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established by its constitution the office of State engineer to "collect facts, and make surveys to determine the most suitable location for constructing works for utilizing the water of the State, and to ascertain the location of the lands best suited for irrigation." As head of the State board of control the engineer would participate in the adjudication of water rights. In 1895 the Wyoming Legislature empowered the State engineer to approve plans for water projects. In 1895 Idaho also created the office of State engineer with similar power of approval of local plans, while Nebraska established an irrigation board to per form the same function. Such were the principal developments till after the passage of the Federal Reclamation Act of 1902. In the following year (1903) three States provided for the office of the State engineer, and in 1905 four other States established the office, one of them (North Dakota) adopting a compre hensive water code. Extensive water codes have since been adopted by Oregon (1909), California (1913), Washington (1917), and Arizona (1919), while in 1907 New Mexico created the office of State engineer and in 1913 Texas established a board of water engineers.42 With the establishment of these adminis trative agencies, the tendency was for them to assume a position of growing dominance in the definition of water rights, except in some eight irrigation States where the courts still define water rights independently of other State officials or administrative body. In only two States does the administrative agency define water rights without any judicial intervention, whereas in nine States the administrative body furnishes the court with the principal information for adjudication. By and large, the development of irrigation projects has thus proceeded without much comprehensive guidance.

Comprehensive Water Planning.-State attempts at the comprehen sive planning of water uses are few in number at the paper stage and obviously fewer or perhaps nonextant at the stage of administration. Only a handful of instances have come to the attention of the writer after extensive investigation, and conferences with water specialists.

One of the States to become concerned with the planning of the water supply systems of highly industrialized-urbanized areas was New Jersey. In 1882 the legislature created a State water supply commission to "determine upon plans for the storage of any waters of the State for the purpose of furnishing to cities and towns a joint water supply" upon the voluntary application of municipali ties. No applications having been received during the first year of the commis sion, it was authorized in the name of the State to undertake the investigation and surveys upon which to base the "best practicable plan" for systems of water supply, distribution, and sources, in relation "to the future growth of the population and the industrial and commercial interests of the State and all parts thereof, and to the public health." In 1884 a report was filed outlining a plan for a joint water supply system in the Passaic River Basin of northeastern New Jersey and specifying minimum conditions of water development:

1. A construction that would not only meet present requirements but provide for a supply for a reasonable number of years in the future.

2. That it be capable of extension as needed.

41 Calif. Stats. 1877-78, c. 429. In 1889 (c. 218) the legislature provided that 2 years later the State mineralogist was to serve as ex officio State engineer. In 1913 (c. 586) California created the water commission as an "administrative and quasi⚫ judicial body having supervision over the acquisition and defining of water rights." Wyo. Laws 1890-91, c. 8, sec. 9; 1895, c. 45. In 1881 (Laws, p. 119) Colorado had established the office of State engineer, but it remained relatively inactive till 1903 when the irrigation laws were substantially amended (c. 126). Idaho Laws 1895, p. 215; Nebr. Laws 1895, c. 69. These enactments were clearly in response to the Carey Act of 1894.

49 Colo. Laws 1903, c. 126; Nev. Laws 1903, c. 4; N. D. Laws 1905, c. 34; Okla. Laws 1905, c. 21; Oreg. Laws 1905, c. 228; 8. D. Laws 1905, c. 132; Utah Laws 1903, c. 100; Ariz. Laws 1919, c. 164; Calif. Laws 1913, c. 586; Oreg. Laws 1909, c. 216; Tex. Laws 1913, c. 171; Wash. Laws 1917, c. 117; and N. M. Laws 1907, c. 89.

43 The eight States in which courts determine water rights are Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota, and Texas. The two States in which an administrative agency determines water rights are Nebraska and Wyoming. The nine States in which the court determines water rights on the basis of information collected by the admin istrative agency are Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. In Nevada between 1903 and 1915 the administration determined water rights without court intervention. Irrigation of Agricultural Lands, p. 25.

N. J. Laws 1882, c. 189, 1883, c. 186.

3. That the first cost should not exceed a sum the interest on which would not be greater than the annual expenditure for water of the cities and towns supplied.

4. That the cost of extension should be moderate, as this would encourage municipalities in the districts to avail themselves of water from the proposed works.

