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in here, and give them consideration in the committee. I imagine you were here the other day when Mr. Steiner gave his testimony.
Mr. WEEKS. That is right.
Mr. JOHNSON. And all seven States were in agreement. Thank you for coming
Mr. WEEKS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The written statement of Lowell Weeks is as follows:] STATEMENT OF LOWELL 0. WEEKS, GENERAL MANAGER, COACHELLA VALLEY
COUNTY WATER DISTRICT, HISTORY COACHELLA VALLEY
I. COACHELLA VALLEY
Coachella Valley is located in eastern Riverside County in California, and lies to the northwest of the Salton Sea. It is the northern extension of a large valley that was originally known as the Colorado Desert. This large valley, for practical reasons, is divided into three distinct areas. The part in Mexico is called Mexicali Valley, the part south of Salton Sea is called Imperial Valley, and the part north of Salton Sea is known as Coachella Valley.
II. COACHELLA VALLEY COUNTY WATER DISTRICT
As originally formed, the Coachella Valley County Water District was located entirely within the county of Riverside. However, in recent years the boundaries of the district have been extended to include contiguous lands in Imperial County (approximately 54,000 acres) and in San Diego County (approximately 27,500 acres). All of the lands within the district are desert lands and the district now contains approximately 620,000 acres. The elevation of most agricultural lands is below sea level.
This district was formed in the year 1918 under what is now known as the County Water District Law (Difision 12, California Water Code) and has continuously existed and functioned as such since that time as a public agency of the State of California. All of its authorized functions and duties are governmental in nature. The present functions of the District include: (1) water conservation and underground recharge activities; (2) stormwater protective works; (3) irrigation water delivery; (4) agricultural drainage system; (5) domestic water production, storage and delivery; and (6) wastewater collection and reclamation facilities.
III. WATER SUPPLY
The average rainfall is so slight in the Coachella Valley that it is practically disregarded, and the sole dependence for water in growing crops is placed in irrigation. The source of this supply lies principally in the rainfall and the melting snows on the high mountain peaks at the northwestern end of the valley and, since 1949, in a supply from the Colorado River diverted at Imperial Dam through the All American Canal to Coachella Valley, a distance of 160 miles, where it is distributed onto the farms.
The development of the valley began in 1888 when a water-bearing sand and gravel strata was found beneath the ground surface. During the first few years of development nearly all of the wells had an artesian pressure that produced a sufficient volume for irrigation, but with the increase in the number of wells, the water table soon lowered. With reduced pressure, many of the wells ceased for flow or the flow was so decreased that farmers had to resort to pumping.
It was evident at an early date that additional water must be found and brought to Coachella Valley. If no additional water were to be found, the acreage to be served by the underground supply would have to be limited to approximately 10,000 acres. A. Natural Water
Most of the groundwater inflow into the Coachella Valley is from the Santa Rosa, San Jacinto, San Gorgonio and San Bernardino Mountains' watershed. A large part of the inflow comes from precipitation and runoff from the San Gorgonio and Whitewater Rivers. The recharges to the underground amount to more than 60,000 acre feet annually. These underground waters are largely used for domestic and urban water purposes in the upper Coachella Valley.
B. Colorado River Water
Since 1918 this District has entered into seven separate and distinct contracts with the United States, all dealing with a supply of water from the Colorado River. The early contracts of 1920, 1921, and 1929 were brought into existence after the passage of the Kinkaid Act by the Congress in May, 1918, under which the district made contributions to the United States for its early surveys, investigations, and reports, looking forward to the construction of what we now call Hoover Dam and the building of an All American Canal to deliver water into Coachella and Imperial Valleys.
The district has four separate repayment contracts with the United States, incurring repayable obligations in the aggregate total of $34 million in round figures.
The first contract is dated October 15, 1934, and is for capacity in the Imperial Dam and the All American Canal and for the delivery of water into Coachella Valley. The second contract bears the date of December 22, 1947, and is for the construction of a distribution system and appurtenances as a means of delivering water from the All American Canal (Coachella main canal) to the lands within the Coachella Valley County Water District that were included within the service area. This distribution system is an underground, closed concrete pipe system aggregating more than 500 miles in length. All Colorado River water delivered to the agricultural areas in Coachella Valley through this underground, closed system is metered to each water user. The third contract is dated October 14, 1958, and is for the construction of an irrigation system and drainage works for 10,240 acres of Indian lands within the district. The fourth contract, dated July 30, 1963, is for the rehabilitation and betterment of the works that were constructed under the 1934 and 1947 contracts.
The canal and distribution system constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation is one of the finest in the United States. In the suit of Arizona vs. California the Supreme Court found that the highest and most efficient use of irrigation water in the west was in Coachella Valley.
Colorado River water is diverted for the Coachella Valley County Water District at Imperial Dam which is about 18 miles upstream from Yuma, Arizona. The All American Canal roughly parallels the Colorado River on the California side down to Pilot Knob powerplant and wasteway for a distance of approximately 21 miles. The canal then swings westerly toward Imperial Valley. Drop No. 1 is the turnout for the Coachella main canal (Coachella Branch-All American Canal) and is located 15 miles downstream from Pilot Knob. The Coachella Canal is 123.45 miles in length and is concrete lined for the last 37 miles.
The quantities of Colorado River water diverted at Imperial Dam, received at check gate 6-A on the Coachella main canal, and received for distribution to the irrigated lands in Coachella Valley are shown below in Table No. 1. Check gate 6-A is approximately 49 miles from the beginning of the Coachella Canal and this is the section of the canal proposed to be lined by H.R. 12165.
TABLE 1.-WATER DIVERTED FOR COACHELLA VALLEY COUNTY WATER DISTRICT
Colorado River ater is used solely in Improvement District No. 1, the irrigated portion of the district served by the Coachella main canal. This portion is less than twenty-five percent of the area of the Coachella Valley County Water District. C. Slate Aqueduct Water
In March, 1963, the Coachella Valley County Water District contracted with the State of California for a water supply in the ultimate amount of 23,100 acre feet of water. This water will be used exclusively for domestic, municipal and urban
D. Future Water Requirements
Coachella Valley needs more water because the studies made by the United States Department of Interior, Geological Survey in 1971 indicate an average annual overdraft of about 30,000 acre feet from the upper Coachella Valley groundwater basin.
IV. IRRIGATION PROBLEMS USING COLORADO RIVER WATER A. Salinity Problems
The salinity of the Colorado River has been increasing for the last several years as shown in Table No. 2. Also shown are the predicted values to the year 2000 as worked out by the Bureau of Reclamation.
TABLE 2.-COACHELLA VALLEY COUNTY WATER DISTRICT-COLORADO RIVER SALINITY CONTENT
1 Future average salinity concentration estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation at Imperial Dam.
H.R. 12165 recognizes the problem of salinity in the Colorado River as the same pertains to the Republic of Mexico and also recognizes water salinity problems of users in the United States.
H.R. 12165 addresses itself to this problem by Title II—Measures Upstream from Imperial Dam. The Coachella Valley County Water District recommends adoption of Title II as an integral part of the legislation.
B. MAINTENANCE OF SALT BALANCE
Most soils of the arid Western United States contain a large percentage of soluble salts which causes many problems to the agricultural industry. Add to those problems the irrigation water from the Colorado River, which contains more than one ton of salt in each acre foot, and the problems of irrigation increase in complexity. Without taking into consideration maintenance of salt balance, irrigation water is removed from the soil by transpiration and evaporation, leaving most of the salt to accumulate in the root zone. Leaching, which dissolves and carries the salts vertically downward, is the only successful method of salt removal which is indispensable to a sustained agriculture. Leaching is accomplished by either ponding the water on the surface of the ground, or by application of irrigation water in excess of the crops' consumptive use requirement. This increased amount of water percolates through the soil carrying the salts below the root zone and is ultimately discharged through the farm tile drainage system.
The farmers in this valley are well trained and are experts in producing crops from this desert soil. Valley farmers have installed 1,975 miles of tile drainage lines to reduce the problems. Correct irrigation practice and the maintenance of salt balance are probably the most important functions for economic success or failure in an agricultural endeavor in Coachella Valley.
Increasing salinity of the Colorado River is a progressive problem as shown on Table No. 3. If the Coachella Valley were to maintain its present agricultural acreage and crop pattern because of the increasing salinity of the Colorado River, there would be required annually in the year 2000 an additional 29,277 acre feet of water solely for maintenance of salt balance. This is the concern of the people of Coachella Valley who are supporting H.R. 12165.
The salinity problems of this District are similar to those of Mexico which will be given salinity relief by the immediate works proposed in Title 1- Programs Downstream from Imperial Dam. The proposed lining of the Coachella Canal, and the saving of seepage waters to aid in reducing salinity of water delivered to Mexico, will be of great value to the United States in meeting its Treaty obligations in the interim period until the desalting works are built and upstream measures are implemented.
V. IN SUPPORT OF H.R. 12165
The first 86 miles of the Coachella main canal are unlined while the last 37 miles are lined with concrete. Table No. 1, showing years 1962 through 1972, indicate conveyance losses in the unlined portion, about 160,000 acre feet annually according to the Bureau of Reclamation, whose studies show that about 141,000 acre feet of the losses occur in the first 49-mile reach. A concrete lined canal for those first 49 miles would save an estimated 132, acre feet.
