« PreviousContinue »
Senator KENDRICK. Was there not a Colorado River commission appointed to study that question in detail, to determine whether the water should be diverted, headed by an engineer named La Rue!
Mr. MAXWELL. Senator, if you refer to the report of the Arizona Engineering Commission
Senator KENDRICK. Yes.
Senator KENDRICK. Yes. And did they not recommend as the most feasible place for the diversion what is known as the Virgin Canyon, I believe? The Virgin Canyon of the Colorado River?
Mr. MAXWELL. Apparently they proposed the Virgin Canyon Dam. Senator SHORTRIDGE. Where is that?
Senator KENDRICK. It is in the Colorado River. I am trying to find out whether the water back up by the Boulder Canyon Dam would reach that site.
Mr. MAXWELL. The Virgin Canyon site ?
Mr. MAXWELL. Yes, it would bury it. The Virgin Canyon site, Senator, was just above the Virgin Řiver right in here [indicating on map].
Senator KENDRICK. How far above the Boulder Canyon Dam?
Mr. MAXWELL. Oh, I suppose maybe 40 miles. But I want to say this. There has apparently been a most extraordinary case of impossibility of getting a study made of the Colorado River as a whole, or a study of the uses of the Colorado River in the United States of America. Such a report has never been made, such a study has never been made. The study that we have, which is the Davis report on the Imperial Valley, apparently starts with the assumption that we are going to irrigate 800,000 acres of land in Mexico.
Now, we think, Senator—and I want to say this in reference to Wyoming, that if the position that I assume here to-day with reference to the Mexican interests is accepted and settled, there is then no reason why the reservation of 4,000,000 additional surplus acrefeet for the upper basin should not be made.
There is no controversy between you and me. There is no controversy between Arizona and Wyoming. There is a controversy between Arizona and Mexico, and if we can not eliminate that controversy then Arizona is placed in a position where she can not safely concede to you the thing which you feel is essential to your best interests. The minute you say, you people in Wyoming, you people in Utah, and you people in Colorado, " We will stand with you and require the use of every drop of water in the United States of America in excess of what has heretofore been used in Mexico," there is then no longer any controversy between your State and my State.
I speak of Arizona as my State, because I am a citizen of Arizona, and I supposed I had as good a right to speak for Arizona as Mr. Fly or anybody else in Arizona.
I think that is a very important matter, Senater. There is no time here to-day to go into the details of these questions of controversy between the States under this compact. They all hark back to this Mexican complication. Eliminate that, and there is no controversy.
There are things in this compact that Arizona could not for a minute submit to. For instance, there is the provision that the upper basin will not permit the flow to be less than 75,000,000 acrefeet in a period of 10 years, which practically gives them all the water in dry years and gives Arizona none.
Senator KENDRICK. Mr. Maxwell, I am not testifying, but I just want to answer that by saying that my State, I believe, furnishes 40 per cent of the water, and in that altitude the water would be used and could be used only at such times of the year as there might be flood waters; and all experience in reclamation shows that that sort of the use of the water up on the high plateaus is just a means of storing or reservoiring the water.
Mr. MAXWELL. True, Senator; that is not an issue between us. But when we look at this proposition from the standpoint of Arizona we can not separate Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah from each other. By the compact they are made one.
Senator KENDRICK. Just a moment. I believe we are all anxious to have that compact ratified
Mr. MAXWELL. Let me finish, Senator. If all the water from the upper basin is to be reassembled for the lower basin at Lees Ferry, as the compact contemplates, then Arizona must look to the upper basin as a whole and can not separate it into units. The compact says in so many words, when it is properly interpreted, that the upper basin will permit 75,000,000 acre-feet in 10 years to come to this point [indicating) at Lees Ferry. That means that if the water runs, down to 9,760,000 acre-feet in one year, as it did in 1904, Arizona would get nothing under the compact. There is no provision in the compact for equitable adjustment
Senator ASHURST. You say Arizona would get nothing?
Senator Ashurst. If your statement bę:true, then California would get nothing under the compact?
Mr. MAXWELL. That is quite true. I am not arguing the case of California, because there are gentlemen here who represent California.
Senator ASHURST. I am seeking your ideas. If your statement be true, then not only Arizona but California as well would be deprived of water?
