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now flowing. It was testified here that it would take from 15 to 25 the right to complain. In other words, they have the right to years to build up this delta as high as the Bee River ridge. No one use as much water in Mexico under this contract or concession can tell even approximately, but it may be assumed that this channel, as the people in Imperial Valley use. like the Bee Channel, will begin to grow unstable in 10 or 12 years, The Boulder Dam, together with the all-American canal, though it may be possible to keep the river in its present vicinity con- makes possible the physical control of the river by our Goysiderably longer. It is certain, however, that the river will not fill ernment so that undue or unreasonable extension of the use every part of that triangle of low ground before it begins to give
of water in Mexico may be prevented and treaty rights and serious trouble.
obligations enforced. In this regard, the all-American canal is We know also that the river is now busy in its filling job and will
essential to the protection of American water rights in the continue it without cessation until it is completed. It will then become whole of the Colorado River Basin. again as threatening as it was in 1921, when Imperial Valley was fighting for its life to keep it from overtopping Volcano Lake Levee.
ALL-AMERICAN CANAL FEASIBLE As soon as we provide a large desilting reservoir we will hold back The all-American canal, as to its feasibility, cost, and economic the silt and the building process will be checked. If this is done at necessity was discussed by the special advisers to the Secretary once, we take advantage of the low areas, and with the silting process of the Interior in their recent report, as follows: checked the river channel will become relatively permanent, on low
Mr. DURAND. From the above it seems a fair conclusion that while the ground, with no tendency to leave it. Some sediment will come from
blow and drift sand will present a problem in connection with the the Gila, but it is certain that the building-up process will be made
maintenance of the canal, there seems no ground whatever for counting much slower and the menace of the river regulated in flow will be
this problem as one of serious or of controlling importance, and in no removed to a distant date.
case as likely to involve an item of expense of any serious import in If, on the contrary, the large desilting reservoir is postponed, as
connection with the operation of the canal. some people propose, the silting will continue until this basin is filled
Passing now to the question of the engineering or economic feasibility and the river again flowing on top of a ridge ready to break loose with
of the canal under (a) and (b) above, it should be noted that the any freshet and threaten Imperial Valley as it did three years ago.
entire question reduces to one of cost. There is no question whatever It is clear that the desilting reservoir must be provided quickly, and
of the engineering feasibility of the undertaking. The operations re it must be of large capacity and must form a permanent lake in which
quired are all well known and are all within the domain of present well all sediment will settle. (Hearings on H. R. 2903, 68th Cong. 1379.)
established and approved engineering practice. The section of the No estimates have been made as to what the cost would be to canal through the so-called "sand dune" district is the only part dredge an artificial channel across the delta in Mexico after of the construction regarding which any serious question under this the Pescadero depression is filled. The cost would, of course, score has been raised. be enormous, and doubtless beyond the resources of local communities. The work of so dredging and maintaining a channel
Referring to cost estimates, after discussing the basis of his
conclusions, Mr. Durand said: would also be surrounded by almost insurmountable difficulties because of being in a foreign jurisdiction, and when completed
The statement therefore seems justified that the downward trend in would be only another temporary expedient, as the river would
many of the unit prices since 1919 combined with definite improvements immediately start its work of filling it with silt.
in the mechanical equipment required for work of this character have
created a new situation with regard to the costs of such work and DAM AT BOULDER CANYON WILL TAKE CARE OF SILT
with the same margin for contingencies as assumed in the report of Almost all of the silt now being discharged by the river is 1919, would justify a downward revision of the costs as presented in picked up through and above the canyon section and above that report. Or otherwise if the estimate of cost be held the same, it Boulder Canyon. The proposed great reservoir there will pro- would imply a very considerably increased margin for contingencies or vide ample capacity for interception and storing the silt. More unforeseen factors in the undertaking. than 300 years would be required to fill the entire reservoir,
Such a reestimate has indeed been made by a consulting engineer of and this even without the construction of other dams above. In Los Angeles, Mr. C. G. Frisbie, a consulting engineer with wide expethe meantime, of course, other developments will occur further rience in work of this character and with large personal experience in up the river which will intercept large portions of silt discharge, and familiarity with the conditions in the Imperial Valley through and thus prolong indefinitely the usefulness of this reservoir. which the canal is to pass. THE EFFECT OF FLOOD DANGER
These estimates show a probable cost of about $20,000,000 as against The danger in which the Imperial Valley always stands of
the $30,000,000 of the report of 1919.
The undersigned has gone over these estimates carefully with being flooded necessarily creates a feeling of uncertainty. Prop
Mr. Frisbie and has become convinced broadly that the improvements erty values there were less than half of what the income from the property would justify. Money can be had only at excessive vating and handling the materials as well as other collateral economic
made during the past eight years in the mechanical equipment for excainterest rates, while Federal farm-loan banks refuse to lend
conditions are such as to justify the expectation of reduced unit prices money on Imperial Valley farms.
and of the construction of the canal at an over-all cost somewhat below PART V. ALL-AMERICAN CANAL
the figures originally estimated. The all-American canal is an essential part of the project. Governor EMERSON. The best solution of the situation would be the When the reclamation of Imperial Valley was first conceived construction of the all-American canal. that valley was nothing but a desert waste. There were no Governor SCRUGHAM, Economically this canal will be an advantage values, no money, and no credit. The private corporation which in that it will permit the irrigation of an additional 200,000 acres undertook the work found that by making use of an old channel by gravity, and keep the sources of water supply and transmission in Mexico water could be diverted from the river and carried entirely in the United States. Under present conditions, the fact that into this section at a relatively low cost. With water upon the main canal to the Imperial Valley is partly in Mexican territory is a these fertile lands the community developed rapidly, and it continuous source of irritation. The proposed canal itself is unwas not long until it was found that for a large community to doubtedly feasible from an engineering point of view. All operations be wholly dependent upon the good faith of a foreign govern- necessary for construction are of common practice and offer no special ment was not at all satisfactory, but to construct a canal wholly difficulties. Opponents of the project have represented that a section within the United States meant the expenditure of a large sum of the line, known as the sand dunes, would require prohibitive of money. The financing of this great undertaking by the local costs for construction and that drifting sand would quickly fill the communities would be difficult, if not impossible, under good canal. These fears do not seem to be well founded. The Suez Canal conditions, but with an unstable river and an undependable traverses similar sand dunes, and no special construction or mainwater supply the difficulties were much increased. Storage and tenance difficulties were encountered. Canals through sand hills were flood control must be had.
examined in certain localities in the United States, and no serious Early in the development of Imperial Valley it was found by troubles were reported. There has been a marked improvement in the promoters of the project that in order to make use of a excavating machinery in very recent years which will tend to cut canal through Mexican territory it was necessary to enter into the unit costs of moving yardage to figures less than estimated in the a contract with that Government whereby lands in Mexico were report of 1919 made on the subject. There appears, no doubt, but given the right to take one-half of the water passing through the canal can be constructed within the estimated sums. In the the canal. During recent years development has proceeded in matter of keeping the canal clear of drift sand, the testimony of obthat country to the extent that at the present time something servers is that there is appreciable sand movement only about 60 more than 200,000 acres of land is receiving water from the days a year, and the rate of advance of the dunes is almost negligible. canal system. This can and doubtless will under present con- A concrete road, now running through the low passes in the dunes, ditions continue to be increased year by year, and under the report very little sand accumulations, and no difficulty whatever in concession they would have the right to increase their use by keeping the road open for traffic. Even if the sand accumulations 200,000 acres before the people of Imperial Valley would have were much greater than anticipated, the lining of the sand-dune canal
section with concrete, increasing the gradient and covering the banks conservation thus effected will permit of the utilization of with vegetation, doubtless obliterate most of the difficulties.
water for a domestic supply without impinging upon irrigation Governor EMERSON. The international situation applying to the Colo- | requirements. The dam and reservoir also accomplish certain rado River is of much importance, but the construction of the de desilting processes essential to successful consummation of the scribed project need not await solution. In fact, the undertaking plan of securing domestic water supply. should prove of material assistance in solving the international problem.
PART VII. POWER Reference is made by Secretary Work's special advisers to the all-American canal report of 1919.
Power may well be described as the burden bearer of the In 1918 the Secretary of the Interior and the Imperial irri- project here authorized. gation district entered into a joint contract for a study of an
A low flood-control dam would cost approximately two-thirds all-American canal to connect the Imperial Valley with the by the Federal Treasury which could not be recovered. By pro
as much as the dam here authorized, and represents an outlay Colorado River without the necessity of going through Mexico. viding for a dam of the height here authorized the floods of the A joint board was created consisting of Dr. Elwood Mead, river will be fully conserved, irrigation uses fully protected, representing the University of California ; C. E. Grunskey, representing the Imperial irrigation district; and W. w. opportunity afforded to populous cities of the coast to secure a Schlecht, representing the United States. This board made an be made available in such amount and of such desirability as
necessary domestic water supply, and hydroelectric power will extensive study of the problems involved and recommended will
bear a major portion of the cost of the entire development. the construction of the canal. Much testimony was heard by the committee on this feature
An eager market awaits this power. Private utilities would of the project, and it is thought that the construction thereof secure a part of it. The great district contemplating a water is not only entirely feasible from engineering and economic supply will desire a very substantial part; cities like Los views, but is necessary to the immediate safeguarding and Angeles, Pasadena, Glendale, and
Riverside are applicants. protection of the water supply of the lower communities, and States contiguous to the dam will want their share. In short, to the ultimate conservation of the waters of the Colorado for at once.
there can be no doubt but that all the power will be contracted River for use in the United States.
