Page images

You indicate that your interim flood-control report has been prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation of this Department and the Water Resources Division of the State of California. I understand that these agencies are continuing their studies preparatory to submitting a comprehensive report, as soon as may be practicable, covering, in addition to the proposals made in your report, measures for providing irrigation water supplies and for improvements in land protection and in land uses. A major part of those studies is being directed toward methods for restoring the declining ground-water levels and for eliminating salt-water intrusion.

The cooperative studies of the Salinas River Basin may show that the best solution to the problems will be in the construction of multiple-purpose reservoirs on tributaries which rise to the Coast Range. Such reservoirs could provide municipal and irrigation supplies together with a reduction of river flood stages. However, they would control only a portion of the drainage area of the basin. For this reason, I believe that the works you recommend will be necessary to obtain the maximum benefits that may be realized by development of a comprehensive plan. They place no demands on water supplies and they would not interfere with irrigation or other conservation plans foreseeable at this time. I recommend that the proposed plan be authorized, recognizing that it is only a part of an ultimate plan, in which the irrigation reservoirs and conservation works of this Department will play an important role. Sincerely yours,


Acting Secretary of the Interior. The CHAIRMAN. Any questions by members of the committtee? Representative Outland is very much interested in this project.



Miss McLAREN. The local officials and State officials and the prop.erty owners of the area affected are unanimously in favor of the Army engineers' plan, and they feel that the piecemeal control is no longer effective. They have tried very hard to do it locally and they hope the improvements of this plan will be made.

The CHAIRMAN. Representative Outland is granted the permission to extend his remarks. (The statement referred to is as follows :)


Washington, D. C., May 3, 1946. TO THE FLOOD CONTROL COMMITTEE,

House of Representatives: Mr. CHAIRMAN: I greatly appreciate the opportunity you have granted me to make a brief statement regarding the contemplated flood-control project on the Salinas River in California.

I have just returned from a very brief visit to this area and I find the citizens of this section unanimously supporting this contemplated project. It will have tremendous value to the local landowners along the river, as well as to the various transportation facilites in that section. I have been unable to discover any opposition to the plan as suggested by the Army engineers. I urge that your committee give serious consideration to the approval of this particular project. I may say that the river on which this project will be located flows through one of the most fertile and productive agricultural areas in America, and from this standpoint alone the prevention of future floods would be eminently worth while.

In support of this project, I should like to submit copies of telegrams received from: (a) The county surveyor of Monterey County, and (b) the chamber of commerce, together with the chairman of the board of supervisors.


SALINAS, CALIF., May 1, 1946. Hon. GEORGE E. OUTLAND, Congressman, Eleventh Congressional District,

Washington, D. C.: Local landowners in Salinas Valley along 93 miles of river proposed to be protected by flood-control works unanimously in favor of project. During past 30 years riparian owners, State of California Highway Department, Monterey County Highway Department, and Southern Pacific Railroad Co, have spent over $1,500,000 in piecemeal construction of protection work and we are of unanimous opinion that work is too great an undertaking for local interests and may only be consummated by plan proposed by United States Army engineers. Flood of 1938 which is average high flood caused damages of $761,000. Total value of land and improvements in flood plan is estimated $80,000,000. Salinas Valley also has definite water conservation problem and the approval of plan now under consideration is prerequisite to ultimate solution of said problem for Salinas River Basin.

H. F. COZZENS, County Surveyor.

SALINAS, CALIF., May 1, 1946. Congressman GEORGE E. OUTLAND,

House Office Building, Washington, D. C.: Complete information regarding Salinas River project going to you from Howard Cozzens, county engineer, and member State water board. Entire citizenship appreciates good work done on this matter.

L. E. Wyatt, president, Salinas Chamber of Commerce; C. L. Pieda,

chairman, San Luis Obispo and Monterey County Joint Salinas
River Committee; R. S. Tipton, Soledad Chamber of Commerce;
Tom Rogers, Greenfield Chamber of Commerce; F. W. Lopes,
Gonzales Chamber of Commerce; A. B. Jacobsen, chairman,

Monterey County Board of Supervisors.
The CHAIRMAN. What witnesses do you have?
Miss McLAREN. Mr. Ely.


ING THE STATE ENGINEER, STATE OF CALIFORNIA Mr. Ely. I am directed by Mr. Edward Hyatt, State Engineer of the State of California, on behalf of Hon. C. H. Purcell, director of public works, to submit to the House Committee on Flood Control the following report on the proposed Salinas River flood-control project.

