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PROJECTS HAVING NEED OF AUXILIARY WATER SUPPLY
Mr. Rich. I asked the question awhile apo as to how many of these projects that were already irrigated you felt it would be necessary to put out of commission if you could not get an additional water supply.
Mr. Page. You did not ask that question in just that way, because I would have answered that there are none which would go out of commission. There are some—a very few—which for maximum production need an auxiliary water supply if rainfall conditions persist as they are at present.
Mr. Rich. Are thev so located that they can get the additional water supply, and will it be economically sound to make the investment?
Mr. Page. Yes, sir.
Mr. Rich. And your projects would have to be started?
Mr. Pack. During the last few years a large part of the Bureau's program which has been devoted to the conservation of water, not only for land which has been put under cultivation by our canals, but also for private canals which found themselves in much worse conditions. The development of water for the Federal projects has permitted the development of an additional supply which could he used to advantage by adjacent areas, and by contractual relations we have furnished some water to those other lands, which are not on our projects.
Only the development of water on feasible projects is undertaken. If the cost of the water is going to be more than the water is worth to the land, manifestly there is no benefit in conserving or rendering useful that water. I again want to emphasize the fact that for every dollar spent by the Bureau of Reclamation on construction of a reclamation project, someone must agree to repay a dollar.
AUTHORITY FOR CONSTRUCTION Or RECLAMATION PROJECTS
Mr. Rich. Who determines what project should be started on these reclamation projects? Who is the authority on that?
Mr. Page. The basic law sets up the machinery for the selection of the project in this way, that the Secretary of the Interior must find that the project is feasible from economic and engineering standpoints. He must have the approval of the President, and Congress must appropriate money for it.
Mr. Rich. How did you establish many of these projects for irrigation in the past 4 or 5 vears, that Congress had nothing to do with, that were started under P. W. A.?
Mr. Page. By the same procedure. They were found feasible by the Secretary and approved by the President. Money was allotted from the emergency appropriations but no money was expended until feasibility was properly established. The Secretary and the President took the action required by law on all of the projects which have been started. That applies to those projects begun with emergency funds.
Mr. Rich. Then it was the President and the Secretary that authorized these new projects?
Mr. Page. Yes; the allotment of emergency funds was made by the President and the Federal Administrator of Public Works. The projects were found feasible and approved. The finding of feasibility *** based on the reports of the Bureau of Reclamation. These reject* are based on a very careful and complete study of the physical ud economic conditions in the localities of the proposed projects.
Mr. Rich. Then the point that I want to make is this, that the President and the Secretary of the Interior were the ones who authoraed the construction of these projects that were started by P. W. A. '-iroueh emergency relief funds?
Mr Leavv. If you will qualify your question a little further, in iairaeas to the witness, by adding that it was after they had been found » be feasible projects and economically sound projects
Mr. Rich. I am trying to find out from where the authority came ■r the construction of these projects.
Mr. Page. The basic law set up that machinery. When Congress -<■■ longer appropriated money for us, the money was obtained through •i«e allotments, following the same type of procedure as in the past.
Mr. Fitzpatrick. Like other relief projects throughout the country that are taken to aid the unemployment situation.
Mr. Leavv. But the difference is that these projects were undertaken after a more thorough and complete study, based upon knowl-i£T acquired after some 30 years in reclamation engineering.
Mr. Page. Very complete engineering reports are available on all '(tike projects that were undertaken.
Mr. Leavv. I want to clear up a point that Mr. Rich has raised.
tXPAVMENTS MADE FOR CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION, AND MAINTENANCE AND WATER-RENTAL CHARGES
Mr. Page, in your justification you deal rather extensively with A* subject, do you not?
Mr. Page. Yes, sir.
Mr. Leavt. You set forth a table that shows the various completed -•rhunation projects since 1902, when the act first became effective, ■ Tether with the charges that were made against them for constructs and the amount that has been paid on account of such charges. Year table discloses that 98.9 percent of every dollar that went into aw projects has been returned.
Mr. Leavv. Then you deal with the question of operation and --A.utenance of the project after it was initiated and completed and,
r all of these reclamation States, your figure discloses that 99.1 icpnent of those charges have been repaid to the Federal Treasury?
Mr. Page. Yes.
Mr. Leavv. You deal with the water-rental charges up to June 30,
•Vr- that carries it through the period of the depression—and your »•■* discloses that out of $9,700,000 of rental charges all but $65,865 ia« been repaid.
Mr. Page. Yes, sir.
Mr Leavv. I ask that these tables be incorporated into the
Tbe three tables referred to appear as a part of the justification, ;rr.vd near the beginning of this general statement.)
Mr. Rich. Mav I ask a question there?
Mr Leavv. Of course, I am not here to answer these questions, Mr Rkh
Mr. Rich. Do you say that the total amount of uncollected watei charges for all of the Federal projects is only $65,865?
Mr. Leavy. For completely developed projects.
Mr. Page. The total of all of the water-rental charges.
Mr. Rich. That are being owed to the Government at this time?
Mr. Page. Yes, sir. Of $9,700,000 of water rental charges, all has been paid but $65,865.
Perhaps I should explain that this is a charge for the use of water. It is not a part of the repayment of the investment but it is a rental for water which is furnished to irrigated lands, and that is on somewhat the same basis as the table which just precedes it, which shows 99.1 percent of all of the operation and maintenance paid.
Mr. Rich. The amount that is being paid into this reclamation fund has practically all been appropriated out by Congress from the time it was started and, while the ongnal investments might have been
Enid on those particular projects, yet that same money is paid out y the Secretary of the Interior on appropriations made by Congress, so that it has never really come back into the Treasury?
Mr. Pack. It has come in and gone out again. The act of June 17, 1902 set up the Reclamation Fund as a revolving fund, and this condition was anticipated and expected. The money originally came from western sources.
Mr. Rich. It has come in and gone out again in practically every one of those cases.
Mr. Leavy. Gone out on new developments.
Mr. Rich. Yes; so that the original cost has never been returned.
STATUS OF RECLAMATION FUND
Mr. Scrugham. Mr. Page, what is the status of the so-called reclamation fund at this time?
Mr. Page. I have inserted in the record a table on that subject, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ScRroHAM. Will you read the substance of it?
Mr. Page. The income to reclamation fund, composed of accretions from the sale of public lands, oil royalties from public lands, and repayments from settlers, has decreased, due to a number of things. First the sale of public lands has almost been discontinued under the operations of the Taylor Grazing Act. The oil royalties have decreased, because of the control of production of oil to conserve this resource, and the Congress has given water users a moratorium on their charges for the last 4 years. The appropriation for the fiscal vear 1937, plus the proposed appropriation for the fiscal year 1938, will take all of the money which has accumulated in the reclamation fund.
Mr. Scri'gham. This is rather important. Let us discuss this a little more in detail. I think that this is the every essential part of the hearing. Continue with your statement, and then I will ask you some questions with regard to it.
Mr. Paoe. The construction program for 1937 and 193S calls for a total expenditure from the reclamation fund of $20,525,000. That is for the 2 years.
Mr. Scbcqham. And that was approved br the Bureau of the Budget?
Mr. Page. That is the program as approved by the Bureau of the Budget. In addition, there is approximately $4,000,000 required