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You will note that we are in the very difficult situation of being isolated from the principal water sources in the State of California by the coast range, which appears to the right, that blue area.
We are the 15th ranking county in the whole United States in so far as agricultural output is concerned.
Those are some of the figures of 1954 published by the United States Census Bureau.
We have done everything that is humanly possible to solve our grave water problem ourselves. I have said, in the past before this committee, that if one could fly over the Santa Clara Valley, he would immediately see that the water conservation works in the area for the size of the area involved are far more extensive than the great Central Valley project. This has all been locally financed at great cost to the taxpayers. In fact, in the southern district, the Southern Santa Clara Water Conservation District, the tax rate is now in excess of $4 per hundred dollars assessed valuation for water conservation
purposes. I do not know how that compares nationally, but I would - imagine that there is probably no area in the entire United States which pays more on its tax rate for water conservation than ourselves.
I am glad to see that the distinguished chairman of the full committee is here, since he is thoroughly familiar with the area about which I am speaking, and I would suggest to members of the committee that, if they wish detailed information regarding our problem, they are certainly able to get it from Mr. Engle, who is well qualified to talk on the subject.
Now, the specific purpose of my appearance before the committee this morning is to request that the sense of section 4 of my own bill, H. R. 2795, be incorporated into legislation by this committee for the purpose of authorizing the San Luis project.
Briefly, section 4 of my bill, in addition to the identical language contained in Congressman Sisk's bill, calls for the construction of the Alameda-Santa Clara-San Benito unit of the Central Valley project in conjunction with the authorization for San Luis.
Specifically, if you will refer to the map, what would be accomplished by this addition would be that the San Luis Reservoir, which is the blue area in the lower right-hand corner of the map, would be the water source, and a tunnel would be driven through the mountain to the left, or the west, and that would feed water into the Pacheco Creek. From there it can be diverted south to San Benito County and it can be diverted with a very slight diversion into natural streams to feed Santa Clara County to the north.
Section 4 of my bill, as you well know, does not unqualifiedly authorize the construction of the Pacheco unit. It authorizes it, subject to a favorable feasibility report, to be tendered at some later date.
It also allows the State of California, should it move to serve this service area, to have the first option on servicing that area.
So we are not in conflict with the State water plan at all, and we are not asking for something which is not feasible.
If a feasibility report should show it is not possilble or not feasible to construct the Pacheco unit, naturally, we would drop it.
One point has come up since my testimony before this committee 2 years ago which, I think, further emphasizes the fact this would probably be feasible. Santa Cruz County, which is at the left side of the map, has recently, through the Santa Cruz Flood Control and
Water Conservation District, expressed an interest to being served by a Pacheco unit or a diversion from the San Luis Reservoir.
I would like to read into the record at this time two paragraphs from a letter written by Mr. Francis Stillman, chairman of the board of directors of Santa Cruz Flood Control and Water Conservation District, to Mr. Harvey O. Banks of the department of water resources. I have received permission from the Santa Cruz County Board to introduce this letter in evidence.
The two paragraphs which are pertinent are as follows: The possibility of using water from a supply regulated at San Luis Reservoir which would be transported as far as the San Luis Reservoir along with the tremendous volumes of water scheduled for import to the south may be a very attractive source of water for the Pajaro Valley. This presumed that the Pacheco tunnel wound serve to distribute water to Santa Clara and San Benito Counties. Pajaro Valley could be served by gravity with minimum of regulatory works within the valley itself. The proposed area would be the valley floor west of Highway 1 below elevation 20 feet.
Inasmuch as the Pacheco alternate of the South Bay aqueduct may be more economical than any local development, this board wishes to go on record as encouraging further studies of the route with the idea of considering the Pajaro Valley potential service area.
I might point out at this point, Mr. Chairman, that if Santa Cruz County or the Pajaro Valley would be served by water from the Pacheco unit of the San Luis Reservoir that it would flow down what is known as the Pajaro River to Santa Cruz County.
Although I have never mentioned possible service to Monterey County, nor do I have any knowledge of their having requested it, this, to my knowledge, is a water-short area and Monterey County, borders on the Pajaro River. So it is possible that water service to Santa Cruz County, as well as Monterey County, could be made possible by the construction of the Pacheco unit.
