page 23

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page 23
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http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,8
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23 level of those wells is getting deeper and deeper and the costs of pumping greater and greater--so that it is inevitable that there must be an additional water supply for the orchards and vineyards of the Coachella Valley.Mr. HUDSPETH. About what area do you know does the Coachella Valley comprise?Doctor MEAD. I do not know from memory just what the acreage is. There is, however, between two and three hundred thousand acres altogether of the land outside of the present Imperial irrigated area that needs additional water supply or has none whatever now that is susceptible of irrigation. Up above Yuma above these diversion works there are irrigable areas on both sides of the river in Arizona and in California, valuable because the soil is rich and the climate good, and undoubtedly the building of this work would be followed by the development of those areas, although as I understand the bill there is no definite provision in it for the carrying out of irrigation on any additional or unpeopled areas at this time more than the statement that it can be done.Now, if we consider this simply as an irrigation project it is not feasible financially. The works of the Imperial Valley have cost a great deal of money that the people have financed either by assessments or some other way, but in addition to that there had to be provided from bond issues about $18,000,000; that is a debt on the farmers of that valley. Whatever is done in addition to that will have to be additional burden on that part of the country as far as it shares in the water supply. Over on the Yuma side the Government spent about $2,000,000 on the construction of levees--I am speaking now in round numbers--that never was assessed against the project at all. It is just that much of a loss in that development; but notwithstanding that they have a burden there in meeting the costs of the work that they have undertaken to pay that comes close to the limit of their paying powers.Mr. HUDSPETH. Was that $2,000,000 spent in order to prevent overflows of the Colorado, in levees, etc.?Doctor MEAD. Yes, sir; in the building of levees. The dam itself will cost $40,000,000. They might be able to pay for that, but they can not pay that and the burden for canals. That will be heavy, both in Arizona and in California.Now, our real need, growing out of the international question, which we might as well consider, because it is an essential part of this, is for a costly canal. The situation is this: That if the Imperial Valley continues to be supplied from the canal it uses at present under the existing concession, it means that if we build this reservoir, we would be building a storage work to supply water for the development of land in Mexico and stimulating irrigation on the other side of the border. That, and the great difficulties of operating without any extraterritorial rights--the great expense and delays of operation--have caused the people of the Imperial Valley to believe that an all-American canal is indispensable to their peace of mind and their comfort, and an all-American canal which would start at the Laguna Dam, with the additional elevation that that dam gives, would travel on high ground and irrigate a large amount of land from the higher canal in the Imperial Valley by gravity. It would reach up into the Coachella Valley. So there has

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