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Mr. Rich. Well, say you had 800,000 acres and there are 400,000 that are now developed.
Mr. PAGE. Yes,
Mr. Page. No; the whole area is developed. We are not going to increase the producing acreage. We are going to prevent 400,000 acres, now developed, from reverting to their natural desert conditions.
Mr. Rich. There are only 400,000 acres in the figures that you have given me.
Mr. PAGE. Again it is rather difficult to get the whole picture there before you, but there are 400,000 acres now suffering from a shortage of water supply.
Mr. Rich. All right, we will take that 400,000 acres and furnish them water at a cost of $170,000,000. That is going to be over $400 an acre.
Mr. PAGE. Again you fail to take into account a large part of the revenues, which will be from power, and the fact that another 400,000 acres in the delta will be benefited by control of the salt situation. I repeat that these projects are not undertaken unless the price per acre for the water is within the limit which the lands can produce, as shown by a very careful study.
COST PER ACRE OF DEVELOPMENT
Mr. LEAVY. Do you have the figures that would show what it is going to cost per acre for this development ?
Mr. Page. Yes; that has been figured out in tentative form. It has not been brought down to each area exactly, because some of the areas are going to have to pay more for their water and some are going to pay less, depending upon the amount of water which they require in their respective areas. Some areas in that delta will require, perhaps, only 1 foot of water per acre, and other areas will require 3 acre-feet of water per acre, and it is an involved process to arrive at the rate at which each acre shall repay the cost of this project.
Mr. LEAVY. I can see, then, that if you are going to allocate so much more water to one acre than to another it is going to cost that acre more than another.
Mr. PAGE. Yes.
Mr. Rich. But if you take your 400,000 acres and divide it into $170,000,000, it costs you over $400 an acre.
Mr. LEAVY. Your figures are in error, Mr. Rich, because there are more than 400,000 acres in the Central Valley project. There are 800,000 aces now that are now threatened with abandonment, and then out of that 800,000 acres there are 400,00 acres with a water shortage so acute that they might be abandoned in the near future. There you have over 1,200,000 acres.
Mr. Rich. Where do you get the authority for your figures ?
Mr. Rich. I got mine from the Interior Department, “How many acres will be developed ?" And they gave me 400,000. So I am not basing my figures on just my own ideas. I am trying to get the cost. I have the figures that they gave me, and it was the number of acres divided into the total cost.
Mr. O'NEAL. Mr. Page can answer that question, I think, Mr. Rich. Mr. Rich. If there is a mistake, let Mr. Page correct it. Let us get the facts.
Mr. Page. The discrepancy comes in this, that there are 400,000 acres now in distress, and that area is increasing. There are 800,000 acres that will benefit from this project, to a greater or less extent, by obtaining supplemental water, and then there are 400,000 acres more in the Delta which are threatened by salt.
Mr. Rich. I thought this was in answer to my question, "How many acres under cultivation has the project ?" Or, under irrigation, that was the question, and then, “How many acres will be irrigated or developed ?" "Four hundred thousand.” “How much land under cultivation now?” “Four hundred thousand.”
Mr. Page. That is correct. The land which is going to receive water is all under cultivation, and about half of it is going back to desert.
Mr. Leavy. Right there, Mr. Page. Was the Central Valley project in its origin a public project, or developed through private initiative! Mr. Page. It was entirely by private development.
Mr. LEAVY. And the Federal Government was never a factor in it until this question or situation concerning salt water and a water shortage arose ?
Mr. Page. That is correct.
Mr. LEAVY. And the purpose of this is to save that valuable land and the homes there? You said, I think, the other day that nearly 1,000,000 people are affected by this?
Mr. PAGE. Yes, sir.
Mr. Rich. I appreciate what the idea is. Your justification states that it is going back to desert, and you are only going to try to help the land. I want to help the land, but when I think of spending $400 an acre, it just seems to me it is almost a prohibitive cost.
Mr. BURLEW. It is not that much. Mr. Page. No. Because of the peculiarities of this project you cannot answer the question you have asked in just one word. While we said that, I say that applies only to the land which is in the State that you see in this picture [indicating].
Mr. Rich. You can see what I was trying to get at.
Mr. Rich. If the cost of a particular development is going to be more than the land is worth, that is just a foolish thing to do.
Mr. BURLEW. Of course, this land raises high-priced crops, too.
COLUMBIA BASIN PROJECT, WASHINGTON-GRAND COULEE DAM
Mr. SCRUGHAM. That brings us to the Columbia Basin project in Washington, of which the Grand Coulee Dam is the principal structure. The request for this project is $7,250,000.
Mr. Page. I submit the justification as follows:
Appropriations and allotments
Appropriation requested for fiscal year 1938, general fund.-------
Public Works allotment----
Grand Coulee Dam..
