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le agency of faulting, and dropping as the coastal range on the west and the lower inges on the east were raised. Silt carried by the Colorado River to its delta emmed the gulf off from the two valleys and thus through the ages they have een unwatered and made agricultural land where once was sea-bottom.
During the process of deformation, materials were eroded from the mountains nd transported by water into the sunken Coachella Valley, creating a valley Il, composed of gravels, sands, silts, and clays. This fill, as demonstrated by rilled wells, is more than 1,000 feet deep.
Coachella Valley is, therefore, a watertight rock bowl, receiving its water upply entirely from precipitation on its watershed. The effective storage apacity of the bowl is made up of the void spaces between the particles of the and and gravel in the valley fill.
CLIMATE The climate of the valley floor is hot and arid. By "hot" is meant annually ecurring temperatures exceeding 120 degrees and recorded temperatures of »ver 90 degrees in every month of the year. By "arid" is meant an average innual rainfall of less than 3 inches and recorded periods of 2 years with no precipitation. Irrigation, with a rather heavy water duty, is thus indispensable to the growth of any agricultural products.
DRAINAGE AREAS The principal stream feeding the valley is the Whitewater River, rising in the northeastern portion of the watershed and extending the length of the valley to the Salton Sea. This trunk stream has about 15 small tributaries arising in the northern and western mountains. The aggregate area of the watershed is 1,108 square miles, of which about 400 square miles, in the eastern range, produce comparatively little water. The smaller inflowing streams, except on occasions of very unusual rainfall, discharge their flow into the sandy valley fill and are diverted for use or sink underground almost immediately. The Whitewater is caused to sink underground by water-spreading works maintained by Coachella Valley County water district on its gravelly debris cone.
CHARACTER OF WATERSHED
The mountainous watersheds of the Whitewater and tributaries are precipitous, with 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 5,000 and 9,000 feet are covered with thin, open pine forest, interrupted by rock patches and areas burned long ago and since covered with brush. The lower slopes are generally covered with continuous growth of brush, chaparal, juniper, and pinon pine.
PRECIPITATION 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 & 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 Sea, 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.
The wells dug following 1894 were few in number and generally shallow i depth and were drilled for domestic use. These were gradually increased until over 1,200 wells now exist, supplying water for the irrigation of approximater 15,000 acres, the deepest wells running from 1,200 to 1,500 feet. Most of the used for irrigation were drilled after 1910. Since 1920 comparatively few wells have been drilled, owing to the general realization that the underground supply was insufficient to meet the demands being made upon it.
DRAFT ON THE UNDERGROUND SUPPLY The lower part of the valley, adjoining Salton Sea, contains beds of clays ud fine silts. The water in this area is confined under these beds by artesian pressure Abundant artesian flows were accordingly obtained from the wells first drilled in this area.
The artesian area, prior to 1900, extended from the sea to north of Indio covered approximately 78,900 acres. Today the artesian area extends only to a point between Thermal and Coachella and covers about 34,150 acres. It has de creased 57 percent in the last 25 years.
Further, artesian wells have shown a marked decrease of pressure and cose quently of quantity of flow. Wells which once spouted water 15 to 20 feet in 2 air now barely flow, or must be pumped.
Outside the artesian area a definite and steadily progressive decline of the underground water table has been taking place since 1910. Since its organizatico in 1918, Coachella Valley County water district has kept well observations sod records. It now has data on the levels in approximately 200 wells. Typical graphs of such wells show a fairly regular and constant decline, averaging 15 to 2 feet per annum.
_The diminution of the ground water supply has been felt in various Fun Wells have steadily produced less and less water. The standing level it water plane has gone down. Also the "draw-down" during pumping has increase By reason of both factors farmers have been obliged to deepen their well sud have had to junk serviceable centrifugal pumps and substitute turbine putok because the former would not function. Costs of pumping, already too high tú other than high-value specialty crops, have become excessive.
CONCLUSIONS 1. Agriculture in Coachella Valley is made possible only by irrigation. 2. Irrigation in the valley today is positively limited by
(a) The definite quantity of water which has been accumulated in ages pas in the underground basin, plus
(6) The slight and varying water crop which can be immediately used or sultad to the underground supply.
3. The contraction of the artesian area and the steady decline of the solat table demonstrate beyond question that the draft on the basin to irrigate 13 present acreage has substantially exceeded the average annual water crop of the past 25 years, causing an alarming fall in the water table of the underground reservoir.
4. Both the artesian area and the outside area in which water can be obtained at all is threatened with decline unless a large additional quantity of water imported to the valley.
