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STATEMENT OF F. A. REID, PRESIDENT OF THE SALT RIVER
VALLEY WATER USERS' ASSOCIATION
Mr. Reid. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I was requested by Governor Hunt to attend this meeting and try to give this committee some of the viewpoints of Arizona with reference to this development which you have under discussion.
The CHAIRMAN. Give your occupation.
Mr. Reid. I am president of the Salt River Valley Water Users Association. I am representing the Governor of Arizona at this conference.
Some time ago there was a conference called by the Governor of Arizona between California and Nevada to discuss this question and see if we could not arrive at an agreement. For the last couple of years this Santa Fe pact has been before Arizona, California, and the balance of the States, and Arizona has refused to ratify it. I might say that I do not think to-day there is a possible chance of Arizona ever ratifying that pact as written. I am like my friend who preceded me: If some of the objectionable points were taken out and some others put in, the chances are we would have an agreement. But it would have to be entirely different from what it is. Another thought that I have in mind is that I think the Governor of Arizona is deserving of having a momument built to him down on Grand Canyon by the people of Southern California for saving their water supply. Under that pact the allocation of water would not give Arizona or California, either one, a chance for further development. It would not give them a chance to make this million acrefoot development for the benefit of Los Angeles and the coastal plain cities, nor it would not give them an opportunity to take in any additional land. We, in Arizona, are using to-day practically all the water allocated to us under that pact, so we feel that we have good reason for not ratifying the Santa Fe pact. We do not feel that we will ever ratify it, because we have some rights, we feel, in the river, and some rights in the water. We feel like we should be entitled to go ahead with our development in an orderly manner and as we see fit. There has been no disposition on the part of Arizona to play the dog in the manger. We have been accused of that by some of the Los Angeles papers.
What Arizona wants to-day is to work out an agreement as between California and Arizona and Nevada whereby the benefits of this development will be allocated in a way that will be satisfactory to all parties. If that is done, Arizona is ready to go ahead at any time with this development. We do not care where the dam is built; whether it is built at Boulder Canyon, Black Canyon or Bridge Canyon. Our desire is to build this dam at the most advantageous place to build it, at the most economical place, where we can get the most benefit from it, both for Arizona and California. We feel we know something about this construction work. We have been carrying on some development of this same kind in Arizona. We have, practically, now under course of construction, very fully developed, both the Salt and the Gila Rivers or, it will be so when these projects are completed that are under construction now.
We have under irrigation about 500,000 acres of land in those valleys. We can irrigate from the waters of the Colorado River some 500,000 to 3,000,000 acres of land, depending on the economic question entirely, as to what it will cost. We have got the land. There is not enough water to irrigate all the lands that are susceptible of irrigation in California and Arizona from the Colorado River to-day. Practically all the waters of the Colorado to-day are appropriated for Imperial Valley, and they haven't enough in the dry season. We find we can only store for about a three-year period, and for that reason we feel that this water should be saved for those States who go ahead and make the development based on the rights or prior appropriation and beneficial use. We do not feel that we have to go into a pact with the upper basin States to protect our interests. We feel that the physical situation is such that we are fully protected against the upper basin States, allowing them to go ahead and develop such higher land as they can develop economically and feasibly during this period. We have no objection. We do not understand why they should object to us going ahead on the same basis.
That, I think, is about the position of Arizona, as I take it, with reference to this pact. I feel that there is no doubt there is common ground for these three States to get together and go ahead with this development. If the United States Government sees fit to make an appropriation for flood control, we will be very favorable toward it; but we do not want any appropriation from the Government which is going to nationalize that river, or which is going to take away from Arizona the power which we feel justly belongs to us. We feel that we are entitled to that. We feel that we want to go out and sell it for all the traffic will bear, and put the money in our pockets. We do not feel it is anybody's business what we do with our natural resources. We are ready to finance our part of it, can do it immediately the scheme is worked out. If an appropriation by the Government was made for flood control, it does not seem reasonable that those lands benefited should ever have to pay a tax. There may be some grounds for them paying a tax, but it seems to me more or less of a menace to the property of the United States Government if they made an appropriation. It does not seem reasonable that they should pay it back. But, however, I suppose those people are in such need of that that they would agree to pay it back to the United States. It seems to me that this whole thing can be financed, can be developed by the three States jointly without anybody's interference, or without anybody's gratuity. That is the way we feel about it.
Senator PHIPPS. Mr Reid, I understand that you estimate at least 3,000,000 acres of land in Arizona susceptible of irrigation?
Mr. Reid. Possibly 5,000,000.
Senator PHIPPS. Assuming three or four, you could not put water on the lands without taking the flow of the Colorado River by holding the flood waters back by a dam, could you?
Mr. Reid. There is only one source from which to get water on the desert lands along the Arizona and California border, and that is from the Colorado River.
Senator PHIPPs. But I am asking for the acreage that can be obtained without having a retaining dam.
Mr. REID. We can not irrigate any acreage to speak of without having a dam for conservation of the flood waters of that river.
Senator Phipps. Therefore, your people are favorable to the holding back of the waters, and flood protection, and having a dam. Mr. REID. Yes, sir.
Senator Phipps. Do I understand that the people of Arizona are willing, in case an arrangement could be made whereby a dam could be constructed, to pay that proportion of the cost of that dam in order to secure the water?
Mr. Reid. Yes, sir; they would be glad to do that. On the other hand we would want an agreement whereby we were sure of our portion of those waters and the power development.
Senator Phipps. Well, if you paid your proportion, it would naturally follow that you should be protected in your rights.
Mr. REID. To be used where we see fit.
Senator Phipps. But if the program were rather different, and if, as has been indicated, the Federal Government was called upon to construct a dam to break the flow of the river, could you expect the representatives from the upper States to join in voting for the appropriation between Arizona and the upper States, if California and Arizona had agreed upon some proper division of the water?
Mr. Reid. I think the upper basin States, as far as we are concerned, are beside the question. I do not believe that Arizona will ever enter into any agreement with the upper basin States, except based on the laws which we have to-day of prior appropriation and beneficial use of those waters. If they put them to use before we do, under the law as I understand it to-day, it belongs to them. If we use it before they do, it belongs to us.
Senator KENDRICK. You make that statement in the face of the fact that all experience in irrigation shows that-the use of the water in the upper basin does not deny the use of the same water in the lower basin.
Mr. Reid. That is true, possibly, Senator, to the extent of about 30 per cent of the return flow. I'he balance of 65 per cent is lost.
Senator KENDRICK. That is the lowest estimate I ever heard made. All reclamation experience agrees that the more water employed in the upper levels the more perpetual and uniform the flow becomes in the lower basin.
Mr. REID. Well, that does not work out down in the Salt River project where we have had much of the return flow for the last ten or fifteen years.
It shows that our return flow will amount to probably 30 per cent; not to exceed 30 per cent. The balance is lost in plant growth and saturation, underground water.
Senator ASHURST. Hon. Fred T. Colter, representing the Governor of Arizona, wishes to file a brief.
STATEMENT OF FRED C. COLTER, REPRESENTING THE GOVERNOR
OF ARIZONA Mr. COLTER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, this is my credential, which shows I am representing the Governor of Arizona.
Phoenir, Ariz., October 20, 1925. DEAR SENATOR : I have been requested by R. W. Pridham, president of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, to have a representative present at a conference to be held by Senate Irrigation and Reclamation Committee on October 26, in Los Angeles, the purpose being to bring about a harmonious solution of the Colorado River situation, and he states that the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce pledges itself to take the lead in the hearings and will endeavor in every way possible to bring about a solution satisfactory to all.
I am sure that you will act with discretion and tact, and I am very glad of this opportunity of showing you my appreciation of your loyalty, and the splendid fight you have made for the protection of Arizona's interests in the Colorado River, and I hereby appoint you to represent Arizona at the conference referred to. Yours very sincerely,
GEO. W. P. HUNT, Governor, Hox. FRED (OLTER,
Jefferson Hotel, Phoenir, Ariz. Mr. COULTER. I want to say that I was born and raised in the State of Arizona. I have spent my life in reclamation and irrigation and developing my own projects, and developing land thereunder. I make that statement because, from a practical standpoint, I was my own practical engineer and attended to my own legal work and developed my own projects, and I have seen irrigation from a practical standpoint. In connection with that I have been connected with the civic affairs of the State of Arizona. Since this Colorado River compact came up, I have practically given my entire fortune and every minute of my time night and day in behalf of saving the Colorado River for Arizona and the other States, because the compact upset the fundamental principles of economic development of the Colorado River Basin. I would like to say this, to make this clear before the committee, as a representative of the Governor of the State of Arizona, that Arizona does care where a dam is built in the Colorado River.
