Page images

tion of the cost of water f. o. b. Kern County and southern California, and a final determination of the transportation route from the San Luis project southward will satisfy those interests.

There is no necessity for further delaying this project pending a settlement of the water-rights problem in California, inasmuch as we presently have valid filings under State law for sufficient unappropriated water for project purposes. There is general agreement that whatever other works may ultimately be necessary to transport water into areas of deficiency below us, a dam and reservoir at the San Luis site will have to be built. The construction authorized in S. 1887 will have no adverse effect on the cost of delivery of water to other areas of deficiency. To the contrary, Federal construction of San Luis might well decrease that cost.

I might point out that, as an added safeguard, section 1 of the bill provides for further protection of the Federal investment by a requirement that a firm water supply be available to the project before construction can be initiated. Such a supply can only be obtained through appropriate action by the water-rights board of the State of California. On March 8, 1954, our district, pursuant to State law, made filings to appropriate 2,500 cubic feet per second direct diversion from the Delta and 1 million acre-feet per annum storage in the San Luis Reservoir.

In closing, I want to assure the subcommittee that we are waiting for the water and will be ready to receive it when it becomes available

to us.

Thank you for this opportunity to appear before you.

Senator ANDERSON. Thank you, Mr. O'Neill.

If the Southern Pacific should be somewhat adamant on this 160acre limitation, what do you feel about the feasibility of this project if the Southern Pacific's 120,000 acres were left out?

Mr. O'NEILL. I think that figure of 120,000 acres is not accurate insofar as San Luis is concerned, or the Westlands Water District. Senator ANDERSON. Oh, no; it is much lower for Westlands.

Mr. O'NEILL. Sixty-seven thousand acres is all that is contemplated to be served, as I understand it from this project.

Senator ANDERSON. Well, here is Secretary Aandahl's testimony. However, the Southern Pacific, which owns approximately 120,000 acres, 65,000 of which are in the Westlands district.

Mr. O'NEILL. That is right.

Senator ANDERSON. If you took that 65,000 acres out and left it out entirely, would that change the feasibility?

I don't know how it could be done. But would that change the feasibility of the project somewhat?

Mr. O'NEILL. Well, I don't know how it could be done, especially on the distribution system. Because they have alternate sections within our district.

Senator ANDERSON. Checkerboarded.

Mr. O'NEILL. Checkerboard; yes. And they make it very difficult and very expensive to the other lands to bypass Southern Pacific lands. But again, I say I am sure the Southern Pacific will do everything they can to help to get a water supply for that west side. Senator ANDERSON. Any questions of Mr. O'Neill?

Senator KUCHEL. No.

Senator ANDERSON. Thank you very much, Mr. O'Neill. We are always glad to have you come back.

Mr. O'NEILL. Thank you.

Senator KUCHEL. Oh, just one question, Mr. O'Neill.

You approve of the recommendation, do you not, by which the problem of drainage would be recognized and written into the bill? Mr. O'NEILL. Yes. If it is agreeable with reclamation laws and with the Congress, yes.

Senator KUCHEL. That is all. Thank you.

Senator ANDERSON. Who is the next witness, please?

Mr. LINEWEAVER. Mr. Kaljian.

Senator ANDERSON. State your name and address, please.

Mr. KALJIAN. My name is Charles T. Kaljian, president of the San Luis Water District. I reside in Los Banos, Calif.


Mr. KALJIAN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before this committee and to present the views of the San Luis Water District in support of the San Luis project.

Mr. Chairman, attached to my statement I have several exhibits that I will refer to as I go along.

Senator ANDERSON. Just a moment ago, Mr. O'Neill was on, and he represented the Westlands district. You represent the San Luis Water District.


Senator ANDERSON. Where is it located?

Mr. KALJIAN. We start right practically at the base of the proposed dam, and we are a long, narrow district, and we join the Westlands on the south. Our south border joins the Westlands. Our southeast border.

Senator ANDERSON. Thank you. I don't want to appear repetitious, but I am taking the liberty of repeating some of the facts I stated in 1956.

