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NEW LAWS ADVANCE RECLAMATION Legislation of far-reaching significance to Reclamation was enacted by the Congress during the past year. Most important was the passage of the Flood Control Act of 1944 (58 Stat. 887; Pub. Law 534, 78th Cong.) signed by the President December 22. This act:
1. Approved the coordinated plan of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers, War Department, for development of the Missouri River Basin as set forth in Senate Documents No. 191 and 247, Seventy-eighth Congress, Second session.
2. Authorized appropriations of $200,000,000 to each of these agencies for partial accomplishment of the works to be undertaken under the general comprehensive plan.
3. Established the principle that “the use, in connection with the operation and maintenance of such works for navigation herein or hereafter authorized for construction, of waters arising west of the Ninty-seventh meridian shall be subordinate to and shall not adversely affect at any time the beneficial consumptive use, west of the ninety-seventh meridian, of such waters for domestic, irrigation, mining or industrial purposes.”
4. Provided that the use of irrigation water stored in reservoirs constructed by the Corps of Engineers, War Department, shall be in accordance with Reclamation Laws.
5. Provided that electric power produced at dams constructed by the Corps of Engineers shall be marketed by the Secretary of the Interior.
6. Provided for review and recommendations by the States and other Federal agencies concerned, of the reports by the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of War proposing and recommending construction of projects under the provisions of the act.
Several of the policies set forth in the Flood Control Act of 1944 were subsequently restated by the Congress in passing the River and Harbor Act of March 2, 1945. (Pub. Law 14, 79th Cong., 1st sess.).
This latter bill failed of enactment by the Seventy-eighth Congress due partly to a controversy which arose over an amendment which would have exempted lands in the Bureau's Central Valley project in California from provisions of the law limiting to 160 acres the area that can be held in single ownership on Federal Reclamation projects. This amendment and other controversial issues were stricken from the bill as reintroduced, and passed, by the Seventy-ninth Congress.
Water and power users on Reclamation projects benefited by the amendment on April 19, 1945, of the Fact Finders' Act (Pub. Law 35, 79th Cong., 1st sess.). The Congress by this amendment provided that the cost of administration of the reclamation program, whether incurred by the Commissioner's office in Washington or by regional or branch offices, should not be assessed against water or power users.
Another law passed to benefit farmers on Federal Reclamation projects is the act of April 24, 1945 (Pub. Law 39,79th Cong., 1st sess.), amending sections 4, 7, and 17 of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939. This act now extends the time within which amendatory contracts may be negotiated and within which the Secretary of the Interior may grant deferments of construction charges. It also modifies the operation of the normal and percentage plan by putting a ceiling on the amount that can become due in any year through the operation of the plan. Finally, this act now permits minor amendments, without further reference to the Congress in amendatory contracts, which have already been authorized.
The Seventy-ninth Congress also passed an act (Pub. Law 34) consenting to the negotiation by Colorado and Kansas of a compact for the division of the waters of the Arkansas River.
Veteran settlement discussion was focused during this year on a bill (H. R. 520) introduced by Representative John R. Murdock of Arizona. This bill would "facilitate settlement of returning veterans in projects constructed, operated, and maintained by the Bureau of Reclamation.” Extensive hearings were held before the House Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation and the bill was reported out by unanimous vote of the Committee with recommendation that it be enacted.
Hearings were also held on Senate bill 555, to establish a Missouri Valley Authority, and the Commissioner and other officials of the Bureau made statements on the bill before the Senate Committee on Commerce.
BUREAU WINS INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION
The work of the Bureau of Reclamation in developing western resources has won international recognition, and its engineers have been called upon by many foreign governments for technical assistance in the planning and design of projects in other countries.
