Water Resources Development: A Review of the New Federal Evaluation Procedures


Economic benefits, Cost benefit ratio, Water resources, Economic costs, Cost benefit analysis, Unemployment, Environmental policy, Water quality, Natural resources


The statement under review is the foundation of agency practices in the natural resources field in the New Frontier. It is of professional interest not only because of its practical significance but also because of the economic rationale underlying it provisions. On October 6, 1961, President Kennedy sent a memorandum to the Secretaries of the Army, Interior, Agriculture, and Health, Education and Welfare, requesting that they review existing principles, standards and procedures currently being used, and make appropriate recommendation in view of the need for an up-to-date set of standards for the formulations and evaluation of water resources projects. On May 15, 1962, the Secretaries submitted to the President the statement being reviewed in this paper. The appendix to this paper gives a chronology of events leading up to the statement. The purposes of this review are : (1) to assess the economic consequences of the new statement of policy and (2) to examine the economic rationale underlying the recommendations. The political and institutional background of the statement is interesting and significant but we make no attempt to assess either the political forces that shaped the statement or political and institutional consequences likely to result from it.

Original Publication Citation

Water Resources Development: A Review of the New Federal Evaluation Procedures, (with E. Castle and M. M. Kelso), Journal of Farm Economics, 48:693-704, November, 1963.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL



Journal of Farm Economics




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor