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I just wanted to illustrate that feature before we started. Actually the material that I am presenting here has already been covered to a certain extent by Mr. Banks, in that the amendment which we are requesting in section 1 has been agreed upon by the department of water resources, and also the Metropolitan Water District representatives, Westlands, and both sides of the controversial question here. So it is not a controversial question except that this is a new concept-I didn't mean to use that word particularly-a new idea, you might say; some Federal participation in drainage. There has not been too much of that in the past. So the feeling was that this is merely the preliminary for many projects in the future, and it would be a good idea to try to get the principle established at the present time.
I have a number of extra copies here.
Senator WATKINS. May I ask is this a project that the people themselves cannot build under their own resources? Is there any method of any financing outside of the Federal Government?
Mr. BATES. As to the drainage features, which I am particularly concerned with, we are positive it is going to be solely a State project. It is in the California water plan, as I will point out in here. I believe my presentation will cover most of the points, and I will be glad to answer any questions at the end.
Senator ANDERSON. You can see what Senator Watkins is asking. You say it is going to be a State project. Why are you here? Mr. BATES. On account of the drainage features.
Senator ANDERSON. I imagine his question is why are you here. Mr. BATES. To make sure of protection in the bill itself, that drainage features are provided before water is applied on these upperlying lands. That is my main purpose.
Senator WATKINS. Maybe you do not catch just what I mean.
I do not believe the representatives of any reclamation project have any business coming here unless it is the type and kind that the people cannot build themselves.
Mr. BATES. This is an amendment to the San Luis bill; not asking for any funds or anything of that nature. It is merely a protective device. If I may read the amendment, I think it will explain it, Senator.
Senator WATKINS. That will probably explain it.
You say you are not asking for any authorization for any appropriations?
Mr. BATES. That is correct.
Senator WATKINS. That would be a rare one, but I will be interested to see what it sounds like.
Mr. BATES. I will go through my brief written statement here. My name is C. W. Bates. I am secretary-manager of the Central California Irrigation District, with headquarters in Los Banos, Merced County, Calif., near the site of the proposed San Luis Reservoir. I am representing here today not only the Central California Irrigation District but the San Luis Canal Co., the Firebaugh Canal Co. and the Columbia Canal Co., comprising 250,000 acres of highly developed farmlands on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley supporting approximately 5,000 farm families, as well as an urban population of approximately 50,000, almost wholly dependent upon the irrigated
agricultural economy. This area has been successfully irrigated and farmed since the 1870's or over 80 years.
These four companies, commonly referred to as the contracting entities, operate jointly under a common watermaster under the so-called amended exchange contract with the United States, wherein their water supply is received through the Delta-Mendota Canal of the Central Valley project in exchange for the transfer of water under their basic water rights on the San Joaquin River for use in the Friant-Kern and Madera Canals of the Central Valley project.
I should add that this agreement to exchange water supply sources was the key which made possible the original features of the Central Valley project.
My purpose in appearing here today is that, while almost all attention has been centered on the claims and counterclaims of the various parties concerned with the San Luis unit and its various aspects, there has been little recognition, at least up to now, of the fact that the introduction of new water into the San Joaquin Valley for supplementing the ground water supplies on the upper elevation lands will materially increase the problem of drainage on the lower elevation historically irrigated lands.
These lower elevation lands are, in some areas, already experiencing drainage difficulties brought about by the introduction of new waters into the San Joaquin Valley by the Delta-Mendota Canal, commencing in 1951, which placed water on lands not previously irrigated, lying generally above the four contracting entities.
May I make our position absolutely clear, however, that we have no quarrel with the absolute necessity of importing new water supplies into the San Joaquin Valley even though the four contracting entities themselves will not gain one drop of additional water from any of the new projects proposed. If these upperlying lands are to continue to produce and contribute to the economy of this great country of ours, it is imperative that additional water supplies be made available at the earliest possible date.
We do, however, hold to the premise that it is extremely unrealistic, unfair and ill advised to spend billions of dollars for new irrigation projects unless and until a relatively small and insignificant portion of such expenditure is made available for the proper disposal of waters that are unfit for further domestic, industrial, or agricultural use. It will avail us little if we drown out lower-lying lands by the introduction of new water supplies on upper lands without adequate drainage facilities. The history of many great past civilizations bear silent witness to the neglect of the drainage problem resulting in the physical destruction of vast areas of productive land.
