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Mr. LITTLE. Is that the company which is going to build this new canal you speak of?
Mr. Shaw. No; that corporation is now out of existence.
Mr. LITTLE. Was it bought up by the Imperial Valley irrigation district ?
Mr. Shaw. The California Development Co. was finally thrown into the hands of a receiver on the right and request of the Southern Pacific Co. and other heavy creditors.
The CHAIRMAN. It is all in the irrigation district, then? Mr. Shaw. Yes. In 1911 the people of the Imperial Valley, Calif., organized under the laws of the State of California the Imperial irrigation district, issued bonds to the extent of $3,500,000 and purchased at receivers' sale all properties belonging to the defunct California Development Co., including its stock in a Mexican corporation which the California Development Co. had found necessary to organize as the instrument through which to act in carrying water through Mexico.
Mr. Evans. Will you locate on the map the 400,000 acres it is proposed to reclaim?
Mr. Shaw. Yes; this colored portion around the outer edge of the valley.
The CHAIRMAN. Please name the color.
Mr. Shaw. Yes. That portion as represented by the area marked green, blue, and brown.
Mr. Evans. The old canal will not water that land, but the proposed new canal, being higher, will do so.
Mr. Shaw. Yes. I want now to get back to the diversion proposition and mention the physical difficulties that confront the Imperial irrigation district today. The river is a very uncertain factor. The bed of the river fluctuates up and down, depending upon scouring conditions, which are regulated somewhat by the amount of water that the river is carrying at different seasons of the year. To get a more permanent diversion we grabbed at straws, and two or three years ago built a new intake structure in the river about 1 mile north of our old diversion gate called the Hanlon Heading.
Mr. LITTLE. Point on the map to that.
Mr. Shaw. I would judge that to be about here [indicating], about 7,000 feet north of international boundary line.
Mr. LITTLE. Now, will you point to the temporary dam built across river at point of diversion ?
Mr. Shaw. Yes sindicating on map]. We found that the new intake gate did not solve the diversion problem. Therefore, in order to make it possible to divert water at all seasons of the year and at periods of low stages of the river, we now find we will be compelled to go to the Laguna diverting dam, a dam built across the Colorado River by the Reclamation Service.
Mr. LITTLE. The main dam you are using now?
Mr. Shaw. Yes. As near as I can point to it, Mr. Little, the temporary dam is just at this point [indicating).
Mr. LITTLE. That is where they get the water that goes into the arroyo?
that litions, which fluctuate The rin
Mr. Shaw. Yes. Understand me to say that that temporary dam across is a temporary means of diversion. We can not build at that point a permanent diversion dam for several reasons. First, there is no rock foundation at that point upon which to build a dam. Secondly, in the portion just east of the river there exists the Yuma irrigation project, which is a United States reclamation project.
Mr. LITTLE. In Mexico or in the United States ?
Mr. Shaw. In the United States. You will notice this is the Arizona-Mexico line. The boundary line between California and Mexico begins at or near this point [indicating], the point of diversion, but the boundary line between Arizona and Mexico drops about 20 miles down the river.
The CHAIRMAN. Where does that project get its water? Mr. SHAW. The Yuma project gets its water from the Laguna Dam.
Mr. LITTLE. Where does their canal run from the Laguna Dam!
Mr. Shaw. The Yuma project canal begins at the Laguna Dam on the California side of the river and runs off in a southwesterly direction, following the line of the proposed all-American canal as indicated on the map for a distance of 10 miles to siphon drop, thence takes a southeasterly direction to the siphon at Yuma, where the water is siphoned under the river and brought up on the Arizona side and distributed to the Yuma project. You will note on the map a levee which has been built around and near the river (on the Arizona side). This levee, I believe, was built by the Yuma project. Its purpose is to prevent the overflow of the Yuma Valley by the Colorado River, which overflow would destroy the project.
Now, the banks of the river from the Laguna Dam to the gulf are more or less temporary. The river meanders. At no point, I would say, does the bank of the river, or rather the elevation of the land, exceed the elevation of the water in the river by more than 15 or 20 feet.
The Yuma project has objected to our building a temporary weir for diverting water for the reason that it menaces their position. We have, however, imposed upon their good nature for several years iind built a temporary weir across the river.
Mr. LITTLE. That is a Government project, is it not?
Mr. Shaw. Yes. The temporary weir has been built with brush or by dumping rock on the sand bed of the river. I am sure you will all agree with me that a temporary brush weir is a very frail proposition to depend upon for diverting water to irrigate four or five hundred thousand acres of land whose crop production will run to $40,000,000. Yuma has objected to our building the temporary weir out of rock, which seems to be the only kind of dam that will successfully divert the water.
Mr. HAYDEN. The objection to rock construction is that if the rock remains in the bed of the river and a flood should come down it is liable to wash around the Arizona end of the dam and destroy the Yuma project.
Mr. Shaw. Yes. When a rock weir or a weir of any sort is built in the river, it is with the arrangement and understanding that it will be removed when the flood waters of the Colorado River come down. This high water occurs usually in June or July.
Mr. SINNOTT. What is the average flow of the river ?
Mr. Shaw. I am not able to answer that, but Mr. Allison, an engineer, probably can.
Mr. ALLISON. The minimum flow is about 3,000 cubic feet per second and the maximum about 200,000 cubic feet per second, and the average is about fifteen or twenty thousand cubic feet per second.
Mr. WELLING. You say you have to pull your dam out in July when the high water comes down?
Mr. Shaw. Yes.
Mr. Shaw. Every year. Then we need it immediately following the July flood in order to divert through August, September, October, the low-water months. We may not need it so badly during the winter months, however. I believe last year we were compelled to use it all the time.
Mr. WELLING. Do you not need water before July?
Mr. Shaw. The water is usually high enough in the river then, so it naturally flows into our intake canal.
Mr. WELLING. In other words, you get plenty of water until the low-water period ?
Mr. Shaw. Yes. The high-water period of the Colorado River comes along in June and July, usually. The low-water period follows immediately and the river drops very rapidly, often dropping dlown, as Mr. Allison has said, from 50,000 second-feet to six or eight thousand second-feet in the matter of a few days. Following these floods we must put this dam in and do it quickly in order to protect ourselves from a water shortage that means ruin to our crops.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask at this juncture, will that be the case if you had reservoirs provided to conserve this flood water?
Mr. SHAW. It is contemplated that through the use of these reservoirs they will be able to accumulate the waters that now come down the river at flood time.
The CHAIRMAN. What percentage of that flood water is now lost? Mr. SHAW. Out of the river carrying from 50,000 to 60,000 secondfeet, we divert in the neighborhood of 5,000 second-feet. Probably Mr. Allison can explain this better than I, he being an engineer.
Mr. ALLISON. Our present required diversion is about 6,000 cubic feet per second at this period of the year in the irrigation season. The river at this period is as high as 200,000 cubic feet per second, and sometimes as low as 15,000 or 20,000 cubic feet per second, except for a period in September, when we are still diverting 6,000 cubic feet; and the river at that period often goes as low as 4,000 cubic feet, so that there would be a period in there of a few days when there is not sufficient flow for the lands.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the period when you would conserve water which is otherwise wasted?
Mr. ALLISON. From the period beginning about May 1, and ending normally about July 30.
The CHAIRMAN. And to what extent could water be conserved in reservoirs, if they were provided ?
Mr. ALLISON. Investigations made by the United States Geological Survey and the United States Reclamation Service indicate that enough water can be conserved during this flood period to irrigate some 6,000,000 acres of land, which is far in excess of anything we
The CHAIRMAN. Six million acres ?
Mr. ALLISON. There is enough water for 6,000,000 acres of land, which can be conserved by enough dams in the upper reaches of the river to catch all the flood water.
The CHAIRMAN. That would suffice for the American side and the Mexican side also ?
Mr. ALLISON. When that conservation is made there is no longer a water problem in the basin of the Colorado River. There is water then for all the lands within the basin in all the States, according to these reports, which are susceptible of irrigation so far as climatic and physical conditions justify.
Mr. SMITH. Including the lands in Mexico?
The CHAIRMAN. That would solve any issue between Mexico and the United States.
Mr. ALLISON. Yes; that is the true, ultimate solution of the whole problem. There will be no longer any interstate difficulties or any international difficulties when that time arrives as to the water in the Colorado River.
Mr. LITTLE. Do I understand from this map before me that there are 46,000 acres of irrigable lands in the Yuma project east of the river?
Mr. Shaw. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to establish clearly how much irrigable land there is on the American side in this valley altogether of entered lands and unentered lands, and the amount being farmed now. How much irrigable land is there on the American side? Mr. LITTLE. You mean below the Laguna Dam?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; below the Laguna Dam.
The CHAIRMAN. I thought it was 900,000 acres, and that is the figure I have had in mind after conferences with your delegation, but I gained the idea from what was stated here a while ago that it was far less than that. Mr. Shaw. No.
The CHAIRMAN. And I wanted it clearly brought out that the amount was 900,000 acres, if such be the fact.
Mr. Shaw. Nine hundred thousand acres, of which 415,000 acres are now under cultivation.
The CHAIRMAN. And under this proposed scheme the aggregate amount could be reclaimed ?
Mr. Shaw. Yes.
Mr. LITTLE. Would this scheme be used to assist the Yuma project or could it be utilized to assist it?
Mr. SHAW. Yes; it would.
Mr. SINNOTT. Probably this question is one that ought to be asked of your engineer, but what would it cost to construct storage for the 6,000,000 acres which you say there is water available for?
Mr. ALLISON. That is a matter which is under investigation. Some of the department engineers have made an estimate as low as $50,000,000 for the complete conservation, but it is an indefinite question yet, because only the preliminary work has been done.
Mr. SMITH. But you have not lands to utilize all that water. Mr. WELLING. We have a half million acres in Utah that I want to serve.
Mr. ALLISON. It will make available water for 6,000,000 acres of land, and whether there is the supply of land for the water or not, I do not know.
Mr. SMITH. Where is there any great amount of land that could be irrigated if you provided all this storage ?
Mr. ALLISON. This map which you see on the wall represents the large acreage of land. No other State in the basin of the Colorado River has any such area as that, although up through Arizona there are three or four projects which constitute probably the next largest area of land in the States bordering on the Colorado River. Up through Colorado and Wyoming there are lands under irrigation now, some of them Government projects, and all of them will be enlarged by conserving this water. They are areas which I am not able to testify to, but I believe the Government engineers have found sufficient land to warrant the expenditure for conserving all the flow of the river.
Mr. LITTLE. May I ask if there is any land susceptible of irrigation below the Mexican line along the river clear to its mouth in excess of this 900,000 acres ?
Mr. Shaw. There is, I think, about 1,000,000 acres.
Mr. Shaw. Yes. On both the east and west sides of the Colorado River.
Mr. LITTLE. Would that be reached by this dam?
Mr. SMITH. Is this a Government map or was it made by private engineers ?
Mr. Shaw. This is a map of the Laguna Water Co.
Mr. LITTLE. How close to the head of the Gulf would the irrigable land extend if eventually the ideal could be obtained in the way of conserving the water?
Mr. Rose. It would be irrigated right down to within a very short distance, probably 2 or 3 miles.
Mr. LITTLE. It would open up a great, splendid valley for irrigation?
Mr. ROSE. Yes; it opens up about 297,000 acres, according to the Government survey report, on the Sonora side, and practically 750,000 acres on the Lower California side, which is irrigable by gravity.
Mr. LITTLE. They would have plenty of water to take care of you and to take care of them also ?
Mr. Rose. Average run-off of the Colorado River is 16,000,000 acrefeet, and the greatest use that has ever been made below the Grand Canyon has been 2,000,000 acre-feet.