(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The California Water Atlas"

OanJel O. Holmes 





EDMUND G. BROWN Jr. 

GOVERNOR 



Aziz rrf (Eal&rata 

GOVERNORS OFFICE 

OFFICE OF PLANNING AND RESEARCH 

1400 TENTH STREET 
SACRAMENTO 95814 

October 24, 1979 



Dear Reader: 

The California Water Atlas is considered by many reviewers to be the State's most 
ambitious cartographic undertaking. A staff of researchers, cartographers, and graphic 
artists worked for over a year and a half to assemble and portray information about 
water in California. Their efforts were immeasurably aided by a large and dedicated 
group of advisors, many of whom also contributed narrative portions to the Atlas. 

The goal of all this work was to produce a book that would introduce Californians to 
the complex and compelling issues of water in this state, giving them the information 
they need to participate more actively in the decisions that governmental agencies make. 

In an undertaking of this size, it is inevitable that some inadvertent errors will occur. 
Such an error appears on page 64, paragraph 3, in which we attempted to summarize a 
complex legal case which was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court. The statements 
in the paragraph were derived in part from California Water: A New Political Economy 
by Merrill R. Goodall, John D. Sullivan, and Timothy DeYoung (Allanheld, Osmum/Universe 
Books, New York, 1978). The paragraph, which was not intended to imply any wrongdoing 
on the part of the J. G. Boswell Company, should read as follows: 

The Salyer Land Company brought suit against the Tulare Lake Basin Water 
Storage District after its property was flooded in 1969. The flood damage 
could have been reduced and Salyer's property partially protected, had additional 
Kern River flood water been diverted into the Buena Vista Lake Basin. This 
would have caused flood damages to agricultural operations in Buena Vista 
Lake, then leased by J. G. Boswell Company. The flood storage servitude of 
Buena Vista lake basin, asserted by Salyer, and the District's authority to 
prosecute a suit against the Kern River interests, were disputed by Boswell 
and others. Since Boswell held a majority of the votes within the District, 
the District's board of directors never sought to force the Buena Vista District 
to take the flood water. 

Because of the widespread interest in California water issues and the large demand for 
the Atlas, we expect it will be necessary to reprint additional copies. In order to keep 
the document as current, accurate, and useful as possible, we would appreciate your 
comments and suggestions. 



Please send your letter to: 



The California Water Atlas: Comments 
Office of Planning and Research 
1400 Tenth Street, Room 206 
Sacramento, CA 95814 



Sincerely, 



Deni Greene / 
Acting Director 

DG/jp 



THE California 

WATER ATLAS 




William L. Kahrl 

Project Director and Editor 



William A. Bowen 

Cartography Team Director 



Stewart Brand 

Advisory Group Chairman 



Marlyn L. Shelton 

Research Team Director 



David L. Fuller 

Principal Cartographer 



Donald A. Ryan 

Principal Cartographer 



Edmund G. Brown, Jr., GOVERNOR 



STATE OF CALIFORNIA 



Bill Press, director, 

Office of Planning and Research 



Ronald B. Robie, director, 

Department of Water Resources 



STATE OF CALIFORNIA 



PROJECT STAFF 



TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE 



ADVISORY GROUP 



William L. Kahrl, Project Director and Editor 
JeanAnne M. Kelley, Staff Assistant 

Marlyn L. Shelton, Research Team Director 
Walraven Ketellapper, Principal Researcher 
Peter T. Vorster, Principal Researcher 
Pamela Easterwood, Cartographic Assistant 
Lisa Webb, Research Assistant 

William A. Bowen, Cartography Team Director 
David L. Fuller, Principal Cartographer 
Donald A. Ryan, Principal Cartographer 
Judith Christner, Cartographic Assistant 
Mark Goldman, Cartographic Assistant 



Cartography : Richard Doss 
Robert Provin 

Clerical: Nancy Braginsky 
Cathy Graham 
Grace Huppert 

Proofing: Regina Burns 

Vaunette H. Wang 

Typesetting: A & A Graphics, Sacramento 
ReederType, Fremont 
Zip Printing, Sacramento 

Book Design : Richard Kharibian 

Printing: George Rice & Sons, Los Angeles 

Binding: Hiller Industries, Salt Lake City 



Stewart Brand, Chairman 
John Bryson 
Raymond Dasmann 
Harrison Dunning 
Lloyd Fowler 
Mason Gaffney 
William Garnett 
Duane Georgeson 
Alfred E. Heller 
Norris Hundley 
Huey Johnson 
Alan Kay 



Robert Kelley 
Luna Leopold 
John F. Mann, Jr. 
Julius Margolis 
Bill Press 
Ronald Robie 
Glenn Sawyer 
Rusty Schweickart 
Donald Stark 
Peter Warshall 
Adrian Wilson 
Loren Young 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 



The list of contributors in this volume identifies the 
authors of the narrative sections as well as the two principal 
cartographers on the project. In addition to these individ- 
uals, however, the atlas owes its existence in large part to 
the efforts of Judith Christner, Mark Goldman, JeanAnne 
Kelley, Peter Vorster, and the other members of the staff as 
well as to the distinguished members of the advisory 
group, all of whom gave far more of themselves to this 
project than anyone could have asked. Each phase of the 
project profitted as well from the advice and assistance of 
scores of people throughout the state who gave freely of 
their time and expertise because they believed the result 
might prove worthwhile. 

The graphic and narrative elements of the atlas were 
checked and rechecked by the staff of the Department of 
Water Resources. The responsibility for coordinating this 
massive undertaking rested with Glenn Sawyer, whose 
grace and good judgment made all things possible. In addi- 
tion, several members of the department's staff proved to 
be invaluable resources for much of the information in- 
cluded in this volume: special thanks are therefore due to 
Dick Fields, Bob Ford, James D. Goodridge, Chuck Howard, 
Norman A. MacGillivray, Jim Morris, Charles Pike, and 
Maurice Roos. The project itself would probably never 
have come into being, however, without the unstinting and 
enthusiastic support of Ronald B. Robie, Director of the 
Department of Water Resources, whose good counsel and 
devotion to public service shaped the volume from the very 
beginning. 

The volume has benefited as well from the assistance 
of public servants in numerous other agencies at the state 
and federal levels. Those whose contributions are especially 
appreciated include: Henry Hagenbuch, Jerry King, and 
Robert Stuart of the Bureau of Reclamation; John Cono- 
mos, Leonard Jorgenson, and Loren Young of the United 
States Geological Survey; Robert Voeks of the United 
States Fish and Wildlife Service; John Skinner and Emil 



Smith of the Department of Fish and Game; Doug Ralston 
of the Department of Parks and Recreation; Jerry Jones of 
the Water Resources Control Board; Gail Grodhaus of the 
Department of Public Health; and Robert Zimmerman of 
the Soil Conservation Service. 

The cooperation generously extended by many local 
agencies proved to be of critical importance at several 
points during the course of the project. It is hard to imagine, 
for example what the atlas would have been without the 
assistance of Miguel Abalos and Duane Georgeson of the 
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Similar debts 
of gratitude are owed to: Daniel Koss and Hank Martin of 
the Los Angeles County Flood Control District; Robert 
Grosh of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern 
California; Bob Wilson of the Imperial Irrigation District; 
Roger James and Bob Roche of the Regional Water Quality 
Control Board of the San Francisco Bay Region; Stanley 
Barnes of the J. G. Boswell Corporation; and Chris Brewer 
of the Kern County Museum. 

From California's major public institutions of higher 
learning, the project drew heavily upon the expert advice 
of: W. O. Pruitt and Bob Washino of the University of 
California, Davis; Eugene Turner at California State Uni- 
versity, Northridge; and Todd Shallat of the Public Histori- 
cal Studies program at the University of California, Santa 
Barbara. In addition, the cartography team at California 
State University, Northridge, benefited from the efforts of 
a group of student assistants which included Victoria Cline, 
Nancy Davidson, Richard Dey, Roberta Estes, Lindsay 
Green, Karla Heerman, Joseph Malin, Lola Mayes, and Jay 
Osterweil. 

The photography that appears in the volume was made 
available through the courtesy and hard work of: Robert 
Ekstrand, Ben Padrick, and their staff at the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administation/Ames Research Cen- 
ter; Nevin Bryant and Steve Friedman of the Jet Propulsion 
Laboratory; Philip Hoehn and William Roberts of the Ban- 



croft Library; Jack Clark of the Agricultural Extension 
Service of the University of California, Davis; Bonnie 
Brittain, Laverne Dicker, Catherine Hoover, and Rob Saw- 
chuck of the California Historical Society; Victor Plukas of 
the Security Pacific Bank; and Shirley Mackay of the Cali- 
fornia State Library. 

The publication of a book of this kind proved to be a new 
experience for state government. We might easily have 
gone astray without the expert advice of numerous profes- 
sionals in the publishing industry. Special thanks in this 
connection are due to Jon Beckmann, William Kaufmann, 
Luther Nichols, Ralph Raymer, and Jeremy Tarcher. We 
owe a special debt as well to William Loy and Lidia Selkregg, 
whose experience in developing atlases of their own in 
Oregon and Alaska helped us avoid many pitfalls; to James 
F. Clements of George Rice and Sons, whose insight and 
commitment to excellence in the printer's craft did so much 
to make the atlas a source of pride for us all; and to George 
Roth of the California Department of Justice, who helped 
to steer us through the thickets of copyright law. 

The difficulties of administering a project of this com- 
plexity might well have proved insurmountable without 
the assistance and support we received from: President 
James W. Cleary, Harold Bramsen, and Ralph Vicero of 
California State University, Northridge; Lawrence J. An- 
drews and Kenneth Thompson of the University of Cali- 
fornia, Davis; Kent Stoddard, Rex Norman, and Karen 
Becker of the Office of Planning and Research; and John 
Babich and Robert Brownlee of the Department of General 
Services. Very special thanks are due as well to Jacques 
Barzaghi and Rusty Schweickart, assistants to Governor 
Brown, whose faith in the atlas saved the project more 
than once. 

Finally, sincerest thanks are due to the families and 
friends of the staff members on the project whose patience 
and support helped to sustain each of us through the long 
hours the atlas demanded. 



International Standard Book Number: 0-913232-68-8 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 78-620062 

© 1978, 1979 by the State of California. All rights reserved. No part of this 
book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without 
written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in 
critical articles and reviews. For information, write to the Director, Office 
of Planning and Research, 1400 Tenth Street, Sacramento, California 95814. 

Printed in the United States of America. 



Main entry under title: 

The California water atlas 

"Prepared by the Governor's Office of Planning & Research in cooperation 
with the California Dept. of Water Resources." 
Bibliography: p. 113 

1. Water-supply — California — Maps. 2. Water quality management — 
California — Maps. I. Kahrl, William L., 1946 — II. California. Governor's 
Office. Office of Planning and Research. III. California. Dept. of Water 
Resources. 

G1526. C3C3 1979 912' .1' 33391009794 78-620062 
ISBN 0-913232-68-8 



Copies of this volume are available from : 

General Services, Publications Section 

Post Office Box 1015 

North Highlands, California 95660 



William Kaufmann, Inc. 

One First Street 

Los Altos, California 94022 



Contents 



CONTRIBUTORS 

Jane Arnault Ms. Arnault, an economist and utility special- 
ist for Ernst and Ernst, Management Consultant Serv- 
ices, Los Angeles, prepared the section on the econom- 
ics of water. 

William A. Bowen Professor of Geography, California State 
University, Northridge. In addition to directing the car- 
tographic team, Mr. Bowen assembled much of the 
photography contained in the volume and prepared 
the section dealing with the water colonies of the nine- 
teenth century. 

Stewart Brand Special Advisor to the Governor. Publisher 
and Editor, The Whole Earth Catalogue and The Co-Evolution 
Quarterly. Chairman, Atlas Advisory Group. 

Mary Deane Ms. Deane, a reference librarian at the Water 
Resources Center Archives, University of California, 
Berkeley, prepared the guide to further reading at the 
end of this volume. 

Department of Water Resources Staff The section on the 
commercial and recreational uses of water was pre- 
pared by Warren Cole, David Pelgen, Glenn Sawyer, 
Melvin Schwartz, and Dick Wagner working under the 
coordination of Donald E. Owen, Chief of the Division 
of Planning. 

Harrison Dunning A Professor of Law at the University 
of California, Davis, and Staff Director of the Gover- 
nor's Commission to Review California Water Rights 
Law, Mr. Dunning prepared portions of the section 
dealing with unresolved questions for the future. 

David L. Fuller Currently a member of the staff of the 
cartography laboratory at California State University, 
Northridge, Mr. Fuller served as chief cartographer 
for the Hamilton Publishing Company's Environment of 
Mankind and the Los Angeles regional study prepared 
by the Larwin Group of Encino, California. He also 
designed the American Association of Geographers' 
Map Supplement Number 20, Moscow, an urban mor- 
phology. 

George G. Grover A judge of the Superior Court in River- 
side County and formerly a member of the California 
Public Utilities Commission from 1961 to 1966, Judge 
Grover prepared treatments of water law which appear 
in the sections dealing with the advent of human settle- 
ment and the modern water system. 

Robert M. Hagan A Professor of Water Sciences in the 
Department of Land and Water Resources, University 
of California, Davis, Mr. Hagan prepared the section 
on California's water in context. 

Myron Holburt Mr. Holburt, Executive Officer of the 
Colorado River Board of California, prepared portions, 
of the section dealing with California's use of the Col- 
orado. 

Norris Hundley Professor of History, University of Cali- 
fornia, Los Angeles, Director of the Pacific Historical 
Review, and author of Water and the West: The Colorado 
River Compact and the Politics of Water in the American West, 
Mr. Hundley prepared portions of the section dealing 
with California's use of the Colorado. 

William L. Kahrl Formerly Director of Research in the 
Office of Planning and Research, Mr. Kahrl is currently 



a Rockefeller Fellow preparing a history of the contro- 
versy over Los Angeles' water supply in the Owens 
Valley. In addition to directing the project and editing 
the atlas as a whole, Mr. Kahrl prepared sections dealing 
with the Los Angeles aqueduct, urban water develop- 
ment in 1900, and the organization of water districts. 

Robert Kelley Chairman of the Graduate Program in Pub- 
lic Historical Studies at the University of California, 
Santa Barbara, and from 1963 to 1973 the Attorney 
General's expert witness in the history of early Califor- 
nia water development, Mr. Kelley prepared portions of 
the section dealing with the advent of human settle- 
ment and the development of the Sacramento flood 
control system. 

Lawrence Lee Professor of History, San Jose State Univer- 
sity, Mr. Lee prepared the treatment of the develop- 
ment of the Central Valley Project. 

Office of Planning and Research Staff The section on 
water quality was prepared by Walraven Ketellapper 
and Lisa Webb with assistance from Jim Morris of the 
staff of the Department of Water Resources. 

Elmo Richardson Senior Research Associate of the Forest 
History Society and author of The Politics of Conservation : 
Crusades and Controversies, Mr. Richardson contributed 
the treatment of the development of the Hetch Hetchy. 

Donald A. Ryan A production artist, illustrator, and photo- 
graphic technician with the staff of the Co-Evolution 
Quarterly, Mr. Ryan's work has appeared in the books 
Space Colonies and Patterns on the Land as well as numerous 
publications including Sunset and Harpers Magazine. 

Marlyn L. Shelton In additon to directing the research 
team, Mr. Shelton, an Assistant Professor of Geo- 
graphy at the University of California, Davis, contri- 
buted the treatment of floods and drought in the sec- 
tion on the modern water system. 

Donald D. Stark An attorney at law, with special expertise 
in Southern California groundwater, Mr. Stark pre- 
pared portions of the section dealing with the modern 
water system. 

Norman Sturm Currently a consultant in the economic and 
financial feasibility aspects of water projects and form- 
erly the Chief Economist for the State Department of 
Water Resources, Mr. Sturm prepared portions of the 
section dealing with the unresolved questions for the 
future. 

Harold E. Thomas A consulting geohydrologist and expert 
in groundwater resources retired from the United States 
Geological Survey, Mr. Thomas prepared the section on 
the natural water endowment. 

Arliss Ungar A member of the Governor's Commission to 
Review California Water Rights law and formerly a 
member of the Water Quality Advisory Committee of 
the League of Women Voters of the United States, 
Ms. Ungar prepared the treatment of the development 
of the State Water Project. 

Peter Warshall A biological anthropologist and editor of 
the watershed edition of the Co-Evolution Quarterly, Mr. 
Warshall contributed portions of the section dealing 
with the modern water system. 



1 

2 



8 



10 



11 



Foreword iv 

Glossary vi 

california's water in context 1 

The Natural Endowment 4 

Atomospheric Water 4 
River Systems 6 
Natural Water Storage 10 
The Ocean 14 

The Advent of Human Settlement 15 
The Fall and Rise of the Sacramento 16 
The Sacramento Flood Control System 19 
Irrigation and the Water Colonies 21 
The Conflict over Rights 24 

Urban Development and the Rise of Public 
Control 28 

Hetch Hetchy 29 

The Los Angeles Water System 31 

The Colorado River 38 

Development for California Agriculture 39 

The Boulder Canyon Project 39 

The Colorado Today 42 

The Future of the Colorado 43 

The Great Valley Systems 46 

The Central Valley Project 47 
The Struggle for Control 49 
The State Water Project 50 
Modern Operations 53 

The Operation of the Modern Water System 58 

The Altered Endowment 58 

Water Districts in California 63 

Legal Constraints: The Law of Rights 64 

The Decline of Private Rights 66 

Natural Constraints: Floods and Drought 73 

The Drought of 1976-1977 75 

The Economics of Water 79 
Supply and Demand 81 
The Theory and Practice of Pricing 84 
Waste, Equity, and the Future 85 



Commercial and Recreational Water Use 

Industrial Water Use 86 
Power Generation 88 
Inland Navigation 90 
Recreational Benefits 91 

Water Quality 93 

Natural Water Quality 93 
Quality as a Constraint Upon Use 94 
Water Quality Control Programs 95 
Methods of Control 98 



86 



Unresolved Questions for the Future 

Elements of Demand 101 
Groundwater Management 103 
The Delta 104 
Constraints on Supply 106 
Problems of Management 107 
New Technology 110 
Conservation 110 



101 



Afterword 112 
For Further Reading 
Key to Sources 116 
Index 118 



113 




Foreword 



This book sets out to tell the biggest story in the richest and most populous 
state in the Union. Water lies at the basis of the modern prosperity of 
California, and the history of the state is in large part the history of water 
development. The problems of water supply and delivery for the future are 
emerging among the critical issues facing not only California but the entire 
American Southwest over the next ten years. And yet, at a time when 
environmental consciousness is high and complex problems of world energy 
supply and international finance are part of the normal fare in our daily 
newspapers, water remains probably the least popularly understood of our 
natural resources. 

There are good reasons for this. Water is an immensely complex subject 
which requires the mastery of many disciplines ranging from the practical 
sciences of hydrology, engineering, and chemistry to an understanding of 
history, social organization, and the law. The literature available on the 
subject is vast, but most of it is highly technical in nature, useful only to those 
who are already working in the field. In a state which was built on water, we 
lack even a history of water development. As a result, the interested citizen 
has had few places to turn for a basic understanding of the critical, water- 
related issues facing California and the West in the balance of this century. 

The atlas has been developed as an attempt to correct this problem by 
providing the average citizen with a single-volume point of access to under- 
standing how water works in the State of California. The reader will find 
here treatments of every aspect of water supply, delivery, and use in 
California — the nature of the water environment, the changes mankind has 
made in that environment, the history of water development, the operation 
of the major natural and artificial water systems of today, the relationship of 
water pricing to water consumption, the uses of water in industry, recrea- 
tion, and energy development, the problems of water quality, and the current 
and emerging questions of water policy for the future. The atlas will not 
answer every question the reader may have. In fact, if our work has been 
done well, the reader should emerge after completing this book with many 
more questions than he ever thought to ask before. The atlas can, however, 
establish a context for understanding how those questions should be posed 
and where to turn for the answers. And it is by prompting this kind of 
inquiry that the atlas will succeed in its ultimate purpose of enhancing the 
opportunities for the people of California to take a direct role in shaping 
public policy in this critically important area. 

The California Water Atlas is the product of a 15-month project sponsored 
by the Office of Planning and Research in cooperation with the Department 
of Water Resources. A team of researchers based in the Office of Planning 
and Research assembled the basic data and detailed information for the prep- 
aration of maps from a wide range of local, state, and federal sources 
throughout the state. This material was then relayed to a team of carto- 
graphers assembled at California State University, Northridge, where the 
finished maps were developed. The narrative sections were prepared by 
experts in each of the many topics treated in the volume. And the project as a 
whole operated under the guidance and supervision of an advisory group 
composed of the most prominent figures in the fields of hydrology, engineer- 
ing, history, book design, environmental protection, and water law. 

The result is not a conventional governmental publication. The sheer heft, 
size, and sophisticated printing of the volume makes that self-evident. These 
physical characteristics of the book were dictated by the complexity of the 
information presented in the maps and other graphic elements. What is more 
important in distinguishing the atlas from other governmental publications, 
however, is the absence of policy recommendations. We recognized at the 
outset that if the atlas ever concluded on any point by saying "therefore" then 
we would have failed in our central purpose of providing a common basis for 
understanding which leaves the individual reader free to draw whatever con- 
clusions or raise whatever questions seem most appropriate. 

The maps and other graphic elements contained in the atlas are likely to be 
far more densely packed with information than most readers are accustomed 
to encountering. The model of California's hydrologic balance on the facing 
page, which effectively combines in one place all the many aspects of water 
treated in detail throughout the pages that follow, is probably the most com- 
plex piece of design anywhere in the book. An attempt has been made in the 
design of each of the full-page plates, however, to make them susceptible of 
being read at several levels of detail. In other words, each plate should readily 
convey some central relationship or aspect of water upon a quick perusal. The 
three principal colors used in the design of the hydrologic balance, for 
example, display the relative proportionality of the volumes of water involved 
in each of the major parts of the system as a whole. For the serious student 
of water, for applications by the specialist, or for use in the classroom the 
plates reveal a wealth of information and precision which should, hopefully 



make a close reading of them an adventure in seeing and understanding. 

The quality of these graphic materials is related directly to the nature of the 
atlas as a whole and the subject it treats. The plates are not designed simply 
to illustrate the points raised in the text; nor has the text been prepared 
simply as a helpful companion to fill out what might otherwise be only a 
picture book. Instead, the narrative and graphic elements of the atlas have 
been developed as equal partners which the design of the volume as a whole 
must make to work together. The topics selected for treatment in the plates 
are those which can be presented most effectively in a graphic form. The 
information contained in the design of the hydrologic balance, for example, 
would require pages and pages of charts and graphs to be treated narratively, 
and it is doubtful that the reader at the end of such a treatment would be able 
to grasp the relationship between the many parts of the hydrological balance 
and the way in which these parts fit together as readily as is conveyed in this 
single image. By the same token, if some aspect of the water system can be 
just as well described by a sentence or paragraph, then it has been left to the 
narrative. In this way, we have attempted to provide within the atlas a model 
of the ways in which advanced cartography can be used as a medium for con- 
veying complex information on issues of public policy. 

A friend of mine in hydrology once described the construction of a dam as 
man's ultimate way of thumbing his nose at God. Certainly the story of the 
development of the modern water system in California presents one of the 
most massive rearrangements of the natural environment that has ever been 
attempted. The book, therefore, begins with a detailed examination of the 
nature of the original water endowment as a way of establishing an under- 
standing of the limits it placed upon human settlement. The subsequent sec- 
tions treat the ways in which these limits were confronted and in most cases 
overcome through the construction of the various principal components of 
the modern water system. The water system of today, however, is not simply 
the inevitable result of the natural water endowment. Rather, each of the 
major artificial water delivery systems developed out of specific historical 
circumstances and were designed to address particular problems. The first 
half of the volume, by treating in sequence the development of these systems, 
thus deals essentially with the question of how things got to be the way they 
are today. The balance of the volume, beginning with the section on the 
modern water system, examines how things work today, the ways in which 
water is used, the problems that result, and what the modern water system 
can and cannot do. 

Inevitably in a volume which attempts to treat so vast a subject in so brief a 
space there will be disagreements as to which topics to bring up and where 
the emphasis should be placed. The project was conceived from the beginning 
as a cooperative venture and the book that has been produced as a result is a 
reflection necessarily of the special talents and interests of the authors, 
advisors, and staff members involved. Had any one of the more than 50 
people who ultimately had a hand in shaping the volume been different, the 
atlas itself would have been changed. 

The cooperative nature of the enterprise was represented most clearly in 
the development of the narrative. Once we had agreed upon an outline of the 
book, we divided the topics to be covered according to the expertise of the 
authors we had selected. As a result, each of the chapters that appear in the 
volume is made up of parts prepared by several different hands. And all of 
the original manuscripts were substantially revised and edited to establish a 
consistent style and tone, to fill in missing elements, and to provide the con- 
nectives which knit the pieces together into a whole. Nevertheless, each 
author approached the topic assigned with his or her own perspective and 
sense of priorities. As a result, the reader should be able to detect the sound 
of many voices running through the narrative, and this diversity was felt to 
be healthy to the extent that it provides a sense of the multiplicity of view- 
points that exist with respect to the various aspects of water in California. 

There were, of course, constraints of time, available space, and subject 
matter imposed on what we could do. In developing the plates, for example, 
we began with a list of all the subjects we wished we could treat and then 
began to reduce that list based upon the information that was actually avail- 
able. Hydrology, as the experts often say, is an inexact science. Cartography, 
however, is a most exacting art form. If you are preparing a narrative and 
have 95 percent of the information on the topic being treated, you can safely 
write a conclusion; but if you are preparing a map of California and have data 
for every community but one, you might as well have nothing at all. 

There is more information available on water through the federal, state, and 
local agencies used in this project than exists on probably any other topic. 
And yet, a surprising amount is incomplete, inconsistent, or inaccurate. In 
addition, there is substantial disagreement between agencies as to methods of 
reporting, systems of calculation, and even the names of places and facilities. 



IV 



Hydrologic Balance for California 



Colorado River 
5.2 | 



PRECIPITATION 



vapotranspiration 
precipitation on 
irrigated lands 
8.0 



Evaporation from 
lakes and reserve 



Evaporation and 
evapotranspiration 
from forest, rangeland, 
unirrigated agriculture, 
native vegetation, and 
other lands 
118 



r erage annual ground 
iter overdraft of 2.2 from 



Effects of lane 
use changes 
1.5" 




Other Federal: 



Central Valley and State 
Water Projects, and water 
stored for salinity repulsion: 0.6 
Total: 21.9 



DEVELOPED WA TER SUPPLY 
Interstate import: 
Surface water: 



Groundwater: 



Reclaimed waste water: 0.2 



Land recharge 
1.1 



Stream chann 
recharge 
4.0 




Conveyance losses 
1.2 



WATER USE 



Artificial recharge 
1.0 



Natural recharge 
5.1 



Reclaimed waste 

water (planned) 

0.2 



Municipal & Industrial: 


5.1 


Wildlife & Recreation: 


0.7 




Total: 


37.4 


3.2 , 


'■2. 




37.4 

4 


2.2 

i 


Si: 



Conveyance loi 
1.2 

Evapotranspii 
of applied waters 
22.1 



Artificial 


echarge: 


1.0 


Natural r 


echarge: 


5.1 




rcolation of 
vater: 


6.8 
15.1 




Total: 



Saline repulsion 
0.6 



Reclaimed waste 
water (incidental) 
0.6 



Agricultural return 
flows to developed 



Municipal & In 



Agriculture: 

Municipal & Industi 



griculturai retun 
3ws for salim 
repulsion 
0.4 



Evaporation and 
Evaportranspiration 



Storage and Use 



Arrows indicate direction of flow 
All figures in millions of acre-feet 




,TION & 
,,,IANSIPRATION 
pplied water precipitat 



The hydrologic cycle is the natural system for 
recirculating water on a global scale. The 
quantities of water associated with the individual 
components of this cycle vary during the year and 
from place to place, but the summation of these 
components always equals the fixed amount of 
water present on earth. A hydrologic balance is 
the local version of the hydrologic cycle. Like the 
hydrologic cycle, average annual quantities are 
commonly employed to express the magnitude of 
the separate components of a hydrologic balance. 
From these values a hydrologic balance can be 
calculated for the earth's land surfaces, for the 
oceans, or for smaller systems such as an individ- 
ual state or drainage basin. Unlike the hydrologic 
cycle, however, a hydrologic balance is not pre- 
sented as a closed, recirculating system but 
involves instead the combination of natural 
processes which can be designated as input, 
storage, or output. The summation of storage and 
output in a hydrologic balance will always equal 
the total input. 

