page 64

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page 64
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http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,8
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64river. It could be used in a way that would take all of the water and if it were thus used and, if the claim of some of our friends in the lower basin is correct, to the effect that a water priority would go with the project as against all later uses in upper States, and, regardless of State lines, it would mean, for instance, if applied to the city of Denver, that Denver could not take across the mountains from the headwaters of the Colorado River system water for her future supply. The city is already living up close to her limit, and our only future available source is from the headwaters of this river system; in fact, we are now building a tunnel over six miles in length and which will probably cost nine or ten million dollars before it is completed, for the purpose of bringing water from the western slope of the range to the eastern slope to Denver. In other; words, bringing it from the headwaters of the Colorado River.On top of that expense, we must incur the further expense of gathering ditches and conveying conduits or canals from the eastern portal of this tunnel which now is in process of construction.We must therefore, in expending this money, have legal certainty that after the tunnel is built there is going to be some water for us to have, and I imagine the situation is the same elsewhere in the upper basin, although, as I say, I speak only for the city of Denver.Another objection in addition to that of this bill affording only partial protection is that it does not acknowledge the principle of home rule in intrastate water control. The principle of home rule within State boundaries of whatever water a State may be entitled to is a principle of law deeply embedded in the law of every one of the Colorado River Basin States except the State of California, and that State would be only too glad to-day if she had adopted in her own State law the same principle which the other States adopted.So these are objections to the bill as it stands at present. Now, I have been sitting with a few individuals in the drafting of certain amendments to the bill, amendments designed to obviate the objections to which I have referred, not to obviate any other defect, if any, in the bill, but simply those that have to do with the protection of upper State interests. As to those amendments, I am not here to take them up one by one; I am unwilling to say at this time that I approve of their exact phraseology. I think that in deference to the water commissioners of the upper States and to the members of the upper States in Congress, the matter of such approval should be left for a complete consultation, and therefore in representing the city of Denver I simply advance the principles which I think ought to obtain in any amendments made.The amendments which we drafted were some 20 to 25 in number, but I find that they may be all classified under six heads.In the first place there are amendments designed to subject this particular Boulder Canyon project to the control of the Colorado "River compact; in other words, amendments requiring the United States and any licensees of the United States and any and all users of water from this project, and appropriators of water from it, to be governed by the terms of the Colorado River compact. If these water users be thus governed, there will be exempted in favor of the upper State, and therefore in part in favor of Denver, 7,500,000

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