Page 8

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Title
Page 8
Source
Partial proceedings of Conference of Governors, Commissioners and advisors of the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, on the Colorado River
Is Part Of
http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,8
Full text
ON THE COLORADO RIVER 7 avenue of relief to our property owners. Furthermore, if the state retains perpetual ownership, it can include regulation of rates in the terms of the lease from time to time, and thereby prevent the lessee from gouging the public. I am not in a temper to be dogmatic about these things, and so 1 do not want to be understood as delivering an ultimatum. I appreciate that where there is a conflict of interest there must be compromises in order to arrive at a settlement, and very beneficent results are often the outcome of compromises. The Constitution of the United States was a bundle of compromises when it was framed. As regards the points I have discussed, the situation seems to be simply this: If we own the water and the power of the Colorado river, why should we give these invaluable resources away? If we do not own them, let us know it, so we can agree on a sensible program in the light of that information. We are here for the purpose of solving our mutual problems, and ironing out our differences. I have merely taken the liberty of making the first statement of some of the questions involved. There is, however, another big problem and it is the biggest one of all. I refer to a division of the water of the Colorado river so that each state shall receive a just and equitable share. The Colorado river compact concluded by the seven states at Santa Fe in November, 1922, was intended to provide for this division in a fair and just manner. It has withstood all the attacks that have been made upon it, and in my opinion it would be a fatal mistake to undertake to reopen the negotiations for the purpose of changing the compact. It has been ratified by the four upper states and Nevada, but not by Arizona and California. Arizona refrained until a satisfactory three-state compact shall have been concluded, providing for the distribution of the water allotted to the lower basin, and for revenues from the sale of power. California is withholding ratification until storage shall have been authorized in order that she may be assured flood control, the All-American canal, additional reclamation of arid lands, and the generation of cheap electric power, part of which is to be used for pumping large quantities of water from the Colorado river out of the watershed to Los Angeles and other cities of the coastal plain. The building of such storage will so seriously jeopardize the rights and general welfare of each of the other states of the basin, that it is imperative that matters of title be settled in advance of any construction. But the states, in their sovereign capacity, own other resources inward which the grasping hand of federal bureaucracy is out-

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