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Purpose.—Lake Mead, formed by Boulder Dam and having a capacity of 30,500,000 acre-feet, was created for the purpose of controlling the floods, improving navigation, and regulating the flow of the Colorado River, providing for storage and for delivery of the stored waters thereof for the reclamation of public lands and other beneficial uses exclusively within the United States, and for the generation of electrical energy as a means of making the project a self-supporting and financially solvent undertaking. The power plant will have adequate capacity to produce 663,000 horsepower of firm and large quantities of secondary electrical energy, the revenues from which will be adequate to repay the entire investment with 4-percent interest within a period of 50 years, make payments to the States of Arizona and Nevada as provided by the act, and establish a fund for additional developments in the Colorado River Basin.
Description.-Boulder Dam is an arch-gravity structure containing 3,250,000 cubic yards of concrete. Its height is 726 feet; base thickness, 660 feet; crest length, 1,280 feet; and crest width, 45 feet.
Lake Mead will have a capacity of 30,500,000 acre-feet, a surface area of 145,000 acres and a shore line 550 miles in extent. The maximum length of the lake will be 115 miles and maximum width 8 miles.
Spillways for carrying the reservoir overflow around the dam are constructed in each abutment. Each spillway consists of an overflow weir 400 feet in length, open channel 650 feet in length, and inclined shaft 50 feet in diameter and 600 feet long, leading to two of the horizontal tunnels, 50 feet in diameter and 1,500 to 2,200 feet in length, which were used for diversion purposes during construction of the dam. Four drum gates, each 16 feet high and 100 feet long, are installed in the crest of each spillway to regulate the reservoir overflow. The combined capacity of the two spillways is 400,000 second-feet.
Outlet works consist essentially of four intake towers of cylindrical form, 70 feet in average diameter and 380 feet high, each equipped with two cylindrical gates 32 feet in diameter and 11 feet high, placed one in the base of the tower and the other 150 feet above. From the base of the tower a 30-foot diameter steel pipe leads downstream to outlet works equipped with needle valves. The towers are located on benches cut into the cliffs upstream from the dam. The steel pipes are placed in concrete-lined tunnels through the dam abutments. Two of the outlet works are on the cayon walls downstream from the power plant, and the other two are in concrete plugs in two of the tunnels that were used for diversion purposes during construction of the dam.
The powerhouse is a U-shaped structure which has its central portion on the downstream face of the dam and a wing extending downstream on each side of the canyon. The length of each wing is approximately 625 feet and the dam section 300 feet, or a total length of more than one-fourth mile. The difference in height between lowest and highest concrete is 230 feet, or nearly 20 stories. Approximately 10 acres of floors are contained in the building. Power-plant equipment is planned to eventually comprise fifteen 115,000-horsepower units and two of 55,000 horsepower, or an ultimate capacity of 1,835,000 horsepower. Water for generation of power is transported to the turbines through the intake towers and 30-foot diameter steel pipes mentioned above and thence through smaller steel penstocks to each of the units.
Estimated costs and funds available.-The Boulder Canyon Project Act (ch. 42, 45 Stat. 1057) provides that appropriations for the Boulder Canyon project are not to exceed $165,000,000. Of this amount it is contemplated that $38,000,000 will be spent for the All-American Canal and related works and $127,000,000 for construction of Boulder Dam, power plant, and appurtenant works.
An appropriation of $73,260,000 from the general fund and a Public Works allotment of $38,000,000 have been made available for construction.
Repayment contracts.-Contracts have been executed with the city of Los Angeles, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and Southern California Edison Co. for the sale of power, and with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for storage of water in the reservoir back of Boulder Dam, under which the entire cost of construction of Boulder Dam and power plant will be paid within a period of 50 years, with interest at 4 percent from the time that the payments are started. For the first year of full operation the income from the sale of 4,330,000,000 kilowatt-hours of primary electrical energy at $0.00163 and 1,550,000,000 kilowatt-hours of secondary energy at $0.0005 would amount to $7,832,900. The amount of energy generated will decrease each year, due to upstream development, but it is estimated that the annual income will average about $7,200,000 over the 50-year repayment period. Construction program through fiscal year 1937.--The dam, power house, and appurtenant works will be practically completed in the fiscal year 1937. Installation of two 3,500-horsepower station service units was completed in the fall of 1936 and the first power was generated on September 11. One of the 115,00 horsepower units was completed ready for operation within a month thereafter, and electrical energy flowed over the lines to Los Angeles on October 9. A second unit was started in November and two more of the 115,000-horsepower units and one 55,000-horsepower unit will be ready for operation early in the calendar year 1937.
Erpenditure program for the fiscal year 1938.--Contraets have been awarded for furnishing machinery for two more 115,000 horsepower units, and installation will be started in the fiscal year 1938. The appropriation of $1,000,000 requested for the fiscal year 1938 will be used also for construction of switchyard and transmission structures and for such work as may be necessary on the dam, power house, and appurtenant structures, as additional grouting in tunnels, adits, and in other locations.
An appropriation of $500,000 from revenues is also requested for the purposes of operation and maintenance. Section 2 (a) of the Boulder Canyon Project Act established a special fund known as the Colorado River Dam fund, to be available for carrying out the provisions of the act. This section directs that all revenues received in carrying out the provisions of the act shall be paid into and expenditures be made out of the fund under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior. Section 2 (c) provides in part that no expenditures out of the fund shall be made for operation and maitnenance except from appropriations therefor.
Under the terms of the contracts for the sale of power, the contractors are required to operate and maintain all machinery and equipment in the power plant, but the Government is obligated to operate the dam, all gates and appurtenances controlling release of water from the reservoir, penstock piping, and all auxiliary works. Likewise, all maintenance of the dam, power-plant building, spillways, penstocks, and other structures, the removal of debris from reservoir, hydrographic records and similar duties are to be performed by Gorernment forces. Plans for the operation and maintenance of the entire project. including the power plant are now under consideration. If such a plan is adopted, larger appropriations of revenues will be necessary. The estimate of $500,000 will be sufficient if the Bureau should assume such operation.
The Government will also continue the operation of Boulder City and maintain that part of the town built and owned by the Government. This will include the streets, water and electric-light systems, as well as the public buildings and residences.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. Under the heading of “Boulder Canyon project" there is some new language that was not in the bill the preceding year. It reads as follows: and there shall also be available from power and other revenues not to exceed $500.000 for operation and maintenance of the Boulder Canyon Dam, power plant, and other facilities; which amounts of $1,000,000 and $500,000 shall be available.
CONSTRUCTION OF SCHOOL HOUSE
Boulder City, which the home of the people employed, to a large degree, on the project requires the construction of a schoolhouse. Such a schoolhouse cannot be built under the ordinary issuance of bonds, for the reason that such schoolhouse cannot give title to the land, it being the property of the Government and part of the Boulder City set-up.
Do you know of any other solution or any other source of money for such a schoolhouse other than to insert in lieu of the language I have just read, language reading as follows: and there shall also be available from power and other revenues not to exceed $500 000 for operation and maintenance of the Boulder Canyon Dam, power
plant and other facilities; and for the construction of a schoolhouse in Boulder City at a cost of not to exceed $50,000, which amounts of $1,000,000 and $500,000 shall be available for personal serviceAnd so forth.
The language there is intended to specifically authorize the construction of a schoolhouse as a facility of the Boulder Dam project. Is there any other way that this schoolhouse can be built that you know of, it being distinctly understood that the cost is to be paid back by the project in the same manner as the remaining facilities are to be paid?
Mr. PAGE. I know of no other way in which that can be financed, because the property in the town, Boulder City, and in the school district which requires this facility is almost wholly Federal owned.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. And for that reason it cannot be bonded or taxed ? Mr. Page. No, sir. Mr. SCRUGHAM. How would any revenues be received which could repay the construction of this schoolhouse?
Mr. Page. Under the Nevada law a school district is compelled to finance itself on the basis of the number of pupils in the school.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. Yes.
Mr. PAGE. A certain amount of taxation, and, in addition, the State funds are allocated on the basis of the pupils in their district schools. By that means if the district has money enough it can pay the United States as rent for this building, and repay the cost of building the school in a reasonable time.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. To amortize the cost ?
Mr. SCRUGHAM. I bring that up at this time because it represents a very peculiar and unusual problem. This has been declared legal by the various legal departments of the Government, and I wish to present it at this time.
Mr. Rich. I suppose this would be constructed with P. W. A. funds? Mr. ScrUGHAM. No; no P. W. A. funds. Mr. Page. No; from funds out of this appropriation. Mr. Rich. From funds out of this appropriation?
Mr. PAGE. Yes; from the revenues which are derived from the sale of power.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. No additional sum is asked in the Budget. It is merely a specific authorization for the construction of the schoolhouse as a facility for the operation of the plant, and it seems to be entirely proper to bring it up at this time.
Mr. LEAVY. But it is proposed under the existing laws of the State of Nevada, as a matter of school revenues; that is, so far as the original investment by the Government is concerned, it will be repaid to the Government ?
Mr. Page. Yes.
Mr. LEAVY. I presume they have some method by which they pay so much for each child in attendance ? Mr. Page. Yes.
Mr. LEAVY. How many school children do you have there of school age? Mr. Page. The present enrollment is 390.
