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Mr. TAYLOR. They may own five sections, but they can't expect Uncle Sam to make them a million dollars for nothing.
Mr. WELLING. But they have already got their water rights.
Mr. Taylor. But I mean if they don't want to get the benefit of the Government's money they won't be compelled to.
Mr. SMITH of Idaho. The building up of the country around them may benefit them.
Mr. TAYLOR. The building up of the country around them will enormously enhance the value of their property, and the policy of the Government is not to enhance the property of these big holdings.
Mr. WELLING. If it is a cotton plantation to-day, or a great fruit orchard or something of that sort, you wouldn't enhance the value of it. If it is desert land and unoccupied, of course, you would enhance the value.
Mr. HAYDEN. Mr. Davis, the reclamation law provides that the United States shall not sell water rights to one individual in excess of 160 acres of land. Now, in practically every reclamation project adopted there were private holdings of land with existing water rights in excess of 160 acres. What have you done under that law in those cases?
Mr. Davis. There are a few that had no private lands, but in general your statement is true. We have provided that no one can have the benefit of a publicly developed water supply to an extent greater than enough for 160 acres. The law has required that, and the law has been followed.
Mr. SMITH of Idaho. Mr. Chairman, permit me to read in right here section 12 of the 20-year extension act pertaining to private lands:
That before any contract is let or work begun for the construction of any reclamation project hereafter adopted, the Secretary of the Interior shall require the owners of private lands thereunder to agree to dispose of all lands in excess of the area which he shall deem sufficient for the support of a family upon the land in question, upon such terms and at such price as the Secretary of the Interior may designate, and if any landowner shall refuse to agree to the requirements fixed by the Secretary of the Interior, his land shall not be included within the project if adopted for construction.
Mr. LITTLE. Mr. Director, may I ask you a question right here? Suppose some outfit had 10,000 acres in the Imperial Valley now under cultivation, with water from the present ditch, what is there in this new proposition, if this new proposition is put in force, by which the Government can escape from supplying a man with the same amount of water that he had been getting before?
Mr. Davis. I don't believe that he could be deprived of water, but he could be commpelled to do whatever the law required in order to get water.
Mr. LITTLE. Well, now, suppose he just rested on his rights and said, “I am getting water from this ditch; I have got that right and I don't propose to pay any more for it than I have been paying. I will stop right here." Could you shut him off ?
Mr. Davis. The United States wouldn't meet that problem, because that is a problem to be met by the district. We would make a contract with the district and it would be bound to pay the lump sum
of money and by taxation collect it from the land included in the district.
Mr. LITTLE. That don't answer my question, though. You mean that you would dodge the question so far as you are concerned and check it back to the district ?
Mr. Davis. No; we would have a contract with the district, just, like we have now.
Mr. LITTLE. You mean we can't make any law that governs it? You don't know of any way that we can make a law which will force that man to pay his pro rata share of the expense?
Mr. Davis. No.
Mr. Davis. Yes, sir; we would make a contract, as I take it, such as we now make with districts under similar circumstances where we sell them stored water. There are probably nearly 2,000,000 acres of land that are not included in what we call reclamation projects, to which we sell an additional water supply from reservoirs, the Pathfinder Reservoir, is the main one, and a great deal from the Arrowrock, and in each case in the contract with the district it is provided that no individual shall receive water for more than 160 acres from that, and the United States maintains the right-reserves the right in that contract—to inspect and, if necessary, control the distribution of that water.
Mr. LITTLE. Now, if you made that contract with these people and you went down there and found that one man was drawing water for 10,000 acres what would you do about it?
Mr. Davis. Shut it off from the entire district until they corrected it.
Mr. LITTLE. In other words, if you punished this man at all you would have to punish the whole district.
Mr. Davis. We would have to punish the whole district in order to punish him.
Mr. LITTLE. Could I ask you one more question to finish my thought along that line? Apropos of that now let us suppose that these people are drawing water, as they are, from this ditch down through Mexico, which you are familiar with, of course, as I understand this proposition this ditch that these people propose to build will be really an entirely new ditch; instead of coming out down below Yuma it will come out from Laguna Dam; it won't run into Mexico. It won't run in the same canal at all that that water now runs in.
Mr. Davis. No, sir.
Mr. LITTLE. I gather from their view of it that they think that the man's water rights under the new ditch would be the same as under the old. Are they right about that?
Mr. Davis. No.
Mr. LITTLE. Isn't this an entirely new proposition and wouldn't it be true that that man would have no rights under the new ditch at all except such as he secured under the new ditch? Mr. Davis. That is right.