Mr. KALJIAN. I am Charles T. Kaljian, Los Banos, Calif., president of the San Luis Water District. I have been a resident of California for 53 years and am a landowner in the San Luis Water District. I have farmed lands in the San Luis Water District and other parts of the San Joaquin Valley. Speaking both in my official capacity as president of the San Luis Water District and as an individual landowner, I wish to urge early approval of the San Luis unit so that construction can begin and water can be available as soon as possible.

The San Luis Water District is situated on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley in Merced and Fresno Counties, Calif. It was formed in 1950 under the California water-district laws.

The district consists of 50,065 acres of land, of which about 20,000 acres are presently irrigated. The balance of the district is devoted to dry farming, grain, and wild pasture. The irrigated area produces diversified crops, including melons, fruits, nuts, alfalfa, cotton, sugar beets, irrigated grains, and truck crops. Parts of the district

are peculiarly adapted to production of fruits and nuts because of a relatively frost-free condition that allows the growing of such crops without the necessity for smudging or other frost-damage prevention. It is anticipated that much of the future development will include large acreages of orchards, since many orchard areas in California, such as in the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda, Los Angeles, and others, are being replaced by industrial and residential developments at the rate of several thousand acres per year.

There are, at present, two sources of water available to the district. They are the pumping of ground water and gravity and pumping diversions from the Delta-Mendota Canal of the Central Valley project. The ground-water supply is inadequate in quantity, and some of the ground water is of such poor quality that it is unfit for irrigation use. Some attempts have been made to irrigate by use of this type of saline water, and the result is that trees have been killed. Several thousand acres of land have been developed within the district, with their supply coming from ground water. In many instances, there has been a rapid lowering of the ground-water table, resulting in complete failure of wells. In other instances, the extremely high mineral content attacks the pump column, causing failure in a short time, and makes the cost of pumping prohibitive. For these reasons, some lands heretofore developed have gone out of production and other lands face the danger of losing their water supply. This, of course, results in the loss of personal investment, with loss of revenues to the district and the loss of tax revenues to the county, the State, and the United States. A supplemental water supply is needed immediately to protect these lands.

At the San Luis project hearing in 1956, a witness from southern California made the statement that the farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley could wait 15 years for supplemental water. As a landowner in the San Luis Water District, my water conditions are similar to those of many of the ranchers in the San Luis service area. As I am familiar with my water conditions, I would like to tell you about my two wells. Both wells are over 1,100 feet deepthey are each powered by a 250-horsepower motor.

I have copies of the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. reports on our No. 2 well.

These are exhibit sheets which are attached to the report.
(The exhibits referred to were filed with the committee.)

Mr. KALJIAN. You will note that in March 1953 this well was pumping 1,491 gallons per minute. The power cost at this gallonage, and with a total lift of 542.6 feet, would be about $5 per acre-foot. On March 16, 1955, it was producing 1,257 gallons per minute. On July 10, 1956, this was down to 1,067 gallons per minute, and on August 29, 1957, this was down to 723 gallons per minute. The P. G. & E. report, dated December 6, 1957, shows that this water is costing $11.59 per acre-foot for the power consumed. This is over twice what the water was costing per acre-foot in 1953. This great increase is a result of increased pumping lift and decreased yield of the well, resulting from overdrawn ground-water supplies.

I stated previously that the high mineral content in the water attacks the pump and casing, causing pump failures and expensive repairs. I have some samples of our No. 2 pump. This metal is from the pump column itself, and was in the water about a year and a half.

That metal, when new, was a quarter of an inch thick. It is a little over a year old. That is in that condition. Our pumps have been repaired each year since 1953.

I have attached a copy of our 1957 repair bill on well No. 2. That is sheet No. 3. This bill amounts to $5,200. As this well produced, according to the P. G. & E. report, 1,143 acre-feet during 1957, the cost of repairs amounts to $4.55 per acre-foot. As this well cost about $41,000, the depreciation cost over a 10-year period would amount to about $5 per acre-foot.

Senator ANDERSON. How much do you depreciate it? On the machinery? Can you depreciate the building?

Mr. KALJIAN. Well, this well, you can see the pump goes to pieces very rapidly, resulting in, as I say, last year, a $5,200 repair bill. So that, in 10 years, that pump would be all gone.