It is not strange that this is so, for the power will be PART VI. DOMESTIC WATER SUPPLY
desirable power. According to the estimates of the Reclamation The relation of the matter of domestic water supply to the Service, if the Government builds the power plants, and the project here authorized is important. First, it assures beyond electric energy is sold at the switchboard at 3 mills per kilowattquestion of doubt the financial integrity of the project. The hour, this price will take care of all operating and maintenance largest agency, which by contract will assume the obligation expense, interest on the cost of the all-American canal, and with of reimbursing the Government for the cost of the project with revenues from sale of water insure the retirement of the entire interest, will undoubtedly be a public district comprising a investment of the Government with interest within a period of large group of cities in southern California, which will con- 25 years. tract both for storage of water at the dam, with its delivery
There will become available upon the construction of the dam at a point on the river, and also for a large block of the power 550,000 firm or constant horsepower. Conditions indicate that necessary to pump a domestic water supply to an elevation of this would be used upon a 55 per cent load factor, calling for 1,200 or 1,300 feet in order to get the water over a pass into the installation at the dam of plants with an installed capacity southern California.
of 1,000,000 horsepower. This equipment will be installed in Second, the project is so shaped that it will make possible units of approximately 100,000 horsepower. the securing of a domestic water supply. Other plans of Units can, of course, be installed as the market calls for the development tentatively suggested have not been adequate to power. this end.
Furthermore, some of the power will be available while the The coastal belt in southern California, having a population dam is in course of construction. Thus the release of this large at present of nearly 2,000,000, is fast reaching the limit of its amount of power will not come in one block but only gradually available domestic supply, and careful investigations have as it can be absorbed by the market. shown that the populous cities of this coastal plain, including
There were many indications in the testimony adduced before the city of Los Angeles, must for their own security acquire the committee that there would be considerable competition to an added source of domestic water supply, and that the Colo
secure this very desirable power. The committee has so framed rado presents the only place where this may be secured. the legislation to guard as fully as might be against this asset,
Some years ago the city of Los Angeles went to Owens Valley created by Federal initiative, being monopolized by any one and constructed a great aqueduct 240 miles in length to aug- agency. The bill contemplates that the power will be fairly ment local sources. Even this added supply is not proving and equitably distributed amongst the various agencies applysufficient for the needs of the city.
ing therefore, thus insuring the widest and fairest possible dis. Nearly three years ago that city voted a bond issue of tribution of the benefits. $2,000,000 for preliminary surveys and investigations respecting
PART VIII. AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT the securing of a supply from the Colorado River, and a large part of this money has been expended, and the work done has
The authority of the United States to undertake this necessary established the feasibility of the plan, if and provided there is construction can not be seriously questioned.
While the navigability of the Colorado River has not been large storage of the flood waters of the river. The formation of a large public district, comprising the cities tend toward the conclusion that the river is navigable as a
judicially determined evidence has been presented which would of Los Angeles, Pasadena, Glendale, Orange County cities, and such other cities as desire to join, is in process of formation matter of law. The proposed dam would improve navigation for the purpose of building the necessary aqueduct from the probably more than any other works which could be constructed. river to the coast to supply these cities with domestic water. The dam will so regulate the flow as to make the river very This aqueduct will be approximately 250 miles in length and practicable of navigation for 200 miles below and impounded cost around $150,000,000. Because of intervening mountain
water above which could easily be navigated for more than ranges it will be necessary to pump the water some 1,300 feet.
75 miles. While this will be costly, a cheap and dependable source of
The rights of the United States under the commerce clause power will not only reduce the financial burden but is neces
of the Constitution to construct works in a navigable stream to sary to make the project at all feasible.
improve navigation is settled beyond all possible question. It The amount of water required by these cities is 1,500 second is also brought to the attention of the committee that there are feet. This, of course, will not all be necessary at once, but at
two transcontinental railroads and three Federal-aid transconthese cities are growing rapidly, they must look to the future tinental highways crossing the river below the Boulder Dam and provide for their vital necessities.
site. These five interstate lines of commerce would be safeTo raise a full 1,500 second-feet to an elevation of 1,300 guarded against the possibility of destruction by floods on the feet will ultimately require approximately 350,000 firm horse- river by the construction of the proposed dam. The commerce power of electricity. This district will be an applicant for a clause of the Constitution refers to commerce by land as well contract for sufficient power at the dam to handle the necessary
as by water. pumping.
The proposed dam will provide the initial facilities for the Large storage at Boulder Canyon is ideally fitted to make it ultimate reclamation of perhaps 1,000,000 acres of public lands. possible for these cities to procure a domestic water supply. These lands are property of the United States over which the The capacity of the reservoir is sufficiently large that there may United States is sovereign. With irrigation they may ultibe obtained enough storage to protect against dry years or mately be very valuable but in their present desert state they against the upper basin States retaining all or substantially all have practically no value at all. To provide water for irrigation of the flow of the river during a period of dry years. Full storage as contemplated by the construction of the proposed dam is essential. The right of the United States to reclaim
CONCLUSION and improve its lands has long since been adjudicated.
This bill should be passed because The United States is the most considerable property owner First. Congress should no longer risk a flood catastrophe to along the lower Colorado River. Great floods may make the Imperial Valley--a catastrophe which further delay only courts. reclamation of this property impossible. The United States has Second. Reclamation possibilities in the lower basin should invested many millions of dollars in the Yuma project under be safeguarded and taken care of before it is too late. Unless the Bureau of Reclamation, including the Laguna Dam and something is done the river will be acquired for power develop17 miles of main canal in California and the great siphon under ment exclusively. Mexico is constantly building up added claims the river to the Arizona side and a hydroelectric power plant to its waters. at the cost of $250,000 on this main canal in California for the Third. The Mexican situation must be met. It is not sound benefit of the Yuma project. Only a small part of this great policy to allow a condition to continue by which that country investment has been yet repaid. A great flood would destroy may and will go on using more and more water from the these works and make impossible the repayment to the United | river, and this at the expense of existing and future irrigation States of the moneys invested. Clearly the United States is in the United States. authorized to do such works as the Congress deems necessary to Fourth. The Government should aid its people to secure protect its own property. Under this authority the Govern- their necessities in the way of domestic water supply, where it ment has already expended the sum of $2,840,000 or there- can do so, as here, without cost and as an incident in carrying abouts for the protection of the Yuma project from floods. out other Federal purposes such as river regulation and reelaThis money was expended for levees and it is estimated that the mation. annual maintenance of the same will amount to $100,000 Fifth. It will convert a natural menace into a national asset. indefinitely.
Sixth. A financial scheme is presented by which the developThe Hon. James R. Garfield, former Secretary of the Interiorment will be completely prefinanced, thus fully protecting the and special adviser to the present Secretary of the Interior, Federal Treasury and the general taxpayer. made a study of the problems involved during the summer of Seventh. It settles in large part water rights between States 1927, and in his report says:
in a sensible and practical way, substituting interstate agreeThe right of Congress to construct the proposed dam is derived from
ments for interminable litigation and controversy. Further the commerce clause of the Constitution, its control over the public delay points to the latter untoward results and the disintegradomain, its control over the navigable streams, its obligations to deal
tion of the plan of settling water rights by interstate compact. with international relations and interests, its powers under the reclama
There is submitted herewith for the information of the House tion law, and its rights as a landowner. In the exercise of those
a letter from the Secretary of the Interior addressed to me powers it may do such things as are necessary and incident to the
recommending the enactment of the legislation which was exercise of those powers. Its right to exercise those powers has been
before the House in the last Congress dated January 18, 1926, sustained by the Supreme Court of the United States.
and a letter from the Secretary to me recommending the pend* * It is urged by some that Congress is without authority to ing bill dated January 4, 1928; also a letter from the Acting authorize appropriations for the development and sale of power. I am Secretary of the Treasury dated April 5, 1926, concerning the of the opinion that this position is not sound. Such appropriations
financial provisions of the bill which was under consideration would be incidental to the main purpose of the construction of the during the last Congress; also the law of April 19, 1921, authordam and would clearly come within powers of Congress. The questionizing the appointment of commissioners to divide the waters is not academic for the reasons that the United States has already
of the Colorado River, and a copy of the Colorado River comconstructed, through the Bureau of Reclamation, a number of power
pact, signed at Santa Fe, N. Mex., November 24, 1922: plants and has sold the power for the purposes suggested in the present
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, instance, and no attack upon the exercise of that power has been
Washington, January 18, 1926. successful.
