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eneral plan and purpose of this measure bare my support, and its being made a national undertaking, to be carried out and ered by tbe Federal Government.

* For the reasons stated, I recommend the favorable considers*^*0" of tne bill.

Tt»«s- .paramount puriw.se of this legislation is the protection of I* «=ax->r*!ln life and property in Imperial Valley, Calif., which are -«j«»m«:ler a constant menace of destruction from the floods of a re •">«? 1 llous and treacherous river. Other valleys in the lower Colo !-»»- «Jo also greatly need protection from its high-water flow, I nek » <: 1 i aig Yuma and Parker in Arizona and Palo Verde and Xeeti 1 «r" s in California. All these have suffered from the floods of 1 1 a «r- Colorado. All are concerned with Imperial Valley in the s-s«r> I mition of its mighty problem. This bill presents a project wliu -M.M. -will afford such solution.

TtM.«3- great constructive development proposed by this legislation m. ~m.wt only will end the river's menace but will also put its wastrm.XM.fZ waters to work in the Interest of society, creating new building up new industries, adding to the wealth of tion and the well-being of a considerable portion of its

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legislation and the project It authorizes have received • st careful study and earnest consideration by the com£— for the last four Congresses, and volumes of testimony *-»«en compiled. During this Congress the committee has _2r«Jl much time to the hearing of testimony respecting the — *; and to the consideration of the provisions of the leglsauthoriziug it. The committee has had before it. the of the hearings held during the Sixty-seventh, Sixty_ and Sixty-ninth Congresses, comprising thousands of uf testimony, as well as extensive and detailed reports °y fc* ^<^s-«jieral agencies charged with the duty of studying the Colo »-«-». tio River.

Tl» ^e^- committee also had the benefit of the recent reports of Hon _ _rp~ simes H. Garfleld, former Secretary of tbe Interior; Hon. C. Emerson, Governor of Wyoming; Dr. William F.

* I. of Stanford University; and Hon. James G. Scrugham,

• Governor of Nevada, who acted as special advisers to «-retary of the Interior at his request, and which have rinted as part 4 of the hearings. Many members of the

^:tee have inspected the site of the great dam which the . thorizes, the section of Mexico through which the canal l» the Imperial Valley, which is the region most menaced ^s- river's flood waters, as well as other sections of the •v-^-est which will be directly affected by the development, i* be said with perfect accuracy that no project of in-l improvement has ever come before Congress backed by •xtended and exhaustive consideration as has been acto this one.

alone does this bill, as expressed in Its title, authorize "for the protection and development of the lower Colo<iver Basin," but it represents a vitally important step c(, plan to protect and safeguard the interest of States and

in i <- *?"*• «-"».nitles far removed from the works to be built, thus per

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these States and communities to look to the future with ^*- =^=_j<urance which established water rights give to regions !: upon irrigation for their agricultural existence, the works here authorized are of great magnitude, a plan has been worked out with the assistance of the the Treasury and Incorporated in the bill, under their cost will not burden the Federal Treasury nor upon the general taxpayer. The financial burden of •velopmeut is placed upon Its Immediate beneficiaries, ection 4 (b) of the bill provides:

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: any money Is appropriated, or any construction work e— contracted for, the Secretary of the Interior shall make provifc» revenues, by contract or otherwise, In accordance with the *" of this act, adequate, in his judgment, to insure payment •^axpenses of operation and maintenance of said works incurred United States and the repayment, within 50 years from the the completion of the project, of all amounts advanced to the —•.nder subdivision (b) of section 2, together with interest

moneys advanced to the fund, referred to, embrace not :*. oney actually appropriated to cover the cost of the, work - "Merest on the same during the period of construction.

project falls naturally into nine divisions or parts, as

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Part V. AU-Amerlcan canal.

Part VI. Domestic water.

Part VII. Power.

Part VIII. Authority of the Government.

Part IX. Form of bill.

Past I.—The Colorado Rivbb And Its Ciiabacteeistics, And Thb Impkblal Valley

To grasp the urgent need of this project calls for a brief statement of the characteristics of the Colorado River, as well as of the Imperial Valley In California.

The Colorado is one of the great rivers of the United States. Rising in the high mountains of Colorado and Wyoming, it flows through these States and the States of Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. It forms part of the boundary between Arizona and Nevada and between Arizona and California. After crossing the boundary line between the United States and Mexico it flows some 50 miles through the latter country and discharges into the head of the Gulf of California.

Actual measurements, taken over a period of 25 years, show an average annual discharge of water by the river of approximately 17,000,000 acre-feet. The river varies greatly in flow, both annual and seasonal. One year the discharge may be as great as 25,000,000 acre-feet; another year it may be as low as 9,000,000 acre-feet. Even more striking is the seasonal variation. In flood, the discharge at times is more than 200,000 cubic feet per second. In August, September, and October the river is at low flow. Frequently this flow is as low as 2,500 cubic feet per second; on September 11, 1924, it was less than 1,300 cubic feet per second.

The rim of the upper drainage basin of the river Is composed largely of high mountain ranges. Melting snows from these ranges and the rainfall Increase Its volume. The lower portion of the basin is composed of hot, arid plains of low altitude, broken by short mountain groups. The central portion consists of a high plateau, through which the river runs for hundreds of miles In a deep and narrow canyon.

As the river flows from the plateau region it picks up tremendous quantities of silt, which Is carried into the lower reaches of the river, the annual discharge below Yuma being over 100,000 acre-feet, or more than 161,000,000 cubic yards, an amount equal in volume to the total excavations made by the United States in constructing the Panama Canal.

Imperial Valley lies in the southeasterly portion of California. On the south it is bounded by the Mexican line; its easterly edge is about 40 miles west of the Colorado River. On the' American side of the line it is separated from the river by a range of low sand hills, which lie between the river channel and the valley floor. Centuries ago the Imperial Valley was the northerly end of the Gulf of California. The tremendous quantities of silt carried by the river gradually built a great delta across the gulf, completely separating the northern from the southern end of the gulf. Evaporation unwatered the region thus cut off and left Imperial Valley. Thus Imperial Valley lies like a great saucer with the Colorado running along its rim from 100 to 300 feet above the valley's floor.

This valley secures its sole water supply from the Colorado River through a canal starting from the river Just above the International boundary, and thence running for many miles through Mexico before reenterlng the United States.

Imperial Valley has a population of 65,000 people, six wellbuilt, incorporated cities, besides several unincorporated towns, over 400,000 acres of cultivated farms, and property values of over $100,000,000.

As irrigation uses have Increased up the river, and particularly as irrigation has increased in Mexico, the water available for Irrigation in the valley during the period of low flow of the river has grown less and less.

Imperial and Coachella Valleys, during May, June, and July of each year, are threatened by destruction by flood. In September and October Imperial Valley Is threatened by, and has actually suffered, millions of dollars of loss from drought, and the same Is also true, only in a lesser degree, of Yuma, Parker, and Mojave "Valleys in Arizona and Palo Verde Valley in California.

Fabt II. Tub Boulder Canyon Project-its Devklopmbnt And Plan The Project

The works authorized are—

First. A dam 550 feet in height at Boulder or Black Canyon, where the river forms the boundary between Arizona and Nevada. Not only do these canyons furnish a wonderful natural dam site, but here is an equally wonderful natural reservoir site, where there will be impounded 2fi,000,000 acre-feet of water. The estimated cost of the dam is $41,500,000, or but $1.62 per acre-foot of storage.

Second. Power plants to utilize the water power created *t the dam. (The construction of plants is left optional with tie Secretary. He may instead lease the water power.) Five hundred and fifty thousand firm or constant horsepower will be available, or 1,000,000 horsepower on a 55 per cent load factor. The estimated cost of installing plants of 1,000,000-horsepower capacity is $31,500,000, or $31.50 per installed horsepower, whi|e the coat por installed horsepower of both dam and plants is but $73. Service, under whose personal supervision the major part of the studies were made, testified before the House committee as follows:

Third. An all-Ameriean canal from the river to the Imperial Valley and Coachella Valley. The estimated cost of the canal is $31,000,000.

Interest during construction on the cost of these works is estimated at $21,000,000, which added to their cost makes $125,000,000, the amount of the authorized appropriation. The item of interest during construction does not, of course, represent an actual appropriation, and should the Secretary elect not to build power plants the cost of construction of the works would be reduced to $72,500,000, with a corresponding reduction of the interest item during construction.


This project, fortunately, will accomplish a number of important purposes.

First. It will end the ever-increasing flood menace of the lower river, which threatens the destruction of large and important communities lying under the level of its channel. The great reservoir will catch and hold the flood waters until they can be released at a rate which the river channel can accommodate with safety. The water so stored will guarantee the lower-basin communities, especially Imperial Valley, a dependable water supply, and by thus making use of the flood waters in the lower busin the upper reaches of the river will furnish abundant water for use in the upper basin without encroaching upon prior appropriations below.

