page 20

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page 20
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http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,8
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20 Mr. SINNOTT. Of course, if it were predicated upon navigation, then the Federal Government would be supreme.Mr. HAYDEN. My good friend from Oregon knows that the Constitution of the United States gives Congress much greater jurisdiction over river improvements for navigation than for any other purpose.Mr. ARENTZ. DO you see any reason why Doctor Mead and these other gentlemen can not be heard on this bill at this time?Mr. HAYDEN. None at all. I shall be glad to extend every courtesy to those who are here to appear before the committee.Mr. ARENTZ. There is a long distance between the hearing on this bill and the passage of the bill.Mr. HAYDEN. I am sure that the gentleman from Nevada is correct in that statement, and I did not want to let this opportunity pass without pointing out some of the difficulties which will be encountered.Mr. WINTER. I want to state just in one sentence the position of Wyoming in this matter on the point raised by Mr. Hayden. We are firmly standing on the rights of the State to control the waters within its boundaries and shall insist upon the necessity of securing the consent of the State in any appropriation thereof.Mr. CHAIRMAN. We will now hear from Dr. Elwood Mead, the Commissioner of Reclamation.STATEMENT OF DR. ELWOOD MEAD, COMMISSIONER OF RECLAMATIONThe CHAIRMAN. Doctor Mead, are you prepared to make a statement, or do you prefer to be interrogated?Doctor MEAD. I will follow whatever your desires are in the matter.The CHAIRMAN. I think it is the desire of the committee that you proceed in your own way.Doctor MEAD. I have no prepared statement.In the consideration of this bill, it has seemed that the important reasons for action at this time is the plight of the irrigated areas in the United States on the lower part of the Colorado River, both in Arizona and California. The Government has a large investment in the irrigation project at Yuma and it has had to incur a very large expense, and is always menaced by the need of such expenditure in order to protect the farms along the river. That will always continue until there is some means of regulating the floods, and such means will not only lessen the expense of levee protection as carried on at present, but relieve the farmers living on those lands from anxiety and dread that they now feel.A greater need for action is found, however, in the Imperial Valley. Here 400,000 acres out of a district of 600,000 acres have been settled, the farms developed and brought into a high state of cultivation, growing valuable crops, and in that valley there are a number of important towns Calexico, El Centro, Imperial, Brawley. About 60,000 people live there. They are from 100 to more than 200 feet below a turbulent river that runs around the rim of the basin in which: these farms and cities are located.

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