Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

September 1, 2005


Host: Michael Grant

Colorado River Water


  • There's a potential lawsuit that could cut our Colorado River water supply in half if it is successful. Central Arizona Project General Manager Sid Wilson will be on HORIZON to talk about the situation.
Guests:
  • Governor Janet Napolitano -
  • Sid Wilson - General Manager, Central Arizona Project


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon": Hurricane Katrina has devastated parts of the south. We'll talk to Governor Napolitano about Arizona relief efforts headed for storm-damaged areas. And the governor has declared an emergency because of our illegal immigration crisis at the border. Plus, we'll talk to a water official about talk of legal action that could hurt our Colorado River water supplies. That's next on "Horizon".

>> Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by the friends of Channel 8, members who provide financial support to this Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening, I'm Michael Grant. Welcome to "First Thursday: The governor on "Horizon". It's our monthly visit with Governor Janet Napolitano to talk about the big issues of the day. And as of the recording of this show, there is no bigger issue than the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Here now to talk about that and more is Governor Janet Napolitano. The reports that are coming out of New Orleans and other areas are terrible.

>> Governor Napolitano:
the Gulf States took it on the chin. I think it will be a couple of days before we have a full assessment of the damage, particularly with respect to the oil pumps and so forth in the gulf. Absolutely, a devastating hurricane.

>> Michael Grant:
I know you have been to New Orleans, I've been there a couple of times. There is no worse situated city in the United States, I mean, given the fact that I think something like 80\% of it is 20 feet below seawater.

>> Governor Napolitano
Apparently the water is seeping up under the streets and so forth. I think they did a good job of evacuating, preventing loss of life. Not so lucky in Mississippi; significant loss of life as well as significant damage. I think the hurricane veered to the east of where they thought the eye was going to be hit, so the damage was further east of New Orleans.

>> Michael Grant:
Arizona sending some relief assistance?

>> Governor Napolitano:
The Arizona Red Cross has sent assistance and we have an incident management team, in our land department, used to manage the large forest fires, they were deployed Wednesday morning. And in addition, we have a department of health services team ready to go if the CDC calls them and we will make National Guard members available should they be called.

>>Michael Grant:
One of the nationwide Red Cross call centers is located in Phoenix where they provide call support for people in the area who are wondering where they should go for assistance.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Right.

>> Michael Grant:
Those kinds of things.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Actually, I think we started in Arizona this year a statewide 211 system which would be a perfect system for the gulf states where anybody can call 211. In Arizona it's internet based, but by the end of next year it will be a call center to assist when you have these large kinds of emergencies and catastrophes and lots of people have lots of questions all at the same time.

>> Michael Grant:
Let me shift to a related subject. That's the impact on gas supplies and gas prices. You got a triple hit for the country, when you lost gulf coast refining capability, some portion of production capability and import capability from the standpoint of the harbors are silted up and that kind of thing. You have taken a look at a lot of supply issues in your current position, as well as attorney general. Do you have any hunch what that is going to do on supply or, for that matter, the price side?

>> Governor Napolitano:
I think we can be guaranteed that prices are going to go up. And the question is how much and for how long. Gasoline prices have been going up anyway. They tend to go up very rapidly and come down very slowly. Even though, for example, Arizona doesn't get the bulk of its gasoline from the New Orleans area, because of the market, the ripple effect will be nationwide. We probably won't know for a few days what to anticipate. The best predictor of that will be the guys who do the oil trading. They're the ones that will be buying and selling and all the rest of it. We will probably see by how quickly gasoline goes up how long they think this is going to be.

>> Michael Grant:
There were some reports, unconfirmed and quickly refuted of shortages here locally.

>> Governor Napolitano:
We got some calls late Sunday night and immediately got in touch with our department of weights and measures and Kinder Morgan, our pipeline company, to see if there were any problems. There were no in problems with the pipeline. Apparently what happened, circle K which purchases a lot of gasoline on the spot market had contract issues and that had resulted in some spot shortages at a few locations. Overall, supply of gasoline in the valley and in the state is quite healthy right now.

>> Michael Grant:
Anything that can be done on a temporary basis, for example, rebate, suspension of the gas tax?

>> Governor Napolitano:
The legislature looked at that last year and pretty quickly decided that was not the way to go. The logistics of doing something on a temporary basis were pretty daunting. More than that, the state tax on gasoline is such a small part of the overall price that it didn't seem very feasible. One thing we are looking at, however, is for example, for school districts which prepare their transportation budgets, for school buses and so forth, they are getting hit hard. We may want to go in and do some mitigation for them.

>> Michael Grant:
Let's shift to immigration issues. Kind of busy month for you on the immigration front. You, I think the office said the declaration of emergency was 50\% political, from the standpoint of it was designed to attract the attention of the federal government. It seems to have attracted the attention of the federal government. Are you pleased with some of the feedback and communications you've been getting?

>> Governor Napolitano:
We're starting to get some better communication. I've had several conversations with Secretary Chertoff. I think he now understands the urgency of the situation. We have to keep at it. Washington D.C. in my view has had blinders on about what's been happening at the U.S.-Mexico border. They have actually been putting as much or more resources at the Canadian border as opposed to the Mexican border. We need the help here in Arizona, we need it now. I'm going to continue to use my office as a bully PULpit and work with Washington D.C, work with our delegation and work with particularly those four border counties.

>> Michael Grant:
Republicans say you're late to the game. What do you say?

>> Governor Napolitano:
I say no, what we were doing was working with the federal government and relying on assurances that help was on its way, and when help didn't come, we took action ourselves. Immigration, this is a tough issue. When I was a U.S. attorney, the state law enforcement were told to stay out of immigration and border issues, that's exclusively federal. We have to find the appropriate state rule here in light of the gap the federal government has left in the system. I'm confident we have found appropriate rule for state, federal and local law enforcement working together and we're going to get a handle on this border.

>> Michael Grant:
Does part of that turn on the fact that the state now has a human smuggling law?

>> Governor Napolitano:
That's a new fact. This spring, we didn't have such a statute. Legislature passed it. I signed it, it took effect in August. Immediately thereafter we started putting together the emergency declaration and a number of task forces in southern Arizona designed to go after the coyotes and the smugglers who are making a profit off of this terrible traffic.

>> Michael Grant:
Illustratively, for example, Department of Public Safety working in tandem with a federal officials now has a -- if you want to call it, a legitimate state as opposed to federal reasons to do so.

>> Governor Napolitano:
More than that, We are putting a lot of our law enforcement resources into vehicle theft, fraudulent ID, manufacture, because those are crimes punishable under state law that facilitate illegal immigration. While we're not going to be enforcing the U.S. immigration code per se, that's the federal government's job to enforce the federal immigration, we are going after those crimes that are facilitating the traffic. Let the feds' focus on immigration law, we'll focus on the facilitating crimes.

>> Michael Grant:
Let me focus on a couple of proposals that the Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, made to you, because I wanted to get more details. One of them is border patrol working with the DPS on a variety of immigration efforts in Casa Grande and Gila bend. What does that translate to?

>> Governor Napolitano:
We have made a counter proposal. We want border patrol in Phoenix. They were here in the early '90s. We used them a lot. They would come and pick up -- when local law enforcement found they were here illegally or what have you, they and get them into removal deportation process. They were withdrawn from the Phoenix area couple years ago for reasons that are a mystery to me. We think we need them in the Maricopa County, greater Phoenix area, rather than Gila bend, Casa Grande right now. I've made that suggestion to Chertoff, waiting to hear back from him.

>> Michael Grant:
On the other hand, to the extent that you can project the security ring further out away from Phoenix, I guess one theory would be, if you can stop them in Casa Grande, Gila bend, they don't get to Maricopa County.

>> Governor Napolitano:
The problem is, we don't have the same problem in Casa Grande, Gila Bend that we have in Maricopa County because we have border patrol agents there. The problem is they have left Maricopa County bare and of course a lot of people get through and they get up in here and they get into the stash houses and they are getting staged out of here to the rest of the United States, so they need to add more ICE agents -- which stands for immigrations and customs enforcement agents -- in Maricopa County or they need to add border patrol agents in Maricopa County.

>> Michael Grant:
Congressman Jim Kolbe has for the past number of years through, I think you're aware, through appropriations footnotes, if I recall correctly, restricted Arizona from permanent border security checkpoints. And ICE says that hamstrings them quite a bit. What do you think on that issue?

>> Governor Napolitano:
I would like to sit down with Congressman Kolbe about that. His reasoning is if you have permanent checkpoints, the illegal immigration will just go around the permanent checkpoints. ICE's thing is, they may go around, but then you're pretty confident when you find them intentionally avoiding immigration and you have a high yield in terms of people who are acting illegally. I think if you compare areas with permanent checkpoints with those that don't, the areas with permanent checkpoints are doing better from an operational control standard. And we have enough years of experience, comparatively now, that I would like to talk and I may not have the opportunity to because of time, but to talk with Kolbe and say, you know what, we might as well as give them a try.

>> Michael Grant:
I think one of the points ICE makes is you need some of the permanent infrastructure for processing, ID checking and other things that you can't get with the --

>> Governor Napolitano:
On the highway, that's right. I think that's an idea that's worth pursuing now.

>> Michael Grant:
One of the other offers that Chertoff made was federal government helping deport foreign nationals currently housed in Arizona prisons. The corrections director made that point in July.

