Mr. HANSEN. Senator Campbell, it is always
a pleasure to see you. I hope that a lot of you
folks realize it wasn't too many years ago that
Senator Campbell was sitting here with us in this
room. I will turn the time to you, sir.
STATEMENT OF HON.
BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL, A SENATOR IN CONGRESS
FROM THE STATE OF COLORADO
Senator CAMPBELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I remember those days very well in which we
fought many a battle that is fought in the
so-called debate over the new West versus the old
West. And I certainly thank you for holding this
very important hearing and allowing me the
opportunity to make a brief comment on the Sierra
Club's proposal to drain Lake Powell.
We are in a series of votes over on the Senate
side now, so I won't stay long. But I did talk to
several other Western Senators before I came over
to kind of get their ideas about how they felt.
And I'm sure you can imagine how many of them
You, I am sure, are going to have many witnesses
today, who will have much more expertise and
knowledge from a technical standpoint than I have
when they speak about this water project. Some of
them will be able to tell you how many cubic feet
of water is stored, how much goes to different
States and how important it is to a great many
Some will be able to tell you specifically how
many kilowatts of power are generated every day
and the demand on power in the Los Angeles basin
and the other places where it supplys. And
certainly we all know that it has provided a
reasonable quality of life for the people that
get that rather inexpensive power.
Well, I am certainly not here to try to speak
from a technical standpoint. But I am here, I
think, to voice the opinions of millions of
westerners, some who sit on this Committee, in
proclaiming it to be a certifiable nut idea.
It is true that Lake Powell, when it was built,
forever changed an incredibly beautiful place.
But so did building New York City on Long Island.
And we simply can't go back in time and undo all
of the projects that have been built.
Now, in fact, I think it would just plain be
silly to even contemplate it, but I don't mean
that to disparage the remarks that may come later
in favor of it. It is just my personal opinion.
When I first heard
about it, in fact, I thought it was a joke, as
many westerners did when we read it in the paper.
But then, on the other hand, after I realized the
Sierra Club was supporting it, I knew they were
serious because I know that it was no joke when
they reduced the timber industry's ability to
harvest resources. And, in fact, in the name of
environmental purism, they have made great
strides in reducing most of our land-based
industries while making us more dependent on
foreign resources, particularly energy.
And if there is anybody on that panel that
doesn't know what that war in Kuwait was about,
let me enlighten them. It was about energy. There
is no question about it.
There are just too many good reasons to keep that
lake and not enough to destroy it. The Glen
Canyon Lake has produced tens of thousands of
jobs, first of all, not only in construction, but
in the current maintenance of it, too, and the
recreational services it provides in energy and
It has also produced a great deal of clean
energy. To my understanding, the Sierra Club is
very concerned about global warming. It factors
no contribution, to my knowledge, of global
warming, and no air pollution, either one, as
there is coming from the eastern coal-fired
plants or the Northern coal-fired plants.
Therefore, it reduces demand for strip money to
get the coal, which they also claim they dislike.
Now, I haven't seen a nuclear project that
produces power that they support. I haven't seen
a coal-fired project that they support. And there
is no question in my mind that, if we did
something as crazy as this sounds to me, the cost
of power would skyrocket.
It also provides an awful lot of water for all of
our folks that live out in our area. I come from
the Four Corners area, as you know, Mr. Chairman.
And you also know coming from our neighboring
State of Utah in the West, we store 85 to 90
percent of our yearly water needs, unlike here in
the East where it rains so much that they only
have to store about 15 percent of the water
But your State,
mine, as well as Arizona, Nevada, and Southern
California simply won't have available options if
we cutoff both the power and the water, or reduce
both the power and water, except one, and that is
they will be moving to your State and mine.
So we end up, I think, if we follow the Sierra
Club's line of thinking to tear down that dam and
drain the lake, we would put another set of
circumstances in place that is going to make it
difficult when you have a huge inward migration
into the mountain States, which currently does
have a lot of water.
I live down near the cliff dwellings, as you
know, Mr. Chairman, Mesa Verde it's called. And
most historians will tell you that the reason
they moved down river a thousand years ago wasn't
from massive social upheaval. It was simply
because they droughted out. They had no way of
storing water when they went through years of
drought, and they had to leave.
The Sierra Club also, I think, betrays a basic
underlying elitism. It wants to drain Lake Powell
so the spectacular Glen Canyon is once again
accessible, as I understand it. But who would it
be accessible to, a few thousand hikers that can
go in there. Certainly they wouldn't support
wheelchairs going in there. They never have for
our wilderness areas. And it would certainly
cutoff the elderly, the people that can visit it
by boat, the thousands of recreational tourists
that go there now.
I think also the consequences of the Grand Canyon
also need to be measured. Without flood control
provided by the dam, the Grand Canyon would be
subject to dangerous torrential flash floods much
of the year. Year-round rafting and hiking would
simply be out of the question. Access to the
canyon would be reduced. And the risks associated
with flooding would also be increased. And only
the wealthiest of Americans would be able to
appreciate that area.
As you know, there are many tragedies in those
canyons and during flood season. In fact, just
recently, several hikers were killed in a flash
flood. Imagine what the Colorado would do to all
communities downstream during raging spring
floods that have been built since the canyon was
damned and the flood waters have been controlled.
To simply tear that down and release torrential
floods of water downstream to small communities
all the way down to the ocean, I think, is
I also would like
to just say in closing, Mr. Chairman, that, if
this were to go forward, and I have a hunch it is
going nowhere, but if it were to go forward, what
would be the next project? Would it be Hoover Dam
or any of the dams in the West, all the dams in
the West? Would we then talk about maybe
returning the Utah project and the Arizona
project back to its former natural environment?
Would we talk about tearing down Hetch Hetchy,
there was kind of a joke made about that a few
years ago, which supplies water and power to the
city of San Francisco.
This project, when people hear all the testimony
for and against, I would hope that they will
realize it is something absolutely ridiculous to
contemplate. With that, I thank you, Mr.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you, Senator Campbell.
It is always a pleasure to see you. And I
appreciate you coming over. We are going to be
quite busy this morning. So instead of giving
questions to Senator Campbell, you are welcome to
join us if you are so inclined. I know you are
Senator CAMPBELL. I appreciate it, Mr.
Chairman. We are on the floor, too. Thank you.
Mr. HANSEN. The gentleman from Colorado,
Senator CAMPBELL. May I also just maybe
mention one thing? I have on our side, I have
asked Senator Murkowski of the full Committee on
Energy if he would hold similar hearings to this,
too. So we are not trying to simply lock people
out on the Senate side. Those westerners
whowe believe debate is healthy. But we
want you to know that we have asked Senator
Murkowski to hold a hearing.
Mr. HANSEN. I may add to what you just
said. If this idea goes forward with some of our
Members of Congress, as I have told the
Congressman from Arizona, we truly intend to hold
additional meetings and hearings, possibly out in
the West. The gentleman fromdid you want to
have him yield to you?
If he would yield for just a moment.
Mr. HEFLEY. Surely.
Mr. SHADEGG. Mr. Chairman, I simply want
to thank Senator Campbell. I reached out to him
this weekend to assure that he would be here. I
think his testimony adds greatly to this hearing,
and I want to express my personal appreciation
for his attendance. I yield back.
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Chairman, I believe Mrs.
Chenowith was here before I was.
Mr. HANSEN. If I made that mistake, I
surely apologize to both of you.
Mrs. CHENOWITH. Mr. Chairman, I would be
happy to yield to seniority. Thank you.
