Navajo Indian Irrigation and San Juan-Chama participating projects, New Mexico


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Source: 85th Congress, 2d Session, Senate, Report No. 2198

NAVAJO INDIAN IRRIGATION AND SAN JUAN-CHAMA PARTICIPATING PROJECTS, NEW MEXICO


AUGUST 5, 1958.--Ordered to be printed


Mr. ANDERSON, from the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, submitted the following REPORT [To accompany S. 3648]

The Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (S. 3648) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to construct, operate, and maintain the Navajo Indian irrigation project and the initial stage of the San Juan-Chama project as participating projects of the Colorado River storage project, and for other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill, as amended, do pass.

SPONSORS OF THE BILL

S. 3648 is sponsored by Senator Anderson, for himself and his colleague from New Mexico (Senator Chavez).

TEXT OF AMENDED BILL

The text of S. 3648, as amended, is as follows:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, for the purposes of furnishing water for irrigation or irrigable and arable lands, muncipal, domestic and industrial uses (and for other beneficial purposes), providing recreation and fish and wildlife benefits, controlling silt, the Congress hereby approves as participating projects of the Colorado River storage project the Navajo Indian irrigation project, New Mexico, and the San Juan-Chama project, Colorado-New Mexico. Principal engineering works of the Navajo Indian irrigation project shall be a main gravity canal, tunnels, siphons, pumps, and powerplants for project purposes, laterals, drains, distribution systems and related works. The San Juan-Chama project facilities shall be comprised principally of regulating and storage reservoirs, collection, diversion and conveyance systems, and associated works.

The Navajo Indian Irrigation project and the San Juan-Chama project herein approved are substantially those described in the proposed coordinated report of the Acting Commissioner of Reclamation and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, approved and adopted by the Secretary of the Interior on October 16, 1957.

SEC. 2. Pursuant to the provisions of the Act of April 11, 1956 (70 Stat. 105), the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to construct, operate, and maintain the Navajo Indian irrigation project for the principal purpose of furnishing irrigation water to approximately one hundred and ten thousand six hundred and thirty acres of land, said project to have an average annual diversion of five hundred and eight thousand acre-feet of water, the repayment of the costs of construction thereof to be in accordance with the provisions of said Act of April 11, 1956 (70 Stat. 105), including, but not limited to, section 4 (d) thereof.

SEC. 3.

(a) In order to provide for the most economical development of the Navajo Indian irrigation project, the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and directed to declare by publication in the Federal Register that the United States of America holds in trust for the Navajo Tribe of Indians any legal subdivisions or unsurveyed tracts of federally owned land outside the present boundary of the Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico in townships 28 and 29 north, ranges 10 and 11 west, and townships 27 and 28 north, ranges 12 and 13 west, New Mexico principal meridian, susceptible to irrigation as part of the Navajo Indian irrigation project or necessary for location of any of the works or canals of such project: Provided, however, That no such legal subdivision or unsurveyed tract shall be so declared to be held in trust by the United States for the Navajo Tribe until the Navajo Tribe shall have paid the United States the full appraised value thereof: And provided further, That in making appraisals of such lands the Secretary of the Interior shall consider their values as of the date of approval of this Act, excluding therefrom the value of minerals subject to leasing under the Act of February 25, 1920, as amended (30 U. S. C. 181-286), and such leasable minerals shall not be held in trust for the Navajo Tribe and shall continue to be subject to leasing under the Act of February 25, 1920, as amended, after the lands containing them have been declared to be held in trust by the United States for the Navajo Tribe.
(b) The Navajo Tribe is hereby authorized to convey to the United States, and the Secretary of the Interior is hereby directed to accept on behalf of the United States, title to any land or interest in land within the above-described townships, susceptible to irrigation as part of the Navajo Indian irrigation project or necessary for location of any of the works or canals of such project, acquired in fee simple by the Navajo Tribe, and after such conveyance said land or interest in land shall be held in trust by the United States for the Navajo Tribe as a part of the Navajo Indian irrigation project.
(c) The Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and directed to acquire by purchase, exchange, or condemnation any other land or interest in land within the townships above described susceptible to irrigation as part of the Navajo Indian irrigation project or necessary for location of any of the works or canals of such project. After such acquisition, said lands or interest in lands shall be held by the United States in trust for the Navajo Tribe of Indians and the price of such lands or interest in lands or of the land given in exchange therefor by the United States shall be charged to funds of the Navajo Tribe of Indians on deposit in the Treasury of the United States.

SEC. 4. In developing the Navajo Indian irrigation project, the Secretary is authorized to provide capacity for municipal and industrial water supplies or miscellaneous purposes over and above the diversion requirements for irrigation stated in section 2 of this Act. But such additional capacity shall not be constructed and no appropriation of funds for such construction shall be made unless, prior thereto, contracts have been executed which, in the judgment of the Secretary, provide satisfactory assurance of repayment of all costs properly allocated to the purposes aforesaid with interest as provided by law.

SEC. 5. Payment of operation and maintenance charges of the irrigation features of the Navajo Indian irrigation project shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Act of August 1, 1914 (38 Stat. 582, 583), as amended by the Act of August 7, 1946 (60 Stat. 867): Provided, That the Secretary of the Interior in his discretion may transfer to the Navajo Tribe of Indians the care, operation, and maintenance of all or any part of the Navajo Indian irrigation project works, subject to such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, and, in such event, the Secretary may transfer to the Navajo Tribe title to movable property necessary to the operation and maintenance of project works.

SEC. 6.

