May 23, 1967. LBJ addresses delegates to the International Conference on Water for Peace:
"I come from land where water is treasure. For a good many years, I have done my share of agitating to increase the water resources of my native State. I have known the frustrations of this task. A member of the Texas Legislature once recited some lines on this subject:
‘Oh the glamour and the clamor / That attend affairs of state / Seem to fascinate the people / And impress some folks as great.
‘But the truth about the matter, / In the scale of loss and gain: / Not one inauguration’s worth / A good, slow two-inch rain!’
As man faces the next century, one question stands above all others: How well—and how long—can the earth sustain its ever-growing population?
As much as anything, water holds the key to that simple question: water to drink; water to grow the food we must eat; water to sustain industrial growth.
Today, man is losing his race with the growing need that he has for water.”
Read the rest of the speech here.
Photos: Top: LBJ delivering speech, image #C5443. Below: LBJ’s beloved Pedernales River, near the Ranch, in 1967 (#C5785-12), and then during the drought of 2011. Map shows the distance between the LBJ Ranch and the location of the photo. 2011 photo by Texas Parks and Wildlife.