>> Governor Napolitano:
We have been asking for that for 18 months. Absolutely. Here's the problem. We have serving state prison sentences to illegal immigrants, they are getting ready to finish their state sentence. They have an immigration hold on them, because they're here in the country illegally, they're going to be deported. They have served their sentence. There is nobody on the federal immigration side to pick them up and get them deported. We end up holding on to individual's days, months, whatever, all at a significant cost to the Arizona taxpayers. We're saying we've got the list, they're ready to go. Come pick them up. We've been saying it for 18 months, I'm glad the secretary is taking us up on it.

>> Michael Grant:
The other proposal is to allow Arizona corrections personnel to be cross trained so they could assist with the paperwork backlog.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Something we suggested a long time ago and are willing to do that. We just need the federal government to say yes and get on with it, as opposed to, let's think about it. Some of the stuff should be done in the very immediate future.

>> Michael Grant:
Were you encouraged by the president's comment yesterday? He said one of the best solutions is working with state and local officials on the immigration issues?

>> Governor Napolitano:
I'm all for working with as long as it's not a substitute for significant federal action. Let's remember, the border is a federal responsibility. Immigration reform is a federal responsibility. By having state and local law enforcement doing some of these things, we are assuming some of that responsibility. We need to for the public safety, but it can't substitute for strong federal law enforcement. We need the president to follow through on that.

>> Michael Grant:
Senator Kyl's bill would throw 10,000 additional border agents on the border.

>> Governor Napolitano:
That's a nice number, but the devil is in the details. There's only one training center now for border patrol agents, they have trouble recruiting and retaining agents. When I hear those big numbers, my eyes kind of glaze over. Is that realistic or are you throwing out a big number so you think something big is happening. I've heard those big numbers before. I need to see things on the ground.

>> Michael Grant:
Representative Russell Pearce has suggested a referendum on the ballot for 2006 --

>> Governor Napolitano:
He wants to raise your taxes.

>> Michael Grant:
-- for a wall. I'm not sure he can do this, but he wants to tax the money going back to Mexico.

>> Governor Napolitano:
I'm not sure how you do that. Like I said, these things sound really good and they sound really easy. But on that one, that's a huge expenditure. You're talking at least a half a billion dollars for a fence. I think for that kind of money we can do much more and much more effective things than a fence. I'll be interested to see whether that proposal gets off the ground. Logistics on that one are pretty daunting.

>> Michael Grant:
Interestingly enough, though, The Tohono O'odham said, We're willing to take a look at it because immigration has had a devastating impact on our reservation.

>> Governor Napolitano:
It absolutely has. I pointed out to Secretary Chertoff the other day, the Tohono O'odham nation, which rims about 75 miles of our border, they have had to bear the cost of the autopsies of the illegal immigrants found dead on their property. They can't even get the feds to pay for that. I can understand their frustration and the severity of the issues that they're confronting.

>> Michael Grant:
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, we appreciate the input. Travel carefully.

>> Governor Napolitano:
I will.

>> Michael Grant:
The valley gets much of its water from the Colorado River. A situation is brewing that could, in a worst-case scenario be imperil about half of Arizona's allotment of Colorado River water. I'll talk to a central Arizona project official about that. But first, here's more on the situation.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Every year, 1.5 million acre feet of Colorado river water comes to Arizona through the Central Arizona project canal. That water sustains Arizona and gives us a steady supply of water during periods of drought. Arizona and other lower basin states, California and Nevada take their share from the Colorado River directly, but also from tributaries of the river. Those states can still take their full allocation of Colorado River water even after taking water from its tributaries. The states that rely on the upper river for water such as Colorado and Wyoming also take water from tributaries but that amount is counted against their total share of Colorado River water. That's the crux of a dispute that lower river states fear could negatively impact their allocations of Colorado River water. The case could end up in court because of an effort by Nevada to divert water from the Virgin River to Las Vegas. Water officials in Arizona have started a legal defense fund in case that goes to court, aiming to raise $1.5 million.

>> Michael Grant:
Here now to talk about the looming fight over Colorado River water is Sid Wilson, general manager of the central Arizona project. Sid, I've been watching water issues, certainly not at your level of detail but for a pretty long time at some level of detail and I have to tell you the tributary issues and what Las Vegas wants to do with the Virgin never appeared on my radar screen.

>> Sid Wilson:
The reason for that, Michael, is that we have never been confronted with the specter of a shortage on the river. We have been concerned over time growing into our supplies because for as long as I can remember, between Phoenix, San Diego and Las Vegas, each representing one of the three lower basin states, those three cities have dominated growth rates for probably decades. But we never really dealt with the idea that maybe we got more to worry about than our population growth into that supply.

>> Michael Grant:
That being a smaller flow on the river than what we thought. For that matter, what various rights were allocated for.

>> Sid Wilson:
That's exactly right. When the river was allocated, we thought there was enough water on average to provide 7.5 million acre feet for the lower basin, 7.5 million acre feet a year for the upper basin, and 1.5 million acre feet for Mexico. In the last five or six years we went from a full reservoir system, namely The Powell, being full, to being 50\% full last year and going down. Now, we did get a bit of a respite this year in that we had close to average runoff, but we know studying the records one wet year doesn't break the drought.

>> Michael Grant:
I know it was a good winter, it seems to have been a fairly good monsoon, at least up north. Has it been?

>> Sid Wilson:
I think it has been. But the monsoons generate high peak runoff events but not large volume. Because they're short in duration. We really need the snow pack in the high mountains and then the warm weather and spring rains. That's what produces volume. So now, then -- and based upon the work that climatologists and hydrologists have been doing, we're now pretty sure that that volume of water, that 7.5 million for the lower, 7.5 million upper, one-half per Mexico, represents runoff from one of the wettest periods this last 100 years over the last 800 to 1,000 years.

>> Michael Grant:
In other words, the past 9 years have not been typical but similarly, the 90 years before then on which a lot of the projections were based were also not typical but going the other way?

>> Sid Wilson:
That's true. Except, let me just say one thing. One of the scary aspects is the past 9 years have been very dry. But periods that are approaching that dryness and even longer, you can find in the tree ring records. So with the increasing growth in demand for water now faced with the prospect that we won't have as much water year in, year out in the river as we thought we would have, we have a lot of people worried. The upper basin which is required to make releases to the downstream basins to make sure we get our entitlement and make sure they deliver half of the Mexican treaty requirement, they won't be able to meet their own needs in dry years and requirements for downstream deliveries.

>> Michael Grant:
Okay. As I understand the issue, Colorado and the upper basin states say, listen, our tributaries run to the river.

>> Sid Wilson:
Right.

>> Michael Grant:
Your tributaries don't. Las Vegas plans on the Virgin River.

>> Sid Wilson:
Salt River project, they developed the salt, Verde River system. When it was originated 1919 or so, that was agreed to, that we would be able to count the development on the salt and Verde as part of Arizona supply above and beyond the treaty requirements and that the Gila river system which includes the salt and Verde from time to time have big flows on it, witness 20 years ago.

>> Michael Grant:
Sure.

>> Sid Wilson:
By the same token, we have tributary rivers like the little Colorado, the bell Williams river, once that water gets into the Colorado river, it's considered part of the Colorado river supply. If we divert it and use it, develop uses for it before it gets to the river, we've always believed that that was our right. What's happening now is Nevada has basically reached their full allocation amount want to develop the Virgin River within the state of Nevada, pipe that water from the Virgin down to Las Vegas, much like a small CAP for example.

>> Michael Grant:
Right.

>> Sid Wilson:
We have said as long as you develop it and move it through a separate system, it hasn't entered the Colorado river, so it's not part of the Colorado river supply, you can do that. The upper basin states are saying no, particularly when we may be faced with drought.

>> Michael Grant:
I realize that we don't want the suit at all but doesn't prior use, prior time, if I recall correctly, I think the SRP started going in the ground 1903 which by then you had a 15 year history of it, couldn't that distinguish Arizona's situation from the Nevada situation which clearly is being developed a lot later?

>> Sid Wilson:
I think we can make that argument for Salt River pretty successfully, that's been a use for a long time. That quality water is referenced in the compact documents. There's a lot of additional water, excess flows on the Gila river, bill Williams that amount to a lot of water. Remember, one of the issues for us in all of this is that CAP delivers in normal years 1.5 million acre-feet of water into the state. Even though it's a man made river diversion, that's the largest river in the State of Arizona. That's more water than the salt and Verde but it has a junior priority. If we are forced into situation where we get cut backs in the river supply, Arizona gets hit first. That 1.5 million acre-feet is at risk long before anybody else's.

>> Michael Grant:
Almost out of time, raising money for the defense fund, any willing contributors?

>> Sid Wilson:
We do, CAP being one. You may know that the department of water resources has committed 200,000. We estimate that preparing for the litigation, which I'm beginning, I hate to be a pessimist, I think the specter litigation is ahead. There will be significant individual contributions.

>> Michael Grant:
Sid Wilson, continue to fight the good fight.

>> Sid Wilson:
Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
You can check out what will be on future "Horizon's or take a look at a transcript of tonight owes show on "Horizon" at our website. It's at www.az.pbs.org. When you get to the home page, scroll down and click on the word "Horizon". Thank you very much for joining us this evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

First Thursday: The Governor on HORIZON


  • Governor Janet Napolitano talks about her decision to declare an emergency in Arizona due to illegal immigration and her plans to reform the nation's education system.
Guests:
  • Governor Janet Napolitano -
  • Sid Wilson - General Manager, Central Arizona Project


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon": Hurricane Katrina has devastated parts of the south. We'll talk to Governor Napolitano about Arizona relief efforts headed for storm-damaged areas. And the governor has declared an emergency because of our illegal immigration crisis at the border. Plus, we'll talk to a water official about talk of legal action that could hurt our Colorado River water supplies. That's next on "Horizon".

>> Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by the friends of Channel 8, members who provide financial support to this Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening, I'm Michael Grant. Welcome to "First Thursday: The governor on "Horizon". It's our monthly visit with Governor Janet Napolitano to talk about the big issues of the day. And as of the recording of this show, there is no bigger issue than the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Here now to talk about that and more is Governor Janet Napolitano. The reports that are coming out of New Orleans and other areas are terrible.

>> Governor Napolitano:
the Gulf States took it on the chin. I think it will be a couple of days before we have a full assessment of the damage, particularly with respect to the oil pumps and so forth in the gulf. Absolutely, a devastating hurricane.

>> Michael Grant:
I know you have been to New Orleans, I've been there a couple of times. There is no worse situated city in the United States, I mean, given the fact that I think something like 80\% of it is 20 feet below seawater.

>> Governor Napolitano
Apparently the water is seeping up under the streets and so forth. I think they did a good job of evacuating, preventing loss of life. Not so lucky in Mississippi; significant loss of life as well as significant damage. I think the hurricane veered to the east of where they thought the eye was going to be hit, so the damage was further east of New Orleans.

>> Michael Grant:
Arizona sending some relief assistance?

>> Governor Napolitano:
The Arizona Red Cross has sent assistance and we have an incident management team, in our land department, used to manage the large forest fires, they were deployed Wednesday morning. And in addition, we have a department of health services team ready to go if the CDC calls them and we will make National Guard members available should they be called.

>>Michael Grant:
One of the nationwide Red Cross call centers is located in Phoenix where they provide call support for people in the area who are wondering where they should go for assistance.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Right.

>> Michael Grant:
Those kinds of things.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Actually, I think we started in Arizona this year a statewide 211 system which would be a perfect system for the gulf states where anybody can call 211. In Arizona it's internet based, but by the end of next year it will be a call center to assist when you have these large kinds of emergencies and catastrophes and lots of people have lots of questions all at the same time.

>> Michael Grant:
Let me shift to a related subject. That's the impact on gas supplies and gas prices. You got a triple hit for the country, when you lost gulf coast refining capability, some portion of production capability and import capability from the standpoint of the harbors are silted up and that kind of thing. You have taken a look at a lot of supply issues in your current position, as well as attorney general. Do you have any hunch what that is going to do on supply or, for that matter, the price side?

>> Governor Napolitano:
I think we can be guaranteed that prices are going to go up. And the question is how much and for how long. Gasoline prices have been going up anyway. They tend to go up very rapidly and come down very slowly. Even though, for example, Arizona doesn't get the bulk of its gasoline from the New Orleans area, because of the market, the ripple effect will be nationwide. We probably won't know for a few days what to anticipate. The best predictor of that will be the guys who do the oil trading. They're the ones that will be buying and selling and all the rest of it. We will probably see by how quickly gasoline goes up how long they think this is going to be.

>> Michael Grant:
There were some reports, unconfirmed and quickly refuted of shortages here locally.

>> Governor Napolitano:
We got some calls late Sunday night and immediately got in touch with our department of weights and measures and Kinder Morgan, our pipeline company, to see if there were any problems. There were no in problems with the pipeline. Apparently what happened, circle K which purchases a lot of gasoline on the spot market had contract issues and that had resulted in some spot shortages at a few locations. Overall, supply of gasoline in the valley and in the state is quite healthy right now.

>> Michael Grant:
Anything that can be done on a temporary basis, for example, rebate, suspension of the gas tax?

>> Governor Napolitano:
The legislature looked at that last year and pretty quickly decided that was not the way to go. The logistics of doing something on a temporary basis were pretty daunting. More than that, the state tax on gasoline is such a small part of the overall price that it didn't seem very feasible. One thing we are looking at, however, is for example, for school districts which prepare their transportation budgets, for school buses and so forth, they are getting hit hard. We may want to go in and do some mitigation for them.

>> Michael Grant:
Let's shift to immigration issues. Kind of busy month for you on the immigration front. You, I think the office said the declaration of emergency was 50\% political, from the standpoint of it was designed to attract the attention of the federal government. It seems to have attracted the attention of the federal government. Are you pleased with some of the feedback and communications you've been getting?

>> Governor Napolitano:
We're starting to get some better communication. I've had several conversations with Secretary Chertoff. I think he now understands the urgency of the situation. We have to keep at it. Washington D.C. in my view has had blinders on about what's been happening at the U.S.-Mexico border. They have actually been putting as much or more resources at the Canadian border as opposed to the Mexican border. We need the help here in Arizona, we need it now. I'm going to continue to use my office as a bully PULpit and work with Washington D.C, work with our delegation and work with particularly those four border counties.

>> Michael Grant:
Republicans say you're late to the game. What do you say?

>> Governor Napolitano:
I say no, what we were doing was working with the federal government and relying on assurances that help was on its way, and when help didn't come, we took action ourselves. Immigration, this is a tough issue. When I was a U.S. attorney, the state law enforcement were told to stay out of immigration and border issues, that's exclusively federal. We have to find the appropriate state rule here in light of the gap the federal government has left in the system. I'm confident we have found appropriate rule for state, federal and local law enforcement working together and we're going to get a handle on this border.

>> Michael Grant:
Does part of that turn on the fact that the state now has a human smuggling law?

>> Governor Napolitano:
That's a new fact. This spring, we didn't have such a statute. Legislature passed it. I signed it, it took effect in August. Immediately thereafter we started putting together the emergency declaration and a number of task forces in southern Arizona designed to go after the coyotes and the smugglers who are making a profit off of this terrible traffic.

>> Michael Grant:
Illustratively, for example, Department of Public Safety working in tandem with a federal officials now has a -- if you want to call it, a legitimate state as opposed to federal reasons to do so.

>> Governor Napolitano:
More than that, We are putting a lot of our law enforcement resources into vehicle theft, fraudulent ID, manufacture, because those are crimes punishable under state law that facilitate illegal immigration. While we're not going to be enforcing the U.S. immigration code per se, that's the federal government's job to enforce the federal immigration, we are going after those crimes that are facilitating the traffic. Let the feds' focus on immigration law, we'll focus on the facilitating crimes.

>> Michael Grant:
Let me focus on a couple of proposals that the Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, made to you, because I wanted to get more details. One of them is border patrol working with the DPS on a variety of immigration efforts in Casa Grande and Gila bend. What does that translate to?

>> Governor Napolitano:
We have made a counter proposal. We want border patrol in Phoenix. They were here in the early '90s. We used them a lot. They would come and pick up -- when local law enforcement found they were here illegally or what have you, they and get them into removal deportation process. They were withdrawn from the Phoenix area couple years ago for reasons that are a mystery to me. We think we need them in the Maricopa County, greater Phoenix area, rather than Gila bend, Casa Grande right now. I've made that suggestion to Chertoff, waiting to hear back from him.

>> Michael Grant:
On the other hand, to the extent that you can project the security ring further out away from Phoenix, I guess one theory would be, if you can stop them in Casa Grande, Gila bend, they don't get to Maricopa County.

>> Governor Napolitano:
The problem is, we don't have the same problem in Casa Grande, Gila Bend that we have in Maricopa County because we have border patrol agents there. The problem is they have left Maricopa County bare and of course a lot of people get through and they get up in here and they get into the stash houses and they are getting staged out of here to the rest of the United States, so they need to add more ICE agents -- which stands for immigrations and customs enforcement agents -- in Maricopa County or they need to add border patrol agents in Maricopa County.

>> Michael Grant:
Congressman Jim Kolbe has for the past number of years through, I think you're aware, through appropriations footnotes, if I recall correctly, restricted Arizona from permanent border security checkpoints. And ICE says that hamstrings them quite a bit. What do you think on that issue?

>> Governor Napolitano:
I would like to sit down with Congressman Kolbe about that. His reasoning is if you have permanent checkpoints, the illegal immigration will just go around the permanent checkpoints. ICE's thing is, they may go around, but then you're pretty confident when you find them intentionally avoiding immigration and you have a high yield in terms of people who are acting illegally. I think if you compare areas with permanent checkpoints with those that don't, the areas with permanent checkpoints are doing better from an operational control standard. And we have enough years of experience, comparatively now, that I would like to talk and I may not have the opportunity to because of time, but to talk with Kolbe and say, you know what, we might as well as give them a try.

>> Michael Grant:
I think one of the points ICE makes is you need some of the permanent infrastructure for processing, ID checking and other things that you can't get with the --

>> Governor Napolitano:
On the highway, that's right. I think that's an idea that's worth pursuing now.

>> Michael Grant:
One of the other offers that Chertoff made was federal government helping deport foreign nationals currently housed in Arizona prisons. The corrections director made that point in July.

>> Governor Napolitano:
We have been asking for that for 18 months. Absolutely. Here's the problem. We have serving state prison sentences to illegal immigrants, they are getting ready to finish their state sentence. They have an immigration hold on them, because they're here in the country illegally, they're going to be deported. They have served their sentence. There is nobody on the federal immigration side to pick them up and get them deported. We end up holding on to individual's days, months, whatever, all at a significant cost to the Arizona taxpayers. We're saying we've got the list, they're ready to go. Come pick them up. We've been saying it for 18 months, I'm glad the secretary is taking us up on it.

>> Michael Grant:
The other proposal is to allow Arizona corrections personnel to be cross trained so they could assist with the paperwork backlog.

>> Governor Napolitano:
Something we suggested a long time ago and are willing to do that. We just need the federal government to say yes and get on with it, as opposed to, let's think about it. Some of the stuff should be done in the very immediate future.

>> Michael Grant:
Were you encouraged by the president's comment yesterday? He said one of the best solutions is working with state and local officials on the immigration issues?

>> Governor Napolitano:
I'm all for working with as long as it's not a substitute for significant federal action. Let's remember, the border is a federal responsibility. Immigration reform is a federal responsibility. By having state and local law enforcement doing some of these things, we are assuming some of that responsibility. We need to for the public safety, but it can't substitute for strong federal law enforcement. We need the president to follow through on that.

>> Michael Grant:
Senator Kyl's bill would throw 10,000 additional border agents on the border.

>> Governor Napolitano:
That's a nice number, but the devil is in the details. There's only one training center now for border patrol agents, they have trouble recruiting and retaining agents. When I hear those big numbers, my eyes kind of glaze over. Is that realistic or are you throwing out a big number so you think something big is happening. I've heard those big numbers before. I need to see things on the ground.

>> Michael Grant:
Representative Russell Pearce has suggested a referendum on the ballot for 2006 --

>> Governor Napolitano:
He wants to raise your taxes.

>> Michael Grant:
-- for a wall. I'm not sure he can do this, but he wants to tax the money going back to Mexico.

>> Governor Napolitano:
I'm not sure how you do that. Like I said, these things sound really good and they sound really easy. But on that one, that's a huge expenditure. You're talking at least a half a billion dollars for a fence. I think for that kind of money we can do much more and much more effective things than a fence. I'll be interested to see whether that proposal gets off the ground. Logistics on that one are pretty daunting.

>> Michael Grant:
Interestingly enough, though, The Tohono O'odham said, We're willing to take a look at it because immigration has had a devastating impact on our reservation.

>> Governor Napolitano:
It absolutely has. I pointed out to Secretary Chertoff the other day, the Tohono O'odham nation, which rims about 75 miles of our border, they have had to bear the cost of the autopsies of the illegal immigrants found dead on their property. They can't even get the feds to pay for that. I can understand their frustration and the severity of the issues that they're confronting.

>> Michael Grant:
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, we appreciate the input. Travel carefully.

>> Governor Napolitano:
I will.

>> Michael Grant:
The valley gets much of its water from the Colorado River. A situation is brewing that could, in a worst-case scenario be imperil about half of Arizona's allotment of Colorado River water. I'll talk to a central Arizona project official about that. But first, here's more on the situation.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Every year, 1.5 million acre feet of Colorado river water comes to Arizona through the Central Arizona project canal. That water sustains Arizona and gives us a steady supply of water during periods of drought. Arizona and other lower basin states, California and Nevada take their share from the Colorado River directly, but also from tributaries of the river. Those states can still take their full allocation of Colorado River water even after taking water from its tributaries. The states that rely on the upper river for water such as Colorado and Wyoming also take water from tributaries but that amount is counted against their total share of Colorado River water. That's the crux of a dispute that lower river states fear could negatively impact their allocations of Colorado River water. The case could end up in court because of an effort by Nevada to divert water from the Virgin River to Las Vegas. Water officials in Arizona have started a legal defense fund in case that goes to court, aiming to raise $1.5 million.

>> Michael Grant:
Here now to talk about the looming fight over Colorado River water is Sid Wilson, general manager of the central Arizona project. Sid, I've been watching water issues, certainly not at your level of detail but for a pretty long time at some level of detail and I have to tell you the tributary issues and what Las Vegas wants to do with the Virgin never appeared on my radar screen.

>> Sid Wilson:
The reason for that, Michael, is that we have never been confronted with the specter of a shortage on the river. We have been concerned over time growing into our supplies because for as long as I can remember, between Phoenix, San Diego and Las Vegas, each representing one of the three lower basin states, those three cities have dominated growth rates for probably decades. But we never really dealt with the idea that maybe we got more to worry about than our population growth into that supply.

