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has been prosecuted vigorously. An expenditure of $325,000,000 was authorized, of which $97,000,000 remains to be appropriated.
The comprehensive plan contemplates the completion of the existing Federal project for flood control and navigation, the continued study of stream flow and ground-water conditions, the establishment of publicly owned forest in selected areas, and the promotion of services pertaining to soil-erosion control. The region presents, and will continue to present in the future, problems of great magnitude relating to land utilization and social development. The area presents a worthy field for the application of the best intelligence in comprehensive planning.
4. Missouri River (including the Platte).-Due to the great extent of the Missouri River Basin and to the extreme variation in its climatic conditions, the relative importance of the various methods for utilization of its water supply varies widely in different parts of the basin. In the western portion, because of lack of rainfall, irrigation is of primary importance. Although numerous power possibilities exist in that section, opportunities for their successful development are limited by lack of markets for the power. In the more thickly populated eastern portion of the basin there is no need for irrigation and power becomes of greater importance. Dependable commercial navigation upon the main river between Sioux City and the mouth would reduce transportation costs in the movement of a large bulk of freight.
The essential parts of this project consist of the following items: (a) Construction of flood-control works for the protection of cities and towns in the valley.
(b) Completion of the existing navigation project.
(c) Completion of studies of proposed irrigation projects so that work may be started when conditions warrant.
(d) The continued study of stream flow and ground-water conditions.
(e) The provision of technical assistance and leadership in the solution of local problems of erosion control and land use.
The Public Works Administration has allotted funds to irrigation and power projects in the Platte River Basin which suggest the merit of a comprehensive development of this combination of power and irrigation resources on the Platte River. The project involves serious problems of coordination between States, particularly as to water rights. In the western part of the basin the agricultural policy to be followed is dependent on these questions of water rights.
5. Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.—The total area of the Sacramento Basin is 27,100 square miles, and the San Joaquin, exclusive of Tulare Basin, is 18,000 square miles. The principal industries are agriculture, manufacturing, and mineral production. Hydroelectric power is highly developed. The increase in the water supply available for irrigation is a very live problem in the Great Central Valley. The comprehensive plan of development for this area includes the construction of a series of foothill reservoirs for the regulation of stream flow in the combined interests of irrigation, salinity control, flood control, power development, and navigation. It also includes the furtherance of irrigation, power, and navigation development. Underground reservoirs of water are to be developed. Extensive water conduits are to be constructed. A notable feature of the project
are works consisting of a reservoir and tunnel for obtaining a supplemental water supply from the neighboring Trinity River drainage basin.
It is contemplated that the project may also include extensive organized measures for forest management, the preservation and restoration of wildlife, the control of hydraulic mining, watershed management, and silt control.
The comprehensive plan previously developed by the California State plan for water conservation and Federal agencies has already been adopted by the State of California. "It is the most carefully considered and complete plan of its kind ever drawn up", according to the technical subcommittee on the Pacific region.
6. Delaware River Basin.—In the upper basin, huge projects for the water supply of New York City must be undertaken in the very near future, followed by similar projects for Philadelphia and the municipalities of northern New Jersey. In this upper basin there is also a great State forest project with high recreational values and a program for withdrawal of submarginal farm lands which tie in directly with the assurance and purity of the water supply.
In the middle and upper basin there are power sites capable of development to serve a dense population and many industries.
A very serious pollution problem is presented on the Schuylkill and below Philadelphia as a result of mine and industrial wastes and city sewage. Such pollution interferes with the normal recreational use of the two rivers near this metropolitan center.
In the lower river and bay, besides navigation, there are fisheries to be considered if pollution is controlled.
7. Colorado River.-The area of the Colorado River Basin is 244,000 square miles and includes portions of seven States and a small area of Mexico. Irrigation is essential for the production of farm crops and the problems of water utilization are acute. Because of the climate, the area has a great social and economic importance. The basin presents an outstanding opportunity for the application of conservation measures in water use and wise land utilization policies.
The comprehensive plan of development includes the construction of numerous systems of reservoirs and conduits on both the upper and lower rivers, primarily for irrigation and domestic use, although much power can be developed if the market warrants. The plan contemplates making possible transmountain diversions to a limited extent. This does not cover other activities which may appropriately comprise a part of the comprehensive plan of watershed development.
The Government is already committed in a substantial way to the development of this basin. The problems are interstate and involve questions of public-land development to an important degree. Continued and increased participation of the Government in the development of the basin presents many advantages. This project is regarded as relatively meritorious. The development of further units would naturally await the preparation of a comprehensive plan and population demand.
8. Columbia River Basin.-Agriculture is the principal industry in this basin, but lumbering and related industries as well as fishing, are important. Irrigation is generally necessary for crop production and is practiced extensively. There are large water-power facilities and a few sites have been developed. Large expenditures have been made
for irrigation. There is serious erosive action in some localities. Much of the land is publicly owned and a large part is in national forests. International and interstate problems are involved.
The comprehensive plan proposes the extension of power, irrigation, and navigation development as may be deemed warranted. Floodcontrol measures on the lower reaches of the river are included, as well as the application generally of sound policies of land utilization, forestry, and wildlife preservation. The Government is now engaged in major developments at Bonneville and Grand Coulee. The subcommittee's report contains cost estimates of works for flood control, power, irrigation, and navigation, and for increasing the height of the Grand Coulee Dam beyond the height now provided for.
The problems of water use do not appear extremely urgent in the Columbia Basin, although there are other very important problems as, for example, the adoption of State compacts regarding the use of rivers before serious conflicts arise. The Federal Government is already deeply involved in the development of the region through land ownership, and the undertaking of the Bonneville and Grand Coulee projects. The Government has substantial interests to protect in the region. The Columbia River basin is attractive as a field for coordinated planning. If this project is to be considered, it is suggested that it should be extended to embrace the Snake and Willamette Rivers. The development of further units would naturally await the preparation of a comprehensive plan and population demand.
9. Ohio Valley.-The basins of the upper tributaries including the Monongahela, Allegheny, Muskingum, and Kanawha, combine social and engineering problems. The future of the coal miners, farmers on submarginal lands and similar groups in the industrial area generally centering about Pittsburgh is the dominant interest in the future of these basins. Here are combined coal and water power resources, problems of flood control and navigation, withdrawal of submarginal farm lands and possible forest and recreational developments which urgently need further study and action.
10. Great Salt Lake Basin.-The probable project for development of the water resources of this area has two motives: First, reclamation, and second, the supply of fresh water necessary to the development of the metallurgical industry. These purposes can, of course, be combined with conservation of wildlife and recreational uses, etc.
The problem of stream pollution becomes more vital as populations increase, and in selecting basins of the Delaware and Ohio Rivers the importance of this element was considered because of the effect on human welfare through the proper development of these projects. The control of stream pollution is complicated by manufacturing use and States rights, and will invariably require the cooperation of local and State authorities.
In the middle region it was considered that the Federal program for the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers should be continued and extended. The improvement of navigation; the protection of ground water supplies and their relation to surface run-off; flood control and the prevention of soil erosion; the retirement of submarginal lands from agriculture and the consequent transfer of populations to more productive areas are some of the potentialities of this region.
Farther west, the conservation of water becomes the paramount question, if large, inherently prosperous sections are not to be depopu
lated through water shortage, in many instances where man had already built his civilization on a water supply which is subject to significant limits in the best seasons and to very critical shrinkage in more or less prolonged periods of drought. Here the mere sufficiency of the supply for domestic and agricultural use transcends all other developments, because it is the basis on which civilizations have been built in regions where water is not naturally abundant. If the great western area, dependent upon science for its existence, is to be wisely utilized and conserved and is not to be abandoned to the desert, then an extensive developmental program must be adopted.
