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Interests, Fears and a Very Urgent Dream \(Continued from Page w by Congress. The Corps of Engineers has also been authorized to construct 16 local flood protection projects throughout the state at an estimated cost of $148 million. Of these, half have been completed or are under construction and the remainder await federal funds. Comprehensive basin wide studies for flood control, navigation, and water conservation are currently in progress by the Corps on the Trinity and Colorado basins, programmed over a three to four year period. Congress has authorized funds for similar studies on the Sabine and Neches basins. The Corps also has under study a large number of local water problems, many of which came to light during the spring floods of 1957, and is restudying the authorized Laneport, Ferguson, Brownwood and Mooringsport reservoirs. A second federal agency concerned with Texas water problems is the Soil Conservation Service, currently working through 173 soil conservation districts and 191,000 cooperating farmers and ranchers to apply locally adapted conservation programs. In 1944, Congress authorized flood prevention operations amounting to $112 million in the Trinity, Middle Colorado a n d Washita River watersheds, of which about $23 million has been used to date. Eighty-two projects are now in the works for integrated use and conservation of the land and water resources in Texas watersheds. According to the Texas Board of Water Engineers report, “At the rate of progress being made with funds presently available, it is estimated that approximately 25 years will be required to complete planning on watersheds now approved or being considered by the State Soil Conservation Board.” The Gulf Basins Dream A third federal agency lending a hefty assist is the Bureau of Reclamation, established by Congress in 1902 to function principally in the western states. The Bureau has constructed three projects in Texas, Marshall Ford Dam on the Colorado and the Rio Grande and Balmorhea projects involving reservoirs, power plants, canals and drainage systems. Currently, the Bureau has two projects under construction with funds appropriated by the 85th Congress, the Twin Buttes Dam on the South Concho River serving San Angelo and the Lower Rio Grande Irrigation Rehabilitation projects. Authorized but awaiting funds is the Sanford Dam and Reservoir on the Canadian River north of Amarillo, together with an aqueduct system of pipe lines and pumping plants to deliver municipal and industrial water to Amarillo, Lubbock, Borger, Pampa, and seven other high plains cities. Still another authorized project, the Valley Gravity work, is bogged down in a tangle of local disputes, and the Bureau has suspended further action. Most of the Bureau’s current efforts in Texas center around the imposing Gulf Basins Project investigation, covering the basins of every Texas river discharging into the Gulf of Mexico from the From an editorial Jan. 2, 1957: “The United States will help build a canal fifty miles inland from the coast, joining Texas watersheds, merging, damming, controlling their waters, and thus making possible a Golden Crescent of industrial and agricultural plenty not unlike the Imperial Valley of California.” Sabine to the Rio Grande. In the words of the Texas Board of Water Engineers report to the legislature, the Gulf Basin project is directed toward “defining the extent to which Texas will need and desire federal assistance in making optimum use of its surface water to meet long-term municipal, industrial, and irrigation needs; formulation of an orderly, coordinated, and integrated longrange program for providing such assistance in the national interest; and submission to the Congress for authorization of projects comprising the initial stages of such a long-range program, to the extent desired by the concerned local interests and the State of Texas.” Summarizing the Bureau of Reclamation’s efforts, the state re”the Bureau recognizes that basic leadership for coordinating development of Texas surface water resources is a state responsibility, because the state is the recognized owner of its surface waters and is sovereign over such waters. The Bureau considers that its Objectives in Texas can be best achieved within the framework of a statewide water plan developed under state leadership for comprehensive control and development of Texas surface waters for all purposes.” The Authorities’ Works Having thus reiterated prerogatives, what are the state and its subordinate water districts doing amid the flurry of federal ac, tivity? Some river authorities, notably the Neches, the Brazos, the Sabine, and the Colorado, are moving ahead aggressively. The Brazos River Authority employed a firm of consulting engineers to develop a plan for the basin. Authorization was obtained from the state in 1957 for two municipal reservoirs in the basin, and permits for five others for industrial as well as municipal purposes have been applied for. Additionally, the Corps of Engineers has five currently authorized reservoir projects for conservation and flood control in the Brazos basin. In. the Sabine basin, the largest reservoir project thus far undertaken is the 926,000 acre-feet capacity Iron Bridge Reservoir tinder construction by the Sabine River Authority. A harbinger of things to come, inter-basin water transfer is an integral feature of the project, with 80 percent of its water scheduled for use by the city of Dallas in the Trinity Basin. The master plan of the Sabine River Authority, approved by the state in 1955, calls for ten rather small reservoirs plus the mammoth Toledd Bend site on the Sabine with a scheduled reservoir capacity of almost five million acre feet. The Neches River Conservation District’s master plan on the Angelina River and on the Neches above the confluence of the Angelina contains 13 reservoirs, of which three are completed. Downstream, the Lower Neches Valley Autrority has engaged consulting engineers to prepare a master plan for the development of the lower basin. On the other major Texas rivers, local planning has progressed erratically. The Trinity River Authority is embroiled in the well publicized Dallas-Houston fight and in lesser disputes involving several small cities with both metropolitan areas. Making a patient appraisal of the wrangles, the joint congressional report notes calmly that “upstreamdownstream controversies tend to disappear when water requirements are satisfied.” San Antonio, the largest city in the state still relying exclusively on ground water, is described as headed for “pressing water requirements.” Dependable water supply from the Edwards subsurface reservoir are fixed at 220,000 acre-feet