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Mr. WINsor. They couldn't put a dam there because they only have control of one side of the river. Mr. HERNANDEz. Well, they can put a dam on their side of the river. Will that endanger the Yuma project in any way? Mr. WINsor. If they were permitted to put a dam on their side, in Mexican territory, immediately below the present dam, it would endanger our lands, but we wouldn't permit that, and could prevent them from doing it because we would have control of the Arizona. side of the river. Mr. TAYLOR. They can go down farther, can't they, and put in a head gate? Mr. WINsor. They can go clear down below the Arizona line. Mr. TAYLOR. On their own ground, and if it is an engineering possibility to put in a dam, of course, they could do it. I don't know whether it is an engineering possibility or not. po CHAIRMAN. That has already been testified to by Director aV1S. Mr. DAvis. They say the slope of the country is such that they could get the water from down below. Mr. WINSOR. There is a little diversion down there now which some of the Imperial Valley gentlemen could tell you of. I think Mr. Swing made a little error to-night when he said there was no diversion down there, for there is a little diversion, I believe. Mr. BARBOUR. I would like to ask the Senator this: What is the boundary between Arizona and Mexico down below the California. line there? Is it the old river channel or the present channel? Mr. WINsor. Well, it is supposed to be wherever the channel is. That, I believe, is the law. Mr. BARBOUR. The middle of the river, the middle of the stream? Mr. WINsor. Yes, sir. I believe that is all I have to say, gentleman. I thank you. Mr. HAYDEN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I present Col. B. F. Fly, of Yuma, Ariz., who comes here with credentials from the Yuma County Commercial Club.
STATEMENT OF MR. B. F. FLY, OF YUMA, ARIZ., REPRESENTING • THE YUMA COUNTY COMMERCIAL CLUB.
Mr. FLY. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my associate, Senator Winsor, has so thoroughly covered this subject and I am in such hearty accord with everything that he said that I will not weary you with anything except to follow out a suggestion that Senator Winsor just made about a small diversion of the Lower California side of the river beyond what is now known as the Imperial irrigation district. There is a new irrigation project there, taken directly from the Colorado River at the foot of §. Mayor. That is in the State of Lower California. I was there on the 22d and 23d of last January to examine it myself. They have a very large pumping plant there; they have built a canal 25 to 30 miles long for the purpose of irrigating anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 acres of land at the head of Laguna Salada, which is shown on the map there [indicating]. That land down there is being irrigated now by the canal coming out from way up where the Hardy River comes out of Volcano Lake—you can see it on the map there [indicating]. With that exception, it would be impossible for the people on the Lower California side to obtain any water except through the Hanlon heading gates, because if you come down any farther, of course the general topography of the country follows the river, going down all the time, you couldn't build a dam down there and run water back up. There is no place for the Mexican lands to get water except at the present intake of the Imperial irrigation district. W. the people in Yuma are interested in is to do away with that Hanlon heading dam that is a constant menace to us. I, in conjunction with Senator Winsor, and our other citizens, have thought that for the last five years. Now, if they can build their all-American canal, I say God-speed them, but don't wipe Yuma off the map in the meantime by keeping that dam in there. We have them under a bond now that they must remove every particle of that dam by some month in 1921, under a $540,000 bond. If they don't remove it, we will take that $540,000 and attempt to remove the dam, but I don't think that sum will remove the tenth part of it. Mr. HUDSPETH. Will you sate where that dam is on the map? Mr. FLY. Right there [indicating]. Now, at the present time, within the last three years, they have dumped into the river there from bank to bank over 10,000 carloads of rock, and have been pretending to take it out each year. They put in a few boxes of dynamite and shoot a passageway through, and their contract has been with us to remove it in its entirety every year—not with us but with the War Department, and that privilege has been given them every year over our solemn protest. So we take the position that even the Secretary of War has no right to give anybody the right to dam up a navigable stream. - Th; CHAIRMAN. Does dynamite blow the rock clear out of the rl Vero Mr. FLY. It just scatters it. The CHAIRMAN. In the river? Mr. FLY. In the river. It just makes a solid apron from bank to bank for about 600 feet up and down the stream. The weir itself stands up as high as the banks and a little higher than our banks, raising the water last year 104 feet in order to get it in their intake, because their canal has become so silted, or so congested with silt and sand, that each year they have to keep raising this dam, and that forces the water up now 10 feet against our land for 6 miles, and it is creating seepage. The CHAIRMAN. Now, the dynamite lowers the dam? Mr. FLY. Oh, yes; it lowers it. The CHAIRMAN. And scatters the rock? Mr. FLY: Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. And puts it over more of the bed of the river? Mr. FLY. It lowers it to such an extent that they have to rebuild it in order to get the water running in their canal. Mr. TAYLOR. But they don't obliterate the rock? Mr. FLY. No. But we are very heartily in favor of this bill as amended, carrying out the suggestions of Secretary Lane and the suggestions Senator Winsor has made. I say that I and we are very heartily in favor of the bill because we hope that it will get rid of that constant menace of the Hanlon Heading Dam.
