HAPPY 40th ANNIVERSARY to the Water Resources Research Act

Geosystems Research Institute
July 27, 2004

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Water Resources Research Act on July17, 1964, forty years ago. Click here to view a copy of the WhiteHouse press release for that event. Click here to view a copy of aspeech given on this date in 1964 by Benton Stong, member of the staff ofthe Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee. The speech, deliveredat the Western Resources Conference, describes the concept, legislativehistory, and implementation of the Water Resources Research Act of 1964.Stong's remarks reveal that research coordination was an issue in 1964,just as the Water Science and Technology Board's recent report indicatesthat it remains an issue today.

The Water Resources Research Act has been amended and reauthorized eighttimes since 1964. Some of the original issues concerning the content andintent of the Act have been raised during the process of thosereauthorizations and are still with us, perhaps most significantly theintended duration of Federal support for the institutes. The 1964Conference Committee convened to resolve differences between the 1964 Houseand Senate Bills intended the institute program to be "permanent." TheReagan Administration, in it's veto of the 1984 reauthorization stated thatthe institutes had been provided with "seed money" and that the instituteswere "...at a point where further Federal involvement in their researchactivities is not necessary." Click here to view President Reagan'sveto remarks.

The Act is once again up for reauthorization, and some of the issuesraised in the past are likely to be raised again.

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