Water Legislation at Washington.
The subject of the protection of watersheds and the conservation of the surplus waters Of navigable streams in time of flood and their storage during seasons of drought, as well as other matters in which waterworks men are directly or indirectly interested, is receiving the attention of Congress. A bill to protect the watersheds of navigable streams, providing for the co-operation of States with each other or with the United States, has been introduced into the House of Representatives. It provides for a commission, to be known as the National Forest Reservation Commission, to pass upon lands which are necessary for the regulation of the waters of navigable streams, as recommended for purchase by the Secretary of Agriculture. While the bill appropriates $100,000 for the work, it makes provision that no agreement may be made with any State not having a law for a system of lire protection, and that the amount of money contributed to any State shall not exceed the amount appropriated by that State. A fund is to be created from the moneys received from the sale of products from public lands created into national forests to be used for the acquirement of lands at the headwaters of navigable streams. Another bill has been introduced for the issue of $500,000,000 for the improvement of waterways.
Congress is also to be applied to by New York State officials and various commercial and canal interests to obtain its aid in deepening the Hudson river from Waterford to Hudson, so as to furnish a 12-ft. channel, 200 ft. wide at all points, which, it is estimated, would cost between $3,000,000 and $4,000,000. It is argued that ihc barge canal will not be of full utility, even when completed, unless a sufficiently liberal channel is provided in the Hudson river.