Hon. ADDISON T. SMITH,
Chairman Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation,
House of Representatives, mensurate with the great project it authorizes and the various MY DEAR MR. SMITH: I have received your letter of January 14, purposes its enactment will accomplish.
transmitting, with request for report, a copy of H. R. 6251, entitled It has undergone many changes and improvements. New "A bill to provide for the protection and development of the lower ideas have been incorporated. The financial plan was prepared Colorado River Basin.” by the Secretary of the Treasury. Provisions to settle water Instead of discussing the provisions of this bill section by section, rights on the river have come largely from the official representa- I desire to submit some suggestions regarding the policy and procedure tives of upper-basin States. Valuable suggestions have origi- to be followed in this development and the legislation required to secure nated in Federal departments having to do with the develop the desired results. It is assumed that the dam and reservoir to be ment.
created are essentially those described in a report of the Bureau of The project is an intricate one. One phase has its effect Reclamation dated February 28, 1924, which proposes a dam 550 feet upon another and apparently unrelated aspect. Each phase high and a reservoir to impound 26,000,000 acre-feet of water, and has been carefully covered by the bill without impinging upon that the all-American canal for connecting the Colorado River with any other phase.
the Imperial and Coachella Valleys is substantially the one described Approximately one-third of the bill deals with the matter of in Senate Document No. 142 and in the report of the all-American interstate water rights and the Colorado River compact, and canal board, published in 1920. approximately one-quarter of it deals with the financial fea
It is my understanding that the primary purpose of this scheme is tures. As to the administration of the project this has not
to regulate and control the flow of the river below the dam so as to been burdened with undue details. Necessarily, something must lessen the menace from floods to low-lying land below; to increase the be left to responsible administrative agencies. This has been
water supply for irrigation in seasons of drought and provide an adedone and the Secretary of the Interior, who is charged with quate water supply at all seasons of the year for household and industhe duty of financing and managing the development, is given trial uses in growing cities and towns; and to generate electric energy a reasonable leeway in arranging contracts, fixing prices, and both as a means of making this project a financially solvent undertakallocating benefits. This is illustrated in the optional provisions ing and contributing to the general prosperity of the southwestern part respecting power. The Secretary may lease the right to use
of the country. The general plan and purpose of this measure has the water at the dam or he may construct plants and sell power
my support, and I favor it being made a national undertaking, to be at the switchboard, as may seem best to him, to the end that carried out and administered by the Federal Government. he may meet the requirement of completely financing the
Interstate and international rights and interests involve the diversiproject-and this largely through the disposition of power or fied benefits from the construction of these works, the waiting necessipower rights. Fundamentals are covered. Details are appro- ties of cities for increased water supplies, the large development of priately left to be worked out by the Secretary.
latent agricultural resources, the protection of these already developed Again, Governor Emerson, in speaking to this point in his and the immense industrial benefits which may come from the producrecent report to the Secretary of the Interior, said:
tion of cheap power, which together appear to render the construction The general principles of the measure introduced in Congress and and subsequent control of these works a measure of such economic identified under the name of the Swing-Johnson bill embody a plan and social importance that no agency but the Federal Government generally satisfactory for the undertaking by the Federal Government should be intrusted with the protection of rights or distribution of its of the construction of the Black or Boulder Canyon project and the opportunities. All uses can be coordinated and the fullest benefits all-American canal. The undertaking of these constructive projects realized only by their centralized control. would be of great value and would afford solution of the major I shall therefore consider this development as including three pbysical problems now applying to the Colorado River.
(1) A dam approximately 550 feet high, creating a reservoir holding country supplies the water, all the construction cost, and all the money 26,000,000 acre-feet of water.
advanced for operation. It is unfair to California irrigators now and (2) Works for the generation of electric power.
will be even more so after the reservoir is built. (3) An all-American canal starting at Laguna Dam and delivering It is physically possible to irrigate much more than 400,000 acres water to the Imperial and Coachella Valley canals.
from this canal in Mexico. If this concession remains in force without The reservoir should be regulated primarily to safeguard the valleys any amendment and the canal continues to be used as now, the irrigated in Arizona and California, including Imperial Valley with its present area in Mexico will continue to extend. The volume needed to be extensive development from the destructive effect of large floods. diverted from the river would be more than the direct flow at the lowWater levels in the reservoir would be raised during flood periods and water season, and the area irrigated in California would be subject lowered at other times, thus equalizing the discharge of the river to ruinous uncertainties and loss. If storage is provided, a part of below and securing a regulated flow for irrigation and power. The the water for the irrigation of lands in Mexico would, under this conwater so impounded should be sold to cities requiring it for domestic cession, have to be supplied from the reservoir, as this canal would purposes and other municipal uses and to irrigation districts, like that be the only means of conveying water to the Imperial Valley, and it of the Imperial Valley. desiring a complete or supplemental water can be operated only if the terms of the Mexican concession are comsupply under the provisions of the Warren Act, payment to be made plied with. for a definite volume of water each year.