5. That the water should be pure and not liable to contamination in the future.

6. That the head should be such as to make it practicable to extend the supply to elevated points in the district.45

No action was taken on the 1884 report, appropriations for further study lapsed, and the attention of the State government meanwhile shifted to the flood problem. In 1907 a second water supply commission was established, and in 1911 it submitted a "plan for a joint municipal water supply, under State ownership." This led to the creation in 1916 of the North Jersey Water Supply Commission for the purpose of constructing and operating municipal water supply systems where the cities voluntarily engaged the services of the commission. In 1929 a water policy commission was established to investigate problems of water supply and pollution, flood prevention, drainage and irriga tion, water power, and navigation, "to the end that a complete plan be finally presented for the economical and comprehensive development of all the water resources in each of the principal watersheds." The commission was given the power of approval over future water development projects; but, as the commission noted in its 1936 report, there are "today 25 public supplies and 10 private supplies endeavoring to furnish water for 150 contiguous munici palities" while "one combined water system could give better service and be more readily expanded."

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In 1917 Kansas provided for a water commission to prepare a "systematic general plan for the complete development of each watershed in the State in order to secure the most advantageous adjustment of the interests involved in the matter of floods, drainage, irrigation, water power, and navigation." 47 Insufficient appropriations were forthcoming to carry the work beyond stream gaging and in 1927 the commission was abolished. In the following year, how ever, a special flood control and conservation committee reported to the Governor on the "great need for a State policy and plan for the control and use of the water resources of the State," by coordinating the different uses of water, and recommended that local water projects should be submitted for approval by the State water engineer in the agricultural board.48

Perhaps the most comprehensive activities in the State planning of water are to be found in the division of water resources 49 of the California Department of Public Works which was authorized in 1929 to "explore, investigate, and make preliminary plans in furtherance of a coordinated plan for the conservation, development, and utilization of the water resources of California," in cooperation with appropriate State and Federal agencies. The Department reported to the 1931 legislature on the State Water Plan.50 Among the cooperating agencies on the State level were the universities, highway commission, departments of natural resources and public health, and the railroad commission, while on the 46 North Jersey District Water Supply Commission, Report for 1925, p. 244. Much of the account of New Jersey has been adapted from this report.

46 N. J. Laws 1916, cc. 70-71; 1927.

Simultaneously with these New Jersey activities, Massachusetts had established a metropolitan drainage commission for the Boston area in 1881. In 1886 the State board of health was empowered to approve local plans for the construction of waterworks. One of the board's recommendations resulted in the supplanting of the drainage commission with a metropolitan sewerage commission in 1889. The State health board made a special survey of the water supply systems of 30 municipalities, finding startling variations in methods and services, and recommended the establishment of a metropolitan agency with adequate powers and resources to cope with the sanitation problem of the Boston metropolitan area. This was approximated in 1919 by the creation of the metropolitan district commission, as a State agency functioning in a highly urbanized area. Generally, see Paul Studenski, The Government of Metropolitan Areas in the United States (1930), p. 32. 47 Kan. Laws 1917, c. 172. The act provided for cooperation with Federal agencies and also set forth a declaration of fundamental water-use principles (sec. 6).

48 Kansas Flood Control and Water Conservation Committee Report, p. 28. In 1929 Michigan established a stream control commission to prevent pollution (Act 245); in 1933 Maryland established a water commission (c. 526).

49 The division of water resources is an outgrowth of the water commission of 1914 (c. 406).

10 California Department of Public Works, Division of Water Resources, Bulletin No. 25. Bulletins No. 26-36 deal with specific phases and areas of the State water plan.

Federal level were included the Departments of War, Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce, and the Federal Power Commission. In the introduction to the report water studies were listed as made in 1873, 1878, 1880-88, 1900, 1911 (by the State conservation commission), 1912, 1921-23, 1925, and 1927. Approxi mately one million dollars had been appropriated for investigation. The famous 1930 State water plan set forth

the main hydrographic divisions of the State, the available water supply, the water requirements for all purposes, the major units of an engineering plan for the ultimate development of the water resources in the principal areas of the State, the units of the plan which should be built first to relieve distress in the highly developed areas deficient in local supplies, investigations in progress in minor but important areas, legal problems that confront the execution of the State plan, together with suggestions for remedial measures, and economic and financial aspects of initial units of the plan would aid in the solution of California's water problem.

Aside from these few examples, the substantial work of governmental planning of water uses is now being undertaken as a pioneer task by the National Resources Committee, its water consultants, and the State planning boards.




State conservation of human resources is a reflection of the theory that all the members of the State should enjoy certain minimum standards of life, consistent with the total resources of the State and their effective utilization. This principle is carried out in practice by the State through the extension of aid to those areas and classes which are unable with their own resources to attain for themselves those standards that the State has accepted as necessary to the well-being of its people. Such standards have existed with reference to education since the earliest days of the Republic and with reference to health since the middle of the nineteenth century. Labor standards have developed from the regulation of child (1836) and women (1863) labor to the administration of industrial safety (1877) and workmen's compensation (1910), while hour and wage standards for the vast mass of the working classes are still in the process of making. The institutional care of the handicapped (insane, deaf, blind) emerged as the earliest State responsibility in the welfare field, even before the establishment of State boards of charities (1863), but State-wide systems of “public welfare” (the phrase dates from 1917) have received their greatest stimulus from the social-security program of the present day.

