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Senator WATKINS. With that long record, I am naturally curious how old you are.
Mr. Banks. Forty-five.
Mr. Banks. Under date of February 21, 1956, Governor Knight wrote to each member of the California congressional delegation with respect to California views in this matter. Under date of March 19, 1956, he addressed a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, the Hon. James E. Murray, again with reference to the State's position in this matter and with respect to my appearance here.
Senator ANDERSON. Should those letters be in the record ?
Mr. Banks. With your permission, I would like to have them in the record, if I may.
Senator ANDERSON. The two letters will be made a part of the record at this point. (The letters referred to are as follows:)
FEBRUARY 21, 1956. Hon. THOMAS H. KUCHEL, United States Senator,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR KUCHEL: We are becoming increasingly concerned over the relationship between the Federal and State Governments in the matter of water rights. As I am sure you are fully aware, our own State has assumed the leadership in the formulation of future plans for the comprehensive development and utilization of its water resources. We are, I hope, about to begin the implementation of these plans by construction of the Feather River project. Recent developments appear to indicate that the future of such plans may be uncertain particularly because of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Federal Power Commission v. Oregon (349 U. S. 435 (1955)). In fact, it may be said that the principles approved by the Court in this and other cases, as I understand them, vest in the Federal Power Commission a possible effective veto power over any such plans by any State. Recent actions by the United States Navy Department in refusing to abide by the water laws of Nevada appear to have further jeopardized the integrity of State water laws.
I believe that in view of the increasing activities of the various Federal agencies in this general field, the representatives of the concerned States should press for the immediate adoption of effective measures for the protection and preservation of power and prerogatives of the States to develop and control their own water resources in accordance with the public interest of the respective States. I urge you and the other California representatives in the Congress, acting in concert with like-minded representatives of other States, to support appropriate measures in Congress to remedy this situation, and to vigorously advocate and guide them to enactment. I am sure you will agree that California's representatives should assume the leadership in so doing to the same extent California has and is now leading in formulating its own plans for the development of its own water resources. It would appear that, because of their current active interest in water-right matters, the support of the Eastern and Southern States can be obtained.
In connection with the foregoing, I wish to call your attention to views of the State of California presented to Special Subcommittee on Water Resources and Power, House Committee on Government Operations (together with letter of transmittal), which were submitted at hearings held in Los Angeles on De cember 7 and 8, 1955, before Hon. Robert E. Jones, chairman, with respect to a report of the Hoover Commission, a copy of which is transmitted herewith. In it you will find statements which are relevant to the present subject. I am also sending herewith comments on the Barrett bill (S. 863) prepared by Henry Holsinger, principal attorney of the State division of water resources.
In the future, if you so desire, our further views relevant hereto will be submitted for your consideration. We will be glad to review any other proposed legislation and furnish you with our comments and recommendations.
Again, I urge prompt action by the Congress in this important matter and respectfully request your active support. Sincerely,
GOODWIN J. KNIGHT,
Hon. JAMES E. MURRAY,
United States Senate.
United States House of Representatives. This is written in reference to certain bills before the 2d session of the 84th Congress dealing with Federal-State relationships in the field of water use and development, and States water rights laws. These bills, all entitled “Water Rights Settlement Act of 1956," include S. 863, with the proposed amendments, and H. R. 8325, 8347, 8560, 9489, and 9505.
The State of California is vitally interested in maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of State water law and State water planning. We are convinced that our system of State laws relating to the use of water has struck a workable balance between private and public rights and represents one of the most advanced and complete systems in existence. Furthermore, we believe that the California water plan, developed over a number of years at substantial expense, and to be published during this year, will provide a comprehensive plan for the future ultimate development of California's water resources, in an orderly, effective, and efficient manner.
Recent decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States have indicated that Federal agencies or their licensees may be permitted to construct and operate water projects without complying with, or in violation of, State water law and planning. We are convinced that such a result would not lead to the best development and use of water resources in this State, or elsewhere, and that the result was never intended by the Congress.
In view of the importance of this matter to us, we wish to present our views to your committee. Harvey O. Banks, California State engineer, will be in Washington on March 21 to testify on an appropriation matter and will remain a few days longer, as necessary, to make an appearance on any of the bills entitled the “Water Rights Settlement Act of 1956."
It will be appreciated if you will inform Mr. Banks of the date on which he may be heard by your committee. With kindest personal regards, I am cordially,
GOODWIN J. KNIGHT, Governor. Mr. BANKS. Also as a part of the record I would like to offer a resolution passed by the State water resources board with reference to California's position in this matter, if I may? Do you wish me to read it?
Senator ANDERSON. It will be admitted in the record. (The resolution referred to is as follows:)
RESOLUTION No. 268
RE CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATION TO PROTECT STATE WATER LAWS
Whereas under the California State water resources law of 1945, as amended, : the State water resources board is authorized to prepare a comprehensive and coordinated plan for the full development of California water resources; and
Whereas such a comprehensive plan, known as the California water plan, is in the course of preparation by the staff of the State engineer under the direction of the board; and
Whereas, in recent cases of the Supreme Court of the United States (e. g., First Iowa Hydroelectric Cooperative v. F. P. C. (1946), and F. P. C. v. Oregon (1955)) construing the Federal Power Act, it has been held that licensees of the Federal
Power Commission may construct and operate hydroelectric projects without complying with State water law and State water planning; and
Whereas application and extension of the precedents established in said cases might result in Federal domination of the use and development of the water resources of the Western States; and
Whereas such precedents constitute an impediment to the continued exercise of the traditional rights of the States to control and develop their water resources which can best be remedied by new congressional legislation designed to protect the rights of the States; and
Whereas it appears that appropriate amendment of the relevant acts of Congress is necessary in order to protect and preserve such traditional rights of the States: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the State water resources board recommends to the Governor of California, to the California Legislature, and to California's Senators and Representatives in the Congress, that: (1) congressional legislation should be promptly enacted to amend the Federal Power Act to provide that State laws relating to the development and use of water must be fully complied with by the Federal Power Commission and its licensees; and (2) that, where necessary, additional Federal legislation concerning other Federal agencies with functions involving the use and development of water should be appropriately amended to require full compliance with State law.
The foregoing resolution was adopted by the State water resources board, State of California, on February 3, 1958.
HARVEY O. BANKS,
State engineer and secretary. Mr. BANKS. Several identical bills dealing with this subject have a been introduced, all of them entitled "Water Rights Settlement Act : of 1956." I have used one of these, S. 863, with the proposed amend ments, in the preparation of this statement.
CALIFORNIA WATER LAW AND PLANNING
The transcendent importance of the control and use of water to the people of the State of California is, I am sure, known to all members of this committee. If California is to meet the ever-increasing water demands of its expanding population and economy, we must intelligently utilize to the greatest possible extent all of the water resources available to the State. It is a task of tremendous magnitude, requiring the combined efforts of all levels of Government, Federal
, State, and local. Assuming that we are not deprived of any of our current entitlement from the Colorado River, there is sufficient water within California to meet our foreseeable ultimate needs. However, to meet these foreseeable needs, it will be necessary to intelligently and comprehensively control, develop, and use the available water
To assure the optimum development and use of our State's water resources, is necessary, I believe, to meet two fundamental requirements. These are (1) adequate State laws relating to the use and development of water, and (2) comprehensive plans to assure the ultimate development of the State's water resources in an orderly, effective, and efficient manner. California has gone far toward accomplishing both of these objectives.
Our State laws relating to the use of water have been developed over the past 100 years in the crucible of actual experience. In the process of such development, the necessary balance has been struck between the acquisition and protection of private rights and the utilization of a vital resource for the benefit of all the people of the State. At the present time, California has an extensive system of law covering water
use and development. In part, this law has resulted from the decisions of our courts, and in part, it has been developed by our legislature to meet the State's apparent needs. While California's system of water law can never be considered finally and irrevocably complete, it represents, I believe, one of the most advanced systems in existence.
With respect to the efforts of the State to adequately plan for the best development of its water resources, we have accomplished much and are in the process of accomplishing more. Studies and investigations on water development have been carried on at the State level since the 1870's. In 1931, after 10 years of extensive investigations, the first comprehensive report was published by the State division of water resources. This report contained the first broad plan for future development, entitled the State water plan. The Central Valley project, subsequently constructed by the Federal Government, was the principal feature of the plan.
