Harry S. Truman photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing for Water Research and Development.

July 04, 1952

I HAVE been happy to sign into law H.R. 6578 because it will permit the Government to move at once toward solution of one of the most urgent technical problems facing world civilization, which is the development of a process for large-scale purification of salt or brackish water.

Secretary of the Interior Chapman saw the need for an additional source of pure water developing many years ago and for the last 5 years has been Working on this matter With Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney, Chairman of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, and Representative Clair Engle, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Reclamation. A highly successful synthetic liquid fuels program has been developed by the Department of the Interior under Secretary Chapman's guidance as the result of similar legislation.

Secretary Chapman has advised that, within the limit of existing authorization his Department, and particularly the Bureau of Reclamation, has been assembling data on salt water distillation and keeping in touch with private industry regarding technical development of various processes.

H.R. 6578 will permit full scale participation by the Government with private industry in further development work. Of an authorization of approximately $400,000 annually for the next 5 years, approximately three-fourths will be devoted to research through contracts and grants.

The research programs can be carried on by universities, research institutions, engineering and industrial firms, and possibly individuals who are qualified to do such work. Independent technical evaluations will assist in the formulation of future research and development programs. The intention is that within 5 years one or more usable processes should be developed for the distillation of salt and brackish water.

Success of this project can be of tremendous benefit to our coastal communities, to our island possessions and to the whole world.

Note: As enacted on July 3, H.R. 6578 is Public Law 448, 82d Congress (66 Stat. 328).

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing for Water Research and Development. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231160

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