annually, with the city’s requirements by the year 2000 estimated by consulting , engineers at 500,000 acre feet. Planning is moving slowly. What It Could Mean What would bold water development mean for Texas? On the upper Gulf Coast, the spreading industrial boom, released from the limitations imposed by water shortages and the fears of water shortages, literally would face no physical, natural restraints. Assured of an abundant supply of sulphur, water, and natural gas, the expanding petrochemical industry could carry Texas to the forefront among the industrial states of the nation. In South Texas, inter-basin transfers of waters could literally put the desert in .bloom. Citing 700,000 acres of land suitable for irrigation in the Nueces basin alone, the joint water report to Congress describes the area as “the largest surface-water irrigation potentiality in Texas.” The entire agricultural economy of the vast area from San Antonio to the border could be transformed by maximum water development and distribution. In the high plains, aqueducts running south from the Canadian river loom not only as desirable but essential if that blooming area is not to be stifled by lack of water. Similarly, wide areas of West Texas will measure their future growth in direct ratio to the development of the conservation ‘potentialities on the upper Colorado and elsewhere. Across the statein the upper Rio Grande Valley at El Paso, on the Pecos, in the central blacklands watered by the Brazos, and the East Texas timber country cut by a half a hundred large and small streamswater storage and careful distribution can provide the impetus toward new plateaus of industrial and agricultural development. What the State Can Do Harry Burleigh, regional director of the Bureau of Reclamation, With almost one out of every three Texans either a Negro or a Latin-American, and with poverty, illness, illiteracy, and political despair acute among them after generations of second-rate citizenship, civil rights ought to be oc.: cupying the imagination, rather than taxing the patience, of the citizenry. The ‘subject is inflamatory, however, and most liberals have been content to advocte school integration \(or perhaps wait for the NAACP to stake out the next claim. The Observer wishes to mention several statelevel programs which flow from the premise of liberal civilization that each is the equal of every other before the law and should be received and regarded on his personal merits only. Segregation should be wiped out of every Texas law like a crushed spider off a book page. Distinctions in state services on the basis of color are now known to be unconstitutional, although it will take the courts much more time to say so with the thoroughnes which should animate our griev ously guilty collective conscience. Specifically the school segre opines that Gov. Daniel is “going as far and as fast on this water program as the people of Texas will let him.” In their influence on the water program, “the people” can be divided into two groupsan overwhelming majority who know almost nothing about the detailed ramifications of the issue but who have a vaguely expressed desire f o r “more dams and soon,” and a relatively small group of chamber of commerce members, engineers, industrialists, large landowners, and local, state and federal officials. In the hands of this latter groupwith their political and economic jealousies and prejudices, their knowledge and partial knowledge of the water crisis, their hopes and ambitions for the futurelies whatever realization Texas will evolve from its water potentialities. Toward a fuller and more rapid realization of these potentialities, the Observer recommends: a state water code, providing ad gation laws should be repealed. The miscegenation statute would be held unconstituional if tested and also should be repealed. Apart from the question of the wisdom of mixed marriages, the state has no right to control an indidividual’s undeniable right to choose one’s friends or mate. This, not the sophistry that the right to choose one’s friends requires and justifies barring tax-paying citizens from state facilities, is the meaning of freedom of association. The legislature should require fair employment practices in all state agencies and among all state contractors. Tax money collected from all the citizens should not be disbursed through wages to the exclusive or disproportionate benefit of the white citizens because of their race; employment should be by merit alone. Unions which bar or discriminate against Negroes should be excluded from all state work. Private employers may also employ workers in a discriminatory way, and this should be discouraged. But there is a sericis objection to an FEPC law to pun -ish such discrimination: in effecting a private purpose, a private ministrative procedures for the adjudication of disputes between districts, between river authorities, and between different levels of government over water rights. That the legislature strengthen the authority of the State Board of Water Engineers to determine water rights in cases of conflict. That the legislature give full support, and provide additional funds when needed, to the state water development board and its revolving fund to assist water districts in necessary financing. That the legislature appropriate the $1,837,905 requested by the State Board of Water Engineers for its water development work in 1960. That the legislature consider methods of acquainting the people of Texas with the essential elements of state and local water problems so that the general public might be in a better position to lend intelligent support to the entire water effort. 6. Imagination and cooperation. citizen cannot properly be prevented from exercising his private prejudices. The very large corporations, however, especially those utilitytype monopolies like the telephone company, so clearly vested with a public aspect that they are in effect public institutions, certainly should be held accountable for fair employment practices insofar as state legislation has jurisdiction over them. The legislature should enact a civil rights act affirming the availability of all state facilities, including state parks and buildings, to all citizens without consideration of race, and providing also \(along the theory of an Illinveniences, such as buses, railroads, restaurants, and hotels, must be open to all the citizens. Finally, with racist practices certain to persist in East Texas for many years, the legislature should establish a commission to advance racial equality and investigate civil rights abuses within the state. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 7 Jan. 16, 1958’ ig9:1 Civil Rights: Plain Principles