Mr. MAXWELL. Unquestionably. And the point to it is that if the compact is adopted then the existing vested rights for reclamation in the Imperial Valley are surrendered and for them is substituted a right to water out of a reservoir into which there would no water come from the upper basin through a cycle of dry years under the compact.
Senator KENDRICK. Just a word there. There are two things that I think you might very well consider. The first thing is that no engineer in dealing with the western rivers, of whom I have any information, has ever in any way justly estimated the length of time it would require to fill these reservoirs from the flow of those rivers. Where they have made an estimate it has been entirely thrown in the discard, because of the tremendous surplus of water with which they were dealing. So, in my opinion, you would never have any difficulty with this question that you have raised.
There is another thing, too. These upper reaches and plateaus that are to be irrigated with the waters of this river will not be
irrigated; perhaps the majority of them for a generation; so the only question we are concerned with here is that when that time comes for their development to proceed they may not be despoiled of their rights.
Mr. MAXWELL. Senator, can't I make my position clear, that we could concede all that to you if we are not tied up into a complication with Mexico that destroys us! We are not asking you to permit us to take this water without limit. We are not asking you to permit us to create a vested right at Boulder Canyon, for instance, to the entire flow of the Colorado River down to that point to develop power. We are not asking you for any concession whatever; we are asking you to accept what you say you are satisfied with under this compact as a reserve supply. We do not question that, provided the Mexican complication is eliminated.
Senator KENDRICK. Let me ask you another question right there. You did state a moment ago that your principal objection to this compact was because of the restrictions caused by the building of the dam lower down as it would affect the supply of water for the reservoir above. Was not that in effect your statement?
Mr. MAXWELL. You overlook the fact, Senator, that I started in here to talk about the Boulder Canyon dam, without intending to refer to this compact at all... Now the two questions have been intermingled here in such a way that it is difficult to keep them separated.
The point is that if the Boulder Canyon dam site did not exist, if there were no proposition to build a dam at Boulder Canyon, this compact-interpreted as it must be when you look at a relief map of the country and see where the levels are gives Mexico water enough for two million acres of land, and you can not prevent it, whether there is any treaty or not, because it will go there by the law of gravity.
The Boulder Canyon dam, standing by itself, if there were no compact at all, gives that water to Mexico, because when it is down to the 703-foot level you can not get it back up to the necessary high level to irrigate the lands that are to be irrigated in Arizona and southern California. The consequence is that it goes by the law of gravity to Mexico from the Boulder Canyon dam.
Now, it is not necessary that Los Angeles should develop this power at Boulder Canyon. It is not necessary that Wyoming and Arizona should have any conflict over the réservation of the water
Senator ASHURST. You have reached the point in your statement where you have brought it to the question as to the location of the reservoir
Mr. MAXWELL. Yes.
Senator ASHURST. Now, will you please turn to your map and point out the appropriate place, as you believe, for the location of the reservoir ?
Mr. MAXWELL (indicating). At Glen Canyon.
Senator ASHURST. Now, state your opinion of Glen Canyon; what you propose to do; the power to be generated; how you propose to control the water for reclamation, how you would give Arizona water for her irrigable lands? Begin at Lees Ferry, which is the point set up in the compact.
Mr. MAXWELL. Lees Ferry is the point of division. That being the Senator's request, I will simply confine myself to the exact points that he has asked for.
Senator ASHURST. Please begin at Lees Ferry first, and then come on down the river ?
Mr. MAXWELL. The Glen Canyon dam site permits the construction of a dam there which would impound 50,000,000 acre-feet of water. If you only want to impound 35,000,000 acre-feet of water, which is the amount that the Boulder Canyon dam will hold, the dam at Glen Canyon would not need to be any higher than the dam at Boulder Canyon. The reservoir at Glen Canyon is the natural point for reassembling all the water that is used in the upper basin for use in the lower basin. It does not matter at what time of the year they may use it in the upper basin or for what purpose, the water can be accumulated in the reservoir and drawn out at whatever time is best suited to the needs of the river and the lower basin.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Maxwell, where is Glen Canyon with respect to the Grand Canyon?
Mr. MAXWELL. It is above it, Senator.
