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mentary water supply needed by those members in the coastal plain of southern California. It involves five different counties.
So that the record may be clear, I also want to point out that our board does not now and never, to my knowledge—and I have been on the board 23 years-has opposed the people of the San Luis area obtaining this Federal project and the benefits therefrom under the reclamation laws. We are concerned, however, with the manner in which that legislation is drawn so that it does not affect adversely the rest of us who expect to obtain water from the same source through the Feather River project. And by the rest of us, I am referring to Kern County and southern California, which involves more than half of the population and wealth of the State of California.
I also want to point out that this statement which I am about to read, and which has been officially approved by our board of directors, was drafted prior to the time the negotiations began in Washington on Monday of this week; so our board has not had the benefit of what may have been accomplished during these negotiations.
I will now read the statement (reading):
Careful consideration has been given to H. R. 6035 by the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and I am authorized to submit the following statement presenting the views of the board with regard to this proposed legislation.
First of all, we believe that any final congressional authorization of the San Luis project should, in the highest interests of all prospective users of Feather River project water, or any other State project water, follow and not precede the negotiation of a contract between the State of California and the United States Department of the Interior, such contract to set forth the terms and conditions of construction, financing, operation, and integrated use of the reservoir facilities.
However, in view of the fact that H. R. 6035 is a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to construct the San Luis unit of the Central Valley project, California, to enter into an agreement with the State of California with respect to the construction and operation of such unit, and for other purposes, it is desired to place before your committee the following comments concerning the provisions of this bill:
1. Facilities of the San Luis Dam, Reservoir, and Canal should be constructed, maintained, and operated as integral parts of the State Feather River project and not as an integral part of the Central Valley project (H. R. 6035, p. 2, lines 2–3, March 14, 1957).
May I say as an aside, Mr. Chairman, that the negotiations this week, I think, may have eliminated that objection. I am not certain until I can consult our attorneys or we have reviewed the wording that has been drafted.
2. Each facility of the San Luis Dam, Reservoir, and Canal, as soon as constructed, should be operated and maintained by the State of California and not by the Secretary of the Interior (H. R. 6035, p. 2, lines 9-10; p. 6, lines 17–22).
3. All interest and control of the United States in any facilities of the San Luis Dam, Reservoir, and Canal constructed by the United States should cease, and title to all such works should be conveyed to the State upon repayment of the reimbursable costs to the United States (H. R. 6035, sec. 3, pars. (e) and (f)).
4. If the State of California and the United States Department of the Interior fail to agree on a contract setting forth terms and conditions for the construction and operation of the San Luis Dam, Reservoir, and Canal, the Federal Government should not be authorized to construct these facilities without express approval of the California State Legislature (H. R. 6035, p. 3, lines 3-23).
5. The San Luis Dam and Reservoir should be constructed initially to their full ultimate capacity of 2,100,000 acre-feet, and the cost of construction should be pro rated between the Federal Government and the State (H. R. 6035, p. 4, lines 3-9 and lines 19–21). This would result in lower costs, both to the Government and to the State.
6. No provision should be made, either directly or indirectly, that would permit users of water within the San Luis service area to have any priority in right to the delivery or storage of water made available by the facilities of the San Luis Dam, Reservoir, and Canal over any other users of water served by the State's Feather River project (H. R. 6035, p. 6, lines 5–16; p. 6, line 23 to p. 7, line 10).
Mr. Chairman, since this statement was made, our board of directors has had a meeting and as a result I received the following telegram:
Board of directors today January 14, 1958, adopted the following motion : "Moved by Director Farrar, seconded by Director Hayward, and carried, that the board of directors approve the approach embodied in the Hosmer bill (H. R. 2452, 85th Cong., 1st sess., January 10, 1957), to the enactment of congressional legislation relating to the San Luis project and, to the extent consistent therewith, the general principles which are outlined in the Kern County Farm Bureau concept as distributed December 16, 1957, to members of this board.
(Signed) JOSEPH JENSEN, Chairman, Board of Directors, Metropolitan Water District of Southern
California. Now, Mr. Chairman, may I further say this: Since arriving here on Monday morning, I have participated in conferences every day, I think, excepting today, trying to resolve these matters. We have made, I think, considerable progress.
We have not made too much progress particularly on one point and that is the cutoff date. Our feeling is that some substitute should be developed which would put equal pressure upon the Bureau and upon the State to negotiate this matter as quickly as it is possible.
I talked with Mr. Banks before he left town this morning. He said that he planned to get us together within a few days again in California to continue these negotiations, and I will be very happy to participate on behalf of the district that I represent, in the hope that we. can come to an agreement so that all of California can present to your committee an agreement which we can all agree to.
It is my hope that your committee can give us a little time in which that may be accomplished.
Mr. ASPINALL. Thank you very much, Mr. Butler
We shall now hear from Mr. Grover C. Shannon, president of the Feather River Project Association.
STATEMENT OF GROVER C. SHANNON, PRESIDENT, FEATHER RIVER
PROJECT ASSOCIATION, CALIFORNIA Mr. SHANNON. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the privilege of appearing here. My name is Grover C. Shannon. I am a farmer in Sutter County in California. All the property owned by my family and myself was flooded during Christmas of 1955.
I am vice chairman of State reclamation board which has a definite interest in the Feather River project dam for the flood-control features provided by the Oroville Dam.
I am president of the Feather River Project Association. It is in that capacity I am appearing here today. The Feather River Project Association was organized in March of 1955 at a meeting sponsored primarily by the Oroville Chamber of Commerce. This meeting was held in Bakersfield, Calif. At this meeting, several hundred interested persons attended. It was unanimously agreed that a statewide organization should be formed to bring together the divergent interests of the State, to accelerate the start of construction of the California water plan and in particular the Feather River project, as the designated first unit of the plan, by the State legislature.
A permanent organization was formed and, among other things, a oard of 21 members was provided for, 18 of whom were to be selected on a geographical basis and 3 at large.
These directors at present come from Oroville, Yuba City, San Francisco, Oakland, and from the counties of Santa Clara, Tulare, Kern, Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego. They direct the affairs of the association. Also set up was an advisory board, unlimited as to number, but qualified on the basis of representing areas or organizations interested in the solution of our water problems.
The association meets on the second Thursday and Friday of each month in a different part of the State from the last meeting.
an organization we are dedicated to the development of the California water plan and in particular the Feather River project. We take the stand that we should oppose any legislative proposals that would impair, hinder, or jeopardize any unit of the plan, or the Feather River project.
There is no competent argument against the statement that the reservoir at San Luis is an integral and vital part of the Feather River project, if water is to be delivered to the desperately deficient areas of southern Kern, Ventura, Antelope Valley, San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties.
The association has consistently fought and will continue to fight for the need of storage capacity in San Luis site needed for the delivery of water to the project areas south.
The association has adopted the Bottorff or Kern County concept without reservation.
Any changes of language or minor modifications that meet with the approval of the author, I feel sure would meet with the association's approval.
Mr. Bottorff, who has testified, is vice president and a director of the association. Likewise, Mr. Peterson, who has testified, is on our advisory board.
I would like to just mention two more members whom your committee may know, or may know of. Mr. Samuel Morris, former chief engineer and general manager of the Department of Water and Power of Los Angeles, is a vice president and director. Mr. James Turner, manager of the Department of Water of the City and County of San Francisco, is a director.
Gentlemen and gentlewoman of the committee, I believe I am correct in stating that the Feather River project's proposed dam at Oroville is truly the most comprehensive multiple-purpose dam that has been proposed, having as it does the following functions: Flood control, municipal and industrial water supply, irrigation, power generation, salinity control, recreation, navigation, and fish and wildlife benefits, probably of importance in the order named.
All of this is dependent on an adequate storage capacity at the San Luis Reservoir site.
Mr. ASPINALL. Thank you, Mr. Shannon.
We shall now listen to Mr. Harold K. Levering, assemblyman, from the State of California.
Mr. Levering, we are happy to have you before the committee.
Mr. UTT. At this point, Mr. Chairman, I would like to have the opportunity also of welcoming Mr. Levering, assemblyman from my neighboring county. We are long-time friends, and I want to say I am very happy to have him before our committee.
Mr. LEVERING. Thank you very much, and thank you, members of the committee. Mr. ASPINALL. You may proceed.
STATEMENT OF HAROLD K. LEVERING, ASSEMBLYMAN, STATE OF
Mr. LEVERING. Mr. Chairman, I do not have a prepared statement today, but I first want to say this: That I am the vice chairman of the joint committee on California water problems. I am not authorized to speak for that committee. I am the chairman of a coordinating committee of the same joint committee; I am not authorized to speak for that committee. I do appear here as a member of the California Legislature speaking on behalf of myself and not purporting to represent the body.
Mr. ASPINALL. Before you continue, will you advise the chairman just how long you wish to have?
Mr. LEVERING. I will not take more than 10 or 12 minutes, if that is satisfactory to you.
Mr. ASPINALL. Ten minutes is much more satisfactory than twelve.
Mr. LEVERING. Mr. Chairman, I will confine it to 10 minutes, and I assure you I will not attempt to run over the time.
Mr. ASPINALL. With the understanding we will permit the gentleman to proceed although remarks have not been put down as our rules require. Thank you very much.
Mr. LEVERING. The reason that I did not prepare a statement was for the simple reason that most of the ground has been covered as to the technical testimony by the others who have presented themselves before you. But there is one subject matter that has not been covered that is very closely related to this whole problem, and that is the tremendous political problem in the State of California that is inexorably tied up with this San Luis project in that it affects the entire California Feather River project in the California water plan.
Mr. ASPINALL. You are not referring to partisan politics?
Mr. LEVERING. No; I am going to cover it, Mr. Chairman, and I might cover it in this manner, to say that, because Senator Cobey brought the subject up in his testimony of yesterday, the problem is not a political problem so far as partisanship is concerned. I think the Senator said he had as much trouble with Mr. Porter, a Democrat, as he had with Mr. Levering, a Republican. The problem is a different problem than that. It is an area problem.
It is true that Senator Cobey's bill was killed in the lower house. He is a Democrat. He did not tell you, however, that the same body killed a similar Republican bill several weeks before it killed his bili. So we treated each of these gentlemen exactly the same.
I would like to urge your very serious consideration to the deletion from Mr. Sisk's bill of the amendments that have been offered on this cutoff date. As I understand this cutoff date, the cutoff date is for the purpose of getting the California people to get busy on the project.
Is that not correct, so that they will not drag their feet
Mr. ASPINALL. May the Chair suggest the committee ask the questions.
Mr. LEVERING. I assume that is the reason for it.
The reason I ask you to delete the cutoff date is that in order to solve this political problem—and the political problem has to be solved befor the Secretary of the Interior, as he had stated before you will not proceed with the construction of the San Luis project until such time as you have some kind of water rights.
I think that is a sound position, and southern California feels the same way.
If this date is left out and deleted from the bill, I assume that this Congress, if it is found that California is dragging its feet, could at a later time enact a cutoff date and put it into the legislation again as an additional amendment to the bill.
The reason for that is, as is indicated by Mr. Butler's statement, that we would like to have an equal amount of pressure on the proponents in the Central Valley as there is pressure on the people in southern California, because unless there is some device by which we can get these people working together, we are not going to get enough votes to be able to pass a constitutional amendment, which, in turn, would put the State in the water business and put them in a position to negotiate firm contracts with water users, and assure the United States of the water rights also. So that is why I think it is important this be deleted from the bill.
Now, as to the size of the dam, and I think this is also something that is very important, that it be built to the entire capacity of 2,100,000 acre-feet, not from an engineering standpoint, but again from a political standpoint, because I assure you the people south of Tehachapiand not from the people that are here in this room today, because they have certainly gone a long ways since the last time we talked to them, and we thank them for the steps they have taken toward solving this problem, and I think some real understanding has occurred here—I think the people of southern California, by virtue of things that have been said, have good reason to fear that unless this dam is built to its capacity, it might be possible there never would be any capacity and never would be any water trickle over to the drought-stricken southern area, particularly in Orange and San Diego Counties.
Again, that is a political reason.
I would like to point out also to Congressman Gubser that, in the event this Congress adopts his section 4 and puts that into the bill, that authorization, while that would be all right-he would be in the same position, so far as water rights are concerned, as in any other area outside of the present Central Valley, because they would come under the Watershed of Origin Act, the County of Origin Act. So if Congressman Gubser's people should get water without some kind of firm contract with either the United States Government or the State of California, under the present law that could also be cut off.