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theless those prior right holders have to be protected and would have e Su to be protected under any system of law whether State or Federal. tor de Senator ANDERSON. Did the Federal Government understand that n fure before it invested several hundred millions in the Central Valley of test project?
Mr. Banks. I am sure they must have. I cannot answer for the QUIEN Federal Government. adopt
: Senator WATKINS. I listened to the hearings for a long time several aleyi years ago—we had most hearings in the 80th Congress, as I remember
, during the depression the Government went out there and started a : Towelot of dams without too many preliminary investigations. Is that not
about right? - Mr. BANKS. Yes. and the Senator WATKINS. I think you are giving the answer. What I am
trying to get at is that they have to comply with State law.
Mr. Banks. That is right. There is a certain procedure set up in f the the State law that any applicant has to provide for. It is incone Breceivable to me that something along that procedure would not have to
be followed in any event. com Senator WATKINS. What would the Federal Government itself tion: , do if it claimed the unappropriated waters out there? Would it be tik, not have to set up some system of priorities and give the people who ore it had prior claims the right to say whether or not the filing of the new inder application would interfere with their rights?
Mr. Banks. As a personal opinion, I agree with you completely, hehe Senator.
Senator WATKINS. This is one of the principal arguments being
made against this type of bill and against the State control of the Elication waters. It is made by one of the principal proponents in the DepartDrottiti ment of Justice. That is one reason why I wanted to get your comproteu ments on that and your answer to that sort of argument. barcel Mr. BANKS. You cannot determine the amount of unappropriated po water remaining in a stream or any other body of water without giving Es the ti consideration to the extent of usage under prior rights. You can es the only determine that either through extensive field investigations or is upof hearing or both.
Senator WATKINS. Let me ask you this question: Do you know rien whether or not the Federal Government has any records whatsoever and with respect to the amount of water that is now used in Callifornia, I
mean of its own, water that has already been appropriated and the -jght e vested rights?
Mr. BANKS. No.
Senator WATKINS. The State of California has that information? mib Mr. BANKs. We have not complete records as yet. I have recom
mended to the legislature that we initiate studies to clear that whole
matter up, to determine the amount of remaining unappropriated ante water. I think shortly we will be able to get to that.
Senator WATKINS. You have a lot of record evidence ?
Mr. BANKS. We have a lot of record evidence. We have complete okies records of rights initiated and acquired since 1914, the date the Water any records of appropriated rights initiated and acquired prior to 1914, in the Commission Act went into effect. It is true we do not have complete mor of riparian rights. We do not have the complete records. We
a large amount of information.
Senator WATKINS. Whatever information is in existence today, the State has?
Mr. BANKS. Yes.
Senator WATKINS. It would be true if it went in now and took over the matter of handling the unappropriated waters of the States, and particularly in your State, where you have so many diverse types of rights, it would be a tremendous job even in one State to do that work. Mr. BANKS. Yes, a tremendous job.
Senator ANDERSON. Considering just what you have been testifying about, would we be safe in concluding that the Government should not proceed on the San Luis project until you made a determination of existing water rights?
Mr. BANKS. We are of the opinion that the Federal Government should not actually initiate construction until they have a valid permit an therefor.
Senator ANDERSON. That would be a great many years, would it not!
Senator ANDERSON. No. A permit goes through all these other Bax stages.
Mr. BANKS. That is a license finally. As I say, we are going through the procedure so that we will be in a position on future ved projects to go through this procedure and grant the Federal Gov- cit. ernment its permit for the project in advance of the initiation of con- itas struction. That has not been done in the past, that is true.
Senator ANDERSON. Is that subject to protest, hearings, and every-item thing else that you are going through now? It would be years before 2 of they could start building the project.
Nr. BANKS. No. I have said we have already granted the permit for the Vacaro project. We will grant the permit for the Casitas Bux project in advance of construction there. I may say, as far as the stor San Luis unit is concerned, that the Federal Government has not made it be an application for the San Luis unit unless it has been done in the last few days.
Senator WATKINS. In other words, they have not filed what we would term in Utah, an application to appropriate water to build the com project to carry out an appropriation of water.
Mr. BANKS. To the best of my knowledge and belief they have kid not.
Senator WATKINS. That is necessary before they get the permit to start the work.
Mr. Banks. I suspect that they intend to acquire an assignment of applications which have been filed by others for that. I believe that is their intent.
Senator WATKINS. Do they have them now?
Senator WATKINS. It would be the same as in the Central Valley. They took State filings that had been made and received them by way of assignment.
Mr. BANKS. Yes. In this case it is my impression that the Bureau intends to rely upon an assignment filed by Westland Water District. I believe that is correct.
Senator WATKINS. Let me see if I understand how you operate. After this permit is granted they can go ahead with construction?
Mr. BANKS. Yes.
Mr. Banks. No. A part of the application is a general project plan. We don't require them to file a detailed project plan.
Senator WATKINS. That is what I mean. They either have it at the time they file the application or later.
Mr. Banks. A general project plan.
State. They go ahead with the work, they finish the construction, and when they want to prove they have made beneficial use and followed out what they said they would do in the application, then they make that final proof and you grant the license. Mr. Banks. Yes.
Senator WATKINS. And that is evidence of the title to the right to the use of the water.
Mr. BANKS. The fact that it has actually been applied to beneficial
Senator WATKINS. Then it is a perfected water right.
Senator WATKINS. That all has to be taken care of in your State, and I assume that is true in most of the Western States that I am acquainted with. They have similar codes. They may differ in detail or degree.
Your answer would be that the Federal Government, if it took over all the unappropriated waters, it would have to set up this type of organization and have this type of law because it would fit in with the customs of those States. Then it would have to go through all these determinations just the same as California or any other State has to go through.
Mr. Banks. Yes.
Senator WATKINS. So they are not actually handicapped and they have not been handicapped as a matter of practice for 54 years in carrying on with the State water laws in building reclamation projects?
Mr. BANKS. As far as I know, they have not been handicapped and I can see no place or situation in which they will be handicapped.
Senator WATkins. I am happy to get the testimony from a man in the field who has so administered these laws because it meets the very arguments raised by Mr. Rankin and the questions asked by Mr. Engle, chairman of the House committee. There are a lot of practical things. The fact that they have to follow law is no bar to the thing being done.
Mr. BANKS. Yes. Senator WATKINS. We all have to follow the law. It is a country of laws, we hope. Naturally, you do not have a water right if you do not carry on and finish the job.
It raises one further question that may be raised by others. The Federal Government itself does not make the beneficial use of the water?
Mr. Banks. That is right.
Senator WATKINS. In your State, do you permit the Federal Government to take the work of the actual water users, the landowners and others, irrigators, and make that as a part of their proof!
Mr. Banks. That issue has not arisen yet, Senator, because no project of the Bureau has yet, to the best of my knowledge, been completed to the beneficial use of water.
Senator WATKINS. You have not come to the point of making final proof?
Mr. Banks. No.
Mr. Banks. No. They have not put all the water to complete beneficial use yet. The Central Valley project itself is far from complete.
Senator WATKINS. I have finished.
Senator O’MAHONEY. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask a question. It is not altogether clear to me precisely what you are telling the committee. Unfortunately I was not here when you presented your statement in the first place.
Would it be a proper implication, from what you have said in response to Senator Watkins, that in your opinion this committee should not pass any bill for irrigation or reclamation in California until after it was clear that the State had given the water rights required to justify the expenditure of Federal money?
Mr. Banks. No, I didn't say that, Senator.
Senator O’MAHONEY. I know you did not say it. I am wondering if it is a justifiable implication.
Mr. BANKS. No. Certainly I meant no such implication. What I meant was that the expenditure of money for construction in future projects, in my opinion, should not be made until a permit has been granted by the State.
Again I repeat, I do not anticipate that in future projects that is going to be any bar at all to hold up progress.
Senator O'MAHONEY. For the future, it is your opinion that the Congress should not approve any irrigation project for California until the permit had been granted?
Mr. BANKS. No. Senator ('MAHONEY. Let us reread what you said so we can get it. (Record read.)
Senator O’MAHONEY. What did you mean by that? Until a permit has been issued by the State.
Mr. Banks. As I understand it, there are two procedures here. First is the Authorization Act of the project and then the appropriation of funds for construction.
Senator ('MAHONEY. What is the use of authorizing a project by this committee, representing the Federal Government, and taking the first step toward the expenditure of Federal money to authorize any project until we know that a permit has been granted by the State of California and no difficulties later on to develop ?
Mr. Banks. May I answer that by first asking another question! Senator O'MAHONEY. Surely.
Mr. Banks. Would the Bureau of Reclamation, for instance, until a project had been authorized, or upon what basis would they have for applying for a permit?
Senator O’MAHONEY. The Congress, before authorizing a project, las to have before it and does insist upon having before it the engineering reports, all of the information that indicates that it is a good project, that the money ought to be spent, and I cannot see why Congress should authorize the expenditure of money unless not only the ngineering data have been complete and submitted but also assurance has been given that the water will be there and that the State will not step in to bar it? We can not have our cake and eat it, too, Mr. Banks.
Senator WATKINS. Senator, may I suggest that in most cases the State water board or State water authority usually comes in and makes its statement to the committees and to the Congress through the committees that the State is in full cooperation and the Federal Government would be able to get whatever it needs to build this project.
Senator O’MAHONEY. What bothers me is that Mr. Banks has made a distinct statement as to a condition that will exist in the future, thereby implying that the condition for the future is different from that of the past.
I remember when the Central Valley project was undertaken, the State of California had authorized a bond issue to build that project itself. All of the water which was to be used in that project had its source within the boundaries of the State of California. Really, there was no reason in the world why California, with the water wholly intrastate, should not have built that project itself. But it chose not to do so. Its representatives came down here and asked the Federal Government to build the project. The Federal Government did build the project. Of course, there has been a great debate about the virtues and the errors of the project ever since.
I raise it here only because it is important to know whether or not the water will be available before the Federal Government even authorizes the expenditure. I think you agree with that because that is what you are saying.
Mr. Banks. May I point out that in the project reports, the Bureau of Reclamation goes into the matter of the unavailability of unappropriated water. You have those reports before you on the authorization of the project. Not only that, but one of the features upon which my office comments concerning Federal reports is the availability of unappropriated water.
I would also point out this: That if unappropriated water does in fact exist, that we have no basis for denying a permit to the extent of existence of unappropriated water. In other words, the policy of the State of California, as enunciated in the water code, is that water shall be put to beneficial use to the maximum extent possible.
Senator O'MAHONEY. You want these Federal projects, do you not? Mr. BANKS. Yes. We are in no way interested in not having the Federal Government work with us. Senator OʻMAHONEY. You recognize that the water must be avail
Mr. Banks. That is right.
Senator O'MAHONEY. Therefore, it is your feeling that the State of California should take whatever steps may be necessary to guarantee to the Congress, which is to pass the bill that you want, that the water is not only available because it is flowing through, but because the