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been diligent in planning to meet their future needs on the basis of their prewar calculations of growth and demand for water.
Throughout the correspondence establishing a President's committee to study and make recommendations in relation to the San Diego water-supply problems there are references to a critical water-supply situation then, in the year of 1944, emergent. This critical situation, it was felt and later demonstrated, had been brought about primarily by the rapid influx of civilian and military personnel into the area as a result of World War II. The city of San Diego was faced with a water shortage many years sooner than it had anticipated when it had considered earlier its presumed normal growth.
A memoi andum prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation outlining the area's requirements for water in 1914 was presented to the committee that I headed. This memorandum pointed out that the population of the city of San Diego in 1940 was 202,038 and in 1940 it was predicted by competent local authorities that the city's population would probably not exceed 350,000 by the year 1960. The war intervened. By 1943 the influx of military personnel, defense workers and their families had increased the population of San Diego to 440,000. The planning of prewar years was then wholly inadequate to the new needs.
At the committee's first meeting Admiral Moreell and General Reybold presented memoranda, copies of which are attached as exhibits 8 and 9, indicating the interests of their respective agencies in the problem and the urgency of providing Colorado River water for the area. As pointed out in General Reybold's memorandum, the consumption of water by Federal establishments in the area was by that time 40.3 percent of the total water then being used from the city's system.
For a better understanding of the problem, I should explain that the rainfall throughout the three drainage basins from which the city of San Diego's water supply presently is obtained is of a seasonal and variable nature. The three drainage basins referred to are the basins of the San Diego, Otay, and San Dieguito Rivers which are small coastal streams extending only short distances from the crest of the coastal mountains to the sea. The total drainage area of the rivers is only 4,920 square miles. Further, the San Diego area is one of very light precipitation. The annual rainfall averages about 10.1 inches along the coast and is four to five times greater over small areas near the crest of the mountain range. Practically the entire precipitation occurs from December to April, inclusive. This compares to an average rainfall of 41.11 inches in the Washington, D. C., area. The variation in the rainfall is best portrayed by the fact that it has ranged during some whole years from as low as 2.6 percent to as high as 580.8 percent of the mean for a 60-year period of record from 1883 to 1923.
Such generally low but erratic rainfall and the accompanying variation in run-off has required the city to provide reservoir capacity to carry over stored water through dry cycles as long as 10 years. The increase in population due to wartime influx was rapidly depleting the reservoir supply and with the occurrence of a dry cycle beginning in the fall of 1944 the city would have been without water by July of 1947. A dry cycle occurs when during successive years the rainfall or run-off is below the mean. The records are clear that such extended droughts are common to the area. This is graphically portrayed by exhibit 10. A chart showing the rainfall for the past 10 years and for 10-year averages for about 90 years is also attached as exhibit 11.
I want to make clear that San Diego is in an arid region. Without extensive provisions for supplying water to the city, no city could exist there. It is a beautiful city with pride in its appearance, its lawns, trees and parks, but every sprig of greenery would disappear in a matter of weeks if the water system failed. The people would have to leave and the Navy to move unđer such calamitous circumstances.
The Bureau of Reclamation's memorandum presented to the committee pointed out that the city had in 1940 considered that it would not need to bring Colorado River water into San Diego prior to 1960, but by 1943 increased population and use of water demanded an increase in water supplies that could only be satisfied through the importation of Colorado River water in the immediate or near future. The use of water in San Diego area by the military establishments, housing establishments, and aircraft plants rose from 10.9 percent in 1940 to 40.3 percent of the total consumption in 1943. A copy of this Bureau of Reclamation memorandum is appended as exhibit 12.
