« PreviousContinue »
increased requirements of many old and new Federal and State agencies for the information derived from such studies; second, because of severe droughts during the past several years; and, third, because of the recent disastrous floods in various sections of the country.
Many Federal and State organizations have had increasing needs for information about the quantity, quality, use, control, or removal of water, in connection with numerous planning and construction activities related to water power, steam power, irrigation, navigation, drainage, flood control, bridges, highways, municipal water supplies, sewage systems, soil-erosion control, resettlement, forcstation, wildlife sanctuaries, flood prediction and control, and public buildings. The records of the Geological Survey, though in many instances too few, short, or fragmentary, have therefore been in constant demand. They have aided in keeping many projects on safe and sane bases of fact and have prevented, to a large extent, the waste of funds either in works of uneconomic design in their relation to water, or in schemes which were doomed to failure because of too much or too little water. Many engineers of the Geological Survey have served on official committees, both Federal and State, and on boards of various kinds engaged in planning and have brought to the problems an expert knowledge based upon many years of intimate relationship with them.
The effects of the prolonged drought have been widespread. They have ranged from disaster resulting in the removal of the population from some sections to the ordinary losses and discomforts which accompany considerable periods of no rain in other sections. Droughts are recurrent; they vary in intensity, duration, and extent. They fix the lower quantities of water supply and, therefore, limit the size of developments that are practicable unless provision is made for storage of water or for other means of augmenting the supply naturally available during lowwater periods. In connection with all these aspects of water supply, control, and use, records of stages and discharges of streams and of stages and quantities of ground water are of major importance. During the past year every effort has been made to collect as much information as possible with the funds available for use in connection with future problems of development and utilization.
Floods also are recurrent. They occur in all sections of the country in varying degrees of intensity, yearly or oftener in some regions, rarely in others. Ordinary floods pass unnoticed; extraordinary floods casue widespread suffering and loss of property and life. The disasters due to floods have been brought forcibly to attention by the floods in the spring of 1936 affecting practically all the northeastern States as far south as Virginia, and by the more recent floods in central Texas. In 1935 the floods in central New York and on the Republican River and its tributaries in Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas took their toll of property and life. Continuous and unbroken records of stage and discharge of streams are of the utmost importance in the planning and construction of works to lessen the effects of floods.
Studies of water resources are conducted largely in cooperation with States and municipalities and a large part of the appropriation is available only for such cooperation. Because of the universal use of water for a wide variety of national, State, municipal, and individual purposes, reliable information with respect to it is needed by public and private agencies in all parts of the country. The cooperative program of investigations and observations is designed to serve the needs of all. In this important program, the Geological Survey serves as the coordinating agency. It sets and maintains standards, directs the operations, and publishes the results. Thus the costs to all are reduced, duplications of effort are avoided, the most modern methods and standards are followed throughout the country, and the records are published uniformly and regularly in the series of watersupply papers available to all users.
In many regions the limits of development of the water resources have been or are being approached. In other regions, the problems of further development are complex and involve careful correlation and integration of various water and land uses. There is a definite demand for the extension of the system of permanent gaging stations to all nationally important streams as well as to streams of more local concern, for the systematic continuance of studies of ground water and quality of water, and for the appropriate organization and application of available information in connection with the many problems of water utilization and control. In those regions where he water resources have been or will soon be fully utilized, water becomes a limiting factor and further developments are possible only by abandonment of some uses in order to make water available for other and more valuable or higher uses. There are many regions in the United States where this condition exists at the present time. Thus the quantity of available
water limits the acreage of land that may be irrigated, the location and size of power plants and industrial establishments, and in exceptional instances the growth of towns and cities.
The Federal intereste in problems of the Nation's water resources are no less acute than those of State and local agencies. The Federal interests relate in part to the activities of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Interior. Justice, Navy, State, and War, the Federal Power Commission, the Public Works Administration, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the National Resource Committee, and the Resettlement Administration. The Federal interests are also involved in interstate commerce, and in electric power generated at many power sites and transmitted across State boundaries. It is obvious from the breadth and importance of governmental and private interests in the collection of important basic information concerning the country's water supply that the continuation of records should be determined primarily by its importance and value and should not be subject to the vagaries of financial fortunes and policies of private interests and smaller governmental units. Such agencies cannot t expected to collect records of flow that are primarily valuable for future une and on which expenditures incurred may yield returns only after many years. The records collected by such agencies would not be uniform and would generally te more or less unreliable, broken, erratic, scattered, and unpublished.
Water is one of the most valuable national assets that must be conserved and properly used. Where there is no water there is no life, and the collection of information of quantity, quality, occurrence, and use of the surface and ground waters of our country is more than a regional problem it is a national problem
As in previous years, a study of the country's water supply is conducted along five principal lines: Surface water, ground water, qualitv of water, power resource, and water utilization. The division of the appropriation among the variou activities is brought out in the following discussins.