5. If the rate at which the water table has been falling is kept up in the future, lands around the rim of the basin which are now irrigated soon no longer will able to get water by deepening the wells.
6. Ultimately the supply will be exhausted. Then only an area limited to small fraction of that now farmed can be irrigated, at an extreme cost, from iz water annually flowing into the basin. A large portion of the now products farms must revert to barren desert with tremendous losses in property value
7. The foregoing conclusions are directly in line with actual experience in the western valleys where irrigation by wells has overdrawn the annual replenishment of a limited underground supply and where the process of exhausting the accur lated reserve of ages has gone to a more advanced stage than in Coachella Valley.
8. There is no source from which a supplementary supply of water can secured, other than the Colorado River. As put by Senator Johnson in Irrigation Committee Report, No. 592, on the Boulder Canyon Project Act Cong., 1st sess.) in the construction of the All-American Canal from the Colors River to Coachella Valley "lies the only hope of this section."
MONDAY, APRIL 12, 1937.
GILA PROJECT, ARIZONA
STATEMENT OF HUGO FARMER
Mr. SCRUGHAM. Mr. Farmer.
Mr. FARMER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, my lame is Hugo Farmer, and I appear before you in behalf of the proYosed appropriation for the Gila project.
Now, gentlemen, I would like to present each one of you with one f these booklets, if you will take them please. If you will turn to the nap that is in the booklet, about the center of it, it may help you to Follow some of my statements. It shows both the American and Mexi
an lands and the international boundary line marked with a red pencil.
In connection with that project, I want to call your attention to international problems which I consider make it imperative for the C'nited States to exercise reasonable diligence in developing the Gila project.
It was well stated by the special committee appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to investigate and report on the feasibility of the Gila project. First in a telegram, January 19, 1936:
We urge it as imperative to initiate water rights in Colorado River for one and two class lands in all units of project and for Arizona to establish sound water rights to needed portion Colorado water.
And in their final report, completed about February 15, 1936, afterstating that there had been 2,800,000 acre-feet of water reserved for the irrigation of American lands in Arizona, they state:
The water supply will be ample and the problem under consideration is, how must we proceed to insure to Arizona the perpetual rights to the supply named; i. e., 2,800,000 acre-feet?
No other method is known than complying with the old law which makes it mandatory to initiate a right by actual construction of the necessary work and the application of water on the lands for beneficial use, and that due diligence is exercised in carrying on construction and settlement.
This project which is the heart of Arizona's future possible agricultural expansion, is threatened by both interstate and international complications.
Old Mexico has also a great stretch of mesa of several hundred thousand acres joining the Yuma Desert mesa of the Gila project at the international boundary and extending many miles south to the Gulf of California. It is a reasonable agsumption that this frostless Mexican mesa contigiuous to the Yuma Desert area will in time be viewed with favor by some American or foreign interests, if not by Mexico itself, which will lead to a demand for great quantities of Colorado River water to be applied to these lands at the risk of loss to American water rights.
While Mexico might have no legal rights for the irrigation of this great mesa, it may secure funds to make a start on a very comprehensive plan for irrigating both the mesa and new delta lands and acquire at least a moral right that would have to be considered in the future if our Government had allowed them to initiate rights for the irriagtion of new lands ahead of those in the United States. Mexico has already established valid claims to a substantial quantity on the delta lands through beneficial use.
The importance of the Gila reclamation project is not confined to Arizona alone, but to the l'nited States, and the allocation to each State should be recognized as water assigned from the Colorado to definite use in the United States.
I will next call your attention to portions of the report of the American section of the International Water Commission, United States and Mexico (71st Cong., 2d sess., H. Doc. 359).
On page 44 we find the following:
So far as we are advised the only instance of the determination of international rights to water for irrigation and other consumptive uses, between the United States and Mexico, is the convention for the equitable distribution of the water of the Rio Grande River, signed May 21, 1906. Under this convention the United States undertakes to provide a regulated flow of water from a reservor built by and within the United States, and supplied with water wholly from United States territory, sufficient to irrigate certain lands in Mexico which had been previously irrigated from the unregulated flow of this river.
The American section then offered to the Mexican section a proposal that Mexico be allowed 750,000 acre-feet of water for the Mexican lands in the delta of the Colorado River, stating that they were taking into consideration the amount of Mexican lands irrigated at the time (1929) and that such amount of water would be ample for the irrigation of such lands.
