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is known as the Hanlon Heading, where the water is diverted into the Imperial Canal. That dam being close to the head of our project constitutes a very, very grave menace indeed to all of our lands. You will understand that the only salvation that we have from the sudden rise of the Colorado River lies in the washing out of the bed of the river and lowering it sufficiently to carry the floods that come down very suddenly, and when the Colorado River and the Gila River, which enters the Colorado at Yuma, both rise at the same time, it makes a river which is a very great menace to us and which we have been protected against by the construction of levees, but with the construction of levees we still would be in grave danger if there is no means of the river dredging itself out quickly and thoroughly and to a very great depth. Now, the weir dam that has been constructed several times—a great many times—in the river opposite our project is built of rock. That has been constructed year after year, time after time, until there has come to be almost a solid, permanent dam. We very seriously doubt whether it is practical to ever entirely remove it or not, and even if it is practical to entirely remove it, it will not be if the additions to it were permitted very many times longer. We objected to the construction of these dams from the standpoint of self-preservation from their inception, but were really not con. sulted in the matter, and the dams were constructed without taking our protests into serious consideration, until we felt it necessary to take the bull by the horns and secure a temporary injunction restraining the Imperial irrigation district from constructing these dams, and since we did that the Imperial irrigation district has been consulting with us in the matter of the construction of the dams, and we have year by year, as a matter of friendship and as a matter of neighborliness and latterly as a matter of the necessities of the Nation, consented to the construction of that dam under certain conditions, providing for its removal. Now, it is a matter of self-preservation with us, gentlemen. It is just like if a man had a gun on you and you were in grave danger of losing your life, you would not hesitate to take his life. We have felt very much that way about it. If that dam is permitted to stay in there, it is a question of our life, and that is not an extravagant statemen, for it is borne out by every engineer, I believe, except the engineers of the Imperial irrigation district, and we don't feel that there is any doubt but what the menace is a very serious one and one that can not be exaggerated. If the Imperial irrigation district can find a means of constructing a canal and taking their water out of the river at Laguna Dam, which is the only available point, it will remove the necessity for that weir dam, and will in that way solve the problem that I speak of. Outside of that particular proposition, the Yuma County Water Users' Association has no desire at all with respect to the Imperial irrigation district taking its water at Laguna Dam. We would very much rather they would not do it. There are objections that will accrue to our project in the event of their taking the water at Laguna Dam, but we do not consider them as great as the objection of constantly fighting over the matter of the weir. That is why we feel very much interested in this project, in this bill under proper terms and condi
tions. I think there are two or three amendments that should be made—not from the standpoint of governmental policy, because I don't feel that we are here for the purpose of discussing that, but from the standpoint of the rights and interests of the water users under the Yuma project.
The first of those amendments relates to the recognition in the bill of the contract which was entered into between the Secretary of the Interior and the Imperial irrigation district, and which I understand has been recommended by the Secretary of the Interior. That was the contract that was entered into after thorough discussion, was agreed upon by all parties, and as it is very vital to the protection of our rights and interests we think it should be formally recognized in this bill to remove any uncertainty or any uneasiness.
Mr. TAYLOR. Has that contract been put into the record ? Mr. Swing. Yes. Mr. WINSOR. We think also that there should be definite provision for water storage on the upper reaches of the Colorado River. We feel that we have a direct interest in that in this way: Despite the fact that our rights to the waters of the Colorado River, as between the Yuma project and the Imperial irrigation district, are set forth in the contract to which I have alluded, and the amount of water to which we are entitled is easily determinable. Nevertheless, my observation has been through all of the years that I have been in the arid West that no number of contracts and no number of agreements, no number of understandings take the place of plenty of water. When the time comes that there is a shortage of water there inevitably arises a contest, contracts or agreements to the contrary notwithstanding. We feel, although it is not entirely in accord with the views of some of those who have testified—we don't believe there is any more water than enough for the amount of land that is now under cultivation at the low stages of the river.
Mr. HUDSPETH. You mean without a reservoir ?