Senator ANDERSON. You can't depreciate the rest of the well? You can only depreciate the pump.

Mr. KALJIAN. Well, the well is going. The water is dropping, and if the well-if the water continues to drop for another 2 to 3 years at the same rate as it has been dropping, we will have to stop pumping. And that well won't be 10 years old. It started pumping in 1952. We are now pumping over 600 feet. Our lift on those 2 wells now is over 600 feet. You can't lift much further than that and stay in business. Mr. KALJIAN. Adding the power cost of $11.59, the repairs of $4.55 and the depreciation at $5, we find that this water is now costing better than $21 per acre-foot. If the water table keeps dropping, we will be forced to abandon the wells before the 10-year period is completed. Unless a supplemental water supply is brought to these lands soon, thousands of acres will have to be taken out of production. This land is producing seed alfalfa and cantaloups that are shipped to every portion of the country and in addition, barley and some sugar beets are grown.

From the preceding facts you can see that we cannot wait very long for a supplemental water supply. I again urge this committee, as president of the San Luis Water District, and as an individual landowner, to report favorably on the proposed legislation that would authorize the San Luis unit.

Thank you very much.

Senator ANDERSON. Thank you very much.

Senator KUCHEL. Before you call the next witness, Mr. O'Neill has a memorandum which he has prepared and which he would like to submit for the record.

Mr. O'NEILL. I have been asked whether or not we were supporting the budget for water development in California; which is now before the legislature. And I would like to make this statement.

It is the position of our district, as well as that of the California Water Development Council, representing valley interests that certain projects and certain activities of the State department for water resources must be carried forward without regard to the ultimate solution to the difference between northern and southern California.

Among these are continued construction of the Oroville Dam and its completion as rapidly as sound construction program will permit. The primary purpose is to insure the operation of this dam will make possible the safeguarding of life and property downstream. It

would be a breach of trust and a violation of the rights of California citizens to delay taking protective steps now against a repetition of the disastrous floods of Christmas of 1955, because of sectional differences.

The North Bay Aqueduct and the South Bay Aqueduct are sound economically and feasibly from an engineering standpoint. And unless the State of California moves rapidly to complete these projects, the underground reservoir will be ruined through intrusion of salt


This cannot be allowed to happen. The department of water resources is charged with the development of California's water resources. Through its capable director, Harvey Banks, it has prepared a comprehensive water program and initiated the construction of Oroville Dam; this in the face of terrific odds.

Funds must be provided to continue the necessary engineering studies and to permit the department of water resources to continue and operate in an efficient and orderly manner.

These three phases of the developmentof the State water program are vital to the welfare of Californians, and we not only heartily endorse them, but we are actively working for their advancement. We are now actively working for passage of appropriations in the State legislature.

Thank you.

Senator ANDERSON. Mr. Bottorff

Just for our own purposes here, when we get to the next witness, Mr. Bates, Mr. Wolfson, Mr. Shriver, and Mr. Britton, are you all going to testify?

Mr. BOTTORFF. No, just one.

Senator ANDERSON. Will you state your name for the record?


Mr. BOTTORFF. Mr. Senator, and members of this committee, I am Allen Bottorff of Bakersfield, Kern County, Calif. I am a farmer and, as a member of the Kern County Farm Bureau, serve as chairman of its water problems department. I am also a member of the Kern County Water Commission. With me today is Mr. Vance Webb, a member of the Board of Supervisors of Kern County, who is also a member of the Kern County Water Commission.

If I may for a moment deviate from my prepared statement here to say that I have been asked by the California Farm Bureau Federation to submit for them a prepared statement, which you have here and which is not to be associated specifically with what I shall say in the remainder of my statement.

However, because it has the answers to some of the problems or questions that have come up, I believe, really, that it would be wise to read a few pages that are here.

May I refer to the testimony for the California Farm Bureau Federation.

I shall not attempt, after or perhaps during it, to make any comments respecting this, but we shall go into my own statement which is not as long as might be indicated by the material, as I am submitting a number of exhibits.

« PreviousContinue »