Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing the Rivers and Harbors and Flood Control Bill.

July 03, 1958

I HAVE TODAY approved S. 3910, "Authorizing the construction, repair, and preservation of certain public works on rivers and harbors for navigation, flood control, and for other purposes."

The first two titles of this measure authorize 59 navigation, 14 beach erosion, and 66 flood control projects and project modifications estimated to cost about $750 million, as well as increased monetary limitations totaling over $870 million for 15 approved river basin plans. These projects are acceptable additions to the authorized civil works program of the Corps of Engineers.

Three of these projects represent the first step in a new Federal program of hurricane flood protection. In recognition of the local nature of the benefits from this program, local beneficiaries will bear 30 per cent of the cost of these projects. This principle of local participation is equitable and sound and should be extended to other flood protection projects. For this reason, recommendations will soon be presented to the Congress for general legislation on this subject.

The third title of S. 3910 is the Water Supply Act of 1958. With this new authority, the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation will be able to plan for the inclusion of domestic, municipal and industrial water supply storage for local communities in Federal reservoirs, subject to local repayment of the costs allocated to providing such storage. This important legislation will greatly assist State and local agencies in planning cooperatively with the Federal Government to meet their future water supply needs.

While I have found it necessary twice in the last two years to disapprove omnibus rivers and harbors and flood control bills, practically all of the shortcomings of these earlier bills have been eliminated in S. 3910. I am, therefore, particularly gratified that the Congress, by its constructive action, has generally given recognition to the established policies governing the review and clearance of reports and the responsibilities of local beneficiaries for sharing in the costs of water resources projects.

Note: As enacted, S. 3910 is Public Law 85-500 (72 Stat. 297). For disapproval of earlier rivers, harbors, and flood control bills, see Public Papers of the Presidents, 1956, Item 180; also Item 73, above.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Rivers and Harbors and Flood Control Bill. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233667

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