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In the past few months and specifically last week, the Labor Citizen objected to present provisions of the San Luis bill which provide huge west side landowners with several neat escapes from reclamation law and allow them to capture a good share of the water rights at San Luis-along with a perpetual source of tremendous economic and political power.

Myers has been delegated by the local building trades council to appear on behalf of the bill at hearings of the Senate Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation in Washington next Monday and Tuesday, March 17 and 18.

He will testify that the project is needed to provide jobs for building tradesmen and to help meet the growing shortage of irrigation water.

STATEMENT OF ANDREW J. BIEMILLER, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF LEGISLATION, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR-CONGRESS OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS The California State Federation of Labor through its secretary-treasurer, Mr. C. J. Haggerty, has submitted to the Senate subcommittee a comprehensive, detailed statement outlining its support of Federal construction of the San Luis project in strict compliance with national reclamation law and its objections to certain language contained in S. 1887.

Mr. Haggerty has done a thorough job in expressing the objections of the California State Federation of Labor to the loose language contained in S. 1887. So much so, that I find it unnecessary to burden the Senate Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation with repetition of the same arguments. I would, however, like to express the thoughts of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations in regard to support for Federal construction of the San Luis unit of the Central Valley project with strict adherence to the reclamation law of 1902.

The original Federal Reclamation Act of 1902 limited the irrigable land holdings to be furnished water by any Bureau of Reclamation irrigation project to 160 acres for any landowner. The law, however, has been construed to permit a man and his wife to hold jointly 320 irrigable acres of land.

The stated intent of the Congress was to use these Federal funds to promote the family farm. It follows then that the authorization bill, S. 1887, should be so written to benefit the family farmer and to prevent large landholders from monopolizing the benefits of a Federal irrigation project.

The AFL-CIO would be pleased to support S. 1887 if the bill were corrected to require compliance with the Federal reclamation law.


United States Senator,
Senate Office Building,

Washington, D. C.

DEAR MR. ANDERSON: This letter is written on behalf of the membership of the Laborers Local 294 of Fresno and Kings Counties who have voted unanimously to support the San Luis Obispo project as presented by Senators Thomas H. Kuchel and William F. Knowland and presented by Congressman B. F. Sisk of the 12th Congressional District of the State of California.

This legislation should be enacted in this Congress inasmuch as at the present time 45 percent of our membership is unemployed. The start of construction of this project will help to alleviate the present severe unemployment situation. Also the enactment of this bill will make possible the irrigation of 500,000 acres of land which is located in the Central Valley and this is desperately in need of water.

We know that there are going to be objections presented by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and various controversial interests as to reasons why this project should not be constructed. This position would be injurious to all the people of the State of California.

In view of the thousands of people who are now unemployed in the Central Valley, it is our conviction that construction on the San Luis Obispo project should be started immediately and that all litigations of the many problems should be decided upon at a later date.

Very sincerely yours,

JESSE BERNARD, Business Representative.


The drinking water supply for the city of Coalinga, serving approximately 7,000 inhabitants, must be transported by rail in tank cars a distance of 45 miles at a cost of some $2,260 per acre-foot.

The nondrinkable domestic water is produced through a system of water wells drilled by the city of Coalinga. The pumping level of these wells in 1927 was about 90 feet, and has lowered at the present time to a depth of more than 250 feet.

In addition to its 8 producing wells, the city has found it necessary to drill another well this year at a cost of approximately $20,000, and we are advised that an additional well will also be necessary. These new wells will increase the rate at which the water level is dropping. Outside of our water basin the water level is also dropping at a rate of 20 to 30 feet annually, and the water is already approaching the salinity point. The rapid lowering of the water level surrounding Coalinga is affecting our water level and the time is fast approaching when our own water will become saline. We are satisfied, on the basis of information received, that if relief is not forthcoming within the next 7 to 10 years the water in this area will be unusable. The urgency of the situation is apparent when it is realized that the people of Coalinga may be without usable water within 7 to 10 years. As has previously been reported to your committee, the water obtained from the wells is not drinkable and cannot be used for such purposes as cooking, etc.

Reference is made to the statement of Rex. L. Pressey on behalf of the city of Coalinga at your hearings held May 11, 12, and 14, 1956, on Senate bill 178, and also to Resolution No. 393 of the city of Coalinga, which were made a part of the records of those hearings. Request is made that the foregoing statement and resolution be incorporated into the current proceedings as exhibits. The statement of Mr. Pressey covers the city of Coalinga's water situation in detail, as it existed at that time, and this letter supplements that statement and brings it up to date. Mr. Pressey's statement contains, for example, an analysis of the water, details concerning the existing eight wells, pumping costs, and other relevant facts.

According to the Federal census taken in 1955, the population of the city of Coalinga was 6,021. Unless this water problem is solved, our community cannot continue to exist indefinitely, and we may be faced with a very serious problem within a period of 10 years.


The following resolution adopted unanimously by Young Democrats of Fresno, County at their regular meeting March 6. Jefferson E. Hahesy, president. "Whereas the Democratic Party has always vigorously supported strict enforcement of Federal reclamation law including public power preference clauses and prohibitions against land speculation and water monopoly, the 160-acre limitation;

"Whereas the large landowner-private utility axis in the Central Valleys is waging a high-pressure campaign to determine this law; and

"Whereas this axis has already spirited away the power benefits on the Kings River to P. G. & E., which in turn will hike the costs on future reclamation projects; and

"Whereas this axis in alliance with the Republican administration is also seeking to undermine prohibitions against land speculation and water monopoly in the Kings River area served with a regulated water supply by Pine Flat Dam; and

"Whereas if the large landowner-private utility axis completely thwarts reclamation law on the Kings River, many existing and all future water projects will fall under monopoly control; and

"Whereas if the large landowner-private utility axis captures control of our water projects, it will, in turn, dominate our economy and political affairs. Small farmers, small-business men, workers, and vigorous democratic institutions will suffer irreparable damage; and therefore be it

"Resolved, That the Young Democrats of Fresno County:

"(1) Strongly reaffirm their support of Federal reclamation law.

"(2) Urge that Federal reclamation law, as intended, undiluted and unadulterated, be applied and enforced in the Pine Flat service area, in Trinity River project, in San Luis project, and in all present and future water projects. "(3) Condemn Secretaries of Interior Douglas McKay and Fred Seaton for trying to repeal Federal reclamation law through executive edict by approving evasions of the law in the Pine Flat service area.

"(4) Urge the State legislature adopt strong public power preference legis. lation and strong prohibitions against land speculation and water monopoly before any part of the presently proposed State water plan be approved."



OAKLAND, CALIF., March 11, 1958.

Chairman, Subcommittee on Reclamation,

Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee,

Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.

DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON: The 15th Assembly District Democratic Club supports a federally constructed and operated San Luis project (to be operated jointly with a State San Luis project if and when the State decides upon such as undertaking) as proposed in Senate bill 1887 introduced by Senators Knowland and Kuchel.

Immediate authorization and funds for this project would prevent some 500,000 acres of California from becoming desert and would provide work for some of the State's 400,000 unemployed.

We are opposed to any amendments to S. 1887 which would subordinate the Federal San Luis project to the proposed State Feather River project.

The Federal project provides the only quick means of getting water to the San Luis service area and for providing work for the unemployed.

We also feel that work on Trinity project, including Federal power facilities, should be speeded up, by special appropriations if necessary, so that its water and power will be available when San Luis is completed. Such speedup on reclamation projects also provide the best means of stimulating our sagging economy.


WILLIAM REICH, Chairman, Legislative Committee.



SACRAMENTO, CALIF., March 17, 1958.

Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.: California Water and Power Users Association strongly supports KnowlandKuchel San Luis bill S. 1887 provided it is amended in conformity with statement submitted to committee by California State Federation of Labor. We violently object to Kern County concept amendments which would benefit large landowners of Kern County. San Luis Reservoir should be entirely constructed and operated by Federal Government to give irrigation water to San Joaquin Valley at lowest possible cost. KIRT MCBRIDE,

Secretary, California Water and Power Users Association.



SACRAMENTO, CALIF., March 17, 1958.

Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.:

California State Grange respectfully requests that Senate Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation to approve S. 1887 after amending it to strictly comply with United States reclamation law. San Luis Reservoir should be constructed and operated by Federal Government so the irrigation water developed therein will be made available to the family farmer under the excesslands provision of reclamation law-not to the large landowning cooperate farmer. Above all, we urgently request your committee not to accept the Kern County concept amendments which are intended to help large landowners in Kern County to receive water at the expense of every United States taxpayer. GEORGE SEHLMEYER, President, California Grange.



NEW YORK, N. Y., March 19, 1958.

Care Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs,

Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.:

Your telegram of 17th requesting statement setting forth current position of Southern Pacific and Southern Pacific Land Co., with respect to excess acreage owned within the San Luis unit service area. Would prefer not to sell their excess acreage.


Land Commissioner, Southern Pacific Co.



SANTA BARBARA, CALIF., March 17, 1958.

Committee assistant, Care Senator Clinton Anderson,

Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.:

The Santa Barbara County Water Agency regrets that due to the shortness of time it is unable to take advantage of your kind invitation to appear and present testimony on Senate Joint Resolution 135 and respectfully requests that this telegram be accepted in evidence as its testimony.

This agency is a political subdivision of the State of California empowered to provide a water supply for the land and inhabitants within the County of Santa Barbara.

The agency has been informed that Senate Joint Resolution 135 contemplates an experiment in salt-water conversion in the State of California from which some quantity of potable water may be derived.

We wish to respectfully suggest the reasons why the County of Santa Barbara is a suitable site for said plant.

The county of Santa Barbara is located on the south central coast of California. It has an estimated present population of 125,000. The climate is semiarid and water supply is and always had been precarious, being dependent entirely upon the occurrence and amount of local rainfall which is gathered, when it occurs, in surface and subsurface storage facilities. The rainfall is characterized by alternate cycles of wet and dry seasons. In dry cycles acute shortages are experienced which have necessitated drastic rationing of water. The economy of the county is agricultural, light industrial, residential, and oil production. The principal agricultural crops are citrus, avacados and vegetables.

The county of Santa Barbara has been experiencing the phenomenal population growth of southern California with consequent increased demand for water. Local water sources have been fully exploited and no outside source of supply is available.

All these circumstances are fully set forth in House document 587 prepared by the United States Bureau of Reclamation in connection with its Santa Barbara County water plan. As part of this plan the Bureau of Reclamation has completed the Cachuma project at a cost of $43,360,000, returnable from revenues from the sale of water to the Santa Barbara County Water Agency.

The supply from this project is to be obtained by impounding and distributing the winter flows of the Santa Ynez River by means of Cachuma Dam. This dam has a maximum capacity of about 205,000 acre-feet of water. About onethird of that amount is now in storage.

Cachuma Dam is located about 45.7 miles upstream from the mouth of the Santa Ynez River. The Santa Ynez River runs from east to west paralleling the Pacific coast, but separated therefrom by the Santa Ynez range of mountains. The mouth of the river is at the Pacific Ocean and within area of the Cooke Air Force Base.

The water to be obtained from the Cachuma project has been allocated by the California State Water Rights Board among users in Santa Ynez Valley and the coastal region including the city of Santa Barbara. In the testimony of the United States Bureau of Reclamation before the State Water Rights Board it was estimated that under most favorable circumstances the supply available from the Cachuma project will fail to meet the ultimate needs of its users. The estimated ultimate shortage is 20,610 acre-feet per year.

There is no other available source from which this deficit can be compensated. A major consumer of Santa Ynez River water is the permanent Cooke Air Force Base located west of the city of Lompoc. The officer in charge of the engineering facilities estimates the peak requirements of the base at 5 million gallons of water per day. This is equal to the consumption of a city of approximatley 30,000 people.

Though most of the area of Cooke Base is beyond the watershed of the Santa Ynez River, its present supply is derived from wells in the riverbed.

Since the base is a permanent installation an adequate water supply is essential. This additional demand will impair the supply available for civilian use from the common source of supply.

Conclusion: The location of the proposed salt-water conversion plant in the county of Santa Barbara will best serve the public interest, national and local: (1) Any water derived therefrom will benefit the national defense by contributing to the water supply of Cooke Air Force Base; (2) such additional supply will lessen the gravity of the civilian water supply shortage in the area which is recognized by the United States Government to be acute; (3) since storage is presently available in the United States Bureau of Reclamation Cachuma Reservoir the cost of providing storage for the converted water will be avoided.

It is respectfully urged that the conversion project be located in the county of Santa Barbara, Calif.

C. W. BRADBURY, Chairman. Senator KUCHEL. I assume Senator Anderson will let the Southern Pacific Railroad avail itself if it desires an opportunity to testify. Mr. LINEWEAVER. Yes, sir, or send in a statement. (The following letter and statement were subsequently received:)


Re Senate bill S. 1887.


San Francisco, Calif., April 4, 1958.

Chairman, Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation,

Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.

DEAR MR. ANDERSON: Reference is made to exchange of telegrams concerning land owned by Southern Pacific Co. and Southern Pacific Land Co. within the San Luis unit of the Central Valley project.

Herewith statement of the above-mentioned companies with respect to its ownership.

Yours very truly,


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