First, I have a letter from Director Purcell to the Chief of Engineers, dated April 6, 1946, which reads as follows:

APRIL 6, 1946. Lt. Gen. P. A. WHEELER, Chief of Engineers, United States Army,

Washington 25, D. C. DEAR GENERAL WHEELER: Your proposed interim report on Salinas River in Monterey County, Calif., was received on February 8, 1946, and has been under review since that date in accordance with provisions of Public Law 534, Seventyeighth Congress second session. At my direction, it was submited to the division of water resources of this department for study and report thereon.

The report of the division of water resources has been received and is transmitted herewith, with the request that it be included as a part of the comments of the State on your report. I concur in the conclusions and recommendations set forth in the report of the division of water resources. Yours very truly,

C. H. PURCELL, Director of Public Works.



In accordance with section 1 of Public Law 531, Seventy-eighth Congress, the proposed interim report of the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, on a survey of Salinas River in Monterey County, Calif., together with the reports of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors and of the district and division engineers was transmitted by the Chief of Engineers on January 29, 1946, to the director of public works, the official designated by Gov. Earl Warren as his representative in such matters. The report was received and referred to the State engineer on February 8, 1946, for review and report thereon. On February 11, 1946, the report was referred to the division of highways of the State department of public works and to the State department of natural resources for resources for review and comment.

RECOMMENDATIONS OF CHIEF OF ENGINEERS The Chief of Engineers concurs in the views of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, which are as follows:

(1) The Board concurs generally in the views and recommendations of the reporting officers. The proposed channel improvement will provide needed protection from ordinary floods, prevent the destruction of valuable land by bank erosion, and reduce damages from the larger floods to the maximum extent warranted by channel works. The prospective benefits fully justify the cost of construction. Such a channel-improvement program will be a necessary part of any plan for the comprehensive development of the water resources of the basin.

(2) Accordingly, the Board recommends construction of channel improvement works along the lower 93 miles of Salinas River and the lower one mile of its tributary Arroyo Seco, in accordance with the plans of the district engineer and as shown on the accompanying drawings, and with such modifications thereof as in the discretion of the Secretary of War and the Chief of Engineers may be advisable, at an estimated cost to the United States of $1,905,000, subject to the condition that responsible local interests furnish assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will: (a) Provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements, and rights-of-way necessary for construction of the works: (b) hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works; and (c) maintain and operate all works after completion in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War.

AUTHORIZATION Preliminary examination and survey of the Salinas River was authorized and directed by section 6 of congressional act approved June 22, 1936, Public, No. 738, Seventh-fourth Congress, as amended by the act approved August 28, 1937, Public, No. 406, Seventy-fifth Congress. Section 5 of the latter act contains the following:

“That section 6 of the act entitled 'An Act authorizing the construction of certain public works on rivers and harbors for flood control, and for other purposes,' approved by adding to the list of localities at which preliminary examinations and surveys are authorized to be made, the following names: Salinas River, California."

Pursuant to the above authority, a report on the preliminary examination of Salinas River for flood control was submitted by the district engineer, January 20, 1938. After review by the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, a survey of the entire drainage basin for flood control and related matters was ordered by the Chief of Engineers, July 11, 1939. A tentative draft of a proposed flood-control survey report on Salinas River was submitted by the district engineer to the division engineer under date of June 16, 1941. The tentative draft was withdrawn and a resurvey is in progress.

In connection with the resurvey studies, possibilities of channel training and bank-protection works were developed, that appeared to fit into any general plan of flood control and water conservation, separate consideration of which was warranted. The proposed interim report gives separate consideration to such channel training and bank-protection works. Completion of the comprehensive report on the resurvey is awaiting approval of the proposed interim report and availability of information developed in the concurrent hydrologic investigation of the Salinas Basin by the State Division of Water Resources.


The proposed plan of improvement consists of correction and stabilization of about 93 miles of the Salinas River between its mouth at Monterey Bay and a point about 3 miles south of San Ardo, and of about 1 mile of the Arroyo Seco above its confluence with the river. The improvements are designed to confine floods not in excess of 50,000 cubic feet per second to the stabilized channel. The proposed dimensions of the rectified channel vary from 1,100 by 7 feet in the upper reaches about Soledad to 540 by 15 feet in the lower reaches below Spreckels. The principle elements of the plan of improvement are set forth in paragraph 70 on page 31 of the proposed report as follows:

"The plan provides for clearing the channel of willows and other native vegetation; construction of about 80 bank-miles of channel-training works, consisting of jacks anchored by dolphins and cables ; the construction of about 60 bank-miles of flexible-type bank-protection works along present or later-established bank lines where required, and along the upper and lower parts of the channeltraining works where needed for protection of the cable-anchor zones; the construction of about 12 bank-miles of a lighter type wire-mesh bank revetment along the convex side of bends and at other places where the banks are not subject to major attacks by the current; the construction of about 10 miles of earth dikes across swales and along low-bank areas to assist in confining the current to the main channel of the river; excavation of about 1.5 miles of pilot channels, about 20 feet wide across points near river miles 20 and 50; and protective planting of willows, baccharis, and other native vegetation on the banks and in the areas behind the channel-training works and bank-protection works."