The water saved by the concrete lining will be available to the United States for an interim period which ends when the Secretary of Interior delivers less Colorado River water to California than requested by California's Colorado River water users. It can be used to supplement water from storage that could be released to Mexico during this interim period to meet the objectives of Minute 242 of the International Boundary and Water Commission and to replace WelltonMohawk drainage water.
In reference to H.R. 12165, this District proposed that Title I, Section 102 (a) and (b) be revised to read:
“Section 102 (a). To assist in meeting interim salinity control objectives of Minute 242 of the IBWC, the Secretary is authorized to construct a new concretelined canal or to line the presently unlined portion of the Coachella Canal of the Bo'lder Canyon Project in California from Station 2+26 to the beginning of Siphon No. 7, a length of approximately 49 miles. The United States is to be credited an amount of water during an interim period equal to the amount of water conserved by constructing or lining said canal. The interim period shall commence the vear following completion of construction or lining said canal and shall end the first year that the Secretary delivers mainstream Colorado River water to California in an amount less than the sum of the quantities requested by (1) the California agencies under contracts made pursuant to section 5 of the Boulder Canyon Project Act, and (2) Federal establishments to meet their water rights acquired in California in accordance with the Decree in Arizona v. California.
“(b) The charges for total construction shall be repayable without interest in equal annual installments over a period of 40 years beginning in the year following completion of construction; provided, that repayment shall be prorated between the United States and the Coachella Valley County Water District, and the Secretary is authorized to enter into a repayment contract with Coachella Valley County Water District for that purpose. The annual repayment installments shall be nonreimbursable during the interim period defined in Section 102 (a) and shall provide that after the interim period, certain of said annual repayment installments or portions thereof shall be paid by Coachella Valley County Water District, and all other repayment installments shall be non-reimbursable."
The Coachella Valley County Water District will be willing to enter into negotiations with the Secretary for a repayment contract, as contemplated by H.R. 12165.
The Coachella Valley County Water District strongly recommends that II.R 12105 "Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act of 1974" be enacted with the revisions proposed for Title 1, Section 102 (a) and (b).
Mr. JOHNSON. Our next witness is Mr. Virgil Jones, member of the board of the Palo Verde Irrigation District.
STATEMENT OF VIRGIL JONES
Mr. Jones. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, my name is Virgil Jones. I am a member of the board for the Palo Verde Irrigation District, and I am a member of the Colorado River Board.
I would like to say that I appreciate the opportunity to appear here before your Subcommittee on Water and Power Resources. The statement of the Colorado River Board is on file with your committee, and our brief statement filed with your committee covers pretty well how we feel.
We find no fault with the bill and in the interest of time we would like to go on the record for supporting H.R. 12165. If there are any questions pertaining to our district, I will try to answer them. If not, I think that is all the statement I care to make.
Mr. JOHNSON. We thank you, Mr. Jones. Your statement will be a part of the record. It is good to have you here in support of the bill from the Palo Verde Irrigation District. Your people were the early ones at the river; I see here your district dates back to the 1870's.
Mr. Jones. Yes, sir.
Mr. Johnson. Thank you for coming, Mr. Jones; your statement will be a part of the record. [The statement of Virgil Jones is as follows:] STATEMENT OF VIRGIL JONES, ON BEHALF OF PALO VERDE
IRRIGATION DISTRICT I am Virgil Jones, a farmer in the Palo Verde Valley located on the Colorado River in eastern Riverside and Imperial Counties, California. Our valley has more than 90,000 acres of irrigated agriculture, much of which is double cropped. The valley has a population of approximately 15,000. In 1973 the gross value of our crops approached 50 million dollars exclusive of a multimillion dollar sheep and cattle feeding industry.
Our agriculture is wholly dependent on the Colorado River for water. The water is diverted and distributed to the farms by Palo Verde Irrigation District, a local agency of the State of California. I am an elected trustee of the District and a member of the Colorado River Board of California. I have been asked by the Palo Verde Irrigation District Board of Trustees to appear before this Committee in support of H.R. 12165.
Our District's water right dates back to the 1877's. The District was formed in 1923. Our farmers and the District have seen the Colorado River in all its stages. We have fought its floods, cleaned out its silt, and survived its drougths. We worked for the Colorado River Project Act, survived the depression, fought for an adequate diversion dam and irrigation works, and conceived and built drainage networks. Our valley has been slowly and painfully reclaimed from a desert wasteland.
Now we face a new ever-increasing threat from rising salinity. Our crops use water, not salt. The saltier our water becomes, the more water we must use to flush out the salt carried in and the more salt we must discharge. It is an ever