>> Michael Grant:
That being a smaller flow on the river than what we thought. For that matter, what various rights were allocated for.

>> Sid Wilson:
That's exactly right. When the river was allocated, we thought there was enough water on average to provide 7.5 million acre feet for the lower basin, 7.5 million acre feet a year for the upper basin, and 1.5 million acre feet for Mexico. In the last five or six years we went from a full reservoir system, namely The Powell, being full, to being 50\% full last year and going down. Now, we did get a bit of a respite this year in that we had close to average runoff, but we know studying the records one wet year doesn't break the drought.

>> Michael Grant:
I know it was a good winter, it seems to have been a fairly good monsoon, at least up north. Has it been?

>> Sid Wilson:
I think it has been. But the monsoons generate high peak runoff events but not large volume. Because they're short in duration. We really need the snow pack in the high mountains and then the warm weather and spring rains. That's what produces volume. So now, then -- and based upon the work that climatologists and hydrologists have been doing, we're now pretty sure that that volume of water, that 7.5 million for the lower, 7.5 million upper, one-half per Mexico, represents runoff from one of the wettest periods this last 100 years over the last 800 to 1,000 years.

>> Michael Grant:
In other words, the past 9 years have not been typical but similarly, the 90 years before then on which a lot of the projections were based were also not typical but going the other way?

>> Sid Wilson:
That's true. Except, let me just say one thing. One of the scary aspects is the past 9 years have been very dry. But periods that are approaching that dryness and even longer, you can find in the tree ring records. So with the increasing growth in demand for water now faced with the prospect that we won't have as much water year in, year out in the river as we thought we would have, we have a lot of people worried. The upper basin which is required to make releases to the downstream basins to make sure we get our entitlement and make sure they deliver half of the Mexican treaty requirement, they won't be able to meet their own needs in dry years and requirements for downstream deliveries.

>> Michael Grant:
Okay. As I understand the issue, Colorado and the upper basin states say, listen, our tributaries run to the river.

>> Sid Wilson:
Right.

>> Michael Grant:
Your tributaries don't. Las Vegas plans on the Virgin River.

>> Sid Wilson:
Salt River project, they developed the salt, Verde River system. When it was originated 1919 or so, that was agreed to, that we would be able to count the development on the salt and Verde as part of Arizona supply above and beyond the treaty requirements and that the Gila river system which includes the salt and Verde from time to time have big flows on it, witness 20 years ago.

>> Michael Grant:
Sure.

>> Sid Wilson:
By the same token, we have tributary rivers like the little Colorado, the bell Williams river, once that water gets into the Colorado river, it's considered part of the Colorado river supply. If we divert it and use it, develop uses for it before it gets to the river, we've always believed that that was our right. What's happening now is Nevada has basically reached their full allocation amount want to develop the Virgin River within the state of Nevada, pipe that water from the Virgin down to Las Vegas, much like a small CAP for example.

>> Michael Grant:
Right.

>> Sid Wilson:
We have said as long as you develop it and move it through a separate system, it hasn't entered the Colorado river, so it's not part of the Colorado river supply, you can do that. The upper basin states are saying no, particularly when we may be faced with drought.

>> Michael Grant:
I realize that we don't want the suit at all but doesn't prior use, prior time, if I recall correctly, I think the SRP started going in the ground 1903 which by then you had a 15 year history of it, couldn't that distinguish Arizona's situation from the Nevada situation which clearly is being developed a lot later?

>> Sid Wilson:
I think we can make that argument for Salt River pretty successfully, that's been a use for a long time. That quality water is referenced in the compact documents. There's a lot of additional water, excess flows on the Gila river, bill Williams that amount to a lot of water. Remember, one of the issues for us in all of this is that CAP delivers in normal years 1.5 million acre-feet of water into the state. Even though it's a man made river diversion, that's the largest river in the State of Arizona. That's more water than the salt and Verde but it has a junior priority. If we are forced into situation where we get cut backs in the river supply, Arizona gets hit first. That 1.5 million acre-feet is at risk long before anybody else's.

>> Michael Grant:
Almost out of time, raising money for the defense fund, any willing contributors?

>> Sid Wilson:
We do, CAP being one. You may know that the department of water resources has committed 200,000. We estimate that preparing for the litigation, which I'm beginning, I hate to be a pessimist, I think the specter litigation is ahead. There will be significant individual contributions.

>> Michael Grant:
Sid Wilson, continue to fight the good fight.

>> Sid Wilson:
Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
You can check out what will be on future "Horizon's or take a look at a transcript of tonight owes show on "Horizon" at our website. It's at www.az.pbs.org. When you get to the home page, scroll down and click on the word "Horizon". Thank you very much for joining us this evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

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