Second. It will end an intolerable situation which now exists In Imperial Valley. This valley now secures its sole water supply by a canal which runs for some 60 miles through Mexico. The all-American canal will furnish a substitute for this and at the same time carry the water at an elevation sufficient to make possible, at some future date, the irrigation of additional laud, mostly public, lying about the rim of the cultivated area.

Third. Flood waters conserved at the dam and reservoir, besides providing for irrigation needs below, will provide for a much needed domestic water supply for cities on the Pacific coast.

Fourth. The dam and reservoir will incidentally create a large amount of hydroelectric power from the disposal of which the project will be in large part financed.

Fifth. The dam will improve navigation, safeguard interstate commerce, and protect Government property. Under the operation of the project the flow of the river below the dam will be regulated and even. With its flow unregulated the river can not be successfully used as a highway for commerce. In its regulated form it will be susceptible to use by power boats and other small craft. The great reservoir will, of course, be susceptible of navigation.

Sixth. Certain international complications now existing will be largely solved through the construction of this project. These will be referred to in Part V of this report.


The overwhelming weight of opinion favors the Boulder or Black Canyon site. These two sites are close together and are frequently termed the upper and lower Boulder Canyon sites. A dam at either site will store the water in practically the same reservoir basin, virtually all of which is desert land of no value except for reservoir purposes. Natural conditions at this point are extremely favorable for the construction of a great dam at minimum of cost. An immense natural reservoir site is here available. A development at this point will fully and adequately serve all purposes—flood control, storage of irrigation and domestic water, Improvement of navigation, and power. It is the nearest available site to the power market, an important element from a business or financial standpoint.

As stated by Secretary Hoover:

I believe the largest group of those who have dealt with the problem, both engineers and business folk, have come to the conclusion that there Rhould be a high dam erected somewhere in the vicinity of Black Canyon. That is known usually as the Doulder Canyon site, but nevertheless it Is actually Black Canyon. The dam so erected is proposed to serve the triple purpose of power, flood control, and storage. Perhaps I should state them in a different order—flood control, storage, and power, as power is a by-product of these other works.

There are theoretical engineering reasons why flood control and storage work should be erected farther up the river and why storage works should be erected farther down the river, and I have not any doobt but that given another century of development on the elver all

these things will be done. The problem that we have to consider, bowever, la that which will serve the next generation in the most economical manner, and we must take capital expenditure and power markets into consideration in determining this. I can conceive the development of probably 15 different dams on the Colorado River, the securing of 6,000,000 or 7,000,000 horsepower; but the only place where there is an economic market for power to-day, at least of any consequence, is in southern California, the economical distance for the most of such dams being too remote for that market. No doubt markets will grow in time so as to warrant the construction of dams all up and down the river. We have to consider here the problem of financing; that In the erection of a dam, or of any works for that matter, we must make such recovery as we can on the cost, and therefore we must find an Immediate market for power. For that reason it seems to be that logic drives us as near to the lower market as possible, and that it therefore takes us down into the lower canyon. (Hearings on S. Res. 320, 68th Coiig., 2d sess., p. 601.)

Mr. Garfleld, one of the special advisers, in his report to the Secretary of the Interior, stated as follows:

I am satisfied that the most favorable site for first construction is at Boulder Canyon. At that point the opportunity Is afforded to construct a dam which would impound approximately 26,000,000 acre-feet of water, thus assuring, as far as It Is humanly possible to assure, the storage of floods and permit a flow in the river below at such times and in such quantities as would provide for future Irrigation and prevent the disasters which have been and will be attendant upon unregulated floods.

The recent report of Governor Scrugham to the Secretary of the Interior also said:

Upper Boulder Canyon and lower Boulder Canyon or Black Canyon: These two sites, on account of their adjacent location and market superiority to all other locations, are best considered together.

1. Both sites are topographically well adapted for the construction of a high and large Impounding reservoir.

2. The rock formation at the upper Boulder site Is granite. At the lower Boulder or Black site is a highly sUiclfled adesltlc tuff which la more monolithic In character.

3. For the same height of dam above low water, the Black Canyon site will give somewhat larger reservoir and storage capacity. For the same elevation of economic high-water level the advantage is very much In favor of the Black Canyon site.

4. This lower site also has available large deposits of suitable gravel and other necessary construction materials which will reduce construction costs.

5. The Black Canyon site is readily accessible by rail and wagon road. The upper Boulder, Bridge, Diamond, and Glen Canyon sites are all very difficult of access.

6. The Black Canyon site has more suitable bedrock for dam foundations at distinctly less depth than other sites examined. The canyon walls are closer together and there are more favorable locations for the proposed power house and construction camps. All of these items will tend to reduce construction costs.

