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States. Rose. Yes; that opinion on the the same treaties, ele no right
Mr. Rose. Yes.
Mr. Rose. I don't think they are. There is a British syndicate that sold a portion, and probably the larger portion, of that land to the Otis-Chandler interests; but I don't know much about the early title to the land.
Mr. HAYDEN. Titles to these lands, if they came from the Mexican Government, came at the time of the Porfirio Diaz régime in Mexico, prior to the revolution? Mr. Rose. Yes; they had hold of them prior to that, I know.
Mr. SMITH of Idaho. Is it the contention of the Mexican Government that we have no right to keep these waters within the United States?
Mr. Rose. No, sir; it is not. The Mexican Government—the secretary of state of Mexico-sent a Mexican representative to investigate the question of the waters of the Colorado River, and he made a report to the Mexican Government which Mr. Swing, the attorney for the district, who will appear before you, has a copy of, in which he stated to his own Government—the Mexican representative himself—that Mexico had no power to stop the United States from diverting water within her own country. The only power that they had was to stop us from carrying it through Mexico.
Mr. SMITH of Idaho. That is, carrying it back into the United States after it had once been in Mexico ?
Mr. Rose. Yes; that is the only power to reclaim it. Now, Judson Harmon rendered an opinion on the question of the waters of the Rio Grande, which were covered by the same treaties, the treaties of 1848–1853, and he contended that Mexico had absolutely no right to arrest the United States from developing her own country, even if they diverted every drop of the water, although the Mexicans might have used it prior.
Mr. HAYDEN. How did Judson Harmon happen to render that opinion?
Mr. Rose. He rendered it in the Rio Grande case.
Mr. Rose. It is in volume 21 of the opinions of the United States Attorneys General and we will file it here before we get through.
The CHAIRMAN. How were the Sonora people you speak of affected? What interests did they have?
Mr. Rose. The Sonora people can irrigate by gravity from the Laguna Dam down through here [indicating on map] 297,000 acres, according to the Government report.
The CHAIRMAN. But they have no right to take from the Laguna Dam.
Mr. Rose. They have no right; no; absolutely none. It is a question purely of future treaty or provisional storage.
Mr. HAYDEN. They can only divert water below the Arizona and Sonora boundary.
Mr. Rose. For a very small portion of it-you see the bluff; this map is turned around and confuses me—as you see, carries down
and there is a portion right in there under the bluff which they might get some water on sindicating on map].
Mr. GATES. Will you permit me a moment-have you any information as to whether or not any of that water is being used at all, or has been used below the Sonora line?
Mr. Rose. There is quite a bit of farming there. To what extent I don't know, but there is some farming done down there now from the waters furnished or coming off from the Yuma project. The Yuma people are here, and they might be able to give a more correct answer to that. I understand that they don't draw any water nor don't buy any; it is simply waste water and water which runs through the canal and is dumped in there.
That is probably one of the reasons why we can't sell our bondsthe great opposition of those people.
Mr. HAYDEN. If what you said this afternoon is true, and the Imperial irrigation district should issue six or seven million dollars worth of bonds to connect your present heading with the Laguna Dam, which, as you said this morning, would be largely for the benefit of the Mexican lands, there would be no opposition from the American owners of those lands to that part of the bond issue?
Mr. Rose. No; that would be no benefit to us. That is the great trouble. There would be no opposition from them, of course. That would be the height of their ambition, to get us to do that; also to get the Government to permit them, even through an agencythrough us as an agency—to connect with the Government dam, which would give them some color of right to the water, which this Government has never recognized.
Mr. HAYDEN. Have any representatives of the Mexican interests made any proposition to the Imperial irrigation district to bear any share of the expense of connecting with the Laguna Dam? .
Mr. Rose. Not that I know of. I think there has been some verbal talk but no money talk.
Mr. HAYDEN. Your association has received no proposition of any kind?
Mr. Rose. Nothing but verbally. I don't think there has ever been a thing in writing. I know of nothing, and I think I would know if there was anything.
Mr. HAYDEN. Do you think there is any possibility that they would be willing to bear their pro rata share of the expense?
Mr. Rose. Of acquiring the water right? Of that connection?
Mr. Rose. I think they would. I believe they would pay it all if we were foolish enough to do it and allow them to get the benefit of it; but it would practically ruin us in the Imperial Valley, because it would enable those people to take practically all the water away from us, and I don't see where we would get any benefit.
Mr. HAYDEN. It being so much to their interest was the reason why I asked whether they had made any such proposition.
Mr. Rose. I don't think they have, because they know the people of the Imperial Valley would read the handwriting on the wall and wouldn't listen to it.
Mr. KETTNER. Mr. Rose, how do you know the people of the Imperial Valley are so strongly in favor of my bill? Has there been a recent election, or have the people, by a vote, decided that question? Mr. Rose. There is a contract made by the Interior Department which provides for the building of this canal; and after the report was made showing the cost the contract was submitted to the people of the Imperial Valley, and it carried 5 to 2. That is, 5 out of 7.
The CHAIRMAN. How was that, Mr. Rose? Mr. Rose. Where this red line indicates, there was a survey made along those lines under a contract between the Interior Department and the Imperial irrigation district in which each one bore part of the expense, and a report was made of the cost, and it was submitted to vote, and it carried 5 to 2.
Mr. KETTNER. That is the all-American canal ?
Mr. LITTLE. What was the kick about of those who voted against it?
Mr. Rose. I don't know. There are two sections of the valley, one section down on the boundary—the town of Calexico—and the other section up in the north end, where the Mexican interests control 40,000 acres, and those two sections voted against it. The central part of the valley went very strong for it. My own section went 1,117 to 9.
The CHAIRMAN. What obstacle is there in the way of going ahead with that?
Mr. Rose. It is money. That is the question. That is what this bill is for, to enable us to get the money.
Mr. LITTLE. Why did you follow that line through?
Mr. Rose. Well, everything slopes toward the sea from there [indicating), and that is the highest point on the southern part. Of course, this is the only place we can get through here [indicating).
Mr. LITTLE. How does it slope on the south?
Mr. Rose. Well, here is about the division point south, sloping this way. This is the top of the ridge, practically, through here sindicating).
Mr. Smith of Idaho. Is there enough water, Mr. Rose, from the natural flow of the Colorado River to irrigate all the land in Mexico there that could have been available for irrigation? Is that the reason that those Mexican people are satisfied to exist as they are rather than spend any money?
Mr. Rose. There is water enough to irrigate all of the lands down in there if they were taking it all and they are in a position to take it all after it crosses the line, because they have both legal and physical control of it.
Mr. HAYDEN. In that connection, Mr. Rose, the Secretary says in his report:
It is to be observed, however, that no material addition can be made to the lands now irrigated in Imperial Valley, with no assurance of ample water supply for the entire year, because the low water flow of the Colorado River, on which these lands depend, is now in some years not more than sufficient for the lands now under the ditch.
Then, if there was any increase of irrigation in Mexico, or if there was any material increase in the area of irrigated land in the valley itself, you are very liable to suffer from water shortage.
Mr. Rose. Of course, there is a great difference of opinion about that. Mr. Rockwood, an engineer, who is very familiar with the river, says that there will never be any danger of shortage until you get up to approximately a million acres. He gives the figures for that. He doesn't say in off hand, but he gives the figures in quite a long report. I have it here and will file it later on. It would take some time to go into it. That was his observation after being on the river some 26 years.
Mr. Evans. Does the Secretary contemplate the building of a storage dam?
Mr. HAYDEN. He proceeds thereafter to talk about water storage, but the question I wanted to ask Mr. Rose was this: We had a similar situation under the Salt River project wherein a very careful engineering investigation was made, after there had been subscribed—or what we call “ signed up”—about 200,000 acres of land under the project. The engineers of the Reclamation Service, taking into consideration the flow of the streams for a great many years, decided that in safety, to be absolutely sure that every acre that was within the project would get an ample water supply, that they must reduce the area by about 20,000 acres; therefore, the acreage under the Salt River project was limited to approximately 180,000 acres, and 20,000 acres that had been signed up was eliminated from the project. Now, would you have any objection, in view of this finding of the Secretary in his report on this bill, and in view of the great variance of opinion as to the available quantity of water in the Colorado River that you have just mentioned, to adding a provision in this bill to the effect that the Secretary of the Interior must determine the area of land in the Imperial Valley that can be provided with an assured water supply from the all-American canal and that no more land than he finds can be safely irrigated through it from the normal flow of the river shall be included within the project?