(a) Pursuant to the provisions of the Act of April 11, 1956 (70 Stat. 105), the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to construct, operate, and maintain an initial stage of the San Juan-Chama project, Colorado-New Mexico, for the principal purposes of furnishing water supplies to approximately thirty-nine thousand three hundred acres of land in Cerro, Taos, Llano, and Pojoaque tributary irrigation units in the Rio Grande Basin, about eighty-one thousand six hundred acres of land in the existing Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, and municipal, domestic, and industrial uses, and providing recreation and fish and wildlife benefits, said initial stage to have an average annual diversion of one hundred and ten thousand acre-feet of water. Principal engineering works of the initial stage development involving three major elements, shall include diversion dams and conduits, storage and regulation facilities at the Heron Numbered 4 Reservoir site and enlargement of outlet works of the existing El Vado Dam, and water use facilities consisting of reservoirs, dams, canals, lateral and drainage systems, and associated works and appurtenances. The construction of recreation facilities at the Nambe Reservoir shall be contingent upon the Secretary's making appropriate arrangements with the governing body of the Nambe Pueblo for the operation and maintenance of such facilities, and the construction of recreation facilities at the Heron Numbered 4, Valdez, and Indian Camp Reservoirs shall be contingent upon the Secretary's making appropriate arrangements with a State or local agency or organization for the operation and maintenance of those facilities: Provided, That--
(i) all works of the project, both in its initial stage and in its final development, shall be constructed so as to permit compliance physically with all provisions of the Rio Grande compact, and all such works shall be operated at all times in conformity with the Rio Grande compact;
(ii) the amount of water diverted in the Rio Grande Basin for uses served by the San Juan-Chama project shall be limited in any claendar year to the amount of imported water available to such uses from importation to and storage in the Rio Grande Basin in that year;
(iii) details of project operation essential to the accounting of diverted San Juan and Rio Grande flows shall be cooperatively developed through the joint efforts of the Rio Grande Compact Commission, the appropriate agencies of the United States and of the States of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, and the various project entities. In this connection the States of Texas and New Mexico shall agree, within a reasonable time, on a system of gaging devices and measurements to secure data necessary to determine the present effects of tributary irrigation, as well as present river channel losses: Provided, That if the State of Texas shall require, as a precedent to such agreement, gaging devices and measurements in addition to or different from those considered by the Department of the Interior and the State of New Mexico to be necessary to this determination, the State of Texas shall pay one-half of all costs of constructing and operating such additional or different devices and making such additional or different measurements which are not borne by the United States. The results of the action required by this subsection shall be incorporated in a written report transmitted to the States of Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico for comment in the manner provided in the Flood Control Act of 1944, before any appropriation shall be made for project construction.
(b) The Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to construct the tunnel and conduit works of the initial stage of the San Juan-Chama project with sufficient capacity for future diversion of an average of two hundred and thirty-five thousand acre-feet per annum, and to recognize the cost of providing such additional capacity as a deferred obligation to be paid at such time as the additional capacity may be required.

SEC. 7.

(a)No person shall have or be entitled to have the use for any purpose, including uses under the Navajo Indian irrigation project and the initial stage of the San Juan-Chama project authorized by sections 2 and 6 (a) of this Act, of water stored in Navajo Reservoir or of any other waters of the San Juan River and its tributaries originating above Navajo Reservoir to the use of which the United States is entitled, except under contract satisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior and conforming to the provisions of this Act. Such contracts, which, in the case of water for Indian uses, shall be executed with the Navajo Tribe, shall make provisions, in any year in which the Secretary anticipates a shortage taking into account both the prospective runoff originating above Navajo Reservoir and the available water in storage in Navajo Reservoir, for a sharing of the available water in the following manner: The prospective runoff shall be apportioned between the contractors diverting above and those diverting at or below Navajo Reservoir in the proportion that the total normal diversion requirement of each group bears to the total of all normal diversion requirements. In the case of contractors diverting above Navajo Reservoir, each such contract shall provide for a sharing of the runoff apportioned to said group in the same proportion as the normal diversion requirement under said contract bears to the total normal diversion requirements of all such contracts that have been made hereunder: Provided, That for any year in which the foregoing sharing procedure either would apportion to any contractor diverting above Navajo Reservoir an amount in excess of the runoff anticipated to be physically available at the point of his diversion, or would result in no water being available to one or more such contractors, the runoff apportioned to said group shall be reapportioned as near as may be among the contractors diverting above Navajo Reservoir in the proportion that the normal diversion requirements of each bears to the total normal diversion requirements of the group. In the case of contractors diverting from or below Navajo Reservoir, each such contract shall provide for a sharing of the remaining runoff together with the available storage in the same proportion as the normal diversion requirement under said contract bears to the total normal diversion requirements under all such contracts that have been made hereunder.

The Secretary shall not enter into contracts beyond a total amount of water that, in his judgment, in the event of shortage, will result in a reasonable amount being available for the diversion requirements for the Navajo Indian irrigation project and the initial stage of the San Juan-Chama project as specified in sections 2 and 6 (a) of this Act.

(b)In the event contracts are entered into for delivery from storage in Navajo Reservoir of water not covered by subsection (a) of this section, such contracts shall be subject to the same provision for sharing of available water supply in the event of shortage as in the case of contracts required to be made pursuant to subparagraph (a) of this section.
(c)This section shall not be applicable to the water requirements of the existing Fruitland, Hogback, Cudai, and Cambridge Indian irrigation projects, nor to the water required in connection with the extension of the irrigated acreages of the Fruitland and Hogback Indian irrigation projects in a total amount of approximately eleven thousand acres.

SEC. 8. Section 12 of the Act of April 11, 1956 (70 Stat. 105), shall not apply to the works authorized by this Act. There are hereby authorized to be appropriated out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such funds as may be required to carry out the purposes of this Act, but not to exceed $221,000,000 (January 1958 prices) plus such amounts, if any, as may be required by reason of changes in construction costs as indicated by engineering cost indexes applicable to the types of construction involved therein and, in addition thereto, such sums as may be required to operate and maintain the projects.

SEC. 9. The Act of April 11, 1956 (70 Stat. 105), is hereby amended as follows: (i) In section 1, subsection (2), after ‘‘Central Utah (initial phase)’’ delete the colon and insert in lieu thereof a comma; (ii) in section 5, subsection (e) in the phrase ‘‘herein or hereinafter authorized’’ delete the word ‘‘hereinafter’’ and insert in lieu thereof the word ‘‘hereafter’’; (iii) in section 7 in the phrase ‘‘and any contract lawfully entered unto under said Compacts and Acts’’ delete the word ‘‘unto’’ and insert in lieu thereof the word ‘‘into’’.

FINDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE

In recommending that S. 3648, as amended, do pass, the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs summarizes its finding as follows:

1.That the Navajo Indian irrigation project and the San Juan-Chama diversion project (initial phase) have economic and engineering feasibility to the extent that justifies their construction, operation, and maintenance as participating projects of the Colorado River storage project authorized by the act of April 11, 1956 (70 Stat. 105).
2.That the Navajo Indian irrigation and San Juan-Chama diversion projects will furnish water for irrigation of irrigable and arable lands, municipal, domestic, and industrial uses, provide recreation, fish and wildlife benefits, control silt, and have other beneficial uses.
3.That the 2 projects will directly and indirectly benefit more than one-half of the population of the State of New Mexico which by 1970 is expected to exceed 1 million persons.
4.That the Navajo Indian irrigation project is a sound and logical development to utilize for irrigation, industrial, and municipal purposes waters of the San Juan River to be stored at Navajo Dam and Reservoir, now under construction and to be completed in 1963. In addition, the project will provide a livelihood directly and indirectly for approximately 16,000 Navajo Indians through 110,000 acres of irrigated land, a substantial segment of the 80,000 members of the tribe, as well as supplemental municipal supplies for Farmington, Gallup, and other communities.
5.That the combined average annual stream depletion of the two projects as proposed for authorization totaling 362,300 acre-feet, together with existing and other authorized uses, will keep New Mexico's authorized draft on the Colorado River system well within the State's average annual entitlement estimated at 838,000 acre-feet.
6.That the initial phase of the San Juan-Chama diversion will assure means of providing water for irrigation, for existing developments and urgently needed additional municipal and industrial supplies available for the city of Albuquerque and Defense installations.
7.That the rights of all other States in the waters of the Colorado River system, in the Rio Grande, and all other affected streams are fully protected and that the two developments proposed to be authorized impinge in no way on these rights of any State.
8.That the authorizations of the Navajo irrigation and San Juan-Chama developments were contemplated when the Congress enacted the Colorado River Storage Act, approved by the President on April 11, 1956, provided economic and engineering feasibility was established. The feasibility is established by the approval and adoption by the Secretary of the Interior on October 16, 1957 of the coordinated report of the Bureau of Reclamation and Office of Indian Affairs.

SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF S. 3648, AS AMENDED

Section 1, as amended, gives approval as participating projects of the Colorado River storage project to the Navajo Indian irrigation project, New Mexico, and the San Juan-Chama project, Colorado-New Mexico and lists the principal engineering works of each development. It states that approval is given to the two participating projects substantially as described in the coordinated report of the Bureau of Reclamation and Office of Indian Affairs approved and adopted by the Secretary of the Interior on October 16, 1957. The purposes of the projects are furnishing water for irrigation of irrigable and arable lands, municipal, domestic, and industrial uses, providing recreation, fish, and wildlife benefits, controlling silt, and for other beneficial purposes.

Section 2 authorizes the Secretary to construct, operate, and maintain the Navajo Indian irrigation project for the principal purpose of furnishing irrigation water to 110,000 acres of land with an average annual diversion of 508,000 acre feet of water. Repayment of construction costs are to be in accordance with the Colorado River Storage Project Act of April 11, 1956 (70 Stat. 105).

The upper Colorado River Storage Project Act provides that construction costs beyond the payment capability of the land shall be nonreimbursable as a measure of assistance to the Navajo Indians. Repayment of construction costs within the capability of the lands is deferred as long as the lands remain in Indian ownership in accord with the so-called Leavitt Act of July 1, 1932 (47 Stat. 564).

Section 3 authorizes the acquisition of off-reservation public lands in the south San Juan division to be included in the project. This arrangement is essential to providing 110,600 acres of irrigable land for the development.

Section 4 authorizes capacity in the Navajo project works for municipal and industrial or miscellaneous proposes. Repayment contracts are required in advance of construction or appropriations.

Section 5 provides for payment of operation and maintenance charges in accordance with existing law. Provision is made for transfer of operation and maintenance to the Navajo Indian Tribe.

San Juan-Chama authorization

Section 6 authorizes the construction, operation, and maintenance of the initial stage of the San Juan-Chama project for the principal purposes of furnishing supplemental water supplies to approximately 39,300 acres of land in Cerro, Taos, Llano, and Pojoaque tributary irrigation units in the Rio Grande Basin, about 81,600 acres of land in the existing Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, and municipal, domestic, and industrial uses, and providing recreation and fish and wildlife benefits.

The average annual diversion of the initial stage is limited to 110,000 acre-feet. The principal engineering works are described.

A proviso as an amendment sets forth stream gaging and other operating details to be agreed upon by the States of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.

Another amendment to section 6 authorizes the Secretary to construct certain facilities to provide for additional capacity for the future diversion of a total of 235,000 acre-feet.

Section 7, as amended, provides a method for sharing shortages in connection with the operation of the Navajo Indian and San Juan-Chama projects. Adequate protection for all authorized diverters is sought by the amendment.

Subsection 7 (c) provides that the other provisions of section 7 shall not be applicable to the water requirements of the existing Fruitland, Hogback, Cudai, and Cambridge Indian irrigation projects, nor to the water required in connection with the extension of the irrigated acreages of the Fruitland and Hogback Indian irrigation projects in a total amount of approximately 11,000 acres.

Section 8 increases the authorized appropriation for the construction of the Navajo Indian irrigation project and the San Juan-Chama diversion project from $208 million to $221 million, plus such amounts, if any, as may be required by changes in construction costs.

Section 9 amends the act of April 11, 1956 (70 Stat. 105), to make certain typographical and other clarifying corrections.

REPAYMENT OF CONSTRUCTION COSTS, SAN JUAN-CHAMA

As indicated, the construction cost of the initial phase of the San Juan-Chama project is estimated at $86 million. Of the total, $29,200,000 is allocated to municipal and industrial water purposes, which is to be repaid in 50 years with interest. In that period the interest payments will approximate $29,400,000, or slightly more than twice the initial estimated construction cost.

In accordance with the provisions of Public Law 485, 84th Congress, repayment of irrigation construction costs of approximately $45 million in excess of the ability of water users to repay will come from the Upper Colorado River Basin fund, to be made up of surplus or excess power revenues accruing to the fund from the operation of Glen Canyon and Flaming Gorge powerplants. After payment of power construction, and operation and maintenance costs, available forecasts are that sufficient surplus revenues will be available to pay off the remainder of the reimbursable costs of the initial phase approximating $45 million within 50 years. The following tabulation shows the distribution of construction costs of the initial phase, San Juan-Chama project and the repayment schedule:

Purpose Cost allocation Repayment by beneficiaries Total repayment
Irrigation $53,400,000 $8,000,000 $53,400,000
Municipal and industrial water 29,200,000 29,200,000 58,600,000
Future uses 3,000,000 3,000,000 3,000,000
Recreation 1400,000
Total 86,000,000 40,000,000 115,000,000

PARTICIPATING UNITS, COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT

The Navajo Indian irrigation and San Juan-Chama diversion projects were included in potential participating units of the Colorado River storage project authorized by Public Law 485, 84th Congress, 2d session, approved by the President on April 11, 1956. In section 2, Public Law 485, the Secretary was directed, in carrying out investigations in the Upper Colorado River Basin, to give priority in completing planning reports among others to these two units. The main works of both participating projects are located in New Mexico.

The Navajo Indian project will receive irrigation water supply for a net area of 110,000 acres of irrigable land from Navajo Dam and Reservoir, which was authorized by Public Law 485. Construction contracts have been awarded and this dam and reservoir are scheduled for completion in 1963.

The San Juan-Chama project plan contemplates the ultimate diversion of 235,000 acre-feet from the upper tributaries of the San Juan River, a tributary of the Colorado, for irrigation, municipal, industrial, and other beneficial uses in the Rio Grande Basin and a limited quantity in Canadian River Basin through exchange. However, S. 3648 confines the authorization to an initial stage to divert 110,000 acre-feet with provision for basic facilities for expansion to provide for the ultimate development.

Recreation and fish and wildlife protection will be features of both projects.

Public Law 485 looks to the full development of the land and water resources of the Upper Colorado River Basin. Construction costs of irrigation developments beyond the ability of water users to repay will be financed from surplus power revenues from Glen Canyon Dam and powerplant and other payments into the Upper Colorado River Basin fund. Specific provision is made in section 6 of Public Law 485 as follows, with respect to the Navajo Indian irrigation project:

In the event that the Navajo participating project is authorized, the costs allocated to irrigation of Indian-owned tribal or restricted lands within, under, or served by such project, and beyond the capability of such lands to repay, shall be determined, and, in recognition of the fact that assistance to the Navajo Indians is the responsibility of the entire Nation, such costs shall be nonreimbursable.

The Leavitt Act of July 1, 1932 (47 Stat. 564), provides that construction charges shall be deferred as long as irrigable lands remain in Indian ownership.

NEW MEXICO'S SHARE OF COLORADO RIVER WATER AND SURPLUS FUNDS

The State of New Mexico under section 4 (e) of Public Law 485 is entitled to share to the extent of 17 percent in the surplus revenues in the Upper Colorado River fund.

New Mexico, under the upper Colorado River compact of 1949 is entitled to 11.25 percent or approximately 800,000 acre-feet of water annually from the upper Colorado River system. This apportionment is set in article III of the compact to which the Congress gave its consent in the act of April 6, 1949.

BASIS FOR COMMITTEE'S ACTION

The Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation held hearings July 9-10 on S. 3648. The preponderance of testimony favored simultaneous authorization of the two participating projects.

Amendments presented to the subcommittee included those proposed by the Department of the Interior, the State of New Mexico, and the Colorado River Commission of California.

Full consideration was given all proposed amendments submitted to the subcommittee. Those considered germane to the objectives of the legislation embodied in the pending bill were incorporated in amendments being reported with the bill.

With respect to the proposals of the Colorado River Commission of California, the committee takes the position that the recommended legislation is in conformance to existing law, including the Colorado River compact of 1922 and the upper Colorado River compact of 1949, as well as Public Law 485--the Colorado River Storage Project Act of 1956. These enactments give full protection to the rights of every State in the Colorado Basin, including California and New Mexico.

Similarly, the representations of the State of Texas, which is not a party to the Colorado River compacts, were considered and the committee finds that States' interests in the flows of the Rio Grande are adequately protected by the proposed agreement among the States of New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado, set forth in amendment inserted as 6 (i), (ii), and (iii).

ADDITIONAL BASIS FOR COMMITTEE'S ACTION

The committee also finds that the provisions of S. 3648, as amended, complies also with the La Plata River compact of 1925 between the States of New Mexico and Colorado. It also complies with the Rio Grande compact of 1939 between the States of New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas; and the Canadian River compact of 1950 by the States of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Incidentally, all waters diverted from the Colorado River system, or ultimately by the San Juan-Chama project, initially are required for beneficial uses within the State of New Mexico.

DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS IN REPORTS

Detailed descriptions of the Navajo Indian irrigation project and the San Juan-Chama diversions are included in the comments of the Department of the Interior of July 8, 1958, printed with this report and in the proposed coordinated report adopted and approved by Secretary of the Interior Seaton on October 16, 1957, printed on pages 10-15 of the printed hearings on S. 3648 on July 9-10, 1958, incorporated by reference as a part of this report.

The estimated cost of the Navajo Dam and Reservoir which was authorized in the Upper Colorado River Storage Act of 1956. The estimated cost of the San Juan-Chama diversion (initial stage) is $86 million.

The total of $221 million authorized to be appropriated by S. 3648 reflects 1958 prices for the construction of both projects. This compares with a previously estimated combined cost of $208 million at 1957 prices.

JUSTIFICATION FOR TWO PROJECTS

The favorable engineering and economic reports in connection with both projects, submitted by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Office of Indian Affairs bear the stamp of approval of the Secretary of the Interior upon whose judgment the committee relies in this and many other instances.

Engineeringwise the plans for the Navajo Indian irrigation development and the San Juan-Chama diversion lend themselevs to the achievement of excellent economic results with a substantial degree of benefits to hundreds of thousands of people, both Indian and non-Indian.

