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reason that has been mentioned, and that is there are sluicing facilities at Laguna Dam which are not provided in their dam here. Mr. HAYDEN. That is the present method of drawing water from the bed of the river carries sand and silt into the Imperial canal, which they must remove by expensive means, while, if connection is made with the Laguna Dam such material can be sluiced away, thus saving a great expense. Mr. DAvis. The most troublesome portion of the sand can be sluiced out, and we now do that for the Yuma project. Mr. HAYDEN. I just wanted to get your opinion as an engineer whether it would be a good investment for the Imperial irrigation district to build the first leg of the main canal. The people in Yuma would like to have that done, whether anything else was ever done or not. It would be the first step, and later they could do the rest of the work. Supposing something might prevent the completion of the all-American canal, do you believe that an investment of $7,000,000 in a canal from Laguna to their present heading would be fully justified for the Imperial people? The CHAIRMAN. Do you believe that would be for the mutual benefit of the Imperial Valley interests and the Yuma project? Mr. DAVIs. Yes, sir; absolutely. Mr. HAYDEN. Do you believe that the Yuma people can continue to give the Imperial Valley permission to construct a diversion dam at the present heading of the Imperial canal, with safety to the Yuma project? Mr. DAvis. No: I would not say that. I do not believe that the Yuma people will ever absolutely refuse to agree to reconstruction of the dam unless the Imperial Valley ceases its efforts to get connection with the Laguna heading. Mr. HAYDEN. That is, as long as they act in good faith in an effort to make connection wth the Laguna Dam, you would be justified in allowing them still another permit. But if they cease to exhibit good faith and show a tendency to remain at their present heading and a desire to get water from there permanently, then you would be justified in using all legal means to prevent the construction of other diversion dams in the Colorado River. Mr. LITTLE. In other words, the Yuma people can only afford to let these people linger as long as they have the present situation. Mr. DAVIs. Yes, sir; that is the situation. Mr. SINNoTT. Does the Alamo Canal irrigate any lands in the United States outside of the Imperial irrigation district? Mr. DAVIS. No, sir. Mr. SINNOTT. Is it planned that there is going to be a moral obligation on the part of the Government toward the people in the Imperial irrigation district? Mr. DAVIs. I have not heard any such claim made by them or anvone else. r. SINNOTT. Are they suffering from a shortage of water now? Mr. DAVIs. Not now. They have at brief intervals in the past for various reasons, some breaches of the dam in the river or some leak of the dam there, and twice from a shortage of water in the river itself.
Mr. SINNOTT. I mean that it was claimed there was a moral obligation on the part of the Government that the Government had induced them to do something.
Mr. WELLING. I talked with you in your office the other day about Green River project on the headwaters of the Colorado River and the tributary waters of the Green and Grand Rivers. Most of the waters in the Colorado River come from the watershed in southeastern Utah. In view of what you have said about the lack of water now for the projects that are now involved in this scheme under the all-American canal, what about the rights of people farther up the Colorado River in the State of Colorado to divert water to projects up there? We claim that water in the State of Utah.
Mr. SINNOTT. The Supreme Court has had that under consideration for two years, Mr. Welling. They have not rendered a decision yet.
Mr. Davis. The idea I have in regard to that, Mr. Welling, is this: That except the character of the developments was to divert water entirely outside of the Colorado basins or to store water in the low-water season, I think no obstruction could be placed in the way legally in the upper reaches of the river for the reason that they use the waters mostly in May, June, and July, when there is plenty of water for all, and the only shortage to come is immediately after that. It is partly returned by seepage and it would be very difficult to say that their water supply was depleted by diversions above that so long as it is not taken out of the basin.
I do not think any obstruction should or could be placed upon the unlimited use of water from the Colorado in these upper basins. The particulars are not sufficiently extensive to entirely get away from the reasons that I have given for that.
Mr. TAYLOR. There is a certain amount of water in the Colorado.
Mr. WELLING. I am glad to have you express that opinion. Our experience with the Colorado River in my State with the same stream waters—we use the headwaters of the stream-is that it is the very best reservoir for the waters below.