As pointed out in the President's October 3, 1944, letter and previously in this statement, the Bureau of Reclamation was making studies of alternate
routes by which Colorado River water could be transferred to the San Diego area at the time the committee was constituted. Preliminary reports from the Bureau of Reclamation's field office were immediately obtained for route 1, a route connecting with the Colorado River aqueduct of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California at a point near San Jacinto
in Riverside County, Calif., and extending for 71.56 miles to the San Vincente Reservoir of the city of San Diego and for an alternate route, route 2, from the All-American Canal to the El Capitan Reservoir of the city of San Diego. This second route would involve a slighty lesser distance being about 66.6 miles in length for the most desirable location. The construction of route 1, which will be subsequently referred to as the San Jacinto-San Vincente Aqueduct involved the making of acceptable arrangements by the people of the San Diego area with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for continued use of such a structure following the war emergency. Route 2, subsequently referred to as the All-American Canal route, might have been operated by the city without such complications. However, there were two very important factors given consideration by the committee with respect to these two alternate routes :
(a) The time.-Construction of the San Jacinto-San Vicente aqueduct could be accomplished in about 2 years while construction of the All-American Canal route would require a minimum of 3 years.
(6) Critical materials. The construction of the San Jacinto-San Vicente aqueduct would be a gravity line, i. e., the water could flow down hill through the aqueduct, and would require only pipe since pumps and motors already were installed on the Colorado River aqueduct which would carry the water to San Jacinto. To construct the All-American route would require the provision of pumping equipment, motors, and the construction of transmission facilities to supply the pumps with electrical energy, demanding large quantities of critical materials then critically short, and, for that matter, still very hard to get.
City Manager Cooper, at the meeting, presented documents and charts to the committee. Copies of the documents and charts that are pertinent are attached. The first is a map of the area, exhibit 13, showing the development and conservation of water resources. You will note from exhibit 14, a memorandum of October 10, 1944, showing the reservoir capacity and storage as of October 1, 1944, the total storage amounted to 269,720 acre-feet, which is 87,500 million gallons. The significance of this figure will become apparent later in this statement. The erratic variations in seasonal run-off are shown on exhibit 15. Exhibit 16, entitled "Population, Water Supply, and Requirements-San Diego" indicates quite clearly the jump of 60 percent in population, exclusive of military, from 1940 to 1943 which placed the city in so precarious a situation with respect to its water supply. Mr. Cooper also transmitted to the committee a copy of a letter from Consulting Engineer Samuel B. Morris under date of September 1, 1944, wherein Engineer Morris stated : “Early in my engagement on September 16, 1943, I wrote you expressing my opinion that no local water development could possibly protect the city of San Diego in its water needs if a dry cycle of years should ensue. This was coupled with a strong recommendation that water be secured from Colorado River at the earliest possible date,
Also, two recommendations of a report by the California State Council of Defense, committee on transportation, housing works and facilities, subcommittee on water supply, reports on municipal water supply systems, report No. 3, San Diego region, March 1943, were :
“(b) When the most feasible route for a supplemental water supply from Colorado River has been determined arrangements be made with the agencies owning existing transmission facilities for the conveyance of such supplemental supply from the Colorado River to the point at which it would be delivered to the new transmission line.
"(c) The United States actively assist in making all necessary surveys, studies, and negotiations, and in financing the construction of all works required to insure a full and dependable water supply for the city of San Diego, because of the large Federal interests dependent upon this water supply system."
After consideration of this and other material the committee on October 21, 1944, transmitted a report (later printed as S. Doc. 249, 78th Cong., 2d sess.) through the Secretary of the Interior to the President. A copy of the report is appended as exhibit 17. The committee's recommendations and the answers to the questions posed in the President's October 3 letter are as follows:
“Your committee recommends the immediate construction by the Federal Government of the described aqueduct over route 1 connecting with the Colorado
River aqueduct near San Jacinto, with the War Department, the Navy Department, and Federal Works Agency bearing the cost.
“Based on this recommendation, the answers to the questions in your letter of October 3 are as follows:
"1. The extent of the Federal participation in the construction proposed to meet the emergency is 100 percent.
“2. The facilities are required as a result of Federal activities in connection with the prosecution of the war. The extent of the requirement is disclosed in finding No. 3.
"3. The Federal funds for the work should be supplied by the War Department, the Navy Department, and the Federal Works Agency.
“4. The laws under which the development is authorized include the First War Powers Act of 1941, the Lanham Act, and the laws relating to Army and Navy construction and Army and Navy appropriation acts.