Mr. HANSEN. I apologize. I was just going
by my sheet here. And we had you down. I want you
all to see this, because I don't want to do that
STATEMENT OF HON. JOEL HEFLEY, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF COLORADO
Mr. HEFLEY. Mr. Chairman, I don't have a
prepared statement. I would like to just say a
few things. I guess I am surprised that the
Committee is taking time with a nutty idea like
this. I don't know anyone that really takes it
seriously. I suppose we will hear some testimony
today from some folks that do. But it kind of
ranks in my mind with the idea that came out a
few years ago of taking the whole plains of the
West and Midwest and turning them back into a
buffalo preserve, because that is what they were
originally, and move people out of those areas.
And that would be many, many States. Maybe we
will have hearings on that as well. It is kind of
a similar idea.
I don't need to educate you, Mr. Chairman, on
Western water, because you are the expert on it.
I think Senator Campbell and others have pointed
that out. Our water comes in the form of snow in
the wintertime. And if we don't capture that
water and store it for use throughout the year
out there in the West, we just simply don't have
water. And maybe it becomes a buffalo preserve.
Maybe we do move everybody off the land, because
there is simply no water there for us to live on
or to support the populations that are out there.
Now, it might have
beenmight have been nice if we could have
had a Garden of Eden type setting in the world
and that man didn't disturb that setting, but
when you have populations that we do, you do make
changes. And we do have technology. And just like
I think that canyon is God-given, I think our
ability to use technology is God-given as well.
And I think we have used it rather well with Lake
I am a little surprised, I guess, at the Sierra
Club. I don't know if they realize what this does
to their credibility. Because there areI
would hope all of us consider ourselves
environmentalists, but there are responsible
environmental groups, and there is the nutty
fringe of environmental groups. There is the
fringe that always has to buildup straw men to
fight against in order to get their donations so
they can stay in business. I never thought of the
Sierra Club as being in the nutty fringe. But
with this idea, I begin to wonder, Mr. Chairman.
And I guess it is OK for us to have these
hearings and to hear the viewpoints. I would hope
this idea goes absolutely nowhere. And I hope
this Committee would not spend its time on these
kinds of craziness in the future, because this is
something that is not going to happen. We are not
going to drain Lake Powell. And we can discuss
it. You can raise money with it. But we are not
going to do it. It simply isn't going to happen,
because the West cannot afford that kind of
activity. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HANSEN. As the Senator, my friend from
Colorado, said, beauty is in the eye of the
STATEMENT OF HON. HELEN CHENOWITH, A
REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF
Mrs. CHENOWITH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You know, sometimes those of us who work in this
body find the most audacious and arrogant ideas
coming in front of us; but I will tell you, this
one takes the cake. The fact that we would even
start with the hearing on draining Lake Powell
and then move on into other areas that have
impoundment facilities and working activity on
our rivers, which has been historic from the
beginning of the founding of this country, to
even start pulling the plug on America's commerce
with these kinds of visions is unthinkable.
groups like the Sierra Club, who, by the way, has
become very powerful in the U.S. Congress, very,
very powerful, and I am going to begin to make an
appeal, Mr. Chairman, to those corporate entities
who support these ideas, and appeal to them to
look to America first, because what is happening
with the beginning of the pulling of the plug at
Lake Powell, there is also, right next to that,
the pulling of the plug of several dams on the
Colombia River whichand the Snake River
which affect my district very, very directly.
Yes, this is audacious, arrogant, and very
self-centered on the part of an organization who
wants to make sure that they have an issue that
takes on national proportions that will help them
with their fund-raising capabilities.
Lake Powell was built around 1922, and it
contains $.2 billion worth or stimulates $.2
billion worth of agriculture industry stretching
across seven States.
It produces a thousand megawatts, utilized by 20
million residents in California, Arizona, and
Nevada. And it is worth $800 million industry
The Navajo project, as part of the Glen Canyon
system, provides power for 3 million customers
and employs 2,000 people. For recreation, the
Glen Canyon National Recreation area has almost 3
million visitors annually, which brings in $500
million annually to the regions of 42,000 people
who also annually float the river below Glen
Canyon. Thirty thousand anglers enjoy the blue
ribbon trout fishery.
And one of the most important items, Mr.
Chairman, is that Glen Canyon Dam was built also
for the purpose of flood control on a river that
experiences runoff flows up to 400,000 cubic feet
per second. That can be very devastating.
We have already dealt with the environmental
issues. But I would ask these members who are
making these proposals whoand this type of
proposal will devastate the income ability of
thousands and hundreds of thousands of people,
take away their life-style, and change the face
of the commercial activity and the environment
drastically. What is going to happen to your
healthy wages? What is going to happen to your
steady employment, those members of the Sierra
Club who are dreaming up these ideas?
their vision is notwe don't really count in
their vision. I am not sure what their vision is,
but I don't believe that it is healthy for
America. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you.
The gentlelady from the Virgin Islands.
Ms. CHRISTIAN-GREEN. No questions or
comments, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you. The gentleman from
Nevada, Mr. Gibbons.
STATEMENT OF HON. JIM GIBBONS, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEVADA
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And
I first want to applaud you for your interest and
your effort here today to hold this hearing and
your leadership on this issue.
It seems that, seldom in the history of Congress,
indeed perhaps even seldom in the history of
mankind, do we have an opportunity to hear
extreme proposals like this one. And, in fact,
this is an extremely bad proposal.
This Nation, years ago, went through considerable
or great lengths and a considerable amount of
money to construct the Glen Canyon Dam and for
good reasons. But this proposal to drain Lake
Powell fails even in the very simplest of terms
to understand that the issues that Lake Powell
provide for the humanity in Southwestern United
States is at stake with this extreme proposal.
Lake Powell is an issue of storage. And it was
constructed for the issue of storage. Storage,
which includes municipal and agricultural uses,
maybe not directly from Lake Powell, but for
downstream users. Millions of people reside in
Nevada, Arizona, California, and Utah.
ecosystems along the banks and riverways of the
Colorado River will be at stake and at risk
without the storage and the flood prevention and
flood control efforts of the Lake Powell Dam.
This is just totally unacceptable to have a group
propose such an extreme position without taking
into consideration the needs of both the
environment and humanity along the way. And I am
not even speaking yet of the resource of
recreation that is provided to millions of
Americans every year.
Mr. Chairman, this proposal, at first glance,
seems to be so far out on a limb that it should
not even be considered as part of our hearing
today. But, indeed, it runs the risk that, if we
fail to address this issue, we have failed to do
our job in terms of the future of America. And I
thank you for your leadership on this issue.
Mr. HANSEN. I thank the gentleman from
The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Pickett.
STATEMENT OF HON. OWEN B. PICKETT, A
REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And
while this project is considerably removed from
my district, I share the sentiments that have
been expressed here today about the need to
I say it is impossible today and in the future to
build any kind of major infrastructure project in
our country. And to come here and talk about
beginning to dismantle the ones that our
forbearers had the good sense and vision to
create is absolute nonsense. And I just hope that
you will conduct this hearing with that in mind.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you. I previously read
the number of witnesses that were here. And I am
sure you heard your name. It is the policy of the
Chairman of the full Committee to swear in people
on oversight hearings, so why don't, instead of
doing that one panel at a time, could I ask you
all to stand, and we will just do this right now.
Mr. HANSEN. Our first panel is Eluid L.
