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- 35is not because it is necessary to the solvency of the undertaking, because the power revenue would provide for that.The CHAIRMAN. But, in order to protect the properties in the Imperial Valley against possible inundation by breaking of the levees, it is really the duty of the Government to proceed and build the ail-American canal, even if no additional lands were contemplated to be put under cultivation.Doctor MEAD. It is.Mr. LEATHERWOOD. Doctor, I have not had to give this bill any consideration. Do you feel that section 4 of the bill fully protects the upper basin States as to the creation of priorities against them?Doctor MEAD. I do; yes, sir. I think so.Mr. LEATHERWOOD. In line 1 at the top of page 4, could there be any objection there to changing that language that no steps shall be taken to initiate water rights hereunder?Doctor MEAD. I think the meaning would be the same.Mr. LEATHERWOOD. I have some very serious question about that as a matter of law.Doctor MEAD. Well, I see no objection to the language that is used. I do not think any water right should be initiated. It can not be initiated without taking the step. After living a long time, in two of the upper-basin States, I feel that as contributors of the greater part of the water, they are entitled to complete protection from having works initiated by the Government deprive them of the right to use any of the water that they can use there now or hereafter.Mr. LEATHERWOOD. I take it that you, as representing the Bureau of Reclamation, would be in accord with Mr. Swing in extending the fullest possible protection to the upper-basin States, with reference to the creation of priorities?Doctor MEAD. Yes, sir.Mr. HAYDEN. With reference to your statement that the upper basin States, as contributors of the major portion of the water, were entitled to consideration, let me ask how you would apply that argument as between California and Arizona, where California contributes practically nothing?Doctor MEAD. I do not mean that the upper States are in control of that water, but what I do mean to say that having a large amount of mountainous area that is used as a water gatherer, they ought to have proper consideration given to their rights in this legislation.Mr. HAYDEN. If we take it then as a question not of volume of water, but of area of watershed, a similar comparison is disclosed by a glance at the map. The California watershed is extremely limited, while practically all of the State of Arizona is within the drainage basin of the Colorado River.Doctor MEAD. I would not want Arizona to be injured by any action of the Government in building this work for the benefit of California, where Arizona is in a position to use either water or power.Mr. HAYDEN. In expressing an opinion that the rights of the upper basin States would be fully protected by the terms of this bill, you are not speaking as a lawyer but as an engineer?Doctor MEAD. That is all; just in the spirit of fair play. That is all.
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