Now, one point that I would like to emphasize; in fact, it is my last point: You will notice on the orientation map, which I placed before you, there is a very large agricultural county called San Benito, which is directly in the middle of the map at the bottom, the southern part of my district. Without the Pacheco unit of the San Luis project, it is my personal opinion that San Benito County would be left high and dry. If it should be determined later on that Santa Clara County would be served from an alternate route other than Pacheco, it would still, in my opinion, be economically unfeasible to serve San Benito County from that water source.
The only possibility for San Benito County, which is desperately in need of supplemental water, getting that water is to get it from the Pacheco unit.
Now, Mr. Chairman, we feel quite strongly that this is the one opportunity that this great area, 15th in the Nation in agricultural output, the place in the United States that I will stack up against any other as having done everything possible to solve its own problem locally—this, we feel, is the one chance for us to have an assured source of water at a rate that the irrigator can afford to pay.
We respectfully request, in fact we urgently request, that any authorizing legislation for the San Luis project include, on the provisional basis contained in my section 4, provision for service to Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, and San Benito County.
Now, my bill, in section 4, called for Alameda-Santa Clara and San Benito. I, for one, would like to leave Alameda County in it. I believe they are entitled to service should they want it. I would like to leave San Benito and Santa Clara County in but I would like to request that Santa Cruz County be added as a service area in the authorizing legislation.
Mr. Chairman, I have received a statement from the California Farm Research and Legislative Committee with the request that I read it into the record.
Mr. ASPINALL. Congressman Gubser, the original statement was sent to the committee chairman and has already been placed in the record (see p. 119).
Mr. GUBSER. Then it is already in the record ?
At this time I have two gentlemen accompanying me. One is the counsel for the Tri-County Water Authority, Mr. Albert Henley, and with him is the president of the Tri-County Water Authority, Mr. Polak, and with your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to call on Mr. Henley at this time.
Mr. ASPINALL. We will be glad to hear you, Mr. Henley.
STATEMENT OF ALBERT T. HENLEY, REPRESENTING THE SANTA
CLARA, SAN BENITO, AND ALAMEDA WATER AUTHORITY, CALIFORNIA
My name is Albert T. Henley. I have been here before-and on the same errand.
I am accompanied today by Mr. Frank J. Polak, president of the board of directors of Santa Clara-Alameda-San Benito Water Authority, the agency which I am representing before you. The authority is a public body created by the voters of two water districts; namely, Santa Clara Valley Water Conservation and San Benito County Water Conservation and Flood Control District. Both are located in the central coastal area of California at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay.
The facts relative to this area, that its lands have been long under cultivation, in many cases for over a century; that it has a very high productive capacity in valuable, wholly nonsurplus crops; that it has experienced tremendous recent growth (San Jose presently has more children in school than does San Francisco); that it has supported successive bond issues, now totaling $1612 million, to conserve local supplies; that nevertheless it must have supplemental water—all these facts were put before you at your hearing on this subject in May of 1956.
My purpose today is to bring us up to date. In 1957 the water authority I represent undertook a study of a number of proposed methods of bringing water into the authority's area from the Central Valley. That study was completed and published in September of 1957. It indicates the feasibility of one project which has come to be known as the Pacheco Tunnel Route. It is also called the DeltaMendota-San Luis Tunnel Route and the South Bay Aqueduct, Pacheco Tunnel Alternate. The State department of water resources has made an independent study of the project and has also, at our request, reviewed our data. The director of the department, Mr. Harvey O. Banks, has stated recently to the press that his report will also show feasibility.
The Pacheco Tunnel Route may be briefly described as follows: Water would be pumped directly from the existing Delta-Mendota Canal to an elevation just below the flowline of San Luis Reservoir. From there it would move in open ditch on contour around the inside edge of the reservoir to a tunnel inlet. The tunnel, about 6 miles in length, would release water into Pacheco Creek from which, partly in natural channel, partly in conduit, it would be carried by gravity to areas of need in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties, with the distinct probability of some consumption in water-deficient areas of Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. The contour canal would be out of service when the reservoir is full but would be used whenever the water level falls below the canal's elevation, thus eliminating a second pumping plant at the tunnel entrance.
I have described the project in order that the committee may know that our interest in the San Luis development is serious and that we have been ready to spend local money in furtherance of our participation.
My appearance today is specifically in support of H. R. 7295 as introduced by Congressman Gubser; but San Luis legislation in any form acceptable to Mr. Gubser, Mr. Sisk, to this committee, and to the Department of the Interior will be acceptable to the authority I represent.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It has been a privilege to testify before this committee.
Mr. ASPINALL. Thank you for your statement, which supplements the statement you made in 1956.
Who is the other gentleman with you!
Mr. GUBSER. Mr. Frank Polak, president of the Tri-County Water Authority.
Do you wish to say anything, Frank?
Mr. POLAK. Mr. Chairman, I have nothing further to add, as Congressman Gubser and Mr. Henley have presented our case in the past and present, but I do solicit the committee's very serious consideration because we are very seriously in need of improved water, and we are in a very serious condition.
Mr. ASPINALL. It was the chairman's privilege to be once again in this area this last November. He has been there several times.
I think the chairman understands your problem and is quite sympathetic toward what you have in mind. .
May I ask you this, some 1 of the 3: How much study has been made on this proposed project and do we have a report of its feasibility at the present time?
Mr. GUBSER. With your permission, I will partially answer the question and call upon Mr. Henley to complete the answer.
Two years ago, appropriation of $92,000 was made by this Congress for the purpose of conducting by the Bureau of Reclamation a feasibility report of this Pacheco Route. Because at that time it was
clearly expressed as the desire of the State division of water resources to serve this area, the Bureau of Reclamation felt that they should not move to expend this money and possibly duplicate something that was contemplated by the State.
Since that time, however, there are certain events which have transpired which I think are significant and I would like to ask Mr. Henley to describe subsequent activity regarding this study.
Mr. HENLEY. I referred to the study which the Authority made in 1957 in my statement.
Mr. ASPINALL. You are talking about the State water authority, not any study made by the Federal Government; is that right?
Mr. HENLEY. That is right. It is not the State water authority, the local water authority, the authority I represent and that is naturally not a study of a Federal agency.
The State department of water resources made an independent study during the same period and I was told this morning it is probably to be released on February 15. That study will be an independent study, as I say, of the same project.
As far as I know, no Bureau of Reclamation study has been completed on the project.
Mr. ASPINALL. Congressman Gubser, I do not understand whether I understood you correctly at the beginning of your statement. Did I understand you to say that this is a part of the original Central Valley plan as it was proposed?
Mr. GUBSER. Not to my knowledge, Mr. Chairman. I think Mr. Engle, who has been connected with this much longer than I, could correct me if I am wrong:
This, as I understand it, is an extension of the service area of the Central Valley project.
Mr. ASPINALL. I shall let him ask the question, if he desires. It is rather intriguing. It is not only transmountain or transwatershed diversion but this is a double transwatershed diversion, as I understand.
It is one of the first that has come to my attention in that respect. The Chair calls upon his colleague, Mr. Engle.
Mr. ENGLE. I am sure my colleague will recall, when we had the American River development before our committee, a provision was included in that legislation requiring the Bureau to study the possibility of getting water across into this area. As I understand, that study was subsequently abandoned in view of the State water plan.
As I recall, last year I got in touch with you about that.
Mr. ENGLE. And the matter was submitted to the Water Authority. Does the plan contemplated by the State cover any of the area mentioned in section 4 of your bill?
Mr. GUBSER. Mr. Chairman, before I answer that question, may I make a slight, or express a slight difference of opinion? I'do not feel that the Pacheco Alternate or the Pacheco Route has ever been abandoned in favor of the State water plan. However, the Bureau of Reclamation expressed a reluctance to study it when it was being contemplated that service would be given to this area by the State division of water resources.
Now, it is true that the State of California has appropriated funds for site acquisition for what is known as the South Bay Aqueduct.