page 7

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page 7
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http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,8
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7 will, it is believed, alone repay the entire cost of these works with interest at 4 per cent. With this general outline of the development program favored I submit comments on features of the bill which are approved and others which it is believed should be modified. The necessity for the all-American canal and the size and cost of this canal depend largely on whether the existing concession under which water is now diverted from the Colorado River at Hanlons Heading and carried through Mexico to irrigators in the Imperial Valley can be modified. If it can not be, then the all-American canal becomes an indispensable part of this development. Under this contract or concession the Mexican Government gave a corporation permission [1] to build and operate a canal across Mexican territory to irrigate land in California on condition that Mexican irrigators be given, if they desire it, one-half of all the water diverted into this canal from the Colorado River. Hence the canal has to be double the capacity required to meet the needs of California. The river has to supply double the water needed in California, and the rights of Mexicans to water under this concession grow as the irrigated area is extended in California. The canal now supplies water for the irrigation of over 400,000 acres in California, and irrigators in Mexico at present require water for the irrigation of 200,000 acres. But Mexican irrigators are entitled under this concession to double the volume they are now using, or for enough to irrigate as many acres as are now irrigated in California. That is more water than the unregulated flow of the river will now supply. As the Mexican irrigators are on the upper end of the canal, the pinch of scarcity, when it has come in the past or when it may come in the future, falls first on irrigators in the United States, which country supplies the water, all the construction cost, and all the money advanced for operation. It is unfair to California, irrigators now and will be even more so after the reservoir is built. It is physically possible to irrigate much more than 400,000 acres from this canal in Mexico. If this concession remains in force without any amendment and the canal continues to be used as now, the irrigated area in Mexico will continue to extend. The volume needed to be diverted from the river would be more than the direct flow at the low-water season, and the area irrigated in California would be subject to ruinous uncertainties and loss. If storage is provided, a part of the water for the irrigation of lands in Mexico would, under this concession, have to be supplied from the reservoir, as this canal would be the only means of conveying water to the Imperial Valley and it can be operated only if the terms of the Mexican concession are complied with. If, however, the Government of Mexico would consent to a modification of this concession and definitely limit the volume of water to which Mexican irrigators would be entitled, then the future use of the present canal would be economical and desirable, a smaller high line could be built and utilized mainly for the irrigation of the higher lands of the Imperial and Coachella Valleys. Thus far, no negotiations for the modification of this concession have been made. It is not known what the attitude of the Mexican Government would be, and plans for this development; should therefore include provision for an all-American canal as an essential part of the scheme. The building of a unified power plant by the Federal Government in the place of allocating power privileges, as proposed in the bill, is regarded as more efficient and cheaper. It will obviate controversies between applicants, and long delays in their adjustment. In the end, results will, I believe, be superior to those possible under an allocation of privileges. The area for the location of separate power sites is restricted. Allotments would not be equal in value. Some allottees would, therefore, have an advantage over others. It would _______________________________________________________________________________________________ [1] The Sociedad de Riego y Terrenes de la Baja California S. A. is authorized to carry through the canal winch it has built in Mexican territory, and through other canals that it may build, if convenient, water to an amount of 284 cubic meters (10,000 cubic feet) per second from the waters taken from the Colorado River in territory of the United States by the California Development Co., and which waters this company has ceded to the Sociedad de Riego y Terrenos de la Baja California S. A. It is also authorized to carry to the lands of the United States the water with the exception, of that mentioned in the following article. From the water mentioned in the foregoing article, enough shall be used to irrigate the lands susceptible of irrigation in Lower California with the water carried through the canal or canals, without in any ease the amount of water used, exceeding one-half of the volume of water passing through said canals.

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