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Mr. Davis. There is a fall of something more than a foot to a mile, but in a large canal that creates a high velocity and runs through sand hills it has been always the plan to use enough grade to maintain a high velocity in which sand would not deposit. The only chance of having a sand bar in that canal would be by the shutting off of the water during a period when the sand was blowing into it.
Senator JONES of Washington. You say it runs through a canal 100 feet deep in some places ?
Mr. DAVIS. Yes, sir.
Mr. Davis. No, sir. They would be on a stable slope. They would not be vertical banks.
Senator JONES of Washington. There would be quite a slope then. How wide would that canal be at the top?
Mr. Davis. The slopes adopted are 2 to 1. That is, if it were 100 The CHAIRMAN. Those walls are of sand and limestone ? Mr. Davis. The surface is sand. It goes through sand hills for a distance of a few miles. I think the maximum width there would be about 6 miles where it would be a sand surface, but shortly under the surface and for the rest of the distance the cut is in a mixture of sand, gravel, and clay, which is very stable. The phenomenon of moving sand is a surface one. That sand has traveled there from the margins of the Imperial Desert near the lake, sand collected in towns also along the ancient sea beach where the elevation is at sea level. That has traveled. You can see that by the direction of the sand hills from the Imperial Valley, which is nearly parallel with the canal, the prevailing winds being from the west the sand travels eastward. So it is not the tendency of the sand to travel across the line of the canal. The general tendency is parallel with it, and that is proved also by the shape of the north mesą which is shown on the map there. If they were traveling southward, they would extend a long distance into Mexico, whereas they do not.
Similar problems are presented in the maintenance of the Suez Canal, which is a sea-level canal connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea, and has no velocity except that introduced by the tides, which are very small, I understand. At any rate they had some trouble with blowing sand in the Suez Canal, which they obviated by sprinkling and irrigating machines on that canal and planting trees. That is one possible way, if we should find unexpected difficulties here of taking care of them.
Senator KENDRICK. What distance does the canal traverse through the sand hills; that is, the all-American canal ?
Mr. Davis. About 6 miles is the maximum distance through sand.
Senator KENDRICK. It would not be any great difficulty even to plant trees?
Mr. Davis. Nothing very serious. There would be a canal there from which to pump irrigation water to keep them growing and to shut off drifting sand. I have examined with a great deal of interest the handling of a small problem from drifting sand in Turkestan where the railroad approaches from both sides of the Amu Daria River, a very large river, from which drifting sands blow in
both directions, and for many years that railroad was troubled by drifts of sand.' They met that difficulty it is in an arid regionwith a prevailing shrub there similar in appearance to our sage brush, growing somewhat higher but of a scrubby nature and with a resisting power to drought. They collected seeds of these desert shrubs and had to cover them with brush to keep them from blowing away, and as they come out they are transplanted in considerable numbers to strips 1,000 feet wide on one side of the railroads and 500 feet on the other side where the wind does not come from so often. They tell me that about 15 per cent of the transplanted plants grow. There is a strong contrast between vegetation within this zone along the railroad and that in the natural condition farther back. I had the privilege of examining that in considerable detail and found it entirely successful in checking the drifting of the sand by checking the wind as it approached there.
A railroad is a very different proposition from a canal with a swift velocity, and especially a deep canal where the currents will set up vertical currents which prevent settlement of the high velocity of sand, and it is well recognized by engineers that a velocity as high as 3 feet per second through sandy ground is sufficient for a canal. When wind blows on this water, if it is flowing at the rate of 3 feet per second, it will not sink; it will carry it through. It will have to be dredged out, but that condition has been met on the North Platte project in Nebraska, and I do not consider it very serious.
Senator JOHNSON of California. In a word, you approve the construction of the all-American canal, do you not?
Mr. Davis. Yes, sir; I approved this report by the board that was organized in the way that I have described, and I have seen nothing to change my mind since.
There is one thing that I do not know if the committee fully appreciates, and that is this: A high-line canal—we call it an allAmerican canal-it means essentially a canal held up high to stay on American soil, and it must be held high or any dropping increases that cut and its extent-unless a high line is built, there are something like 160,000 acres of public land that must ever remain desert. It can only be watered by a high-line canal which can only deliver water to it by gravity by the Laguna Dam. There is an equal area of private land that can be served by the same means and can not be served otherwise by any means that I know of at the present time.
Senator JONES of Washington. In other words, by putting that canal in there you make about three hundred and odd thousand acres of land that will be fit for cultivation in this country?
Mr. Davis. Yes, sir.
Senator JOHNSON of California. Have you any doubt as to the ability of the Imperial Valley to pay back the cost of that construction ?
Mr. Davis. In accordance with the plan here by which the public lands would carry their proportionate share there is not any doubt in my mind about the value in productivity of the lands in the Imperial Valley being able to carry its share. And it has been pointed out that neither one of these interests, the Imperial Valley alone or the public lands alone, could scarcely carry the burden of this canal. It does not cost any more to build a canal large enough for both, and combining their credit and resources they can build a canal together. I think it would be impracticable at present values for either one separately.
Senator KENDRICK. Mr. Davis, by the employment of machinery and moving the material even those cuts can not be of very staggering cost, because they are not with drag lines moving ordinary earth that is more expensive to move in our north country at about 7 or 8 cents a cubic yard.
Mr. Davis. Yes, sir. Senator KENDRICK. And that could be moved more economically still.