7. The Black Canyon site is closer to the territory to be served by the reservoir than any of the previously mentioned sites thus reducing costs and losses of transmission.

A disadvantage which has been urged against both the upper and lower Boulder Canyon locations is the existence of extensive salt deposits within the reservoir area. The matter has been made the subject of most careful examination by the writer and a number of geologists, notably Dr. F. L. Ransome. The salt outcrops -are generally In bluffs covered with heavy insoluble overburden. The total quantity is impossible to estimate, but the amount which would go into solution in the reservoir water Is so negligible that it would not noticeably affect Its salinity. The action of the water on the salt would be to undermine the Insoluble overburden and cause it to settle on the exposed salt faces. This action, together with an additional covering of silt deposited from the reservoir water can be depended upon to minimize the dissolving action. For all practical purposes the dilution of the salt will be so great as to render It harmless.

The statement of Governor Emerson in his report as special adviser on this subject is as follows:

A reservoir of 26,000,000 acre-feet capacity, created by the construction of a comparatively high dam at Black Canyon on the Colorado River some 40 miles distant from Ijis Vegas, Nev., would afford satisfactory solution of the problems set forth In paragraph 3 herein and would also meet the requirements specified by paragraph 4 herein. Im addition such a reservoir project would make practical the development of a large amount of hydroelectric power as well as provide forthe extension of present irrigated areas and for additional valuableuses of water for domestic, municipal, industrial, and other purposes. *•***••

The most feasible site for a high dam upon the Colorado River to solve the major problems now existent upon the lower river la situated at Black Canyon some 40 miles from Lai Vegas, Nev.


The reservoir project described In paragraph 6, and commonly known >» the Boulder Canyon project, would constitute a great constructive Undertaking and appears to afford the best solution of the entire situation applying to the lower Colorado River.


Because the Colorado River Is an interstate and international stream, and because of the various conflicting uses of water, such as for flood control, irrigation, regulation for commerce, domestic water, and power generation, the Government is the proper and logical agency to undertake this development. It is well equipped for this purpose. The Reclamation Service has had wide experience in large dam construction. This idea was well expressed by the Secretary of the Interior in his report of January 12, 1926, on the project, where he said:

Interstate and international rights and Interests Involved, the dlverslfd iwneflts from the construction of these works, the waiting necessities ci tries for Increased water supplies, the large development of latent resources, the protection of those already developed, and immense Industrial benefits which may come from the production of ofa«?«K> power, which together appear to render the construction and •' ; . ~ - • / • i . -ui control of these works a measure of such economic and 8*df» 1 ijcnportance that no agency but the Federal Government should ^ /n * r-»j» sted with the protection of rights or distribution of its opportuniti «rs»_ All uses can be coordinated and the fullest benefits realized °»it I>.y their centralized control.

A fg « :gjillar view was voiced by the President in a telegram to c- C. •ZMT'eague, of date October 7, 1924, in which he said:

•>:• io.1 purposes of the works to be constructed * • * Inro fundamental questions which must always remain In public that is, flood control and the provision of Immense water necessary to hold the seasonal and annual flow so as to provide large reclamation possibilities In both California and Arizona. considerations seem to me to dominate all others and to point • to the Federal Government ns the agency to undertake the of a great dam at Boulder Canyon or some other suitable . * * • I should, Indeed, look with great pride on the conIon of this, one of our greatest national improvements within my ».<l«zn.lnietratlon. (Hearings on S, 727, 68th Cong., 2d seas, p. 13.)

Tlile* -thought was also clearly expressed by the late President HardIns In the same manuscript of an address which he expected to deliver » Diego. He was prevented from delivering this address by He said:

a gigantic operation may not be accomplished within the reof tjie iocal communities. It Is my view, and I believe the view of a large part of our people, that the initial capital Installation of these engineering works must be provided by rican people as a whole, and truly the American people as a i -. M.-iii from such Investment. The addition to our national of go productive a unit benefits not alone the local community create- cX by it but also, directly and indirectly, our entire national life. : i 'him. Indeed, be proud If during my administration I could par



in the inauguration of this great project by affixing my signathe proper legislation by Congress through which it might be I. I should feel that I had some small part In the many thouflne American bomes that would spring forth from the desert ''!<• course of my lifetime as the result of such an act, and in '• -'i -ion of these fine foundations of our American people." H. R. 2903, 68th Cong., 1st sess., pp. 1884, 1885.)

•''lews of the advisory committee to the Secretary of the r on this subject are as follows: • *^-ARi'iELD. The jurisdiction of a single State In not brond enough to deal w i th ali tnc proDiems that necessarily arise In the construction r1.it **,eT^f*Cipment of such a project as that under consideration. The alone has the power properly to safeguard the Interest of all those who may be affected by such a major developis. furthermore, the only political agency that can deal with the international questions arising with Mexico.

States is not only the political sovereign whose jurlsdlcenough to deal with all the phases of the problem, but it the largest landowner along the bed of the Colorado. Hence "theory of the use of water Is adopted in any particular use of the public domain in that State can only be obtained rressional act, and Congress may impose in such act whatever it deems wise.

Emerson. The construction and operation of the described logical nnd, in some phases, even a necessary undertaking ^^i«?ral Government for the following reasons: International situation applying to the river, control as a national problem.

of land as an accepted Government activity, titude of project and of various interests Involved. Scrugham. With all of tlie above factors in mind, it appears t*roper nnd practicable for the Federal Government to undertake : step In river development, which is the construction of an

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adequate dam and reservoir for flood and silt control, reimbursing Itself for the costs from sales of stored water and the large quantities of power which can be Incidentally generated. Future developments of the river by private or municipal enterprise will suffer no Interference therefrom.


After many requests by the communities in the lower Colorado River Basin for relief, Congress on May 18, 1920, passed, the so-called Kinkald Act, directing the Secretary of the Interior to make an investigation of the problems of the lower Colorado and report back to Congress his recommendations as to the proper plan of development An initial appropriation of $20,000 was made. As investigations proceeded this was supplemented by contributions from the Imperial irrigation district; Coachella Valley; Palo Verde Valley, Ariz.; Los Angeles; Pasadena; and other interested communities, aggregating $171,000, which, with subsequent appropriations by Congress, made a total of approximately $400,000.

A preliminary report was completed in the early part of 1921, public hearings on this were had by the Secretary of the Interior, and on February 28, 1922, his final report, recommending in substance the project here authorized, was transmitted to Congress. The report is published as Senate Document No. 142, Sixty-seventh Congress, second session.

Bills were introduced in both Houses to carry out the recommendations of the report, and hearings were had.

Passage of legislation (the forerunner of the present bill) was recommended by the Interior Department in a communication to the House Committee on Irrigation on June 14, 1922. (Hearings on H. R. 11449, 67th Cong., 2d sess., p. 4.)

It was again urged by the department in a communication to the House committee on March 17, 1924. (Hearings on H. R. 2903, 68th Cong., 1st sess., p. 818.)

The project was favorably reported on by engineers of the Reclamation Service in February, 1924, in a voluminous report which has been before this committee and considered by it, but which has not been published. This report contains a wealth of technical data on irrigable areas, various plans of development of the river, cost estimates, and similar data.

On January 12, 1926, the Interior Department again recommended the project in a report to which reference Is herein frequently made. (Hearings on S. Res. 320, 69th Cong., 1st sess., p. 867.)

On December 6 last the President again gave his approval of the project, and on January 4, 1928, the Secretary of the Interior, in his report to this committee, approved the bill under consideration and recommended the development.

The financial plan contained in the bill was prepared by the Secretary of the Treasury. (Report to House committee.)

This summary, by no means complete, of the various reports and recommendation upon this project indicates the great care and long study which it has received from various Government departments and agencies and from congressional committees. It is a result of all these that the project has taken its present form.


The Secretary of the Interior in his report of January 12, 1926, gives his estimate of the financial working of the project, as follows:

Capital investment Estimated cost for—

26,000,000 acre-feet reservoir $41, 500, 000

1.000,000-horsepower development 31, 500, 000

The ail-American canal 31, 000,000

Interest during construction on above, 5 years at 4

per cent 21, 000, 000

Total 125, 000, 000

Annual operation
Estimated gross revenues from—

Sale 3, 600,000,000 kilowatt-hours power at three-
tenths cent 10,800,000

Storage and delivery of water for irrigation nnd do

mesllc purposes 1,500.000

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We have on our consulting staff Mr. A. J. \Viley and Mr. Louts Hill, and we have consulted them regularly In reference to this whole problem. We have bad several engineering board meetings to consider the various phases of the problem, especially in reference to types of (lama and methods of construction and cost of all that sort of thing. They were outside of our regular engineering force.

Asked about the engineers in his organization, he stated:

Mr. Walker Young, who is present to-day, has had charge of the investigations in Boulder Canyon for about three and a half years. Mr. Young had more to do than anybody else in the actual working out of the detailed designs and estimates, but be at all times had the advice of our chief designing engineer, Mr. J. I,. Savage, whose headquarters are now in Denver, and also of the whole designing force of that office.