Normally, precipitation is the principal source of 
the natural supply of water. In California, however, 
the input from precipitation is augmented by com- 
paratively small amounts of water derived from the 
overdraft of the state's groundwater basins, 
inflows from Oregon, and diversions from the 
Colorado River. The width of the arrow on the left 
side of the graphic is scaled to portray the 200 
million acre-feet of average annual precipitation 
received by California. The width of the arrows for 
supplemental inputs and other components of 
California's hydrologic balance have been scaled 
proportionately. The disposition of inputs can be 
traced as the water moves from left to right in the 
graphic. California's hydrologic balance, however, 
is a complex system of components which vary 
greatly across the state and throughout the year. 
This graphic simplifies the complexity of the 
system by portraying each of the principal com- 



I Reserve suppl 
I Agricultural flows 
Salinity repulsion: 
Waste discharged to salir 

RUNOFF 

and scenic rivers. 27.2 
ng runoff: 17.8 



ponents as if it were a single unit for the state. 
Quantities shown for each component are the 
average annual magnitude of water associated 
with that function or process. 

When precipitation arrives at the earth's surface 
it is allocated to various outputs and forms of 
storage by an environmentally controlled priority 
scheme. Depletion of the input from precipitation 
occurs within three major categories: return flows 
to the atmosphere, storage and use, and runoff. 
The natural demands for evaporation and evapo- 
transpiration receive first priority in this natural 
scheme, and return flows of moisture to the 
atmosphere by evaporation and evapotranspira- 
tion account for approximately 76 percent of the 
precipitation input. Most evaporation and evapo- 
transpiration occur from natural land and water 
surfaces and from nonirrigated agricultural land. 

Computation of the hydrologic balance for 
California, however, requires consideration of the 
effects of human modifications of the hydrologic 
environment. For example, irrigated agriculture 
increases evapotranspiration and reduces runoff 
while asphalting land surfaces reduces moisture 
infiltration and increases runoff. The evapotrans- 
piration of water used for irrigated agriculture and 
urban purposes accounts for 15 percent of the 
total depletion of input which is attributable to 
evaporation and evapotranspiration. In addition, 
many of the various components of the hydrologic 
balance are linked and some categories of water 
disposition are consequently not necessarily 
mutually exclusive. Water allocated originally to a 
specified use, as in the State Water Project, for 



example, may be largely evapotranspired or a 
portion may become runoff. On the other hand, 
moisture returned to the atmosphere by evapo- 
transpiration from a forest is not available to 
become runoff or to be applied to some further use. 

The disposition of water for storage receives 
second priority in the natural operation of the 
hydrologic balance. Water may be stored as soil 
moisture or in glaciers, snow, lakes, and ground- 
water basins. A number of alternatives, however, 
operate among the different forms of water stor- 
age. Glaciers and snow, for example, store water 
temporarily at the surface. After melting, some of 
this water may be evaporated, some may become 
runoff, and some may enter another form of stor- 
age by infiltrating into the soil to be retained as soil 
moisture or by percolating deeper to recharge 
groundwater storage. In computing the hydro- 
logic balance as shown here, soil moisture storage 
and groundwater storage were not included 
because net changes in annual soil moisture levels 
occur only during extremely arid years, while net 
changes in groundwater storage are indicated by 
the average annual overdraft that is shown as a 
supplemental input. 

Runoff, the principal source of water for human 
use in California, is the third priority for disposition 



of the input to California from precipitation. Con- 
sequently, runoff receives only those residual 
amounts of precipitation which remain after 
evaporation, evapotranspiration, and natural stor- 
age requirements have been satisfied. 

The magnitude of all the storage and use com- 
ponents is small when compared with the magni- 
tude of evaporation and evapotranspiration. A 
summation of the components of the storage and 
use category is provided by the developed water 
supply figures. In-state development represents 
39.2 million acre-feet but 56 percent of the devel- 
oped water is consumed ultimately by evapotrans- 
piration. Only 3.2 million acre-feet is retained as a 
developed water reserve while flows into salt sinks 
and runoff total 4.4 million acre-feet of developed 
water. Depletion of the inputs produces a residual 
of 51.4 million acre-feet of total runoff. The state- 
generated portion of runoff is slightly less than 
50 million acre-feet, but only 27.2 million acre-feet 
is unencumbered runoff. 



These differences, for example, proved determinative in the decision to 
prepare the atlas using traditional units of measurement. Probably no sub- 
ject was debated as vigorously by the advisory group as the question of 
metrics; but when we found that the major water agencies had still not 
agreed upon what the metric units for the measurement of water will be, 
we felt we had no choice but to proceed as we have, providing metric con- 
versions wherever appropriate. 

In preparing this volume, we have consequently had to resolve many 
differences of this kind and fill in numerous gaps in the available data with 
research of our own. The result may be the most comprehensive assembly 
of information on water in California that has ever been available to the 



public. Whether we have succeeded in this lofty objective or not, the effort 
itself establishes a value for the project which is greater than the subject 
matter involved. For, we began with the assumption that it is a valid public 
service to take the vast quantities of information government collects and 
turn it back to the public in a readily accessible form in order to enhance 
public understanding of the problems we must confront together. And our 
success in this greater endeavor will be measured not by the volume itself 
but by the uses to which the reader puts it in the years ahead. 

William L. Kahrl 
Sacramento, 1979 



Glossary 



acre-foot. A standard measurement of volume 
equivalent to the amount of water required 
to cover one acre one foot deep. One acre- 
foot is approximately the amount of water 
that the average family of five uses in one 
year, including lawn and garden irrigation. 

applied water demand. The quantity of water 
delivered to the user at the point of use, 
exclusive of any water lost in transport 
to that point. 

aquifer. Any geologic formation of sufficient 
porosity and permeability to store, transmit, 
and yield water to wells and springs. An 
aquifer which is surrounded by imperme- 
able materials is a confined aquifer. 

artesian well. A well tapping an aquifer in 
which the water level will stand above the 
bottom of the confining bed of the aquifer 
because the hydraulic pressure of the water 
in the aquifer is greater than the force of 
gravity. Where the water rises to ground 
level, a flowing artesian well is created. 

base flow. That portion of the discharge of a 
stream or river that is not attributable 
to runoff from rain or snow. Such a flow 
may be sustained by drainage from natural 
storage. 

beneficial use. A use of water for some econ- 
omic or social purpose. The specific identifi- 
cation of beneficial uses may vary with 
locality or custom, although the term is 
most frequently defined by statute or court 
decision. The State Water Resources Con- 
trol Board recognizes 21 beneficial uses 
of water and establishes the levels of water 
quality required for each. 

biochemical oxygen demand. The quantity of 
oxygen used in the oxidation of organic 
matter in water in a specified time, at a 
specified temperature, and under specified 
conditions. 

blowdown. Water discharged from a boiler or 
cooling tower to dispose of accumulated 
salts. Also, the removal of a portion of any 
process flow to maintain the constituents 
of the flow within desired levels. 

bypass. A channel used to divert flows from 
a mainstream, as for the diversion of flood 
waters. 

cloud seeding. A method of weather modifi- 
cation in which clouds are injected with a 
seeding agent such as dry ice or silver iodide 
in order to enhance precipitation, clear fog, 
or inhibit the severity of storms. 

conjunctive use. The coordinated use of sur- 
face and groundwater supplies. One tech- 
nique is to recharge a groundwater basin 
during years of above-average precipitation 
so that the water can be withdrawn during 
years of below-average surface runoff. 

cubic feet per second. A basic unit for meas- 
uring the flow of water past a given point 
over time. Equivalent to 449 gallons per 
minute and 1.98 acre-feet per day. 

drawdown. A lowering of the water level in 
an aquifer or reservoir. 



effluent. Liquid or gas issuing from a con- 
tained space, as in the discharge of waste- 
water from a treatment plant. 

entitlement water. As used in connection with 
the State Water Project, the amount of 
project water made available at a delivery 
structure provided for the contractor under 
the terms of a contract with the state. 

flume. An artificial water channel supported 
on or above the ground for the conveyance 
of water or materials such as logs or gravel. 

headgate. A gate, flap or valve at the entrance 
to a conduit, ditch, canal, or penstock which 
is used to control water flow. 

hydrograph. A graphic representation of some 
property of water which is displayed with 
respect to time. 

instream use. A beneficial use of water in a 
stream channel as for recreation, fish and 
wildlife, navigation, the maintenance of ri- 
parian vegetation, or scientific study. 

levee. A ridge of material along a stream bank. 
A natural levee is formed by the deposi 
tion of sediment when a stream overtops its 
banks during a flood. An artificial levee, 
constructed of earth, rock or concrete, may 
be used to contain or direct water flow. 

navigable water. In general, any body of water 
which, during a substantial portion of the 
year, is capable of floating watercraft for 
purposes of trade, commerce, transport, or 
recreation. The United States Congress 
exercises regulatory authority over those 
navigable waters (and their tributaries) which 
are susceptible to use for trade and com 
merce. For purposes of defining ownership 
of stream and lake beds by the State of Cali- 
fornia, navigable water includes any body of 
water which was in fact navigable at the 
time of California's admission to the Union. 

outfall. The point, location, or structure where 
sewage or other drainage is discharged. 

percolation. The movement of water through 
the interstices of soil or rock. 

point source. Any discernable, confined and 
discrete conveyance from which pollutants 
are or may be discharged; this is distin- 
guished from a non-point source, which is 
so general or covers so wide an area that no 
single, localized source can be identified. 

reclamation. As applied to land, the devel- 
opment or improvement of land through 
drainage, leaching to remove salts, flood 
control, or the provision of irrigation water. 
As applied to water, the treatment of waste- 
water so as to make it suitable for some 
beneficial use. 

reimbursable costs. That portion of the cost 
of developing and distributing a water sup- 
ply which the water users are held respon- 
sible to repay. 

repayment period. The period of time pre- 
scribed for the payment of reimbursable 
costs. This period is commonly 40 or 50 
years measured from a date specified in a 



contract for water delivery or from the 
time that the first services of a water pro- 
ject are made available. 

return flow. Any unconsumed water which 
returns to its source or some other water 
body after diversion from a surface water 
supply or extraction from a groundwater 
basin. 

safe yield. As applied to groundwater, the 
maximum quantity of water that can be 
continuously withdrawn from a ground- 
water basin without producing an unde- 
sirable result. As applied to surface water, 
it is the maximum annual dependable sup- 
ply from a water source during the driest 
period likely to occur. 

