page 24

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page 24
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http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,8
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24 been included in this project the cost of building an all-American canal. Now, while it is costly, it is costly simply because of the amount of material that has to be moved in the heavy cut across the plateau that borders the Colorado River in the United States. There are no physical obstacles that can not be overcome.The Imperial Valley, believing that this canal will be built, has already bought a half interest in the Laguna Dam and is paying for that, so that a start has been made on that development. In this they were moved by their necessities, rather than by being able to see clearly just how they were going to get through. That means, with the $40,000,000 for the dam and $30,000,000 for the canal, $70,000,000 must be provided. I think the burden would be too heavy for irrigation to bear when coupled with the cost of all the distributing canals, but irrigation does not have to bear that burden. The dam that has been proposed by the plans worked out by the engineers of the Reclamation Service, after a number of years of study, first contemplated a dam 605 feet, but that was dropped because it would interfere with the building of a power plant at Bridge Canyon, and it was dropped to 550 feet, which is a level below the foot of the Bridge Canyon Dam and would not interfere with it, so that it does not, at that elevation, interfere with any proposed power development whatever.Mr. SINNOTT. What will be the constant flow of crater at 550 feet?Doctor MEAD. I will get to that in just a moment. That dam will impound 26,000,000 acre-feet of water. That is a year-and-a-half average discharge which is 16,000,000 acre-feet.Mr. SINNOTT. What is that in second-feet? Can you convert that readily?Doctor MEAD. It is difficult to do it. It fluctuates so widely. It runs all the way from 1,300 to nearly 200,000 cubic feet per second. There is a wide variation of the river.Mr. SINNOTT. What power do you assume will be developed then? Constant power?Doctor MEAD. It is possible, with a 550-foot dam, to generate at the maximum head, a million horsepower, and a power plant ought to be built for that, but it is only estimated that there will be available a constant output of 550,000 horsepower and the revenue is computed on that. Now, a power plant with a reservoir of that size and that head makes possible the generation of a very large amount of power, and if that is sold at a rate lower than the wholesale rate of any power generation on the coast that I have seen--the figure used in the report of the Secretary was 3 mills per kilowatt-hour at the switchboard--it would provide the revenue needed to repay the cost of the dam, the cost of the power plant, with interest on the money within 50 years--well within that time; but that would leave as a burden on irrigation, the cost of the all-American canal and all the distributing canals that might be built.Mr. SINNOTT. What would be that cost ? That is, what would be the cost left upon the lands for the all-American canal and the distributing canals?Doctor MEAD. Well, there would be, of course, the $30,000,000 for the all-American canal. There would be as far as the Imperial

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