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lationships and water development is with us. And underlying the specific words that relate to the Federal San Luis unit and the Feather River project in our concept there is a much broader principle. And that is the principle of the relationships that should exist between the State and the Federal Government regardless of what State it is or any other circumstance.
And that is a right to contract joint use of facilities and to absorb proportionate and proper shares of costs and expenses in the construction and operation of such facilities. We have the Federal Government's proposal-I mean projects in our State, and we have the State coming along and wanting to build projects. We can see that they have to go hand in hand and side by side, and that there must be an opportunity for this interrelationship as a matter of broad future development, as well as the present development.
So, I would recommend that this be considered in the light of its broad national significance as well as in the light of what we are offering as a specific thing on this subject.
Senator KUCHEL. Now, I came back again, because we do need to take a broad-gage view of all this; what importance is there as to who has title to these works, assuming the contracts and/or the laws clearly specify how the storage capacity shall be allocated?
Mr. BOTTORFF. Well, in an abstract sense, I assume that your question could be answered that it should make no difference. At this particular stage of the game where you have broad sectional views and differences, perhaps even in other States, and I am talking about it on a national scale, there must be some recognition of the sovereign power of a State to fulfill its part of an agreement and, therefore, be allowed to have the right to title if they have a major interest in a broad massive project, of which the joint use works are not too great a part.
Senator KUCHEL. But if the agreement is completely satisfactorylet's assume it is-for joint operation, and we accept the theory of joint operation in this growing economy, title ought not to be relevant. Mr. BOTTORFF. You might put it in trust. I would like to beg that question on these grounds: We recognize in the concept the sovereignty of both the State and the United States in the exercise of a contract. We have offered this general concept because we thought it would meet with the general approval of our people in the State so we could come here together united on this subject. And, actually, I must say that the minority view, as far as the great group we have been working with has been expressed in favor of the State's amendments proposal.
Senator KUCHEL. I want to say I think you have made progress all the way around.
I have gone back to my State in the past few years where there were some exceedingly bitter receptions that I encountered in both the South and the North. And I think you have-the people over that State have stimulated themselves into a recognition that we are going to a great extent all rise or fall together out there. We are not going to cut the State in half.
But I frankly feel that the question of title is not relevant.
We are small potatoes in a big patch in Kern County. And yet our economic interests and the effect of our economy on the State or even on the Nation is not of such small moment.
Senator KUCHEL. It is important to you. It is important to me. Mr. BOTTORFF. We are in the middle. It has been indicated that we are perhaps to the point of at least as great or greater water shortage as any place in the State. We are 125 miles south of the San Luis service area. We need desperately to get the Feather River project going because it has been offered as the method by which we would gain our desired water supplies.
Mr. WEBB. Just a few words I would like to say on this. This bill that Senator Kuchel and Senator Knowland have brought in is a good bill. I think it is. I think he is honestly trying to do as much as he can for the people of the State.
But we feel in the south that it doesn't go quite far enough down to that direction. And we feel it will be some time before we can
receive any relief.
Senator KUCHEL. Through the State system, Mr. Webb?
Mr. WEBB. No. Through the Bureau of Reclamation. The State, we feel, can do this much sooner than the Bureau. I mentioned a moment ago that we were told on the House side that it would be 1962 or 1963 before we could expect any help financially on projects We know each of you Senator helping our State of California are back here pitching for us. Senator Anderson for New Mexico.
And the other Senators. They have got to take care of their other States. There is only a melon of a certain size to chop up. And only so much money can go to each State.
You can correct me on these figures. As I recall them I think there is some $350 million backlog now, as far as projects in California are concerned, that have been approved but no money allocated for it. I believe the Army engineers there is something like $265 million backlog there to catch up.
And it is gigantic-I mean the amount of money that has to be provided. And each of you have to take care of your own areas. That is the reason that we are here, to see if we can't secure Federal legislation whereby we can have a vehicle upon which we can all ride. Naturally, if it is part of the California water plan-and that is what we are all interested in-we feel that it should be operated by the State of California.
And I think that sums it up just a little bit, Senator Kuchel, on this.
Senator KUCHEL. That is helpful.
Mr. WEBB. Because I want people to know here that you are sincere in what you are trying to do too.
Senator KUCHEL. That is helpful. Because I think on the operation of this project, apparently, Senator, the Federal agencies and the State and those represented here today, are tending into an area of agreement. But it is the State government itself—it is the State government which fashioned the Feather River project, which asks that this bill be introduced; and which appears here today and urges its approval.
Mr. WEBB. That is true, they have. But they have also said that the concept would be acceptable too.
Senator KUCHEL. Now that is right. Now if that is true, then we need carefully to analyze the differences and the reasons for them and then pass judgment.
Now, we have discussed this title question. We have discussed this rate of construction which I think we ought to have some more testimony on. And, Mr. Chairman, you are going to wind this up tomorrow morning.
Senator ANDERSON. I am going to start looking at it. Let me ask you this. He said something a minute ago-he said that Mr. Banks had testified in behalf of the bill as drawn. But, also indicated that he would accept the Kern County concept.
I believe that is a correct statement, Mr. Banks.
Mr. BANKS. That is correct. We would accept S. 1887 with our proposed amendments. We could also accept the concept.
Senator ANDERSON. Now, do I understand that you are willing to take the Kern County concept but are not willing to take the bill as drawn?
Mr. WEBB. I think that that is true because of the time element. That is what I have been pointing out. We need the water and we need it as soon as possible. And if the bill as proposed goes through, it is going to be some time before we can expect any water.
