Page 8

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Title
Page 8
Source
The Colorado River Boulder Canyon Project and the All-American Canal
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http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,8
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Potential Benefits to the Southwest Of course, since the bill, if adopted, will provide for complete elimination of flood menace, the control of silt deposition, and adequate facilities for a dependable irrigation supply, it naturally meets the practically unanimous approval of the people of Imperial Valley. On the other hand, representatives of other communities in Southern California keenly appreciate that this project, proposed by Federal officials, offers potential benefits of immense value to them. Therefore, while the hearts of the people are greatly affected by the opportunity to assist Imperial Valley in its severe struggle, every community aside from Imperial Valley has evinced a special interest in the Swing-Johnson Bill. Opposition to the Project Following its introduction, the Swing-Johnson Bill was presented to the usual committees in the House and the Senate. Very extended hearings have been held, particularly by the House Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation. Ever since the introduction of the Swing-Johnson Bill, this great project has been steadily and earnestly urged and forwarded by all of the unselfish leaders, men and women, of the Southwest, who have the vision to see what its realization would be to California, Nevada and Arizona. But a bitter fight has been centered about this project, particularly before the House Committee. This opposition was to be expected. No great project was ever proposed in the interest of the great unorganized public that groups of wealth seeking special privilege, do not oppose it with a desire to divert the benefits for their personal gain. But during the bitter fight that has centered about this project, we have learned to understand the two principal sources of opposition to carrying out these recommendations. One group is the local private electric power corporations, unwilling to have public agencies secure a just and proper share of the power benefits, coupled with an ambition to monopolize, in the interest of private enterprise, the now latent resources of the Colorado River. The other source of opposition comes from a small but powerful group of men in Los Angeles, who, as foreign landlords, own 800,000 acres of land across the border in Mexico. These gentlemen, of course, are bitterly opposed to carrying out that portion of the recommendation which will tend to prevent their acquiring water rights for lands in Mexico now unirrigated, even though it will deny a like benefit to the United States public lands. Water and Power Conditions in Southern California Since the introduction and consideration by the Congressional Committees of this bill, an acutely serious situation has arisen in Southern California. 7

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