Martinez, Commissioner of Bureau of Reclamation,
accompanied by Dennis Galvin of the National Park
Service and Mr. Michael Hacskaylo, Acting
Administrator, Western Area Power Administration,
Department of Energy.
We are grateful for all you folks being here. As
has been evident by the opening statements, there
is some diversity of thought on this particular
issue. But keep in mind, there is on about every
issue that comes around here. So that is the way
we do our business.
Again, before you start, let me point out that,
if you folks standingwe have still got some
chairs up here in the lower tier if you would
like to use them. You are more than free to do
it. We just won't let you talk is all.
OK. We will start with Mr. Martinez. And we are
grateful for you being here.
Mr. MARTINEZ. Thank you.
Mr. HANSEN. Let me point out, Mr. Martinez
is accompanied by Charles Calhoon, Regional
Director of Upper Colorado, Regional Director of
the Bureau of Reclamation. Mr. Calhoon, we
appreciate you being here.
Mr. Martinez, the floor is yours. Let me ask you,
can everybody do it in 5 minutes? That is kind of
our rules. And if you have just got a burning
desire to go over, I am not going to stop you.
But if you watch the little things in front of
you there, it is just like a traffic light, you
know, when you drive your car. Just do the same
thing. Mr. Martinez.
STATEMENT OF ELUID L. MARTINEZ, COMMISSIONER,
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, Members of the
Subcommittee, thank you for the invitation to be
here today in this oversight hearing. I have
submitted my written statement for the record.
And if appropriate, I would like to summarize
Mr. Chairman, the
Department of Interior is committed to a
management process at Glen Canyon Dam that
implements the 1996 record of decision, which
resulted from the environmental impact statement
on the operation of Glen Canyon Dam developed
pursuant to the Grand Canyon Protection Act of
1992. I might state that the level of public
participation and development of that document
Two weeks ago today, the adapted management
group, which is a Federal advisory committee to
the Department concerning management and
scientific applications in the Grand Canyon,
began its work. The management group includes a
full spectrum of public interest, including the
seven basin States, tribal governments, and the
The Glen Canyon National Recreation area was
established by Congress in 1972 to encompass Lake
Powell and surrounding lands, encompassing some
1.2 million acres that was established to provide
for public outdoor recreation use and to preserve
State, scientific, and historic features of the
Information provided by the National Park Service
estimates that, this past year, the recreation
area drew 2.5 million visitors and that the
annual recreational economic value of Lake Powell
exceeds $400 million.
The city of Page and much of northern Arizona and
southern Utah are dependent in some way on the
recreation area for economic well-being. Lake
Powell and Glen Canyon Dam are key units in the
water infrastructure that has evolved in the
seven basin States.
Mr. Chairman, recognizing the numerous
interrelated factors, laws, and histories
concerning Glen Canyon Dam, the law of the
Colorado River, and the 1922 Colorado River
Compact, draining or reducing the storage
capacity of Lake Powell is unrealistic.
Acting Deputy Director, Mr. Denis Galvin from the
National Park Service and Reclamation Lower
Colorado Regional Director, Mr. Charles Calhoon,
are here with me to assist me in answering any
questions you might have. And I took 2 minutes,
statement of Mr. Martinez may be found at end of
Mr. HANSEN. Well, Mr. Martinez, you just
set a record in here. And I want you to know how
much I appreciate that.
Denis, you've been before us many times. It is
always good to see you. Does the National Park
Service have a statement?
Mr. GALVIN. No. Our perspectives in the
opening statement are incorporated into Mr.
Martinez's statement, Mr. Chairman. I am simply
here to answer questions if the Subcommittee has
Mr. HANSEN. I appreciate that. Mr.
Hacskaylo, I turn the time to you, sir.
STATEMENT OF MICHAEL S. HACSKAYLO, ACTING
ADMINISTRATOR, WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION,
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Mr. HACSKAYLO. Good morning, Mr. Chairman
and members of the Subcommittees. My name is
Michael Hacskaylo. I'm Acting Administrator,
Western Area Power Administration. And I
appreciate the opportunity to appear before you
today to discuss the power-related impacts of
draining Lake Powell. I have submitted a written
statement for the record. If I may, I will
summarize my comments.
The power plant at
Mr. HANSEN. Hold that mike just a little
closer to you, please, sir. We would appreciate
Mr. HACSKAYLO. Yes, sir. The power plant
at Glen Canyon Dam has a maximum operating
capability of 1,356 megawatts. That is
approximately 75 percent of the total electric
capacity of the Colorado River Storage Project.
Western Area Power
Administration markets that power to over 100
municipalities, rural electric cooperatives,
irrigation districts, and Federal and State
agencies in the States of Utah, Colorado, New
Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Wyoming.
In fiscal year 1996, of the $126 million of total
power revenues from the Colorado River Storage
Project, Rio Grande Project and Collbran Project
(known collectively as the Salt Lake City Area
Integrated Projects) we have received about $93
million of that amount from sales of Glen Canyon
Dam power. If the Glen Canyon power plant is no
longer available, it is highly likely that the
capacity that is lost would be replaced by
fossil-fired power plants. Certainly,
conservation might help in reducing some of that
lost capacity, but additional fossil-fired
generation capacity would need to be utilized, we
If the Glen Canyon power plant is no longer
available, there would be adverse financial
impacts on our power customers. There would be
rate increases, we believe, because of the
replacement of the Glen Canyon Dam power with
what we expect would be higher cost power. Those
rate impacts would vary considerably depending on
how much power our customers buy from Western
Area Power Administration and the cost of
There also would be impacts to the Federal
Treasury if the power plant is no longer
available. Through fiscal year 1996, power
revenues have repaid $537 million of the cost
allocated to power for the Colorado River Storage
Right now, we have $503 million left to repay. In
addition, there is $801 million of cost allocated
to irrigation. Without revenues from the power
plant, we would have a very, very difficult time
in ensuring repayment.
In closing, we estimate that over the next 50
years, if the power plant is not available, if we
are not able to sell that power, there would be a
loss of $1.3 billion from power revenues not
collected, not available to the Federal Treasury.
That is the end of my summarized statement. I
would be happy to answer any questions.
statement of Mr. Hacskaylo may be found at end of
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you, Mr. Hacskaylo. We
appreciate the statement. This is a very brief
Mr. Doolittle, questions for the panel. We will
limit the Members to 5 minutes in their
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Were you passing over
Mr. HANSEN. No, I was going to be the
clean-up batter here.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. That is fine. Thank you,
Commissioner, are you aware of any instance where
a dam has been torn down by the government or
authorized to be torn down? Isn't there such a
dam in the State of Washington?
Mr. MARTINEZ. I am not aware of any dam
that's been torn down, but there is a proposal
for Elwa Dam in the State of Washington, for a
Mr. DOOLITTLE. I've heard a number of the
Members express surprise at the absurdity of this
idea of tearing down dams, but at a hearing we
held with our Subcommittee in Mrs. Chenowith's
district, why the engineer for the Corps of
Engineers indeed admitted in testimony that
they're actively studying the proposal involving
five dams to return the river level. I believe it
is the Snake River, to its natural level by
bypassing, not one, but five dams.
So these ideas are very strange, but I think one
has to treat them seriously, especially when an
agency of our government, not the Bureau in this
casein fact, I don't know. Is the Bureau
involved in that study, Commissioner?
Mr. MARTINEZ. On the Snake River dams? No,
we are not. That is a Corps of Engineer's study,
as I understand it.