sedimentation. The settling of solids in any 
body of water because of gravity or chemi- 
cal precipitation. 

slough. A creek in a marshland or tidal flat 
or an inlet from a river. 

spreading. The application of water over areas 
of porous material in order to recharge an 
underlying groundwater basin. 

storage, capacity. As applied to groundwater, 
total storage capacity is the amount of water 
that could potentially be extracted from a 
given depth of a totally saturated aquifer 
without regard to quality or economics; 
usable storage capacity, however, is the 
amount of water of acceptable quality that 
can be economically withdrawn from the 
aquifer. As applied to surface water, total 
storage capacity is the total amount that 



can be stored behind an impoundment 
structure or in a natural lake; usable stor- 
age capacity is the amount of water that 
can be drained through the lowest outlet 
of an impoundment structure. 

total dissolved solids. The quantity of min- 
erals in solution in water, usually stated 
in nearly equivalent terms of parts per mil- 
lion (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/l). 

turnout. The point at which water is diverted 
from a main channel or water delivery 
facility to a distributing facility. 

watershed. The total land area that contri- 
butes water to a river, stream, lake, or 
other body of water. Synonymous with 
drainage area, drainage basin and catchment. 

water year. A continuous 12-month period 
within which hydrologic data is compiled 
and reported. In California, the water year 
starts on October 1, when groundwater 
and reservoir levels are usually at their 
lowest and the rainy season is about to begin. 

weir. Any structure across a water course used 
to control, raise, or measure flows. 

wetland. Any area in which the water table 
stands near, at, or above the land surface 
for at least part of the year. Such areas are 
characterized by plants that are adapted to 
wet soil conditions. 

to wheel. As applied to water and power, to 
provide the use of one agency's convey- 
ance facilities for the purpose of trans- 
porting another agency's supply. 





Metric Conversion Factors 




Quantity 


English unit 


Multiply by 


To get 
metric equivalent 


Length 


inches 
feet 
yards 
miles 


2.54 
0.3048 
0.9144 
1 .6093 


centimeters 
meters 
meters 
kilometers 


Area 


acres 
square miles 


0.40469 
2.5898 


hectares 

square kilometers 


Volume 


gallons 
acre-feet 
cubic feet 


3.7854 
1 ,233.5 

0.028317 


liters 

cubic meters 

cubic meters 


Discharge 


cubic feet per 

second 
gallons per minute 


0.028317 
3.7854 


cubic meters per 

second 
liters per minute 


Weight (Mass) 


pounds 
tons 


0.45359 
0.90718 


kilograms 
tons (metric) 


Temperature 


degrees Fahrenheit 


tF-32 
1.8 


degrees Celsius 


Electrical 
conductance 


mho 


1.0 


Siemens 



VI 



CHAPTER 1 



California's Water in 
Context 



Too many of us know only that water comes from 
the tap and then disappears down the drain. We trust 
that it will be available when we want it and that we 
can dispose of it without causing obvious pollution in 
our immediate surroundings. This lack of knowledge 
is unfortunate because water and its development 
for human use forms the basis of California's 
modern prosperity, the framework of our history, 
and the'substance of our existence. Seventy-five 
percent of our body weight is water, and blood 
plasma is 90 percent water. Water is so important to 
our body functions that a loss of only 20 percent 
brings death. The inventive mind of man has 
developed no substitute for water in the production 
of food and fiber to sustain our lives. In our urban 
centers today, the use of water in homes averages 
150 gallons per day for each person in the United 
States. Per capita use in California is generally 
greater than the national average and varies greatly 
with the season of the year, location and climate, and 
with the density and affluence of our population. 
During the winter months in high density neighbor- 
hoods, per capita use averages 100 gallons per day, 
but during the summer in the hot Central Valley, 
suburban dwellers may use as much as 660 gallons. 

The amount of water we use directly in our 
homes, large though it may appear to be, is only a 
small fraction of the water used to produce our food 
and fiber, to provide manufactured goods, and to 
supply many of our other needs for such things as 
electrical energy. This overall use of water has 
climbed steadily from a per capita average of about 
600 gallons daily in 1900 to 1,800 gallons in 1975. 
Water is the life blood of agriculture, California's 
largest industry. Assuming that approximately 1,600 
pounds of food are produced to supply the 1,500 
pounds consumed annually by a typical person and 
that an average of 1,000 gallons of water are needed 
to produce each pound of food, then it takes about 
five acre-feet of water to produce the food the 
average American consumes each year. The water 
requirements of food items in our diet, however, 
vary greatly. A pound of bread takes 136 gallons to 
grow the wheat, a pound of potatoes 23 gallons, a 
pound of tomatoes 125 gallons, and a pound of steak 
2,500 gallons. In addition, one gallon of milk requires 
932 gallons of water to grow the silage and alfalfa, 
water the cows, and clean the barns. Water is also an 
irreplaceable item in many manufacturing processes 
and the availability of water in adequate quantity 
and quality is necessary for economic growth and the 
standard of living we enjoy. As a result, we are 
coming increasingly to appreciate the essential role 
of water in our total environment and also the 
importance of our environment to human well-being 
and to the maintenance of numerous delicately 
balanced life-support systems which sustain us. 

Water, however, makes up only one-tenth of one 
percent of the earth's mass and very little of the 
world's water can be used directly for human 
agricultural, industrial, and domestic needs. Ninety- 
seven percent of the world's water is in the ocean 
where it contains many dissolved and suspended 
materials. Of the remaining three percent, 2.2 
percent is locked up in the polar ice caps, and three- 
tenths of one percent is too deep underground to 
recover and use. Less than one-half of one percent of 
all the water on earth can be used directly to support 
human life. Moreover, the earth's water supply is 
fixed; the quantity available is essentially the same 




now as it was more than five billion years ago when 
the planet was formed. Consequently, all the water 
we use is recycled. Every drop we drink, cook with, 
wash with, or use to irrigate our crops has been used 
countless times before. 

Solar energy is the driving force behind this 
continuous recycling process. The sun, warming the 
surfaces of rivers, lakes, the ocean, and even the 
water in plants and the soil, agitates water molecules 
until their increased motion causes them to escape 
and be carried into the atmosphere by warm air 
currents. As these water molecules break away, they 
leave behind all minerals and other pollutants 
dissolved or suspended in the water. This is how our 
water is periodically cleaned for re-use. As these 
water molecules rise, they may be carried over land 
and mountains before they cool, condense into 
drops, and fall as rain or snow. Whether it occurs as 
rain or melting snow and ice, water immediately 
starts running downhill toward the ocean, first as 
streams, and then combined into rivers. Some is 
trapped in lakes and some percolates into groundwater 
basins. But it is this water, recycled and redistributed 
by nature, which we store, transport, pump, and use 
to sustain our lives on earth. 

The size and power of this natural recycling and 
distribution system can be appreciated by a few 



simple comparisons. A single one-inch rainfall on a 
160-acre farm delivers 4,356,000 gallons or 36,300,000 
pounds of water. To transport this 18,150 tons of 
water would require 544 tank cars operating as four 
trains each over a mile long. To evaporate this 
amount of water from the ocean requires the 
equivalent of over a million horsepower of energy. 
Worldwide, about one-fourth of the total energy of 
sunlight is used to evaporate water, more than 4,000 
times the total power now available to the world's 
industrialized civilizations. This water cycle is 
absolutely vital to the continuing renewal and 
purification of our water supply and thus it is 
essential to all life. 

Nature does not, of course, distribute its freshwater 
supplies equally. In terms of water supply, California 
is made up of two very dissimilar areas: the northern 
portion shares characteristics with the more humid 
areas of Oregon and Washington while its southern 
half is a part of the most arid region in the United 
States. As a result, the total water supply in 
California is much less than that of many other 
regions of the nation with which California competes 
industrially and agriculturally. Although annual 
average precipitation per square mile in California is 
equivalent to 79 percent of the average for the entire 
United States, it is only 44 percent of the average per 



Numerous aspects of the urban, 
industrial and recreational uses 
of water are illustrated in this 
view of the east side of San 
Francisco Bay. Oakland is at 
the bottom of the photograph, 
Berkeley to the north, and the 
fringes of Lafayette can be seen 
at the far right. Intensive water 
use for vegetation in public parks, 
which appear here as vivid red, 
contrast markedly with the 
urbanized areas and watershed 
lands where the East Bay Mu- 
nicipal Utility District maintains 
its reservoirs. 



Population and Water Use 

State A B 

Arizona 

California 

Colorado 

Idaho 

Montana 

Nevada 

New Mexico 

Oregon 

Utah 

Washington 

Wyoming 

A. Irrigation water withdrawn (million gallons per day, 1975) 

B. Water withdrawn from all sources, fresh and saline, except 

hydropower (million gallons per day. 1975) 

C. Water withdrawn for public supplies from all sources (gallons 

per capita per day, 1975) 

D. Estimated population 1978 

Selected Western Rivers 

Average Annual Discharge (acre-feet)* 



7,000 


7,800 


211 


2,360,000 


35,000 


51,000 


185 


22,018,000 


9,300 


10,000 


200 


2,644,000 


15,000 


17,000 


236 


855,000 


11,000 


12,000 


267 


764,000 


3,100 


3,500 


321 


637,000 


2,900 


3,200 


236 


1,202,000 


6,000 


6,900 


190 


2,373,000 


3,500 


4,100 


331 


1,264,000 


5,500 


7,200 


256 


3,697,000 


6,800 


7,200 


191 


407,000 



Stream 


Gaging Station 


Discharge 


Columbia 


The Dalles, Oregon 


140,600,000 


Snake 


Clarkston, Washington 


36,225,000 


Willamette 


Wilsonville, Oregon 


20,540,000 


Pend Oreille 


lone, Washington 


20,540,000 


Sacramento 


Sacramento, California 


17,870,000 


Clark Fork 


Cabinet, Idaho 


15,920,000 


Klamath 


Klamath, California 


12,900,000 


Colorado 


Compact Point, Arizona 


12,860,000 


Skagit 


Mt. Vernon, Washington 


12,000,000 


Yellowstone 


Sidney, Montana 


9,353,000 


Flathead 


Poison, Montana 


8,469,000 


Salmon 


White Bird, Idaho 


8,013,000 


Cowlitz 


Castle Rock, Washington 


6,618,000 


Spokane 


Long Lake, Washington 


5,793,000 


Umpqua 


Elkton, Oregon 


5,387,000 


Eel 


Scotia, California 


5,379,000 


Green 


Green River, Utah 


4,614,000 


Rogue 


Agness, Oregon 


4,411,000 


Deschutes 


Biggs, Oregon 


4,196,000 


Trinity 


Hoopa, California 


3,958,000 


Platte 


South Bend, Nebraska 


3,912,000 


San Joaquin 


Vernalis, California 


3,197,000 


Chehalis 


Porter, Washington 


3,018,000 


Smith 


Crescent City, California 


2,819,000 


American 


Fair Oaks, California 


2,765,000 


Pit 


Montgomery Creek, California 


2,721,000 


Bighorn 


Bighorn, Montana 


2,721,000 


Payette 


Payette, Idaho 


2,199,000 


Quinault 


Quinault Lake, Washington 


2,037,000 


San Juan 


Bluff, Utah 


1,892,000 


Yuba 


Smartville, California 


1,866,000 


Gunnison 


Grand Junction, Colorado 


1,860,000 


Coeur D'Alene 


Cataldo, Idaho 


1,827,000 


Russian 


Guemeville, California 


1,712,000 


Kings 


Pine Flat Dam, California 


1,624,000 


Salmon 


Somes Bar, California 


1,331,000 


Mad 


Areata, California 


1,137,000 



* Average annual discharge to 1975 is shown for California rivers, to 1970 for other 
rivers, and for the period 1913-1962 for the Colorado. 



Selected Western Reservoirs 





Reservoir 


Stream 


Capacity (acre-feet) 




Lake Mead 


Colorado 


29,755,000 




Lake Powell 


Colorado 


27,000,000 




Fort Peck 


Missouri 


19,432,000 




F, D. Roosevelt Lake 


Columbia 


9,562,000 




Lake Koocanusa 


Kootenai 


5,809,000 




Shasta Lake 


Sacramento 


4,552,000 




Flaming Gorge 


Green 


3,789,000 




Lake Oroville 


Feather 


3,538,000 




Hungry Horse 


Flathead 


3,468,000 




Dworshak 


Clearwater 


3,459,000 




Lake Umatilla 


Columbia 


2,500,000 




Clair Engle Lake 


Trinity 


2,448,000 




Elephant Butte 


Rio Grande 


2,109,000 




Canyon Ferry Lake 


Missouri 


2,051,000 




San Luis 


San Luis Creek 


2,039,000 




Don Pedro 


Tuolumne 


2,030,000 




Lake Mojave 


Colorado 


1,818,000 




Navajo 


San Juan 


1,709,000 




American Falls 


Snake 


1,700,000 




Riffe Lake 


Cowlitz 


1,685,000 




Lake Berryessa 


Putah Creek 


1,602,000 




Lake Pend Oreille 


Pend Oreille 


1,561,000 




Brownlee 


Snake 


1,427,000 




Ross Lake 


Skagit 


1,405,000 




Palisades 


Snake 


1,400,000 




T. Roosevelt Lake 


Salt 


1,382,000 




Yellowtail 


Bighorn 


1,375,000 




Tiber 


Marias 


1,369,000 




Lake Wallula 


Columbia 


1,350,000 




Lake Almanor 


Feather 


1,308,000 




Banks Lake 


Columbia 


1,275,000 




Abiquiu 


Rio Chama 


1,225,000 




San Carlos 


Gila 


1,210,000 




Strawberry 


Strawberry 


1,107,000 




Alamo 


Bill Williams 


1,043,000 




Lake McClure 


Merced 


1,026,000 




Pathfinder 


North Platte 


1,016,000 




Seminoe 


North Platte 


1,012,000 




Folsom Lake 


American 


1,010,000 




Pine Flat Lake 


Kings 


1,002,000 



California Surface Inflows & Outflows 

Average Annual Inflows (acre-feet) 
Average Annual Outflows (acre-feet) 



Dashed lines indicate 
man-made flows. 







square mile in the South Atlantic and East Gulf 
states. And while the average annual runoff in 
California is more than nine times that of the 
Colorado River Basin as a whole, it is eqivalent to 
only 51 percent of the average runoff per square 
mile in the Ohio River Basin and 36 percent of the 
annual averages that obtain in New England. 

California is, however, unique in many ways. It 
has a 1,072-mile coastline on the Pacific Ocean which 
greatly moderates its climate, affects its water 
supply and use, and provides a sink for outflows 
from rivers and streams and from our agricultural 
and urban developments. The state is essentially cut 
off hydrologically by mountains from its neighboring 
states to the east. Consequently, except for some 
inflows from Oregon, small outflows to Nevada, and 
the significant quantities of water from the Colorado 
River which California shares with other states and 
Mexico, our water supply is essentially independent 
of other states. 

Precipitation is the principal source of California's 
water supply. The state's average annual precipitation 
is about 200 million acre-feet. Two-thirds of this 
total falls on the northern one-third of the state. 
About 65 percent of this precipitation is lost by 
evaporation directly into the atmosphere leaving 
only 71 million acre-feet for the average annual 
runoff in streams. Forty percent of this runoff or 28 
million acre-feet occurs in north coastal streams; 31 
percent or 22 million acre-feet in the Sacramento 
River system; nine percent or seven million acre-feet 
in the San Joaquin River system; and 20 percent or 
14 million acre-feet is scattered over the rest of the 
state. Approximately one-fourth of the total average 
runoff or 18 million acre-feet is now protected from 
development under the state's wild and scenic rivers 
program. 

Groundwater is an important adjunct to the 
natural supply provided by surface streamflows. The 
vast groundwater basins which underlie the Central 
Valley and other areas of the state have an estimated 
total capacity of 1.3 billion acre-feet with a usable 
capacity some estimate to be as high as 143 million 
acre-feet. In years of normal rainfall, groundwater 
supplies 40 percent of the water used in the San 
Joaquin Valley. In the drought year 1977, however, 
groundwater provided about 80 percent of agriculture's 
needs when 9,000 new wells were drilled in this 
valley alone. Statewide, more than 20,000 new wells 
were brought into production in 1977, further 
aggravating the serious overdraft or mining of 
California's groundwater. During recent years of 
average precipitation, groundwater overdraft has 
approximated two million acre-feet; the groundwater 
overdraft in 1977, however, has been variously 
estimated at four to ten million acre-feet. Overdraft 
in future dry years could go higher unless steps are 
taken. Failure to control such overdrafts will increase 
energy requirements for pumping, decrease water 
availability, produce water of poorer quality, 
encourage saltwater intrusion along the shores of 
saline bays and the ocean, and bring about significant 
and sometimes serious land subsidence. 

Views on water development and use are changing. 
Historically, Californians have developed and used 
water so as to minimize constraints on the growth of 
our cities and irrigated agriculture. Nature may have 
intended much of California's now highly populated 
areas and most productive croplands to be brown, 
but we have turned them green with produce or gray 
with concrete according to our will. More recently, 
however, we have come to realize that water is itself 
a limited resource. The emphasis today is not so 
much upon water development as upon water 
management. What this alteration in our attitudes 
will mean for the future of California cannot easily 
be predicted. But the situation clearly calls for 
increasing scrutiny of the reasonableness or efficiency 
of present water uses. 

There is considerable misunderstanding about 
water use. The term "use" sometimes refers to the 
total quantities diverted from surface water sources 
or pumped from groundwater. Alternatively, it may 
be applied to mean only that portion of the supplied 
water which becomes unavailable for further use by 
being lost in evaporation from water, soil, or plant 
surfaces or incorporated into plant tissue or into 
manufactured goods. Accordingly, some water uses 
are non-consumptive and others are consumptive. 
More than half the water delivered to California's 
irrigated farms, on the average, is lost to the 
atmosphere by evaporation from soil and transpiration 
by plants. Evaporation from soil can be partially 



controlled by the installation of efficient irrigation 
systems and management practices. But the process 
of evapotranspiration from plant leaves remains 
largely uncontrolled and presents, therefore, a 
tremendous challenge to those seeking efficient 
conservation. Water use in homes, except that lost to 
the air in irrigating plants, is generally non- 
consumptive. Typically, more than 90 percent of the 
water used in homes is degraded and disposed of 
down the drain. Similarly, water delivered to most 
industrial plants is used non-consumptively to 
convey, wash, cool, or heat materials. Most of this 
water becomes effluent and remains a part of the 
state's water supply. But pollution itself can be 
equivalent to a consumptive use when the water 
becomes so degraded that the treatment necessary 
for its re-use may not be technically or economically 
feasible and its discharge to the ocean or other sink is 
consequently the most practical solution to the problem 
of its disposal. 

In terms of withdrawals, 87 percent of California's 
developed water is taken for irrigation; 8.5 percent 
for domestic, commercial, and institutional uses; 2 
percent for manufacturing; and about 2.5 percent for 
other purposes. But in terms of consumptive use, 91 
percent goes for irrigation, 5 percent for domestic 
and related uses, one percent for manufacturing, and 
about 3 percent for others. By the year 2000, the 
portion used consumptively by irrigation is expected 
to decline slightly to 89 percent accompanied by 
small increases in municipal and industrial uses. 

