Memorandum by Mr. Charles A. Timm of the Division of the American Republics37

Sometime ago, in a conversation with Mr. Bonsal, I undertook to prepare a memorandum setting forth some of the basic factors of the Colorado River problem.

A previous memorandum (November 12, 1942)38 summarized the position taken by the several States of the Colorado River Basin in regard to the proposed water treaty.

The present memorandum has as its purpose an analysis of the more essential factors that must be considered in drawing up the terms of a treaty. Also it presents some tables38 illustrating the effects of certain alternative plans of allocation.

This memorandum and the accompanying tables have been examined by Mr. Duggan, Commissioner Lawson, Judge Clifford H. Stone, Chairman of the Committee of Sixteen, and Mr. R. J. Tipton, Consulting Engineer of the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

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It has been tentatively agreed that a formula, based upon Table III (1,500,000 a.f. on a base release of 10,000,000 a.f.), will be submitted to the Committee. This proposed formula has these features:

The amount of water allocated as a base (1,500,000 a.f.) is divided into two amounts:
750,000 a.f. to be delivered at the boundary in accordance with a schedule of demand presented by Mexico.
750,000 a.f. of additional water in such amounts and at such times at [as] it may be in the river below Imperial Dam.
The above allocations are to be increased or decreased by the percentage that the total annual releases from Boulder are greater than or less than 10,000,000 a.f.
All waters crossing the boundary line shall be considered as delivered to Mexico. The United States will divert from the river and deliver to the Mexican canals at the boundary line all water available in the river up to the requirements of Mexico or to the full capacity of such canals.
Certain technical questions, such as allowances for flood flows and winter flow, and the operations at Boulder Dam, will be the subject of conferences during the week of March 8 with the Bureau of Reclamation.

Although it is doubted that this formula will be acceptable to Mexico, it is thought that it represents a stage through which the negotiations must go, both with the Committee and with Mexico, assuming it meets with the approval of the Committee.

  1. Addressed to John W. Carrigan and Joseph F. McGurk, of the Division of the American Republics, and to Philip W. Bonsal, Chief of the Division.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.