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Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting Report on the Water Resources Program.

March 20, 1964

Dear Mr. :

Recognizing the continued interest of the Congress in the Nation's water problems, I am pleased to transmit the accompanying report entitled "Federal Water Resources Research Program for Fiscal Year 1965." This report of the Federal Council for Science and Technology sets forth agency plans and interagency coordination of water research programs contained in the budget.

The report deals with an area which is essential to the future growth and well-being of the country. The importance of our water resources has been well recognized during the past four years in the Congress, the scientific community, and the public press, as well as in proposed legislation. Out of this attention has come the widely held conviction that in view of our growing water problems, increased attention and an effective research effort will be required of the Federal Government as well as the States, the universities, and private institutions.

The accompanying report contains an account of the projected program in water resources research for Fiscal Year 1965 which totals $72,464,000 as compared with $71,473,000 in the current fiscal year. The program and budget were developed under stringent budgetary constraints associated with my economy program in government, and therefore are considered the minimum effort consistent with the necessity for making progress in this area.

The Federal program of water resources research involves the efforts of 25 agencies within five major Departments and three independent offices. Involved, therefore, are many cooperative interrelationships and joint undertakings. The research program is also closely related to programs concerned with agriculture, public and industrial water supplies, pollution control, fish and wildlife, and river basin planning. Thus, the report also deals with matters of coordination and administration designed to avoid possible program gaps or unwitting duplication. A substantial beginning has also been made at determining the scope of a long-range program which will be adequate to meet our needs, and to priorities which will give attention to the most urgent problems.

I share the concerns of Congress regarding the growing water problems and, therefore, commend this report for your consideration in connection with the budget request and the need for new legislation to stimulate research in the field of water resources at the colleges and universities. The Office of Science and Technology and the Federal Council for Science and Technology will continue to give this area the attention required to achieve and maintain effective interagency planning and coordination and an adequate effort in water resources research.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Carl Hayden, President pro tempore of the Senate, and to the Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The letter was made public as part of a White House release announcing the transmittal to the Congress of the first progress report of the Committee on Water Resources Research of the Federal Council for Science and Technology (Feb. 1964, 65 pp., Government Printing Office).

The report proposed an increase in expenditures for water research from $71,473,000 in fiscal year 1964 to $72,464,000 in 1965. It recommended studies ranging from highly theoretical research on the energy status of water molecules to such directly applicable matters as the amount of irrigation water and best timing for efficient use in agriculture. It assigned high priorities to research in ground water, including an infiltration process and soil-plant-water relationships; to socio-economic research; and to research in water quality.

Dr. Donald F. Hornig served as Chairman of the Federal Council for Science and Technology, and William C. Ackermann as Chairman of the Committee on Water Resources.

On August 1 the White House announced a further step in the field of water resources research. A White House release of that date stated that the President met with his Science Adviser to discuss plans for U.S. participation in the International Hydrological Decade--a worldwide effort to advance knowledge of water. The program, beginning in 1965, would involve the establishment of stations and networks throughout the world to measure and track water in the hydrologic cycle from rain to the underground water table and eventually back to the atmosphere. The release stated that the President pledged support of the International Hydrological Decade studies by Government agencies and that he urged cooperation on the part of the universities and scientific societies.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting Report on the Water Resources Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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