Right. Are you familiar with the Navajo
Mr. MARTINEZ. Yes, I am.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Let me just ask you to
recall as best you can. It was my understanding
that the Navajo generating station was built as
the result of another compromise, just like we
heard about Glen Canyon was a compromise. That
was a happy compromise as far as I am concerned.
But the Navajo generating station impressed me,
when I viewed this area, as being completely
incongruous for the area. These enormous
And when we toured the facility, we went to the
20th story and got out and walked on the roof.
And we looked up, and the towers, the tops of the
towers were 57 stories above our heads even at
the 20th story level. And there are three of
these. And thanks to the new scrubbers that are
being built, there are now six smokestacks. I
guess we will tear down the other three when the
new ones are completed.
But the thing that struck me as interesting about
this was that this was itself, in fact, compelled
by some of these environmental groups, perhaps
not the Sierra Club in this case. I don't
remember which one it was. But that Navajo
generating station was built to replace the power
that would have been generated by two dams to
have been constructed downstream of Glen Canyon.
Is that your recollection?
Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, and if I'm
wrong, I'll have Mr. Calhoon correct me, but my
understanding is that the power that was
contemplated to be generated by dams on the
Colorado River was to drive principally the water
delivery mechanisms to the central Arizona
project as well as provide some electricity to
that part of the United States.
In the absence of those two other dams you're
referring to, there was this power plant
constructed. The Bureau of Reclamation owns part
of that facility. And we use power to drive the
pumps on the central Arizona project. But
directly to answer, yes, it was built as a way of
delivering power that was originally contemplated
as being produced by, I believe, two other dams
on the Grand Canyon.
So when the committees of Congress hear testimony
later on, which I am sure we will hear in the
next few years, about how detrimental the air
quality of the Navajo generating station is and
how it's necessary to remove it as a blight in
the environment, we can thank the very
environmental groups themselves for giving us
that taxpayer expense. Of course, the Navajo
generating station in its 77-story tall towers
and daily consumption of something like 20,000
tons of coal per day. A special railway was built
to make sure that the coal could be delivered day
after day, plus a number of trucks that bring it
So I just want to confirm with you your
understanding of how that got built. And I think
this is a lot of unintended consequences
sometimes. Because no one who visits that
beautiful area would, I think, be pleased to see
this huge coal-fired plant sitting there. But the
dams that would have produced the clean
hydroelectric power were nixed by the
environmental groups. So I thank you for your
testimony, and I yield back my time, Mr.
Mr. HANSEN. The gentlelady from the Virgin
Islands, Ms. Green.
Ms. CHRISTIAN-GREEN. Thank you, Mr.
Chairman. I have a question for Mr. Martinez. And
I would like to welcome all of the panelists this
Mr. Martinez, you said in your testimony that
proposals to drain Lake Powell are unrealistic.
Has the Bureau of Reclamation done any analysis
of the costs and benefits of these proposals? And
is there any reason that private citizens
shouldn't do such an analysis?
Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, Madam, we have
not seen specific proposals, and we have not done
any studies of those proposals.
Ms. CHRISTIAN-GREEN. OK.
Anotherthose who propose lowering Lake
Powell argue that the current evaporation losses
from the reservoir are about 1 million acre feet
per year. Is that about accurate?
Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, Madam, any
structure, any dam results in evaporation. A lot
of it is dependent on the location of the
reservoir. There is approximately 800,000 acre
feet of evaporation that occurs at this
reservoir. And that is not unusual for the area
and was anticipated.
GREEN. OK. A question for Mr. Hacskaylo.
Mr. HACSKAYLO. Hacskaylo.
Ms. CHRISTIAN-GREEN. Hacskaylo. I'm sorry.
In your testimony, you referred to payment of
irrigation assistance by Glen Canyon Power
customers as a benefit from Glen Canyon Dam. Can
you tell us in what year that irrigation
assistance payment might be made and what is the
present value of a payment.
Mr. HACSKAYLO. I do not have that
information available. We would be happy to work
with the Bureau of Reclamation and supply it for
[The information follows:]
IRRIGATION ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS
The $801 million of unpaid irrigation assistance
as of the end of fiscal year 1996 that is an
obligation of Colorado River Storage Project
power customers is projected to be paid over many
years. The fiscal year 1996 power repayment study
for the Colorado River Storage Project projects
that the vast majority of the payments will occur
between the years 2010 and 2023. The present
value of these payments as of September 30, 1996,
is $203 million using a 7 percent discount rate.
Ms. CHRISTIAN-GREEN. Thank you. And one
other question. You gave the total amount of
power generated from Glen Canyon Dam in fiscal
year 1996. Was that a higher than average water
year? And what is the average amount of power
generated each year from Glen Canyon Dam?
Mr. HACSKAYLO. I can provide that
information for the record.
GLEN CANYON DAM POWER GENERATION
The average amount of power generated annually at
Glen Canyon Dam since Lake Powell filled in 1981
is 5.2 billion kilowatt-hours (KWhs). Therefore,
the 5.5 billion KWhs generated at Glen Canyon in
1996 is above average.
Ms. CHRISTIAN-GREEN. Thank you. Thank you,
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you. The gentleman from
Utah, Mr. Cannon.
Mr. CANNON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr.
Martinez, in his written statement, Mr. Brower
has asserted that Glen Canyon Dam nearly failed
in 1983, and this could happen in the future as a
result of poor engineering, flood lands, flood,
landslide, earthquake, or human intent. Do you
agree with Mr. Brower about the vulnerability of
Glen Canyon Dam?
Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, Congressman,
to the extent that that question implies that the
dam is unsafe, I do not agree with it. It is a
safe structure. However, we did experience, in
1983, some problems with our spillways. We had
sustained some cavitation. We have corrected
those problems and don't anticipate any future
problems with the spillways.
Mr. CANNON. I thank you. Mr. Brower also
talks about the dam nearly being filled with
sedimentation over time. What is the current
projected life of the reservoir behind the dam?
Mr. MARTINEZ. Chairman, Congressman, the
Glen Canyon Institute estimates that it will be
completely full within 250 to 350 years. Bureau
of Reclamation estimates indicate a life-span
from 5 to 700 years.
Mr. CANNON. So recreation and power
generation will be effective for that kind of
period of time.
If theseyou know, one thing about figures,
depending on which expert you talk to, he'll give
you different opinions. But our belief from the
Bureau of Reclamation is that that facility will
be functioning from a siltation standpoint for
several hundred years.
Mr. CANNON. My understanding is the
Department of Interior spent about $100 million
since 1982 on studies on the Glen Canyon. Now, is
that about right?
Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, Congressman,
if you're referring to the studies conducted for
the EIS for Glen Canyon operation, there was
approximately $100 million spent for that.
Mr. CANNON. Have you had a chance to look
at the citizen-led environmental assessment that
Mr. Brower refers to?
Mr. MARTINEZ. I have not.
Mr. CANNON. Thank you. Mr. Galvin, how
many visitor days a year do we have at Glen
Mr. GALVIN. We havein 1996, we had
over 2 1/2 million visits. An important subtext
there is that Glen Canyon has the second most
overnight visits in the entire system. Of those 2
1/2 million visits, 2 million visitors spend at
least one night in Glen Canyon. So in that
respect, it's one of the most heavily visited
areas in the system.
Mr. CANNON. What are the other
opportunities in the area for flat water
recreation that are now served in by Lake Powell?