250, 000 20, 750,000
Estimated cost of foundation ----
62, 800, 000 55, 775, 000 67, 425, 000
---------------------------- DUT, UU
Estimated cost of dam and power plant
186, 000, 000 Estimated cost of irrigation system----------
208, 250, 000 Total cost of project------
--------- 394,500,000 Authorization.—Section 2 of the act of August 30, 1935 (49 Stat. 1928), entitled "An act authorizing the construction, repair, and preservation of certain public works on rivers and harbors, and for other purposes", provides as follows:
"That for the purpose of controlling floods, improving navigation, regulating the flow of the streams of the United States, providing for storage and for the delivery of the stored waters thereof, for the reclamation of public lands and Indian reservations, and other beneficial uses, and for the generation of electrical energy as a means of financially aiding and assisting such undertakings, the project known as 'Parker Dam' on the Colorado River, and "Grand Coulee Dam' on the Columbia River, are hereby authorized and adopted, and all contracts and agreements which have been executed in connection therewith are hereby validated and ratified, and the President, acting through such agents as he may designate, is hereby authorized to construct, operate, and maintain dams, structures, canals, and incidental works necessary to such projects, and in connection therewith to make and enter into any and all necessary contracts including contracts amendatory of or supplemental to those hereby validated and ratified.”
The above authorization was modified insofar as the Grand Coulee Dam is concerned by the appropriation item contained in the Interior Department Appropriation Act, fiscal year 1937, which provides in part as follows: “Provided further, That the obligations for the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam and appurtenant works, including those heretofore entered into, shall not exceed a total of $63,000,000, and no obligations in excess of that amount shall be incurred for such dam, or dams, canals, structures, for incidental works in connection therewith under section two of the Rivers and Harbors Act, approved August 30, 1935 (49 Stat. 1039, 1040), until appropriations, or contract authorizations, or both, therefor are hereafter specifically granted by Congress.”
The appropriation of $7,250,000 requested for 1938 is the balance required under the modified authorization.
Location. The Columbia Basin project is situated in western Washington in Franklin, Adams, Grant, Douglas, and Okanogan Counties. The Grand Coulee Dam, power plant, and pumping plant are located at the mouth of the Grand Coulee on the Columbia River, about 92 miles, by highway, west of Spokane. Lands to be irrigated lie on the east side of the Columbia River, extending from Soap Lake to Pasco.
Purpose.-The purpose of the Columbia Basin project is to convert 1,200,000 acres of arid, but otherwise excellent agricultural land, into productive farms and homes for from 15,000 to 30,000 families: to control the Columbia River for better navigation, lessening of flood damage, and better power production; and to produce surplus power for sale at Grand Conlee Dam to assist in payinent of construction charges and to provide a power for the general development of the Pac Northwest.
Description.--The Grand Coulee Dam across the Columbia River will raise the surface of the river 355 feet. A power plant will be constructed at the base of the dam to furnish power for pumping and commercial uses. Water will be pumped from the reservoir formed by the dam into a distribution reservoir formed by two dams in the Grand Coulee. From the Grand Coulee, water will be distributed by gravity canals and pumps to the irrigable area. Power generated in the canals serving the lower lands will be used to pump water to the higher lands.
The irrigable area of the Columbia Basin project is situated in the “Big Bend" country of Washington between the Snake and Columbia Rivers. The lands extend northward some 85 miles from the junction of the two rivers at Pasco on the southern edge.
The total irrigable area is about 1,200,000 acres, of which 980,000 acres can be served with gravity canals from the reservoir in Grand Coulee and 220.000 acres will require pumping to an average height of 70 feet. The entire area was covered by a soil survey in 1928 by the Department of Agriculture. The soil and climate of the project are very similar to the Yakima irrigation project, but the growing season is longer. The region is suited to general diversified farming, including forage, grains, and all kinds of fruits and vegetables.
At the present time about 85 percent of the land is privately owned and the remaining 15 percent is divided about evenly between public lands, State lands. and Northern Pacific Railway grants. It is planned to limit the individual farms under the project to an area of about 80 acres.
A brief description of the various features of the project is given in the following paragraphs:
Grand Coulee Dam will be a straight-gravity type concrete structure, 550 feet high, 4,200 feet long, 500 feet thick at the base and 30 feet at the top, and will contain 11,250,000 cubic yards of concrete. The spillway section across the river channel, 1.650 feet long, will be 30 feet lower than the nonoverflow abutments and will have a capacity of 1,000,000 second-feet. The spillway see tion will contain 60 gate-controlled outlet pipes at three different elevations (the lowest at about the level of the present stream bed), which will have a total capacity of 273,000 second-feet.
The reservoir formed by the dam will reach to the Canadian border, 150 miles upstream, and cover an area of 82,000 acres. Its total capacity will be 10.000.000 acre-feet, of which the top 80 feet, containing 5,000,000 acre-feet, will be used for river control, power production, and irrigation.
The Grand Coulee Dam and Reservoir is the key feature of the development of the Columbia River. The river control achieved by the storage in the reservoir will make for better navigation in the lower river and for a more dependable power supply at the various power sites on the river.
The power plant will be in two houses, one on each side of the river at the base of the dam. It will contain 1s 120,000-kilovolt-ampere generators and 3 service units of 7,500 kilovolt amperes each. From this installation 8,100.000.000 kilowatt-hours of firm energy and 5,000,000,000 kilowatt-hours of seasonal energy will be available yearly
The plant for pumping irrigation water into the distribution reservoir will be situated just above the dam at the west end. According to present plans there will be 12 pumps, each driven by a 65,000-horsepower motor, with a combined capacity of 19,200 second-feet. The normal pump lift will be 295 feet and the maximum 367.
The distribution reservoir will be fed from the pumping plant at Grand Coulee Dam. It will be situated in the ancient river channel of the Columbia River known as Grand Coulee. To form the reservoir it will be necessary to construct an earth-fill dam, 70 to 90 feet in height, at each end of the coulee. The reserroir capacity will be approximately 340,000 acre-feet.
A system of canals and laterals will distribute the water to the land. Power plants will be installed at six drops in the gravity canal, which will generate 45.000 horsepower to be used for pumping to the higher land.
It is believed that a reasonable plan of construction would require about 22 rears for the completion of the distribution system. Under this plan the first unit, to irrigate 150.000 acres, would be completed in 1943. and 50.000 acres would be added yearly thereafter.
Protection of fish is a problem of importance is large numbers of migrators Chinook salmon and game fish pass up and down the Columbia River. Realis ing that the Grand Coulee Dam will be an insurmountable barrier to the mus grating fish, the Bureau early entered into studies for their protection in co
operation with the United States Bureau of Fisheries, the Washington State Department of Fisheries, and the Washington State Department of Game. The plan of providing fish ladders or elevators for passing the fish over the dam was early discarded as being too expensive and of doubtful value. Subsequent studies have all been directed to some plan for trapping the fish for artificial propagation. Under this plan it is believed that the fish will have a better chance of survival than they would if left undisturbed in the river. The site now believed to be worthy of the greatest consideration for trapping the fish is at the fish ladders below the Rock Island Dam.
Estimated costs and funds available.—The estimated cost of the high dam and power plant is $186,000,000. The estimated cost of the foundation dam is $62,960,000. The Public Works Administration originally allotted $63,000,000 for the construction of the Grand Coulee low dam and power plant. This allotment was subsequently reduced to $15,000,000. An Emergency Relief allocation of $19,800,000 and a regular appropriation of $20,750,000 makes a total of $55,550,000 available to date.
In addition to the funds for construction of the dam an Emergency Relief allocation of $250,000 is available for investigations and surveys for irrigation development. This work is now in progress.
Repayment.-Repayment contracts will be prepared as soon as funds are made available for construction of the irrigation system. Power revenues from the sale of electricity at 2 mills per kilowatt-hour will be sufficient to pay a large part of the cost of the irrigation system, as well as for the power facilities. Charges against the land for irrigation will be repaid over a period of 40 years without interest under the reclamation law and charges against the power system are to be repaid in 50 years with interest at 4 percent.
Studies of the available power market indicate that the normal expected growth in load in the Pacific Northwest will absorb the entire output of the Bonneville and Diablo plants by 1941, when Grand Coulee power could first be made available. If from that date only half the increased demand was supplied from Grand Coulee the entire output would be absorbed in 20 years without allowance for commercial power uses on the project.
Construction program. The structure for which the original allotment of $63,000,000 was made by the Public Works Administration was the so-called low dam and power plant. This structure would have been of little value except for the incidental generation of electricity. The storage capacity would have been too small to be of any use for river regulation and the water surface of the river would not have been raised high enough to permit pumping for irrigation. Although provision was made in the foundation for raising the dam, the practicability of such a plan was very doubtful. Consequently a decision was reached to expend the same amount of money in construction of a foundation for the high dam.
This foundation dam will be of no practical value unless the dam is completed to its ultimate height. Furthermore, if the present construction is to be utilized to the best advantage, construction must go forward without cessation. The $7,250,000 requested will be used to complete the foundation dam.
Construction of this foundation under the present contract should be completed about the middle of the fiscal year 1938. Work completed to January 1, 1937, includes the excavation of approximately 16,000,000 cubic yards of material and the pouring of 1,750,000 cubic yards of concrete. The river was diverted from its channel in December and now flows through four 40-foot wide slots in the western section of the dam. Cofferdams are being built around the central part of the damsite, preliminary to unwatering the area, excavating the foundation, and placing the concrete.
The first stage in the making of economic surveys of project lands, including the retracement of section lines, setting permanent monuments, establishing level control and taking of topography, has been in progress since 1935 under an Emergency Relief Administration allocation of $250,000. On January 1, 1937, retracement surveys had been completed for more than 500,000 acres, monuments placed for 400,000 acres, level control established for 375,000 acres and topography taken for 180,000 acres. This work can be carried on only through the fiscal year 1937 unless additional funds are made available.
Mr. LEAVY. Now, on the Grand Coulee project, Mr. Page, in this estimate you are asking for $7,250,000. Does that sum carry that project to completion?
139751—37-pt. 1- 20