page 26

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page 26
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26 Mr. SINNOTT. Well, that would be more than double, or half as much again.Doctor MEAD. I might explain this to you: There is a little uncertainty as to the exact acreage. The district includes 600,000 acres, but part of that land is not good agricultural land. I don't know just how much. I think the additional 200,000 acres is nearly all good land, but just what the acreage would be when there has been a careful soil survey that will bear that $30,000,000 it is a little difficult to say.Mr. LEAVITT. HOW much construction cost per acre could that land profitably carry?Doctor MEAD. On the basis of 600,000 acres, it would be, as Mr. Sinnott said, $50 an acre.Mr. LEAVITT. About how much could it profitably carry? Could it run up as high as $75 or $100 an acre?Doctor MEAD. I think so. I think it will carry that with the cost of the laterals and drainage. It has to carry more than that. You add this $50 to the expense for irrigation and district works and drainages and it will run over $100 an acre.Mr. LEAVITT. That is what I had in mind. It has already the additional expense.Doctor MEAD. Yes, sir.Mr. SINNOTT. What would be the total expense per acre then, Doctor, speaking approximate? How much over $100 an acre?Doctor MEAD. YOU understand if I were to express a figure, it would be a guess, but it would be considerably over $100 an acre; but I would not want to try to put it any more closely than that.The CHAIRMAN. It is important to the people of the country and this project that we build an all-American canal, whether we ever put any more land under cultivation there, is it not, in order to avoid further controversy over water used in Mexico?Doctor MEAD. I think we must get rid of that situation in some way.The CHAIRMAN. Proceed with your statement, Doctor Mead.Doctor MEAD. Using power as part of the revenue, as has been done in the Salt River project, makes this a sound financial proposition, able to pay interest on all the money that is advanced for it, and repay the principal. That seems to be assured, because there is no question as to there being a market for this power. A large percentage of it will go at once into lifting water over the divide into Los Angeles. There is one great feat, but there is in the industrial development of the Southwest in the mines of Arizona, and in the factories of California, an unquestioned market for the whole of this power as soon as it can be made available, and at a rate that will do all that is proposed here. I have heard no complaints that the figure used, 3 mills per kilowatt-hour was excessive, or could not be paid.Mr. LEATHERWOOD. IS that under the going rate in the Pacific Coast States?Doctor MEAD. Yes, sir. There are a good many power plants on the Pacific coast that sell all their power at the switchboard to these distributing companies, but none of them so far have sold it at any such rate.

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