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In addition to that, we have had, according to our record beginning in 1900, 16 other floods, and, in estimating our annual average damages from floods alone, we consider that these will amount to $1,864,000. In addition to that, during the 1954 flood and the 1958 flood, there was a considerable amount of water which would have been impounded behind the Amistad Dam which, owing to the fact that Falcon Dam was filled in 1958, resulted in a great deal of water escaping beyond Brownsville and Matamoros into the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, water which goes out to the Gulf of Mexico is of no use to the valley for conservation purposes or irrigation and as the result there were some 3 million acre-feet lost. We figured the worth of an acre-foot of water in that portion of Texas to be about $22 per acre-foot. So that some $66 million worth of water was lost. We figure on the average we are going to lose some 190,000 acre-feet of water annually which we will retain in the Amistad Dam and which otherwise would be lost to the gulf.
Now looking at the diagram to the right, that is the sketch of what we think this dam is going to look like, if it is authorized.
AREA TO BE COWERED BY WATER
The area which will be included in the storage reservoir amounts to a total of about 87,400 acres. This will be in the United States and Mexico. The storage Senator HICKENLoop ER. That is the land that will be covered by the water. Mr. HEwiTT. That is the land that will be covered by the water. That is outlined on the map. The total capacity of the storage is 5,660,000 acre-feet. The reservoir will extend up the Rio River some 82 miles. It will extend about 15 miles up the Devils River, and it will extend about 17 miles up the Pecos River. The dam itself will be about 253 feet high from the riverbed to the top of the dam. The overflow section, that is the concrete gravity section which is in the present streambed, will be flanked by earth embankments; on the Mexican side the embankment will be about 4.1 miles long and on the United States side about 2.1 miles long. This dam structure will require about 1.3 million cubic yards of concrete and 11.9 million yards of earth work. . We assume that there will be a highway over the top of the dam which will provide access internationally to the residents of the United States and of Mexico. Now, while I have said that the total amount of land to be inundated would be 87,400 acres, only about 58,000 acres will be in the United States, and most of this will be confined to the general steepwalled canyon of the Rio Grande. In this particular area there is a limestone formation and the canyons are very sharply incised into the ground. While at extreme flood stages the water will spread over a considerable area, nevertheless in the normal stages most of the water will be confined in the deep canyons. Five ranch headquarters are located in the reservoir area. This is considerably different from Falcon where we had to relocate several small villages. In this area there will be no relocation of villages. There are only about 25 or 35 acres of arable land in this particular area; the rest of it is sheep-grazing country. There are, however, two small hydroelectric plants and one steam plant—which is also small, 7,500 kilowatts—which would be inundated. There are also about 21.5 miles of State highway, 5 miles of country roads, 12 miles of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and about 16 miles of telephone trunkline to be relocated. The Bureau of Fisheries have indicated that there will be an excellent opportunity to provide recreation in the area which will be profitable from an economic standpoint.
FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF DAM’s CONSTRUCTION
Coming down to the financial benefits of the construction of this dam, we find that the total annual flood damages to U.S. property, which it may be anticipated the proposed Amistad Dam would prevent, would be $1,861,000. There will be $3,000 damages which will still occur, owing to floods which cannot be handled entirely in the area below the dam.
Senator HICKEN LOOPER. How much damage?
Mr. HEWITT. About $3,000 a year. That is practically nothing.
Now as far as conservation is concerned, I mentioned that there would be a considerable saving of water which would, before this dam was built, escape to the gulf and those annual conservation benefits are $1,892,000 a year.
CONSTRUCTION OF HYDROELECTRIC PLANTS
Now H.R. 12263 provides that the U.S. Commissioner will negotiate with Mexico to obtain an agreement to construct a hydroelectric plant. If this plant is constructed, we would expect to install about 70,000 kilowatts of power. That would be the greatest capacity which should be installed. Senator HICKENLOOPER. What side of the border? Mr. HEWITT. I am speaking on our side now, Mexico would install i. o which would probably be similar to this on their side of the OI'OléI’.
ESTIMATED COST OF PROJECT
Now the estimated cost of the entire project, Mexico and the United States amounts to $109,554,000. The CHAIRMAN. Including the powerplants? Mr. HEWITT. That includes the powerplants; yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. All right. Mr. HEwiTT. The U.S. cost is $71,846,000. The appropriation will have to be slightly larger than that, $72,296,000, since the actual cost is reduced by $450,000 which is the salvage value of the terminal land at the end of the 50 years. The annual capital costs at 2.5 percent would be as follows on the basis of a 50-year project: The dam and related works including power for a total of $2,536,000. On the 100-year basis it would be $1,970,000. In addition to the annual costs which I have spoken of, the additional construction costs to the United States to provide access roads, parking and picnicking facilities which are recommended by the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, National Park Service, is esti
mated to amount to $620,000, the annual capital costs for the same facilities amounts to $29,000 per year on a 50-year project life and $27,000 per year on the basis of 100-year project life.
OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF DAM AND RESERVOIR
Pursuant to the terms of the 1944 treaty, the dam at the Amistad site would be operated and maintained jointly by the Governments of the United States and Mexico. Through the International Boundary and Water Commission with each Government retaining full jurisdiction over the portion of the project lying within its own territory. As you will notice on the sketch of the dam, there is a line which shows the boundary between the two countries, and to the left is Mexico. Mexico would maintain all the facilities on the left side, and on the right side the United States would maintain the facilities. The dam and reservoir would be operated in coordination with the downstream Falcon Reservoir to provide optimum flood control, conservation, and regulation of the waters of the Rio Grande for the two countries in accordance with the terms of the treaty. The basic principle of operation of the reservoir system for storage and regulation of U.S. waters would be as it is at present in Falcon Reservoir that the use of waters for domestic and irrigation purposes is paramount, and that releases would be made for such purposes as determined and requested by authorities of the State of Texas. Flood control releases would be made from the reservoir when necessary as determined by the Commission, at the most practical rates and not in excess of the safe capacity of the channel downstream. The generation of hydroelectric energy at the Amistad site would be incidental to the release of waters for domestic, irrigation and flood control purposes. To the extent consistent with these paramount purposes additional releases would be made by each country as determined by the respective sections of the Commission to enable optimum generation of hydroelectric energy and all such releases would be reregulated in the Falcon Reservoir.
REGULATION OF BOATING, FISHING, AND HUNTING
No U.S. waters required for irrigation would be retained in storage in the Amistad Reservoir solely to maintain a power head. All boating, fishing, and hunting within the reservoir at the Amistad site would be subject to regulations of the laws in each country, within the portion of the reservoir area in its territory. On the U.S. side it is anticipated recreational control would be provided by the Texas State Parks Board and that hunting and fishing would be under the jurisdiction of the Texas Fish and Game Commission. I might say that at Falcon we have gotten along very nicely. Mexico takes care of the hunters and fishers on its side of the boundary and the State of Texas takes care of them on the U.S. side. Senator HICKENLoop ER. How do they do it? Do they have reciprocal licensing privileges? Mr. HEWITT. No, sir; they do not. If a person desires to hunt in Mexico, they have to secure a Mexican license.
However, it is very easy to do so. It costs a very small amount, and it is very easily obtained.
Senator †. How about fishing and boating?
Mr. HEWITT. Well, the same applies to fishing. But as far as boating is concerned, as long as you do not land on the Mexican side you are free to use the water on the Mexican side of the boundary as much as you like.
Senator HICKENLoop ER. But you can’t fish on the Mexican side of the stream.
Mr. HEWITT. You can fish on it with a license.
Senator HICKENLoop ER. With a Mexican license?
Mr. HEWITT. Yes, and by the same token if the Mexicans come over to the U.S. side they require a Texas license, too.
The CHAIRMAN. I don't believe you ever said what the maintenance costs would be. You said the capital costs would be $2% million a year. What is the maintenance cost? Mr. HEWITT. The maintenance cost, annual operation and maintenance cost, of the dam and powerplant is $532,000, as annual costs. So that the total cost of capital, fish and wildlife, and maintenance is $3,097,000. Senator WILLIAMs. What rate do you carry on your investment? Mr. HE witt. 2% percent. The CHAIRMAN. Is this formula for the benefit-cost ratio similar to the one used by the Army Engineers in domestic projects? Mr. HEWITT. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. What is it? Mr. HEWITT. The benefit-cost ratio of the project as a whole is 1.6 to 1 on a 50-year basis and 1.9 to 1 on a 100-year basis. Senator WILLIAMs. To the extent you have to pay over 2.5 percent, your investment costs would increase? Mr. HE witT. Yes, that is correct. Senator WILEY. What is the foundation there—rock formation, granite? Mr. HEWITT. Limestone; yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Does that finish your statement? Mr. HEWITT. Well, needless to say, sir, we support the request of the Department that H.R. 12263 be considered favorably by the committee.
STATEMENT OF SENATOR LYND ON B. JOHNSON
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Reporter, I wish you to insert in the record at this point the statement prepared by Senator Johnson in support of this measure. (The statement referred to follows:) JUNE 21, 1960.
STATEMENT OF SENATOR LYNDON B. JoHNson
I am delighted to have the opportunity to appear before this distinguished committee today on behalf of H.R. 12263, authorizing the joint construction by the United States and Mexico of the Amistad Dam project. This legislation is extremely significant to our continued good relations with Mexico, and I want to urge upon the committee the importance not only of acting favorably on the bill, but of doing so in sufficient time to permit the appropriation of the U.S. share of the first year cost during this session of Congress. H.R. 12263 does the following things: It authorizes the conclusion of an agreement between the United States and Mexico for the joint construction of the dam. In connection there with, it authorizes an agreement for the joint or independent development of hydroelectric power at the dam, and if separate development is decided upon, it directs the construction of the required facilities. Finally, it makes clear the right and the responsibility of the State of Texas to control the distribution of the U.S. share of the water impounded by the dam and requires that the operation of the dam be coordinated with the operation of Fo Dam located downstream so as to protect the rights of water users below Talcon. The dam as authorized by this bill will provide a reservoir capacity of 5,660,000 acre-feet, 2,110,000 acre-feet for flood control, and 3,550,000 acre-feet for con– servation storage and silt retention. Of this, 56.8 percent will belong to the United States and 43.8 percent to Mexico. The total cost of the U.S. share of the cost of the dam together with a powerplant will be $71,846,000. The benefitto-cost ratio on the project is shown by the committee report to be at the unusually high level of 1.55 to 1. An extremely compelling reason for immediately authorizing the construction of the dam is that such action is necessary to carry out our treaty obligations with Mexico. The Mexican Water Treaty of 1944 provided for the joint construction of three major storage dams on the Rio Grande for flood control and water conservation purposes. Falcon Dam was the first dam constructed pursuant to this treaty and was completed in 1953. It is located about 75 miles downstream from Laredo at the head of the fertile Rio Grande Valley. Amistad is the second of the dams called for by the treaty, and it will be located about 300 miles upstream from Falcon. The only reason special legislation is required for its construction is that it will be built in a slightly different location than that specified in the treaty, and in a reservation to the treaty, the Senate prohibited expenditures not specifically provided without authorization by Congress. Thus, H.R. 12263 in reality merely permits a change in location of one of the dams authorized by the 1944 treaty. But the urgency for early action on the dam is dictated not by the treaty obligation as such but by the need to bring to an early end the terrible damage and destruction the floods the Rio Grande brings to the area between the proposed Amistad damsite and the headwaters of Falcon, both in the United States and Mexico. This 300-mile stretch of river has witnessed some of the most devastating floods this continent has seen, including two major floods since the completion of Falcon Dam in 1953. In the path of these floods lie major border cities of Del Rio-Ciudad Acuña, Eagle Pass-Piedras Negras, and Laredo–Nuevo Laredo, 120,000 people, 66,000 acres of fertile irrigated farmland, railroads, highways, bridges, and many other valuable improvements. The urgent need for flood protection in this area is vividly demonstrated by the two recent floods of 1954 and 1958. In 1954, shortly after the gates on Falcon were closed, a mighty flood which originated above the Amistad damsite, swept down the Rio Grande into the practically empty Falcon Reservoir, leaving a trail of death and destruction behind. Damages on the U.S. side alone amounted to $18.6 million. On the Mexican side, property damage was even greater, and an undetermined number of lives were lost. A second major flood occurred on the Rio Grande in 1958. Floodwaters from above the Amistad site joined with heavy inflows downstream, and in addition to causing extensive damage above Falcon, the flood caused Falcon itself to spill. This spill joined with another flood downstream from Falcon to cause unprecedented damage in the Rio Grande Valley amounting to $9.5 million. Again, Mexico suffered severely also. The flood control features planned for Amistad would permit the control of all floods of record below the damsite. The dam would virtually eliminate the threat of flood to Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Laredo, their companion cities in Mexico, and rural developments in the area. Furthermore, the danger of flooding from spills at Falcon would be reduced to practically nothing. Most of the suffering caused by the 1954 and 1958 floods would have been avoided if Amistad had been built at the time, and the amount lost in property damage would have equaled a large part of the dam's cost. As a matter of fact, so effective is the flood control features of this project that all but $3,000 of the