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LOWER COLORADO RIVER BASIN

HEARINGS

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND RECLAMATION
11.5. Congress HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SEVENTIETH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION

ON

H. R. 5773

By MR. SWING
A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROTECTION
AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE LOWER

COLORADO RIVER BASIN

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COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND RECLAMATION

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SEVENTIETH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION

ADDISON T. SMITH, Idaho, Chairman NICHOLAS J. SINNOTT, Oregon.

C. B. HUDSPETH, Texas. ELMER O. LEATHERWOOD, Utah.

WILLIAM C. LANKFORD, Georgia. SCOTT LEAVITT, Montana.

J. B. REED, Arkansas. CHARLES E. WINTER, Wyoming.

MILES C. ALLGOOD, Alabama. PHILIP D. SWING, California.

SAM B. HILL, Washington. SAMUEL S. ARENTZ, Nevada.

JOHN MORROW, New Mexico. JOHN C. ALLEN, Illinois.

LEWIS W. DOUGLAS, Arizona. FREDERICK M. DAVENPORT, New York. S. HARRISON WHITE, Colorado.

EDWARD A. WALTERS, Jr., Clerk

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At a meeting of the Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation held on December 20, 1927, the subject of holding further hearings on legislation for the protection and development of the lower Colorado River Basin was brought up for discussion. In so far as the committee has on file information on this subject dating from 1911, the committee thought it advisable to restrict the hearings of this session, and pursuant to that idea Mr. Swing, of California, introduced the following resolution:

Hearings on H. R. 5773, for the protection and development of the Lower Colorado River Basin, shall start on the 6th of January and continue from time to time as occasion requires, but shall last not later than the 14th of January, time being divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the legislation, and the hearings shall not interfere with those called for consideration of legislation introduced by Mr. Sinnott.

Seconded by Mr. Sinnott. Adopted.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND RECLAMATION,

Friday, January 6, 1928. The committee this day met, Mon. Addison T. Smith, chairman, presiding

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. We have convened this morning to take up for consideration H. R. 5773, introduced by Mr. Swing to provide for the construction of works for the protection and development of the lower Colorado River Basin, for the approval of the Colorado River compact, and for other purposes. The bill reads as follows:

(H. R. 5773, Seventieth Congress, first session)

A BILL To provide for the construction of works for the protection and development of

the lower Colorado River Basin, for the approval of the Colorado River compact, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That for the purpose of controlling the floods and regulating the flow of the lower Colorado River, providing for storage and delivery of the waters thereof for reclamation of public lands and other beneficial uses within the United States, and for the generation of electrical energy as a means of making the project herein authorized a self-supporting and financially solvent undertaking, the Secretary of the Interior, subject to the terms of the Colorado River compact hereinafter mentioned, is hereby authorized to construct, operate, and maintain a dam and incidental works in the main

stream of the Colorado River at Black Canyon or Boulder Canyon adequate to create a storage reservoir of a capacity of not less than twenty million acre-feet of water and a main canal and appurtenant structures located entirely within the United States connecting the Laguna Dam with the Imperial and Coachella Valleys in California: Provided, That all contracts for the delivery of water for irrigation purposes provided for in section 5 shall provide that all irrigable land held in private ownership by any one owner in excess of one hundred and sixty acres shall be appraised in a manner to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior and the sale prices thereof fixed by the said Secretary on the basis of its actual bona fide value at the date of appraisal without reference to the proposed construction of the irrigation works provided for by this act; and that no such excess lands so held shall receive water from said canal if the owners thereof shall refuse to execute valid recordable contracts for the sale of such lands under terms and conditions satisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior and at prices not to exceed those fixed by the Secretary of the Interior; also to construct and equip, operate, and maintain at or near said dam, and within a State which has approved the Colorado River compact hereinafter mentioned, a complete plant and incidental structures suitable for the fullest economic develop ment of electrical energy from the water discharged from said reservoir ; and to acquire by proceedings in eminent domain, or otherwise, all lands, rights of way, and other property necessary for said purposes.

SEO. 2. (a) There is hereby established a special fund, to be known as the “ Colorado River Dam fund” (hereinafter referred to as the “fund”), and to be available, as hereafter provided, only for carrying out the provisions of this Act. All revenues received in carrying out the provisions of this Act shall be paid into and expenditures shall be made out of the fund, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior.

(b) The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to advance to the fund, from time to time and within the appropriations therefor, such amounts as the Secretary of the Interior deems necessary for carrying out the provisions of this act, except that the aggregate amount of such advances shall not exceed the sum of $125,000,000. Interest at the rate of 4 per centum per annum accruing during the year upon the amounts so advanced and remaining unpaid shail be paid annually out of the fund.

(c) Moneys in the fund advanced under subdivision (b) shall be available only for expenditures for construction and the payment of interest, during construction, upon the amounts so advanced. No expenditures out of the fund shall be made for operation and maintenance except from appropriations therefor.