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Mr. LEAVY. Is that school population going to be fairly permanent, or is it apt to increase or decrease?
Mr. Page. It appears to be fairly permanent. We did have at one time over 700, but it has been reduced to about 390 by completion of construction of the dam.
CONTINUING INSTALLATION IN GENERATING UNITS OF BOULDER CANYON PROJECT
Mr. LEAVY. The Boulder Canyon project has not yet been covered in this discussion. Mr. Page, would you make a statement concerning that?
Mr. PAGE. I have submitted a justification, but I shall be glad to elaborate here. As to the Boulder Canyon project, of course, our appropriation is out of the Boulder Dam fund, which is set up by the Boulder Canyon Project Act. The requested appropriation is for the purpose of continuing the installation of generating units in the power plant.
There are now four generating units operating. They are furnishing power to the city of Los Angeles. The Metropolitan Water District of southern California, as you recall, has authority to contract to take power from two additional units within 1 year from the time that Los Angeles starts on its firm contract. The installation of the two units for the metropolitan district is now in progress. This money is needed to continue the installation of those two units.
SUPPLEMENTAL ESTIMATE PENDING BEFORE BUDGET BUREAU
I call the attention of the committee to the fact that I have made a request to the Bureau of the Budget for a supplemental estimate of $2,000,000, because recently another power contractor has made a request for the installation of two units, making a total of eight of the large units, and one small unit, which will be installed, or in the process of installation within the fiscal year 1938. Therefore, in order to meet the demands on those units and to comply with the request of the power purchasers, we would need a total of about $3,000,000 during this coming fiscal year.
Mr. LEAVY. Your estimate here is $1,000,000.
Mr. Page. Yes; but as I say, I sent over to the Budget a supplemental estimate asking for $2,000,000, occasioned by the very recent request of the Southern California Edison Co. for the installation of two units to be completed in the year 1939. It takes more than a year to construct one of those units.
Mr. LEAVY. You mean they want to buy the type of power you have there?
Mr. Page. The Boulder power is already contracted for, and we have definite contracts covering all of the output of the plant. There are certain conditions, however, as to when the purchasers shall take that power. The city of Los Angeles needed it first. They have four units, as I say, now operating, and the metropolitan water district is required to take power next. The Southern California Edison Co. was not to take power until 1940, but this company's load has increased so greatly that it has written to us asking that its two units be installed and ready to operate in 1939.
Mr. LEAVY. Do you make any preference in the sale of power either to municipalities or corporations?
Mr. Page. All of the power was allocated back in 1930, and approximately 75 or 80 percent of it goes to public or municipal agencies, including the States.
Mr. LEAVY. Has your service at this time experienced any difficulty in the sale of the power as you have been bringing it in?
Mr. Page. No; not at all. Of course, in some instances, like Boulder Dam, we have plans for the installation of 17 units. These will be installed as the market develops. We have already a demand for 812 of those units in the first year of operation. This early and urgent demand exceeds our original expectations.
SALE OF DUMP POWER
Mr. SCRUGHAM. Mr. Page, there is something that fits right in here. You have cheap power which is known as "dump power.”
Mr. PAGE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. That is power which is distinguished from firm or continuous horsepower?
Mr. Page. Yes; that is right. Mr. SCRUGHAM. This dump power is sold at a much lower rate than the firm horsepower by reason of the uncertainty of the time of supply. Will you make a brief statement as to when this dump power will cease to be available and also the rate and who gets it under the terms of the contract, because it fits in at this point. I wish to develop something along that line.
Mr. Page. The Boulder Dam power plant will develop 663,000 firm horsepower continuously, and the amount of secondary power or dump power available is dependent upon the run of the river. For that reason the dump power is of less value than the so-called firm power which can always be depended upon.
The contracts with the power purchasers provide separate rates for the two different types of power. The firm power, or the primary power, is sold at a rate of 1.63 mills for falling water, thus requiring, in addition, each purchaser to operate and maintain his own units, and to pay for those units over a period of 10 years. This makes the actual rate of power developed at the switchboard about 2.2 mills per kilowatt-hour. The same conditions apply to the dump power, except that the basic rate is one-half of a mill, instead of 1.63 mills.
Mr. ScrUGHAM. 1.63 mills is the rate for falling water? Mr. Page. Yes, sir; the dump power is worth approximately onethird of the firm power.
Mr. ScrUGHAM. Who gets this dump power under the existing contracts?
Mr. PAGE. Under the existing contracts the dump power is sold to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. If the district fails to use it, the city of Los Angeles has next claim, the city to get half of it and the Southern California Edison Co. the other half.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. That is presumably for the pumping of water? Mr. PAGE. That is right. The district expects to use this dump power to pump water through its Colorado River aqueduct. The