Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

vided, That this officer shall have the direction of the Geological Survey and the classification of the public lands and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain. (General Statutes, vol. 20, p. 394.)

The point of order was sustained by the chairman of the Committee of the Whole House. (Cong. Rec., vol. 40, No. 9, pp. 8423-8421.) The decision was based upon the contention that the term gauging of streams and determining the water supply does not fall within any of the provisions of the above statute. This ruling involves the implication that water is not a mineral, but your committee finds upon investigation that water has been defined by all authorities as a “mineral.”. The organic law of the Geological Survey, above cited, gives the Director thereof authority to investigate mineral resources.

Whether or not the above objection to the decision of the chairman of the Whole House is conclusive is a matter for individual opinion. The fact remains that under the statute at present in force the legal propriety of the appropriation must depend upon a favorable interpretation of the terms of the act. At the present time an unfavorable interpretation stands as a precedent, and right or wrong, it must exert an influence in future Committees of the Whole House.

Tbe advocates of this bill (H. R. 23583) believe that the continuance of a work so important as the investigation of water resources should not be dependent upon any individual's interpretation of the scope of a scientitic term or that of a disputed geographic expression. Its legal status should be clear. It will be noted that the bill does not carry an appropriation. This feature is left to the Committee on Appropriations and to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, and each year the merits of the work must be considered. The House of Representatives is left free to appropriate, if it believes such action wise, and in case appropriations are denied the proposed act will become inoperative.

With reference to the second introductory point, viz, the language of the bill: The language of the act at present in force does not clearly signify the character of the work authorized by it. The engineer familiar with hydrographic investigations may readily comprehend the scope of the work contemplated, but to the Member of Congress and to the interested citizen the act may be fairly unintelligible unless supplemented by an explanation. The report of the discussion upon the point of order above cited shows clearly that even the friends of the measure were not informed concerning the entire scope of the work, and their remarks were confined to those features that had come to their attention and excited their interest and support. Many of the Members of Congress to-day believe that the investigations are confined to indiscriminate gauging of streams, and the mistake is natural because of the initiatory expressions in the act. In fact, the appropriation has become generally known as the stream-gauging fund. Some of the most decisive objections that have been made to the appropriation are based upon this misconception, and the real scope, purposes, and benefits of the work have thereby been lost to view. In point of fact, the mere gauging of streams is but a detail in the method of carrying on the investigations and has in no sense the importance that may be attributed to it from a reading of the act. The language of the bill, on the other hand, concisely defines the character of the work in a way that will admit of appreciation of its scope and purposes by any well-informed person. In addition to this it defines certain limits in the extent to which the work may be carried, and, unlike the act at present in force, does not admit of indefinite expansions along lines not originally contemplated.

The second section of the bill provides authority to the Geological Survey for cooperation with States in the work authorized by the first section. The purpose of this is twofold: First, States frequently desire to secure completion of specific works at a date earlier than that at which it can be completed under the appropriations made therefor by Congress, and are willing to provide funds from their respective treasuries to carry on such investigations in cooperation with the Geological Survey; second, it frequently occurs that States desire to perform work or to secure results which the United States statutes do not authorize the Geological Survey to perform, but which require investigations similar to those necessary in the carrying out of the authorized work. In other words, if the two investigations were carried on independently there would be a duplication of work and a doubling of the expense. It is therefore apparent that cooperation of the character provided in this section of the bill will secure to both parties the desired results at an expenditure amounting to one-half that which would be necessary if the parties carried on the investigations independently.

The cooperation above described has been maintained by the Geological Survey for a period of six years, to the advantage of both Federal and State governments. Recenly the question has been raised as to the authority under existing statutes for such cooperation. Your committee is of the opinion that in view of the benefits derived from cooperative agreements and the economies resulting ther from all contingencies should be avoided. Therefore, specific authority is recommended.

The following is a detailed statement of past and present cooperation with States or State bureaus, under special State legislation or under general authority granted to said State bureaus, in the investigation of water resources:

MAINE.

Cooperation in water resources work was first provided for by the State law in 1903, when the following act was passed appropriating $5,000 for 1903 and the same sum for 1904:

Resolve providing for the topographic and geological survey for the years 1903 and 1904, and for

extending its work to include hydrography.