Mr. WINSOR. Without water storage on the Colorado River. To remove any question of controversy between the two sides of the river and to remove any danger of injustice to those who buy lands and buy water under the two projects, we believe that it is vitally important that there should be a provision made for water storage. I believe also, as has been suggested by—I forget which of the members of the committee, but I remember hearing it suggested—it has been suggested that the Secretary of the Interior should be authorized to fix the area which may be safely watered by the water of the river without storage.
I believe that that is vital, and I want to emphasize the fact that great danger, in my opinion, will exist in the plan which has been suggested of permitting the growing of crops during a part of the year. I have seen that tried, and I have never yet seen it fail of contests and quarrels, and many times in worse than quarrels—in fights. You once put a man on land, even if he has no assurance of water the entire year, and when he sees his neighbors making great profits by growing certain crops the temptation is inevitable for him profits by growing certain crops the temptation is inevitable for him very much abused if he doesn't get the water with which to do it,
and you create a condition that in the long run will be a very hazardous one, in my opinion. Now, we have no interest in such amendments as those, as I say, except that we believe that they run to the amicable carrying out of the provisions of the contract which has been entered into. We are satisfied that that contract—we are perfectly satisfied that the amount of water adjudged to us will be sufficient for our purposes, but even in the face of the contract if there is not water enough for all we are going to find ourselves confronted by lawsuits and controversies and troubles of different kinds. That is why we feel justified in dwelling somewhat upon that matter. Mr. HUDSPETH. Now, Senator, you state that you don’t believe that there is sufficient water for both propositions at this time. What do you base that statement on? Mr. WINsor. There is sufficient water for both projects, so far as the present irrigated acreage is concerned. Mr. HUDs PETH. Then what do you base your statement on relative to future projects? Mr. WINsor. I base it on the observation that during the low periods of the year at the present time there is just about enough of water for the lands that are under cultivation. Mr. TAYLOR. Have you got all your lands under cultivation? Mr. WINsor. No, sir; we have not, and when we have them all under cultivation the margin is going to be closer than it is now. Mr. TAYLOR. You claim priority for the lands that you have under irrigation over the Imperial Valley for the lands that they have under cultivation? Mr. Swing. As a part of the price of getting the use of the Laguna Dam the Imperial Valley was required to concede to Yuma, both for the lands under cultivation and the lands not under cultivation, rior water rights up to one-fourth of the flow of the river, and the §. was instructed to divert it to you. Is that not right? Mr. WINsor. Well, Mr. Davis may state that. Mr. DAvis. May I correct that, Mr. Chairman: I am more familiar with that contract and with that provision. I think it is fair and does not give priority to either one. At a low stage or at any stage where there could be any dispute the rights are equal. One side would have one-fourth and the other side would have three-fourths. The Imperial Valley gets three-fourths of the water at low water and Yuma one-fourth, and the Secretary has the carrying out of that by the provisions of the agreement providing for the building of the Laguna Dam. #. CHAIRMAN. Will that continue to be so after the rest of the Yuma project has been reclaimed? Mr. DAvis. Yes, sir. Mr. Sw1NG. Mr. Davis, that was based upon 100,000 acres in Yuma, of which only 30,000 are under cultivation, and 400,000 in Imperial Valley, all of which is in cultivation? Mr. DAVIs. Whatever it is based upon, that is the provision of the contract. It doesn't give a priority; it gives three times as much water to Imperial Valley as to Yuma, with equal rights to that much. Mr. Sw1NG. It gives the same right to the cultivated and uncultivated land in the Yuma project.
Mr. TAYLOR. Would that contemplate, then, that the Yuma people should pay their one-fourth proportionate share of these storage facilities hereafter?
Mr. Davis. No, sir; the assumption is that the unregulated water supply of the river is sufficient for the lands now under cultivation, including the entire Yuma project that is not under cultivation. The Imperial rights are based upon use of water; the Laguna rights are based upon acts of Congress—that is, the Yuma project rights are based upon the act of Congress which authorizes diversion of that water and over which Congress has jurisdiction; therefore, the area of the Yuma project is taken as having a gilt-edged water right without storage. The area that has been cultivated under the Imperial Valley is also taken as having a gilt-edged water right equal to that of Yuma, divided in the proportions indicated in the contract, one-fourth to the Yuma project, and three-fourths to the Imperial project, with equal rights to those two.