Mr. Savage has under his charge about 25 or 30 engineers of all kinds. In addition to that, we have had the assistance of Mr. Gaylord, who was until very recently our chief electrical engineer, and his assistants, and Mr. Dibble and his assistants. In the study of the water supply, the irrigable areas, and the control of the river for flood or for power purposes Mr. Dcbbler, who is here to-day, has made most of those studies.

• *•*•*•

We had Mr. Ransome, a geologist of the Geological Survey, make a very exhaustive geologic examination and report on the Boulder Canyon reservoir and dam site, and Mr. Jenison, of the Geological Survey, also assisted him. The Bureau of Standards lias done a lot of work for the service in testing materials for construction. There is another man that I forgot to mention, a very valuable engineer and geologist, Mr. Homer Hamlin. The most work that has been done, perhaps, was done by Mr. Arthur P. Davis while he was the director of the service. Mr. James Munn, who wag formerly a contractor and is, perhaps, one of the best construction men in the country—we have had bis advice, especially in reference to unit costs that we have used in the estimates.

Concerning the advisory board, composed of Mr. Wiley and Mr. Hill, he said:

We have considered with them each step that we have taken as it came up and it has had their approval. (Bearings on B. R. 2903, 68th Cong., 1st seas., pp. 741-743.)

Governor Scrugbum, in his report to the Secretary of the Interior, said:

In so far as engineering experience and human intelligence can be depended upon, the estimates are reliable.

Doctor Durand, iu his report to the secretary, also stated: The program of construction as proposed is the result of most careful study on the part of eminent and experienced engineers and has further had the benefit of serious and extended examinations and criticisms on the part of eminent engineers in civilian life. As the result of this examination and criticism it seems a fair conclusion that the plan as proposed embodies the elements best calculated to Insure a successful program of construction, and that so far as human foresight and sound engineering judgment can provide the plan should carry through without serious modification or delay.

******* The general conclusion is therefore that there is ground for anticipating a construction cost of the canal at a somewhat lower figure than the $30.000,000 estimated in the report of 1919; or otherwise If the general estimate be still held at $30.000,000, It would imply a margin for contingencies or for unknown or unexpected conditions greater than would normally be allowed for any such piece of work.


Not only does the bill specific-ally require the complete prefinancing of the project, but the; nature of the agencies which will underwrite the cost are such that there will never bo any question of the prompt and businesslike meeting of all financial obligations. These agencies will be of established solvency. The Imperial irrigation district, an established going district, will be the largest contractor for irrigation water. Cities with an assessed valuation of over a billion dollars will contract for the storage of domestic water and for power to pump this water to an elevation of some 1,300 feet. Tower, the great financial asset of the project, will be contracted for with such applicants as the States of Nevada and Arizona, private utilities like the Southern California Edison Co., and cities like Los Angeles% Pasadena, Glendale, and Riverside. Those agencies are announced applicants for power. Their contracts will be good.

Air. Garfield, special adviser, reported to the Secretary of the Interior as follows:

I have examined the reports and estimates regarding the cost of power development and the probable revenue to be derived therefrom. I am satisfied that results of such construction would enable the Government to repay its entire expenditures over and above those allocated to the water users within a period of 40 to 50 years.


Besides numerous Indorsements of State organizations and counties, cities, and other organizations of more or less local nature, including the Boulder Dam Association, an organization composed of some 200 public bodies in California, Nevada, and Arizona, it has been indorsed by the following national organizations: National Associations of Real Estate Boards, American Legion, National United Spanish War Veterans, American Federation of Labor, and the American Farm Bureau Federation. The latter organization reaffirmed its approval at its recent national convention.

Part III.—Colorado River CompactApportionment Of Waxkbb Between Tub Uppeb And Lower Basins

In 1920 Congress, by the Kinkaid Act, directed an Investigation of the lower Colorado River. This Indicated the serious purpose of the Federal Government to proceed with the project for the protection and development of the lower basin. As works on the lower river would create permanent water rights, a movement was started by the States in the upper basin to secure by agreement, assurances from the lower-basin States that the upi>cr States would forever have the right to the use of an equitable portion of the waters of the Colorado River, notwithstanding an earlier development and prior use of the water in the lower basin.

Commissioners were appointed by tho seven States to negotiate an interstate treaty or compact. The Hon. Herbert Hoover was named to represent the Federal Government. Various conferences were held and finally on November 24, 1922, at Santa Fe, N. Mex., an agreement or compact was signed, dividing the waters of the river, not amongst the States but between the upper and lower basin States, the upper-basin States being Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and the lower-basin States being Arizona, California, and Nevada.