Resolved, That the topographic survey commission be, and hereby is, authorized to arrange with the Director of the United States Geological Survey to enlarge the scope of its work and to include topography, hydrography, and geology in its contract with the General Government, whereby the United States Geological Survey shall expend in the prosecution of the survey an amount equal to that expended by this State; that the chairman of said commission shall be paid an annual salary of three hundred dollars and the remaining members, each, two hundred dollars, and the chairman be designated State geologist; and that there be, and hereby is, appropriated for the work of said commission, including all expenses, the sum of five thousand dollars for the year nineteen hundred and three and a like sum for the year nineteen hundred and four."

Of the $5,000, $750 was allotted each year for cooperation in water resources investigations. In 1905 the appropriation was increased from $5,000 to $10,000 per annum for each of the years 1905 and 1906. Of this sum $3,500 was allotted to water resources investigations in 1905 and $3,200 in 1906.

NEW HAMPSHIRE.

In 1903 the legislature of New Hampshire passed the following resolution:

“Joint resolution to provide for a forest examination of the White Mountain region. " Resolved by the senate and house of representatires in general court conrened: That the forestry commission be, and hereby is, authorized and directed to procure, upon terms to be approved by the governor and council, a general examination of the forest lands of the White Mountain region by employees of the Bureau of Forestry in the Department of Agriculture at Washington, whose report shall be laid before the next session of the general court; and the governor is hereby empowered to draw his warrant for a sum not exceeding five thousand dollars upon any money in the treasury, not otherwise appropriated, to meet the expense of such examination.” (Approved February 24, 1903.)

Under this resolution the Burean of Forestry of the Department of Agriculture requested the assistance of the United States Geological Survey in the study of the effects of forestation upon the flow of streams and allotted for that investigation $1,000 to be expended within the years 1903 and 1904. At the end of that period the legislature made another similar appropriation for the continuation and completion of the work, and of that appropriation $300 was allotted to the Geological Survey for the continuation of the investigation of the effect of forestation upon stream flow, to be expended within the years 1905 and 1906.

RHODE ISLAND.

Definite arrangements for cooperation between the State board of health of Rhode Island and the United States Geological Survey were completed in August, 1906. The work which is being done under the cooperation consists of the determination of water resources, including investigations of the effects of special industrial wastes upon streams, tracing out their persistence and relation to health and the damage to natural water resources; and also an investigation of the efficiency of sewage disposal works now erected at various points in connection with the various municipalities and towns in the State of Rhode Island. Each party allots $1,500 for the work.

NEW YORK,

The New York State legislature of 1900 enacted the following law:

“The treasurer shall pay on the warrant of the comptroller, for the State engineer and surveyor, one thousand dollars, to be used with the United States Geological Survey in hydrographic work connected with the measurements of the volume of streams and flow of water in the State of New York.'

A similar appropriation has been made by the State for each year since 1900, except for the year 1905, when all appropriations for cooperative work were vetoed by the governor. The legislature of 1906 provided for the renewal of this cooperation and appropriated $1,500 for expenditure during that year.

MARYLAND,

Cooperation has been had with the State geologist of Maryland for several years under the general appropriation for the maintenance of the Maryland State weather service. Under this cooperation the State geologist pays the salaries of the gauge readers, amounting at the present time to approximately $500 per annum.

VIRGINIA.

During 1905 cooperation was arranged with Dr. Thomas L. Watson, State geologist of Virginia, in the maintenance of river stations and in the survey of Roanoke River from the Virginia-North Carolina line to Roanoke, Va. One thousand dollars was allotted by each party. Cooperation was discontinued at the end of the year on account of the failure of the State legislature to appropriate money for the maintenance of the work of the State geologist.

ALABAMA.

Since the organization of the water resources branch the State geologist of Alabama has paid the gauge readers from his appropriation for geologic investigations.

GEORGIA.

Since the organization of the water resources branch the State geologist of Georgia has paid the gauge readers in that State from his appropriation for geologic investigations.

OHIO.

During 1904 cooperation was arranged with the State board of health of Ohio for the investigation of the effects of sewage and industrial wastes upon the water resources of the State, their persistence, and the damage caused by them. For this investigation $800 was allotted by the State during the fiscal year 1904–5 and $1,000 during the fiscal year 1905-6.

ILLINOIS.

Arrangements were perfected in July, 1906, between the United States Geological Survey, the State water survey of Illinois, the engineering experiment station of Illinois, and the State geological survey of Illinois, for cooperation in the determination of the character and applicability of the natural water resources of the State. The work is limited to the determination of mineral and organic constituents in the surface and ground waters of the State, their applicability for use for industrial and domestic purposes, and their pollution by sewage. For this cooperative work the United States Geological Survey allots $3,000, the State water survey of Illinois allots $3,200, the engineering experiment station of Illinois allots $1,000, and the State geological survey of Illinois allots $1,000.

WISCONSIN.

Cooperation was provided for in Wisconsin in 1905 by the passage of the following act, approved June 20, 1905:

"AN ACT To provide for ascertaining the amount of available water power in this State and making

an appropriation therefor.

The people of the State of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:

“SECTION 1. The geological and natural history survey of the State of Wisconsin is directed to cause a survey to be made of the water powers of the State for the purpose of ascertaining the amount of available water power in this State, developed and undeveloped, and the location of the same. Such work may be done in conjunction with the United States Geological Survey. Upon the completion of such survey a full report thereof shall be made to the governor for the use of the legislature. The sum of two thousand five hundred dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is bereby appropriated out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, to defray the expenses of such survey.

“Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage and publication."

MINNESOTA.

In July, 1903, cooperation was arranged with the State board of health of Minnesota providing for the expenditure of $500 by the State and the same amount by the United States Geological Survey in the investigation of the quality of waters in the State. This cooperation was continued during the fiscal year 1904-5, with an allotment of $1,000 by each of the cooperating parties. At the end of the fiscal year cooperation was discontinued on completion of the work in hand.

NEBRASKA.

Cooperation in the maintenance of river stations in Nebraska has been had with the State engineer since and including 1904. Under this cooperation the State engineer maintains the river stations in accordance with the instructions of the Director of the Geological Survey, and reports results to him. Each party contributes from $400 to $1,000. For the present year the amount allotted by each party is $400.

KANSAS.

Definite arrangements for cooperation between the State board of health of Kansas and the United States Geological Survey were completed in October, 1906. The work, which is being done under the cooperation, consists of the determination of water resources, including investigations of the effects of special industrial wastes upon streams, tracing out their persistence and relation to health, and the damage to natural water resources, and also an investigation of the efficiency of sewage disposal plants now erected at various points in connection with the various municipalities and towns in the State of Kansas. Each party allots $1,500 for the work.

COLORADO.

For several years prior to 1904 cooperation was had with the State engineer of Colorado in the maintenance of river stations in that State. This cooperation was discontinued during 1904 on account of lack of State funds for the work, but was renewed in the latter part of 1906, under arrangements whereby the State engineer pays the gauge readers at 11 stations on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

MONTANA.

In accordance with the provisions of the following law of Montana, cooperation between the State engineer and the United States Geological Survey was definitely arranged in September, 1906. The work done under the cooperation consists of the maintenance of river stations in Montana, especially at the Flathead Indian Reservation and adjacent territory. The expenses, to be divided equally between the two cooperating parties and during the remainder of the calendar year 1906, were about $500 each.

(Laws of Montana, eighth session, ch. 114.] "SEC. 3. The State engineer shall become conversant with the waterways of the State and the needs of the State as to irrigation matters; shall make, or cause to be made, measurements and calculations of the ordinary and food discharges of streams, cooperating in this work as much as possible with the United States Geological Survey and the Montana Experiment Station, such measurements to be made on streams in order of their importance: Provided, That measurements already made, if deemed reliable, may be adopted.”

UTAH.

Arrangements were made in July, 1906, for cooperation between the United States Geological Survey, the State engineer of Utah, the State board of land commissioners of Utah, and the county commissioners of Beaver County, Utah, for an investigation of the ground-water resources of Beaver County. For this cooperation the United States Geological Survey allots $1,800, the State engineer allots $300, and the State board of land commissioners of Beaver County allot $200.

NEVADA.

Cooperation has been had with the State engineer of Nevada for several years, and at least since 1901, in the maintenance of the river stations of the State. This cooperation is at present arranged under an act of the legislature of Nevada providing for cooperation in reclamation work, and is possible on account of the fact that the gaging of streams and the determination of water supply is a necessary preliminary to the adoption of any plans for the construction of irrigation works under the reclamation act. Under the present agreements the State pays certain expenses, especially the salaries of the hydrographers, while the United States pays the salaries of the gage readers an the traveling and subsistence expenses of the hydographers. The amount allotted by each party varies somewhat from year to year, and is at present about $1,500 per annum.

OREGON.

Cooperation was arranged in Oregon in 1905 in accordance with the following act. The cooperative work consists of the investigation of the rivers of the State available for irrigation or power. The amount allotted by each party is $2,500 per annum.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »