Waterlogging and Salinity in the Indus Plain: A Critical Analysis’ of Some of the Major Conclusions of the Revelle Report

Publication Year : 1964

In September 1962, President Kennedy’s Science Advisory Committee, headed by Dr. Roger Revelle, then Science Adviser to the United States Secretary of Interior, submitted its Draft Report on Waterlogging and Salinity in West Pakistan [31]. An analysis of the main recommendations of this report was published in an earlier issue of this Review [9, pp.251-279]. Much material was presented in that review which will not be repeated here. The draft was considerably modified and final version of the report was prepared in January 1964 after a number of visits by Dr. Revelle and his colleagues to Pakistan [44]. The report was conveyed to President Mohammad Ayub Khan of Pakistan by President Lyndon B. Johnson of the United States with his letter of March 25, 1964. This article analyses the major recommendations of the final Revelle Report and argues that the solution presented in the Revelle Report is i) exceedingly costly compared to feasible alternatives, and ii) is not likely to bring about the necessary increases in agricultural production assumed in the Revelle Report. We argue that, on the basis of the evidence now available, far greater increases in agricultural production can be realized at significantly lower cost than those recommended in the Revelle Report by alternative me¬thods of land and water development. These alternatives are presented in Sec¬tion III of this article.

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