The surface water investigations are organized irto 35 districts each with a local office in charge of a district engineer at the following places Montgomers',
lla.; Tucson, Ari; Fort Smith, Ark., San Francisco, Calií.; Denver, Conden Hartford, Conn.; Dintrict of Columbia; Oenla, Fla.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Beze Idaho; Idaho Falls, Idaho: t'rbana, Ill.; Indianapolis, Ind.; lona (iti, luma; Topeka, hans.; Augusta, Maine; Boston, Mars.; St. Paul, Minn.; Roila, Mo.: Heleria, Mont.; Trenton, V. J.; Santa Fe, N. Mex.; Albany, N. Y.; Atelje. X. (.; Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Oreg.; Harrisburg, Pa; (olumtia, 8. (:: (hattanoeka. Tenn: Austin, Tex; Salt Lake City, I'tah; l'alteruity, Va.; Tacoma, Wawh.; South Charleston, W. l'a.; Madison, Wis.
DISTHINETION OF FINDS PROVIDED BY THE BUDGET ESTIMATE POR 1084
The proposed up of the funds pstimated in the Budget for 1935, as well as the m* of funds availai le for 1936 and 1937, may be analyzed first in a summary of the whole in tai le 1, Bllouer by an account of each item in detail.
The "Gagilig Streamin' item in 1936 amounted to $60,000); and in 1937, to $791,317. The estimate for the fiscal year 1935 1 800,000.
(OOPERATION WITH TATLS AND MUNICIPALITI2.5 The group of tale under the leadır table 2 shows the details and emmary the farers of the contin prigra'n for the fiscal years 19,30, 1937, and 1939,
During the facal scar 1936 the total of the State and runicipal cooperative offerings was $591,11933, wluch checked very closely with the prediction of
$588,644.85 made to this committee 2 years ago. To match that amount on the recognized basis the Geological Survey would have required $580,991.86, but only $458,000 was available, a deficiency of $122,991.86. Many of the States accepted the uneven matching, but a few of the States, because of their legislation which restricted State contributions to the amounts of actual Federal contributions, necessarily held back some of their funds, to the amount of $13,142.70. The actual cooperative expenditures during the year thus were: Federal, $456,524.90State and municipal, $577,970.03.
The total State funds offered in cooperation thus far in the fiscal year 1937 are $605,959.31, whereas the prediction of such offerings as presented to this committee a year ago was $596,845. To meet the offers for cooperation in 1937 (generally on the basis of equal allotments by the Federal Government, but in some instances on the basis of lesser Federal allotments in connection with cooperation with municipalities), and also to meet certain obligations carried over from last year, a total of $634,751.91 would be required. However, only $589,317 is available for this purpose out of the 1937 appropriation. The difference between the latter two items is $45,434.91, which is designated in the summary table as "Deficiency of Federal funds for meeting State cooperation."
It is estimated at this time that the State offers of cooperation in 1938 will amount to more than $633,000; the experience of the previous 2 years, cited above, shows that the actual offerings will probably prove to be larger than this preliminary estimate. The Federal funds required to meet offers of that amount on the recognized basis will be about $626,000. The budget estimate provides $600,000 to be used only for cooperation for 1938. Therefore, the estimated "Deficiency of Federal funds for meeting State cooperation" is shown in the table as about $26,000 for the fiscal year 1938.
I (apteening ota rontrid s .nl Berstate amount for surface water investigations
! ..25 Laat .1:, but because of densory in Feferui e rta.sales are
their minilulutas, the lvlad reduction being $11.4. 1 lit anulat, a laiget Textie $::,
Loen set up.
That part of the annual appropriation which is not specifically restricted to use in cooperation with States and municipalities is available for general noncooperative work. The amounts thus available or estimated for the fiscal years 1936, 1937, and 1938 have been indicated in table 1. For convenience of the committee this noncooperative work will be presented under three principal headings:
(A) Federal river-measurement stations on Colorado River and tributaries:
(B) other Federal river-measurement stations; and (C) miscellaneous Federal projects and Federal administration. The amounts allotted from the noncooperative funds under these three headings are summarized in the following table:
Table 3.—Principal uses of noncooperative funds
These allotments and uses of noncooperative funds may be analyzed in more detail as follows:
A. FEDERAL RIVER-MEASUREMENT STATIONS ON COLORADO RIVER AND TRIBUTARIES
The necessity for the establishment and operation of stations on the Colorado River and tributaries at Federal expense was recognized by the Congress in the Interior Department Appropriation Act for 1929 in which $50,000 was made available "For the operation and maintenance of the Lees Ferry, Ariz., gaging station and other base gaging stations in the Colorado River drainage". There ■was a change in the wording of the stream gaging item beginning with that for the fiscal year 1936, whereby specific reference to the Colorado River stations is omitted and the funds therefor are carried in the noncooperative part of the appropriation.
The 17 Colorado River gaging stations now being operated with the funds allotted under this heading include three new stations constructed (and prior to June 30, 1935, operated also) by means of Public Works funds. These three new stations are near Willow Beach and Parker, Ariz., and at Picacho, Calif. They were constructed at these sites from 10 to 250 miles below Boulder Dam Reservoir in order to determine the uses and channel losses of water below the reservoir, the quantities of water available at principal diversion points, and later the amounts of water diverted. The determinations of silt load and chemical composition of water at these three stations by comparison with the data obtained at the Grand Canyon station indicate the amount of silt deposited in the reservoir, the changes in chemical composition resulting from mixing and storage, and the rate of picking up a silt load in the channel below the reservoir. Continued operation of all of the 17 Colorado River stations is an imperative Federal need.
The distribution of funds under this heading in 1936, 1937, and 1938 is shown in the following table:
Table 4.—Federal stations on Colorado River and tributaries