Mr. SwixG. Colonel, did you ever hear talk of violence down there between the people on both sides of the river!
Mr. Fly. Yes, sir; I have heard some of my distinguished fellow citizens of Yuma County say that if they put another rock in there they would go in there and blow it and you to Halifax.
Mr. SWING. Well, you have heard a number of them say it, haren't you?
Mr. Fly. I have heard quite-a number of them, and I have heard them say if any of the board of gorernors would rote to allow you to put another dam in there, one said he wouldn't exactly head the mob, because he was not physically strong enough, but he would follow any mob to go and put a rope around their necks and hang them if they let you put another dam in there. Now, that brings up this question-my friend Judge Swing wants
Mr. Swing (interposing). I want to show up the situation as actually acute, and I want you to show this situation.
Mr. Fly. Now, don't get away from this point, that we want that connection made with Laguna Dam for the purpose of doing away with that temporary weir. Personally we don't care a continental whether they ever build the all-American canal or not; we want to save our own lives. Their dam in 1916 caused an overflow to come through the city of Yuma, and the water was 6 feet deep in our main street caused by that dam. We don't want that to occur again.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Thomas C. Yager desires to make a statement in support of this bill on behalf of the Coachilla Valley County water district. We will now hear Mr. Yager.
STATEMENT OF MR. THOMAS C. YAGER ON BEHALF OF COA
CHELLA VALLEY COUNTY WATER DISTRICT IN SUPPORT OF H. R. 6044.
Mr. YAGER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, as a representative of the Coachella Valley County water district and of the people of the Coachella Valley I am before this committee earnestly urging the passage of bill H, R. 6044.
We are not asking in this bill that the United States, as an eleemosynary institution, appropriate or donate moneys to this territory known as the Imperial and Coachella Valleys, but we are here merely asking that you provide the machinery making it possible for the people of this country to develop a million acres of land into one of the richest producing territories the United States possesses, and upon a sound business basis, at their own expense and the expense of this land.
I say to you that it is a sound business proposition, and those engineers who are not actuated by influences other than their better judgment will openly lay their figures before this committee and tell you that it is. Let me present to you some figures. According to engineering estimates approximately 1,000,000 acres can be irrigated from gravity flow of the Colorado River, this territory being the Imperial and Coachella Valleys. There are about 584,000 acres of this land within the territorial limits of the Imperial irrigation district, and approximately 150,000 acres within the Coachella Valley County water district; there are about 400,000 acres under actual cultivation in the Imperial irrigation district, and the representatives of that district have told you what has been produced and what can be produced by this land.,
Let me tell you of Coachella Valley. Approximately 8,000 acres are being cultivated in the Coachella Valley, this land being irrigated by means of artesian and pumping wells. The water supplying these wells comes principally from the watershed of the San Jacinto and San Gorgonia Mountains, which percolate into the underground streams and flow into the basins underlying the Coachella Valley. This water supply is limited. It is conservatively estimated that the water supply of this valley is not sufficient to put more than 20,000 acres under cultivation, and even now the drain upon the wells is gradually lowering the water level from year to year.
During the season of 1918–19 the Coachella Valley, with its 8,000 acres of cultivated land, grew and produced foodstuff of a valuation of over $1,000,000, an average of over $125 per acre. Of this 8,000 acres approximately 500 acres were planted to onions, which netted a return of approximately $800 per acre. Their grape crop netted the farmers a return of over $500 per acre, and I will state that this 8,000 acres consists of several hundred acres of young date trees which are not bearing or producing, while some of the eight and nine year old trees netted the grower from $2,500 to $4,000 per acre. Early vegetable and other crops have been very favorable.
