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<v Wilkinson Son>Aw as uh... If no one told me about the job, I wouldn't know about it. <v Wilkinson Son>I mean, you know, we have as much water as we need. <v Wilkinson Son>You know, I- you know I don't think it's affecting me any. <v Don Schroder>What we had here for our lawn was a very lush green lawn as of just- just <v Don Schroder>two years ago. <v Don Schroder>And last year, with the lack of using our sprinkling systems <v Don Schroder>and hand watering and we just couldn't water it enough. <v Don Schroder>And now, since we're prohibited from doing any watering whatsoever on the lawn, you can <v Don Schroder>see it's dried up entirely. And all we have left is a few weeds. <v Joy Schroder>Well, it's kind of inconvenience. I don't use the dishwasher anymore. <v Joy Schroder>Haven't for about a year now. And so we do dishes by hand. <v Joy Schroder>That saves a lot of water. Uh, I'm very worried about <v Joy Schroder>my plants that I have. I hope, I hope they can make it through. <v Speaker>[family talking] <v Jack Wilkinson> It's my understanding that the drought in northern California has been very serious in
<v Jack Wilkinson>that uh, a lot of steps have been taken, no longer watering lawns and so forth and <v Jack Wilkinson>not washing cars. And the only effect that we've seen <v Jack Wilkinson>here in Orange County is that we're not served water with our meals. <v Speaker>Tom McCall is a news commentator and environmentalist and the former <v Speaker>governor of Oregon. <v Tom McCall>Two families and two tales of the drought. <v Tom McCall>The Wilkinson family and many like them in Southern California, may not <v Tom McCall>notice the drought, but millions of others do. <v Tom McCall>For many, like the Schroeders in Marin County, north of San Francisco, the drought <v Tom McCall>has been a time not for splashing in a Jacuzzi, <v Tom McCall>but of learning to live with less water. <v Tom McCall>More than one hundred California cities have imposed mandatory <v Tom McCall>water rationing, while saving water in the home can become something of a game, <v Tom McCall>doing with less is no fun for the farmer.
<v Tom McCall>Farmers use most of the water in the west about 85 percent, and so they're <v Tom McCall>suffering most from its lack. <v Tom McCall>Farm losses in California may be in the billions of dollars. <v Tom McCall>In the northwest, low water means millions of bushels ?less wheat?, less <v Tom McCall>electricity and in some industries, fewer jobs. <v Tom McCall>Seven hundred people lost jobs in the aluminum industry alone. <v Tom McCall>Those of us who have had to cope with the drought and its effects have been <v Tom McCall>reminded anew of the basic reality of life in the West, a reality <v Tom McCall>we've done much to disguise over the years. <v Tom McCall>Ours is a desert region. <v Speaker>[music plays]
<v Tom McCall>The great desert of the West has been blooming for many years. <v Tom McCall>It blooms so long and so luxuriantly, in fact, that it took this <v Tom McCall>drought to remind us that it is indeed a desert. <v Tom McCall>Well, we've all been reminded now. <v Tom McCall>So for the next hour, we're going to see how colossal efforts to take water <v Tom McCall>from the mountains to the desert have made the desert bloom and boom. <v Tom McCall>California did it first. <v Tom McCall>Now Arizona wants to do it and wants Uncle Sam's help. <v Tom McCall>We'll take a look at the California experience and the Arizona dream. <v Tom McCall>This is also a story of federal subsidies, subsidies designed to help <v Tom McCall>family farmers in the West. <v Tom McCall>Subsidies which today often go not to the small farmer, <v Tom McCall>but to the already wealthy. <v Tom McCall>Money used not to build rural communities, but to help prosperous <v Tom McCall>Western cities grow bigger and bigger.
<v Tom McCall>It's a story of the West, but it's told for you all over America. <v Tom McCall>The federal government has invested billions of dollars in programs to nurture <v Tom McCall>cities and farms in the great American desert. <v Tom McCall>And if you live in the east, the plains states or the south, you've also <v Tom McCall>paid. And will keep on paying a big chunk of the tab. <v Speaker>[music plays]
<v Tom McCall>Today, there are natural rivers that begin in the mountains and flow to the sea. <v Tom McCall>And there are managed rivers that begin in the mountains and bump into dams. <v Tom McCall>Once the river is trapped behind the dam, mother Nature's blueprint is put aside. <v Tom McCall>The engineers take over. In California, they've taken over in a grand fashion, <v Tom McCall>capturing water in the north, carrying it through a manmade concrete <v Tom McCall>river system for four hundred forty four miles. <v Tom McCall>Much of the way uphill. <v Tom McCall>The 14 pumps here lift the water over to Tehachapi mountains. <v Tom McCall>It's a lift of almost two thousand feet, making this the most powerful high <v Tom McCall>lift pumping plant in the world. <v Tom McCall>As much power is used by this plant alone in one year as was used in 1967 <v Tom McCall>by all of Los Angeles. <v Tom McCall>And finally, the water meets the city and the city drinks.
<v Tom McCall>Seventy five years ago, Los Angeles was a desert community of about one hundred thousand. <v Tom McCall>Today, after more than a half century of importing water from distant rivers, <v Tom McCall>Los Angeles County is an oasis homeland for 9 million people. <v Tom McCall>An area once famous for orange groves is now famous for freeways. <v Tom McCall>Angelinos drive 4 million cars on 650 miles of freeways, <v Tom McCall>which lays and embrace the metropolitan area. <v Police radio>We're over now, and we're just arriving on the scene. ?inaudible? <v Police radio>to the car gonna load an injured party. <v Police radio>Looks like two vehicles involved, that's at Sunset, right at the Hollywood freeway. <v Speaker>[music]. <v Speaker> <v Evan Griffith> We must recognize that this whole southern California area
<v Evan Griffith>is basically a desert. The rainfall here is normally about 13 <v Evan Griffith>inches a year, which won't support a big population like we <v Evan Griffith>have here today. So in order for the area to grow and develop. <v Evan Griffith>It's been necessary to develop and import water from the outside. <v Tom McCall>Three major aqueducts are the watery lifeline of Southern California. <v Tom McCall>The Los Angeles Aqueduct carries water 200 miles from the Sierras to urban <v Tom McCall>Los Angeles. The 242 mile Colorado River Aqueduct <v Tom McCall>brings in water, which began high in the Rockies. <v Tom McCall>The California Aqueduct transfers water from California's mountain region in the <v Tom McCall>north to the urban desert of the south. <v Jack Wilkinson>Oh, there are lots of things we do that uh, are wasteful, I'm sure. <v Jack Wilkinson>Probably this is wasteful. <v Jack Wilkinson>Allowing the water to run while brushing teeth. <v Jack Wilkinson>By allowing the water to run while shaving, I'm sure is wasteful. <v Jack Wilkinson>There are lots of things going round now as suggestions as to
<v Jack Wilkinson>ways to save- to save water. <v Jack Wilkinson>When I know that we around here, in spite of full <v Jack Wilkinson>knowledge of the- of the drought, are still watering their lawns <v Jack Wilkinson>daily, we're still wasting while washing cars, we're still splashing water outside <v Jack Wilkinson>the diffusers. [?: taking showers everyday] and taking showers every day. <v Jack Wilkinson>Uh, some of the children no longer turn on the faucet when <v Jack Wilkinson>they go to the bathroom but um [?: laughter]. <v Jack Wilkinson>So those things we would sacrifice. <v Sheri Wilkinson>My water bill here every two months, uh including my trash pickup is about $15 <v Sheri Wilkinson>twice- er every two months. <v Sheri Wilkinson>And uh, that includes the jacuzzi, uh doing uh dishwasher every day, laundry <v Sheri Wilkinson>for six of us, six showers, every single thing that we do. <v Sheri Wilkinson>So it's very minimum actually, about 7 dollars a month. <v Sheri Wilkinson>And we don't really notice it that much. <v Tom McCall>Only seven dollars a month, at that price water is probably the biggest <v Tom McCall>bargain in the Wilkinson budget.