Predictions of water use are highly controversial, 
however, due to uncertainties about projected 
population levels and our inability to predict the 
domestic and international markets for various 
agricultural products as well as other changes related 
to crop production. Based on four population 
alternatives and four alternative levels of crop 
production, it has been estimated that present water 
diversions will increase from about 37 million acre- 
feet today to 41-46 million acre-feet by 1990 and 43- 
55 million acre-feet by 2020. An unquantified 
amount of water will also be needed to provide 
instream flows for fish and wildlife, to preserve 
wetlands for birds, and to protect water quality in 
areas such as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and 
the San Francisco Bay. 

How can water be managed so as to meet as fully 
as possible the needs of diverse and legitimate 
interests at all levels and in all geographic areas? 
There are no easy answers. Sound water policy and 
action programs require that account be taken not 
only of the scientific and technical aspects of water 
management but also of the numerous historic, 
economic, social, environmental, legal, institutional, 
and political interests involved. The sections of the 
atlas that follow treat these many factors and their 
interrelationships in detail. Only through enlightened 
public understanding of these complex issues can we 
hope to integrate divergent viewpoints and contending 
interests into a wise policy of water management 
which will have sufficient resiliency to cope with 
climatic change and other developments in our 
society which could substantially alter California's 
efforts to achieve a balance between water supply 
and water demand. 



CHAPTER 2 



The Natural Endowment 



Water has shaped California from the very 
beginning. Ever since the Sierra Nevada and coastal 
ranges rose as obstacles to the eastward flow of air 
from the Pacific, water has been carving canyons; 
steepening, lowering, and smoothing slopes; forming 
vertical walls; and carrying the debris from the 
mountains to the lowlands where sediments accumulated 
to form broad plains and valleys of rich soil. The gold 
of the Mother Lode got there partly by hydrothermal 
action, and subsequent stream erosion sorted the 
gold into auriferous gravels where men later found it 
in 1849. The winter-moistened slopes of the mountains 
have been conducive to the growth of the world's 
largest living things — the Sequoia sempervirens of 
the Coast Range and the more massive Sequoiadendron 
giganteum in the Sierra Nevada. East of the Sierra, 
water deficiency produced an austere environment 
requiring the utmost in survival techniques, and 
here the bristlecone pine achieved outstanding 
success as the oldest of all living things. 

This diversity of climates both reflects the 
diversity of environments within the state and 
contributes to that diversity. Most water provides 



life support for plants and animals only after it has 
seeped into the ground; but the upland redwood 
forests are an exception to this rule, as are certain 
fern-related species that collect fog and water vapor. 
Along the sheltered inland margins of bays, lagoons, 
and estuaries, salt and brackish water marshes 
provide fertile and productive habitats rich in 
nutrients which support grasses, pickleweed, mussels, 
clams, herons, egrets, and hosts of migrant waterfowl. 
Further inland where the land is relatively flat, 
freshwater marshes and swamps, which once 
covered an estimated 500,000 acres of California, 
provide habitats as well for ducks, marsh wrens, 
rails, swans, and geese. 

As water enters streams, it brings nutrients, 
sediments, and aeration that create a diversity of in- 
stream plant and animal communities. Wildlife along 
the riverbanks varies according to climate, elevation, 
the temperature of the water, the rate at which it 
flows, and the seasons of the year when flows are 
sufficient to sustain life. Plants that are specially 
adapted to saturated soils and flooding are found 
here, such as the red alder and aspen, the sycamore 



Wildfowl in flight over the marsh- 
lands of the Sacramento Valley 
today. Such areas once covered 
an estimated 500,000 acres of 
California. 




and valley oak in the Central Valley, and the 
cottonwood and willow along the Colorado. Where 
conditions are right, riparian habitats also support 
myriads of insects which draw insectivorous birds, 
amphibians, and reptiles as well as the predator birds 
which feed on them in turn. Raccoons and golden 
beaver come for shade and shelter and it is here too 
that the yellow-billed cuckoo makes his home. 
Salmon and the native golden trout are found in 
colder waters, while catfish and bass prefer warmer 
temperatures. 

Where water falls as snow, two immediate plant 
communities are created: the snow cup red algae 
community that is found throughout the Sierra; and 
the snow margin community of high alpine meadows 
which is especially adapted to cold water. In the 
mountain meadows, burrowing animals flourish, 
and the hardy water ouzel strides the banks of 
mountain streams. In the harsh desert climes, widely 
scattered springs, seeps, and holes support stickleback, 
chubs, and a variety of species of pupfish. And 
scattered throughout the Central Valley, the 
foothills of the Coastal Range, and the mesas of 
Southern California, vernal pools spring to life and 
then die back with the passing of each rainy season, 
rare and transitory habitats which are found only in 
South Africa and California. 

Unlike many other parts of the country, California 
has but two seasons, a dry summer and more or less 
humid winter. Throughout the state approximately 
80 percent of the annual precipitation occurs in the 
five months November through March. Although 
the rains commence in October of some years and 
sometimes continue into April, the months of May 
through September — the principal growing season 
in most other states — are rainless or nearly so. There 
is, however, no single dormant season for plant life 
in California; instead, there is something growing all 
the time. 

In general, the qualities of a dry summer season 
and a mild humid winter are found in the southwest 
corners of many major continents. These conditions 
are identified as a Mediterranean climate but they 
exist as well in southwest Africa, Chile, and parts of 
Australia. Although California does not have an 
equivalent to the Mediterranean Sea, which extends 
maritime conditions and mild winters eastward from 
the Atlantic Ocean to the Middle East, it does have a 
high mountain barrier separating it from the more 
severe winters of the continental interior. And so, 
California competes successfully with the balmiest 
parts of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, 
with commodities that thrive in mild winters and 
sunny, dry summers such as cereals, grasses, olives, 
citrus fruits, grapes, wine, tourists, and horses. 



ATMOSPHERIC WATER 

The Pacific Ocean is the source of water that 
enters California through the atmosphere. Along 
the coast in early morning the relative humidity 
generally exceeds 80 percent, with little difference 
from month to month or from north to south along 
the coast. The degree of saturation is likely to 
decrease during the day because of heating of the 
atmosphere, but the relative humidity generally 
remains above 60 percent along the coast. 

In winter the land surface is colder than the ocean 
and there is rain because the moist air is cooled as it 



Mean Annual Precipitation 



it River PH 5 

93 inches f 



Alturas 

12.82 inches 



Histograms of mean monthly 
precipitation at representative 
stations refer to locations (with 
elevations) shown on map. 



, cccr 

mCCLUW 

m ujmm 

_ u^=fois2 

zm£cc>:zi<Kf->o 

<w<Q.<33Duj<->Otu 
5<5=!n<3!OZC 



Cr <-I 



Mean annual 
precipitation 
in inches 



-mean-annual- 



Station— 
locatioti- 



pxe/upiia.ttacL 



5 " 

-c 
u 
c 





moves inland. Continued cooling as the air is forced 
up over mountains, and the influx of cooler air 
masses from the Gulf of Alaska produce more rain or 
snow. In summer the ocean surface is colder than the 
land and the difference is accentuated by the cold 
California current moving from the north and near 
the shore. The air from the ocean has relatively high 
humidity and may produce fog offshore that 
envelopes some coastal areas night and morning; but 
the warming effect of travel overland permits 
retention of the water vapor, and precipitation is 
rare. 

Solar energy is the driving force behind the move- 
ment of atmospheric water. This energy, which is 
greatest in the tropics where the noonday sun is 
overhead part of the time and at a high angle all year, 
heats water and land and air at the earth's surface, 
and creates water vapor which rises with the hot air 
until it is cooled enough to condense and drop out and 
return to water or land, still within the tropics. The 
dehydrated air moves out of the tropics at high levels 
and is replaced by nearsurface "trade winds" moving 
toward the equator. The high, dry, upper air eventu- 
ally descends to form cells of high pressure, calms, 
and light changeable winds within the "Horse Lati- 
tudes" (30-35 degrees North) where sailors, becalmed 
like the Ancient Mariner, could soliloquize about 
horses aboard ship and whether to water, dunk, or eat 
them. 

Each year on June 21 the sun is directly over 
Mazatlan in Mexico, and cloudless skies can be 
expected throughout the area dominated by the 
Pacific High, the high pressure zone over the Pacific 
Ocean which extends as far as 40 degrees North 
Latitude. Hot sun and cloudless skies will also be the 
rule throughout the summer for the deserts of 
northern Mexico and the southwestern United 
States. The sun then appears farther south each day 
until, by December 21, it is directly over Antofagasta 
in northern Chile. Thousands of recreational vehicles 
follow it part way each year and the center of the 
Pacific High in most years moves several degrees 
southward, perhaps as far as the southern boundary 
of California. The southward retreat of the Pacific 
High is important for the peace of mind of Californi- 
ans: so long as it remains in its northern position, it 
blocks the progress of low-pressure cells generated 
near the Aleutian Islands, and the winter rainy season 
is delayed or thwarted. 

Precipitation includes all forms of water that fall 
from the atmosphere and reach the ground as rain, 
snow, drizzle, hail, ice crystals, or pellets. The flow of 
precipitable water into California is greatest along the 
North Coast and progressively less to the south. In an 
average year the North Coast has more than 75 days 
and Southern California less than 40 days of measur- 
able precipitation. The mean annual rainfall on 
coastal plains near sea level is about 40 inches along 
the North Coast, decreasing to 20 inches in the San 
Francisco Bay Area and to 10 inches near San Diego. 

Topography is a controlling factor in the distribu- 
tion of precipitation throughout the state. The mean 
annual precipitation on mountains adjacent to the 
coast may exceed 100 inches along the North Coast, 
50 inches near San Francisco, and 30 inches near 
Santa Barbara. Less than 100 miles to the east and at 
the same latitudes, the mean annual precipitation 
drops to 23 inches at Red Bluff, 14 inches at Stockton, 
and 6 inches at Bakersfield because the Central Valley 
is in the "rain-shadow" of the Coast Ranges. Still 
farther east, along the 400-mile Sierra Nevada, mean 
annual precipitation at these latitudes rises again to 
about 80 inches, 60 inches, and 40 inches as the 
mountains wring out a large proportion of the 
precipitable water in the air masses attempting to 
surmount them. And Nevada, as a result, becomes the 
driest state in the Union, at least so far as water is 
concerned. 