The ratio of benefits to costs on the Navajo development is 1.44 to 1. On the San Juan-Chama diversion, the benefits to cost ratio is 1.7 to 1 for the full development. For the initial stage the benefit cost ratio is 1.26 to 1.

ASSISTANCE FOR NAVAJO INDIANS

The Navajo Indian Tribe of approximately 80,000 has looked to an irrigation development in New Mexico that would permit its tribal members to make a living from the fertile soil of the area that requires only irrigation to make it productive. Through the irrigation, the desert area will blossom. Homes and improvements will spring up.

The irrigation development will provide self-support from the irrigated soil for more than 1,100 families and create employment for an additional 2,200 families. In all, about 18,000 of the Navajo people will be directly benefited from the irrigation development.

A further potential benefit from the Navajo Dam and Irrigation developments is that these facilities may offer a source of municipal water supply to the cities of Gallup and Farmington in New Mexico. Both cities are expanding in population and existing water supplies for municipal, industrial, and other uses are severely limited. The possibility that Gallup might divert water from the Navajo development should be thoroughly and sympathetically studied by the Department of the Interior. Farmington's problem is more easily solved, but it, too, should receive full and sympathetic consideration.

PROTECTION OF NAVAJO WATER NEEDS

Section 7 of S. 3648 provides adequate protection for irrigation requirements for the Navajo area and at the same time provides a method of cooperation in water uses for downstream mineral and industrial developments on Navajo land. Responsibility is placed on the Secretary of the Interior to assure full protection for the Navajo irrigation requirements in the event of water shortages.

COORDINATED REPORT APPROVED BY SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

The committee calls attention to the comments on S. 3648 of the Department of the Interior under date of July 8, 1958, in a letter to Chairman Murray, printed at the conclusion of this report.

The feasibility of the engineering, economic and related phases of the Navajo Indian irrigation project and the San Juan-Chama diversion reaffirm the action of Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton on October 16, 1957. On that date over his own signature, the Secretary approved and adopted the proposed coordinated report of the Office of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Reclamation with respect to the two developments dealt with in the pending legislation.

The coordinated report approved and adopted by the Secretary followed years of thorough and intensive investigations by the competent engineers and economists of the two agencies responsible to the Secretary of the Interior.

The Department's letter of July 8 notes that--

while there would be no objection to the submission of such report as we deem appropriate, it would recommend against the enactment of S. 3648 at this time since it would have no basis, until the review of the planning report has been completed, to assess the merits of the projects or the need for additional amendments of the bill.

The committee respects the view of the Bureau of the Budget, as an arm of the President. Nevertheless, the Secretary of the Interior is charged directly by law with formulating data, reports, and recommendations on the basis of years of field investigations by trained personnel and review by competent superiors. Therefore, the committee is of the opinion that authorization at this time of the two projects as set forth in S. 3648 is fully justified on the basis of the report ‘‘approved and adopted’’ by the Secretary of the Interior on October 16, 1957, as modified with respect to minor details by the Department's letter of July 8, 1958, signed by Assistant Secretary of the Interior Fred G. Aandahl.

DESCRIPTION OF SAN JUAN-CHAMA SERVICE AREA

A summary description of the area to be served by the San Juan-Chama project, initial development, contemplates that the 110,000 acre-feet of water to be diverted from the Upper Colorado River Basin would be used for the following beneficial purposes in New Mexico: 57,300 acre-feet for municipal and industrial supply for the city of Albuquerque, one of the fastest growing communities in the country; 30,100 acre-feet for supplemental irrigation for 39,300 acres in the Cerro, Laos, Llano, and Pojoaque, or other tributary irrigation districts; 22,600 acre-feet for supplemental irrigation supplies for 81,600 acres in the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.

The welfare of more than half of the population of New Mexico is affected by the water supply for the Rio Grande Basin. Continuing drought has aggravated the problem. Lands have been withdrawn from irrigation and the economy is threatened including both urban and agricultural areas. Underground water supplies are being depleted and the only source of additional supply is the proposed diversion.

NATIONAL DEFENSE ASPECTS

The national defense requirements which would be benefited by additional water supplies in the Rio Grande Basin include the Albuquerque area and the Tularosa Basin east of and adjacent to the Rio Grande watershed. The needs of the latter are not immediate from the standpoint of this diversion, but may become a factor later.

Three military stations are located in the Albuquerque area--Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia and Manzano Bases, and West Mesa Air Force Station. The water requirements are expected to double by 1965 and nearly triple by 1975. The installations are dependent at high cost on the municipal water supply of Albuquerque.

The Tularosa Basin may find a more economical source in deep wells and is not necessarily an immediate problem, but in the future may look to a supply from the Rio Grande.

COMMENTS OF DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

The comments of the Secretary of the Interior on S. 3648, with recommendations for amendments in his letter of July 8, 1958, are as follows:

Department of the Interior,
Office of the Secretary
Washington, D. C., July 8, 1958.

Hon. JAMES E. MURRAY, Chairman, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, United States Senate, Washington, D. C.

DEAR SENATOR MURRAY: This responds to your request for the views of this Department on S. 3648, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to construct, operate, and maintain the Navajo Indian irrigation project and the initial stage of the San Juan-Chama project as participating projects of the Colorado River storage project, and for other purposes.

A proposed coordinated planning report on the Navajo Indian irrigation project and the San Juan-Chama project has been prepared jointly by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Commissioner of Reclamation, and has been approved and adopted by this Department. Copies have been sent to the affected States for review under the Flood Control Act of 1944 and the act of August 14, 1946, and to the interested Federal agencies for review under existing law and inter-agency agreements. Since the processing of the report has not yet been completed, we are not in a position to make any recommendation with respect to the enactment or provisions of the bill. It is suggested that the committee may wish to defer action on authorizing legislation until the planning report has been submitted to the Congress.

The proposed plan of development for the Navajo Indian irrigation project contemplates the construction of facilities to provide a water supply for the irrigation of lands to be developed solely for Indian use. The preservation and propagation of fish and wildlife would be a purpose of the project. The plan would not provide specific works for recreation or flood-control benefits.

