Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation Page: 55 of 61
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of our land presents problems closely related and inseparably
interwoven. In South and Eastern Texas, the work -must be accomplished
primarily by means of ditches and levees. In the central portion
of the State the work must be done by farm terraces, by ditches
and levees and by building.catchment basins for storm waters; while
in West Texas large dams, lakes and reservoirs must be constructed.
Nature so formed and fashioned the northern, western and central
portions of Texas, through which these rivers flow, that it will not
be a difficult task to construct reservoirs and receptacles at numerous
places in and along the beds of these streams. There are many gorgelike
valleys and canyons now worthless on land adjacent to these rivers
that could be easily converted into mighty reservoirs to hold the overflow
waters. The topography of the country is such that a great chain
of inland lakes can be constructed that will make for this State a
perpetual water system unsurpassed anywhere in the world. Every
mountain range, every river bed, every watershed, every dry weather
branch, every canyon and every contrivance known to the genius of
the skilled engineer should be conscripted and utilized to impound
our annual rainfall that it might be used for the joy, the happiness,
the health and the wealth of Texas.
ENGINEERS SAY IT CAN BE DONE.
Some months ago, feeling that the State should have the benefit of
the civil engineers' highly specialized talents, I invited these technically
trained men to assemble at Austin and counsel together as to the
wisest and most practical way to conserve our flood waters and preserve
our overflow lands. The largest and most eminent gathering of
civil engineers that ever assembled in Texas gave to this program of
flood prevention and land preservation their hearty and unanimous endorsement
WHAT Is TO BE DONE?
Now where can we begin and what can we do, looking to the wise
and speedy solution of this big problem?
1. A well-defined, broad-gauged, progressive, intellectual, public
policy as to the matter in hand, that will include in its broad sweep
all the streams of Texas should be presented to the people.
2. An educational campaign through the press and from the platform
as to the importance of the policy and the necessity of needed
legislation, will be helpful.
3. The close and active cooperation and coordination between those
directly interested in flood prevention and land conservation projects
and all those purposes connected with and incident to water control,
should be solicited.
4. The Federal Government cooperated with other States in similar
projects, should be invited through proper channels to be not less liberal
5. The geographical defining of each river and its tributaries as
an individual unit around which to work.
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/55/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .