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Right now I have correspondence with the State Department concerning their distress. It seems that thi6 agrarian colonization ictivity is going on, and the Mexicans are going on their property, which is supposed to be private property, and settling there as well as in the Mexican lands.
Last year you gave us $6,500,000. This year the Budget estimate is for $1,000,000. If you will give us $2,500,000, that finishes the job.
Mr. Leavy. You mean you can have the canal completed and the water running in it for the crop season of 1938?
Mr. Dockweiler. That is right.
If you ask the question, "Will we come back for any more?", insofar its this Boulder Dam project is concerned, there was a certain canal to be constructed up the Coachella Valley, which is a valley some distance away, to the north of Imperial Valley, with another great settlement of people in there, raising dates, alfalfa, fruits, and so forth.
Mr. Leavy. But you would have eliminated all this problem of uncertainty and international complications?
Mr. Dockweiler. That is right; and we would dispatch the completion of it if you give us the $2,500,000; whereas, if you only give us $1,000,000 this year, we would have to come back next year.
STATEMENT OF HON. ED. V. IZAC, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COMPLETION" OF ALL-AMERICAN CANAL
Mr. Scrugham. Mr. Izac, we will be glad to hear your statement at this time.
Mr. Izac. At the outset, I would like to read this telegram, addressed to me by Evan T. Hewes, president of the Imperial irrigation district, El Centra, Calif, [reading]:
Without going into details of our present situation with which you are doubtless familiar, sufficient to say there are many reasons why it is imperative All-American Canal should be completed at earliest possible date. Least Congress should do is put back million and half dollars borrowed from canal funds for emergency relief last December. We urge you urge Appropriation Committee utmost important do this.
Now, I would like to comment a little further on this subject. If we can get this money for the All-American Canal, the contract should be completed by April, and ready for use by the 1st of July, so we can turn water into the canal. You do not know what that means to us down there. You do not know what it means to us when the water finally flows from the new dam into the All-American Canal, north of the border, and when we do not have to depend on anything that happens below the border.
Mr. Leavy. Do you mean that would be 1 year from now?
Mr. Izac Yes; one year from now. It will be right after July 1, 1938. That is what you are appropriating for in this bill. Now, if you do not appropriate that money, you can readily see it will be one year later. In the meantime, the Mexican Government has had colonization schemes going on down there below the line. There are several thousand agrarians to be brought in there, and some have already arrived. I understand that they are taking over lands that have never been irrigated, and, therefore, they will use that much more water. If they consume that large quantity of water before we?; the AU-American Canal completed, they would have a perfect riji: to go into a higher tribunal and say, "We are using that water,and*own it just as much as the United States does." The result will k that they will be getting more than they are entitled to get from the building of Boulder Dam. The only way we can hold them withi bounds, as I see it, by giving them what they are using now, is to uk? some action. They are increasing their use every year at a tremendoi: rate, and they are constantly reaching out establishing more colonic in order to use more water. There is every reason for completing tbt work by next year, or by the summer of 1938, the year to which this money would apply. If that is done, I believe we will be able tow over this summer period.
We will be in a good position then with our own water coming in r-j the All-American Canal next summer. At least, it will be makkri start. If you put us off for another year, it will be with the attends:: demoralizing circumstances, and with consequences that no one knor except those who live along that border. You may remember Ik we have had various unpleasant things heppen along the border both before and since Villa's descent on Columbus, N. Mex. Thosetiap can happen again in spite of the fine relationship existing bewem the two countries now.
Mr. Leavy. How long has it been since the Mexican people hw increased their activity in diverting the use of water from the Riw'
Mr. Izac. Last year the amount that they used was tremendoi increased. Now, in 1932, they were using only 217,534 acre-feet: it
1933 that consumption jumped to 402,441 acre-feet. Then in 1P34:: increased to 426,153 acre-feet and in 1935 to 746,484 acre-feet. From
1934 to 1935 the use was almost doubled. Then, in 1936, the consuEf tion was 870,768 acre-feet.
Mr. Leavy. Was that in part due to the activity of American! z planning diversions above the international border?
Mr. Izac. No; this is all below.
Mr. Leavy. Was that unusual activity a reflection of the fact th* water was going to be taken out on the American side?
Mr. Izac. It was a reflection of their fear that if they did not us * lot in those years, when the time for opening the All-American (W came, they would not have any ground to stand on in their complain that they were not getting the amount of water that thev were entidea to. In 1936 they used 870,768 acre-feet. In allocating the water to be stored by the building of Boulder Dam the Government originailf offered 750,000 acre-feet for use below the border. The water was w apportioned nicely among the projects, but the Mexicans did not lit' to take 750,000 acre-feet, and the result was that they have never closed the deal.
Mr. Leavy. They have used how much?
Mr. Izac. They used 870,768 acre-feet last year. This year they will use all their canal will carry, regardless of what is left for us M the American side. If they do, we can get by somehow this summer.
Mr. Leavy. Under existing circumstances, there is nothing nov W stop the Mexican people from using the entire flow through the canalMr. Izac. There is nothing to prevent it.
Mr. Leavy. I mean the flow of water through the present canal.
Mr. Swing. It depends on how long it lasts. It carries between ,000 and 4,000 second-feet of water.
Mr. Leavy. How much did they use this last year, or what perjntage did they use?
Mr. Swing. I do not have the percentage. I believe it was about ne-third the total.
Mr. Leavy. You can supply that for the record.
Mr. Izac. Yes; we will get that. We will get the proportion that ach side used. As you can see, the danger is that this summer they rill turn the floodgates loose down there. Even if they cannot use i, they will turn it loose. There is nothing to prevent the agrarians rom going up there and opening the dikes and flooding the country.
Mr. Leavy. They could not make a showing that it was being •eneficially used.
Mr. Izac. They could say that they were flooding this land, and fou would have to prove that it was land that they never used. They ire colonizing agrarians every day over there, and there is no telling vow many will be in tbere by another year.
Mr. Page. I was going to say that the reason for the tremendous increase down there is the fact that at the time the increase started was when the first release was made at Boulder Dam. There was no water available to them at low-water periods until Boulder Dam began to release a regular flow. That is the time the increased Mexican diversion started. Up to that time, the low water flow was insufficient for any considerable area in that territory.
Mr. Izac. From now on, there will be no lack of water so far as Boulder Dam is concerned.
Mr. Page. There is no reason to anticipate a shortage in the lower river again.
Mr. Izac. It is important that the All-American Canal be ready to provide water for the land that will be irrigated. For that reason, I sincerely trust the committee will see that the $1,500,000 is included, increasing the total to $2,500,000 to complete the Ail-American Canal by next summer.
Tuesday, April 13, 1937.
Imperial Valley And Coachella Valley Projects, California
STATEMENT OF HON. HARRY R. SHEPPARD, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. Sheppard. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I want to tell you that I appreciate your courtesy in permitting me to appear before you.
I have heard the gentlemen commenting here on the Imperial Valley, and Mr. Swing also touched upon the Coachella Valley. It happens that the Coachella Valley lies in my district, and I am very materially interested in seeing that this whole project continue along the orderly course originally intended.
I will say to you gentlemen that our problem would be materially easier if our relief organizations had not required the $1,500,000 of fund that had been allocated to this project.
Insofar as I am concerned, I represent a district that has maaV i large investment. In fact, we have an assessed valuation in ti; Coachella Valley of $15,000,000, which, under our ratio of ascments, would mean an investment of $130,000,000. There at 20,000 acres there that belong to the Government, which have b« taken out of entry until such time as this work is completed. Or water level in this section of California has been receding. It \a been going down, and we cannot economically pump any longer t take care of our production.
This valley produces approximately 95 percent of the dates th" are produced in the United States, and, by the way, here is a samp; of them. Perhaps that is the final answer to the question of whether or not, we really produce great dates in this valley. TYe happen be very fortunate so far as climatic conditions are concerned in tki particular area. "We must have more water. Almost all the peof* who have built homes in the district I represent are pleading to ten the project consummated and successfully completed so they »' continue their production, and not have the land revert bici J desert.
At this time, I would like to have permission to introduce Bio tit record a statement which I will hand to the reporter, and whkhwl cut down the time that I would otherwise consume in explaining lis situation. I will ask that this statement be inserted in the record.* that you gentlemen can read it at your leisure.
Gentlemen, I feel this way about the request we are making, Use the language of a former distinguished Chief Executive:
They took the money away from us, and now they should put it back *Sw*' belonged in the first place.
I appreciate very much the opportunity to appear, and will subfflt this further statement for the record. Thank you, gentlemen, for pc favorable consideration.
Mr. Scrugham. It may be inserted at this point.
