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Need for project: Control of floods on the lower San Joaquin River.
Status of project: Joint studies by Corps of Engineers, Modesto-Turlock irrigation districts, and city of San Francisco to determine Federal share of cost of project are about 50 percent completed.
Appropriation requested and proposed use thereof: The sum of $1,200,000 is
Description: Levee construction on San Joaquin River below mouth of Merced River, along the lower portion of Tuolumne and Stanislaus Rivers and through the upper delta.
Federal authorization : Public Law No. 534, Seventy-eighth Congress, second session. State authorization : Chapter 1514, Statutes of 1945. Estimated first cost : $3,881,000 (1947 prices). Need for project: Protection of more than 100,000 acres of highly developed productive agricultural lands and improvements thereon.
Status of project: Definite project report about 2 percent complete. Appropriation requested and proposed use thereof: $1,000,000 for use during the 1918 fiscal year, for completion of levees along both banks of San Joaquin River, between Mossdale and the mouth of Stanislaus River.
Mr. HYATT. That covers my statement on the whole subject. However, there are some three or four smaller projects which are not represented here today. At the request of our chairman and at the request of the localities' representatives; also I will present them very briefly. The first one is the Pajaro River project, which is in Congressman Anderson's district, between San Jose and Monterey. It is in the budget, more than half completed and needs $185,000 for completion. We requested that amount. I do not think anything further is needed in that situation. It is endorsed in the budget.
With respect to the Salinas River, which is in that same territory, in Congressman Anderson's district, there is a very serious bank erosion along the river. The situation has been investigated by the Corps of Engineers for many years and a project has been worked out at a cost of $3,000,000. We are requesting $1,000,000 for that project. It is not in the budget at the present time.
The third project, the Ventura project, is in the budget for $960,000. That is enough money to complete it. The Board requested $1,000,000 for that project, not knowing of the budget figure. I imagine the $960,000 figure will be satisfactory, because that is what the corps says is needed.
The fourth item is the Prado Dam in Orange County, which needs $263,000. This dam was completed several years ago and in operation, but there was a road relocation involved. There was a suit in court and an agreement with the State and the county under which the United States agreed to assume additional costs of $263,000. That is in the budget, and I think no further comment on it is needed.
I thank the committee for its courtesy and consideration.
Mr. ENGEL. We thank you, sir. Are there any persons opposed to these projects?
Mr. Drais. Mr. Chairman, I should like to make a short statement. Mr. ENGEL. We should be glad to hear you.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 24, 1948.
FARMINGTON, CALIF., PROJECT
STATEMENT OF LELAND DRAIS, STOCKTON, CALIF.
Mr. Drais. Honorable members of the House Appropriations Committee, gentlemen, my name is Leland Drais, a resident of Stockton, Calif. I represent approximately 100 landowners along Little John Creek, east of Stockton, who will be affected by the construction of a flood-control dam on Little John Creek above the town of Farmington, Calif. As the appropriation bill now stands, it provides solely for flood control. We do not oppose, and will not oppose, the appropriation of any moneys designed to control the floodwaters of Little John Creek, providing flood control is tied in with water conservation and storage. One of the most serious problems confronting the citizens of at least that part of the State of California engaged in farming and agricultural pursuits is the diminishing of water levels throughout the area. This problem has become so serious as to jeopardize the very existence of farming and agricultural pursuits and substantial investments of capital based on those pursuits. The problem cannot be overcome by the sinking of wells, because the water levels in numerous areas have sunken beyond all reasonable and accessible depths. Consequently, we believe, and we respectfully represent, that this appropriation bill should contain the proviso and should be made contingent upon the use of moneys provided for therein for the purpose of establishing a series of small dams running up into the hills toward the water supply of Little John Creek, thus providing for gradual seepage and percolation of waters beneath the surface so as to feed and build up lower water levels. One large dam, we believe, will not accomplish this threefold purpose. A series of smaller dams will not cost substantially more than the appropriation calls for and will not only meet the needs of flood control and will likewise accomplish the crying and serious need of water conservation and storage. We therefore respectfully request that any appropriation made be earmarked for use accordingly.
Several weeks ago in Sacramento, I talked to the United States Bureau of Reclamation. They gave me a map showing the construction of Folsom Dam, and they said at that time, with respect to the Folsom Dam, that they have proposed a canal down the west side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We do not know what is ahead of us on this Central Valley water project, but we do believe that the floodwaters will be taken south in this canal. But we did not want another pink elephant on our hands. We feel that if this Farmington Dam is constructed in that area, it will be just a waste of money. It will be a pink elephant, as the Hogan Dam is today. The Hogan Dam has done a wonderful job as far as flood control is concerned; but for conservation and storage, the people there feel that in the next few weeks there will have to be a study of the water conditions there. Just before I left Stockton, the chairman of the water resources board of Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce called me and asked me to go all out at this time and try my best to kill the appro
priation on this Farmington Dam until such time as they make a restudy of their water conditions in Calaveras County. The State water resources board at this time is making a study in Calaveras County; and therefore I respectfully recommend to your honorable committee that if you can kill this appropriation at this time, we should approve it, because we need more time to make a study of what that can do to us.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 24, 1948. CALIFORNIA FLOOD-CONTROL PROGRAM
STATEMENT OF HON. LEROY JOHNSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. Johnson. Mr. Chairman, I represent the Third District of California; and, as the chairman knows, I appreciate your kindness and courtesy in having listened to me at various times. I should like to say that I am heartily in accord with the statements made by all of the proponents of these projects from California. I have never heard
a group of witnesses who presented their case in better fashion and more to the point.
With reference to the Farmington Reservoir, I might say to my friend, Mr. Drais, that if he wants conservation of water, this is one of the steps which will give him conservation of water. The Hogan Dam to which he referred is something I am thoroughly familiar with. I spent 83 days in court involved in the problems of that dam.
It is a success as a flood-control dam, and some day it will be enlarged so as to make a combined flood-control and conservation dam. In that manner the water from this dam, which will be badly needed in the future, will be available for agricultural and domestic use. I ask, Mr. Chairman, that I may be permitted to extend my remarks in the record at such length as seems desirable.
Mr. Engel. Without objection, the gentleman is granted that permission.
Mr. Johnson. May I make an inquiry here?
Mr. ENGEL. When we have finished with these folks, we will have rivers and harbors projects briefly.
Mr. Johnson. Thank you.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 24, 1948.
HOGAN DAM AND FARMINGTON DAM
STATEMENT OF WALTER B. HOGAN, CITY MANAGER OF THE
CITY OF STOCKTON, CALIF. Mr. Engel. Have you anything further, Mr. Miller? Mr. MILLER. Mr. Chairman, may I request a minute and a half on the Hogan Dam and also the Farmington Dam to rebutt what has been presented ?
I would like to say this, if I may: The State water resources board has investigated the Farmington Dam very thoroughly. The Army engineers have investigated it. I think there are over 16 sites in that area above the dam. The State engineer has reported on this dam. It is a flood-control dam and not a storage reservoir for water. I would like to ask that Mr. Hogan be permitted a minute and a half on this matter.
Mr. Engel. We shall be glad to hear Mr. Hogan.
Mr. Hogan. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, in connection with the Farmington Dam, with respect to the irrigation feature, there was considerable opposition to irrigation in this area, and that is a situation I have had to meet for the past year or year and a half. There is a certain group that want irrigation. The city of Stockton as such is not concerned whether they have irrigation or not. We want flood control.
With respect to irrigation, I would like to read into the record a letter addressed to Lt. Gen. Raymond A. Wheeler, Chief of Engineers, written by Wesley R. Nelson, Acting Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, dated December 17, 1947. It is as follows:
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION,
Washington 25, D. C., December 17, 1947. Lt. Gen. RAYMOND A. WHEELER,
Chief of Engineers, Department of the Army. MY DEAR GENERAL WHEELER: In your letter of November 7, 1947, you stated that the Corps of Engineers is now preparing its definite project report on the Farmington Reservoir project on Littlejohn Creek in California, which was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944. You requested our concurrence in the present plans of the Corps of Engineers to construct the Farmington Dam and Reservoir for flood control only to a capacity of about 52,000 acre-feet, without specific provisions for future raising of the dam.
As explained in your letter, Farmington Reservoir was authorized for construction to a capacity of 100,000 acre-feet on the basis of the proposal of the Bureau of Reclamation that additional storage be provided in the reservoir for conservation purposes. You are correct in your statement that we believe irrigation storage on Littlejohn Creek may be desired ultimately, but that the need for such storage is too far in the future to warrant provision therefor in the initial construction. Accordingly, we have no objection to the construction of Farmington Reservoir for flood control only, without specific provisions for future raising of the dam as presently planned by the Corps of Engineers. Sincerely yours,
WESLEY R. NELSON, Acting Commissioner. Mr. Chairman, I would like to file also in rebuttal this statement which I prepared in anticipation of the opposition.
Mr. ENGEL. Without objection, it may be received in the record, (The statement referred to is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF W. B. HOGAN, CITY MANAGER OF THE CITY OF STOCKTON, CALIF., IN
REBUTTAL BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE (WAR DEPARTMENT, CIVIL FUNCTIONS) OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE CONCERNING OBJECTIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN VOICED TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF A DAM ACROSS LITTLEJOHN CREEK, CALIF.
Shortly after the Farmington Dam project was approved by Congress, under Public Law 534, Seventy-eighth Congress, second session, considerable opposition developed froin landowners, both above and below the dam. This opposition was based primarily on three factors, viz:
1. Unwillingness of owners in reservoir basin to sell their lands or give flowage rights thereon;
2. Fear of being placed in an irrigation district; and
3. Belief that an alternate dam site or sites could be found at a higher elevation, which would accomplish the same results and take less agricultural land.
To satisfy the upponents on the question of alternate sites, the Chief of Engineers authorized the district engineer to make a comprehensive study of all other possible sites on the watershed. This study was completed and is now in the hands of the Chief of Engineers.
A hearing was held in Stockton, Calif., on December 10, 1946, at which the district engineer explained to all interested parties the results of his finding. This hearing was attended by approximately 150 people, most of whom were landowners in the area both above and below the dam site.
Briefly stated, the findings of the district engineer confirmed those in his original report, viz:
1. That the Farmington Dam site was the most economical and had the highest cost-benefit ratio.
The alternate site proved to be too costly as it took two dams to accomplish the same results. The nearest approach showed an adverse excess cost of approximately $500,000 and a much lower cost-benefit ratio.
On further study of the irrigation needs the district engineer in this review report found that the need for conservation storage was so indeterminate that no special provisions should be made in the dam design in order to facilitate future raising.
Representatives in the regional Office of the Bureau of Reclamation concur in the view that there is no immediate need for conservation storage on Littlejohn Creek and that such a need is too far in the future to warrant capital outlay in the initial investment.
The State engineer in his review of this project likewise concludes that there is no apparent need for irrigation storage in Farmington Dam.
The findings of the district engineer in his review report on alternate sites has satisfied the opposition on that score.
In a meeting held in the district engineer's office on March 20, 1947, there were present representatives of the landowners, the city of Stockton, the county of San Joaquin, the Flood Control Association of the Lower San Joaquin River and its tributaries, State engineer's office, and the Bureau of Reclamation. At this meeting the district engineer again gave the landowners assurance that it was the intention of the United States Army engineers to build the Farmington Dam for flcod-control purposes only. A representative of the Bureau of Reclamation stated that it was not necessary to make any provisions for irrigation in the initial construction. It was brought out at the hearing that if irrigation should become necessary at a later date very little extra expense for widening the base would be involved over what it would cost initially.
The conclusions of the district engineer and concurrence therein by the regional director of region II of the Bureau of Reclamation and the State engineer that the need for conservation storage is so remote that no provision need be made therefor in the initial construction has completely satisfied the opposition which was hased on the fear of being in an irrigation district.
The landowners group, presumably upon representation to the chairman of the California State Water Resources Board that they had not been given sufficient opportunity to present their objections, were granted an interview on January 6, 1918, by Mr. Royal Miller, chairman of the State water-resources board. At this meeting there was also present a representative of the district engineer's office and Edward Hyatt, State engineer, who is secretary of the board. As a result of this meeting, the chairman of the board on January 9, 1948, wrote the representative of the reservoir landowners' group, a Mr. Ieland S. Drais, a letter (a copy of which is attached hereto) which letter shows that the landowners at all times have been shown every courtesy and given every opportunity by the State water-resources board and the United States Army engineers (district engineer), to present their views and voice their objections.
The State water-resources board in a meeting on January 16, after again listening to landowners opposing the Farmington Dam, made no change in their previous decision (last year) to request a Federal appropriation to construct a flood-control dam at the Farmington site as recommended by the United States Army engineers,
It developed at the above hearing that some of the landowners now want water stored for irrigation in a reservoir constructed at a higher elevation and are in hopes that any Federal appropriation for the construction of the Farmington Dam might be used for that purpose.