If, however, the Government of Mexico would consent to a modificaThe electric energy generated should be sold to the highest and best tion of this concession and definitely limit the volume of water to which bidders, with due regard to public interest, at the swichboard of the Mexican irrigators would be entitled, then the future use of the present power plant. Contracts should not exceed 50 years in duration. Trans- canal would be economical and desirable, a smaller high line could mission of power and its distribution to be provided by the purchasers. be built and utilized mainly for the irrigation of the higher lands of
Water supplied for domestic, industrial, or irrigation uses should be the Imperial and Coachella Valleys. Thus far no negotiations for the delivered at the dam, at points along the river agreed upon, and at modification of this concession have been made. It is not known what the terminal of the all-American canal. Prices for this water should be the attitude of the Mexican Government would be, and plans for this such as to at least repay all of the cost of operation and maintenance of development should therefore include provision for an all-American the canals and an equitable part of the operating expenses of the dam. canal as an essential part of the scheme. This, with the revenues from power, will, we believe, repay the entire The building of a unified power plant by the Federal Government in investment in this development, with 4 per cent interest.
the place of allocating power privileges, as proposed in the bill, is The money for this development should, I believe, be provided by a regarded as more efficient and cheaper. It will obviate controversies bond issue of the United States. It should be for a sum suflicient to between applicants, and long delays in their adjustment. In the end, provide for the construction of the dam, the power plant, and the all- results will, I believe, be superior to those possible under an allocation American canal. An additional sum should be included in the authori- of privileges. The area for the location of separate power sites is rezation to pay interest on bonds sold during the period of construction, stricted. Allotments would not be equal in value. Some allottees and until such time as the revenue will meet interest charges. Pro-would, therefore, have an advantage over others. It would result in viding the money for this development through a special bond issue will the creation of operation and administration controversies to be avoided obviate disturbance of the regular fiscal operations of the Government. and which a unified development will avert. It will obviate provision by the Budget for the money needed during The transmission lines for the distribution and retailing of this construction. The bonds could be sold as money would be needed. power should be financed by its purchasers. To secure the greatest Construction would extend over a period of between 5 and 10 years if economy, main transmission lines leading to different localities should work were carried on at a rate to secure the greatest efficiency.
be constructed for joint use. This plan of power development is not In the sale of water to irrigation districts and municipalities the an experiment. It has been adopted by the Government with satisfacprovisions of the reclamation act and of the Warren Act would apply. tory results in the construction of other reclamation works where the
Such an adjustment of burdens and benefits should stimulate irriga- generation of power is an incident to irrigation development. Salt tion development because of the generous terms on which water will be River, Minidoka, Lahontan, and Guernsey are illustrations. supplied and at the same time result in a considerable revenue from Section 6 provides that no part of the construction cost of the dam the water furnished for irrigation, domestic, and industrial uses. But and the appurtenant works shall be charged against any lands irrigated the money-earning feature of this development is power. The revenue by the waters of the reservoir. If the all-American canal is to be confrom the sale of power will, it is believed, alone repay the entire cost sidered as an appurtenant work, the bill should be amended. It is of these works with interest at 4 per cent.
believed that the sales of water from this canal will return not only the With this general outline of the development program favored, I cost of operation and maintenance but pay construction costs without submit comments on features of the bill which are approved and others interest, as is done on other reclamation projects. which it is believed should be modified.
All revenues from power, irrigation, and domestic water supplies The necessity for the all-American canal and the size and cost of this should be placed in a common fund and used for the payment of intercanal depend largely on whether the existing concession under which est, operating expenses, and build up a sinking fund for redeeming the water is now diverted from the Colorado River at Hanlons Ileading entire bond issue. and carried through Mexico to irrigators in the Imperial Valley can be In order to give assurance before any large expenditure is incurred modified. If it can not be, then the all-American canal becomes an that the anticipated revenues from this development will be obtained, indispensable part of this development. Under this contract or conces- the bill should contain a provision that before any bonds are issued sion the Mexican Government gave a corporation permission 1 to build and sold, and before awarding any contracts for construction, the Secreand operate a canal across Mexican territory to irrigate land in Cali- tary of the Interior shall secure the execution of contracts with irrigafornia on condition that Mexican irrigators be given, if they desire it, tion districts, municipalities, and corporations, on terms to be fixed, one-half of all the water diverted into this canal from the Colorado for the delivery of all water to be supplied for irrigation, domestic, and River. Hence the canal has to be double the capacity required to meet municipal uses, and shall obtain definite commitment for the purchase the needs of California. The river has to supply double the water of power from responsible bidders in an amount to insure a sufficient needed in California, and the rights of Mexicans to water under this return from this development to repay the money to be expended with concession grow as the irrigated area is extended in California.
interest within a period of 50 years. The canal now supplies water for the irrigation of over 400,000 acres Section 8, which provides for the distribution and use of all water in California, and irrigators in Mexico at present require water for the for irrigation, power, and otherwise, in accordance with the Colorado Irrigation of 200,000 acres. But Mexican irrigators are entitled under River compact, seems well conceived and is a necessary part of this this concession to double the volume they are now using, or for legislation. This appears to afford ample protection and assurance to enough to irrigate as many acres as are now irrigated in California. those States included in the upper division of the watershed against That is more water than the unregulated flow of the river will now the creation of a priority of right through the building of these works, supply. As the Mexican irrigators are on the upper end of the canal, which would impair in any way their right to the volume of water the pinch of scarcity, when it has come in the past or when it may guaranteed to that division in the compact. I suggest for considera. come in the future, falls first on irrigators in the United States, which tion amendment to the effect that the benefits to be derived from this
development shall be available only to those States or the citizens of 1 The Sociedad de Riego y Terrenos de la Baja California S. A. is those States which have ratified the compact. authorized to carry through the canal which it has built in Mexican territory, and through other canals that it may build, if convenient,
I suggest the amendment of section 9 as follows: In line 1, page 11, water to an amount of 284 cubic meters (10,000 cubic feet) per second strike out the words “ the proportionate share" and insert in lieu from the waters taken from the Colorado River in territory of the thereof the words “an equitable share in accordance with the benefits United States by the California Development Co., and which waters this company has ceded to the Sociedad de Riego y Terrenos de la Baja received.” After the word "lands” in line 15 insert “ subject, howCalifornia S. A. It is also authorized to carry to the lands of the ever, to the provisions of subsection C of section 4, act of December 5, United States the water with the exception of that mentioned in the 1924 (43 Stat. 702)." The first amendment suggested is designed to following article. From the water mentioned in the foregoing article enough shall be
avoid the necessity of fixing a flat-rate charge without regard to the used to irrigate the lands susceptible of irrigation in Lower California classification or quality of the land. Experience has shown that a flatwith the water carried through the canal or canals, without in any case
rate charge is undesirable in some cases. The second amendment I the amount of water used exceeding one-half of the volume of water passing through said canals.
believe of prime importance. If soldiers and sailors are to be given a preference, experience has shown that provision should be made for February 28, 1924, which proposes the construction of a dam subselection. This is desirable for the protection of all prospective entry, stantially 550 feet high and a reservoir to impound 26,000,000 acremen, soldiers, and sailors, as well as civilians.
feet of water. The present bill provides for construction of a reserSince section' 1 provides for the building of a dam either at Black voir with a capacity of not less than 20,000,000 acre-feet. Canyon or Boulder Canyon, I suggest that line 11, section 10, be The all-American canal for connecting the Colorado River with the amended so as to designate the subfund there mentioned as the Imperial and Coachella Valleys, the construction of which is pro" Colorado River dam fund," which would be applicable in either vided for, is substantially the one described in Senate Document No. case. The present designation might possibly prove a misnomer. I 142 and in the report of the All-American Canal Board published in suggest the following proyiso be inserted at the end of section 10 of 1920. the bill :
It is my understanding that the primary purpose of this scheme is “ Provided, however, That no work shall be begun and no moneys to regulate and control the flow of the river below the dam, so as to expended on or in connection with the works or structures provided lessen the menace from floods to low-lying land below, to increase for in this act until the respective legislatures of at least six of the water supply for irrigation in seasons of drought, and provide the signatory States mentioned in section 13 hereof shall have approved an adequate water supply at all seasons of the year for household the Colorado River compact mentioned in said section 13 and shall have and industrial uses in growing cities and towns, and to generate consented to a waiver of the provision of the first paragraph of article electric energy both as a means of making this project a financially 11 of said compact making the same binding and obligatory when it solvent undertaking, and contributing to the general prosperity of the shall have been approved by the legislatures of each of the seven southwestern part of the country. The general plan and purpose of signatory States, and until the President, by public proclamation, shall this measure have my support, and I favor its being made a national have declared that the said compact has been approved by and become undertaking, to be carried out and administered by the Federal binding and obligatory upon at least six of the signatory States." Government.
An approximate estimate of costs, operating expenses, and income The settlement of interstate and international problems growing out leaves no question as to the ultimate solvency of this undertaking if of the use of this river will be promoted by the construction of these carried out along the lines proposes. The main source of revenue will works. It will give a more definite basis for negotiations of the Interbe power, and the rate assumed is lower than the wholesale prices now national Water Commission appointed by authority of the last Congress being paid in the West. Those of which we have information range in formulating the basis of a treaty with Mexico. The diversified from 34 to 8 mills per kilowatt-hour, measured at the switchboard. benefits and the new rights to be created include the necessities of cities As the largest consumers of this power would be distant, a low for increased water supply, the large development of latent agricultural figure of 3 mills per kilowatt-hour at the switchboard has been assumed resources, the protection of those already developed, and the industrial in the estimates which follow :
benefits which may come from the production of cheap power. These Colorado River development-Boulder Canyon Reservoir, all-American factors appear to render the construction and subsequent control of canal
these works a measure of such economic and social importance that no CAPITAL INVESTMENT
agency other than the Federal Government should be intrusted with the Estimated cost for
protection of rights or distribution of its opportunities. All uses can be 26,000,000-acre-foot reservoir..
$41, 500, 000 1,000,000-horsepower development.
31, 500, 000
coordinated and the fullest benefits realized only by their centralized The all-American canal.
31, 000, 000 national control. Interest during construction on above, 5 years, at
I shall therefore consider this development as including three features : 4 per cent.
21, 000, 000
(1) A dam approximately 550 feet high creating a reservoir holding Total
125, 000, 000 not less than 20,000,000 acre-feet of water.
(2) Works for the generation of electric power. ANNUAL OPERATION
(3) An all-American canal starting at Laguna Dam and delivering Estimated gross revenues fromSale 3.6 billion kilowatt-hours power at 3/10 cent_-- 10, 800, 000
water to the Imperial and Coachella Valley Canals. Storage and delivery of water for irrigation and do
The reservoir should be regulated, primarily to safeguard the valleys mestic purposes--
1,500,000 in Arizona and California, including Imperial Valley with its present Total.-----
extensive development, from the destructive effect of large floods, Water
levels in the reservoir would be raised during flood periods and lowered Estimated fixed annual charges for
at other times, thus equalizing the discharge of the river below and Operation and maintenance, storage and power
700, 000 Operation and maintenance, all-American canal.
securing a regulated flow for irrigation and power. The water so imInterest on $125,000,000, at 4 per
5, 000, 000 pounded should be sold to cities requiring it for domestic purposes and Total ---
other municipal uses and to irrigation districts, like that of the Imperial
6, 200,000 Valley, desiring a complete or supplemental water supply under the Estimated annual surplus, $6,100,000, or thought to be suficient to provisions of the Warren Act, payment to be made for a definite volume repay the entire cost in 25 years.
of water each year. The height of this dam as fixed will not prevent the construction of The plan incorporated in the bill for power development is approved. the proposed dams at Diamond Creek or Bridge Canyon. The approval The plan of financing set out in sections 2 and 3 of the bill seems of this project should open the way for other development and en- sound. courage the construction of projects above this dam for development The all-American canal is an essential part of the plan. It will enable of irrigation, power, or other purposes.
the Government to distribute its stored water effectively and to reach Although the difficulties of construction and magnitude of the pro- by gravity a large area of land that could otherwise be served only posed structure compared with any other for similar purposes are by pumping. If a satisfactory agreement could be reached with Mexico unprecedented, assuming that it is a feasible engineering possibility, for operation of the existing main canal, it might be possible to defer the Reclamation Bureau of the Department of the Interior as now for a time the construction of the all-American canal, but legislative organized, with its present commissioner, is competent to construct the authority for its construction is a necessary feature of this legislation. works contemplated in S. 1868.
The provisions relating to the Colorado River compact appear well With the amendments suggested, I recommend the favorable consid-conceired, and I believe are sufficient to afford the necessary protection eration of this bill by Congress.
to all States involved. Respectfully submitted.
It is estimated by the engineers that the sum of $125,000,000 is HUBERT WORK. sufficient to cover construction cost and operating expenses and to
finance the project on the plan stated in the bill. There is no reason REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR ON H. R. 5773
to question the ultimate solvency of this undertaking if carried out DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
along the lines proposed.
Washington, January 4, 1928. The height of this dam as fixed will not prevent the construction of Hon. ADDISON T. SMITH,
the proposed dams at Diamond Creek or Bridge Canyon. The approval Chairman Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation,
of this project should open the way for other development and encourage
House of Representatives. the construction of projects above this dam for development of irrigaMY DEAR MR. SMITH: I have letter from the clerk of your committee tion, power, or other purposes. of December 9, transmitting, with a request for report, a copy of H. R. This bill has been referred to the Director of the Bureau of the 5773, entitled "A bill to provide for the construction of works for the Budget, who advises that the proposed legislation would not be in protection and development of the lower Colorado River Basia, for the conflict with the financial program of the President unless the pendapproval of the Colorado River compact, and for other purposes." ing revenue bill should result in tax reduction in a materially greater
This bill is very similar in its general aspects to s. 1868, Sixty- amount than that recommended by the Secretary of the Treasury ninth Congress, and other bills for this purpose upon which the and by the President. department has heretofore reported.
For the reasons stated I recommend the favorable consideration of The dam and reservoir to be created presumably are essentially the bill. those described in the report of the Bureau of Reclamation dated
Very truly yours,