Mr. Davis. It is a common thing. Of course, a diversion from the headwaters of the Colorado River in August and September would deplete the waters on the lower Colorado in addition to these same projects diverting that in May, June, and July, but the return seepage would probably restore that.
Mr. TAYLOR. We found that true and worked that out in the Kansas-Colorado case and also in the Nebraska case. Under the irrigation in Colorado all of our irrigation works, hundreds of them, made a reservoir of these waters, and an enormous reservoir in the last 20 years; since we have been doing that irrigation there is three times as much water in your other State linesmin Nebraska and in Kansas and these States; there is more water to-day than in years. In other words, we have increased your normal supply in your States by reason of the storage which has made you good, permanent water supplies where the streams were dry in 50 years before we commenced the irrigation-dry as the State lines. That is the result of Cutting, and all the old-timers' testimony taken in these cases in the United States courts shows it.
Mr. Davis. There is another consideration that I have not yet mentioned that makes this pending bill very important. It is an indirect effect, aside from the diversion of the water supply from the Alamo, that threatens the water supply of the Imperial district. They have a menace even greater than that in the possibility of the Colorado River leaving its channel and running into the Alamo, as it did once before, and thereby submerging the entire valley in time.
As that persists it becomes more and more difficult to change, because it cuts a deep channel, and the deep channel that it did cut before has advanced from the Salton Sea up here sindicating), making an overpour at Calexico, and farther up the stream it was rapidly advancing up to a point where President Roosevelt. in a message, said he considered menaced the safety of the Laguna Dam. In that opinion I do not share, but a board of engineers had so reported.
Mr. LITTLE. Is there any place along the Alamo Canal there to build a big storage dam?
Mr. Davis. There is no possibility of a big one.
Mr. HAYDEN. Why did the engineers think that was a menace to the Laguna Dam?
Mr. Davis. Because it was cutting a deep channel.
Mr. Davis. For the reason that there is a lot of hardpan on the river here at Yuma, cutting in here [indicating).
Mr. HAYDEN. That would cause a cataract at Yuma until that hardpan was cut away.
Mr. Davis. Yes; until that was cut down it would distribute the fall; it would retard that until the whole Imperial Valley fills up, and when that fills up you have not got any big fall to do this cutting with at that time by cutting away this hardpan. It is really a soft rock, such as Penitentiary Hill is composed of, and the Indian school is build on it, which created rapids at Yuma that destroyed navigation. They tried to get up there on the steamboat accustomed to going up and failed. Navigation was destroyed.
Mr. HAYDEN. You speak of filling up the whole Imperial Valley. Would it be possible, if the natural flow of the Colorado River was diverted, that enough water would run into the valley to fill it up? Would not the time come when evaporation would balance the inflow?
Mr. Davis. Yes, sir; but the probabilities are that it would fill up enough to run out. It would have to fill up to 30 feet above the sea level before it would run out. The probabilities are it would flow out in spite of evaporation.
Mr. WELLING. It would not be much comfort to those themselves who own that land.
