page 65

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page 65
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http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,8
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65acre feet per annum, providing these provisions are valid. I think there is a debatable question as to whether or not they would be valid, but certainly if they be valid, in other words, if the Congress has the power to impose these limitations, I think the Congress should exercise it in order that we may be protected.The second class of amendments are those proposed for the purpose of subjecting rights of way for reservoirs and canals everywhere on the Federal domain to the control of the Colorado River basin compact, so far as these rights of way for reservoirs and canals have to do with the withdrawal of water or its transportation from the Colorado River system. It is, of course, a question of great debate as to whether or not the Congress can divide water among States. We know the Supreme Court can do it, but query as to the power of Congress. May be Congress does not possess that power, but there is at least a chance of it possessing the power by regulating the use of its lands which are to contain water, or over which water is to be transported in such ways that these lands may be made to contain or transport that water in accordance with the terms of the Colorado River compact. This point likewise is not free from doubt, but if the Congress has that power, we feel that it should be exercised for our protection if this project is to be built.The third class of amendments is a class designed to have the Federal Government, by Congress, declare that all of its interests, water interests, in the Colorado River system are to be held as to the Government and as to anyone claiming under it, in accordance with the terms of the Colorado River compact. If what is called the "California theory" of water rights be sound, which we of the upper States deny, but if it be sound, then the Federal Government is the owner of the new unappropriated waters of that river system, and has the power to declare that it and those people claiming under it hold that water in accordance with the terms of the Colorado River compact. Even, however, if that doctrine of water rights be not sound, in other words, even if it is for the States and not for the Federal Government to dispose of the waters in our Western States, then still this section or these amendments would serve a valuable purpose.In the first place, we know that California has a body of law under which the Federal Government does own riparian rights, and such a declaration, therefore, would be effectual as to that kind of a water interest possessed in this river system by the Federal Government.Again we know that it is claimed by some, although disputed by others, that the river is navigable; if so, then the Federal Government hag certain interests in the way of regulation of navigation, and this section could apply to such interests. So there is a field for usefulness in respect to amendments of this class.The fourth class of amendments is a class designed to permit the Colorado River compact to be given effect upon the basis of a ratification by six States in the event all seven should not ratify. As you know, five already have given unequivocal ratification. It is a matter of great regret to me that the compact has not been ratified by all seven. It is, I am sure, to everybody in the upper basin, but the fact is it has not been. It may be ratified by seven; it may be

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