It costs the farmers to develop water for this land between $50 and $75 per acre, and from $20 to $40 per acre per year for the pumping of this water on the land, depending upon the lift, and with these expenses the farmers of the Coachella Valley have been prosperous and consider their farms sound business propositions.
And I say to you, if this 8,000 acres in the Coachella Valley will stand from $50 to $75 per acre for water development, which it has and does, then the 150,000 acres within the valley, which consists of the same soil, and has the same climatic conditions, will.
Witnesses have shown you that the Yuma Valley lands within this same territory have averaged $113 an acre production for this season, and the million acres susceptible of irrigation from the Colorado River will do the same if this committee makes it possible for them to be irrigated by these waters.
There can be no sounder business in this country than farming, for without foodstuffs this country could not exist, and is it not a sound business proposition to spend $50 per acre, or even $75 per acre for water development, when these same acres bring a net. return of over $100 per year, year after year?
Not alone is this bill introduced to make it possible for the development of a million acres of some of the most productive land in the United States, but it is for the immediate protection of the very lives and property of 60,000 people in Imperial Valley.
The people of the Coachella Valley know the situation that confronts the Imperial Valley people, and they have accurately told this committee of their predicament and have not exaggerated the dangers that confront them.
These people are between the devil and the deep sea. The Yuma people on one side and the Mexican interests on the other, and they come to you asking relief. They come to you asking relief through
a proposition which benefits American citizens and injures none, a proposition which has received the sanction of the Department of the Interior, a proposition which can be built and paid for by the people and the land of this district, a proposition the cost of which is not disproportionate to the securities furnished and which will pay back to this Government dollar for dollar with 5 per cent interest, a proposition which will not only protect the lives and property of these people, but will enable the citizens of our country to put under cultivation thousands of acres of land producing untold wealth. It has been asked if the construction of the first leg of this canal, or the connecting canal from Laguna Dam to the present canal near Hanlon Heading, would not solve the problem and be all that is necessary. My answer to this is that it will not; that to build this connecting link to the present Imperial irrigation system and not to build an all-American canal means the turning of the American waters of the Colorado River into Mexico to irrigate Mexican lands while American farmers and American lands beg you for this water. Even if such a proposition was satisfactory to the Imperial Valley, and even if such a construction would satisfy the Imperial irrigation district with its 584,000 acres, the Coachella Valley and outlying territory, with an equal number of acres of unirrigated land, could not sit idly by and see the waters of the Colorado River turned into Mexico to irrigate Mexican lands when these waters belong to the arid lands of American citizens without vigorously and emphatically protesting against such action. There is no obligation upon the United States to furnish Mexican lands with Colorado River water, and to do so when our citizens and lands cry out for this water would be to flatly ignore the interests of American farmers and the development of American lands. Gentlemen, I urge upon you the passage of this bill allowing our citizens to develop this land at their own expense and at the expense of this land, upon a sound business basis governed and controlled b the Department of the Interior with its most competent engineers. It is not a bill of appropriation, but a means by which the land of this territory will develop itself to the great interest and benefit of American citizens.
SUPPLEMENTAL STATEMENT OF IMPERIAL VALLEY COMMITTEE.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, since the conclusion of our first statement a number of questions have been asked us by different members of the committee which seem to warrant the adding of this brief statement:
WILL MEXICO RETALIATE BY LETTING THE FLOOD WATERS INTO IMPERIAL VALLEY 7
Ever since the agitation to get our water system out of Mexico began the big corporate interests south of the boundary line have “played up " the threat of Mexican retaliation. It has been their trump card in their efforts to scare the American farmers out of doing anything to get control of their own water System. In justice to the Mexicans themselves it should be stated that this threat has never been heard from any Mexican official but only from American capitalists who want to retain their domination over Imperial Valley.
When the contract between the Secretary of the Interior and the people of the valley was being voted upon, paid propagandists were sent down from Los Angeles to secure its defeat, and one of their principal arguments was the danger of retaliation. The people of Imperial Valley, who are on the ground and know the situation thoroughly, rejected this plea and ratified the contract by a vote of 5 to 2.