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About one-half of the habitable area of the county of Los Angeles, or metropolitan area, is now within the boundaries of incorporated cities. It may conservatively be assumed thåt the next 25 to 30 years will see the absorption of the entire area within municipal boundaries with an increase in population to a total of 3,270,000. This will increase the need of water from a present use of 466,000 acre-feet to an estimated requirement of 1,359,000 acre-feet per annum for domestic purposes. For the other four counties it is assumed that the urban population will increase at the rate established from 1910 to 1925 and which is considerably less than the rate from 1915 to 1925, or that of the past five years. The total population would thus increase from about 400,000 in 1925 to about 750,000 in 1950, which estimate is considered as conservative, and the urban population from about 216,000 in 1920 to 600,000 in 1950. The use of water over the entire valley of Southern California is estimated for 1950 at 2,013,000 acre-feet, which is 916,950 acre-feet less than the available supply. The deficit is equivalent to 1,150 second-feet constant flow, required for domestic purposes.
The valley of southern California is surrounded on three sides by deserts, whose water supply, if there be any, is entirely inadequate to take care of even a fraction of their irrigable lands.
The interests of southern California require steps to be taken at once to obtain from the Colorado River 1,500 second-feet of water for domestic purposes only. This, and this alone, will prevent serious shrinkage in the use of land in this area for agricultural purposes.
The acquisition of this amount of water for domestic purposes, on the other hand, does not contemplate any material increase in the present irrigable area. Unless such a supply is secured, or, looking into the future, definitely provided for, southern California must look to a further adjustment in the economic balance between the utilization of land for agricultural and for urban and suburban uses. This spells loss of protection of wealth and a shrinkage of population.
The CHAIRMAX. Thank you, Mr. Sonderegger.
TABLE No. 1.--Valley of southern California--Population records
1900, United States Census.
936, 438 1, 425,000 1, 900, 000 2,750,000 3, 260, 000 3, 650, 000
27, 929 56,706 73, 401 85,000 95,000 115,000 135, 000 155,000
17, 897 34, 696 50, 297 65, 000 74, 000 92, 000 110,000 128,000
19, 696 34, 436 61, 375 100,000 122, 000 166, 000 210,000 254, 000
35, 090 61, 665 112, 248 150,000 180,000 240, 000 300,000 360,000
691, 634 1, 133, 759 1. 825,000 2,371, 000 3, 363, 000 4,015, 000 4, 547,000
San Bernardino and Riverside Counties :
Santa Ana River above Prado.--
244, 000 170, 000 89, 000
Total water supply.
1, 097, 000
TABLE No. .--Seasonal use of water, in acre-feet, 19.2.5
Los Angeles County:
Domestic, city of Los Angeles, 1,000,000, at 112 gallons per
10, 320 300, 000
1 Report by board of engineers to city of Los Angeles, August, 1924.
San Bernardino County :
Domestic, urban, 50,000 inhabitants, at 120 gallons per capita ---
6, 720 140,000
Riverside County :
Domestic, urban, 40,000 inhabitants, at 120 gallons per capita---
acres, Coachella Valley, and 35,000 acres, Palo Verde project-
Orange county :
Domestic, urban, 60,000 inhabitants, at 120 gallons per capita--
8, 070 168,000
San Diego County:
Domestic, urban, 140,000 inhabitants, at 120 gallons per capita -
18, 820 62,500
962, 250 1,097, 000
134, 750 TABLE No. 7.--Acre-feet water requirements in 1950 Los Angeles County (metropolitan area):
Estimated population within present city limits of Los Angeles. 2, 180, 000 Entire metropolitan area
3, 270, 000
Domestic use for that portion of the metropolitan area where the
Acre-feet 386, 000 150, 000 823, 000
Total, Los Angeles County---
1, 359, 000
Domestic needs (number of inhabitants, at 130 gallons per day) :
100, 000) Riverside County-
80,000 Orange County
160, 000 San Diego County
580, 000 Industrial development (estimated at 100 second-feet) Irrigation needs :
San Bernardino County (110,000 population, at 1.40 acre-feet,
* Los Angeles city report.
The CHAIRMAN. At the request of Mr. Pridham, president of the chamber of commerce, we will hear from him on some phases of the question.