Mr. TAY Uncle San Mr. W. E. Mr. T.A. Mr. Wi Mr. TA the Gov Mr. So may ben Mr. T enornhol the Gov. Mr. V’ orchard of it. I hance to Mr. 1. United S of 160 a. adopted rights in in those Mr. I). eral you” the benef than eno been follo. Mr. SM here secti lands: That befo reclamation quire the ow in excess of t. upon the land of the Interior the requireme included withil Mr. LITTLF. Suppose some cultivation, wit’ new proposition. the Government amount of water -Mr. DAVIS. I do he could be comm; -get water. Mr. LITTLE. Well, said, “I am getting wa I don't propose to pay a will stop right here.” Co. Mr. DAvis. The United
cause that is a problem to -
'". DAVIs. Yes, sir. * Soros is the Government amply protected by the security his proposed in this bill, in your opinion? “. DAVIs. Yes, sir; as modified by the report of the Secretary e Interior. The Secretary recommended some modifications in hill, which I think would strengthen it, and with those modiions incorporated I think the security is ample. ".. WELLING. It is the understanding that if the Government un*akes the project, whether it is so stated in the law or not, reguons will be adopted by the Secretary which would absolutely “id any one holder to have more than 160 acres of land irrigated ough this canal? vir. DAvis. I think that should be, but unless it is provided in law, I couldn't guarantee that that could be done. ir. SMITH of Idaho. Unless the man owned the land in private nership and has his own water supply. oir. WELLING. He can't get it through this ditch, though. -Ir, DAVIS. Mr. Chairman, the remarks I made about the telegram in the Spanish War veterans and what their policy would be ated entirely to the new lands and not to the old lands. The CHAIRMAN. Just one question, Mr. Director—will you state t briefly your estimate of the merits of the Imperial Valley as irrigation proposition? Mr. DAvis. The Imperial Valley is a very rich tract of land. It a semitropical climate, in which it is possible to raise products a character and quantity that it is possible to raise in very few 'ler parts of the world, and it is similar in claimate to the Yuma alley and similar in climate to the Salt River Valley of the Reclaation Service. The Salt River Valley project of the Reclamation orvice last year produced 75 per cent more value than the total st of the project. The lands cultivated in the Yuma Valley last year produced an verage of $113 per acre. The Yuma Valley is more nearly comtrable to the Imperial Valley than the Salt River Valley is, though hey are all very similar in character. The Yuma Valley is comlosed of alluvial deposits, which the Salt River is not to so great in extent, and consequently it has more humus in the soil; and the Imperial Valley is more similar in character to it. Mr. TAYLOR. What is the average depth of the soil in the Imperial Valley? Mr. DAvis. Nobody knows. I have never heard of any boring made to the bottom of that soil. It may be thousands of feet deep. Mr. Rose. We have bored 3,000 feet, and didn't strike the bottom. Mr. LITTLE. Mr. Director, what irrigation proposition in the United States has the largest production per acre? Mr. DAVIs. You don’t confine that to Government projects? Mr. LITTLE. No. Mr. DAvis. It is difficult to define what the term “project " means. Mr. LITTLE. Well, does the Imperial Valley or the Salt River Valley or the Yuma project have the largest production? Mr. DAvis. If you are speaking of certain valleys, I don't know of any under any definition that produces as large an amount as the Imperial Valley does. Mr. LITTLE. Is there any in North America that does?
Mr. LITTLE. Then, there is no trouble at all about it. Mr. DAVIs. I think so. He would still have a right to receive water, as he always has had. Mr. LITTLE. From the old ditch? Mr. DAVIs. Yes, sir. Mr. LITTLE. But he don't come to this ditch with any right to water from that, does he? Mr. DAVIs. I think not. Mr. LITTLE. It is a very simple matter to adjust, then, isn't it? Mr. DAVIS. I don't know how simple it is. I think it can be done. Mr. SINNOTT. You don't interfere with his status quo. Mr. DAvis. We don't interfere with his status quo, except, of course, we take some water out of the river above him. Mr. LITTLE. But he has no vested right in what he shall get out of the new ditch. Mr. DAVIs. No; except as the district has and he would have under the district, and the district would have such right as the contract gave. Mr. LITTLE. If the district made a contract with you that they wouldn't let a man have more than enough water for 160 acres, he would be subject to that. Mr. DAVIs. Yes, sir; absolutely., Mr. WELLING. That might be true, Mr. Davis, if the Government built this canal; but, as I understand it, these gentlemen are not asking the Government to build the canal. r. LITTLE. Suppose the Government doesn't build it, but simply makes it possible for it to be built under some agreement, it would be the same thing, wouldn't it, if the Government said, “Now, we will guarantee your bonds if you do so and so "? Mr. DAVIs. Yes, sir. Mr. LITTLE. The rule would be the same, wouldn’t it? Mr. DAVIs. Yes, sir; I think that makes no difference. Mr. HAYDEN. As a matter of fact, the actual construction of the all-American canal, as provided in the bill, is to be done by the Reclamation Service. Mr. DAVIs. Yes, sir. Mr. HAYDEN. The United States, instead of advancing actual money, advances its credit, and by reason of that credit bonds are sold and the money is turned over to the United States Reclamation Service to do the work. Mr. DAVIs. Well, that is the effect, but the actual thing done, as provided by this bill, is for the Government to sell its own securities and use that money in construction of the canal. It is simply made safe by the previous deposit of bonds of the district and the sale of the land. The Government sells the land in advance, which furnishes a reserve guaranty fund to guarantee against any one of the districts defaulting. Mr. TAYLOR. The Reclamation Service constructs this canal itself. Mr. DAVIs. Yes, sir. Mr. TAYLOR. You don't turn it over to some private people to do as they please with it? Mr. DAvis. No, sir. The CHAIRMAN. You spend all that money, the Reclamation Service?