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Mr. ASPINALL. Are there any objections to the insertions of the exhibits to which Mr. Kaljian made reference?
Hearing none, they will be inserted immediately following his statement.
Mr. Kaljian, is it necessary to wash boron content and other mineral content out of this soil before such soil might become useful to other crops, such as fruit trees, to which reference has been made?
Mr. KALJIAN. Mr. Chairman, I waited a number of years before putting down my wells simply for that reason. I bought this land Îargely as an investment for my children and I did not want to see the land ruined.
You can wash out the alkali salts eventually, but you cannot do anything about the boron that gets into the soil. A lot of land on the west side will be permanently ruined if they continue to put on this water that is high in boron.
Mr. ASPINALL. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California, Mr. Engle?
Mr. ENGLE. Mr. Kaljian, as I listened to your statement, I came to the conclusion that this project is a project to salvage land that otherwise will go out of production; is that right?
Mr. KALJIAN. That is correct, Mr. Engle.
Mr. ENGLE. In other words, you are not putting new land in, but saving some that is going to go completely out unless something is done; is that correct?
Mr. KALJIAN. That is correct. Mr. RHODES. Will the chairman yield? Mr. ENGLE. Yes. Mr. RHODES. Of course, in that instance, it is quite similar to the Central Arizona project of a few years ago.
Mr. ENGLE. If the gentleman from Arizona ever wins his lawsuit, I will be for his project, too.
Mr. RHODES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. ASPINALL. What percentage of the contemplated acreage that will be served by the San Luis project will be new land, Mr. Kaljian?
Mr. KALJIAN. In our particular district we have some new land that will come in, several thousands of acres. That condition is not true throughout the balance of the San Luis service area.
Most of that land is developed at the present time, but our district is a little bit different from the district south of us.
Mr. ASPINALL. The gentleman from New York is recognized, Mr. Wharton.
Mr. WHARTON. I wonder if you will bring me up on the project and state the distances from San Francisco down to the place where the red sign is what?
Mr. KALJIAN. That would be roughly about 140 miles. Probably in an airline a little closer than that.
Mr. ASPINALL. The gentlewoman from Idaho.
Mr. RHODES. Mr. Chairman, of course, I just made a remark when the chairman was controlling the time, which I suppose would betray my interest in this particular project. The similarity of this project to the Central Arizona project is so amazing as to be worthy of comment.
In both projects you have to pump water uphill in order to have it run downhill to get it where you want it. In both projects you have existing agricultural economies which need surplus water, which need additional water, to stay in business.
I might say right now, Mr. Chairman, that any time that situation comes up that the gentleman from Arizona who is now speaking is going to be very favorable and lean over backward to do everything he can to help such a project along.
I assure you, sir, and your associates, that that is also true of the San Luis project.
Mr. KALJIAN. Thank you, Mr. Rhodes.
Mr. CHENOWETH. Do I understand that your water table is decreasing?
Mr. KALJIAN. Yes, sir.
In this P. L. and E. report, it will show that in 1955 we were pumping a total head of 568 feet; in 1956, 590 feet; in 1957, about 610 feet.
Mr. CHENOWETH. How long have you been pumping in that area? Mr. KALJIAN. About 5 years.
Mr. CHENOWETH. Prior to that time where were you getting the water?
Mr. KALJIAN. It was grazing land.
Mr. CHENOWETH. How many acres were involved in this reclamation project?
Mr. KALJIAN. What do you mean by reclamation project?
Mr. CHENOWETH. You mean this particular area that you are talking about, where you are now pumping, and where the water level is declining each year?
Mr. KALJIAN. I have a thousand acres there. Of course, there are other ranches around me, there are some smaller, some larger.
Mr. CHENOWETH. How many individual pumps would you say are in this area?
Mr. KALJIAN. The pumps run up into the hundreds.
Mr. CHENOWETH. All of the land has to have a pump in order to get any water at all for the crops?
Mr. KALJIAN. That is true.
Mr. Sisk. Mr. Chairman, I am simply happy to welcome before our committee this morning another very prominent constituent. Charles Kaljian has been very active in water matters as well as other civic matters in the district.
I am particularly impressed, Mr. Kaljian, with your statement this morning because you are talking about something you know specifically and I think your discussion regarding your own well and your own experience here is very illustrative of the conditions that exist throughout the area.
And it is most impressive. With that, Mr. Chairman, I have no questions.
Mr. ASPINALL. Mr. Kaljian, do you know of any opposition within the San Luis area itself from the farmers to this proposed project?
Mr. KALJIAN. Not from any farmers, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAYLOR. Mr. Kaljian, if it were necessary to place an acreage limitation in this bill so that the usual acreage limitations as applied to Federal projects had to apply to the land that would receive the supplemental water supply in the San Luis project, then what do you think the attitude of the farmers would be?
Mr. KALJIAN. Sir, all the farmers in the area know that acreage limitation and we are all ready to live with it if we can get the water.
Mr. SAYLOR. In other words, you think every farmer in the area is willing to abide by the maximum of 160-acre limitation ?
Mr. KALJIAN. I would say “Yes.” It is either that or sell it back to the sheepmen for grazing purposes.
Mr. AsPINALL. I think that the gentleman from Pennsylvania understands that the acreage limitation law applies to the reclamation projects.
The gentleman from California, Mr. Utt.
Mr. UTT. Mr. Kaljian, you have indicated that your cost per acrefoot is around $21 an acre-foot.
Mr. KALJIAN. Yes.
Mr. KALJIAN. At the present time we are only able to use a little over 2,000 acre-feet.
Mr. Urt. I am referring to per acre?
Mr. KALJIAN. We should have roughly an average of around 3 acre-feet.
Mr. UTT. Do you use 3 acre-feet?
Mr. KALJIAN. No, sir; we can't get it. Our wells do not produce it. So some of our land has to be put to winter crops and rely as best they can on the rainfall.
Mr. Urt. Can the crops you produce stand a charge of $80 a year on 3 acre-feet?
Mr. KALJIAN. Not at the price it is now, $21. All we are trying to do now is to hang on until we can get cheaper water.
Mr. UTT. What is the anticipated price you are going to have to pay for water under the San Luis project?
Mr. KALJIAN. It will cost us $7.50 canalside. By the time we get that on the land it will probably cost us better than $10.
Mr. UTT. Can the agricultural economy stand $30 per acre then, for 3 acre-feet?
Mr. KALJIAN. The crops we raise in the area can stand it, sir.
Mr. UTT. Is any of the Southern Pacific 120,000 acres in your water district?
Mr. KALJIAN. None.
Mr. ASPINALL. The next witness is Senator James Cobey, of Merced, Calif.
I am correct, am I not, that this is your first appearance before the committee?
STATEMENT OF JAMES A. COBEY, CALIFORNIA STATE SENATOR,
REPRESENTING MERCED AND MADERA COUNTIES, CENTRAL VALLEY OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. COBEY. That is correct, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ENGLE. May I say, Mr. Chairman, that I am delighted to welcome Senator Cobey as one of the outstanding members of our California Legislature. He has established himself as one of the best and most constructive members of the California State senate.
Mr. COBEY. Thank you very much, Congressman Engle.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is James A. Cobey. I represent Merced and Madera Counties lying within the Central Valley of California, just north of Fresno County, in the California State senate.
I am appearing before you at the personal request of State Senator Hugh M. Burns, representing Fresno County, the president pro tempore
of the California State senate. As all of you are well aware, the proposed San Luis Reservoir lies within one of my two counties, namely, Merced County.
I am a member of the various interim committees, special and general, of the California Legislature on water problems. The senate bill originating in the State department of water resources for the joint construction and operation of the San Luis Reservoir and related facilities, S. B. 1995, a companion bill to your H. R. 6035, which was introduced at the last session of the California Legislature, was my bill.
S. B. 1995 passed the senate of the State of California by a vote of 32 to 8.
On the last day of the 1957 legislative session, a motion to withdraw this bill from the Assembly Ways and Means Committee was defeated by a vote of 46 to 28.
The bill had previously been approved by the subject committee, the Assembly Conservation Planning and Public Works Committee.
I understand that, generally speaking, the Congress does not authorize Federal reclamation projects within a State unless such projects have the prior approval of that State.
Yesterday you heard the executive branch of the California State government express such approval of H. R. 6035 if amended as suggested and qualified approval of the remaining bills before you.
I come before you to express the conviction that if the Congress will take favorable action on H. R. 6035 substantially in accordance with the amendments to it proposed yesterday by the California State department of water resources, the California State Legislature will in its next regular session in 1959 reciprocally approve proposed companion State legislation which I shall offer.
In other words, what I am saying to you is this: If the Congress will approve the Federal-State joint venture on San Luis in 1958 the California Legislature will follow suit at its next regular session in 1959.
I do not base this prophecy of future legislative action upon the assumption that the opposing forces in California are now in complete agreement with respect to the San Luis Reservoir and related facilities. I do base it, however, on the belief that these heretofore opposing forces within the State of California are now agreed in principle, for the first time, on the basic concept of joint construction, joint use, and joint operation of this reservoir and of these related facilities.
Many details of the overall agreement remain to be worked out. There must be further give and take on both sides.