must organize local levee districts or city boards to acquire these lands. In the Ohio Basin in 1937, 1938, and 1939, after the great flood of 1937, I had personal experience with this proposition of dealing with the local interests. In most cases we had our detailed construction plans ready long before they were in a position to furnish the lands. Frankly, the situation was not the fault of the local people because the problem of acquiring lands, as you gentlemen know, is often a long and tedious procedure involving all sorts and kinds of legal technicalities which extend sometimes over several years. I certainly should not like to see the necessary levee system on the Missouri and local protection for large cities like Sioux City, Omaha, and the Kansas Cities held up after the war because of difficulties in acquiring lands due to lack of detailed construction plans.
Senator OVERTON. I present for insertion in the record a brief letter from Senator Walsh, of Massachusetts. It is dated June 13, 1944, and it reads as follows:
MY DEAR SENATOR OVERTON: I am interested in retaining in the flood-control bill the House provisions as to flood control in the Connecticut River Basin.
The representations made to me by the people in that valley are that the provisions of the House bill as to flood control in the Connecticut River Basin are in proper form to carry out the Army engineers' program and should not be changed. Sincerely yours,
DAVID I. WALSH. Senator OVERTON. Senator Millikin, do you wish these witnesses called in the order in which you have given them to me?
Senator MILLIKIN. Mr. Chairman, may we have Mr. Cheadle called first, of the Bureau of Reclamation?
Senator OVERTON. Yes.
STATEMENT OF J. KENNARD CHEADLE, ASSISTANT TO THE COM
MISSIONER AND CHIEF COUNSEL, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION,
Senator MILLIKIN. Mr. Cheadle, during the examination of Colonel Reber, there was some discussion as to whether the provision in the proposed amendment which is designed to put, so far as conformable, the same duties upon the Secretary of the Interior as we propose to put upon the Chief of Engineers, whether in fact and in practice it would accomplish that purpose; and the chairman examined Colonel Reber on that point, and we would like to have the benefit of your servations.
Mr. CHEADLE. In my judgment, Mr. Chairman, Senator Millikin, and Senator Robertson, paragraph (d) of the proposed amendment under discussion would require of the Secretary of the Interior and of course his subordinates, particularly the Bureau of Reclamation, the