Mr. GALVIN. In that general area, while
there are 8 or 10 other national park areas,
there is very little in terms of flat water
Mr. CANNON. If Lake Powell ceased to
exist, what would the impact be on Lake Mead and
its resources that are now served by Lake Powell
for recreation and other things?
I am not absolutely certain how the two dams
interact. Perhaps one of my colleagues would have
a better idea. But we have obviously similar
facilities at Lake Mead. And if we experienced
higher water levels at the recreation area, we
would have to do a considerable amount of
reconstruction of the infrastructure there, which
is quiteits marinas and that kind of thing.
Mr. CANNON. Do you know how many people
visit Lake Mead per year?
Mr. GALVIN. I don't. But it is on the same
order of magnitude or more than Glen Canyon. But
not as many overnight visits.
Mr. CANNON. Would it be possible for all
those people who now use Lake Powell to go down
to Lake Mead?
Mr. GALVIN. Not with our present capacity,
no question about it.
Mr. CANNON. Mr. Hacskaylo, Mr. Brower
asserts in his written statement that we can
replace the power currently generated at Glen
Canyon Dam through reduced demand. Is that
realistic in your assessment?
Mr. HACSKAYLO. Mr. Chairman and Mr.
Cannon, the Glen Canyon environmental impact
statement assessed the impact of conservation and
saving electricity. And the estimates range from
zero percent savings to, best case, of 20 percent
savings based on the assumptions used. So there
could be some conservation savings. But we do not
believe that the capacity and the energy
generated at Glen Canyon Dam could be replaced in
its entirety by conservation.
Mr. CANNON. When was that study done?
Mr. HACSKAYLO. In 1994, as part of the
Glen Canyon EIS.
Mr. CANNON. Do you happen to know what has
happened to our power usage since that study in
Not in the general area of the Glen Canyon Dam,
in that part of the United States. Power usage
has increased slightly. Demand has increased.
Mr. CANNON. Isn't it likely this lost
generation would have to be replaced with some
form of fossil fuel generation? And has anyone
calculated the air quality impacts of a
replacement for the dam with fossil fuel
Mr. HACSKAYLO. It is likely that fossil
fuel generation would be utilized to replace the
lost capacity at Glen Canyon Dam. And I'm not
aware of any studies as to air impacts.
Mr. CANNON. Great. Thank you.
Mr. HANSEN. Will the gentleman yield for
just one moment?
Mr. CANNON. Absolutely.
Mr. HANSEN. Mr. Hacskaylo, how many tons
of coal would it take to replace the power that
is generated by the hydropower on the dam?
Mr. HACSKAYLO. Our best estimate, based on
the entire replacement of all the capacity of
Glen Canyon Dam, is one million tons of coal
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you.
The gentleman from Arizona, Mr. Shadegg.
Mr. SHADEGG. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr.
Martinez, let me begin with you. Let me followup
on a point made on the other side. Your written
statement does, in fact, have you saying that the
proposals to drain Lake Powell are unrealistic. I
note that word because, in the July issue of
National Geographic, which contains a thorough
evaluation of the Grand Canyon, and touches
extensively on this issue, Wayne Cooke of the
Upper Colorado River Commission is quoted as
saying: If Powell goes, growth in the upper basin
States from a water standpoint is over. There
would be no storage for our obligations under the
It then goes on to say: Secretary Babbitt,
referring to Secretary of Interior, Bruce
Babbitt, agrees in self-arguing that Lake Powell
is, quote, ''essential to the economies of those
States, and that draining the reservoir is
I guess I would
like to put into the record those statements from
Secretary Babbitt from this article, Mr.
Chairman. And I would like to have Mr. Martinez
confirm to us that is, in fact, the Secretary's
position and the administration's position.
Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, I am aware of
that article. I have not specifically discussed
this issue with the Secretary, but I am aware of
that article where he was quoted. And I was
present at a budget hearing earlier this spring
where the Secretary basically stated the same
Mr. SHADEGG. OK. Could I request that, if
that is not the Secretary's position, the
President's position, the administration's
position, that you advise the Committee within
Mr. MARTINEZ. I'll pass that on to the
Mr. SHADEGG. Let me move to some other
statements that I would like to focus on. In his
seminal paper on this issue, and I regret that
Mr. Brower is not going to be here. A paper
entitled, ''Let the River Run Through It,'' Mr.
Brower makes a series of factual assertions which
I find stunning, some of which I find not
With regard to water, which I consider to be your
focus, in the fourth paragraph of the article, he
states, and I quote: ''Lake Mead's Hoover Dam can
control the Colorado River without Lake Powell.''
Let me ask you, it certainly could not control
the Colorado River if we did not create some
flood storage capacity at the top of Lake Mead.
That is, we would have to drain some portion of
Lake Mead, would we not?
Mr. MARTINEZ. Theit gets somewhat
complicated, but let me put it this way: If what
you're saying is, in order for flood control, we
would have to hold a greater pool for flood
storage at Lake Mead, that would be the case.
Mr. SHADEGG. Thank you.
Which would make less water available for
Mr. SHADEGG. So as a result of that, we
would not only lose the water stored for future
use in the event of a drought, which we have in
Lake Powell, but we would also lose some of the
water currently stored at the top of Lake Mead,
because Lake Mead is nearly full; is it not?
Mr. MARTINEZ. You would lose the ability
at Lake Mead to store more water for purposes
other than flood control.
Mr. SHADEGG. And also lose the storage we
have at Lake Powell.
Mr. MARTINEZ. That's correct.
Mr. SHADEGG. He also makes a statement
toward the end of his article, and again I will
quote, because I think there is a stunning
statement that may persuade people who are not
paying attention or thinking the issue through:
''Draining Lake Powell means more water for the
Colorado River States and Mexico, especially
Colorado and Utah.''
It is beyond me how draining Lake Powell could
possibly mean more water. Can you explain his
statement, or do you have an understanding of it?
Mr. MARTINEZ. It would appear to me, for
the short term, it would appear as a high flow.
It could probably provide more water in terms of
volume. But over time, it would appear to me that
storage would provide the opportunity to capture
more of that flow and provide it to the system.
In other words, the storage, as was indicated
earlier this year in the Southwestor
earlier today, in the Southwest, is necessary in
order to make better use of high spring runoff.
Mr. SHADEGG. There is no question, but
that we created Lake Powell to store water in the
event of droughts. It seems to me there's also no
question but that we experience droughts in the
West, and that to empty it could not create more
And insofar as he
is addressing the evaporation issue, which I
think is, quite frankly, the issue on which
turned the minds of the board of directors, it
seems to me that Lake Powell is an insurance
policy against a future drought and that, just as
when you purchase an insurance policy, it
isthere is a price so that you have that
insurance pool there in the event of a
catastrophe. Evaporation and bank storage, which
Mr. Brower seems deeply concerned about, is the
price we pay so that we will have a storage
reservoir there. And I guess there are more
I see I am running short on time, but I would
like to ask Mr. Hacskaylo a question. Mr. Brower
also makes a statement in his paper that Lake
Mead's Hoover Dam can produce more power if
Powell's water is stored behind it. How could it
be that storing Lake Powell water behind Lake
Mead, which is already full, could produce more
power than the combination of Lake Mead and Lake
Mr. HACSKAYLO. I do not know, sir.
Mr. SHADEGG. It simply doesn't make sense,
Mr. HACSKAYLO. Not to me.
Mr. SHADEGG. Let me ask a second question.
