page 6

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page 6
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6 described in Senate Document No. 142 and in the report of the all-American; Canal Board, published in 1920. It is my understanding that the primary purpose of this scheme is to regulate and control the flow of the river below the dam so as to lessen the menace from floods to low-lying land below; to increase the water supply for irrigation in seasons of drought and provide an adequate water supply at all seasons of the year for household and industrial uses in growing cities and towns; and to generate electric energy both as a means of making this project a financially solvent undertaking and contributing to the general prosperity of the southwestern part of the country. The general plan and purpose of this measure has my support and I favor it being made a national undertaking, to be carried out and administered by the Federal Government. Interstate and international rights and interests involve the diversified benefits from the construction of these works, the waiting necessities of cities for increased water supplies, the large development of latent agricultural resources, the protection of these already developed and the immense industrial benefits which may come from the production of cheap power, which together appear to render the construction and subsequent control of those works a measure of such economic and social importance, that no agency but the Federal Government should be intrusted with the protection of rights or distribution of its opportunities. All uses can be coordinated and the fullest benefits realized only by their centralized control. I shall therefore consider this development as including three features: (1) A dam approximately 550 feet high creating a reservoir holding 26,000,000 acre-feet of water. (2) Works for the generation of electric power. (3) An all-American canal starting at Laguna Dam and delivering water to the Imperial and Coachella Valley canals. The reservoir should be regulated, primarily to safeguard the. valleys in Arizona and California, including Imperial Valley with its present extensive development from the destructive effect of large floods. Water levels in the reservoir would be raised during flood periods and lowered at other times, thus equalizing the discharge of the river below and securing a regulated flow for irrigation and power. The water so impounded should be sold to cities requiring it for domestic purposes and other municipal uses and to irrigation districts, like that of the Imperial Valley, desiring a complete or supplemental water supply under the provisions of the Warren Act, payment to be made for a definite volume of water each year. The electric energy generated should be sold to the highest and best bidders, with due regard to public interest, at the switchboard of the power plant. Contracts should not exceed 50 years in duration. Transmission of power and its distribution to be provided by the purchasers. Water supplied for domestic, industrial, or irrigation uses should be delivered at the dam, at points along the river agreed upon and at the terminal of the All-American canal. Prices for this water should be such as to at least repay all of the cost of operation and maintenance of the canals and an equitable part of the operating expenses of the dam. This with the revenues from power, will, we believe, repay the entire investment in this development, with 4 per cent interest. The money for this development should, I believe, be provided by a bond issue of the" United States. It should be for a sum sufficient to provide for the construction of the dam, the power plant, and the all-American canal. An additional sum should be included in the authorization to pay interest on bonds sold during the period of construction, and until such time as the revenue will meet interest charges. Providing the money for this development through a special bond issue will obviate disturbance of the regular fiscal operations of the Government. It will obviate provision by the Budget for the money needed during construction. The bonds could be sold as money would be needed. Construction would extend over a period of between five and ten years if work were carried on at a rate to secure the greatest efficiency. In the sale of water to irrigation districts and municipalities the provisions of the reclamation act and of the Warren Act would apply. Such an adjustment of burdens and benefits should stimulate irrigation development because of the generous terms on which water will be supplied and at the same time result in a considerable revenue from the water furnished for irrigation, domestic, and industrial uses. But the money-earning feature of this development is power. The revenue from the sale of power

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