Page 15


Page 15
Colorado River question
Is Part Of,8
Full text
___________________________________________________________15 upper basin states. It authorizes a $50,000,000 subsidy for irrigation ditches in California; it gives Nevada what she has asked for; it is considerate of Mexico. The only lands by political fiat dedicated to the desert forever are located in Arizona. By it Arizona is deprived of the control of her own meager rain fall as well as the water which comes down to her from the upper basin.—(Senate Hearings 1928.) The bill takes Arizona hydro-electric power to provide the funds and force to capture her water; then her lands are withdrawn from entry to prohibit her competition. She may not use her own water on her own soil. If her own power resources are not confiscated or nationalized Arizona can tax them to irrigate her own land like California did her Durham and Delhi irrigation projects. (Senate Hearings 1928.) National taxpayers are to contribute their resources 100% for Mississippi flood control. None of this money is to be repaid, but all of the money spent on the flood control of the Colorado river must be repaid by Arizona, which owns 82% and Nevada which owns 18% of the fall which can develop power from this 550 foot dam. Idaho and Montana are insisting that the Columbia project be delayed until they have a compact with the state of Washington. New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are insisting on their rights in the Delaware river. Maryland and Pennsylvania handled the Susquehanna at Conowingo. Maine, for years, prohibited hydro power exportation. Kentucky intends to tax Ohio river power plants. Nationalizing power is opposed by Alabama at Muscle Shoals, Tennessee at Cove Creek, West Virginia on Cheat river, Con-nectiout on the Connecticut river, etc. The bill creates a reservoir eleven times as large as will be ultimately needed when upper storage is provided for the river's hydro-electric development; this means an unnecessary evaporation loss of 700,000 acre feet of water per year, or the early abandonment of the expensive investment in the Boulder dam and power plant. (Boulder reservoir area 132,000 acres. Evaporation=900,000 acre feet. The Virgin basin, one-quarter of the capacity of the Boulder reservoir, will early be cut off from the main reservoir by silt: like the Salton sea was separated from the Gulf of California. It would be worthless for the storage of silt or water yet would evaporate water enough to irrigate 70,000 acres.) The bill pre-determines the dam site by congressional action, in disregard of the adverse foundation conditions, before the numerous other sites have had their foundations examined. This latter preliminary work could have been done for approximately $6,000 each or one-seventieth of one per cent, of the cost of the proposed Boulder dam. The Boulder dam advocates claim it is endorsed by most engineers; actually Mul-holland—builder of the St. Francis dam—and ex-Director of Reclamation Davis, long consulting engineer for Los Angeles, and their subordinates, are its principal supporters. Engineers of the United States Army—Geological Survey and Federal Power Commission, are on record against it. Arizona has more good land than California irrigable from the Colorado, also it can be irrigated cheaper, but the bill constitutes federal, political interference and a financial subsidy for a favored California district which is competing for a limited supply of water. This district is farthest from the water supply, insuring the maximum loss of water in transit. It cannot re-use water, which means from 30 to 50 per cent. waste. It is below sea level, in an earthquake region which may again be invaded by the ocean. The storage reservoir at a low latitude and altitude insures excessive evaporation loss. The dam is located in a geological fault as was the St. Francis dam. (See 1928 Senate Hearings.) If every power plant on all the tributaries of the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas, etc., were exempt from state and county taxation, and if the federal government secured from these power plants sufficient revenue to construct and maintain all the levees on the lower Mississippi; if the power plants on the St. Lawrence were exempt from taxation in New York state, but required to furnish sufficient revenue to build a ship canal to carry commerce through Canada and away from New York City; if the power plants on every stream in eastern United States were exempt from state taxation, but compelled to pay for dredging harbors in other states; if power plants on United States land in the Sierra mountains of California, Oregon and Washington were exempt from state taxation, but compelled to finance federal roads in Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Montana; if coal, iron and copper mines, oil wells and railroads, wheat and cotton fields, etc., were all exempt from state taxation, in order that the citizens of other states might

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