Proponents of this idea say point blank that we
could reengineer Navajo generating station, which
is also essential for the economies of the
Southwestern United States, so that the tubes,
which now take the cooling water out at a level
of about 250 feet above the river, could take
them out at river level. Given that the river
fluctuated dramatically and had very low flow in
the wintertime, does that idea appear realistic
Mr. HACSKAYLO. Sir, I would have to defer
to the Commissioner of Reclamation on that
Mr. SHADEGG. Two other quick questions, if
I might. There's been some reference to
conservation here and that we might save some of
the power lost by shutting down Glen Canyon Dam
by conservation. Would we not be better off to
use that conservation to defer the construction
of future dirty coal or oil or natural gas
That certainly is an option for the policymakers
Mr. SHADEGG. I guess the last point I
would like to make, Mr. Duncan goes back to you,
with regard to how fast the lake will fill up. I
understand the Lake Powell Institute says it's
only 100 yearone or 200 years. I simply
want to note that Bill Duncan of the Bureau of
Reclamation, who is the engineer that manages the
dam, has said that sedimentation in the lake is
very slow. And he said, and I quote, ''At current
rates,'' he predicted ''dredging would be needed
to clear the tubes for the turbine intake pipes
in about 500 years'' He's saying not that the
lake will be full in 500 or 700 years, but that
dredging won't even be necessary to clear the
intake tubes for 500 years. He's on the site. It
would seem to me he would make a pretty good
estimate of what's required, wouldn't you agree?
Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, I've been
around this business long enough. Like I said,
different folks will give you different figures.
It's my feeling that, or at least for the next
three to four or 500 years, we will not have
siltation unless the climate of the world changes
to a point where it causes chaotic problems. But
that structure, from my best information I have
available, will not get into a siltation problem
at least for 4 or 500 years.
Mr. SHADEGG. I thank you each for your
testimony and I thank the Chair for his
Mr. HANSEN. Mr. Martinez, let me quickly
insert a question. I started, as we were flying
in here, I read in a report from one of the river
runners magazines, that if not one more drop came
into Lake Powell, that it could sustain the flow
on the other end for 4 years. Do you agree with
Mr. MARTINEZ. My understanding that both
Lake Mead and Lake Powell are capable of
impounding the average flow of the Colorado River
for about 4 to 5 years.
So together you could keep it going for 4 or 5
years. So there's that much water stored behind
those two reservoirs; would that be correct, Mr.
Mr. CALHOON. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
Approximately 26 million acre feet of water are
presently stored in Lake Powell. And the average
inflow to Lake Powell is something on the order
of 12, 13 million acre feet. So it wouldn't be
quite the 4 years, it would be more like 2 years.
Mr. HANSEN. Quite an insurance policy that
the gentleman from Arizona talked about.
The gentlelady from Idaho, Mrs. Chenowith.
Mrs. CHENOWITH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
For the record, I would like to make a correction
to my opening statement if it wasn't clear. It's
my understanding that in 1922, the Colorado Lower
Basin Water Compact and Colorado River storage
projects were established out of that.
Eventually, in the fifties came the construction
of the Grand Canyon Dam and the culmination of
the substantial construction of the recreational
facilities in the seventies. And I hope the
record will reflect these changes.
I'm very interested, Commissioner, in knowing
what effect draining Lake Powell would have on
our ability to live up to our obligations to
deliver water to the lower basin and to Mexico?
Mr. MARTINEZ. It is my understanding that
the deliveries to the lower basin States, except
for periods of extensive drought, could be met
without Lake Powell being in place. However, if
there is extended drought, the deliveries could
not. What is more important, from my perspective,
is that, without Lake Powell, the upper basin
States would not be able to develop their
Mrs. CHENOWITH. Would not
There is two answers to that question. One is, in
periods of extensive drought, Lake Powell would
be needed to meet deliveries to the lower States.
In other situations, without Lake Powell, the
upper basin States would not be able to develop
their water that they're entitled to under the
Colorado River Compact.
Mrs. CHENOWITH. The ability to deliver
water to Mexico, is that a higher right than the
right to deliver water for irrigation and
hydropower flood control?
Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, I would defer
to the attorneys on that issue, but that is an
international treaty. And we have obligations
under the international treaty to deliver water.
Mrs. CHENOWITH. So what I'm asking you,
Commissioner, is there is only so much storage
capacity without Lake Powell. And within that
storage capacity, there is the capability of
delivering for previous filing water rights, such
as for energy or for agriculture or flood
Are you saying that, under international treaty,
that the filling of a water interbasin or
international water, transfer of water comes as a
higher priority in the first in time, first in
right doctrine established in the West if we have
less storage capability without Lake Powell?
Mr. MARTINEZ. If you have a stream system
that's overallocated, especially in the West,
first in time, first in right, the question
Ithe issue I raise is I would defer to the
attorneys. That if we have an international
treaty in place, whether the international treaty
would go first in terms of water shortage, I
believe that it would. But I think, going back to
the question that was asked, was that
Mrs. CHENOWITH. If the gentleman would
yield, you believe that the international treaty
would require a higher and more senior right, is
that correct, above irrigation rights filed
The water rights in the West are apportioned by
Mrs. CHENOWETH. Right.
Mr. MARTINEZ. Prior priority.
Mrs. CHENOWETH. Right.
Mr. MARTINEZ. Prior rights get first crack
at limited water supplies. The point I am raising
is that, if you have an international treaty,
that's why I say I would defer to the attorneys
in the audience, but it would appear to me that,
if you have an international treaty, you have
international obligations, which might require
that water to go downstream. But I would be glad
to provide that direct answer for the record.
Mrs. CHENOWETH. I would appreciate that,
Commissioner. I would be very interested in
seeing what your legal analysis on that would be
with regards to seniority and rights.
[The information referred to may be found at end
Mrs. CHENOWETH. A very interesting
question was asked earlier about whether the
Bureau had done a cost benefit ratio analysis on
draining Lake Powell. Your answer didn't surprise
me. But I thought it was a very interesting
question in that I wanted to followup and ask
you: Does an agency have an obligation to do a
cost-benefit analysis or an environmental impact
statement or any other of those costly studies
when an outside organization is requiring an
action such as this?
Mr. MARTINEZ. To my knowledge, the Bureau
of Reclamation has not undertaken any studies on
evacuation of reservoirs across the West as a
course of business. Or if Congress so directs, we
shall undertake such study.
Mrs. CHENOWETH. So you would say your
obligation comes from Congress?
Ithe Bureau of Reclamation will do what
Congress tells us to do.
Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Commissioner, I would
like to submit that question in writing. I see my
light is on. And so with regards to the
obligation of the Bureau, I will submit that in
writing. Thank you very much.
Mr. HANSEN. I thank the gentlelady. The
gentleman from Nevada, Mr. Gibbons.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you very much, Mr.
Mr. Martinez, continuing on the same line, I
noticed in the previous testimony that a million
acre feet of evaporation is one of the
considerations for draining Lake Powell. In other
words, the waste of that water through
evaporation. Would you agree or would you
disagree that evaporation should be a
consideration in the draining of a water storage
Mr. MARTINEZ. It could be, but to the
extent that you're going to replace that storage
someplace else, you have the same problem. And if
it's the storage occurs downstream at Lake Mead,
the evaporation rates would be even higher. Mr.
Chairman, what I said earlier on, Congressman,
was that any structure across the West and in
ponds of water suffers evaporation. That's part
of the physical process.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Would the gentleman yield
for just a minute?
Mr. GIBBONS. I'd be glad to yield.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Commissioner, this figure
of a million came from the Sierra Club. Do you
accept that it's a million? Is that the Bureau's
estimate of the amount of evaporation? Is it a
million acre feet?