A great amount of technical data could be presented on geography, water quality, and other factors bearing on the drainage problem, but in the interests of brevity may I quote from a statement of the department of water resources before the joint committee on water problems of the Legislature of the State of California, at a hearing held on the problem in Los Banos on October 15, 1956. This brief statement appears to pinpoint the problem and its proposed solution :
In order to prevent waterlogging of irrigable lands and to maintain a favorable salt balance in the water supplies served to such lands, it will be necessary to provide works for the collection and transmission, to a place of ultimate disposal, of sufficient drainage water to maintain acceptable quality and ground
water conditions in the San Joaquin Valley. The San Joaquin waste conduit, proposed as an integral part of the California water plan, consists of pumping plants, a forębay reservoir, and a lined canal extending the length of the valley from the vicinity of Buena Vista Lake to salt water downstream from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The conduit would convey poor-quality surface water wasting from the valley during the late irrigation season and other critical periods, sewage and industrial waste, degraded surface waters of minor west-side tributàries, poor-quality ground water pumped for quality control, and waters extracted in order to maintain the ground water at acceptable elevations for agricultural purposes. These waters would be collected in lined or closed conduits and discharged into the main conduit running the length of the valley. The drainage problems of the San Joaquin Valley cannot be solved on a piecemeal, uncoordinated basis-constructing a drainage system for one particular area with disposition of drainage to natural channels or irrigation canals. There must be a master drainage outlet to salt water in order that local drainage systems for problem areas may have a place of disposal without endangering existing water supplies.
The foresight and cooperation of the State of California and, in particular, of its department of water resources in starting a 4-year study of the valley's drainage problem and in making this conduit a feature of the California water plan is to be commended.
The farmers in the presently irrigated areas realize and agree that before additional waters are introduced into the San Joaquin Valley there must also be adequate local drainage facilities constructed to take care of the drainage, both surface and underground, necessarily resulting from such imported waters, but before these local drainage facilities can be effective, they must have an outlet, and such outlet can only be the proposed master drainage conduit.
The farmers also realize and agree that the cost of main laterals to this master drainage conduit and the cost of other drainage ditches, conduits, wells, and other means of capturing, transporting, and disposing of unusable drainage waters, both surface and underground, should be borne by each area on an equitable basis in proportion to the contribution of each area to the whole drainage problem.
Therefore, we are asking here today, and will continue to ask on both a Federal and State level, that any legislation authorizing any project under which additional waters would be imported into the San Joaquin Valley contain the provision that drainage facilities, sufficient to remove completely from the valley all drainage waters, both surface and underground, necessarily resulting from the use of such imported waters, shall be constructed as an integral part of such project and contemporaneously and concurrently with the construction of the remainder of the project.
To accomplish this in the pending legislation before you, S. 1887, the following or similar wording is suggested as an addition to section 1:
Water deliveries to the San Luis unit service area shall not be made until there has been physically provided by the State of California acting alone, or in cooperation with the United States, or by the United States, or otherwise, such portion of the master drainage outlet and disposal channel for the San Joaquin Valley, as generally outlined in the California water plan, bulletin No. 3 of the California Department of Water Resources, as will serve adequately by connection therewith the drainage system for the San Luis unit mentioned in section 4 hereof.
Section 4 in this case refers to the proposed authorization to the Secretary of the Department of the Interior to cooperate in drainage works within the general area of the San Luis unit service area.
May I add that the wording suggested above was agreed upon at a meeting held in Bakersfield, Calif., on February 17, 1958, attended by representatives of the Metropolitan Water District, the Westlands Water District, and the State of California Department of Water Resources.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.
Senator ANDERSON. Mr. Bates, that is a pretty representative group that you had at this meeting at Bakersfield, and do I understand that this was agreed upon by these others, or was it agreed upon by your group? Did the Metropolitan Water District agree to this?
Mr. BATES. Their representative was there, and, naturally, they are here to speak for themselves.
Senator ANDERSON. We only have an hour and a half this morning. Mr. BATES. I might add, sir, that the same wording on this amendment is in Harvey Banks' presentation; it is in the Kern County concept, and it is in the requested amendment. So it is the same.
Senator ANDERSON. I am not questioning it. I just want to be sure what you say:
May I add that the wording suggested above was agreed upon at a meeting*** attended by ***.
Do I understand that to mean that the groups you listed as being there agreed to this amendment? The Metropolitan Water District, the Westlands Water District, and the State of California Department of Water Resources?
Mr. BATES. A representation of that organization who was there agreed to it.
Senator ANDERSON. That is all right. I did not mean they were all there. The whole Metropolitan Water District would be pretty large. We are not unfamiliar with this problem in this committee in at Yuma, Ariz. I am part of the committee that went out there to take a look at it.
Do you know what the Yuma, Ariz., project is, and the Yuma Mesa?
Mr. BATES. I am not familiar with them.
Senator ANDERSON. Yuma Mesa is a little higher than the Yuma Valley, and they put a lot of irrigation up above, and the people down below think they have been getting some water that they do not need, and their lands are becoming waterlogged. That is the very problem you are worried about here, I take it.
Mr. BATES. That is right.
Senator ANDERSON. Do I understand this resolution to be that water deliveries to the San Luis unit service area shall not be made until there has been physically provided by the State of California this master drainage outlet? Therefore, it would be very foolish on the part of the Congress-I am not talking about the authorization by the committee or by the Congress-for the Congress to appropriate any money to build the San Luis project, would it not, until this had been provided, because you do not want to deliver water until the drainage is provided?
Mr. BATES. That question was discussed quite thoroughly. I was here yesterday when you brought up the question with Mr. Banks. Originally the wording was somewhat along that line that you mentioned. However, the feeling was this, that both the drainage
and the San Luis unit are going to take a number of years to construct and would be constructed contemporaneously as I outlined here. For example, wouldn't it result in legal complications in this sense, that you might say construction has actually started by the State acquiring some of the San Luis Reservoir site now? In other words, what is the interpretation of the word "construction"?
Senator ANDERSON. You give me an interpretation of the story in the Fresno Bee of Thursday, March 13. The headline reads:
SENATORS BALK AT $72 MILLION FOR FEATHER
SACRAMENTO.-The $72 million appropriation for the Feather River project ran up against tough opposition before the Senate Finance Committee today.
It was no secret that several Senators were prepared to vote against amending this amount into the 1958-59 State budget, which already is close to the $2 billion mark.
Senator James B. McBride (Democrat) of Ventura County
which is down near Los Angeles, is it not?
Mr. BATES. Yes, sir.
Senator ANDERSON (reading):
committee chairman, said in advance of today's hearings he believes the FRP money should be considered outside the budget.
Senator Earl B. Desmond (Democrat) of Sacramento County is another member of the committee who has expressed his disapproval of the appropriation.
If the State of California is objecting to the $72 million for the general project, might it not object to whatever millions it may be for this drainage outlet?
Mr. BATES. One thought that we had in mind, to answer that question, would be that if the actual deliveries of water, whether it is to southern California, Westlands, or on down the valley, is contingent upon this master drainage built by the State there would be terrific amount of pressure all over the State, both north and south, to get this master drainage constructed at the earliest possible date, because the whole State would be in on it.
As I mentioned earlier, this general area is very neutral in this north-south fight because we are sitting in the middle.
As I mentioned, we gain no additional irrigation water from these projects. We are merely trying to protect ourselves from the application of water on the upperlying lands.
If water can be provided for either the Westlands or to southern California in the bill, if it finally comes out, then all areas will be vitally interested in seeing that this master drain is constructed at the same time.
Senator ANDERSON. Whose job is it to move first, though?
Mr. BATES. The State has started. An appropriation was made last year, sir, to show they are serious on it, including $150,000 of study funds for the first stage of this drain from tidewater to this area that we are speaking of here. That study is due to be completed, to be presented at the general session next year, 1959, of the California Legislature.
I believe, sir, in all honesty, it would be a mistake to hold up any construction on the San Luis unit until this master drain is built. I feel that they would be undoubtedly built at the same time.