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Naval and Military Establishments in the locality will be without water early in 1947. This precarious situation has been created by heavy drafts placed on the local system by war industry, housing, and military installations. These now use 46 percent of the water delivered, and consumption has approximately doubled in the last 3 years.
San Diego has an allotment of Colorado River water which must be made available in the event of drought emergency through a connection with the aqueduct of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California at a cost of possibly $12,000,000. Surveys of routes and plans have been made by the Bureau of Reclamation as a joint city and Federal project. It will take about 2 years to complete construction, which I believe should be begun at the earliest feasible date.
I am chairman of a subcommittee of the Senate Military Affairs Committee authorized to investigate war-related problems in California. Our committee has already held hearings in San Diego on its water supply problem and in these hearings have had the sympathetic support and assistance of representatives of the Army and Navy, all of whom agree with me in the statements I have made to you in this letter.
San Diego for many years will remain one of the important military centers of the Nation, and the Federal Government should, in my opinion, give all possible assistance to its citizens in replenishing and making safe their water supply.
May I, therefore, respectfully suggest that you immediately request the War, Navy, and Interior Departments and the Federal Works Agency to each appoint their respective representatives and direct them to forthwith investigate and determine, in conjunction with our Military Affairs Committee and the city authorities, the best financial and construction programs to solve San Diego's water supply problem. • Respectfully,
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington 25, D. C., October 3, 1944. Memorandum for the Secretary of War.
The attached copy of a letter from Senator Downey, of California, and my reply, recognize the urgency of a solution for the San Diego water supply problem. The Army and Navy activities and the protection of the civilian population in this area are matters of national concern.
The Bureau of Reclamation, of the Department of the Interior, is completing field surveys and reports on alternate routes for the delivery of Colorado River water to the San Diego area. A' financial program under which the system could be constructed is imperative, and I desire an early recommendation on this subject under which the system could be constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation.
For this purpose, I am establishing a committee of representatives of the Department of the Interior, the Department of War, the Department of the Navy, and the Federal Works Agency. Mr. William E. Warne, Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, is designated as chairman of the committee and as soon as your representative is appointed he should advise Mr. Warne of his designation.
The Secretary of the Interior, through whom the committee's report will be made to me, is inviting the San Diego Water Authority, which has been organized to represent the interests of the communities concerned, to designate a representative to serve with the committee. Enclosure.
(Exhibits 4 and 5 are identical memorandums addressed to the Secretary of the Navy and the Administrator of the Federal Works Agency, respectively.)
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, D. C., October 3, 1944. Hon. SHERIDAN DOWNEY,
United States Senate. MY DEAR SENATOR DOWNEY: In response to your letter of September 25 on the critical situation of the water supply for the city of San Diego, I am glad to
advise you that the Bureau of Reclamation of the Department of the Interior is completing the field surveys of alternate routes by which Colorado River water could be transferred to the San Diego area. A report of the proposed connection for the San Diego supply through the aqueduct of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is in preparation. Studies of a connection through the All-American Canal, together with comparative estimates of costs for alternate routes, also are being advanced as rapidly as manpower permits. These studies are to be correlated.
I am impressed by the importance of early completion of these surveys and I am directing the Secretary of the Interior to expedite this work so that he may be in a position to recommend promptly the most feasible route for meeting the San Diego water supply problem. The Bureau of Reclamation, which has responsibility under the Secretary of the Interior for the control and uses of Colorado River water, should be the agency to carry out any construction which the Federal Government undertakes in connection with the delivery of Colorado River water to the San Diego area. The reclamation law, under which the Bureau operates, also has advantages that should and, I understand, do appeal to the local people.
Because of the importance of the San Diego area from a naval and military standpoint and the need for protection of its civilian population, this situation is of national concern. In order that I may have advice as to the best financial plan for the construction of the water system to bring relief for its critical water supply, I am establishing an interdepartmental committee to advise the Secretary of the Interior on the financial aspects of the problem. I am designating Mr. William E. Warne, Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, as chairman of this committee, and am requesting the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Administrator of the Federal Works Agency each to appoint à representative to serve with Mr. Warne in formulating-recommendations. The Secretary of the Interior is requesting the San Diego County Water Authority to designate a representative to serve on this committee. The Authority has been organized to represent the communities of the San Diego area which are interested in the delivery of Colorado River water to the region.
The committee will meet promptly and make the study. Its report with recommendations will be transmitted to me as early as practicable by the Secretary of the Interior who will be pleased, I am sure, to advise with the congressional committees which may be interested. You will be informed of the progress of the studies and will have full opportunity to present your views to the committee. Sincerely yours,
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT.
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington 25, D. C., October 5, 1944. SAN DIEGO COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY,
604 San Diego Trust and Savings Building, San Diego 1, Calif.
Attention : Hon. Phil D. Swing. GENTLEMEN: Enclosed is a copy of a letter from President Roosevelt designating Assistant Commissioner William E. Warne, of the Bureau of Reclamation, as chairman of an interdepartmental committee to make a study, report, and recommendation on methods of financing proposed construction of facilities to transfer Colorado River water to relieve a critical shortage in the supplies for San Diego and nearby communities. You will note that a representative of the San Diego County Water Authority is to be a member of the committee which will include representatives of the War and Navy Departments and the Federal Works Agency.
Please advise Mr. Warne at the Bureau of Reclamation, Washington, D. C., of the name of your representative on the committee which will hold its first meeting as early as practicable. Your representative should be prepared to attend.