The proposed plan of channel improvements will not entail any alterations to bridges or other existing facilities. Cost of proposed works.

The project first cost of the Salinas River channel-improvement works is estimated in the report under review at $1,960,000. The cost therein are based on present conditions for construction work. The amount opposite each feature of work below includes contingencies, overhead, and supervision. (a) Federal first costs :

(1) Channel clearing and maintenance during construction - $20, 800 (2) Channel training works------

975, 300 (3) Flexible type of bank-protection fence_----

645, 300 (4) Wire-mesh revetment ----

84, 000 (5) Earthwork for dikes and pilot-channel construction ---- 97, 400 (6) Protective planting for bank and bay reaches --

82, 200

Total Federal first cost.

1, 905, 000 (b) Non-Federal first costs: Ea sements for channel-improvement con

struction and maintenance (total non-Federal costs)---------- - 55,000 (c) Total project first costs_-----

----------- 1,960, 000 The total annual charges for the Salinas River channel-improvement works are estimated in the proposed interim report at $95,100, which are divided as follows: (1) Federal annual charges interest and amortization

$76, 300 (2) Non-Federal annual charges : (a) Interest and amortization.-------

2, 600 (b) Maintenance.

16, 200

[ocr errors]

Total annual charges.-----

95, 100 The life of the project for purposes of maintenance estimates in the report under review is assumed to be 50 years. The maintenance estimates are based

on further assumptions of replacement of 50 percent of the works during that time and complete channel clearing equivalent to once in every 10 years during the life of the project. A break-down of the annual maintenance estimate follows:


Annual cost (1) Channel clearing---

-------- $1,300 (2) Channel-training works---

7, 700 (3) Flexible type of bank-protection fence-------

---- 5, 100 (4) Wire-mesh bank revetment-----

700 (5) Earthwork for levee and pilot-channel construction

800 (6) Protective planting for bank and bay reaches-------





[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Total annual maintenance cost

16, 200

ANNUAL BENEFITS The average annual benefits from flood damages prevented, including the existing bank-protection expense saved, are estimated in the report under review as follows: (1) Reduction in average annual damage from inundation---

$37, 350 (2) Average annual damage prevented in bank cutting and loss of pro

tection works ----------------(3) Average annual damage prevented to railroads_

---------- 9, 700 (4) Average annual damage prevented to roads and bridges ---------(5) Elimination of existing average annual bank-protection expense---- 22, 600

38, 850

Total annual damage prevented.

--------- 108, 500 · On a basis of the foregoing estimates, a favorable ratio was found of annual benefits to annual costs of 1.14 to 1.00.


No prior War Department report has been submitted for flood control on the Salinas River drainage basin. The Division of Water Resources, Department of Public Works, State of California, published a report in 1933, entitled, “Report on Salinas Basin Preliminary Investigation.” This report refers to and summarizes the unpublished report by Geologist Chester Marliave on the geology of dam sites in the Salinas River stream system. A summary of hydrologic information on the Salinas Basin is set forth in the report. It sets forth a conclusion that the average long-time natural replenishment of the underground basin is probably sufficient for a water demand based on use in 1932, but if the demand from 1928 to 1931 was to recur continuously there would exist a permanent overdraft which must in time be remedied.

The peak demand of 1931 on ground water in the Salinas Basin was exceeded in 1939, 1943, 1944, and 1945. Manifestations of overdraft in the ground water in the delta area became serious early in 1944. The field work has been completed on an investigation of the water problems in the Salinas Basin commenced by the State Division of Water Resources in July 1944. A report on the results of the investigation is in the course of preparation.

Six early reports on conditions in Salinas Valley have also been reviewed. These are:

(1) Charles D. Marx: Report on Irrigation Problems in the Salinas Valley. This report covers problems incident to gravity diversion systems in Salinas Valley in 1901. Pumping from ground waters was unimportant at that time. There is little helpful information in this report on present problems.

(2) Homer Hamlin (1904): Water Resources of the Salinas Valley—Water Supply Paper 89. Good information on a few possible reservoir sites are set forth. These were considered from the standpoint of water conservation.

(3) W. 0. Clark (1916): Measurements of Depth to Water in Wells in the Salinas Valley—unpublished. These records were obtained from the United States Bureau of Soils and included in the supplement of the Division of Water Resources' report in 1933.

(4) M. H. Lapham and W. H. Heilman (1901): Soil Survey of the Lower Salinas Valley. This early soil survey covered the area from King City to Monterey Bay in Salinas Valley.

€7116—46 33

« PreviousContinue »