John Lucian Savage, chief designing engineer for the Bureau, returned to the United States in March from an extended tour of duty in China and the Middle East as engineering consultant to various foreign governments on their plans for postwar irrigation and power developments. In his 34 years of service with the Bureau, Mr. Savage has drawn plans for the construction of more than a billion dollars worth of dams, including the three largest concrete dams ever built-Grand Coulee, Shasta, and Boulder. He went to China at the special request of the Chinese Government, “on loan" from the Bureau to the United States State Department. While there, he made the preliminary surveys and studies for several large reclamation projects, including the huge Yangtze Gorge project for irrigation and flood control. He also spent several months in India. Mr. Savage's engineering achievements have won him many honors and this year he was awarded the John Fritz medal, one of the highest honors of the engineering profession. He retired as chief designing engineer in May but will continue to serve the Bureau in a consulting capacity. The work of the Bureau has been recognized in many other ways. Another member of its staff, Engineer Douglas McHenry, was awarded the Telford Premium by an engineering group in Great Britain. Design and construction methods used by the Bureau have been made available to many foreign governments through technical papers, by visits of foreign engineers and public officials to Bureau projects and offices and through facilities of the Bureau training program. During the year, 38 engineers from 15 foreign countries visited the design and construction offices and several of the men remained for training. Arrangements were made during the year to train foreign engineers under the sponsorship of the Foreign Economic Administration. Nineteen engineers from China began their training with the Bureau during the summer of 1945.
The Bureau's Concrete Manual has become a recognized text on concrete. Its distribution is world-wide and two foreign countries have translated it. The manual on dams, preparation of which was begun during the fiscal year, will be a comprehensive compilation of data on dam investigation, design, construction, and operation.
The Bureau of Reclamation, following through on a decentralization plan inaugurated in September 1943, created a seventh regional office during the fiscal year and further developed and strengthened existing staffs to expedite both war and postwar objectives.
The basic concept for streamlining the Bureau has been the establishment of competent regional organizations in each of the seven major watersheds in the 17 Western States with authority to act swiftly and surely in close collaboration with States, local interests, and other affected Government agencies.
The seven regional offices are as follows: Region 1, Boise, Idaho; region 2, Sacramento, Calif.; region 3, Boulder City, Nev.; region 4, Salt Lake City, Utah; region 5, Amarillo, Tex.; region 6, Billings, Mont., and region 7, Denver, Colo.
The regional directors who are responsible for coordinating all Bureau activities within their regions, report directly to the Commissioner of Reclamation. They are assisted in technical phases of their work by four technical branches, namely, Project Planning, Design and Construction, Operation and Maintenance, and Power Utilization, and by administrative facilities in the fields of management, law, finance, public information, supply, personnel, and office services, which are also centrally directed.
The Branch of Operation and Maintenance was transferred from Denver to Washington during the fiscal year. In addition plans were made to transfer the Branch of Project Planning and the central budget function to Washington early in the fiscal year 1946.
The chart indicates the present organizational arrangement of the Bureau under the decentralization plan.
The number of Reclamation employees increased from 6,513 on June 30, 1944, to 7,033 on June 30, 1945. Further increases in the Bureau staff, greatly depleted by the war, will be required to accomplish authorized postwar programs. A total of 1,806 employees of. the agency have entered the armed forces of the United States; so far, 30 have given their lives and 4 are missing.
The number of persons employed in the various Bureau activities are: Commissioner's office, 141; Branch office, Denver, 837; region 1, 1,773; region 2, 764; region 3, 1,175; region 4, 302; region 5, 1,009; region 6, 410; and region 7, 622. Ten new project and other field offices, exclusive of headquarters for project planning work, were established during the year.
• PERSONNEL CHANGES The past year has been marked by several changes in the Bureau's top-ranking personnel. Notable among these was the retirement after 34 years of Bureau service of John L. Savage, chief designing engineer, who has won world renown for his work on Grand Coulee, Shasta, Boulder, and many other dams in this country, in addition to serving as an adviser to foreign governments.
Another important change in the Denver office was the appointment of Walker R. Young, assistant chief engineer since 1940, to succeed S. O. Harper, who retired after 37 years in Reclamation. Three assistant chief engineers were appointed as follows: Chief of Civil Engineering Division, W. H. Nalder; Chief of the Electrical and Mechanical Division, L. N. McClellan; and Chief of the Construction Division, Ralph Lowry.
E. B. Debler, Director of the Branch of Project Planning, was appointed Director of the newly created region 7 with headquarters in Denver. John R. Riter, assistant Director of project planning, moved up to the position as Director of that Branch.
Goodrich W. Lineweaver, assistant to the Commissioner, was appointed Director of the reorganized Branch of Operation and Maintenance. Clifford E. Fix replaced J. Kennard Cheadle as Chief Counsel when the latter resigned to enter private practice. Barrow Lyons became Chief Information Officer.