“5. There would be no additional legislation required to undertake the proposed construction during the war emergency. The Federal reclamation laws contain sufficient authority for the Bureau of Reclamation, in cooperation with the San Diego County Water Authority or the city of San Diego, to complete the aqueduct to its ultimate required capacity after the war when the needs develop and satisfactory arrangements have been completed.
“6. While you have designated the Bureau of Reclamation as the construction agency, the committee wishes to point out that there are four Federal agencies competent to undertake the emergency construction. They are the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department; the Corps of Engineers, War Department; the Federal Works Agency, and the Bureau of Reclamation. The committee believes that you may wish to place the construction of the emergency project in the hands of the Bureau of Yards and Docks since it represents the Federal agency with the greatest and most pressing need, and since the construction would be undertaken as a Federal project without repayment contracts previously entered with local interests. In any event, the committee recommends that the Bureau of Reclamation complete the plans and specifications for the aqueduct over route 1 with funds made available immediately from the Lanham Act appropriations to the Federal Works Agency, and that the plans and specifications be completed at the earliest possible time to be made available as completed to the Bureau of Yards and Docks, if the latter is to construct the emergency project. The committee recommends that the War Department and the Navy Department cooperate with the Bureau of Reclamation as may be required in the completion of the engineering work preparatory to construction. The committee recommends that the Bureau of Reclamation continue its present relationship with the local agencies in order that work already begun may be completed preparatory to providing a permanent solution to the water supply problem of the area. The committee recommends that the San Diego County Water Authority or the city of San Diego continue and press negotiations with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to the end that an equitable arrangement be worked out which would make possible permanent service by way of route 1 in order that the value and permanent utility of the emergency work may be realized, and to protect against the possibility of an interruption in the supplemental water supply on the termination of the war emergency. It may be necessary for agencies of interest of the Federal Government to participate in these negotiations.”
On October 25, 1944, Harold I.. Ickes, then Secretary of the Interior, forwarded the report of the committee to President Roosevelt with his concurrence and the further recommendation that the Congress be advised of the report and the action to be taken thereon. The President approved the report on November 29, 1944, and on the same date advised the Vice President and Speaker of the House of Representatives of the problem, the committee's report, its recommendations, and his approval of the report.
On the same date the President advised the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, the Administrator of the Federal Works Agency, Senator Downey, Mr. Phil D. Swing, Mr. Walter Cooper and myself of his approval of the report and of the Secretary's recommendations.
Copies of all of these communications are appended as exhibits 18 through 28.
The approval by President Roosevelt of the committee's report and his letters to the agency heads involved ordered the Bureau of Reclamation to prepare the plans and specifications, the Federal Works Agency to advance up to $500,000 for this work, and the Bureau of Yards and Docks to perform the emergency construction work. In his letters to the Vice President and Speaker of the House,
the President stated : "In accordance with the recommendations of the committee, joined in by the Secretary of the Interior, I have instructed that the emergency be met in keeping with the report.” The letters pointed out in addition the Bureau of Reclamation would continue its relationship with the local interests and will, upon the making of suitable arrangements, be in position to build the permanent additional works. The President also requested assurances that negotiations would be pressed with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California looking toward the continued use of the works.
In summary, President Roosevelt's approval meant that action to meet the San Diego water emergency would commence.
The Bureau of Reclamation immediately took steps to expedite the preparation of the designs and specifications. These would have been available for the initiation of the work in the spring of 1945. However, due to the extreme critical situation with respect to the availability of steel plate needed for steel pipe sections of the aqueduct, the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion requested deferment of construction for a few months. During this interval 10-day reports were received regarding the storage in the San Diego reservoirs. A table showing the results of these reports for the early months of 1945 is attached as exhibit 29. Comparative figures for the same months of 1944 show that total storage was being depleted. Actual construction was begun in the fall of 1945.
The committee based its report on appraisal of conditions that might be met, and its appraisal has been borne out. A report from the assistant city manager dated January 29, 1947, shows that the total storage of the San Diego reservoir system has now been depleted to 59,400 million gallons as of January 21, 1947. As of January 21, 1946, 1 year prior, the storage amounted to 81,700 million gallons. These figures are to be compared with the figure of 82,500 million gallons for October 1, 1944. The water consumption in San Diego has increased from approximately 30 million gallons per day at the time we entered the war to approximately 50 million gallons per day at present. The precipitation, fortunately, was extremely favorable in the area during the first years of the war but is now far below the normal. The depletion of the available storage is shown on the graph appended as exhibit 11. This graph indicates the growing seriousness of the situation in that even with years where the precipitation was above normal, the accumulated storage continued to decline. In a recent statement Mr. Fred A. Heilbron, chairman of the board of the San Diego County Water Authority, indicated that the precipitation during the winter of 1946–47 has been very low. Whatever precipitation San Diego enjoys occurs normally in the winter, and the season there is nearly over.
Information as of February 18, 1947 furnishes the following facts:
(a) Water available in reservoirs serving the city, 179,005 acre-feet=58,300 million gallons.
(b) Amount of this water that is considered potable: 119,000 acre-feet= 38,750 million gallons.
(c) Assuming present usage continues and no additional precipitation and run-off occur, the situation will on September 1, 1947, be as follows:
These reservoirs together comprise the city's storage system. If no run-off should occur in the interim and the San Jacinto-San Vicente aqueduct is not in the meantime completed by an early date in the calendar year 1948 the potable water supply of San Diego will be completely exhausted. Such a result would mean that San Diego would revert to a desert, which must not be permitted to occur.
Construction of the San Jacinto-San Vicente aqueduct is not something that can without grave danger to the area be postponed or abandoned. Its completion is essential, lest the city, the county and the Government's naval base be left without water. Without the aqueduct the situation could be saved only by a cycle of rainfall in excess of any previously recorded. Fortunately,
heavy rains have helped since 1940, but this luck will run out, may already have vanished, judging by the record so far this winter. In no event should it be relied upon.
As your committee unquestionably knows, President Truman, by letter of September 12, 1946, to Secretary of the Interior J. A. Krug, reconstituted the President's Committee to further study the existing and potential financial burden of the city of San Diego or the San Diego County Water Authority in connection with the San Diego aqueduct and to recommend the extent, if any, to which a readjustment of that burden would be proper. This Committee, composed of Brig. Gen. R. C. Crawford, Assistant Chief of Engineers, United States Army; Rear Adm. J. J. Manning, Chief, Bureau of Yards and Docks, United States Navy; George H. Field, Commissioner of Community Facilities. Federal Works Agency; and myself, as chairman, held an open hearing October 21 and 22, 1946. It has been studying the evidence received. In view of the Comptroller General's report, which is the subject of your present inquiry, the Committee has suspended its deliberations feeling that a superior jurisdiction has been asserted.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, D. C., October 3, 1944. Mr. WILLIAM E. WARNE,
Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation. MY DEAR MR. WARNE: On recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior, I am designating you as the chairman of an interdepartmental committee to make a study, a report, and recommendations to me on methods of financing proposed construction of facilities to transfer Colorado River water to relieve a critical shortage in the supplies for the city of San Diego, Calif., and nearby communities. Your associates on the committee are to be named by the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, the Administrator of the Federal Works Agency, and the San Diego County Water Authority. The committee should be organized promptly and begin its activities so that I may have a report with the least practicable delay.
The Bureau of Reclamation, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, is making studies of alternate routes by which Colorado River water can be transferred to the San Diego area. I have requested the Secretary of the Interior to expedite a recommendation from the Bureau of Reclamation as to the most feasible route and am designating the Bureau of Reclamation as the construction agency for this work when it is authorized.
The work of the interdepartmental committee will be directed toward recommendations, with adequate supporting data, on these specific points :
(1) The extent of Federal and local participation in the financing of the construction proposed.
(2) The extent to which the additional facilities are required as a result of Federal activities in connection with the prosecution of the war.
(3) The source of Federal funds for the work.
(6) Any other matters relating to the subject which the committee may deem pertinent.
The report will be forwarded to me through the Secretary of the Interior with his comments. Sincerely yours,
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT.
UNITED STATES SENATE,
September 25, 1944. THE PRESIDENT,
The White House. MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: San Diego's water supply is in a most critical condition. In the event history repeats itself, as is most probable, and years of little or no run-off occur in the San Diego watershed, this city and all the important