. (d) The Secretary of the Treasury shall charge the fund as of June 30 in each year with such amount as may be necessary for the payment of interest on advances made under subdivision (b) at the rate of 4 per centum per annum accrued during the year upon the amounts so advanced and remaining unpaid, except that if the fund is insufficient to meet the payment of interest the Secretary of the Treasury may, in his discretion, defer any part of such payment, and the amount so deferred shall bear interest at the rate of 4 per centum per annum until paid.

(e) The Secretary of the Interior shall certify to the Secretary of the Treasury, at the close of each fiscal year, the amount of money in the fund in excess of the amount necessary for construction, operation, and maintenance, and payment of interest. Upon receipt of each such certificate, the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to charge the fund with the amount so certified as repayment of the advances made under subdivision (b), which amount shall be covered into the Treasury to the credit of miscellaneous receipts.

SEC. 3. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated from time to time, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sums of money as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this act, not exceeding in the aggregate $125,000,000.

SEC. 4. (a) No work shall be begun and no moneys expended on or in connection with the works of structures provided for in this act, and no water rights shall be claimed or initiated hereunder, and no steps shall be taken by the United States or by others to initiate or perfect any claims to the use of water pertinent to such works or structures until the States of California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming shall have approved the Colorado River compact mentioned in section 12 hereof and shall have consented to a waiver of the provisions of the first paragraph of Article XI of

said compact, which makes the same binding and obligatory only when approved by each of the seven States mentioned in said section 12, and shall have approved said compact without condition save that of such six-State approval, and until the President by public proclamation shall have so declared.

(b) Before any money is appropriated or any construction work done or contracted for, the Secretary of the Interior shall make provision for revenues, by contract or otherwise, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, ade quate, in his judgment, to insure payment of all expenses of operation and maintenance of said works incurred by the United States and the repayment, within fifty years from the date of the completion of the project, of all amounts advanced to the fund under subdivision (b) of section 2, together with interest thereon.

Sec. 5. That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized, under such general regulations as he may prescribe, to contract for the storage of water in said reservoir and for the delivery thereof at such points on the river and on said canal as may be agreed upon, for irrigation and domestic uses, and delivery at the switchboard to municipal corporations, political subdivisions, and private coroprations of electrical energy generated at said dam, upon charges that will provide revenue which, in addition to other revenue accruing under the reclamation law and under this act, will in his judgment cover all expenses of operation and maintenance incurred by the United States on account of works constructed under this act and the payments to the United States under subdivision (b) of section 4. Contracts respecting water for irrigation and domestic uses shall be for permanent service. No person shall have or be entitled to have the use for any purpose of the water stored as aforesaid except by contract made as herein stated.

After the repayments to the United States of all money advanced with interest, charges shall be on such basis and the revenues derived therefrom shall be disposed of as may hereafter be prescribed by the Congress.

General and uniform regulations shall be prescribed by the said Secretary for the awarding of contracts for the sale and delivery of electrical energy, and for renewals under subdivision (b) of this section, and in making such contracts the following shall govern :

(a) No contract for electrical energy shall be of longer duration than fifty years from the date at which such energy is ready for delivery.

(b) The holder of any contract for electrical energy, not in default thereunder, shall be entitled to a renewal thereof upon such terms and conditions as may be authorized or required under the then existing laws and regulations, unless the property of such holder dependent for its usefulness on a continuation of the contract be purchased or acquired and such holder be compensated for damages to its property, used and useful in the transmission and distribution of such electrical energy and not taken, resulting from the termination of the supply.

(c) Contracts for the sale and delivery of electrical energy shall be made with responsible applicants therefor who will pay the price fixed by the said Secretary with a view to meeting the revenue requirements of the project as herein provided for. In case of conflicting applications, if any, such conflicts shall be resolved by the said Secretary, after hearing, with due regard to the public interest, and in conformity with the policy expressed in the Federal Water Power Act as to conflicting applications for permits and license: Provided, however, That no application of a political subdivision for an allocation of electrical energy shall be denied or another application in conflict therewith be granted on the ground that the bond issue of such political subdivision, necessary to enable the applicant to utilize the electrical energy applied for, has not been authorized or marketed, until after a reasonable time, to be determined by the said Secretary, has been given to such applicant to have such bond issue authorized and marketed.

(d) Any agency receiving a contract for electrical energy equivalent to one hundred thousand firm horsepower, or more, may, when deemed feasible by the said Secretary, from engineering and economic considerations and under general regulations prescribed by him, be required to permit other similar agency having contracts hereunder for less than the equivalent of twenty-five thousand firm horsepower to participate in the benefits and use of any main transmission line constructed by the former for carrying such energy (not exceeding, however, one-fourth the capacity of such line), upon payment by such other agencies of a reasonable share of the cost of construction, operation, and maintenance thereof.

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