In accordance with the President's request, I am directing the Bureau of Reclamation, which is designated as the construction agency for the project, to expedite the completion of the field surveys so as to present promptly a recommendation as to the most feasible route by which Colorado River water could be transferred to the San Diego area. I desire to submit to the President
a recommendation from the interdepartmental committee as to methods of financing the work as early as practicable so that plans for the construction may go forward. Sincerely yours,
Acting Secretary of the Interior. Encl 65
Washington 25, D. C., October 16, 1944. Memorandum for: Mr. William E. Warne, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau
of Reclamation. Subject: San Diego Water Supply-President's Committee on Methods of
Finance. 1. In your letter of October 9 you request that each member of the Committee to Study Methods of Financing the San Diego Water Supply Project prepare a memorandum on the interest of his agency in the problem and the urgency, as he sees it, of providing Colorado River water for the area.
2. The naval activities in the San Diego area constitute a major naval operating. base representing an investment which, in round figures, is estimated at $150,000,000. The various establishments are of such variety and scope and provide logistic support of such magnitude for fleet operations in the Pacific, that the continued functioning of these naval facilities is essential for the successful prosecution of the war in the Pacific.
3. Recent figures on the Naval, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard populations in the San Diego area, including civilians employed at, our various activities, are not available. They are now being compiled. A rough approximation would be in the neighborhood of 125,000.
4. It is evident from the foregoing that a continuously assured supply of potable water to the various naval activities in the San Diego area is a must item in the nation's war program.
5. The extent of naval activities in the San Diego area in the postwar period will be dependent entirely upon the size and disposition of the units of the United States fleets and the distribution of the various shore facilities necessary for the support of those fleets. The size of the fleets and the distribution of the units thereof will, in turn, depend upon the Nation's foreign policies and the commitments which have been made under the various peace treaties. Until those policies and commitments have been firmly established we can do no more than make a guess as to the size of the fleets and the distribution of the vessels and shore activities. It is quite evident, however, from the character and extent of naval developments in the San Diego area and its strategic location with respect to operations in the Pacific Ocean areas, that this area wil always be a center of large naval activity. For this reason, the Navy will continue to have a vital interest in the development of adequate community facilities, including proper water supply.
6. With respect to the urgency of providing Colorado River water for this area, the Department is in receipt of a report from the Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, dated September 23, 1944, wherein the Commandant discusses the proposed connection to the Colorado River water supply and states, “The Commandant is very strongly of the opinion that the Navy's interests in San Diego are so extensive that the Navy cannot afford to take any chances with the water supply. *
Actual construction probably can be safely postponed until one dry season has occurred in view of current steel shortages, but it will be imperative then
The Commandant accordingly again recommends that the Bureau urge the early completion of preliminary arrangements for the proposed emergency connection."
7. The Bureau of Yards and Docks has kept abreast of current developments in the San Diego water situation and has given careful consideration to the various reports prepared by the United States Engineer Office, Los Angeles, Calif., the last one being supplemental report No. 3, dated December 21, 1943. It is my understanding that another report is now in preparation as of approximately November 1, 1944.
8. It is believed that this report should be made available to the committee at the earliest practicable date, as it appears that the determination of the size
and location of the proposed connection to the Colorado River water supply can best be made with the latest available data at the disposal of the committee. In this connection, consideration will undoubtedly be given in the forthcoming report to the present condition of the reservoirs and distributing systems of the San Diego area and the rainfall record during the past year. Consideration should also be given to the probable duration of the campaign in the Pacific Ocean areas as it appears that a more accurate estimate of this duration can be made at the present time.
B. MOREELL, Vice Admiral (CEC), United States Navy, Chief of Bureau.
Washington, October 16, 1944. Mr. WILLIAM E. WARNE,
Chairman, President's Committee on Methods of Financing the San Diego
Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. WARNE: In your recent letter you requested that each member of the Committee on Methods of Financing the San Diego Water Supply Project submit a memorandum at the first meeting, setting forth the interests of the agency represented in the problem before the committee.
The water supply system of the city of San Diego, Calif., is used for supplying water to military, naval, and war industrial establishments in San Diego and vicinity. This system comprises 7 storage reservoirs with a capacity of about 416,000 acre-feet which impound a portion of the surface run-off from adjacent drainage basins. In addition to the reservoirs, the system includes the necessary connecting pipe lines and distribution mains.
For the past few years, the additional draft on the water supply, resulting from the influx of military and naval poppulation and war workers and their families, has been substantial. The safe yield of the system has been estimated at 30,000 acre-feet a year. The present draft is at the rate of 52,000 acre-feet a year.
The total amount of water delivered by this system to all users is distributed about as follows:
Percent United States Army establishments
6.7 United States Navy establishments
21.6 United States housing
5. 4 War industries -
40.3 Municipal use-
59. 7 The interest of the Federal Government in San Diego's water supply problem lies in the desire to insure adequacy of supply for the Federal activities mentioned in the preceding paragraph. Its efforts should therefore be directed toward increasing the safe yield of the system to a point more nearly in balance with the draft.
The existing deficiency of about 22,000 acre-feet can best be supplied by importation from the Colorado River. While local sources, either underground or surface, may be developed, the object of an increase in supply is to protect the system against prolonged droughts, and local sources cannot be relied upon to meet such contingencies.
The interest of the Army could be taken as limited to about 7 percent of the cost of importing about 22,000 acre-feet annually of water from the Colorado River. Authority exists for the use of funds available to the Army for construction, maintenance, operation, and service charges for water supplies for military posts and other installations. The cost in this particular case is a matter of interest to the War Department, particularly in view of the present shortage of applicable funds. It is, therefore, requested that this committee be advised promptly of the results of surveys of the Bureau of Reclamation, with plans and estimated costs of the various routes considered. Such costs should in
clude service charges on the part of the Metropolitan Water District, back taxes, bond costs, etc., in the case of the proposed connection to the aqueduct from Parker Dam, and similar costs which would apply in the case of the all-American route. Sincerely yours,
E. REYBOLD, Major General, United States Army, Chief of Engineers.