Any dam that is built there, if it is a power dam, if it is low down, it is the key to the entire Colorado River system and destroys its maximum development, and Arizona, having 50 per cent of the drainage area, and 90 per cent of the power, Arizona would be the loser and Mexico would be the beneficiary.
Arizona has never been known to have any trouble with any one of the Colorado River Basin States before the institution of the Colorado River compact. The origin of the compact came not from Arizona people. Many doubt if it originated from any group of the common people in any State.
However, when those unnecessary, peculiar methods of river derelopment arose, such as compact guaranteeing Mexico water, power trust water filings, power dam proposals, and Mexican land water appropriations, Arizona was forced into self-protection and develop; ment of a program that would serve flood control of Yuma and Imperial Valleys, and development of irrigation and power.
She has for years worked diligently for her present and future development. In 1923 with the approval of Governor Hunt, I filed for the State on Spencer-Bridge Canyon Dams and Glen Canyon Dam to develop flood control, power and irrigation of millions of acres of land. September, 1925, I supplementally filed on Bridge Canyon Dam for the same development, and October, 1925, the Governor as chairman of the board of control and State insitutions supplementally filed on same, and filed protest against an Arizona dam which is the Diamond Creek Power Dam. The Boulder Dam is mainly a power dam at the lower end of the Grand Canyon and both destroy irrigation for Arizona and other States.
Therefore, Arizona has for five years past established and legalized the basis of a Colorado River development plan that will give the maximum flood control, irrigation and power development in the Colorado River. By that plan we injure no other State and irrigate millions of acres in Arizona and the United States, and develop power to pay for the cost of it, and this plan will give the quickest development on the river, because our plan conforms with the present, establishes and tested laws and maximum development of the river, and certainly will get the United States Government and other States' assistance as these plans conform to tested reclamation laws and the benefit of all the people. Therefore, we would have government assistance, for the Government is the people and their laws. Arizona's program saves and develops her own life and benefits the nation and the Colorado River Basin States and their people.
But if power dams alone are started in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, they would consume and monopolize all the power in the canyon and there would be no power left to pay off the irrigation bonds, because God's laws and man's laws put power and irrigation together-or irrigation first, as it is home, food, and clothing. But if power is put first it destroys irrigation forever and priority and water would go to Mexico. If irrigation and power are combined no power will be lost. A compact which divides the waters as the present one does, so that only power dams could be built on the Colorado River, would accomplish the same destructive results, besides upsetting sacred tested reclamation laws and the Constitution, and thereby endless litigation.
Our Constitution guarantees majority rule of its people and absolute protection of the minority, weak, young, and new growth. The same Constitution guarantees same for protection of its natural resources, especially irrigation, which is the absolute sustenance upon which these people subsist, and we can not stand for a compact that would destroy that freedom of growth and individuality of the people and states, especially the new states, (like Arizona, yet sovereign), and natural resources upon which they subsist.
Arizona is equally interested with California in flood protection of Yuma, Arizona, and Imperial flood protection, but Arizona's efforts and program solves that by the Bridge-Glen Canyon Dam, or the Coolidge Dam at San Carlos on the Gila River, which is already authorized by Congress.
Arizona's program of Bridge Canyon Dam will serve power, flood control, and irrigation by gravity and gravity waters to Los Angeles if Arizona sees fit to allow water diverted out of the Colorado system into another river system.
So far as the upper basin States are concerned, if the equitable present law of prior, beneficial, maximum economical use of water is continued, Arizona could easily cooperate and get along with the npper basin States because Arizona would not have to concede much as there is only a small drainage area in the Colorado River system and that is in a high altitude and therefore is land which requires only a small duty and most of that water would return to the Colorado River to be used below.
A compact or boulder and other power dams would destroy Arizona and maximum development of the Colorado River, but