<v Tom McCall>The Schroder's in sunbaked Marin County tell a different story. <v Tom McCall>Marin County doesn't import water. <v Tom McCall>It relies on local sources. <v Tom McCall>When the drought hit, it hit hard. <v Tom McCall>The water district set pricing policies, which meant water was no longer a bargain. <v Tom McCall>Higher prices, forced conservation. <v Tom McCall>The local water district has limited water use with its get tough policy. <v Don Schroder>Go over the quota, then you're- you are charged double, <v Don Schroder>and plus they'll disconnect the water and charge $55 for reconnecting. <v Tom McCall>Californians have spent more than three billion dollars to build the world's largest <v Tom McCall>water transfer system. For the Wilkinson's, it's working. <v Tom McCall>Reporter Mindy Cameron asked California's top water official how well he thinks <v Tom McCall>the system's working. <v Ronald Robie>-Simple, this is simply the worst drought in the history of the state, and well water <v Ronald Robie>management system is designed to provide 100 percent of your water supply during every <v Ronald Robie>year. But I think the system worked very well. <v Ronald Robie>California has grown by 15 million people since the most serious drought of the past.
<v Ronald Robie>Yet we're making hardly a ripple in California, even though there are areas where <v Ronald Robie>isolated problems are severe. <v Tom McCall>But reservoirs are dangerously low, and history tells us that drought <v Tom McCall>years come in bunches. <v Tom McCall>Already, state leaders are estimating losses from the two-year-old California drought <v Tom McCall>in the billions of dollars. <v Tom McCall>The Schroder's and their brown lawn are a stark contrast to the Wilkensons <v Tom McCall>in their Jacuzzi. The Schroders live in one of the few areas of the state <v Tom McCall>which is not hooked up to the huge state waterworks. <v Tom McCall>So they are learning to live within the limits of local water resources. <v Tom McCall>How much longer can the rest of California and the West ignore the real lesson <v Tom McCall>of the drought? Water is a limited resource, especially in <v Tom McCall>a desert region. <v Tom McCall>While the lesson goes unlearned more people throughout the country use <v Tom McCall>more and more water. <v Tom McCall>25 years ago, we took two hundred four billion gallons of our surface water every day
<v Tom McCall>to use in our homes and our farms and our industries. <v Tom McCall>Last year, we withdrew more than twice that, 420 billion gallons of <v Tom McCall>water a day to drink, wash, flush and irrigate. <v Tom McCall>That's more water than the Mississippi River carries out to sea in an entire <v Tom McCall>year. Meanwhile, with a vigor which defies the desert, <v Tom McCall>the West continues to grow faster than the rest of the country, adding each <v Tom McCall>month the population equivalent of one city of 65000 <v Tom McCall>people. Surprisingly, most of those people live in an urban area. <v Tom McCall>Only three out of every 100 Westerners live on a farm. <v Tom McCall>But those farms use most of the water. <v Tom McCall>Up to 90 percent in some areas, about 85 percent overall. <v Tom McCall>Transformed by water into rich farming country. <v Tom McCall>So one time desert land of the West has lured farmers from other parts of the country. <v Tom McCall>Men like Tollie Barton, who farms with his son near Bakersfield, California.
<v Tom McCall>Back in the 1930s, Tollie Barton fought a drought and depression <v Tom McCall>in Oklahoma. <v Tollie Barton>But then in bout the second year of the drought. <v Tollie Barton>Well, I uh, my brother and I went out on to <v Tollie Barton>farming on our own and <v Tollie Barton>we just practically lost everything that we had. <v Tollie Barton>So we gave it up and said, well, I don't believe there's any future <v Tollie Barton>here, so we'll- we'll head west, and see for this-. <v Speaker>[music: Back in 1927, I had a little farm and I called that heaven. <v Speaker>Well, the price is up and the rain come down and I hauled my crops all in the town, I got <v Speaker>the money. Bought clothes and groceries. <v Speaker>Fed kids and raised a family. <v Speaker>Rain quit and the wind got high and the black ol' dust storm filled the sky and I swapped <v Speaker>my farm for a Ford machine and I poured it full of this gasoline and I started
<v Speaker>rockin n' a rollin' over the mountains out towards the ol' <v Speaker>Peach Bowl. <v Tom McCall>More than seventy thousand square miles of land are irrigated in the west, <v Tom McCall>lumped together. That makes an area about the size of five eastern states: New York, New <v Tom McCall>Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. <v Tom McCall>California has more irrigated land than any state. <v Tom McCall>The system which takes water to the city also takes it to the fields through a network <v Tom McCall>of smaller canals, like fingers reaching from the reservoirs to touch <v Tom McCall>the crops. <v Tollie Barton>There's no better farmland than the state of California, than <v Tollie Barton>this area- is in this area right here. <v Tollie Barton>But you've got to have that water. <v Tollie Barton>We produce about any crop and its good and <v Tollie Barton>a lot of crops, better crops than the majority <v Tollie Barton>of the state. <v Tollie Barton>How many... <v Tollie Barton>how many loads just went out general? <v Speaker>Uh we got five now.
<v Tollie Barton>Five. <v Tom McCall>But like farmers throughout the West, Tollie Barton has been plagued by <v Tom McCall>the drought. <v Tollie Barton>We just uh, hope we can survive this. <v Tollie Barton>And next year we'll have rains in the north where they will have <v Tollie Barton>more water coming down the canal. I think we've come out of it, you know, with <v Tollie Barton>at least that's our hopes and I think that's the only way we can look at it. <v Tom McCall>Farmers have always been people of hope. <v Tom McCall>For many, like Tollie Barton, farming is a family business and one of their hopes <v Tom McCall>is that the farm will prosper. Not just this season and the next, but for the next <v Tom McCall>generation as well. In 1902, Congress created the Bureau of Reclamation. <v Tom McCall>Its mission was twofold. To put farms in the arid west by bringing <v Tom McCall>water to the land and to put families on those farms. <v Tom McCall>And the bureau did succeed in creating farmland in the West. <v Tom McCall>It has built storage for enough water to flood all of New England to a depth of three
<v Tom McCall>feet. The federal investment exceeds 16 billion dollars. <v Tom McCall>But the Reclamation Act was written to assure that federal assistance went to small <v Tom McCall>farms. Hundred sixty acres or 320 for a man and wife rather <v Tom McCall>than to large holdings. In California and elsewhere in the West, it hasn't always <v Tom McCall>turned out that way, and many wonder if the family farm is still a national <v Tom McCall>goal. Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus says it is. <v Cecil D Andrus>Yes, I think it is and will continue to be. <v Cecil D Andrus>The size of that family farm might vary from area to area. <v Cecil D Andrus>But getting people back onto the land and a family unit is and <v Cecil D Andrus>will continue to be the goal. <v Mindy Cameron>Well, there are many farms-. <v Tom McCall>Some people say that goal is not being met. <v Tom McCall>Dave Weiman of AG Resources, an organization of small farmers, is one <v Tom McCall>of 'em. <v Dave Weiman>Building a project is only the means to an end. <v Dave Weiman>And the means is, is our- our physical
<v Dave Weiman>features that deliver water. <v Dave Weiman>But the end is community development. <v Dave Weiman>It's family farming. It's the spreading of- of benefits of this tremendous federal <v Dave Weiman>investment over a broad, broad base. <v Dave Weiman>That's not happening. <v Dave Weiman>Um, Westlands, perhaps, is- is a classic example. <v Tom McCall>The Westlands Water District is indeed an example of the Bureau of Reclamation, <v Tom McCall>not investing in the small family farmer. <v Tom McCall>The district in the fertile San Joaquin Valley has been described as the Mercedes <v Tom McCall>Benz of water districts. <v Tom McCall>Included on the list of owners whose land receives water supplied by the Bureau of <v Tom McCall>Reclamation are Southern Pacific Land Company 109 thousand acres. <v Tom McCall>Boston Ranch 24 thousand acres. <v Tom McCall>Standard Oil of California 11593 acres. <v Tom McCall>Hardly family farming. <v Tom McCall>The Federal Government Project in the Westlands wasn't primarily to open desert <v Tom McCall>land. The land had been farmed here for many years by pumping groundwater, <v Tom McCall>but farmers pump too much water out of the ground.
<v Tom McCall>So they asked the federal government to finance a system to import surface water from the <v Tom McCall>north, more of a rescue mission than a reclamation project. <v Tom McCall>Estimates of how much federal money will be invested in the Westlands. <v Tom McCall>By the time it is completed in 1990, run as high as two billion <v Tom McCall>dollars or more. <v Dave Weiman>Everything one would expect of a rural community that has- is so blessed <v Dave Weiman>with this kind of wealth, wealth brought to you by water. <v Dave Weiman>Uh, those elements don't exist. <v Dave Weiman>There's no 4-H clubs, there's no silos, uh, there's no McDonald's <v Dave Weiman>stands, there's no department stores. <v Dave Weiman>None of the elements of community really exist in Westlands. <v Dave Weiman>I mean, there's- there's land. There's farm workers. <v Dave Weiman>Um, it's land for as far as you can see, from north to south. <v Dave Weiman>There's no trees. It's flat as a pancake. <v Dave Weiman>Um, houses, homes. The very thing that- that were promised <v Dave Weiman>and- and- and part of the package sold in 1956, 57,
<v Dave Weiman>58, 59. And the project was being promoted. <v Dave Weiman>You know, we'll gain fine people, homes, communities. <v Dave Weiman>But we haven't gained fine people. We haven't gained any people. <v Tom McCall>No people, no homes, no communities. <v Tom McCall>Well what have we gained? <v Dave Weiman>Nothing <v Tom McCall>Ralph Brody is manager and chief counsel of Westlands Water District. <v Tom McCall>Reporter Mindy Cameron asked him if there are any family farms in the Westlands. <v Ralph Brody>Yes, there are some out there. They are not numerous but there are some, but I would <v Ralph Brody>point out that since water is first started to be delivered in Westlands, <v Ralph Brody>the average size of the farm operation out there has been cut in half. <v Ralph Brody>What was formerly operators in terms of the average size- operating unit was 46 <v Ralph Brody>hundred acres. It's now down to close to 2 thousand A-. <v Ralph Brody>Uh, the number of farm operations increased from 97 to 266, has tripled. <v Tom McCall>Brody claims that over 270 new residences have been constructed since
<v Tom McCall>water began flowing in 1967. <v Dave Weiman>I suspect some of the residences, first off, are probably farmworker housing or in some <v Dave Weiman>cases, perhaps even farmer housing. <v Dave Weiman>Um, when- when they say that the number of- of operating <v Dave Weiman>units is increased. One of the things that they probably fail to mention is, is <v Dave Weiman>that probably in 1960 or in the <v Dave Weiman>late 50s, when the project was first conceived and ultimately adopted by the Congress <v Dave Weiman>and the president at that time, there were a thousand farm units. <v Dave Weiman>What happened to those farm units? They've disappeared. <v Tom McCall>For years, Wyman and others have formed what they see as abuses of the reclamation <v Tom McCall>laws in the Westlands District, principally the failure to see that small farmers <v Tom McCall>benefit from federal projects. <v Tom McCall>Secretary Andres has ordered a review of the Westlands project. <v Tom McCall>He told reporter Mindy Cameron he suspects some irrigators in the West <v Tom McCall>are not paying enough. <v Cecil D Andrus>Hardships... Let me give you an example of one project
<v Cecil D Andrus>where they're paying seven dollars and 50 cents an acre foot for the water <v Cecil D Andrus>and some people say that's too low. <v Cecil D Andrus>I happen to agree in that particular project. <v Cecil D Andrus>When right across the fence in another project, you're paying twenty one dollars an acre <v Cecil D Andrus>foot for water. <v Mindy Cameron>Is that the Westlands Districts by the way? <v Cecil D Andrus>Yes' ma'am. <v Tom McCall>Brody says that isn't the whole story, that farmers eventually will pay more. <v Ralph Brody>He has also to to pay for a distribution system. <v Ralph Brody>There's this where you take the water to his land, he has to pay for the operation <v Ralph Brody>maintenance of the distribution system and many other items. <v Ralph Brody>The cost of water to this farmer in this district is going to be closer to $20 <v Ralph Brody>an acre foot when the project is completed. <v Tom McCall>But the project won't be completed until 1990. <v Tom McCall>Dave Wyman says that means those who benefit the most won't be around to pay the bill. <v Dave Weiman>As structured right now, payment will not begin until 1990, even though the first water <v Dave Weiman>was delivered in 1967. <v Dave Weiman>So on one hand, there's an acknowledgment of the debt.
<v Dave Weiman>But the debt is deferred so far into the future that the people who organized <v Dave Weiman>Westlands, the people who put it together politically and the first beneficiaries, <v Dave Weiman>they're not going to be around when the bill comes due. <v Tom McCall>The beneficiaries, the current owners of Westlands acreage won't be around <v Tom McCall>to pay the bill because it's assumed by then they will have complied with <v Tom McCall>federal law and sold off their land, which is in excess of 160 acres. <v Tom McCall>But regardless of who pays the bill in the Westlands, it's bound to be at bargain rates <v Tom McCall>compared to water bills. Some farmers pay in other parts of the state. <v Tom McCall>Tollie Barton gets his water from the state rather than a federal system. <v Tom McCall>He and other farmers in the same water district paid 45 dollars an acre foot. <v Tom McCall>More than twice what Westlands Water users are expected to pay thirteen <v Tom McCall>years from now. Why such a difference between water delivered by a federal project <v Tom McCall>and water delivered by a state project? <v Tom McCall>It all has to do with a federal subsidy for water development.
<v Tom McCall>A subsidy provided with your tax money. <v Tom McCall>State Water Director Ronald Robie explained. <v Ronald Robie>Federal government has a law that provides for a subsidy to agriculture. <v Ronald Robie>It does not charge interest on the money that the government uses. <v Ronald Robie>So there's first of all, there's no subsidy in the state project. <v Ronald Robie>State waters is based on sale of bonds, and those bonds all have to be repaid <v Ronald Robie>by the water users except the flood control and recreation. <v Tom McCall>Is it fair to single out the Westlands as an example of subsidized, low cost, <v Tom McCall>federally delivered water? <v Tom McCall>Is it perhaps a one of a kind discount? <v Tom McCall>Critics and defenders agree that it is not unique that the kind of subsidies <v Tom McCall>found in Westlands can be found elsewhere. <v Ralph Brody>Everything that has been suggested here as being wrong in Westlands <v Ralph Brody>is something that's been in existence for over 75 years and <v Ralph Brody>nothing has been fashioned for this district. <v Cecil D Andrus>But the Westlands is not the only place, its probably more significant because it's <v Cecil D Andrus>received more publicity.
<v Tom McCall>Charles Howe is an economist who has studied the financial aspect of federal water <v Tom McCall>projects. He explains the subsidy built in to the easy repayment <v Tom McCall>terms. No money down, no interest. <v Tom McCall>50 years to pay. <v Charles Howe>This is a rather attractive feature, as I think you'll agree. <v Charles Howe>If, if you can imagine someone offering you a 50 year loan at no interest. <v Charles Howe>One can see that this, in itself, results in a very large degree of subsidy to the <v Charles Howe>western water projects. Probably not more than 25 percent of the costs <v Charles Howe>are in fact repaid by the project beneficiaries. <v Tom McCall>The subsidy aspect of federal water development is not widely acknowledged by the Bureau <v Tom McCall>of Reclamation or the people it serves. <v Tom McCall>Charles Howe charges the agency and beneficiaries with obfuscation, <v Tom McCall>a cover up. <v Charles Howe>Very large subsidies are involved and nearly all of the federal water projects <v Charles Howe>that have been undertaken in the post-World War Two period.
<v Charles Howe>Naturally, the beneficiaries and the agencies involved <v Charles Howe>in the construction and management of these projects don't like to call <v Charles Howe>us to the public attention. <v Charles Howe>And quite frankly, this leads to an attempt to obfuscate the facts to <v Charles Howe>cover up the extent of the subsidy, failed to point <v Charles Howe>out who's getting the benefits and who's paying the costs. <v Tom McCall>So who is getting the benefit? <v Tom McCall>Who is paying the cost? <v Charles Howe>Most of the time, the benefits accrue to relatively small group of beneficiaries <v Charles Howe>who are the direct users of the water or power that comes from the projects. <v Charles Howe>Many of the costs are spread across the nation and are <v Charles Howe>borne by the taxpayers at large. <v Tom McCall>The Bureau of Reclamation today is everybody's favorite whipping boy <v Tom McCall>and there is some justification. <v Tom McCall>Critics have spoken from the White House, from Congress, from public interest groups, <v Tom McCall>echoing the views of economist Howe.
<v Tom McCall>The bureau, under the guise of serving the family farmer has not <v Tom McCall>been candid about who really benefits, who really pays for projects <v Tom McCall>like the one that delivers water to the Westlands. <v Tom McCall>In the Westlands, we find the benefits are going to large corporations <v Tom McCall>and family farming is not encouraged. <v Tom McCall>A recent study shows that one half the irrigation water used in the West is <v Tom McCall>wasted, and the bureau itself is reported that higher water rates lead <v Tom McCall>to wiser water use. <v Tom McCall>Yet throughout the West, we find the low cost of federally delivered water encouraging <v Tom McCall>waste, not conservation. <v Tom McCall>And taxpayers across the country are picking up the tab. <v Speaker>[indistinct chatter]. <v Tom McCall>Whenever a river is harnessed, something's lost. <v Tom McCall>Here on the Columbia River, the fish population is about half of what it was early this <v Tom McCall>century. The Pacific Northwest is no desert.
<v Tom McCall>Drought afflicted shore, but 60 percent of all the water in the west is found here. <v Tom McCall>Yet even here, people have discovered that water is not unlimited. <v Tom McCall>Hydroelectric power came to the northwest on a large scale 40 years ago. <v Tom McCall>It was good for the economic growth and the prosperity of the region. <v Tom McCall>But it wasn't so good for the fish. <v Bill Luch>They come to Bonneville Dam and from Bonneville on up it's every 50 miles a dam. <v Bill Luch>With very little moving water in between, just the tail water of the dam itself. <v Bill Luch>And the situation then becomes these fish get into these, into these lakes. <v Bill Luch>They get lost. They spend too much time. <v Bill Luch>They are, have problems getting over the ladders. <v Bill Luch>And they get- they get bruised, and they get hurt and, and parasites <v Bill Luch>take hold, the fish get diseases. <v Tom McCall>Fish runs on the Columbia River declined from the early days of dam building <v Tom McCall>until about 1960. <v Tom McCall>Since then, there has been a slight reversal of the trend.
<v Tom McCall>But Bill Lou, a longshoreman from Portland, who is president of a national fishermen's <v Tom McCall>organization, isn't optimistic about the future of Northwest fisheries. <v Tom McCall>He says there will be trouble when hatchery-reared fish replace the wild <v Tom McCall>fish. <v Bill Luch>You know, man doesn't fool with those wild fish. They do their own thing on their own. <v Bill Luch>And, and uh, they're the key to our fisheries. <v Bill Luch>Because if you have a catastrophe at a hatchery, a disease catastrophe, you lose every <v Bill Luch>fish in the hatchary. Where do you go to replenish your stocks? <v Bill Luch>You must go to the wild fish. <v Bill Luch>When you don't have those wild fish, then you're in a lot of trouble. <v Tom McCall>For most, though, development of the Columbia River doesn't mean trouble. <v Tom McCall>It means jobs, growth, a healthy economy. <v Tom McCall>The Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agency, was created in the 1930s. <v Tom McCall>Bonneville Dam was the first of some 30 power dams, which today make <v Tom McCall>the Columbia the greatest power producing river in the country, with tentacles reaching <v Tom McCall>as far as Southern California.
<v Tom McCall>Their surplus water from the northwest, helps to make the desert bloom, <v Tom McCall>water transformed into energy and transmitted more than eight hundred fifty miles <v Tom McCall>helps to run the pumps that take water to Southern California cities. <v Tom McCall>The Northwest Hydro power is cheap power, cheap enough to lure industry, <v Tom McCall>particularly the metals industry, which has more than tripled in the last 20 years. <v Tom McCall>Hydro electric power in the northwest has been particularly important to the <v Tom McCall>aluminum industry. Energy intensive aluminum plants use more than <v Tom McCall>18 percent of all the electricity sold by Bonneville Power Administration. <v Tom McCall>Jim Vann is manager of an Alcoa plant in Vancouver, Washington. <v Jim Vann>Well, this is the first plant that was built in the northwest and we came <v Jim Vann>here strictly because of economical power was available from the Columbia <v Jim Vann>River system or the federal dam system. <v Jim Vann>And that has continued to be the case, actually, until last year
<v Jim Vann>when Bonneville gave their notice of insufficiency. <v Tom McCall>Notice of insufficiency? <v Tom McCall>Yes. Not enough water, not enough power. <v Tom McCall>And the notice came one year before the drought lowered flows on the Columbia, <v Tom McCall>even in the Pacific Northwest with more than half of all the water in the west. <v Tom McCall>Water is a limited resource. <v Tom McCall>Water experts gave warnings more than a year ago that the mighty Columbia <v Tom McCall>couldn't do it all. <v Jim Vann>Without a source of electrical energy the, the <v Jim Vann>industry would have to leave the northwest, but I don't think that, that's a very <v Jim Vann>practical alternative, because with 30 percent of the production up here, it <v Jim Vann>would be a rather drastic effect to have a rather drastic <v Jim Vann>effect on the national economy. <v Tom McCall>Leaving the northwest may not be a practical alternative for the aluminum industry. <v Tom McCall>But staying there is going to be costly. <v Jim Vann>But we would expect our power costs to triple between now and 1980.
<v Jim Vann>And uh, I would say by 1990, our power cost compared <v Jim Vann>to our present rate would probably be up nine <v Jim Vann>hundred percent. <v Tom McCall>A nine hundred percent increase? <v Tom McCall>Consumers are sure to feel the impact when buying aluminum products. <v Tom McCall>Since the industry uses more than 10 percent of its sales revenue to pay the <v Tom McCall>electric bill. BPA deputy director Ray Forelin confirms <v Tom McCall>that power costs will skyrocket in the northwest as nuclear power begins <v Tom McCall>to meet the growing demands that hydro power can no longer serve. <v Ray Forelin>Prices are gonna go up. Because right now, our hydro system, the federal hydro system, <v Ray Forelin>produces power on the average at about 2 mills a kilowatt hour, <v Ray Forelin>very, very low price. Wholesale power cost, these new thermal plants coming in <v Ray Forelin>in the mid 80s, for example, the cost of those projects are probably going to run 25 to <v Ray Forelin>30 mils. In other words, the cost is going to be fifteen times-
<v Ray Forelin>potentially 15 times higher. <v Tom McCall>So the era of low cost hydroelectric power is ending in the northwest, <v Tom McCall>but demands for power are not ending. <v Tom McCall>The Bonneville Power Administration and the Northwest utilities say that meeting those <v Tom McCall>demands will require the construction of as many as 13 new coal <v Tom McCall>or nuclear power plants in the next decade. <v Tom McCall>Hydro power is cheap. <v Tom McCall>Nuclear power is not. This changing energy picture of the northwest <v Tom McCall>has not been brought on by the drought alone. <v Tom McCall>It's been brought about primarily by people in industry and their ever growing <v Tom McCall>demands for power. <v Tom McCall>Just as growth changed Southern California from a desert to a water importing <v Tom McCall>metropolis. So growth may change the northwest from a low <v Tom McCall>cost hydro power economy to a region powered by nuclear <v Tom McCall>power. We've seen demands for more, more water, <v Tom McCall>more energy, but there are some people today who are demanding less.
<v Tom McCall>Mike Owen is one of them. Mike and his son Eric are fishermen, one of their <v Tom McCall>favorite spots is the South Fork of the Platte River, not far from Denver. <v Tom McCall>The Bureau of Reclamation has a plan to dam the stream because Denver <v Tom McCall>wants more water. <v Mike Owen>It's too bad. I left that six X in the car. <v Mike Owen>You don't need it. <v Eric Owen>Yea. <v Eric Owen>How much of the four X do you want me to take off the tip? <v Mike Owen>Only take off about a foot. You're about right ?inaudible? <v Mike Owen>It's really been a thrill for me to have Eric with me and to teach <v Mike Owen>him how to fish and to see how much he's enjoyed it. <v Mike Owen>He's always bugging me. <v Mike Owen>Daddy, come on. When are we going into the mountains? <v Mike Owen>I want to go camping. I want to go fishing. <v Mike Owen>It's really meant a lot to our family to be able to do those types of things. <v Mike Owen>And I want to make sure that we can continue to do it.
<v Mike Owen>That's why I'm working so hard. <v Mike Owen>Try to save a stream like the South Platt. [In the rougher water. <v Mike Owen>And I think you'll be able to take some.] <v Mike Owen>This stream is probably the best fishing within a <v Mike Owen>70 mile radius of Denver. <v Mike Owen>Gets a lot of pressure. In fact, it gets more efficient pressure than any stream in the <v Mike Owen>state. And there's a proposal right now to have the Bureau of Reclamation <v Mike Owen>build a dam. It's called the Two Forks Dam. <v Mike Owen>That would inundate about 35 miles of the stream. <v Mike Owen>Really take the heart out of the most popular stretch of the river. <v Mindy Cameron>Mike, what's the purpose for building the Two Forks Dam? <v Mike Owen>It's to provide water for future growth of metropolitan Denver. <v Mike Owen>And actually this is perhaps a bigger issue than the damming of a trout stream itself
<v Mike Owen>because a great many people in Denver are pretty well convinced <v Mike Owen>that Denver, if anything, is too big already. <v Mike Owen>I lived on the East Coast most of my life. <v Mike Owen>And the thing that really drew me to the Denver area was the quality of the environment. <v Mike Owen>And many other people come here for the very same reason. <v Mike Owen>And yet here we are talking about trying to develop, trying to get bigger and bigger all <v Mike Owen>the time. And we're just destroying the very thing that brought us <v Mike Owen>here. <v Mike Owen>That's quite a fish Eric. <v Eric Owen>There's one down there further... ?inaudible? you just hear bloop, ?inaudible? <v Mike Owen>I don't know how many times I- I've gotten into arguments with some of my friends <v Mike Owen>who were very much development oriented <v Mike Owen>because it's so easy for them to think of the many dollars that can <v Mike Owen>be made, how the economy can flourish. <v Mike Owen>And what happens is pretty soon they'll all feel
<v Mike Owen>that they'll have to move to Montana or somewhere else to find the same quality <v Mike Owen>that we enjoy here today. <v Mike Owen>I think in the 15 years I've been here, I've seen a definite decline. <v Mike Owen>And if it goes too much further, I'm going to have to <v Mike Owen>look for another place. You can't keep running. <v Mike Owen>Sooner or later, all the nice places are developed and, and the quality <v Mike Owen>of life is, is ruined. <v Mike Owen>Because of what we do to our environment, we won't have any more places <v Mike Owen>to go. <v Tom McCall>We've asked a lot of our water in the West. <v Tom McCall>We've hauled it great distances to make cities flourish in the desert. <v Tom McCall>We've poured them out the fields to grow crops instead of cactus. <v Tom McCall>We spilled it through our turbines so we can light our homes and run our factories. <v Tom McCall>We damn it. We fish it. <v Tom McCall>We ski it. We drink it. We flush it. <v Tom McCall>The only thing we don't do very well is save it. <v Tom McCall>How long can we keep it up?
<v Tom McCall>President Carter has called for reforms in water use after the president tried <v Tom McCall>to scrap 19 water development projects. <v Tom McCall>Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus explained the new administration's action <v Tom McCall>to water experts at a national conference in St. Louis. <v Cecil D Andrus>Water is a finite resource. <v Cecil D Andrus>And what the government can do to deliver it where it is needed <v Cecil D Andrus>is also finite. <v Cecil D Andrus>It is essential... <v Tom McCall>But in the West tradition prevails. <v Tom McCall>Governor Dick Lamm of Colorado has been a spokesman for Western political leaders <v Tom McCall>who criticized the president's action. <v Dick Lamm>Very mistaken to start and take projects that were already authorized, in some <v Dick Lamm>cases have been in the minds and hearts and hopes of people since 1904. <v Dick Lamm>And simply with a flick of the pen, you know, say that they no longer exist, especially <v Dick Lamm>if they've been authorized by Congress and millions of dollars have been spent <v Dick Lamm>appropriating it. <v Cecil D Andrus>In my way of thinking, this is somewhat like after choosing the route <v Cecil D Andrus>you're going to take to cross the street.
<v Cecil D Andrus>You close your eyes until you get to the other curb. <v Cecil D Andrus>Well I don't plan to operate with my eyes closed. <v Cecil D Andrus>Any decision made at any time by government should be open to scrutiny, <v Cecil D Andrus>and we have to be willing to change our minds and change our course <v Cecil D Andrus>of action if we see that a mistake has been made or is being made. <v Tom McCall>Change is slow to come, especially when the wheels are already turning to perpetuate <v Tom McCall>the old remedy. In central Arizona, the largest single Bureau <v Tom McCall>of Reclamation project ever authorized is now under construction. <v Tom McCall>It will import water from the Colorado River to the parched and thirsty southwest, <v Tom McCall>one of the fastest growing regions of the country.
<v Tom McCall>The Central Arizona project will cost more than 2 billion dollars. <v Tom McCall>It will bring water from the Colorado River more than 200 miles across the desert <v Tom McCall>to Phoenix and Tucson. No new farms will be created, but it will <v Tom McCall>provide additional water to existing farms and to municipal water users <v Tom McCall>in central Arizona. Why is this two billion dollar project necessary? <v Tom McCall>Because Arizona has overused its natural underground water supply. <v Tom McCall>The Central Arizona project is a rescue mission. <v Tom McCall>Representative Morris Udall, a supporter of the project explains. <v Rep. Morris Udall>The thing that people don't understand about Arizona, is that we are living on borrowed <v Rep. Morris Udall>water. It took hundreds of millions of years to put this water underground. <v Rep. Morris Udall>And every year we're drawing three times out what Mother Nature is putting back <v Rep. Morris Udall>in. The central Arizona project just fills part of that void. <v Rep. Morris Udall>It doesn't uh, replenish the bank account. <v Rep. Morris Udall>It just fills part of the overdraft. <v Tom McCall>Arizona has overdrawn its water account. <v Tom McCall>REPORTER Mindy Cameron talked with project critic George Barr a Tucson Engineer,
<v Tom McCall>and he says the solution is not more water but proper water management. <v George Barr>There are virtually no laws governing the use of water, and <v George Barr>it's just first come, first serve for almost everything in the state. <v George Barr>And which means that that water, water doesn't have any cost itself. <v George Barr>Whoever is advantageously located and can take that <v George Barr>water and doesn't have to, doesn't have to take out it only as much as, <v George Barr>as goes into the ground in that location. <v George Barr>You can take out whatever you can afford to take out by pumping. <v George Barr>And therefore... <v Tom McCall>Despite overuse of the groundwater, in Arizona, it is still every <v Tom McCall>man for himself. Unlike neighboring western states, Arizona <v Tom McCall>has failed to enact laws to regulate the use of its underground water resources. <v Tom McCall>Wes Steiner director of the Arizona Water Commission says better water <v Tom McCall>management and conservation are not the whole answer. <v Wes Steiner>These are, are important, but they, they would fall far short
<v Wes Steiner>of, of fully meeting the water problem in the state of Arizona. <v Wes Steiner>We need better management, but we also need more water. <v Wes Steiner>The consumption by the average homeowner in Arizona is uh, is Overlook- <v Wes Steiner>is above the average nationally. <v Wes Steiner>But you've got to remember that in a good part of this country, you don't have to <v Wes Steiner>irrigate your yards. You don't have the same, the same <v Wes Steiner>demands for swimming pools and this sort of thing. <v Tom McCall>Arizona's people do indeed use more water than many others and <v Tom McCall>they like to show it off. <v Tom McCall>This fountain shooting out of a manmade lake in the center of a new desert community <v Tom McCall>is touted as the world's highest fountain. <v Tom McCall>Promoters say it sends water 560 feet into the air, higher than <v Tom McCall>the Washington Monument. <v Tom McCall>Per capita water consumption in the Phoenix area has been as much as 50 percent greater <v Tom McCall>than the national average.
<v Tom McCall>The Central Arizona project, first authorized primarily to aid irrigators, <v Tom McCall>now is designed for urban residents. <v Tom McCall>A promise to them that they may continue their present lifestyle and then more <v Tom McCall>people may come to share their good life. <v Tom McCall>Keith Higginson Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation comments. <v Keith Higginson>They see the Colorado River as their last opportunity for resource, water <v Keith Higginson>resource development. And the reclamation program here is bringing <v Keith Higginson>the water from Colorado into central Arizona to take care of their continued growth <v Keith Higginson>and expansion in the central Arizona Phoenix Tucson area <v Keith Higginson>and to develop resources for their future growth. <v Tom McCall>So the federal government is investing in the growth and expansion of Phoenix and Tucson, <v Tom McCall>a region which already has grown beyond the limits of its water. <v Tom McCall>The project is another rescue mission on the heels of shortsighted resource <v Tom McCall>management, and it is for cities instead of farms.
<v Tom McCall>The key to making this rescue mission a success. <v Tom McCall>Is the Colorado River. The most important question in Arizona today is, <v Tom McCall>is there enough water in the Colorado? <v George Barr>It isn't there now. By the time the CHP is completed, there <v George Barr>probably will be no water in <v George Barr>the river. It'll just be whatever... <v Tom McCall>The water just won't be there because the Colorado River is used up. <v Tom McCall>Western states with claims to the Colorado River have waged long court battles <v Tom McCall>over rights to develop the river's water. <v Tom McCall>The Arizona versus California case was one of the longest ever heard by the Supreme <v Tom McCall>Court. But most experts believe the states have overestimated <v Tom McCall>just how much water is in the river. <v Tom McCall>Courts can grant rights, but they can't create water. <v Tom McCall>And courts have divvied up more water than exists in the Colorado. <v Tom McCall>That's not bad for states who won their water rights first. <v Tom McCall>But Arizona was last, and so it has last call on the river.
<v Tom McCall>Currently, California is using some of the water that Arizona can claim <v Tom McCall>when the project is finished. Supporters count on that water to make the project work. <v Tom McCall>George Barr says that's expecting too much. <v George Barr>California has to give it up, but that doesn't necessarily mean Arizona will get it <v George Barr>because those, there are many the priority over that Arizona on that water. <v George Barr>All of the affirmation, for example. <v George Barr>And that guy will go to the Colorado projects, not to the Arizona projects. <v Tom McCall>The state of Colorado has priority over Arizona, so water <v Tom McCall>development plans there are of critical importance to Arizona. <v Tom McCall>Governor Dick Lamm says Colorado's share of the river will be developed. <v Tom McCall>If the public sector doesn't do it, then the private sector will. <v Dick Lamm>Basically, if these projects aren't put to use for agricultural projects, <v Dick Lamm>they are going to be put to use- somebody is going to build those dams anyway. <v Dick Lamm>Somebody is going to be make use of the remaining use of Colorado's water. <v Dick Lamm>And I'm afraid that if they're not built now under very intense public purposes, they're
<v Dick Lamm>going to be built sometime in the future for private purposes. <v Tom McCall>So the Colorado River is going to be used up before it ever gets to Arizona. <v Tom McCall>Opponents of the project have another argument. <v Tom McCall>They raised the familiar question, who really benefits? <v Tom McCall>A spokesman for one citizen group says the large corporations will. <v Tom McCall>Barbara Tellman gives an example of how a large landowner in the Phoenix area <v Tom McCall>might benefit. <v Barbara Tellman>He owns a large piece of land that he would like to develop into subdivisions. <v Barbara Tellman>The only way he can do this is if he has CAP water. <v Barbara Tellman>His land value will go up tremendously. <v Barbara Tellman>Now he can build a subdivision with the promise of C.A.P water, if it doesn't ever come <v Barbara Tellman>through. He hasn't lost anything. <v Barbara Tellman>He's made his millions and he's left the people with the houses to find a source of <v Barbara Tellman>water. <v Tom McCall>A large landowner making it gourd off a federal water development project. <v Tom McCall>It's a familiar charge. <v Tom McCall>We saw how it happened in the Westlands in California. <v Tom McCall>But there's more to the Westlands CAP connection.
