page 16

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page 16
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http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,8
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16 to build a dam, one-half of which will be located on property belonging to the State, not only without its approval but by openly and completely disregarding its ownership.Then there is another question which to my mind is of much greater importance that will also have to be decided by the Supreme Court; the question of the jurisdiction of the States over appropriations of water within their limits. I doubt very much whether Representatives in Congress from the arid West, where the doctrine of riparian rights does not and has never prevailed, will be in any hurry to accept the theory of this bill that Congress can make appropriations of water; that Congress, without the consent of the State, can take water for beneficial use for power or irrigation or other purposes.Mr. LEATHERWOOD. Without the consent of the State?Mr. HAYDEN. Not only without the consent of the State but utterly ignoring the State, yet such are the terms of this bill. It represents the first attempt to pass legislation by Congress whereby the Federal Government is assumed to have that power.Members of Congress from the West have always contended that the United States has no jurisdiction over appropriations of water for irrigation, power, or other uses. There is no law upon the Federal statute books asserting such a right, and Congress has in many instances declined to interfere with the laws of any State relating to the appropriation, use, or distribution of water. Two good examples of an acknowledgement that the States, and the States alone, have control over appropriations of water are to be found in the reclamation act and the Federal water power act.Jurisdiction over appropriations of the waters of streams is one of the highest attributes of sovereignty in the States of the arid region. Water to them means life. Their entire future is bound up in its conservation and beneficial use. To strip them of their exclusive control over it by a transfer of authority to the Federal Government would leave the States of the West a mere aggregation of dependencies subject to the whims of Congress controlled by a majority membership from States where the value of water for irrigation is little known and slightly appreciated.I am sure that the serious minded Congressmen from the West will not fail to realize that the passage of a law which denies the right of Arizona to control appropriations of water within her borders would be but the first step toward the nationalization of every stream where the Federal Government may desire to take charge. Self protection will compel everyone who is jealous of the rights of his State to oppose the adoption of so far reaching and such an evil precedent. After the Colorado River is nationalized, what river in the West will next be arbitrarily taken over from the States?Mr. WINTERS. Has not the Supreme Court spoken on the question of the right of the States to regulate appropriations of water and the necessity of obtaining the State's consent?Mr. HAYDEN. That issue has not been definitely determined by the Supreme Court. In the case of Wyoming v. Colorado, briefs were filed by authority of the Attorney General of the United States admitting that Congress has for many years affirmatively consented to the adoption of the doctrine of appropriation throughout the West, but contending that at any time the Federal Government

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