Mr. Davis. In order to properly protect the valley it is necessary to maintain and continuously reinforce works in Mexico as well, and it will eventually be necessary to throw this river down permanently to the Gulf of California so as to make a proper channel for it. It has now an unstable level. They are now increasing the height of that levee at the expense of the Imperial Valley. The Imperial Valley is subject to constant injustice from Mexican authorities charging exorbitant prices for materials, and some arrange
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ment should be made that Mexico should ask the United States to do that. Mr. TAYLOR. Does Mexico charge an import duty for that—taking that stuff down there to this river? Mr. DAVIs. Yes, sir; they have. This river is just as much a menace to the Mexican lands as it is to our American lands, when the Americans have to stand the expense of it, and of course it is for their interest for them to do it. Mr. HAYDEN. If you had complete storage on the stream, the flood! menace would be removed ? Mr. DAVIs. If we had complete storage it would be largely bettered and the flood menace would be removed. Mr. HAYDEN. For that reason the lands in the Imperial Valley could be asked to contribute something to storage, because it would relieve them of the flood menace. Mr. DAVIs. Do not misunderstand me. Storage in moderate amount would not correct the flood menace. The reservoirs might be built then. But if sufficient reservoirs were built to entirely control it, it would. Mr. SMITH. Would the construction of an all-American canal remove the menace permanently? Mr. DAVIs. That alone would not remove it, but it would secure the American water supply and would enable the 'district to exact cooperation and payment for benefits. It is the only way I see by which any collections of any kind, involuntarily or otherwise, can be made from the Mexican inds. So far as i know, it never was proposed by advocates of the all-American canal or by any of the officials of the Imperial district, to do any injustice to the owners of the lands in Mexico. All they ask is for them to bear an equal share of the burdens of protection of the water supply and maintenance from year to year and enforce that until they get an all-American canal. Mr. HAYDEN. Would it be advisable for this committee to have before us the owners of these Mexican lands and state to them that we had in view the passage of legislation to do what you propose, and then see if any arrangement could be made with them, for instance. for enlarging the canal from Laguna Dam down to the Mexican line to provide their lands with a water supply? Would it be worth while for this committee to have some statement from them as to what they are willing to do in that regard? Mr. DAvis. If they desire to make any representations to the committee on the subject, they should be given that privilege, but so far as making any negotiations for bearing their share of the cost, I thing a congressional committee is an unwieldly body to undertake that, and it would be better that it should be an executive function. Mr. TAYLOR. What is the attitude of the American owners of this land in Mexico regarding this all-American canal? Do they want it or don't they want it? Mr. DAvis. I have not heard anybody say, but one of the representative owners down there has visited the Secretary of the Interior and expressed a willingness to bear the share which would equitably come to the lands of their expense of protection of the water supply. Mr. TAYLOR. Provided they did not go ahead with that. Mr. DAVIs. No; he did not make that a condition.
Mr. HAYDEN. I do not think there is any escape from the fact that if the all-American canal is constructed the owners of the Mexican lands will come to the United States and say, “We have under cultivation a certain area in Lower California, and in the plans for the construction of the all-American canal no provision is made for us to get our water. We can not take out water at the present heading, because it menaces the Yuma project; we are entitled to water." Our answer would be, “ You are entitled to water if you pay for the canal capacity.”
Mr. Davis. Yes, sir.
Mr. HAYDEN. And the extra canal capacity to provide water for these Mexican lands will have to be paid for by the owners of such lands.
Mr. Davis. It should be.
Mr. HAYDEN. The only way to find out if they are willing to pay for their share of the extra canal capacity from Laguna Dam to the Mexican line is to say that to the Mexican landowners. Some of them reside in the United States, are American citizens, and men of wealth, according to Mr. Rose.
Mr. Rose. I think that is the situation.
Mr. HAYDEN. It would seem to me, under the circumstances, that this committee ought to find out whether they are willing to pay for their part of the cost of this new canal.
Mr. KETTNER. Mr. Director, right there, Mr. Hayden has thoroughly gone into the subject of stipulating as to a certain amount of land on the American side, if these Americans should so conclude and the committee should see fit to take this up, naturally you would want to see these landowners in Mexico pay the same as those in the United States.
Mr. Davis. Yes, sir.
Mr. KETTNER. And they would want an agreement from the Mexican Government to irrigate 100,000 acres.
Mr. WELLING. I think the American Government ought to build a canal and then tell these Mexican owners they could take what was left.
Mr. TAYLOR. Gentlemen, if you want your bread, pay for it. That is right.
Mr. HAYDEN. In case representations were made by the Mexican Government to the American Government that there are certain property owners of Mexico who have heretofore enjoyed water rights to certain lands, our Government would naturally have to show a willingness to share in the use of the works that we are constructing, provided the Mexican landowners were willing to put up the money. I would like to find out what could be done in that regard. This committee ought to know now, because that situation is bound to arise in course of time.
Mr. Davis. The only way to determine that would be to have a contract with them, which it would be advisable to authorize the Secretary to make.
Mr. HAYDEN. The Secretary of the Interior could make a contract with certain American citizens owning land in Mexico whereby, as American citizens, they would give a bond to the United States to insure the payment of their proper share of the cost of the irrigation works to be constructed. We would get the money from them