Mr. Rose. I wouldn't object to that, if it doesn't delay us. Now, there is the main thing, the Imperial Valley proper as it is constituted to-day is getting up to the proposition where, if we don't get busy, we are going to suffer for the lack of water ourselves. Another thing is the Yuma people are riding us to death on their project.
Mr. HAYDEN. There is no question of delay. It will take at least two or three years to build the all-American canal if it was authorized. Now, during the course of the construction, if the Secretary secured all the data obtainable about the stream flow of the Colorado and the amount of water that could be diverted through your canal system as proposed, into the Imperial Valley, and knowing, as he states in his report, that there are going to be times of shortage, and, therefore, in order to be safe about it he should make a finding that “so many acres can safely be irrigated from the all-American canal without storage on the stream, and, therefore, I limit the acreage to that area”-just as he did under the Salt River project would there be any objection on your part to that?
Mr. Rose. Absolutely none, if he doesn't take into consideration any Mexican lands, but gives us the water which we are entitled to. That is all we want. There would be no objection, so far as I know.
Mr. HAYDEN. It seems to me, looking at it from the point of view of the new settler, that you had better have a less number of people on a project who have an assured water supply than to have vague and indefinite knowledge of how much land was to be furnished with water. By doing so we would avoid giving a speculative value to lands included within the larger limits of the project for which it might turn out afterwards that there is little or no water. We had that experience in the Salt River Valley, and it seems to me it would be much better if the Secretary made a finding that
My engineers tell me there is so much water available from the Colorado River, and, therefore, in safety, I can say that without storage there can be so many acres irrigated in the Imperial Valley, and I therefore limit the land to which water may be furnished to that area.
Mr. KETTNER. The people of the Imperial Valley are in this position: If Congress would have adopted a bill something similar to this in 1907, they were only irrigating 10,000 acres, but they waited and waited and put it off until now they are irrigating about 150,000 acres in Mexico-isn't it 150,000 ?
Mr. Rose. I don't know about that. There may be 150,000-between 100,000 and 150,000.
Mr. KETTNER. Something over 100,000. Now every day and every month that we wait, Mexico is putting in more land, and it is only a question of time when the Imperial Valley is going to be short of water, because they will take the water to irrigate their own land and the Imperial Valley will go dry.
Mr. HAYDEN. The proposal I am making gives no occasion for delay. It was provided in our original Salt River water users' contract that the Secretary of the Interior should in due time fix the irrigable area of project.
Mr. KETTNER. But he can't fix the area in Mexico.
Mr. KETTNER. That is true, but he don't know what Mexico will take.
Mr. HAYDEN. But the point I am getting at is this: I do not think that it is right to have land included within your project with a promise of water which in time of shortage will not get any water. It would be better to leave it out of the project entirely
Mr. KETTNER. That is true, but your main proposition is that he should fix the area that could be irrigated. He can not do that for the very good reason that Mexico is irrigating more land every year.
Mr. HAYDEN. But you hope to be able to take the control of your water away from Mexico.
Mr. KETTNER. If this bill goes through, yes. Mr. HAYDEN. I am proposing to amend this bill to authorize the Secretary to make a finding of how much land can be irrigated in the Imperial Valley in California without storage on the Colorado River.
Mr. KETTNER. I agree with you about that.
Mr. HAYDEN. And fix the limits of that land so that anybody will know whether he is going to get water or not when the all-American canal is completed.
Mr. LITTLE. You say without storage, just where does that new dam stand?
Mr. HAYDEN. The Laguna Dam is a mere diversion dam to take water out of the Colorado River. If the storage proposition is to be taken up later a larger amount of land may be taken in, but I think it is the part of wisdom and justice to prospective settlers that the irrigable area of this project be limited in the same manner as it was done on the Salt River project. When the proper time comes, I shall offer an amendment to that effect.