Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation Page: 54 of 61
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We should conserve our flood waters and harness our rivers as a
means of solving many of our industrial problems. Our water power
now going to waste should be used to turn the wheels of commerce.
Texas has in her streams, water power possibilities equivalent to five
hundred thousand horse power. Eight tons of coal are required to
produce for a year one steam horse power. This means that it would
take four million tons of coal a year to produce the power equal to
the possibilities of the Texas water horse power. The cost of this
coal capitalized at 6 per cent would warrant an expenditure of a half
million dollars in the perfecting of our water power. There is more
power in our water than in all our coal mines. At this time we are
using but 2 per cent of this power. The remaining 98 per cent is
wasted. This great force should be utilized for generating electric
power for lighting cities and running interurbans as well as for turning
the wheels of mills and factories. The location of water power
plants along all our streams will broaden the base of productiveness and
will help in the centralization of industry. Texas can do and ought
to do, what less fortunate States have done. Connecticut, Massachusetts,
North and South Carolina and other States with rivers not
better than ours have utilized them in commercial service. These
States produce but little raw material. A few years ago they were
poor. Now they are wealthy. The change has been wrought by the
development and utilization of their water power. North Carolina has
an annual payroll of one hundred and twenty-five million dollars to her
wage earners in her factories. Texas, the leading cotton State of the
Union, sends her raw material to other States to be woven into the
finished products. Let Texas develop her water power and weave her
four million bales of cotton into Texas cloth.
As Texas becomes more thickly settled, the necessity for having
State parks becomes more apparent. Around those inland lakes formed
by the impounding of our waters, should be established State parks.
The lakes should be stocked with fish. In this way we could build
up a tourist trade in Texas. If not a trade with visitors from other
States, they would at least constitute health, sport, and pleasure resorts
for our own people. California, years ago, went into the tourist
business and now it has from this source alone an income of about
$75,000,000 a year. Aside'from the commercial value, the establishment
of these inland resorts will help to make this State a good place
in which to live, both for the present and for future generations.
MAKE TEXAS A LAND OF LAKES.
To make a success of this undertaking, the whole State must work
as a unit along scientific and economical lines. The task is no small
one. A program should be adopted that will provide for the utilization
of all our water. The conservation of our water and the preser
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Neff, Pat M. Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation, book, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5835/m1/54/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .