« PreviousContinue »
I think I will put in the record at this point a letter from the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. by Mr. Robert H. Gerdes, vice president, expressing its interest in the early construction of the project and what its wishes and desires may be with reference to it.
(The letter is as follows:)
Hon. CLINTON P. ANDERSON,
PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC Co.,
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., March 17, 1958.
Chairman, Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C.
DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON: We have been informed that the Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation of the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs has under consideration several bills to authorize the joint construction and operation of the San Luis project in California by the Department of the Interior and the State.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. believes that early construction of this project is essential to the conservation and development of the water resources of California.
Whether the San Luis project is constructed by the Federal Government or the State, or by both, our company has offered to furnish energy to the San Luis pumps at minimum cost to the project, thus enhancing its financial feasibility. The pumping plants of the Central Valley project have first call on power developed at project plants. If San Luis is constructed and operated as a part of the Central Valley project, there will be an ample supply of energy from existing project hydroelectric plants to meet the ultimate annual requirements of the San Luis pumps, which will be about 750 million kilowatt-hours. The average annual output of existing project plants is about 21⁄2 billion kilowatthours. Existing pumps, even at ultimate operation, will require only about 400 million kilowatt-hours per annum leaving a balance of more than 2 billion kilowatt-hours, or nearly three times the amount required by the San Luis pumps at full operation.
As you know, power generated as a byproduct on multipurpose projects, designed for flood control, irrigation, and water supply is not always produced at the time nor in the quantity required to fit power needs, because water releases for these other purposes have priority over the generation of power. The Central Valley project produces large amounts of energy in the summer months, when large water releases must be made for irrigation. Except in wet years, the project produces relatively small amounts of energy during the winter months, when water is being conserved in project reservoirs. The months of low project energy production are the very months when San Luis pumping requirements are high, because that is the time when waste water in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta must be diverted and pumped to storage in the San Luis Reservoir.
We are willing and able to provide energy from our widespread regional system to meet the requirements of the San Luis and other project pumps at times when there is insufficient project power to meet such requirements.
We have offered to furnish off-peak energy from our system for project pumping, and, in exchange, take an equal amount of project power when it becomes available. This will conserve water for irrigation and increase project power revenues. The Acting Commissioner of Reclamation, in a letter dated July 12, 1957, to Congressman Harlan Hagen, declared that such an exchange of energy "would permit better coordinated use of Central Valley project power and greater return from power sales to offset the additional construction costs." Assistant Secretary Aandahl and Regional Director Bellport testified to the same effect before the House committee last January.
In any year when there is insufficient project power for the pumping requirements under the exchange arrangement, we are willing, as part of our Trinity partnership proposal, to sell off-peak energy for project pumping at our incremental (that is, out-of-pocket) cost. Moreover, we guarantee that the charge for such energy would in no event be greater than the amount per kilowatt-hour which we would pay the Government for the use of Trinity falling water.
Whether the Trinity plants are constructed by the company or the Federal Government, energy for the San Luis pumps may be allocated at the Bureau's customary 21⁄2-mill pumping rate. The cost to the Government under the company's proposal would be less than half the cost under all-Federal Trinity construction.
We also offer to make our facilities available for transmission of power from Tracy to all project pumps. We guarantee that the cost to the Government for this service would be less than it would be if the Federal Government were to construct the transmission lines. This also would save the Federal Government a capital outlay of about $10,750,000.
An amendment to our wheeling contract to cover this service has been submitted to Congress as part of the Trinity joint development proposal and is contained in House Document No. 94, part II, 85th Congress, 1st session.
We have made a similar offer to the State of California to supply low-cost off-peak energy for pumping in connection with its Feather River project. The State engineer declared that our offer would provide a substantial net gain to the project.
Under our proposal, the San Luis pumps will be assured of an ample power supply at minimum cost. These benefits are available whether San Luis is built and operated jointly by the Federal Government and the State or separately by either agency.
Very truly yours,
ROBERT H. GERDES.
Senator ANDERSON. The committee is very happy to have with it the able minority leader of the Senate, Senator Knowland of California.
Senator Knowland, do you have any comments on the bill which you would like to give us at this time?
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM F. KNOWLAND, A UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Senator KNOWLAND. Yes. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I have a statement I would like to make.
I want, first of all, to express my personal appreciation to the members of the committee for taking the time from what I know is a heavy calendar of legislation to schedule these hearings on legislation introduced in the Senate by Senator Kuchel and myself, and in the House by Congressman Sisk, to authorize the San Luis project.
This committee has always been extremely considerate of the most endless problems of water conservation and distribution which have faced us not only in California, but throughout the entire West.
The western part of the country with its growth in population, agriculture and industry, would not have taken place without the understanding support of Senators who have sat on this committee. They have acted in the larger national interest and without regard to partisanship.
We, who have taken an interest in reclamation, have all recognized that no benefit could be conferred upon one area of one State in the Union without resulting benefit to the rest of the Nation.
I wish to say that there has been no member of the Senate who has been more of a constructive leader in reclamation than has the chairman of this committee presiding today, Senator Anderson.
The members of the committee will recall that in the 84th Congress Senator Kuchel and I sponsored legislation to authorize the construction of the San Luis project. We recommend the completion of the authorizing legislation on the San Luis unit, and I am hopeful that this project will receive early action by the committee.
I do not believe that it would serve any purpose for me to outline repetitiously the major provisions of this legislation, which are already familiar to the members of the committee and which other witnesses will be commenting specifically upon.
The Bureau of Reclamation, of course, has specifically approved the provisions of Senate bill 1887. A number of modifying amendments have been recommended by the State of California which I believe will be acceptable to the Department of Interior and which, of course, when the negotiations have been completed, will be supported by the sponsors of the legislation.
There is no question as to the importance of the San Luis project, which will bring supplemental water supplies to a critical watershortage area involving approximately 500,000 acres of land.
In certain areas of California, our citizens and our community leaders are planning now for water consumption and distribution projects that will be required to take care of the State's population increases of next year and the year after, and for many years to
In the San Joaquin Valley, however, there is no luxury of time to be enjoyed. Water is needed now. I would urge the members of the committee that legislation authorizing the construction of the San Luis project be given favorable and expeditious approval. I wish to thank the distinguished chairman.
Senator ANDERSON. Do you have any questions you desire to direct to Secretary Aandahl?
Senator KNOWLAND. No; I do not at this time, and my colleague, Senator Kuchel, will be here, and we have discussed this matter on numerous occasions.
Senator ANDERSON. Before you leave, I am very happy to put in the record that the able minority leader, Senator Knowland, has certainly been a friend of reclamation in the West, and we appreciate his steady assistance on reclamation bills for all parts of the United States. We had one related to Texas just the other day, and we could not have had finer cooperation than we had from the able Senator from California.
Senator KNOWLAND. Thank you.
Senator ANDERSON. Senator Kuchel, do you have a statement you want to make upon the bill itself?
STATEMENT OF HON. THOMAS H. KUCHEL, A UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Senator KUCHEL. Yes; I do, Mr. Chairman. To save the time of the committee, I am going to merely ask that a letter which I wrote to Congressman Aspinall in January, which reflected my views, be incorporated in the record.
(The letter is as follows:)
Hon. WAYNE N. ASPINALL,
UNITED STATES SENATE, Washington, D. C., January 14, 1958.
Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation,
Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE ASPINALL: Pending before your subcommittee is H. R. 6035, introduced by Congressman B. F. Sisk, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to construct the San Luis unit of the Central Valley project, and to enter into an agreement with the State of California with respect to the construction and operation of the unit. In the Senate, I am the coauthor with my California colleague, Senator Knowland, of similar legislation (S. 1887) upon which hearings will shortly be scheduled.
This proposed water-project legislation, prior to its introduction, was endorsed by the State of California, speaking through Gov. Goodwin Knight, and the director of water resources, Harvey Banks. It was also endorsed by the Department of the Interior. It presents, in my view, a basis on which both governments may cooperate in helping to solve a desperately critical water problem which acutely affects the future of life and property in all sections of California.
The concept of an integrated reservoir furnishing water to the people in an expanded Central Valley service area, and at the same time available to the State of California Feather River project for transportation of water to the furthermost reaches of southern California, is an appealing one. I believe it serves the public interest. As a legislator, I see no insuperable problem in finding exact language clearly to spell out such a concept providing for unequivocal and explicit directives in the legislation for joint State-Federal use. This bill provides an excellent basis for meeting this challenge.
Assuredly, men of good will, working together, can meet it, and meet it successfully. Indeed, the future of California demands it.
California faces an acutely growing water problem, despite the great development of control and use of water during the past few decades. This development simply has not kept pace with our growth in population, industry, and agriculture. Two factors contribute to this: (1) The geographic maldistribution of our water and (2) its time of availability.
The major water resources are in the northern part of the State, but the great agricultural areas and one-half of the population are in water-scarce central and southern areas. There is sufficient water for all needs, but the problem is a proper and equitable distribution. California streamflows follow the precipitation and snow thaws which occur in the winter and spring months; the summers are dry. Control of the consequent spring runoff by storage reservoirs thus become mandatory if there is to be an efficient distribution system to meet our expanding all-year needs.
You and the members of your subcommittee are aware of the great contributions of the Federal Government in past development of California water rseources, for which my State continues to be grateful. As I have already indicated, the past accomplishments still have not met the desperate need for further water development. This is effectively demonstrated by a statement of the California Department of Water Resources issued last May in its bulletin No. 3 (the California Water Plan), where it said:
"The construction of highways, schools, hospitals, and other public works has greatly accelerated since the end of World War II. However, to supply its necessary water, California is relying for the most part on works which were designed to meet the needs as anticipated 20 to 30 years ago. These facts are now becoming known and more generally understood by the people. It is apparent to most that the continued growth and prosperity of California is dependent upon prompt and substantial efforts by the responsible local governmental agencies, the State, and the Federal Government, to insure that the planning and construction of water-development projects keeps pace with the growing need for water."
In 1940, California had a population of slightly less than 7 million. By 1950, it had increased to about 10,600,000. Today it is estimated that it has a total population of about 14 million, or double what it was in 1940. Meanwhile, the per capita use of water has increased almost geometrically. The California Department of Water Resources reports that in 1950 the estimated seasonal shortage of water in the State was about 2,700,000 acre-feet, largely representing an overdraft of ground-water storage. By 1955, the deficit aggregated nearly 4 million acre-feet per year. It has been estimated by some water experts that by 1965 the net shortage of developed water supply could amount to more than 10 million acre-feet per season. Our water tables continue to drop as our water needs increase. This continuous drop in the water tables is, in itself, sufficiently alarming, and one of the collateral effects of water overdrafts has been the intrusion of sea water into the principal pumping sources along the coastal ground basins.
The State of California is embarked on a plan of self-help, the California water plan. In the opinion of the State government, the Federal legislation before you would assist the State in the development of the California water plan. In its report, the State has said:
"It is appropriate, before discussing detailed plans for the San Luis unit, to consider a broader subject; the place of the San Luis unit in a long-range water
plan for California. Such a plan was presented to the California Legislature of 1931. * ** There appear to be no irreconcilable engineering or financial problems involved in coordinating the construction of the San Luis unit and of other features of the California water plan. The long-range, multiple-purpose plan developed by the State division of water resources provides for water storage on the Feather River, flood control on that stream, power generation, and transportation of water to the San Francisco Bay area, the San Joaquin Valley, and southern California. As far as service to the San Luis is concerned, the State and Bureau plans are basically similar. * * * Thus, physical coordination of the two plans should present no insurmountable engineering problems. Since the physical facilities and the plan of operation are so similar, it seems reasonable to expect that construction of the facilities by the United States for subsequent operation as a unit of the contemplated Feather River project should assist the State in its larger endeavor. * * *” (From pp. 5 and 6 of Views and Recommendations of the State of California on Proposed Report of Department of Interior on San Luis Unit.)
Cast in this background, H. R. 6035 becomes highly significant, as it represents, perhaps for the first time, coordination of efforts by the State of California and the Federal Government to implement the objectives of both. The San Luis unit of the Central Valley project would embrace major features included also by the State of California as part of the much larger Feather River project, authorized for construction by the State as the initial unit of the California water plan. The legislation was so drawn as to further the objectives of supplying the needs of the San Luis service area of the Central Valley project and of coordinating the works with the California water plan to bring new water into southern California. It would specifically permit the project facilities to be so designed and constructed as to be integrated into and made a part of the larger plan of the State of California.
The State department of water resources and the Federal Bureau of Reclamation envision a cooperative and integrated reservoir which would serve a great Federal reclamation project in being and a greater State project which is now on the way. I am not an engineer. I am a legislator. But what the professional engineering departments, State and Federal, agree upon generally in the bill before us appears to be a proper basis on which your committee and the Congress can act effectively in cooperation with the State of California. I have not seen any specific proposals for amendment to this legislation. Some will be offered. Each needs to be thoroughly and carefully considered. Pride of authorship is irrelevant in meeting the needs of our people. The time for action is at hand.
Permit me respectfully to ask that this letter be made a part of the record of your hearings on H. R. 6035.
With kind personal regards, I am
THOMAS H. KUCHEL,
Senator KUCHEL. I want to make this one additional statement: I have been glad again to coauthor this legislation. California is 1,100 miles long and we have about 14 million people.
I think to keep myself from being provincial so far as the problems of California are concerned, I represent the south, and I represent the north, and I represent the Central Valley, but what I want to do is to urge legislation now, as I have in the past, that is of benefit to all the people of that State, Mr. Chairman, and that is the reason which has prompted me to introduce the legislation before us.
I have one rule, Mr. Chairman, and that is that I do not introduce legislation until the State government makes a request that that be done. That rule was abided by in this instance and I was glad to introduce this legislation after the State government had reached it. We have had, and have today, unfortunate controversies in California of a sectional nature. All parts of our State have their water problems, each serious, some more serious than others, none easy of solution, and I hope that during the past intervening weeks and