Early in 1923 the legislatures of all of these States, except Arizona, ratified this compact. Arizona has thus far refused to ratify.

In 1925 a six-State ratification of the compact was suggested by States in the upper basin for the purpose of making the compact effective without Arizona. With Arizona out of the compact, however, it followed that California's approval on this new basis effectively made her the guarantor of the obligation of the whole lower basin. Under this plan any encroachment by Arizona upon the water allotted to the upper-basin States would have to be made up by California. With Arizona refusing to agree to any limitations upon her use of the water of the river, California was forced to take the position that she could not safely assume this new and additional obligation for the benefit of the upper States without assurance of large storage and that her assent to the compact should therefore become effective only upon this assurance of large storage by Congress.

With this storage there will be water for all, and upon its authorization by Congress California's ratification becomes effective upon a six-State basis. With assurances of storage, California has offered to ratify the compact unconditionally and waive the provision requiring approval by any specific number of States. Since California is the place where the upper-basin States fear the creation of new and enlarged water rights, her unconditional ratification of tlie compact, together with the protective provisions contained in the bill, which provisions wore written by the upper-basin States themselves and included at their special request, afford proper and adequate protection to the upper basin.

Secretary Work in his report on this bill says:

The provisions relating to the Colorado River compact appear well conceived and I believe are suBcient to afford the necessary protection to all States involved.

The compact is satisfactory to six of the seven States affected. Arizona alone has continued to withhold her approval. More than five years have been consumed in the effort to satisfy Arizona and obtain her ratification, thus making it unanimous. The emnimct was signed by her commissioner, and at one time lacked only one vole of having the approval of her legislature-. It is not thought that Arizona would be injured by its terms.

This development has been much needed for a long time. It has been before Congress continuously since 1921. but has been delayed in the hope of full agreement among the States. Every possible effort seems to have been nmde. Further delay is not justified. As said by Mr. Iloovcr before this committee more than two years ago:

I have felt that the public interests of the people involved is so great that the whole of this enormous work should not be held up because of this last remaining fraction of opposition.

The upper basin is protected under the bill. The upper-basin States have physical control of more than 80 per cent of all of the water of the Colorado River system; therefore, if California is bound by the terms of the compact on any basis, the upper basin is fully protected. Necessarily, before any State in the upper basin could be disturbed in her use of water, a lower basin State would be obliged to be a moving party through the courts. With California bound by the compact, they would simply transfer their defense to that State, and California would be obliged to look to their protection. With these works constructed and owned and operated by the Government and since the United States is the most considerable owner of lands adjacent to the river through its entire length, including its tributaries, the United States is in position to physically enforce such terms and conditions upon the use of the water as it may determine upon. This bill expressly approves the compact and assents to all of its terms so far as the United States is concerned. The representatives of the upper basin States have prepared and submitted numerous protective devices for their own benefit; every one of which has been incorporated in the bill. These amendments not only include the approval by the United States, but subjects the United States and each and every agency thereof to its terms. Not only that, but requires the Secretary of the Interior in the construction and operation of the project to conform to all of the terms and conditions of the compact, and inasmuch as no rights can be acquired in the project except by contract, as specifically required in the bill, this provision is very effective. But, in addition to that, all patents, grants, concessions, easements, rights of way, or other evidence of rights from the United States are impressed with all of the provisions of the compact as a matter of law and many other safeguards are incorporated for their benefit. Nothing further has been suggested and nothing further has been thought of which can add to the protection of the upper basin States. It is thought that their protection is complete. The passage of the bill, it is thought, will very early make the compact effective and settle an interstate controversy of long standing. Any further delay will almost inevitably lead to an abandonment of the interstate compact as a method of settling rights to the waters of the river and compel resort to other methods and processes which, under the circumstances, would be highly unfortunate. While the project here authorized is vital to many sections in the lower basin, the bill is no less important to upper basin States. By giving congressional approval to the compact, these States are assured in perpetuity water rights, the value of which can not be overestimated. It is a mistake to think of this bill as one merely for the benefit of California or Nevada or Arizona. By “enthroning the Colorado River compact,” it assures to the States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming the water rights so essential to their future. The views of Mr. Garfield in his report on the development said as follows:

Many legal questions have been raised dealing with powers of the several States through which the Colorado River runs : The question of whether the Colorado is subject to ownership by the State, whether the doctrine of beneficial use of riparian rights should govern, and whether Congress has the power to allocate water between the various States. Many of the discussions on those points fail to take into consideration the practical questions which I have attempted to outline. The purpose of the seven-State compact was to settle by agreement the conflicting opinions expressed on many of the legal points to which reference is made. It is unfortunate that the compact has not been ratified ; on the other hand, if it be ratified there will still be questions concerning which individuals will disagree and the determination of which can only be effected through the Federal courts.

The decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States on many questions involved are numerous and with all of which you are thoroughly familiar. I think for the purpose of this report there is no need to refer to any of those decisions. Their general effect conclusively establishes the right of Congress to do that which is suggested in the construction and development of the Boulder Dam.

The seven-State compact was evolved for the purpose of compromising the differences of opinion which have arisen between the people of the various States regarding the development of the Colorado. It is unfortunate that the compact has not been ratified by all the States, but failure of ratification does not prevent the Federal Government from going forward with the construction if Congress so decides. It is also true that no single State could, either directly or indirectly through a corporation created within its jurisdiction, proceed with the development

PART IV. Flood Cox'TRor,

Throughout all the years of hearings on this development there has been expressed by all witnesses who have appeared before the committee an absolute unanimity of views respecting the existence of flood danger in the lower Colorado River, the urgent need for quick action, and that large storage up the river is the only permanent solution of the flood problem. There has also been a like unanimity of opinion that the construction of the dam and storage at Boulder or Black Canyon, as here authorized, would furnish as complete a solution of the flood danger of the river as could possibly be accomplished.

This unanimity of sentiment was to be expected in view of the physical characteristics of the river, and, particularly, in view of the physical characteristics and situation of Imperial Valley in respect to the Colorado. Here is a great valley, with 450,000 acres of irrigated farms and with populous cities, lying in a great depression or sink from 100 to 300 feet below the channel of the river. The slope toward the valley is much greater than the slope toward the Gulf. Of course, the river at any flood time may break from its shifting and uncertain channel and turn into the valley. The flooding of Imperial Valley would not be like the flooding of other sections, where property damage and perhaps loss of life result, but where soon the water subsides. If the Colorado once breaks into the valley and is not returned to its channel, it means its permanent inundation, there being no outlet for the water. The danger, ever present, of a great flood, has led every responsible Government official who has ever studied the situation to promptly and earnestly recommend immediate steps to remove the danger of such a catastrophe.


Efforts toward the protection of Imperial Valley have been made through the construction of levees, with only partial success. In 1905 the river broke into Imperial Valley, and it took two years of heroic efforts and great expense to return the river to its channel toward the Gulf. The United States then expended approximately $1,000,000 in building what was known as Ockerson Levee in Mexico. Hardly was this levee completed until it was washed away.

The river, which theretofore had been flowing almost due southward along the foot of a plateau in Arizona and Mexico, turned westward toward the Volcano Lake region, still in Mexican territory, but in a lower depression on the Delta. The river was kept in this course by an extensive levee system built by the people of Imperial Valley. Gradually, however, this depression filled up. The Imperial irrigation district then, at an expense of approximately $700,000, directed the river through what is known as the Pescadero Cut into a triangular depression lying between the old river channel on the east and the Volcano Lake region on the north and west. This is the one remaining depression on the surface of this delta into Which the river can be directed.

The Imperial irrigation district is compelled to maintain a large and expensive organization for the building and maintenance of levees in Mexico. It has built 78 miles of these levees. The district has 60 miles of railroad, trains of dump cars, and other expensive equipment for keeping these levees, which are ever being undermined and destroyed when the river is in flood.

silt deposits aggravate Flood DANGER

Reference has already been made to the fact that the Colorado deposits below Yuma yearly more than 100,000 acre-feet of silt. The flood danger from the river is greatly aggravated by this silt, for it was the silt deposit that built the deltaic ridge on which the river now flows, filled the old channel of the river, and later filled the channel toward Volcano Lake. Indeed, any depression which the river finds in which to flow is quickly filled with silt.

Estimates differ as to how long it will take the river to fill up the Pescadero depression, through which it is now flowing. Some say 8 years, some say 20 years. No one knows for certainty. All that is known is that within a comparatively short time it will be filled.

The situation thus adverted to was excellently described by Mr. A. P. Davis, former director of the Reclamation Service, as follows:

In 1920 the situation became so critical that the district undertook at great expense to make a cut from the Bee River Channel to the Pescadero and succeeded in diverting the river into that channel, where it now flows. We now have the condition of relatively high land along the Bee Channel and the levee on the north, running westward to Volcano Lake. We have another ridge which the river followed for a long time and built high, running nearly south from Yuma to the Gulf of California. Between these is a triangular tract which is lower than either, traversed by the Pescadero, in which the river is

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