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Senator MANSF ELD. How many acre-feet of water would the proposed Amista (i i}am back up?
Mr. How ITT. A bout 5,600,000.
Senator MANSFIELD. And you could derive no power from that amount of water?
Mr. HEWITT. Yes, sir; we can derive a great deal of power from that amount of water.
Senator MANs FIELD. How much?
Mr. HEWITT. In some years we would not have a dependable supply of water.
Senator MANSFIELD. Do you have a dependable supply of hydropower at Falcon Dam?
Mr. HE witt. No, sir; we do not.
Senator MANSFIELD. So Amistad would be similar to Falcon Dam in that respect.
Mr. HEWITT. There have been years in which we were unable to make firm power. On the other hand, coming back to look at the history of the river there have been as many as 30 consecutive years when we would have had dependable and firm power.
The view of the Federal Power Commission, I believe, is that when there is in the history of the stream a period in which firm power cannot be developed, they feel that they cannot recommend the construction of a powerplant.
MExICO's INTEREST, AND COST SHARE, IN THE PROJECT
Senator MANSFIELD. Is the Republic of Mexico interested in this project?
Mr. HEw ITT. Yes, sir.
Senator MANs FIELD. Very much?
Mr. HEw ITT. Yes, sir.
Senator MANSFIELD. They would put up how much of the cost, percentagewise?
Mr. HEWITT. They will put up the cost of the powerplant on their side of the river which is estimated to be the same as that on our side which is about $15 million, and they would also put up 43 percent of the cost of the dam.
Senator MANSFIELD. And who would have the authority to disburse the power generated therein?
Mr. HEWITT. That has not been decided as yet nor provided for, but I assume that the Department of Interior would sell the power as they do at Falcon.
Senator MANSFIELD. I see.
PURPOSE OF AMISTAD DAM
Now I note this is referred to as an international storage dam. I assume there would be a certain amount of reclamation attached to it. How much acreage would go under irrigation? Mr. HEWITT. No more acreage should go under irrigation than is at present under irrigation in the valley. Senator MANSFIELD. What would be the purpose of building this storage dam then outside of generating power? Mr. HEWITT. To save water which now escapes to the gulf.
Senator MANSFIELD. But it escapes to the gulf through Falcon Dam : does it not?
\lr. HEWITT. Yes, sir.
Senator MANSFIELD. And you haven't a large enough control reservoir there?
Mr. HEWITT. We haven't a large enough control reservoir there.
Senator MANSFIELD. You realize, of course, that no matter what you do, water is going to escape to the gulf in time.
Mr. HEWITT. The amount which will escape to the gulf uncontrolled, we believe, will be very, very small. Actually the history of the valley is that we have rains which are torrential, and the capacity of the reservoirs must be sufficient to take the floods which occur from hurricane rains. Then there will be long, long periods in which there will be little or no precipitation. So the water to fill these reservoirs comes in great quantities in short times and with long intervals between storms, when there is little or no precipitation.
TEXAS' INTEREST IN AMISTAD PROJECT
Senator MANSFIELD. I would dare say there is no opposition on the part of the State of Texas to this. Mr. HEWITT. The Governor of the State of Texas has expressed his desire to have the project completed at an early date. Senator MANSFIELD. I would assume it would have the full support of the congressional delegation in the House and Senate. Mr. HEWITT. There are representatives from the delegation here, I think that will bear me out in saying that they have the full support of the Texas delegation. Senator MANSFIELD. What is the position of the State of Coahuila? Mr. HEWITT. The Mexican situation is controlled largely by the Federal overnment rather than by the State. The Government of Mexico, as Mr. Osborne has just said, is extremely— Senator HICKEN LOOPER. Are you suggesting that the State of Texas runs the Federal Government? [Laughter.] Senator MANSFIELD. He will correct his remarks accordingly. |Laughter.] QUESTION OF REPAYMENT COSTS
One more question. What about the terms of repayment? Mr. HEw ITT. The flood-control benefits, of course, are nonreimbursable. Senator MANs FIELD. That is the case on any dam in this country. Mr. HEWITT. Yes. The amount of additional water which will be supplied by the proposed Amistad Dam is rather small in proportion to the total amount which is available now from Falcon. The increase is about 5 percent. The people of the lower valley are not at the present time offering to repay any portion of the cost of Amistad Dam. I believe that Representative Kilgore can give you a rundown on the reason for this better than I. He is present. Senator MANs FIELD. Am I to understand there are no repayment costs? Mr. HEWITT. The House bill does not require repayment. Further than that, there was no repayment required in the construction of Falcon.
COSTS OF THE PROJECT
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any questions, Senator Hickenlooper?
Senator HICKENLoop ER. Yes, I have one or two. Mr. Hewitt, so far as construction of the dam is concerned, I understand from Your testimony that we will pay 56 percent and the Mexicans will pay 43plus percent.
Mr. HEWITT. Yes.
Senator HICKENLoop ER. Now the proportion of the earth dam on the Mexican side is how many times that of the earth dam on the U.S. side?
Mr. HE witT. About twice, I should say, sir.
Senator HICKENLoop ER. Well, of course, I can't tell from the map. But it looks a lot longer than that on the map but maybe that is not accurate. It looks about four times as much.
The CHAIRMAN. In the overall cost it is about $72 million to the United States.
Mr. HEWITT. It is about 4 miles long on the Mexican side and 2 on our side.
Senator HICKENLOOPER. About twice.
The CHAIRMAN. The overall cost is $72 million to the United States and $37 million to Mexico.
Senator HICKENLoop ER. That includes the powerplants?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Senator HICKENLoop ER. I was excluding the powerplants from this cost. Then, of course, I assumed that the cost of the concrete structure would be half on the Mexican side and half on the U.S. side.
Mr. HEWITT. Approximately so.
Senator HICKENLoop ER. Approximately. So in any event we are paying substantially more than Mexico.
Mr. HEWITT. The big difference is in the ancillary works which are located in the United States. We have a railroad to relocate, we have a number of roads to relocate, and we have some utilities to relocate. On the Mexican side of the river they have no railroads to relocate, they have no roads to speak of that will have to be relocated, or utilities.
COSTS OF CONSTRUCTION OF POW ERPLANT
Senator HICKENLoop ER. Did I understand you to say there is no agreement yet so far as the allocation of the power is concerned? Mr. HEWITT. The allocation of power is controlled by the treaty. If a powerplant is constructed, whether it be in one unit or two units the United States shares with Mexico equally in cost of construction of the powerplant and also in the use of the power produced. Senator HICKENLoop ER. Yes.
A UTHORITY TO SELL POWER
Mr. HEWITT. In other words, we may sell our power Senator HICKENLOOPER: Who controls that 50 percent? Mr. HEWITT. That will have to be decided. Senator HICKENLoop ER. The Commission? Mr. HEWITT. By the Congress as to whether the International Boundary and Water Commission is authorized to sell the power, which I think would be rather unusual, or whether the Department of Interior would be the authorized sales agency for the Federal Government. In Falcon we deliver the power at the busbar to a commercial firm. However, the sales are arranged by the Department of interior.
CONTROL OVER WATER FOR IRRIGATION PURPOSES
Senator HICKEN LOOPER. So far as the use of the water is concerned that comes out of this reservoir for irrigation, who regulates that and who gets what proportion of that amount? - Mr. HEWITT. All water in the Rio Grande is divided in accordance with its source. We have in the United States title to all of the water which originates within the United States, plus one-third of the water which comes from five tributaries arising in Mexico above Falcon Dam, including the Conchos River which is the largest of the tributaries to which I refer. When this water is impounded in Falcon Dam or will be impounded in Amistad Dam, we know from our water accounting, which is accomplished by the U.S. Section and by the Mexican Section combined, and agree as to the ownership of this water, exactly how much water belonging to the United States and belonging to Mexico is in each of these reservoirs. We then release water from these reservoirs, as requested by the State of Texas or by the authorized representative of the State. Senator HICKENLoop ER. If we should use all the water that is allocated to us and Mexico does not use their portion of the water, it would just continue to flow down the river; is that correct? Mr. HEWITT. If we use all of our water, and Mexico doesn’t use all of hers, I imagine that Mexican water would be contained behind Falcon Dam, and would remain there until it was required for the use in irrigating the Mexican acres. Senator HICKENLoop ER. And then to that extent it would not bring in additional acres. Mr. is Ew ITT. No, sir; I don’t think so, because there would be no additional water available to the United States. Senator HICKENLoop ER. I mean additional acres in Mexico. Mr. HEWITT. Well, Mexico is, I would say, just about as limited as the United States is insofar as the supply of water is concerned. I don’t believe that they can bring in additional acreage without taking out some of the acreage which they have under irrigation at present. Senator HICKENLoop ER. Well, if they impound this water on a reliable basis they would be in a different position so far as irrigation is concerned than they would if they could only use the water when it was in flood or coming down in volume and could not use it when it was dry. Mr. HE witt. The majority of the area which is under irrigation both on the U.S. side and on the Mexican side is below Falcon Dam. There may be on the Mexican side some additional acreage brought under irrigation below the proposed Amistad Dam. However, at the present time Mexico is using most of the water which is impounded in Falcon for the irrigation of the lower area.
METHOD OF OPERATION OF POW ERPLANTS
Senator HICKENLoop ER. If a powerplant is built on the Mexican side and a powerplant is built on the U.S. side, the Texas side, how is that going to be financed? Will the Mexicans go ahead and build that powerplant and then we give them a check for it or will we build the powerplant and the Mexicans give us a check for half of it? Do we have supervisory control over the efficiency or the type of plant built on the Mexican side? Mr. HEWITT. I can best explain that by explaining how we operate at Falcon. We have two separate plants there. We keep very careful records of what current is generated in our own plant and also in the Mexican plant. We total the amount of current generated each month, in fact, we do it every day. We divide the current generated by two, and we put our half on the wire to a commercial firm in the United States, and we get the proceeds for one-half of the current which is generated. Senator HICKENLoop ER. Is the same amount of current generated on the Mexican side as on the U.S. side? Mr. HE witT. What we attempt is to equalize the number of generator hours during which each plant operates. Now that is not always practical, but in the period during which these plants have been in operation, I would say that the number of generator hours operated by Mexico and by the United States probably do not differ by 1 percent. MAINTENAN CE COSTS
Senator HICKEN LOOPER. Now so far as the supervision of this dam is concerned, and its maintenance and all that, who is to handle that? Mr. HEWITT. All of the facilities which are located on the Mexican side of the river will be maintained by Mexico. All of the facilities on the U.S. side of the river will be maintained by the United States. Senator HICKENLOOPER. And are we expected to pay any part of the maintenance on the Mexican side? Mr. HEWITT. No, sir; we are not. Senator HICKENLOOPER. So that the maintenance of the dam from the thread of the stream on into Mexico clear over to the end of the earth dam is to be maintained by Mexico; is that correct? Mr. HEWITT. That is correct. That is the way we do at Falcon.
RECOMMEN DATION AGAINST FEDERAL CONSTRUCTION OF A POWERPLANT
Senator HICKENLOOPER. In view of the Federal Power Commission's position that the dependable capacity for Amistad Dam would be zero and in view of your statement that the International Boundary and Water Commission feels bound by that position of the Federal Power Commission, it is a little hard for me to understand why you are supporting the building of a powerplant.
Simply because the House of Representatives put it in the bill, it would hardly seem that that would be a justification from an engineering standpoint or an economic standpoint or anything else.
Mr. HEWITT. I believe the State Department feels that the bill should be supported. We are a part generally under the control of the State Department so far as policy is concerned and I think we take our position from them.
The CHAIRMAN: Why does the State Department feel that way?
Mr. Os BORNE. I may say, I don't believe that the State Department takes the position that we favor the construction of the powerplant by the Federal Government.