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ties; (3) associated facilities including roads and a railroad spur; (4) the extension of the existing bypass drain to carry the reject stream from the desalting plant and other Wellton-Mohawk drainage waters through the United States and Mexico to the Gulf of California; and (5) the replacement of a metal flume in the existing main outlet drain extension with a concrete siphon. Tentatively, the desalting plant is to be designed to treat 144,000 acre-feet per year of the 3100 ppm Wellton-Mohawk drain water to result in 101,000 acre-feet of 240 ppm usable product and 43,000 acre-feet of 9600 ppm reject water. The plant is to be designed to operate at 90% of design capacity. Using advanced technology commercially available, it will effect recovery initially of at least 70% of the drain water as product and with a minimum reduction of at least 90% of the dissolved solids in the feed water.
A considerably quantity of electrical power and energy will be required to operate the desalting complex. Sources of electrical power supply will be sought that will not diminish the supply of power to preference customers from the Federal Parker-Davis Projects, since this project is proposed for international purposes and, therefore, is not subject to the privileges of Reclamation Law.
Product water would be blended with the remaining 31,000 acre-feet per year of the Wellton-Mohawk drain water to produce a stream of 132,000 acre-feet per year of water of the same quality as that at Imperial Dam, now 850 ppm, which can be introduced into the Colorado River and delivered to Mexico within the salinity differential established in the salinity agreement. The optimum location and size of the desalting plant will be determined in the design stage.
After the desalting complex is in operation, there may become available surplus capacity in the desalting plant over that needed for the purposes of this Act. In that event it may be possible to use some of the product water from the plant for domestic water supply without inhibiting the U.S. Section's ability to meet obligations under the international agreement. The desalted water used for municipal and industrial water supply in the United States would be exchanged for other water at appropriate prices, terms and conditions, with the revenues froin such exchange deposited in the U.S. Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.
The reject stream from the desalting plant would be kept separate and conveyed southward by a new concrete-lined drain to the international boundary and thence through Mexico to the Santa Clara Slough on the Gulf of California. If construction can begin in fiscal year 1975, the complex should be completed and operational by the end of 1978.
Sections 1(b), (c), (d), and (e) would authorize a combination of measures to reduce the quantity of drain water pumped from the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District and treated by the desalting plant and thereby reduce the plant's size and cost. The objective is to reduce the quantity of the District's drain water from about 220,000 acre-feet per year to not more than 175,000 acrefeet per year to enable a 20% reduction in the required desalting capacity. This is to be achieved by the optimum combination of improvements in irrigation efficiences and a reduction in the authorized irrigated area of the Wellton-Mohawk Division. A cooperative program to improve efficiency is already under way in the District sponsored by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture and EPA. Sections (h) and (d) of the bill would authorize acceleration and expansion of that programn, to include assistance to water users in the District in installing onfarm system improvements to advance irrigation efficiency in order that its potential might be realized in time to enable a reduction in the size and cost of the desalting plant. These improvements will include advanced management practices such as the use of scientific methods for determining irrigation scheduling, and onfarm system improvements including ditch lining, changes in field layout and size, use of sprinklers, or automated irrigation methods. To the extent such work or modification produces local benefits, the water users will bear the cost thereof. No Federal expense would be incurred to pay the costs that water users would have to pay in any event to satisfy the requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended, or to provide direct benefits to individual water users,
Pursuant to that Act, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to establish effluent limitation guidelines and require permits for certain irrigation return flows. Some drainage flows from the Wellton-Mohawk Project, therefore, may be required to receive a certain measure of treatment, utilizing the best pollution control technology available at that time, before they can be returned to the river. It is not intended that the measures proposed in this bill for international purposes will relieve the irrigation district of any obligations it may incur as a result of future domestic water pollution control policies.
Further, to reduce the volume of saline drain water required to be processed by the desalting plant, section (c) authorizes a reduction in the existing authorized 75,000 irrigable acres in the Wellton-Mohawk Division through Federal purchase or exchange of lands. Initially, about 10,000 acres would be acquired, of which 3800 acres are undeveloped Federal lands and 6200 acres are State and private lands, of which 2500 acres are developed. If it is is determined that the irrigable acreage must be reduced below 65,000 acres, additional developed acreage is authorized to be acquired. All such acquisitions would be at Federal expense, and the existing repayment obligation allocable to eliminated irrigation acreage would be declared non-reimbursable.