(The statement submitted is as follows:)
Coachella Valley is an interior valley, located in Riverside County, in sout!*? California, about 120 miles southeasterly from Los Angeles. It is the norths? arm of the Colorado River Desert, which also includes the Imperial Vallev. * tween the two valleys lies the Salton Sea, 40 miles long, which is the lo»' sp°- '■' the desert, to which both valleys slope and drain.
Coachella Valley may be likened to the bowl of a spoon, 60 miles long K& •■ miles wide, tipped at its base, the tip at an elevation of 2,500 feet, the awe, »t '• Balton Sea, being 250 feet below sea level. The valley floor is a rather sm<x« plain, having, besides its axial slope from northwest to southeast, lateral sw?<from the axis up to the mountain ranges on either side. The mountain W<*» the Pacific Ocean side of the valley, San Jacinta and Santa Rosa Mountain-1exceedingly precipitous, rising from 5,000 to 12,000 feet. The mountains « the eastern side, San Brenardino Range, are generally lower, but also abrupt
The valley is described by physiographers as constructional in type, r»>\j than formed by erosion. The mountain masses represent raised blocks ana valley a sunken block. Thus, Coachella Valley, Salton Sea, Imperial wuv and the Gulf of California constitute a great trough 1,000 miles long, creatw .
; agency of faulting, and dropping as the coastal range on the west and the lower iges on the east were raised. Silt carried by the Colorado River to its delta mmed the gulf off from the two valleys and thus through the ages they have sn unwatered and made agricultural land where once was sea-bottom. During the process of deformation, materials were eroded from the mountains d transported by water into the sunken Coachella Valley, creating a valley , composed of gravels, sands, silts, and clays. This fill, as demonstrated by illed wells, is more than 1,000 feet deep.
Coachella Valley is, therefore, a watertight rock bowl, receiving its water pply entirely from precipitation on its watershed. The effective storage parity of the bowl is made up of the void spaces between the particles of the nd and gravel in the valley fill.
The climate of the valley floor is hot and arid. By "hot" is meant annually curring temperatures exceeding 120 degrees and recorded temperatures of -er 90 degrees in every month of the year. By "arid" is meant an average inual rainfall of less than 3 inches and recorded periods of 2 years with no •ecipitation. Irrigation, with a rather heavy water duty, is thus indispensable i the growth of any agricultural products.
The principal stream feeding the valley is the Whitewater River, rising in the ortheastern portion of the watershed and extending the length of the valley to he Salton Sea. This trunk stream has about 15 small tributaries arising in the orthern and western mountains. The aggregate area of the watershed is 1,108 quare miles, of which about 400 square miles, in the eastern range, produce omparativcly little water. The smaller inflowing streams, except on occasions f very unusual rainfall, discharge their flow into the sandy valley fill and are averted for use or sink underground almost immediately. The Whitewater is aused to sink underground by water-spreading works maintained by Coachella falley County water district on its gravelly debris cone.
CHARACTER OF WATERSHED
The mountainous watersheds of the Whitewater and tributaries are precipitous, irith deep-cut canyons, rising up to peaks, San Gorgonio and San Jacinto, at about 11,000 feet elevation. Timber line is at about 9,000 feet. The slopes between i,000 and 9,000 feet are covered with thin, open pine forest, interrupted by rock »tches and areas burned long ago and since covered with brush. The lower ilopes are generally covered with continuous growth of brush, chaparal, juniper, ind pinon pine.
Evaporation from the Pacific Ocean charges the warm air with moisture. Prevailing winds move east. On reaching the cool mountain mass of the coast range the moisture is discharged. Thus the precipitation on the western or Pacific coast slope of these mountains is much heavier than on the desert side to the east. The greater part of the precipitation that does occur on the desert side is in the months from December to March.
THE UNDERGROUND RESERVOIR
The sole source of all water in the underground reservoir of Coachella Valley is the light rainfall on the surrouifding watersheds on the desert side of the mountains. This rainfall, minus evaporation in transit to the valley floor and also minus occasional torrential run-off which rushes down to the Salton Sea, constitutes a definite, limited, annual "crop" of water. It has for ages past fed into the underground reservoir, yet the run-off thus accumulated was not sufficient to fill up the reservoir or change the desert character of the surface soil. (Salton S«a, as it now exists, was created by a break in the Colorado River in the years 1904 to 1906.) When the first wells were drilled, about 1894, the valley was an extremely barren desert, but the underground water supply seemed to be abundant.