STATEMENT OF R. W. PRIDHAM, PRESIDENT OF THE LOS ANGELES
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
[Delivered by Mr. Chase]
Mr. CHASE. I am representing the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and the chamber of commerce has had reduced to writing in a page and a half its position on this subject and situation; and with your permission I will read this statement that I desire to make, submitted by Mr. R. W. Pridham, the president of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, in connection with the investigation now being made by the United States Senate Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation now in session in this city, make the following recommendations:
1. We favor the construction of a high dam at or near Boulder Canyon in the Colorado River for the following reasons: Such a dam will prevent flood destruction and give flood protection to the lands in the Parker Indian Reservation and the Yuma project in Arizona, and the Imperial and Palo Verde Valleys in California ; will create a great reservoir of water to serve Los Angeles and other communities of the Southwest whose rapid growth will soon vitally need this as a dependable source of supply; will make available a large volume of hydroelectric energy, an important necessity for agricultural, industrial, and community development in the Southwest; will permit the States of the lower basin with safety to approve the proposed compact between the seven States interested in the waters of the river; and for the further reason that it is a great economic waste to allow the flood waters of the river to spend themselves in the Gulf of California, when by impounding them they can be made productive of great wealth and added prosperity to our Nation.
2. We also favor due and proper protection to the rights of all the other States having an interest in the waters of the Colorado River Basin, and believe that all their rights should be justly and equitably considered and protected.
3. We recommend that the Congress of the United States at its coming session should enact legislation providing for the construction of such a dam.
4. That the waters conserved by the erection of said high dam be used exclusively for the irrigation and reclamation of lands within the United States and that proper provision be made in order that the United States soldiers and sailors may obtain the benefit of such reclaimed lands.
5. That the United States lend its assistance so far as practicable and when found feasible to the building of the necessary canals and distributing works in order that the water so conserved may be distributed to the lands within the United States, which will now or may hereafter be irrigated by such waters, and that such canals and
distributing works be located exclusively within the territory of the United States, if the same is found possible or practicable.
6. That the right to generate and distribute the hydroelectric energy which may be developed by the said dam be sold to municipalities and other agencies which may have the facilities for the development and distribution of the same at such a price as will repay the United States Government within a reasonable time the entire cost of the said dam in excess of such sums as the United States Government may deem fit to contribute toward such flood control, which we estimate should be about $30,000,000.
There are many reasons why the legislation is of vital importance at this time, the most important of which is the protection and preservation of the Imperial Valley, which is in imminent danger each year of being entirely inundated and destroyed, and if this should occur the same would be a national calamity.
We can not too strongly indorse action upon this most important subject by the Congress of the United States at its coming session.
In connection with that report I would add that we desire to stress the importance of the high dam in the river at this point. The time is coming undoubtedly when the compact between the States will be entirely ratified. When that happens the States of the 'upper basin receive 75,000,000 acre-feet of water over a period of 10 years. That is guaranteed by the upper States. That anty might be fulfilled in years of plenty, in the course of five years; afterwards during the remainder of the 10 years there will be no obligation, no guaranty on the part of the upper States, at least, to furnish to us water at the point that they contract to furnish it. Therefore we are driven to the necessity, if this contract is to be ratified, of having a high dam which will impound sufficient water to carry us over years of drought; because with no obligation upon the upper States during the period of drought to furnish water to us at the point where it is contracted to be furnished, and with the use of water that will be developed in the upper States, it will follow that their water will come down to us in quantities contracted to be furnished, at least, and we must take care of ourselves by having a dam of sufficient height to provide for us during the two or three years of possible drought. I desire to add that the chamber has always had in mind the requirements, the necessities of a high dam at this point.
Senator ASHURST. What point do you mean, Mr. Chase ?
Senator ASHURST. If an equally good, serviceable dam could be placed at another point and save a sister State, would you also favor that point ?
Mr. CHASE. Well, I suppose if it would be equally serviceable.
Senator ASHURST. If a high dam could be placed at another point on the river and save a sister State, would you favor that, or are you wedded to the Boulder Canyon!
Mr. CHASE. I would say this for myself, without speaking for the chamber, if a high dam could be placed at another point, which would be equally advantageous to this community and to Los Angeles, it would be satisfactory. I am speaking for myself.