Mr. CALHOON. Mr. Chairman, the million
acre feet a year is a high figure. We feel like
it's less than that. The total loss of water from
Lake Powell for evaporation and bank storage is
less than a million. It's something on the order
of 950,000 acre feet a year.
Oh, so then your testimony isthat's
different than what I understood, then. It nearly
is a million.
Mr. CALHOON. For bank storage and
evaporation. Evaporation is on the order of a
little under 600,000 acre feet a year. Bank
storage is another 350,000 acre feet a year.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. OK. But the bank storage,
you believe, comes back as the level of the
Mr. CALHOON. That is essentially correct.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. So then it wouldn't be fair
to say that we're losing banksI apologize
to Mr. Gibbons. Can we give him a couple extra
Mr. HANSEN. Without objection, we will
just give him two additional minutes.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. OK. Let me just get the
rest of the answer. So the bank storage, if we
set aside the bank storage, what is the loss,
then, due to evaporation?
Mr. CALHOON. In 1996, the evaporation loss
for Lake Powell was computed at, I believe,
585,000 acre feet.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. OK. Thank you. I thank the
Mr. HANSEN. The Secretary will give two
additional minutes to the gentleman from Nevada.
Mr. GIBBONS. I appreciate that, Mr.
Chairman. Hopefully, I won't take that long. If
the evaporation rates are a condition of
consideration for removal of a water storage
area, is there a criteria upon which the amount
of the evaporation is a determining factor in
making a recommendation to eliminate a water
storage area? Is there a percentage or a criteria
in that area?
Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, Congressman, I
think thatI'm not aware of evaporation
being considered as a criteria for removing the
structure or evacuating a structure. It is
criteria that is considered at the time you
construct the structure.
It would appear to me that, if the evaporation rate is so great, you would not construct the structure in the first place. So those issues from an engineering perspective should have been addressed at the time the dam was constructed and designed.
Mr. GIBBONS. Sure. I understand that. And it's based on the size of the impoundment area, whether it's wide and thin or wide and shallow versus deep?
Mr. MARTINEZ. It's based on the
Mr. GIBBONS. Total quality of water versus the evaporation rate would be under consideration?
Mr. MARTINEZ. Mr. Chairman, it's based on the exposed surface area and the location of the structure. For a given area, the evaporation rates would be higher at Lake Mead than they would be at Glen Canyon Dam.
Mr. GIBBONS. OK. Mr. Galvin, how many units of the national park system would be impacted by this proposal?
Mr. GALVIN. Well, we startup in canyon lands, so there areand Lake Mead, of coursewell, let's just go uplet's go up the river. We have Lake Mead National Recreation area, Grand Canyon National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation area, and Canyon Lands.
Now, that covers the length of the river. But there are otherthere are other units that are on these drainages, Capital Reef and Dinosaur upstream, although that is notI mean, theoretically, because the water flows change, they could be somehow impacted.
Mr. GIBBONS. So the national park system has a very, very active participatory interest in this hearing today?
Mr. GALVIN. Yeah. We'veyou know, we manage recreation on the Colorado River for a very significant length of that and on the tributaries of the Colorado River.
Now, you were requested by the Committee to
appear here today, were you not?
Mr. GALVIN. Yes.
Mr. GIBBONS. And, originally, you intended
just to submit a written statement. Did you have
any discussions with the Department of Interior
about your appearance here today?
Mr. GALVIN. The committee invited the
National Park Service to appear as an expert
witness. And, originally, in preparing for the
hearing, we prepared two separate statements. It
was the decision of the Department of Interior
simply to incorporate the perspectives of the
National Park Service under Mr. Martinez's
Because of schedules, we did have some discussion
about who the witness would be. And I was the
witness, then I wasn't the witness. Then we
discussed with the Subcommittee. And they wanted
a high-ranking management official, so I agreed I
would be the witness.
But it was largely a consideration of schedules
that wasthere was no direction from the
Department one way or the other.
Mr. GIBBONS. Has the National Park Service
an interest in the endangered species that exist
along the Colorado River?
Mr. GALVIN. Yes. In fact, we were a
participant on the environmental impact statement
on the management of the river that was referred
to in previous testimony.
Mr. GIBBONS. Are there a number of
endangered species that exist upstream but not
downstream or vice versa because of the existence
of Glen Canyon Dam?
Mr. GALVIN. I am aware of endangered
species downstream because the environmental
impact statement principally covered the
management of the Colorado River below the dam.
And an importantthe endangered species
thing sort of cuts both ways, because the
temperature of the water is influenced,
obviously, by the dam. But there are clearly
endangered species downstream of the dam that
wouldthat would become more endangered if
the canyon was drained. On the other hand, there
are some that perhaps would benefit from warm
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HANSEN. The gentleman from Nevada, Mr.
Mr. ENSIGN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr.
Martinez, the part that you raised about
extensive drought, could you just give me your
definition of what extensive drought would be.
Mr. MARTINEZ. I refer to Mr. Calhoon.
Mr. CALHOON. Mr. Chairman, Congressman,
we've experienced several significant droughts.
The droughts in the thirties are of historical
record. And the droughts of the fifties were very
significant. More recently, we experienced a
6-year drought on the Colorado River beginning in
1986 in which we realized approximately
two-thirds of the normal runoff during that
Mr. ENSIGN. And you're saying that that is
a significant enough drought period to have an
effect on the lower basin States on the supply of
water that they would get.
Mr. CALHOON. Mr. Chairman, particularly
the earlier droughts of the thirties and fifties,
the droughtif the 6-year drought in the
eighties had gone on longer, I am sure that would
have been the case then also.
Mr. ENSIGN. So am I safe in saying that,
with a reasonable degree of certainty, the
drainage of Lake Powell will have, within the
next 30 or 40 years, almost assuredly based on at
least the last hundred years, will have a severe
affect on the lower basin States?
Mr. CALHOON. Mr. Chairman, experience
would indicate that would be the case.
Mr. ENSIGN. Thank you. Also, can you
address why Lake Mead's evaporation rate is
greater. We're saying, you know, if you drain
Lake Powell, Lake Mead has a greater evaporation
Mr. Chairman, Lake Mead is at a lower elevation
and experiences a much higher temperature
year-round. And that would be the primary reason
for the higher evaporation loss.
Mr. ENSIGN. So you're saying that, by
draining Lake Powell and putting the water into
Lake Mead, because of the increased temperature
and the lower elevation, then we increase even
more evaporation. So some of the benefit that the
Sierra Club seems to think by draining Lake
Powell is actually negated because of the
increased evaporation rates in Lake Mead; is that
Mr. CALHOON. Mr. Chairman, that is
Mr. ENSIGN. Have you seen anything put out
by the Sierra Club that would address that issue,
that wouldin other words, that they address
that maybe countercounters the argument
Mr. CALHOON. Mr. Chairman, no, I have not.
Mr. ENSIGN. OK, thank you.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Would the gentleman yield?
Mr. ENSIGN. Yes.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. I just want to understand
this. Lake Mead is, I think, the largest
reservoir in the country, right?