Mr. MAXWELL. I do not know that I can give you the distance exactly. The Grand Canyon is in this section (indicating], and the Marble Canyon is right in here. Glen Canyon is above Lees Ferry.
The CHAIRMAN. Approximately how many miles above Grand Canyon? Can you state?
Mr. MAXWELL. Oh, I should think about 50 miles, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the elevation at Glen Canyon as compared with the elevation at Boulder Canyon?
Mr. MAXWELL. It is 3,100 feet at the bed of the stream at Glen Canyon; it is 703 feet at Boulder Canyon.
You can readily see that there is a fall of practically 3,000 feet for that entire river in the State of Arizona. Every drop of that water that is taken from Arizona will make a fall of over 3,000 feet, and the problem of the development of the river must be worked out in such a way that you can use that water in Arizona and southern California so as to supply the peak load for irrigation, in the season of enlarged need, from the local watersheds. By so doing you can utilize the Colorado River to the utmost limit of its possible use for power, and save more than 1,000,000 horsepower over what will be developed if the peak load is to be furnished from the Colorado River alone.
The CHAIRMAN. If in your reservoir you should store 50,000,000 acre-feet, what would be the constant horsepower developed ?
Mr. MAXWELL. It would be 22,000 second-feet. The way to figure that is that 1 cubic foot a second falling 11 feet will develop 1 horsepower. It is in the neighborhood of 5,000,000 horsepower. I think it runs up to 6,000,000, but, of course, that is potential. The estimate of 4,000,000 is very low. But if Boulder Canyon dam is not built and if Diamond Creek dam is not built and the engineers will go to work and develop a system with reference to a dam at Glen Canyon and the devolpment of all the power that may be developed from the Colorado River, you will have over 5,000,000 horsepower; and then you can so adapt your irrigation needs as to utilize the local water supply for the peak load, and you can reclaim and irrigate in southern California and Arizona 5,000,000 acres in addition to using that water for power. That is what we give up when we give the water to Mexico.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. This may be calling for repetition, but just where would you advise the building of the dam!
Mr. MAXWELL. At Glen Canyon for a storage dam, occupying exactly the same relation to the Colorado River systems below the north line of Arizona that the Roosevelt Dam does with reference to the Salt River project.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Where would you build another dam?
Mr. MAXWELL. The diversion dam would have to be built at the first available point below Diamond Creek, which I am informed is Bridge Canyon, or in that neighborhood, about 10 miles below Diamond Creek. Diamond Creek is directly north of Peach Springs on the Santa Fe; it is the point where the river and the railroad come closest together.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Would you then build another and a third dam for any particular purpose that you have in mind
Mr. MAXWELL. I do not think a third dam is necessary at all for either power or irrigation. In fact, it would not be necessary for flood control if the Glen Canyon dam were built.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. So that for flood control, do I understand you, you would build the dam at Glen Canyon?
Mr. MAXWELL. Absolutely.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. And then for power you would build at this second point you have named?
Mr. MAXWELL. The diversion dam should be built at Bridge Canyon.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Diversion? That would be for irrigation purposes, do you mean?
Mr. MAXWELL. If you are familiar with the Salt River system
Senator SHORTRIDGE. No, but when you use the word diversion I understand it means for purposes of irrigation?
Mr. MAXWELL. Or for power, for this reason, Senator. There are so many details here [indicating map) that it is difficult to carry them in your mind. If the diversion dam is built at Bridge Canyon you would take it out at the 2,000 foot level and bring it across to a point about 12 miles below. Topock.
Senator KENDRICK. Is that where you would provide for a 90mile tunnel?
Mr. MAXWELL. Senator, that 90-mile tunnel proposition was a joke. We never asked for any 90-mile tunnel. It is insane and absurd, and I want it understood here that I am not advocating any 90-mile tunnel. Those things are absurd, and they were created in the minds of the people for no other purpose than to discredit the idea that Arizona could provide a way to get this water out and develop her land for irrigation.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Who was the author of that idea?
Senator KENDRICK. The engineer who was selected, I suppose, by the Governor of Arizona—a tunnel 90 miles long, to cost approximately, I think, $600,000,000.
Mr. MAXWELL. That merely illustrates the sort of opposition we have.