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1999 Friends of Lake Powell, Inc.
www.lakepowell.org
P.O. Box 7007
Page, AZ 86040 USA
(928) 645-2741  Fax: 928-353-2227

 

Panel #1 Q&A


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 felt.
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 Western people.
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 water-related activities.
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 needs.

 

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 absolutely nonsense.

 

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. Chairman.
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 very busy.
Senator CAMPBELL. I appreciate it, Mr. Chairman. We are on the floor, too. Thank you.
Mr. HANSEN. The gentleman from Colorado, Mr. Hefley.
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 who—we 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 from—did you want to have him yield to you?

 

Mr. SHADEGG. 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 purposely.
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 been—might 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 Powell.
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 are—I 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 beholder.
Mrs. Chenowith.
STATEMENT OF HON. HELEN CHENOWITH, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF IDAHO+
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.

 

However, when 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 which—and 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 annually.
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 who—and 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?

 

Unfortunately, their vision is not—we 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.

 

Sensitive 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 Nevada.
The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Pickett.
STATEMENT OF HON. OWEN B. PICKETT, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF VIRGINIA
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 preserve it.
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. Thank you.
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.

[Witnesses sworn.]
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 standing—we 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 that statement.

 

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 was unprecedented.
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 Federal agencies.
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 area.
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, Mr. Chairman.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Martinez may be found at end of hearing.]

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 them.
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 it.
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 believe.
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 replacement power.
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 Project.
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.

 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Hacskaylo may be found at end of hearing.]

Mr. HANSEN. Thank you, Mr. Hacskaylo. We appreciate the statement. This is a very brief panel here.
Mr. Doolittle, questions for the panel. We will limit the Members to 5 minutes in their questioning.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Were you passing over your——
Mr. HANSEN. No, I was going to be the clean-up batter here.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. That is fine. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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 small structure.
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 case—in 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.

 

Mr. DOOLITTLE. Right. Are you familiar with the Navajo generating station.
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 smokestacks rise.
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.

 

Mr. DOOLITTLE. 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 in.
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. Chairman.
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 morning.
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. Another—those 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.

 

Ms. CHRISTIAN 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 record.
[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.
————

 

AVERAGE ANNUAL 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. Chairman.
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.

 

Mr. MARTINEZ. If these—you 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 Canyon Dam?
Mr. GALVIN. We have—in 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 recreation.
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?

 

Mr. GALVIN. 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 quite—its 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 America?

Mr. HACSKAYLO. 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 generation?
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. And——
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 annually.
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 Compact.
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 unrealistic.''

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 position.
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 two weeks.
Mr. MARTINEZ. I'll pass that on to the Secretary.
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 sustainable.
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. The—it 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.

 

Mr. MARTINEZ. Which would make less water available for downstream uses.
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 Southwest—or 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 water.

 

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 is—there 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 points.
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 Powell?
Mr. HACSKAYLO. I do not know, sir.
Mr. SHADEGG. It simply doesn't make sense, does it?
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 to you?
Mr. HACSKAYLO. Sir, I would have to defer to the Commissioner of Reclamation on that question.
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 fired-power plants?

 

Mr. HACSKAYLO. That certainly is an option for the policymakers to consider.
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 year—one 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 indulgence.
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 that?
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.

 

Mr. HANSEN. 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. Calhoon?
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 entitlement.
Mrs. CHENOWITH. Would not——

 

Mr. MARTINEZ. 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 control.
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 I—the 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 previously?

 

Mr. MARTINEZ. The water rights in the West are apportioned by prior priority.
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 of hearing.]

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?

 

Mr. MARTINEZ. I—the 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. Chairman.
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 area?
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.

 

Mr. DOOLITTLE. Oh, so then your testimony is—that'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 reservoir drops.
Mr. CALHOON. That is essentially correct.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. So then it wouldn't be fair to say that we're losing banks—I apologize to Mr. Gibbons. Can we give him a couple extra minutes.
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 gentleman.
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 that—I'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 are—and Lake Mead, of course—well, let's just go up—let'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 other—there are other units that are on these drainages, Capital Reef and Dinosaur upstream, although that is not—I 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've—you know, we manage recreation on the Colorado River for a very significant length of that and on the tributaries of the Colorado River.

Mr. GIBBONS. 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 statement.
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 was—there 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 important—the 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 would—that would become more endangered if the canyon was drained. On the other hand, there are some that perhaps would benefit from warm water.

Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HANSEN. The gentleman from Nevada, Mr. Ensign.
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 6-year period.
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 drought—if 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 rate.

 

Mr. CALHOON. 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 correct?
Mr. CALHOON. Mr. Chairman, that is correct.
Mr. ENSIGN. Have you seen anything put out by the Sierra Club that would address that issue, that would—in other words, that they address that maybe counter—counters the argument against that.
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 correct.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. OK. And that's, what, twenties—if Powell is 27 million, what is Lake Mead?
Mr. CALHOON. It's slightly more than 27. It's larger.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. OK. I'm just wondering how are you going to put all that—and assume Lake Mead is full. How are you going to put another 27 million acre feet of water in Lake Mead?

Mr. CALHOON. Mr. Chairman, that would be physically impossible. Additional water supplies, when Lake Mead is full, would flow through the system over the spillway.
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 just—you 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 damage?
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 not—let'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 information.
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. HAYWORTH. 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 me.
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 proposal?
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 park system.
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 not—unlike 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 overnight—there are 456 hotel rooms. There are 600 camp sites.

 

Mr. HANSEN. 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, Wyoming—a 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 have any——
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 coal——
Mr. HACSKAYLO. This is correct.
Mr. HANSEN. [continuing] or nuclear?

Mr. HACSKAYLO. 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 Powell.
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.

 

The prepared 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.]

 

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