Mr. Davis. No; the unit prices included in that estimate that I have referred to for moving that earth are from 20 to 30 cents per cubic yard.
Senator KENDRICK. Do you believe it would cost that?
Mr. Davis. There are those who criticize it as being too high. I do not know. I think it would be built within that sum.
Senator JOHNSON of California. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, and at the request of Mr. Criswell, I want to read one line from a paper by Mr. William Kelly on the Colorado River problem that was read June 19, 1924, before the American Society of Civil Engineers, to be presented at the fifty-fourth annual convention of the society at Pasadena on that date. Mr. Kelly's official position, I presume, you know. I quote:
All the development needed on the Colorado will be built by private capital under adequate Federal and State regulations if the river is given over to development under the Federal water power act.
May I say to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the other members of the committee, that I am extremely grateful personally for the consideration that you have shown us in this matter and for the hearing that you have accorded us; and I want to say for these gentlemen who have come from afar that they feel exceedingly grateful to you also, and they wish me, and I wish for myself, too, to extend their thanks and mine to you for your kindness to us in this hearing.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Senator. That concludes the hearing. (Thereupon, at 4.15 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned.)
COLORADO RIVER BASIN
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 1924
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m. in the committee room of the Committee on Commerce, Capitol, Senator Charles L. McNary, presiding.
Present: Senators McNary (chairman), Cameron, Shortridge, Ashurst, and Kendrick.
Present also: Senator Johnson of California and Representative Swing.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order.
Senator ASHURST. Mr. Chairman, Mr. George H. Maxwell desires to submit an argument, and he will be opposed by Col. B. F. Fly. Their interests are not identical; the position taken by Mr. Maxwell is opposed by the interests represented by Colonel Fly.
STATEMENT OF MR. B. F. FLY, YUMA, ARIZ., REPRESENTING
YUMA WATER USERS' ASSOCIATION
Mr. Fly. Mr. Chairman, before Mr. Maxwell begins, I want only to insert this letter in the record. It is addressed to you [reading]:
My dear Senator McNARY: I understand one George H. Maxwell has asked permission to appear before your committee in opposition to the so-called Swing-Johnson bill, which provides for the construction of the Boulder Canyon dam and the all-American canal.
As the duly accredited representative of the Yuma reclamation project I desire to enter my formal protest against Mr. Maxwell's speaking for the State of Arizona on this all-important matter.
First, he is not and, so far as I have been able to ascertain, has never been a taxpayer of Arizona.
Second, he pretends to speak in the name of some high-sounding reclamation association, which is wholly mythical.
Third, he represents no one in Arizona except those who are continuously throwing monkey wrenches in the machinery of progress.
Fourth, his three days' testimoy given before the House committee at the previous session of Congress is a matter of record now before you in the printed records of the House committee.
Fifth, his only object in appearing before your committee is simply to scramble the eggs” and further delay this meritorious legislation.
In the name, therefore, of those whom I have the honor of representing on this occasion I repeat that I strenuously object to Mr. Maxwell's appearance before your committee as the representative of Arizona. With highest personal considerations, I beg to remain, Faithfully, your obedient servant,
B. F. FLY, Representing Yuma Water Users' Association, Yuma Chamber of Commerce, Yuma Mesa Unit Holders' Association.
The CHAIRMAN. As a matter of courtesy to the senior Senator from Arizona, Mr. Ashurst, I called the committee together to-day to hear a brief statement from Mr. Maxwell, to whom this communication refers which has just been read.
Mr. Maxwell, you appeared before the House committee in opposition to the Johnson-Swing bill and made a very lengthy statement there, and you have supplied the committee with a brief in opposition to this matter. I understand you want to place some further observations in the record ?
Mr. MAXWELL. I think I might make a few remarks, Mr. Chairman, that would be helpful to the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. I have no doubt of that, but as chairman of the committee I feel the necessity of keeping down the record as much as possible. Have you anything new to present, anything in addition to what is already in the record that is before the committee !
Senator ASHURST. Mr. Maxwell represents some public opinion in Arizona, and I hope the chairman will permit him to proceed.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. The point is, of course, that we must not duplicate the record from session to session and from committee to committee.
Senator ASHURST. The chairman is perfectly correct.
The CHAIRMAN. My time is too valuable and the committee's time is too valuable to sit here and have the same matter gone over and over until the dust from the beaten path flies in our eyes. Of course that is just a word of caution. We expect something new from you, Mr. Maxwell; otherwise we would not have you here. We want to hear from your side, of course.
Senator ASHURST. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF MR. GEORGE H. MAXWELL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
NATIONAL RECLAMATION ASSOCIATION
Mr. MAXWELL. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I have been appearing before committees of legislatures and of the Congress of the United States for about 40 years, and this is the first time that any personal objection was ever made
Senator KENDRICK. Mr. Maxwell, I want to say, in support of what the chairman has said, that it is absolutely essential to restrict as far as possible these records to matters that are necessary. And it might very well appeal to you anyway, that the least possible repetition we have in the record is, by the same fact, almost a guaranty that the record will be read and studied. When it is necessary to thresh over so much chaff to get a little bit of grain it makes it so much more difficult for those who would study it. Also we have the expense and loss of time and all that. The chairman is quite right about that, and I do not see anything personal in it.
Mr. MAXWELL. Senator, I wish to say that what I said had no reference whatever to what the chairman said. I was referring to the personal references in the document which was read by Colonel Fly entirely, and not to anything that the chairman said. I regret exceedingly that any such interpretation should have been put upon my remarks.