Mr. CALHOON. Mr. Chairman, that is
Mr. DOOLITTLE. OK. And that's, what,
twentiesif Powell is 27 million, what is
Mr. CALHOON. It's slightly more than 27.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. OK. I'm just wondering how
are you going to put all thatand assume
Lake Mead is full. How are you going to put
another 27 million acre feet of water in Lake
Mr. Chairman, that would be physically
impossible. Additional water supplies, when Lake
Mead is full, would flow through the system over
Mr. DOOLITTLE. I mean, there is no way you
could do it, right? So you would be cutting, I
don't know what it would be, but you would be
making a dramatic cut in your obviously 27
million acre foot cut in your reservoir storage
capacity. But, I mean, you couldn't justyou
just can't add water into Lake Mead beyond what
it can hold, right?
Mr. CALHOON. That is correct.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. I mean, theoretically, you
shouldn't be able to add another drop beyond its
27 million acre feet of storage, is that right,
without flooding something or causing some
Mr. CALHOON. Mr. Chairman, that is
essentially correct. Of course, Lake Mead is not
completely full all of the time.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Right. But I mean the point
is that you're going to lose, I don't know, if
you took an average, I mean, how much is
typically available for added storage in Lake
Mead when it's notlet's say it's not full
all the time, like if it's 80 percent full or
what percentage would it be normally?
Mr. CALHOON. Mr. Chairman, we could supply
that for the record. I don't have that
Mr. DOOLITTLE. OK. I just think it's
important for the Committee to understand that
it's not like you can just get rid of Lake Powell
and have it all in Lake Mead, and we're all just
fat, dumb, and happy. Thank you.
Mr. HANSEN. We're pleased to have J.D.
Hayworth, past Member of our Committee and Member
of Congress and a gentleman from Arizona. Do you
have any comments to make?
Mr. Chairman, only to say that I hope the
description of my colleague from California won't
be used for me because I'm a little bit
nutritionally challenged from time to time. And
there are those that would say the same thing
about my intellectual capacities. But I thank you
for the chance to be here with you. And I'm sure
my colleague from California was not referring to
Mr. HANSEN. We'll accept that. Mr. Galvin,
I didn't get it straight when somebody asked you
the question. Does the National Park Service and
this administration have a position on this
Mr. GALVIN. Well, Mr. Martinez used the
word ''unrealistic.'' And Mr. Shadegg quoted the
National Geographics article. I believe that is,
to the extent that we offer positions at an
oversight hearing, that's our position.
Mr. HANSEN. You stated earlier the amount
of visitation, and you used overnight figures.
Did I hear you correctly that you said it was one
of the highest or second highest?
Mr. GALVIN. It is actually second to
Yosemite National Park in terms of overnight
stays. And I suspect, this year, because of the
fewer facilities at Yosemite, it will be the
highest number of overnight stays in the national
Mr. HANSEN. You say it will be the highest
of the entire Park Service?
Mr. GALVIN. Yes.
Mr. HANSEN. All 375 units, huh?
Mr. GALVIN. Right. And that is because of
the nature of the visitation. It's
notunlike Lake Mead, which is primarily day
use, near major metropolitan areas, people come
to Glen Canyon and stay overnight. They take the
house boats down the lake, as you know. So they
tend to be overnightthere are 456 hotel
rooms. There are 600 camp sites.
Last time I was there, I talked to the
superintendent, and he indicated to me that about
400,000 people launched boats there last year. Is
that a correct statement?
Mr. GALVIN. If the superintendent said
that, it's undoubtedly true, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HANSEN. OK. Never cross the
superintendent, do you?
Mr. GALVIN. Well, I wouldn't say that.
Mr. HANSEN. Mr. Hacskaylo, which areas are
specifically treated with power? Would you
identify those that receive this hydropower?
Mr. HACSKAYLO. Yes, sir. From the Glen
Canyon Dam and the Colorado River Storage
Project, our customers are located in Utah,
Colorado, Wyominga few in Wyoming, a few in
New Mexico, Arizona, and I believe one customer
in Nevada. We do have a map which we'd be happy
to provide for the record showing the locations
of our customers.
Mr. HANSEN. We previously asked the
question as to how many tons of coal would have
to make up for the loss. How many generating
plants do you think would have to be created in
order to fill the gap that we would lose from the
hydropower? How many kilowatts, sir? Would you
Mr. HACSKAYLO. Right now, the maximum
operating capability of Glen Canyon power plant
is 1,356 megawatts. I'm sure the consulting
engineers could give any sort of variations on
what would be needed to replace that lost
capacity. I do not have an answer for that.
Mr. HANSEN. And you would assume that
would have to be done by fossil fuels or
Mr. HACSKAYLO. This is correct.
Mr. HANSEN. [continuing] or nuclear?
That would be a reasonable assumption, yes, sir.
Mr. HANSEN. I see.
Mr. Shadegg had one more comment he wanted to
make. We'll give him a minute to do that.
Mr. SHADEGG. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I
just noticed that there was some significant
discussion here about the issue of bank storage
and the Bureau of Reclamation claiming that some
of that can be regained. And I simply want to
make a couple of points.
I noted earlier that I was not able to get the
witnesses here as a result of the short timing of
this hearing that I thought ought to be here. One
of the witnesses I think deserves to be here is
the representative of the Hopi tribe. Congressman
Stump, who represents the Hopis, is not a member
of the this Committee, but is deeply concerned
about this issue.
And I want to make this point: Again, in his
seminal paper on this issue, ''Let The River Run
Through It,'' Mr. Brower, the principal proponent
or leading proponent of this idea, diminishes the
idea of bank storage by saying, quote: ''All too
likely, the region's downward slanting geological
strata are leading some of Powell's waters into
the dark unknown,'' close quote.
I believe were there a Hopi witness here, he
would tell you or she would tell you that, in
point of fact, the dark unknown is a very viable
aquifer that underlies the Hopi reservation and
which is currently supplying water to the Hopi.
And the Hopi are greatly concerned, as I know
Congressman Hayworth knows, about the loss of
that water, and have indeed come to the Congress
and said, not only are we worried about the
depletion of that aquifer over time, but we would
like it supplemented by a pipeline from Lake
And I would suggest very strongly that the dark
unknown that Mr. Brower refers to is, in fact, an
aquifer underlying the Hopi and Navajo
reservations and is important to their lives and
economies. And I look forward to asking the
representatives of the Navajo nation here if they
share that concern about damage to that aquifer
were the lake drained. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
statement of Mr. Stump follows:]
STATEMENT OF HON. BOB STUMP, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ARIZONA
Chairman Hansen, Chairman Doolittle,
distinguished members of the Resources Committee,
panelists and interested parties,
Lake Powell, while not a natural lake, has a very
positive presence in Northern Arizona and in
Southern Utah. World renowned for its outstanding
scenic beauty and extraordinary recreational
opportunities, the Lake also serves as an
important water storage body, whose Glen Canyon
Dam is an essential generator of critically
needed electrical power.
Draining Lake Powell to ''restore'' the Colorado
River is simply destruction for destruction's
sake that would irreparably harm fish and
wildlife that today accept Lake Powell as their
home. It would also have grave consequences for
river towns whose economies depend upon
recreational tourism. The uncertain water
supplies brought on by draining would harm
downstream users and would create unnecessary
spikes in electrical generation and distribution
costs, all without giving U.S. taxpayers one
sound reason for the need to do so.
Aren't taxpayers sick enough of costly,
ill-advised government initiatives? As a Member
of Congress, I urge my colleagues here at this
oversight hearing to let taxpayers know that
Congress has heard their pleas. I will stand with
you in telling taxpayers that Congress will not
pull the plug on Lake Powell.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you. We'll excuse this
panel. Thank you so much for being here.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Brower may be
found at end of hearing.]