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debtedness would be ruinous. Surely in such a matter the landowners who must pay the bonds are to be considered, and the majority of them have by joining this club and indorsing its principles, declared their unequivocal opposition to the canal as provided for in the bill.
The reasons advanced for building the canal are so unsound as to merit little attention, were it not that they have been widely broadcasted and have intrigued the support of the uninformed. Chief of these is the claim that the All-American Canal would “get us out of Mexico.” The club asserts that it would not.
As well stated in a letter addressed to Hon. Addison T. Smith by the Federal Power Commission, a copy of which is appended hereto:
“The construction of the All-American Canal will not obviate the necessity of constant dealings with Mexico in connection with irrigation or protection of lands in the United States. Irrespective of the amount of flood-control storage in the United States it will, for many years at least, be necessary in the protection of the Imperial Valley to maintain levees and revetments in Mexico and arrangements must be effected whereby this work can be carried on whenever necessary without interference.”
As is also affirmed in that letter, our problem with Mexico can only be settled through the State Department of the United States and not through the construction of canals.
Furthermore, an open canal of 150 or 200 feet on the bottom and approximately 1,350 feet across the top, extending through a 10-mile region of drifting sand dunes, which rise to a maximum height of 150 feet above the water surface is admittedly an experiment, the practicability of which has been gravely questioned by eminent engineers who at various times during the last 60 years, have investigated it.
Engineer Ebenezer Hadley, of San Diego County, selected a route through Mexico about 60 years ago. Subsequently, in 1876, an examination was made under Government direction to determine whether or not it would be feasible to reach Imperial Valley without following the route through Mexico. This survey was made by Lieut. Eric Bergland, Corps of Engineers, United States Army, who reported unfavorably upon a canal location entirely in the United States, and again called attention to the natural route across Mexican territory.
Dr. Elwood Mead, in his report of 1917 (see p. 29) stated that
“The present canals cross the Mexican territory. Financial considerations make this the proper route and render an All-American Canal impossible."
The All-American Canal Board, consisting of Doctor Mead, W. W. Schlecht, and C. E. Grunsky, have this to say:
“The contract between the Secretary of the Interior and the Imperial Irrigation district, under which this board has been appointed, is specific and definite in the requirement that an All-American Canal route be surveyed and examined. No alternative has been left open. The surveys and investigations which have been made relate, therefore, to a canal located throughout upon American territory. Our investigation could not be broadened out to a full consideration of the wisest and best treatment of the irrigation problem of the lower Colorado River in its broadest aspect. This is to be regretted, because the lower river presents problems of unique perplexity.”.
As implied by the All-American Canal Board in the foregoing quotations and asserted by other engineers the mesa lands can be watered by other means for less cost.
The cost of maintaining the proposed canal has not been estimated but would, doubtless, exceed the cost of maintaining the present canal, which cost is more than offset by the revenue derived from the sale of water to Mexican lands. In 1924 Chief Engineer Carberry of the Imperial irrigation district submitted a financial report which shows that the revenue thus derived is sufficient not only to pay the entire cost of maintaining the canal through Mexico, but, in addition, pay the entire cost of diverting the water from the Colorado, the entire cost of maintaining the protective levees in Mexico and to leave a net balance of approximately $60,000. According to that report the American farmers who own the Imperial irrigation district receive their water at the international line with all those costs paid, plus a substantial profit.
This proposed canal, in so far as the lands now under irrigation in Imperial Valley are concerned, if and when constructed and in operation can be no more than a substitute conduit for carrying a supply of water from the Colorado River to those lands. It would entail the abandonment without recompense of that system of structures and canals, no longer an experiment, but now in satisfactory operation and found practical and efficient after many years of experience and the expenditure of very large amounts of money. To ask the present irrigated lands to abandon the present system found efficient and accept in exchange the untried experiment of a canal built through shifting sand in itself would be unjust but to further propose that these lands bear any portion of the expense of this costly experiment is earnestly protested against by the membership of this club, composed as it is of those land owners, who would be compelled to pay the greatest part of any expense charged up to the Imperial irrigation district.
Finally, the Colorado River Control Club opposes the canal on the grounds that it is delaying legislation necessary to Colorado River development. We believe that there is urgent need for action without unnecessary delay, and that the various States and communities interested can more quickly be brought into accord by a program of river development considering only paramount issues and freed from all local and controversial proposals.
We attach hereto other papers more fully expressing the club's attitude which you may be interested to read.
In submitting our views for your consideration we ask you to keep in mind that the sole interests of our members are in the American portion of Imperial Valley, and that they are actuated only by desire to aid in accomplishing that which is for the valley's greatest good. Respectfully submitted.
COLORADO River CONTROL CLUB,
R. E. Wills, President. The CHAIRMAN. Also there may be inserted the following resolution adopted by the Needles Chamber of Commerce:
Whereas the forthcoming session of Congress will in all probability give serious thought and consideration to the urgent demands of the West for the early development of the irrigation and power possibilities of the Colorado River; and
Whereas there exists a divergence of opinion between the people of the various States bordering the Colorado River in its lower basin as to their rights to the water and power to be developed and again as to the location of the proposed dam; and
Whereas these differences may not be amicably adjusted for a considerable period of time thus holding up indefinitely the relief from an ever-present danger of a ravaging food that each spring threatens inestimable damage and from which the sections thus endangered are entitled to immediate relief: it is therefore
Resolved by the Needles Chamber of Commerce representing the interests of the people of the second largest city on the Colorado River in the Southwest, That it is the consensus of opinion in this locality, which has ever been menaced by the uncontrolled flood waters of this river and which have been fought back by local interests at enormous expense, that a flood-control dam is of paramount importance and should be constructed in the earliest possible time; and it is further
Resolved, That this organization go on record as favoring the immediate construction of a flood-control dam at either Topock or the Boulder Canyon dam sites and that this resolution be transmitted to the Senate Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation and a copy spread upon the minute books of this chamber.
NEEDLES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
W. W. Hays, Secretary. (Whereupon, at 6 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned to meet at 8.30 o'clock p. m., to-morrow, October 31, 1925, at the Southern Pacific Hotel, Yuma, Ariz.)
COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND RECLAMATION
UNITED STATES SENATE
S. Res. 320
(68th Congress, 2d Session)
DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND
OF THE COLORADO RIVER BASIN
YUMA AND PHOENIX, ARIZ.
OCTOBER 31 AND NOVEMBER 2, 1925
Printed for the use of the Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation
COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND RECLAMATION
CHARLES L. McNARY, Oregon, Chairman WESLEY L. JONES Washington.
MORRIS SHEPPARD, Texas. LAWRENCE C. PHIPPS, Colorado. THOMAS J. WALSH, Montana. FRANK R. GOODING, Idaho.
JOHN B. KENDRICK, Wyoming. RALPH H. CAMERON, Arizona.
KEY PITTYAN, Nevada. TASKER L. ODDIE, Nevada.
FURNIFOLD MCL, SIMMONS, North Carolina.
HENRY F. ASHURST, Arizona.