Prior to construction of the project, studies of incremental canal capacity would be made to determine the feasibility of conveying domestic and industrial water supplies for potential requirements as recommended in the proposed planning report. Officials of the State of New Mexico anticipate that a relatively large industrial water demand will develop in the San Juan River Basin. This would be accompanied by associated water requirements for municipal, domestic, and miscellaneous purposes in the adjacent areas. Prospective municipal and industrial water users have already expressed interest in receiving water from the proposed Navajo Canal and have approached the Department in that regard. Section 4 of S. 3648 would authorize the provision of additional capacity for such purposes over and above the diversion requirements for irrigation on the Navajo Indian irrigation project.

Water for irrigation of the lands proposed to be included in the Navajo Indian irrigation project would be diverted from Navajo Reservoir which is now under construction as a storage unit of the Colorado River storage project. A main gravity canal would extend from Navajo Dam to Kutz Canyon. There the water would be dropped through a powerplant to develop electrical energy for pumping water to lands in the Newcomb and Bennett Peak areas of the project. The main canal would extend an additional 77 miles beyond the powerplant to serve project lands.

A net area of 110,630 acres of irrigable land has been proposed for development. The area would include off-reservation lands to be acquired in the south San Juan division and Navajo Indian Reservation lands in the Shiprock division. Section 3 of S. 3648 would provide authority for the acquisition and addition of the off-reservation lands to the proposed project. The project's productive area, which would exclude farmsteads and other nonproductive areas within farm units, would comprise (a) 8,918 acres served by gravity below the main canal in the south San Juan division and 70,359 acres in the Shiprock division, and (b) 25,882 acres served from the pump canals in the Shiprock division, or a total of about 105,100 acres. An average annual diversion of about 508,000 acre-feet of water from San Juan River would be required for that purpose. This would result in an average annual stream depletion of about 252,000 acre-feet, exclusive of reservoir losses.

The estimated construction cost of the proposed Navajo Indian irrigation project is about $135 million at January 1958 prices. Operation, maintenance, and replacement costs are estimated to average about $481,000 annually at January 1958 prices for both 60-year and 100-year periods of analysis. The benefit-cost ratio for the project would be 0.64 to 1 on the basis of direct irrigation benefits only, and 1.44 to 1 on the basis of total irrigation benefits. The appraisal of annual economic costs includes the $2 per acre-foot depletion charge of the storage project assigned to all participating projects for all benefit-costs ratio purposes.

As provided by sections 4 (d) and 6 of Public Law 485, 84th Congress (70 Stat. 105), authorizing the Colorado River storage project and participating projects, in the event that the Navajo participating project is authorized, payment of costs allocated to irrigation of Indian-owned, tribal or restricted lands within, under, or served by such project within the capability of the land to repay is subject to the Act of July 1, 1932 (47 Stat. 564); the costs beyond the capability of such lands to repay are to be determined and, in recognition of the fact that assistance to the Navajo Indians is the responsibility of the entire Nation, shall be nonreimbursable.

The proposed plan of development for the San Juan-Chama project is designed to improve and stabilize the economy of the water deficient Rio Grande and Canadian River Basins of New Mexico by providing supplemental water to meet rapidly increasing needs. This would be accomplished by diverting water from the upper tributaries of the San Juan River. The water would be used for supplemental irrigation, for replacement of watershed depletions in the Rio Grande Basin, and for an additional supply for municipal, domestic, and industrial purposes. Recreation and the preservation and propagation of fish and wildlife would also be purposes of the project. On the basis of January 1958 prices, the estimated construction cost for the project facilities studied in the plan of development is about $149 million. The evaluated total annual benefits for such a development would exceed the estimated annual costs in a ratio of about 1.7 to 1.

The proposed plan for initial stage development of the San Juan-Chama project, as recommended by the State of New Mexico, contemplates an average annual diversion of about 110,000 acre-feet from the San Juan River for utilization in the Rio Grande in New Mexico. The imported waters would be used for an additional municipal and industrial water supply (57,300 acre-feet) for the city of Albuquerque; a supplemental irrigation water supply (30,100 acre-feet) to about 39,300 acres of land in the Cerro, Taos, Llano, and Pojoaque tributary irrigation units in the Rio Grande Basin in New Mexico; and supplemental water (22,600 acre-feet) for irrigation of about 81,600 acres of irrigable land in the existing Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District. Recreation and the preservation and propagation of fish and wildlife would also be purposes of the initial stage of development.

The proposed plan of development for the initial stage would involve three major elements; namely, diversion facilities (diversion dams and conduits), regulation facilities (Heron No. 4 Dam and Reservoir, and enlargement of outlet works of the existing El Vado Dam), and water-use facilities (principally for the tributary irrigation units). Minimum basic recreation facilities would also be provided at the five project reservoirs.

The estimated construction cost of the project features of the proposed initial stage, on the basis of January 1958 prices, is about $86 million, which includes $400,000 for minimum basic recreation facilities. Project operation, maintenance, and replacement costs are estimated at about $346,000 annually for a 50-year period and about $378,000 annually for a 100-year period. Of the estimated project construction costs, reimbursable allocations of about $29,200,000 have been made tentatively to municipal and industrial water supply, $53,400,000 to irrigation, and $3,000,000 to future uses. The recreation costs would be nonreimbursable. The proposed initial stage development would have engineering feasibility and would be economically justified in that the evaluated total benefits would exceed the estimated annual costs in a ratio of 1.26 to 1 for a 100-year period of analysis. If direct benefits only are considered in a 50-year period of analysis, that ratio would be about 0.81 to 1.

Costs allocated to municipal and industrial water supply, including interest during construction, would be repaid over a 50-year period with interest on the unamortized balance. The total to be paid by the municipal and industrial water users would be about $58,600,000. The cost of raw municipal and industrial water would be about 7.7 cents per 1,000 gallons, or about $25 per acre-foot.

This estimated municipal and industrial water rate would apply to water developed by initial stage construction. Repayment contract terms and water rates under subsequent development would be subject to reexamination as plans develop and additional quantities of municipal and industrial water would be contracted. Where necessary, in the adequate financing of any subsequent development, water rates and repayment provisions could be designed to reflect any significant change in municipal and industrial use, operation, and maintenance costs associated therewith and other relevant considerations.