Once the policy of human standards has been accepted by the State, the trend is toward raising the standards and increasing their coverage. The trends outlined in this chapter are to be regarded as an illustrative rather than exhaustive examination of the kinds of standards prevailing in the State conservation of human resources, for these standards tend to become ever more inclusive as the responsibility of the State supersedes that of the individual and the local community. It is significant that the States appear to have made no sustained efforts at the comprehensive conservation of human resources in the period before 1933. Such action as has been taken has been confined to education, health, labor, welfare, recreation, as separate State activities, although the emerging concept of "social security" may signify a new departure.

Human resources are the most important assets of the State. This statement may appear trite, but it is one that needs to be stressed for it is frequently ignored in much of the discussion about the nature of resources conservation. In crass terms of dollars and cents, it has been estimated that the human resources of America have a total value of more than 800 billion dollars, a sum which is “enor mously more than the total value of all the property of every kind in the entire United States." Such figures are too huge for ordinary comprehension and

Ellsworth Huntington, "The Conservation of Man," in A. E. Parkin and J. R. Whitaker, Our Natural Resources and Their Conservation (1937), p. 559.

are cited to illustrate rather than to prove the basic importance of human resources in the planning activities of modern States. These figures, however, do suggest that the conservation of human resources is a "matter of practical economy as well as humanity.'


The central importance of human resources in modern conservation also arises from the fact that the State controls natural resources only in terms of their effect upon human activities and for the purpose of promoting such activities. Land, water, and minerals have no intrinsic value, but they do assume roles of definite importance insofar as they contribute to making the modern State better suited to the needs and desires of its citizens, who collectively constitute the human resources of the State. In this sense, all that has been discussed in the preceding chapters belongs on the agenda of a study of human resources. This chapter, however, is designed to approach the subject of human resources in somewhat more limited terms and to select for discussion some of the major ways in which the State has deliberately undertaken to conserve its human resources. The human resources of the State are the human beings that live, or are about to live, in the State. How can the State conserve so complex a resource as its human beings? The problem of conserving the people's health received formal recognition in the first report of the National Conservation Commission (1909), which contained a long section on "National vitality, its wastes and conserva. tion." It is clear, however, that the scope of State conservation of human resources covers more items than bodily health and, in fact, tends to become ever more inclusive as the State assumes greater direct responsibility for the people's welfare.

The growth of those State activities which are traced in this chapter is a result of the increasing recognition by democratic government of its obligation to further the attainment of certain minimum standards of life, opportunities, and services by all its people. This recognition has arisen out of the grave concern felt by the modern State that all of its parts should enjoy such life standards as are consistent with the total resources of the State and their effective utilization. Where it becomes impossible for certain areas or classes to achieve such standards without outside help the State has accepted the responsibility of supplementing individual effort directed toward this end. For some time such public standards have already existed with reference to education and health and, to somewhat lesser extent, labor and welfare. Once the State has accepted the concept of human standards, the trend is for the standards to become higher and more inclusive. A difficult problem arises out of the fact that frequently the efforts at human conservation are concentrated where least needed from the standpoint of the future; for example, the largest sum for education per child is spent and the proportional number of physicians, dentists, and nurses is largest where children are fewest. In order to correct these inequalities, it may prove necessary for the State to increase public services among the underprivileged classes and areas. These State trends toward the establishment and expansion of human standards have emerged concomitantly with the steady shift of social responsibility from the individual or the local community to the State and Nation.

The purpose of this chapter is to outline, without laborious detail, the growth of the concept of human standards as the predominating trend in the State conservation of human resources. It has been possible to trace this develop.

Charles E. Merriam, "Outlook for Social Politics," American Journal of Sociology, XVIII: p. 684 (1913).

III, pp. 620-751. This section, which was prepared by Prof. Irving Fisher, of Yale University, was divided into the following subsections: "The length of life versus mortality," "The breadth of life versus invalidity," "Methods of con serving life," and "Results of prolonging life." See the recent report of the National Resources Committee on The Problems of a Changing Population (1938).

"Statecraft is concerned with the economic system as a whole and with securing the optimum employment of the system's entire resources. J. M. Keynes. The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936), p. 340.


Huntington, op. cit. See also The Problems of a Changing Population, pp. 180-89, 216-20.

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