Senator ANDERSON. Here is what I am trying to find out :
The only area of agreement then thus far between the California witnesses is that they will take the Kern County concept? Mr. WEBB. That is right.
Senator ANDERSON. You will not accept the bill. He can take the bill and the Kern County concept and you will take the Kern County concept?
Mr. WEBB. That is right.
Senator ANDERSON. Well, the Kern County concept will not be the easiest thing to get through the Congress of the United States, I would think. You would have to bear that in mind when you talk about the speed with which these things get done.
Mr. BOTTORFF. With a full understanding of it, and good will on the part of all, it may be possible to do that, Senator, in my judgment. But my judgment may not be at all competent; looking at it on the basis that I previously mentioned to you, the broad national aspects of the thing, and not necessarily on any local aspects; I would think you would have far more opportunity than you might if we come in here just ourselves alone and attempted.
Mr. WEBB. Before I forget this. This is one reason I came clear across the country. One of the reasons was to present this resolution from the board of supervisors in support of the Kern County concept. And if I may present it to you and have it made a part of the record, I would appreciate it. It is a certified copy of the action taken by the board of supervisors.
(The resolution referred to follows:)
RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, COUNTY OF KERN, STATE OF CALIFORNIA
SECTION 1. Whereas (a) The Kern County Farm Bureau by its resolution dated the 5th day of September 1957 did adopt that certain program and statement of policy entitled "Statement of Purpose and Concept for Timely Development of the State Authorized Feather River Project and the Proposed Federal San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project"; and
(b) Said statement propounds a program and policy for the beneficial development of the water resources of the State of California in the best public interest of the county of Kern and the State of California in its entirety; and (c) The immediate and continued development of the water resources of this State being urgent and essential to the economic welfare of this county and State; and
(d) The Kern County Water Commission did recommend the adoption of this resolution, and in accord with said recommendation this board of supervisors did originally adopt same on the 7th day of January 1958;
SEC. 2. Now, therefore, it is hereby resolved by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Kern, State of California, as follows:
1. That this board of supervisors does hereby reaffirm its said resolution dated January 7, 1958, and does hereby recommend that the principles set forth in said statement of the Kern County Farm Bureau entitled "Statement of Purpose and Concept of the State Authorized Feather River Project and Proposed Federal San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project" shall be used as a guide in the development of proposed legislation or amendments to existing legislation concerning the said proposed San Luis unit.
2. That the clerk of this board of supervisors shall forthwith prepare 18 certified copies of this resolution and deliver the same to Supervisor Vance Webb, chairman, water resources committee, Kern County Board of Supervisors, together with such additional certified copies hereof as may be requested by Supervisor Webb, and for his disposal in such manner as he may deem expedient.
Senator ANDERSON. Would you want to try to shorten up what you think the difference between the Kern County concept and the bill itself really is. Is it that the State shall do the construction of the dam?
Mr. BOTTORFF. That is one of the indicated issues. And that there shall, without question, be a contract.
Senator ANDERSON. There shall, without question be a contract? Mr. BOTTORFF. Well, there are provisions in the bill as offered by S. 1887, that would circumvent a contract, if there was a period of time that they hadn't quite completed it and the thing were to so happen, then the Bureau would be unilaterally able to proceed.
Senator ANDERSON. If we took the bill and amended it so that the Bureau wouldn't be unilaterally authorized to go ahead but required a contract, it would make it much better. That is one thing. Now, what else has really caused you trouble?
Mr. BOTTORFF. I think this sums up most of it. We haven't said anything in our bill that is contradictory to him of the principlas that are set forth in the other bill. It is just a matter of procedure and in order to use proper language in order to properly put both points of view in we did have to make more language changes than we might have thought necessary.
But I want to say in conclusion that we are fully sympathetic with the position of our neighbors in the San Luis unit service area. And that we hope that they will continue to work with us toward the solution of this aggravated problem. I think perhaps it is less aggravated than it has been. But I still think we should work together.
Senator ANDERSON. Thank you.
We will adjourn until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a. m., Tuesday, March 18, 1958.)
SUBCOMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND RECLAMATION
OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS,
Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 10 a. m., in room 224, Senate Office Building, Senator Clinton P. Anderson (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Senators Anderson and Watkins.
Also present: Senator Kuchel.
Senator ANDERSON. The subcommittee will come to order.
The first witness is Mr. Bates.
STATEMENT OF C. W. BATES, SECRETARY-MANAGER, CENTRAL
Mr. BATES. Mr. Chairman, I will try to win that gold star you mentioned yesterday for brevity.
I would like to introduce Mr. Vernon Britton, who is president of the board of the Firebaugh Canal Co. and Mr. Hank Shriver, who is executive vice president.
Mr. Chairman, just a very brief orientation of the area we are speaking of.
I put a map up here on the board.
Senator KUCIEL. Will you identify yourself first for the record. Mr. BATES. My name is C. W. Bates. I am secretary-manager of the Central California Irrigation District.
This map in technicolor is a map of the area that we are speaking of, the San Luis project area. Primarily, the Westlands Water District is shown here.
The Firebaugh Canal Co., represented by Mr. Britton and Mr. Shriver, is the area here in blue, extending from Mendota all the way to Crows Landing. On the north is the irrigation district that I represent, the Central California Irrigation District, the San Luis Canal Co. in here, and the Columbia Canal Co. here is also represented here today.
The other new small patches are new irrigation districts that have been formed. The area in purple is the San Luis water project which Mr. Kaljian testified on yesterday.
A few elevations are shown to illustrate what I am going to talk about in a minute. The elevation here in the middle of Westlands indicates a 250 elevation, 170, 160, 120. In other words, the general drainage is north and west.