Irrigation water users probably would repay about $8 million of the allocation to irrigation. Repayment contracts would be negotiated and entered into with organizations of the type provided in section 4 of the Colorado River Storage Project Act of April 11, 1956 (70 Stat. 105), for contracting on the participating projects authorized by section 1 of that act. The costs allocated to irrigation in excess of the irrigators' ability to repay would be paid from New Mexico's apportionment of the upper Colorado River Basin fund revenues as provided in the act. Costs allocated to future uses, which would involve the provision of excess capacity in the initial stage to permit later project expansion, would also be an obligation against New Mexico's share of the basin fund revenues, to be paid from that apportionment if not otherwise collected as a result of subsequent allocations to the water users.

S. 3648, if enacted, would approve the above-described proposed projects as participating projects of the authorized Colorado River storage project and authorize the construction of the Navajo Indian irrigation project and the initial stage of the San Juan-Chama project. Authorization of an irrigation development such as the proposed Navajo Indian irrigation project would implement the recognition given in the act of April 11, 1956, of the Nation's responsibility to help alleviate the severe economic distress among the Navajo people by providing them an opportunity to earn a respectable standard of living. It would enable an estimated 1,400 families to establish homes on irrigated farms. The proposed project has the support of the Navajo Indian Tribe and it is our understanding that an on-the-farm training program, financed with tribal funds, has been undertaken already to prepare members of the tribe for irrigation farming.

A development such as that which is embraced in the initial stage of the proposed San Juan-Chama project might help materially to meet the pressing need for additional supplies of water in the Rio Grande Basin where the uses of water have been developed to the point where they far exceed available supplies. This need of the Rio Grande Basin vitally affects the welfare of more than half of the population of New Mexico and, if it is not satisfied in the near future, threatens to check the economic development of the State. Besides the requirements for irrigation, more water is needed to meet the domestic requirements of a growing urban population and of industry, particularly in the Albuquerque area.

While we are unable to make any recommendations with respect to the enactment or provisions of the bill in the absence of final processing of the project planning report and its submission to the Congress, our examination of S. 3648 prompts us to bring to the committee's attention certain of its provisions, in the interest of clarification and elimination of possible technical difficulties, as well as information which we have regarding the water supply that would be affected by the construction of the proposed project.

Section 7 would provide a procedure for the sharing of water during periods of water shortage applicable in the case of water stored in Navajo Reservoir and any other waters of the San Juan River and its tributaries originating above Navajo Dam to which the United States is entitled. This sharing principle, we understand, is the desire of the State of New Mexico and the Navajo Tribe.

Officials of the State of New Mexico, we are advised, made several river and reservoir operation studies which culminated in operation study No. 8 as the basis for the language of section 7 (a). Our review and analysis of operation study No. 8 indicates that the State officials assumed certain methods of applying the water-sharing formula which are not clearly indicated in the language of section 7 (a). If the procedures used in performing operation study No. 8 are to be taken as the proper manner for determining each contractor's share of water during times of shortage, and we understand that they are, section 7 (a) might be amended to state more clearly what these procedures are to be. In order to do this, section 7 (a) could be revised to read substantially as follows:

‘‘SEC. 7 (a) No person shall have or be entitled to have the use for any purpose, including uses under the Navajo Indian irrigation project and the initial stage of the San Juan-Chama project authorized by sections 2 and 6 of this Act, of water stored in Navajo Reservoir or of any other waters of the San Juan River and its tributaries originating above Navajo Reservoir to the use of which the United States is entitled, except under contract staisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior and conforming to the provisions of this Act. Such contracts, which, in the case of water for Indian uses, shall be executed with the Navajo Tribe, shall make provision, in any year in which the Secretary anticipates a shortage taking into account both the prospective runoff originating above Navajo Reservoir and the available water in storage in Navajo Reservoir, for a sharing of the available water in the following manner: The prospective runoff shall be apportioned between the contractors diverting above and those diverting at or below Navajo Reservoir in the proportion that the total normal diversion requirement of each group bears to the total of all normal diversion requirements. In the case of contractors diverting above Navajo Reservoir, each such contract shall provide for a sharing of the runoff apportioned to said group in the same proportion as the normal diversion requirement under said contract bears to the total normal diversion requirements of all such contracts that have been made hereunder: Provided, That for any year in which the foregoing sharing procedure either would apportion to any contractor diverting above Navajo Reservoir an amount in excess of the runoff anticipated to be physically available at the point of his diversion, or would result in no water being available to one or more such contractors, the runoff apportioned to said group shall be reapportioned as near as may be among the contractors diverting above Navajo Reservoir in the proportion that the normal diversion requirements of each bears to the total normal diversion requirements of the group. In the case of contractors diverting from or below Navajo Reservoir, each such contract shall provide for a sharing of the remaining runoff together with the available storage in the same proportion as the normal diversion requirement under said contract bears to the total normal diversion requirements under all such contracts that have been made hereunder. The Secretary shall not enter into contracts beyond a total amount of water that, in his judgment, in the event of shortage will result in a reasonable amount being available for the diversion requirements for the Navajo Indian irrigation project and the initial stage of the San Juan-Chama project as specified in sections 2 and 6 of this Act.’’

It is our understanding that it is not intended that the water-sharing principle be applicable in the case of the existing Fruitland, Hogback, Cudai, and Cambridge Indian irrigation projects, nor to extensions of their irrigated acreage totaling approximately 11,000 acres. The total acreage involved, including that now irrigated, is approximately 26,000 acres. This intent could be reflected by the addition to section 7 of a new subsection (c) reading substantially as follows:

‘‘(c) This section shall not be applicable to the water requirements of the existing Fruitland, Hogback, Cudai, and Cambridge Indian irrigation projects, nor to the water required in connection with the extension of the irrigated acreages of the Fruitland and Hogback Indian irrigation projects in a total amount of approximately 11,000 acres.’’

Section 3 of the bill relates to the inclusion within the Navajo Indian irrigation project of lands which are not now Indian lands, which lands would be held by the United States in trust for the Indians. It has been the general policy of the Department to require Indian tribes acquiring lands, particularly lands outside the reservation boundaries, to take those lands in fee. The principal reasons for this policy are to prevent disrupting the tax base in local communities and to give the Indian groups an opportunity to manage limited acreages of land free of any control or limitations by the Federal Government. In this case, however, it appears that officials of the State of New Mexico and of the tribe have reached an understanding that the non-reservation lands which would be included within the project, including privately owned lands which would have to be acquired, should have a trust status, and be nontaxable.

Section 5 would authorize the Secretary to transfer to the Navajo Tribe the care, operation and maintenance of the proposed Navajo Indian irrigation project, together with title to movable property necessary for the operation and maintenance of such works. There is now pending before the Congress H. R. 11896 which, if enacted, would authorize the transfer to the Navajo Tribe title to all irrigation project works constructed by the United States within the reservation. In the event of the enactment of any legislation such as H. R. 11896, it might thereupon be necessary at some future time to consider an appropriate amendment of section 5 of S. 3648, depending, of course, upon the form of any general legislation on this point.

When your committee shall act upon S. 3648, it may wish to consider modifying of its provisions for clarification, elimination of technical difficulties, and general workability of its provisions substantially along the following lines:

1.Amend section 1 by deleting all that language appearing in lines 3 through 8 on page 1 and lines 1 through 7 on page 2, and substituting therefor the following:

‘‘That, for the purposes of furnishing water for irrigation of irrigable and arable lands, municipal, domestic and industrial uses, and replacement of basin depletions in the Rio Grande, providing recreation and fish and wildlife benefits, controlling silt, and for other beneficial purposes, the Congress hereby approves as participating projects of the Colorado River storage project the Navajo Indian irrigation project, New Mexico, and the San Juan-Chama project, Colorado-New Mexico. Principal engineering works of the Navajo Indian irrigation project shall be a main gravity canal, tunnels, siphons, pumps, and powerplants for project purposes, laterals, drains, distribution systems and related works. The San Juan-Chama project facilities shall be comprised principally of regulating and storage reservoirs, collection, diversion and conveyance systems, and associated works.’’

2. Amend section 2 by

  1. adding a comma after the word ‘‘construct’’ in line 10 on page 2, and inserting after it the words ‘‘operate and maintain’’;
  2. deleting the words ‘‘to include a net area of’’ appearing in line 11 on page 2 and substituting therefor the words ‘‘for the principal purpose of furnishing irrigation water to approximately’’;
  3. deleting the word ‘‘with’’ in line 12 on page 2 and substituting therefor the words ‘‘, said project to have’’; and
  4. deleting the word ‘‘requirement’’ appearing in line 13 on page 2.

3. Amend section 3 (b) by adding, after the word ‘‘townships’’ appearing in line 24 on page 3, the following: ‘‘, susceptible to irrigation as part of the Navajo Indian irrigation project or necessary for location of any of the works or canals of such project,’’. This possible amendment would specify that the authority contained in subsection (b) should apply to lands which would be used for the same purposes as are specified with respect to the lands to which the authorities contained in subsections (a) and (c) would apply.

4. Change the word ‘‘construed’’ appearing in line 20 on page 4 to read ‘‘constructed’’.

5. In section 5, on page 5,

  1. delete the first sentence appearing in lines 1 through 4 to be consistent with paragraph numbered 2 above;
  2. insert in line 8 after the words ‘‘provisions of’’ the words ‘‘the Act of August 1, 1914 (38 Stat. 582, 583), as amended by’’; and
  3. change the word ‘‘direction’’ in line 10 to ‘‘discretion’’.

6. In section 6, delete the words ‘‘in accordance with the Bureau of Reclamation report entitled 'Supplemental Report, San Juan-Chama Project, Colorado-New Mexico, May 1957'’’ appearing in lines 20 through 23 on page 5 and substitute the following: ‘‘Colorado-New Mexico, for the principal purposes of furnishing supplemental water supplies to approximately 39,300 acres of land in Cerro, Taos, Llano, and Pojoaque tributary irrigation units in the Rio Grande Basin, about 81,600 acres of land in the existing Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, and municipal, domestic, and industrial uses, and providing recreation and fish and wildlife benefits.’’

7. At the end of section 6 add the following:

‘‘Principal engineering works of the initial stage development involving three major elements, shall include diversion dams and conduits, storage and regulation facilities at the Heron No. 4 Reservoir site and enlargement of outlet works of the existing El Vado Dam, and water use facilities consisting of reservoirs, dams, canals, lateral and drainage systems, and associated works and appurtenances. The construction of recreation facilities at the Nambe Reservoir shall be contingent upon the Secretary's making appropriate arrangements with the governing body of the Nambe Pueblo for the operation and maintenance of such facilities, and the construction of recreation facilities at the Heron No. 4. Valdez, and Indian Camp reservoirs shall be contingent upon the Secretary's making appropriate arrangements with a State or local agency or organization for the operation and maintenance of those facilities.’’

8. The figure of $208 million in section 8 is based on estimates of costs which reflect January 1957 prices. At January 1958 prices the estimated cost of constructing the proposed Navajo Indian irrigation project and initial stage of the San Juan-Chama project is $221 million. In order to bring the bill up to date in this respect, and, in conformance with the present practice, to include a price escalation clause, delete the figure ‘‘$208,000,000’’ appearing in line 11 on page 7 and substitute therefor ‘‘$221,000,000 (January 1958 prices) plus such amounts, if any, as may be required by reason of changes in construction costs as indicated by engineering cost indices applicable to the types of construction involved therein and, in addition thereto, such sums as may be required to operate and maintain the projects’’.

The Bureau of the Budget has advised that, while there would be no objection to the submission of such report as we deem appropriate, it would recommend against the enactment of S. 3648 at this time since it would have no basis, until the review of the planning report has been completed, to assess the merits of the projects or the need for additional amendments of the bill.

Sincerely yours,

FRED G. AANDAHL, Assistant Secretary of the Interior.


Notes

1. Nonreimbursable.

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