Mr. TAYLOR. How will that apply when the Yuma project brings all the rest of their land under cultivation? Will the one-fourth be sufficient?
Mr. Davis. Yes, sir.
Mr. WINSOR. That statement is very accurate, Mr. Chairman, and I would add that the right of the Yuma project is limited again by acreage. We have the right to one-fourth of the water, or up to an amount sufficient to irrigate a limit of 120,000 acres. In no event can we get more than one-fourth of the water, and in no event can we get more than sufficient, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior, to irrigate 120,000 acres.
Mr. TAYLOR. Senator, are the Yuma people satisfied with the allotment recommended by Secretary Lane of $1,600,000 as the Imperial Valley's proportionate share that they should pay toward the construction of the dam?
Mr. Winsor. Yes, sir; they are satisfied with the contract as it , exists. I proposed at the hearing, at which the contract was being discussed, that the amount should be fixed by arriving at the exact acreage to be served on each side of the river, and the cost should be based upon the exact acreage, but the statement was made there, I believe by Mr. Davis, that. that was approximately what was being done now under the $1,600,000 price. So, that matter was dropped there and we were perfectly willing that the amount should be their exact proportion according to the acreage. I think that in the long run we would have gotten quite a bit more money in that way, but that is neither here nor there; we are satisfied.
Mr. TAYLOR. Then, your recommendation for storage to be built up the river is not necessarily to enhance the value of the Yuma water right, but is for the purpose of benefiting Imperial Valley ?
Mr. WINSOR. That and to throw around the contract that other safeguard of their being no shortage of water. I feel that if there is a shortage of water, that even our contract will meet with trouble. Whenever there is a shortage of water in the arid West, as any of you gentlemen who have had direct experience with it know, whenever that shortage exists there is trouble, no matter how many contracts you have.
Mr. TAYLOR. There is always another element to think of, and that is the Mexican people and the Mexican Government, and whatever rights they may have or claim to have down there isn't there?
Mr. WINSOR. Yes; that is a very important thing to take into consideration; for, regardless of whether they have any legal right, I should say that the chances are that they will continue to irrigate their lands by one means or another, and there should certainly be water to cover that, in my judgment.
Mr. SINNOTT. Is there any controversy between you people as to the right of the Federal Government to apportion the water?
Mr. WINSOR. No; that is absolutely in the hands of the Secretary of the Interior and it is very satisfactory. That is fixed by the contractthe terms of the contract that has been entered into.
Mr. SINNOTT. Has the statute ever been questioned among you people—the right of the Federal Government to pass such an act distributing water?
Mr. WINSOR. No.
Mr. WINSOR. No controversy at all. We are perfectly satisfied with both the law and the contract that has been entered into, and are willing to abide by it and would very much regret to see anything occur to abrogate any feature of it; not but that we could write a contract that would suit us better, but as a matter of compromise that has been agreed upon and we are entirely satisfied to abide by it, and we would feel very uneasy if anything occurred to do away with it, and it is our constant uneasiness that, of course, has brought us up here. We are interested in seeing that we are protected, and to that extent we feel that it is right that we should be.
Mr. Swing. Under the contract the diversion works and the matter of dividing water remains entirely in the hands of the Secretary of the Interior.
Mr.'WINSOR. Yes. With these changes in the bill, and such other changes relating to governmental policies as you see fit, we feel very strongly in favor of the bill. We are extremely anxious, I will say, that something be done to enable the Imperial irrigation district to get away from the construction of weir dams below their heading opposite our works as soon as possible, and they seem to be very much opposed to the idea of constructing what is known as one leg of the canal until absolute assurance is had of the construction of the allAmerican canal. I very much favor the construction of the allAmerican canal myself from the standpoint of reclamation, but from the standpoint of the project we would like to see anything done which will enable them to get a water supply elsewhere than at their present heading. And it does seem to me that if the proper provision could be made that the first leg of the canal should be constructed as soon as possible, as the necessity for the weir dam continues.
Mr. HERNANDEZ. I would like to interrupt to ask you, is the Colorado River practically the boundary line between Mexico and Arizona there?
Mr. Winsor. Yes; it is the boundary line.
Mr. HERNANDEZ. Now, these Mexican landholders will not be permitted to put their dam where it is now, and they will go below, probably?