<v Tom McCall>Dave Weiman explains. <v Dave Weiman>That when scrutiny was attached to some of these projects, we found out that <v Dave Weiman>there were some common names on the benefit columns. <v Dave Weiman>In fact, some of the landowners in Westlands also owned land in the CAP <v Dave Weiman>area. Interestingly enough, there's at least one individual, and that's <v Dave Weiman>J.G. Boswell, who owns the Boston Ranch Company with about 20 some odd thousand <v Dave Weiman>acres in Westlands. Boswell is also in the central Arizona project. <v Tom McCall>Fact, the J.G. Boswell Company owns three thousand acres which stand <v Tom McCall>to benefit from the project. <v Tom McCall>Part of Sun City, a retirement community in the sun drenched desert west of Phoenix, <v Tom McCall>is on land once owned by Boswell. <v Tom McCall>Boswell is currently involved in another 300 million dollar housing venture. <v Tom McCall>Arizona landowners like Boswell will be able to get Project Water for agricultural <v Tom McCall>purposes and convert it to urban uses when they decide to cash <v Tom McCall>in crops for shopping centers. <v Tom McCall>Land reclaimed with federal dollars is a good investment, but in more than just
<v Tom McCall>a few isolated instances, it's not the ordinary farmer whose investment is <v Tom McCall>aided by federal reclamation programs. <v Tom McCall>It's business investors, large landowners, large corporations. <v Tom McCall>Does all this really matter? <v Tom McCall>It's repaid to the federal Treasury eventually isn't it? <v Tom McCall>Well, project proponents like to think so. <v Keith Higginson>Agricultural landowners and beneficiaries pay up to their capacity <v Keith Higginson>to repay the costs of the project. <v Keith Higginson>And then all of the costs that they cannot repay directly themselves are paid by the <v Keith Higginson>power revenues from the projects themselves. <v Dick Lamm>Reclamation over the years has returned far more money than we've even spent <v Dick Lamm>upon it. <v Speaker>We're not asking to give away. We're asking a loan which is paid back <v Speaker>much of it with interest. <v Tom McCall>Two economics professors at the University of Arizona calculated the interest <v Tom McCall>on that loan. They found an effective interest rate of less than 2 percent. <v Tom McCall>If Arizonans were to take out a loan at more realistic interest rates, the professors
<v Tom McCall>discovered, watercourse would have to be four times what they will <v Tom McCall>be with the federal financing that in order to repay the loan. <v Tom McCall>The project may not be a giveaway, but it's certainly the easiest terms <v Tom McCall>around. Let's look now at the whole picture. <v Tom McCall>According to its own figures, the bureau will spend sixteen point two billion <v Tom McCall>dollars to complete projects now under construction. <v Tom McCall>So far, it has spent almost eight billion dollars on those projects. <v Tom McCall>But water users have repaid only one point six billion or 20 percent. <v Tom McCall>And the gap is widening each year as investment leaps ahead of repayment. <v Tom McCall>Even if the bureau would stop spending money 20 years ago, only half the <v Tom McCall>investment would have been returned today. <v Tom McCall>Some of the money spent by the bureau about 15 percent is for flood control <v Tom McCall>and recreation. This will not be repaid because it's assumed the <v Tom McCall>benefits are spread evenly among the people.
<v Tom McCall>But 85 percent of the investment directly benefits specific groups. <v Tom McCall>Westlands farmers, Phoenix residents, they're supposed to repay. <v Tom McCall>But the repayment period is so long and at such low interest rates, irrigators <v Tom McCall>pay no interest. That for practical purposes, the bureau has <v Tom McCall>all but given its money away. <v Tom McCall>If the bureau had charged even a 6 percent interest rate, the interest alone <v Tom McCall>since 1957 would have been more than five billion dollars and soon <v Tom McCall>would exceed the actual capital investment. <v Tom McCall>This interest not paid is the subsidy that taxpayers provide to those <v Tom McCall>who benefit from Bureau of Reclamation Projects. <v Tom McCall>Barber Conable, the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, <v Tom McCall>represents some fertile eastern farmland in upstate New York. <v Tom McCall>He's voted against many Western water projects. <v Tom McCall>He says his constituents have helped to pay for projects in the West, which create
<v Tom McCall>competition for New Yorkers. <v Rep. Barber Conable>We've lost a lot of food processing to California and parts of the Sunbelt. <v Rep. Barber Conable>In the past, this created specific economic problems for us. <v Rep. Barber Conable>I don't think the federal treasury should be used to benefit one area at the expense <v Rep. Barber Conable>of another. <v Rep. Barber Conable>I think the projects have the strong odor of park <v Rep. Barber Conable>about them anyway. <v Rep. Barber Conable>We have tremendous regional blockades that try to <v Rep. Barber Conable>set these projects up, um, usually at <v Rep. Barber Conable>considerable expense, and it is somewhat questionable benefit. <v Tom McCall>It's an old argument. A dog-eared argument as far as many Westerners are <v Tom McCall>concerned, for overall subsidies and hard work helped <v Tom McCall>build the west and the whole nation is stronger for it. <v Tom McCall>In their march to prosperity, Westerners have truly made the desert <v Tom McCall>bloom. California did it first and showed us what could be
<v Tom McCall>done. Then came the drought and its message. <v Tom McCall>Water in the West is a limited resource. <v Tom McCall>We can make better use of the water we get or we can, in the tradition <v Tom McCall>of the West, go out and get more water. <v Tom McCall>And that's just what an engineering firm in Pasadena would like to do. <v Tom McCall>First proposed more than 10 years ago. <v Tom McCall>The Parsons' plan is getting renewed attention in this drought year. <v Tom McCall>Here in a film prepared in the 1960s is the company's explanation <v Tom McCall>of the North American Water and Power Alliance. <v Speaker>The water problem has traditionally been considered a local or regional problem, <v Speaker>but it is not local or regional. <v Speaker>It is a continental problem which requires a solution on a scale that is <v Speaker>also continental. <v Speaker>This motion picture is about the North American Water and Power Alliance.
<v Speaker>NAWAPA. <v Tom McCall>NAWAPA has active support today. <v Tom McCall>Dr. Nathan Snyder is chief scientist of the Ralph M Parsons Company. <v Tom McCall>He described to reporter Mindy Cameron, the scope of the NAWAPA scheme in comparison <v Tom McCall>to another big Alaska project. <v Tom McCall>The Alaskan pipeline. <v Dr. Nathan Snyder>It's much larger than the Alaska pipeline, which cost the order of <v Dr. Nathan Snyder>eight billion dollars. We're talking about well over 200 billion dollars. <v Dr. Nathan Snyder>There are going to be hundreds of dams and many, many tunnels, <v Dr. Nathan Snyder>many canals. They'll be canals, natural waterways and large tunnels. <v Dr. Nathan Snyder>Some of the tunnels will be of the order of 80 feet in diameter <v Dr. Nathan Snyder>through mountains. And there may be several of them. <v Dr. Nathan Snyder>The canals and rivers may be of the order of <v Dr. Nathan Snyder>several hundred feet across. <v Tom McCall>200 billion dollars.
<v Tom McCall>Hundreds of dams, tunnels through mountains. <v Tom McCall>Well, it just boggles the mind. <v Tom McCall>NAWAPA is an extreme solution. <v Tom McCall>Now there's another kind of answer. Way down at the other end of the scale. <v Tom McCall>Let's take our minds off the continental solution and focus on one <v Tom McCall>small backyard. <v Tom McCall>We've heard Don and Joy Schroeder talk about doing with less. <v Tom McCall>And here's how they're doing it. <v Don Schroder>The center question tank is uh, a hundred and fifty gallon wine <v Don Schroder>barrel and it's at a low center. <v Don Schroder>So they need to drain systems that we now have it's all collected at that point. <v Don Schroder>When joy washes the- we take the water rather than, having it going <v Don Schroder>into the sewer pipe, I set another drain system and then <v Don Schroder>another pump there takes that wash water that we collect from the wash and <v Don Schroder>pumps around through the hose and to one of our drain lines. <v Don Schroder>And then this drain line empties into the 150 gallon wine barrel,
<v Don Schroder>which has the sump pump. And then from there, the storage facility on the hill. <v Don Schroder>And our use of this water then is for the flushing purposes in <v Don Schroder>the household and for what watering can do with our plants. <v Cecil D Andrus>We have learned another important lesson from this drought that is <v Cecil D Andrus>that people can when they try, live with considerably <v Cecil D Andrus>less water than what they've been accustomed to. <v Cecil D Andrus>Now, I do not suggest that everyone should cut back to the level of those <v Cecil D Andrus>unfortunate people suffering under a meager ration of water. <v Cecil D Andrus>But their experience does point up the fact that the quantity of <v Cecil D Andrus>water used by most Americans includes a great deal, which is <v Cecil D Andrus>in excess of the basic essential supply <v Cecil D Andrus>and also a great deal of waste. <v Tom McCall>Yes, indeed, a great deal of waste. <v Tom McCall>We waste water because it's there, plenty of it. <v Tom McCall>Brought to us across mountains and desert.
<v Tom McCall>We waste it because it's cheap. <v Tom McCall>Forecasters tell us we'll be using 33 percent more water by the year 2000. <v Tom McCall>And in the same breath, they tell us the nation is short of water right now. <v Tom McCall>How are we going to keep from drinking ourselves dry? <v Tom McCall>Same old approaches. <v Tom McCall>That means continuing to grow without regard for the limits of our water. <v Tom McCall>It means spending tax dollars, dollars to develop water resources, only to find <v Tom McCall>out later that that big guy, not the little guy, makes good. <v Tom McCall>It means bailing out bad water management with more water. <v Tom McCall>More water from where? <v Tom McCall>Alaska, an iceberg from the North Pole. <v Tom McCall>The truth is we're engaged in a battle around a shrinking water hole. <v Tom McCall>What's happened to the Colorado River is an example of what can happen all <v Tom McCall>over the arid west. <v Tom McCall>And the drought tells us what it will be like when the water is all used up.
<v Tom McCall>One of these days, we ought to take careful measure over our water <v Tom McCall>hole, then measure our real water needs and somehow <v Tom McCall>try to make them match.
Even the Desert Will Bloom
Producing Organization
WXXI (Television station : Rochester, N.Y.)
Rochester Area Educational Television Association
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Program Description
"EVEN THE DESERT WILL BLOOM is a news documentary which examines how we use - and misuse - our water. It was filmed in five western states and Washington D.C. during the 1977 drought, but goes beyond coverage of the drought itself. Its focus is on water as a limited resource every year - not just in a drought year. "The documentary shows how water delivery systems have changed lifestyles in the West. And it documents how, in many cases, federal tax dollars have been invested in those systems, supposedly to aid small family farmers, but, in fact, benefiting large corporate farms and urban expansion. Two controversial federal water projects are examined: the Westlands Water District near Fresno, Calif., and the Central Arizona Project. The documentary reveals that some wealthy landowners are benefiting from both projects, for which the combined federal investment is several billion dollars. "Former Oregon Governor Tom McCall, now a television news commentator in Portland, is host and narrator. The documentary blends personal and political attitudes toward water use, development and conservation. Two families, a farmer and a Colorado fisherman are featured in the film along with Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus, Colorado Governor Dick Lamm, Arizona Congressman Morris Udall, California State Water Director Ronald Robie and other policy makers, politicians, environmentalists and economists."--1977 Peabody Awards entry form. The documentary begins with people discussing the 1977 drought and its effects on their lives. The narrator talks about the dams and other water delivery systems used in California and how they have enabled Los Angeles and other cities to grow. Residents of large cities have not seen the effects of the drought, other areas that rely on local water have been hit the hardest, leading to higher water prices and water quotas. The host stresses that water is a limited resource, but the entire country continues to use more and more water. Farms use almost ninety percent of the water, and federal funding is being invested to aid small family farms, but much of it is going to large corporate farms. The Westland's Water District is one area receiving this federal funding, but many are dissatisfied with the program in the area, and the documentary goes into both sides of the issue. The documentary goes into the use of hydroelectric power in the west, how it is threatened by the drought, and the economic impact it has. The rest of documentary gives details on the Central Arizona Project, the controversy surrounding it, the costs of similar water reclamation projects, and the Parsons Project and the North American Water and Power Alliance. The final segment of the program demonstrates how individuals can conserve water.
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Director: Berg, William M.
Interviewee: Wilkinson, Sheri
Interviewee: Barton, Tollie
Interviewee: Howe, Charles
Interviewee: Owen, Mike
Interviewee: Udall, Morris
Interviewee: Tellman, Barbara
Interviewee: Brody, Ralph
Interviewee: Foleen, Ray
Interviewee: Barr, George
Interviewee: Conable, Barber
Interviewee: Griffith, Evan
Interviewee: Schroder, Don
Interviewee: Andrus, Ceil
Interviewee: Luch, Bill
Interviewee: Owen, Eric
Interviewee: Steiner, Wes
Interviewee: Snyder, Nathan
Interviewee: Wilkinson, Jack
Interviewee: Robie, Ronald
Interviewee: Weiman, Dave
Interviewee: Vann, Jim
Interviewee: Lamm, Dick
Interviewee: Higginson, Keith
Producer: Berg, William M.
Producing Organization: WXXI (Television station : Rochester, N.Y.)
Producing Organization: Rochester Area Educational Television Association
Reporter: Cameron, Mindy
Reporter: McCall, Tom
Writer: Cameron, Mindy
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-15013531e1b (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 1:01:39
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Chicago: “Even the Desert Will Bloom,” 1977-12-15, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Even the Desert Will Bloom.” 1977-12-15. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Even the Desert Will Bloom. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from