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Water Resources and their Administration

Nature volume 134, page 172 (04 August 1934) | Download Citation



IN a succeeding article on “National Water Resources and the Need for a Comprehensive Survey”, Mr. R. B. Dunwoody takes a much sounder and more practical view of the matter, recalling the investigation of the Royal Commission (1906-1911) on Canals and Waterways, which showed “a striking absence of statistical information as to the flows of rivers and streams, and consequently of the water available in different parts of the country”. On the completion of the investigation, as secretary of the Commission, he submitted in 1911 to the President of the Local Government Board a scheme for a comprehensive survey of the water supplies of England and Wales. Considerable extracts are quoted from the memorandum, all indicating that it has much in common with the proposals for a survey now being urged on the Government. Mr. Clemesha Smith, in his article on “Regional Water Supplies”, presses the need for co-ordination. Amplifying the policy of the appointment in several parts of the country of regional advisory committees, he considers that committees in respect of suitable areas should be set up covering the whole of England and Wales. He outlines the functions of the two sets of bodies he proposes, as follows: (a) regional committees, consisting of representatives of authorities, charged with the duty of supplying water for domestic purposes, empowered to demand the necessary information and able to raise funds to enable them to check statistics and examine and put forward proposals relating to water supply; and (b) water commissions, the duties of which should include considering the tabulated statistics prepared by the regional committees and advising them on the schemes submitted and as to improvements, amalgamations and variations. Mr. Smith emphasises that if problems of water supply are to be solved on rational lines, the first step must be the accumulation of accurate information, and the second the examination and consideration of the facts by recognised authorities.

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