BASIS OF A PLAN
The reports of the technical subcommittees and the recommendations of the cabinet committee are directional in character. Further surveys and adequate planning would be required if they are adopted as the program of development. The work once planned could proceed progressively and the initial units undertaken would not commit the Government to the completion of the whole program until financial and other considerations permit. There would be considerable advantage in the adoption of the comprehensive program because of the opportunity for orderly planning and development of the Nation's most valuable resource.
The basis of a comprehensive plan for a water policy lies in (1) adequate facts, maps, and general information in easily accessible and comparable form; (2) continuous study and refinement of plans for the full development of river basins with coordination of present agencies engaged in elements of the work; (3) agreement upon a statement of principles to govern the division of responsibility and costs as among Federal, State, municipal, and private bodies, for various kinds of projects and combinations of projects; (4) agreement upon a statement of principles to govern the extent to which various kinds of projects shall be charged to the users and on methods of apportioning such charges; and (5) agreement upon a statement of the social, economic, physical, and geographical criteria for choice and priority of projects and units.
The committee finds the basic information on run-off, ground water, soils, culture, pollution, power, and other factors on which a water policy must be based is fragmentary and scattered among many bureaus and agencies. It is considered essential that the organization which prepared the present study should continue to function in connection with the development of more specific plans for the projects selected and in addition that a definite planning body be established for the coordination of this and similar work. Respectfully submitted,
HAROLD L. ICKES,
Secretary of the Interior. GEO. H. DERN,1
Secretary of War.
H. A. WALLACE,2
Secretary of Agriculture.
Secretary of Labor.
Subject to recommendation to President agains specifying 10 definite projects. Subject also to includ.
1 Subject to supplementary letter. (See p. 10.)
appended statement of policy. (See p. 13.)
Will file supplementary letter. (See p. 13.)
SUPPLEMENTAL LETTER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 20, 1934.
MR. PRESIDENT: With strong mental reservations I have signed the foregoing report because it seems to be about as good a literal compliance with your directive as can be expected from the committee at this time. While assuring you of hearty cooperation in whatever program may be adopted, I do not concur in the report in all respects, and I respectfully submit the following comments, information, and suggestions:
1. Notwithstanding the fact that you requested this committee to submit a list of 10 most desirable projects to be given priority in an improvement program, I feel that the committee should caution you against such a method of procedure because
(a) The selection of 10 projects at this time, either by this committee or by the National Planning Commission, cannot be based on sufficient knowledge of the subject and must therefore be haphazard and hard to defend. It would therefore invite criticism and controversy which ought to be avoided so far as possible at the beginning of a grand plan such as you have in mind. In other words, I fear that the proposal might prove politically inexpedient. The tactics of the campaign for such a fine new constructive conception should be carefully considered so as to anticipate and avoid unnecessary resistance.
(b) It does not comply fully with the directive of Congress "to send to the Senate a comprehensive plan for the improvement and development of the rivers of the United States, with a view of giving to Congress information for its guidance in legislation which will provide for the maximum amount of flood control, navigation, irrigation, and development of hydroelectric power."
(c) It might cause a reversion toward pork-barrel and log-rolling methods of authorizing projects in Congress which have now been substantially eliminated. It is my understanding that pork-barrel legislation is exactly what you want to head off, and I assume that you will welcome the views of the committee as to the best way to accomplish your purpose.
Some years ago river and harbor projects used to be regarded as the most notorious examples of congressional logrolling. A great many persons do not yet know that Congress has cleaned house in this respect, and that such projects are now actually on a merit basis, and that the present system is open to very little criticism.
(d) It ignores the fact that the data are available right now for the preparation of a comprehensive plan in full compliance with the request of Congress. The compilation of these data has been one of the most noteworthy and praiseworthy achievements of the Corps of Engineers, acting in pursuance of law as an agency of the legislative branch. If you now wish to expand the study beyond the scope prescribed by Congress the War Department will cheerfully and wholeheartedly cooperate with such other Departments as may be able to make a contribution to the study. It would, however, be wasteful not to make the fullest possible use of the painstaking and intelligent work performed during the past 7 years. The Army engi