In 1945 the California legislature created the State water resources board and in 1947 authorized the board to make further studies and to prepare a coordinated plan for the full development and use of the water resources of the State for all beneficial purposes in all areas of the State, to the maximum feasible extent. This work has been diligently prosecuted by the State division of water resources under the direction of the State water resources board, and more than $8 million has been expended to date on the project. The first phase of the investigation resulted in the publication, in 1951, of Bulletin No. 1, a statewide compilation on precipitation, runoff of streams, flood flows, and quality of water.
I would like to submit a copy of that bulletin for the committee. Senator ANDERSON. It may be submitted for the files of the committee.
Mr. BANKS. Thank you.
The second phase dealt with present and ultimate State requirements for water and resulted, this year, in the publication of Bulletin No. 2, "Water Utilization and Requirements of California."
We have a copy of that for the committee's files in two volumes. Senator ANDERSON. It may be submitted for the files of the committee.
Mr. Banks. The third and final phase of this initial planning program has been proceeding concurrently with the other studies and will result in the publication, during 1956 of Bulletin No. 3, “The California water plan.” This month we have published a “Preview of the California water plan,” copies of which are available to this committee.
Senator MALONE. These will be accepted as exhibits, Mr. Chairman? Senator ANDERSON. As exhibits only, yes.
Mr. Banks. The California water plan will consist of two principal categories of water resource development--works necessary to meet local needs for water control and conservation, and major systems of works to conserve and export excess water from areas of surplus to areas of deficiency in sufficient amounts to meet the forecast ultimate requirements. The plan will give consideration to conservation of surface and underground water, to reclamation, to flood prevention and control, to the use of water for agricultural, domestic, municipal
and industrial purposes, to hydroelectric power development, to salinity control and protection of the quality of fresh water, to navi gation, to drainage, and to the interests of fish, wildlife, and recreation.' In short, the plan will present a comprehensive blueprint for the future ultimate development of all of California's water resources, surface and underground. This is the only plan now in the making for the full control and development of the State's waters for all beneficial purposes and uses in all areas of the State.
It should be understood, however, that the planning work will not be completed with Bulletin No. 3. Starting with the master plan of Bulletin No. 3, the State must next go into the phase of planning which will comprise, in part, more detailed studies leading to recommendations for actual construction programs. This next planning phase will be initiated in 1956–57. Funds are included in the State budget for that purpose.
Construction and operation of the myriad of development works envisioned by the plan will have to be undertaken by local, State and or Federal agencies or by combinations thereof. It is clear that the Federal Government cannot construct or operate all of the major multiple-purpose works required for California's water development because of the limiting nature of the governing Federal laws and because of the very real fact that it is impossible to expect that Federal funds will be available in the amounts and at the times required for progressive, comprehensive development. The Federal Government has spent large sums for water development in California. Even so, we have not kept pace with the increase in our water requirements. We are now overdrawing our water bank account by some 5 million acrefeet per year.
In recognition of these facts, the California Legislature, in 1951, authorized for construction and operation by the California Water Project Authority the Feather River project as the initial unit of the California water plan. The Feather River project is a multipurpose project for flood control and irrigation in the Sacramento Valley
, electric power generation; to firm surplus water existing in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, in most years; and to provide a water supply to areas of water deficiency on the west and south sides of the San Joaquin Valley, to the South San Francisco Bay area; and to southern California. The current session of the California Legislature has before it an item of appropriation of $9,150,000 to provide for commencement of the project. The estimated total cost of the Feather River project is in the order of $1.5 billion. The Feather River project is the beginning, not the end, of the California water plan.
With respect to that budget item, may I say that it has passed the assembly of the California State Legislature and it has passed finance committee. It may be on the floor of the Senate right now. I don't know. We have every anticipation that it will pass.
Senator MALONE. That is the $9,150,000?
Mr. BANKS. An appropriation for the initiation of work on the Feather River project has the full backing of Governor Knight.
Senator WATKINS. Do I understand that this is to be entirely a State project?
Mr. BANKS. We hope that, the San Luis unit, if it is to be built by the Federal Government as proposed by the Bureau of Reclamation, can be integrated with this.