As great activity is now going on in the development of Mexican lands in the Colorado River delta, and as they now have under ingation, or preparing for irrigation, some 463,000 acres of Mexicus lands, and are also contemplating the construction of a weir dam : short distance south of the international boundary line for the irrigation of an additional 300,000 acres, and a railroad has just been completed from Mexicali to Port Otis on the Gulf of Mexico, and thousands of agrarians are moving into that area in response to 8 new agrarian land policy recently adopted in Mexico, we feel that there is good reason to fear that actual cultivation and irrigation of these Mexican lands and the slowness of development in the United States may seriously impair, if not actually take away the right to water so necessary to the development of our American lands.
The Mexican section very definitely refused to accept in behalf of their Government the amount of 750,000 acre-feet offered by the American section, and insisted on a minimum amount of 3,480,00 acre-feet, page 69 of that report.
It is also set forth in the report at page 43 that in Mexico the lands irrigable, including the lands irrigated, in the Colorado River delts without including lands in the upper end of the Gulf of California which had not been explored, had an area of 1,500,000 acres. The total for Mexico, as shown at page 91 of the report, is estimated $6 1,961,000 acres.
The total of irrigated and irrigable American lands in the lower basın of the Colorado River, according to that International Water Commission report and their engineers' findings, is estimated at over 2,000,000 acres. The total flow of the Colorado River (not including the Gila River, the water of which never reaches the Colorado River, except in rare flash floods, and then only below all points of diversion to be constructed for irrigation of American lands) as estimated at page 91 of the report, is 17,080,000 acre-feet annually. Of this amount the upper basin States are entitled to the consumptive use of 7,500,000 acre-feet, and contracts have been executed which permit the diversion out of the basin of an additional amount of 1,212,00 acre-feet annually. This leaves an estimated balance of 8,368,00 acre-feet of water for the irrigation of more than 3,500,000 acres ol land, counting American and Mexican lands in the lower basin of the Colorado River.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. Does the Government own the land to which you refer?
Mr. FARMER. The Government owns most of the land. Mr. FITZPATRICK. Who owns the other land? Mr. FARMER. In the first unit we are talking about there are 139,000 cres of mesa lands and 11,000 acres of valley lands. Of the mesa ands private individuals own about 14,000 acres. The State has a ight to about 15,000 acres, and the balance of the 139,000 acres, or bout 110,000 acres, is public land of the United States.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. How many private individuals are interested in t? Is it owned by corporations or companies? .
Mr. FARMER. No, sir. They are individuals who came there and ook up homesteads; soldiers who were overseas were permitted to ake up some of that land, which they did. Mr. O'NEAL. Are there many Japanese on that land? Mr. FARMER. No, sir; there are no Japanese on that land. There are 500 or more Japanese down in Mexico below the international boundary line.
PRODUCE RAISED IN MEXICO AND SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES Mr. Rich. Are the people in Mexico raising their crops on that land and shipping them over into this country for sale?
Mr. FARMER. Yes, sir; they are not doing that in that particular section, but they bring in from Mexico about $5,000,000 worth of tomatoes annually. Mr. Rich. Do we have an import duty on that produce?
Mr. FARMER. I could not tell you that. I could probably find out for you and provide it for you.
Mr. Rich. You do not know, when you are raising produce similar to that, whether we charge Mexicans an import duty?
Mr. FARMER. I think we do charge them an import duty.
Mr. Rich. Are we permitting these crops to come in under these reciprocal trade agreements?
Mr. FARMER. I do not know. I will be glad to provide you with that information.
Mr. Rich. It would be a good thing to insert in the record just what they are importing so that we may know whether they are interfering with your welfare there.
Mr. FARMER. Yes.
Under date of November 9, 1936, the Department of Foreign Crops and Markets, United States Department of Agriculture, reported that during the winter 1934-35, 77,160,000 pounds of fresh tomatoes and during the winter 1935-36, 82,504,000 pounds of fresh tomatoes, were imported into the United States from Mexico.
The Farm Section, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, United States Department of Agriculture, reports that imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico into the United States pay a duty of 3 cents per pound. The only deviation from the tariff on tomatoes is with respect to Cuba, at certain seasons when their tomatoes are not competitive with domestic tomatoes, the rate of 2.4 cents per pound is reduced to 1.8 cents per pound.
Mr. FARMER. As the all-year growing season requires irrigation every month of the year, successful farming demands not less than 4 acre-feét per acre per year, it seems clear that there is not sufficient water in the river for the irrigation of all the irrigable land, and that it is vital for the protection of a valuable national resource that everything necessary be done to protect a water right for the American