Section (e) provides for an appropriate reduction in the repayment obligation of the District due to the United States to take into consideration such increase that the purchase and hence reduction in the authorized irrigable acreage may have in the cost per acre of operation and maintenance of the irrigation system.
Section (f) relates to the plan to construct a new concrete-lined canal or to line a 49-mile reach of the existing Coachella Canal in southern California, to effect a savings of about 132,000 acre-feet per year, now lost by seepage, for temporary use by the Federal Government. Water for the Coachella Valley County Water District is diverted from the Colorado River at Imperial Dam and conveyed to the Coachella Valley through the All-American Canal and the Coachella Canal. These facilities were completed by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1948 and supply irrigation water for about 67,000 acres in the Coachella Valley. Conveyance losses from the first 49-mile reach of unlined canal currently averaged about 141,000 acre-feet annually. The savings of an estimated 132,000 zcre-feet annually to be effected by a lined canal represents a part of California's entitlement from the Colorado River.
The Federal use of the saved waters would consist (1) until the desalting plant comes on stream, of supplying a part of the water that must be delivered to Mexico in substitution for bypassed Wellton-Mohawk drainage ; and (2) after the desalting plant is operational, of restoring to the Colorado River Basin the water borrowed from the Basin's storage resevoirs as substitution water for Mexico from the time the agreement enters into force to the time the desalting plant is completed.
Because it is envisaged that the Federal Government would use the saved water during the early years of operation of the lined canal, but in no event beyond the time when California would want to use the saved water, the cost of lining should be shared by the Federal Government and the Coachella Valley County Water District on the basis of each entity's use of the water. Under section (f) the U.S. Section and the Bureau of Reclamation would be able to join with the Coachella District in a contract providing for that District to reimburse the Federal Government for the lining over a 40-year period, and for the U.S. Section to relieve the District of reimbursement during that period when the Federal Government makes use of the water to imeplemnt the terms of Minute No. 242 and this bill.
Section 1(g) provides for a reduction in the repayment obligation of the Imperial Irrigation District to take into consideration that the District can relinquish its rights to the capacity of 1000 cubic feet per second in the existing 49-mile reach of the Coachella Canal and in the All-American Canal. This would enable the Federal Government to reduce the capacity of the reconstructed lined section of the Coachella Canal from 2500 cubic feet per second to 1500 cubic feet per second, and thereby realize a material saving in the cost of the reconstruction. The Imperial Irrigation District would be compensated through modification of its repayment contract.
Under Section 1(h), as a further consideration relating to the reduction in the capacity of the Coachella Canal and the resulting saving in the reconstructed lined section, the Federal Government may acquire the approximately 3800 acres of undeveloped private lands which could have been served by the 1000 cubic feet per second canal capacity in the existing Coachella Canal. The cost associated with the acquisition of these lands will be included as a part of the total costs of the Coachella Canal lining, and Federal reimbursement will be based on on the terms of the repayment contract, since both the Federal Government and the Coachella District wili benefit from savings in construction costs due to the retirement of these lands.
The estimated total installation cost of lining the Coachella Canal, including right-of-way costs and land costs, amounts to $21,450,000. The Department of the Interior is authorized to perform this work, and funds will be requested as a part of its appropriation.
Section 1(i) authorizes the acquisition of lands in the reservoir of the existing Painted Rock Dam on the Gila River, as may be necessary, to enable its operation to fulfill the agreement with Mexico in Minute No. 242. This dam was constructed by the Corps of Engineers solely for the control of floods. There was acquired essentially a flowage easement, and the operating procedures envisioned the capture of flood flows, their temporary regulation, and early release. However, this operation results in the infiltration of water into the groundwater at the WelltonMohawk Dis ict and an increase in the amount of drainage that must be pumped from the District and discharged to the Colorado River. This increase can be largely, if not entirely, overcome by retaining floodwaters in the Painted Rock Reservoir and making smaller releases over a period of many months. To enable this modification in operations, Section 1(i) authorizes the acquisition of such additional interest in lands in the reservoir as may be necessary to prevent impairment of operations under the agreement with Mexico. Acquisition would be made only after the existing legal rights of the Federal Government in the said lands are clarified.
Section 2 is intended to require reduction to a minimum of the costs associated with the bill. For example, it is necessary to achieve the most cost-effective combination of reduction in Wellton-Mohawk drain waters and size of the desalting plant. The most cost-effective means may be to reduce the quantity of drain water from the District somewhat below 175,000 acre-feet annually, permitting a smaller desalting plant. Further, investigations are proposed to increase the efficiency of the desalting plant to enable a smaller and less costly plant. The lands in Painted Rock Reservoir would be acquired only if necessary to perform its operation in a manner to ensure compliance with the agreement with Mexico. This section also provides that the Federal Government shall bear all costs associated with carrying out the provisions of the Act, except as specified in the Act, and except that the water users will not be relieved of costs required for compliance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended.
Section 3 relates to the reject stream from the desalting plant and other normal Wellton-Mohawk drain waters bypassed to the Santa Clara Slough on the Gulf of California and not replaced from other sources. Section 202 of the Colorado River Basin Project Act (82 Stat. 886) provides that the satisfaction of the requirements of the Mexican Water Treaty from the Colorado River constitutes a national obligation which shall be the first obligation of any water augmentation project authorized for the Basin. This section of the bill ensures that the reject stream and other normal Wellton-Mohawk drain waters bypassed to the Santa Clara Slough will be included in this replacement obligation. The other normal Wellton-Mohawk drain waters would comprise only those essential to avoid crop damage. Periods of surplus waters are excepted because when there is surplus water, the reject stream and the bypassed drain water would not constitute a loss to the Colorado River Basin. Under the Water Treaty a period of surplus waters exists when, as determined by the U.S. Section of the Commission, the waters of the Colorado River are in excess of the amount necessary to supply uses in the United States and the guaranteed Mexican allotment of 1.5 million acre-feet annually. This section provides that studies to identify feasible measures to provide adequate replacement water shall be completed not later than June 30, 1980, and that replacement of these waters shall begin when augmentation of the Colorado River begins. As stated earlier, water borrowed from reservoir storage on the Colorado River during the interim period when Wellton-Mohawk drain waters are bypassed, and until completion of the desalting plant, will be paid back by the Federal Government by use of the water saved by lining of a part of the Coachella Canal.
Section 4 authorizes appropriation of such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act. There is initially requested an appropriation of $94,575,000 for the construction and other measures authorized by this bill. This estimate is based on 1973 prices. In approximate figures, the desalting plant and associated facilities would cost $80,550,000, of which $45,900,000 would be for the plant and appurtenant works, $16,150,000 would be for the pretreatment function, and $18,500,000 would be for support facilities, including the drain to the Gulf of California. The estimated cost of acreage reduction and onfarm irrigation improvements is $10,500,000, with an additional $2,000,000 allowed for the irrigation efficiency program. General supervision is estimated at $1,525,000.
The estimate of $5,000,000 for the possible acquisition of lands at Painted Rock Dam is not included in the total figure because at this time it is not known if and when the funds will be required.
The estimated cost of the Coachella Canal lining is $21,450,000. It is not included in this authorization because it is separately authorized to the Department of the Interior, and that Department will seek this amount in its annual appropriation.
Section 5 provides a title for this bill.
Mr. JOHNSON. Now, the four other reports to be placed in the file are: one, the report of the President's Special Representative; two, the report from the Department of the Interior entitled, “Colorado River International Salinity Control Project September, 1973," three, the executive summary of the immediately foregoing Interior Department report; and four, an environmental impact statement.
At this time I would recognize the ranking minority member of this committee, Mr. Manuel Lujan, the Congressman from the great State of New Mexico.
Mr. LUJAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am not going to take up very much time with an opening statement. We all realize how important the legislation is, both toward a desalinization program and for our relationships with Mexico, but I do want to take the time to join you, Mr. Chairman, in welcoming Mr. Aspinall.
We are pleased that you are here with us.
Mr. JOHNSON. Are there any other comments from any of the members at this time?
Mr. STEIGER. Mr. Chairman, I wanted to just reserve time for a statement also, and since you have given me the chance, I would like to enthusiastically echo the words of you and my colleague from New Mexico in welcoming the gentleman from Colorado. It seems very natural to have him in that position, and very comforting I might add.
Mr. DELLENBACK. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. DELLENBACK. Mr. Chairman, I really was not going to say anything, but in view of the comments which have been made, and as I look around at my colleagues who are here representing Arizona and representing New Mexico and representing Colorado, and the great Northwest and the other areas, I want it clearly understood that I represent none of the States involved. I am from the State of Oregon. I am expressing the fact that we are very much interested in what happens to water, and I want to disabuse anybody who thinks that we have such an excess that Oregon can supply the needs of any other part of the United States.
We are actually not quite in that position, but I am making primarily the point that this is really not just a regional problem. It is a problem of deep concern, not only to the West, but to the whole United States, and I appreciate being recognized. Mr. JOHNSON. I thank you
your comments. You know, if we had a meeting like this when the treaty was reached with Canada for that last 15 million acre-feet of water that came down the Columbia River, it might have helped relieve some of our problems in the Colorado River and in the State of California and elsewhere. But we were not represented in that treaty with Canada when they reached their agreement. So the water is still flowing out the mouth of the Columbia River, and we would have had to trap it to use it now.
Mr. DELLENBACK. Mr. Chairman, if you would yield. Just so long as it is clearly understood that it is after we have used it that it is being trapped and sent anywhere. If you need water to grow crops in California, send us your grocery list, we'll be glad to supply them.
Mr. Johnson. Does the gentleman from New Mexico have any comment?
Mr. RUNNELS. No.
Mr. Johnson. At this time I would like to submit a statement for the record, and a statement from our colleague, Hon. Frank E. Evans, of Colorado. Hearing no objection the statements will be placed in the record at this point.
[The statements follow:]
STATEMENT OF HON. HAROLD T. (Bizz) JOHNSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS
FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA This statement is in endorsement of H.R. 12165 which I had the pleasure to co-sponsor with eleven of my Colleagues on the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee who serve in Congress from the seven States of the Colorado River Basin. This endorsement is made in full recognition of H.R. 12834 which resulted from an Executive Communication from the Departments of State and Interiorand which was introduced by Mr. Haley, the distinguished Chairman of the Full Committee, by request.
Both of these measures would authorize the programs required for implementation of Minute No. 242 to the Mexican Water Treaty of 1944. This Minute was executed in August 1973 and culininated a full year of study and negotiations by former Attorney General Herbert Brownell who served as the President's Special Representative for that purpose.
The programs proposed by Mr. Brownell are those required to make the drainage effluent from the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation District acceptable from the standpoint of quality to the Mexican interests. This will be accomplished by limiting the outflow of drainage water from the district by means that I will discuss later in this statement. The limited outflow will be treated by a membrane desalting process with the product water being returned to the Colorado River—and the reject brine being disposed of in the Gulf of California. The net effect of this procedure will be to insure that the overall quality of water available to Mexico will be within the limits negotiated by Mr. Brownell—that is—within 115 parts per million of that available to American users diverting from Imperial Dam.
The programs required to limit drainage outflow from the Wellton-Mohawk District consist of reducing irrigated acreage in the district and refinements to Painted Rock Dam on the Gila River to reduce intrusion of flood waters into the Wellton-Mohawk drainage system and aquifers.
The plans also contemplate lining or reconstruction of Coachella Canal in California to reduce conveyance losses in that facility. The waters saved by this means can then be used, at latest, for an interim period to replace the amount of water lost to the United States by virtue of the reject brine steam from the desalting plant being exempted from the Treaty delivery of 1,500,000 acre-feet annually.
In addition to the programs required to settle the Mexican issue. H.R.12165 would authorize a companion program of salinity management facilities in the river basin having as their objective the improvement of water quality on behalf of American users. The bill provides for the authorization of construction of four programs: (1) Paradox Valley, Coloardo (2) Crystal Geyser Project, Utah (3) Grand Valley Project, Colorado and (4) Las Vegas Wash Project, Nevada, These four projects would eliminate 400,000 tons of salt annually from the river and would accomplish the initial goal of the Environmental Protection Administration regarding the Colorado River. Their estimated cost would be about 125 million dollars—75 percent of which would be borne by the Federal Government. The remainder would be repaid regionally, with the costs to be allocated in a manner to be determined by the Secretary of the Interior.
I am not opposed to acceptance as a public obligation the costs of the programs for implementing the Mexican Treaty, even though many experts feel that the Treaty provides no legal obligation to underwrite the quality of the water delivered