Mean annual rainfall is less than 10 inches in exten- 
sive areas south of 37 degrees North Latitude, 
including the Colorado and Mojave deserts in Imperi- 
al, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties; the 
southern part of the Central Valley; and several 
desert valleys in the Great Basin, which extends 
eastward from the Sierra Nevada to the Wasatch 
Mountains and high plateaux of Utah and Arizona. 
These desert valleys are bordered by mountains 
which are also arid, but which may be high enough to 
intercept some moisture and wear a winter snowcap 
once in awhile. 

The mean annual precipitation map in this volume 
is a graphic portrayal of the concept that precipitation 
in California increases with increasing latitude or 




Fog bank crossing over San Francisco Bay 



increasing altitude, and decreases in the lee of 
mountain interceptors. The map does not, however, 
depict usual conditions, those that can be expected in 
most years. Variations in precipitation are so great 
that the state rarely enjoys a "normal" year in which 
precipitation would conform to the means portrayed 
on the map. Instead, California's climate is likely to be 
a product of the extremes rather than a product of the 
means. Records of precipitation characteristically 
show successions of several years when precipitation 
was below the long-term average, perhaps interrupt- 
ed by a year or two above average, followed by a series 
of years when precipitation was generally above 
average. Major trends in precipitation, including the 
intensity and duration of alternating wet and dry 
periods, are shown in the graphic comparisons of 
precipitation variability. Thus the pattern of precipi- 
tation throughout California is irregularly cyclic: 
"cyclic" enough to be recognized in history, and 
"irregular" enough to defy prediction. 

In addition to driving the air masses from which 
California derives its precipitation, solar energy also 
works to return water from the earth's surface to the 
atmosphere, through evaporation from land and 
water surfaces, and through transpiration by plants. 
The operation of these natural demand factors helps 
to determine which areas of California will experi- 
ence water deficiencies while others enjoy a surplus. 

The annual evaporative demand is less than 40 
inches along the North Coast and in the high Sierra 
Nevada, where annual precipitation may be twice as 
great. These are consequently the principal areas of 
surplus within the state. In the rest of California the 
average water income from the atmosphere through 
precipitation is insufficient to balance the demand for 
evaporation, and water deficiencies result. The 
demand is less than 50 inches throughout the Sierra 
Nevada and in coastal areas as far south as Monterey; 
but, even though the annual precipitation in these 
areas is of similar magnitude, the rainfall occurs in 
winter and may not be available for evaporation in 
summer when the demand is greatest. Evaporative 



demand exceeds 60 inches a year throughout the 
Central Valley, far greater than the annual precipita- 
tion. And in the southeastern deserts where precipi- 
tation is least, the evaporative demand rises above 70 
inches and approaches 120 inches in Death Valley. 

Because natural demand is at a minimum during 
the rainy winter season, and at a maximum during 
the rainless summer season, most of California 
experiences both a water surplus and a water 
deficiency each year. The northwest corner of 
California and the highest Sierra Nevada are the 
only areas wet enough to have little or no deficiency 
in any season. At the other extreme, the southeast- 
ern deserts, the San Joaquin Valley, and several 
smaller valleys in southern California have little or 
no water surplus in any season. All the rest of 
California — about two-thirds of the total area — has a 
winter surplus and a summer deficiency of water. 
The amount of surplus in any given area changes 
from storm to storm and then dwindles to become a 
deficiency that changes from month to month, and 
these seasonal variations in surplus and deficiency 
are modified from year to year by California's wet 
and dry cycles. 

Water deficiencies are limiting factors in terrestri- 
al life. If people, animals, or plants are to survive in 
times and areas of deficiency, they must either adapt, 
draw their water supplies from some distant source, 
or depend upon the storage of water from the 
surpluses of yesterday or yesteryear. Where sur- 
pluses occur, on the other hand, they are the stuff 
that create and maintain river systems. 



RIVER SYSTEMS 

Runoff occurs wherever or whenever there is 
more water than can be retained in various water- 
storage facilities. Runoff may derive from surpluses 
of rainfall or snow melt that cannot be absorbed into 
the ground; from ponds or lakes or swamps that 
overflow; from the discharge of springs or seeps into 



+500 
























































+400 






A 
















































+300 


























































+200 































+100 



-100 



-200 



-300 













































































N€ 


was 


da City 




Lo 


sA 


mgeles 











1870 



Aa 


A 













































































1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 

Year 







A 




f\ 


























































30 


19 


10 


19 


SO 


1960 



1970 



1980 









+300 












+200 






+100 



















-100 






-200 












-300 























































































Mc 


jrci 


3d 


Fir* 


i Stati 


on 


#2 















































































































































































































































































































































1870 







































































18 


90 


19 


00 


1910 


19 


20 


19 


30 1940 


1950 



1960 



1970 



1980 



Year 



+400 



+300 



+200 



+100 



Ds 


ivis 





























-100 



-200 



-300 



1870 

































































































































































































































































































































































































18 


SO 


18 


30 


19 


30 


19 


10 


19 


20 


19 


30 


19- 


10 


19 


SO 


191 


50 


19 


70 



1980 



Year 



if 

0. 



E 
3 
O 



+500 














































+400 






Pyrgl 












































Sa 


n C 


)fe< 


30 


































+300 
























































































+200 
























































































+100 














/ 















































































































































A 










-100 










/ 
















V 


K 




























t 




































-200 






\ 


I 












































w 






































-300 













































1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 

Year 



1940 



1950 



1960 



1970 



1980 



Precipitation Variability 



Precipitation is expected to vary with the season, 
but annual variations in precipitation are just as signi- 
ficant and much less predictable. The arithmetic 
mean of annual precipitation is widely used as an 
indicator of the precipitation that can be expected in a 
given year. As the magnitude of average annual pre- 
cipitation decreases, however, the variability of 
annual precipitation increases, and the average 
becomes a less efficient indicator of expected pre- 
cipitation. The bar graphs portray the year-to-year 
variability in precipitation and illustrate that average 



precipitation is the exception in California. (The 
average annual precipitation is given in parentheses 
after the station name on each graph.) 

Longer term trends in precipitation variability are 
portrayed by the graphs of cumulative departures 
from average precipitation. Wet periods of above- 
average precipitation produce upward-tending 
curves while dry periods of below-average precipita- 
tion produce downward-tending curves. These 
graphs show that wet and dry periods are variable in 
length and are not coincident statewide. 



110 
100 
90 
80 
70 
60 



Los Angeles (14 



j i 






S 50 



a 
u 

£ 
a 




1870 



1880 



1890 



1900 



1910 



1920 1930 
Year 



1940 



1950 



1960 



1970 



1980 



110 



100 



Merced Fire Station # 2 (11.40) 



a 

O 

c 



Q. 
i 

a. 




1870 



1880 



1890 



1900 



1910 



1920 1930 

Year 



1940 



1950 



1960 



1970 



1980 



110 

100 

90 

80 






Davis (16.71) 




1870 



1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 

Year 



1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 



at 

£ 
o 

c 



a. 
o 
2 
a. 



110 
100 
90 
80 
70 
60 
50 
40 
30 
20 
10 



















1 




JL mi 1 




i „ 






San Diego (9.88) 




1890 



1900 



1910 



1920 1930 
Year 



1940 



1950 



1960 



1970 1980 



Annual Runoff and Seasonality 



'0- 



m 



\\ 



,Vj 



Mean Annual Runoff 



/ m\ 



(5) U- 



\ \ 



116) 



J17) 



Inches of Runoff 



40 and over 

10 

1 and under 



(25) 



(11) 



* Location of gauging station whose 
recorded data have been used to 
generate the seasonal runoff graph 
for that river. 



In the graphs below and to the right, 
runoff is the mean daily value for each 
month. Data for the period of record 
were used for all stations except the 
Pit and Sacramento rivers, which 
employ pre-regulation data only. 



San Francisco I 



J12) 



X- 



\i 



\\ \w 



An 



v(22) 



(141 



\\ 



rr 



\(23)( 



Area of Drainage Basins (sq. miles) 



(1) Smith River 


609 


(2) Klamath River 


12,000 


(3) Mad River 


485 


(4) Eel River 


3,113 


(5) Noyo River 


106 


(6) McCloud River 


604 


(7) Pit River 


4,711 


(8) Stoney Creek 


737 


(9) Sacramento River 


8,900 


(10) Russian River 


793 


(11) Napa River 


81 


(12) Coyote Creek 


196 


(13) Salinas River 


3,563 


(14) Arroyo Seco 


244 


(15) Feather River 


3,624 


(16) Yuba River 


1,108 


(17) American River 


1,888 


(18) Putah Creek 


574 


(19) Cosumnes River 


536 


(20) Merced River 


1,061 


(21) San Joaquin River 


1,676 


(22) Kings River 


1,545 


(23) Kern River 


2,407 


(24) Truckee River 


932 


(25) East Fork Carson River 


341 


(26) East Walker River 


467 


(27) Owens River 


2,604 


(28) Salt Creek 


(29) Ventura River 


188 


(30) Los Angeles River 


827 


(31) Santa Ana River 


209 


(32) San Diego River 


377 


(33) Mojave River 


514 



(33) 



(29r 



., C 



Los Angeles? 
(30) 



N 



-7<!L 



San Diego 



* (32) 



50 



700 mi 



100 



200 km 



North Coast 



63,000 



Runoff 
(acre-feet) 



9,000 /# J 



■1 Smith River (1) 

■H Klamath River (2) 

■i Mad River (3) 

■i Eel River (4) 

■1 Noyo River (5) 

* Runoff of 50 acre-feet or less 



OCT NOV DEC JAN 



MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP 



San Francisco Bay and Central Coast 



Runoff 
(acre-feet) 



■I Russian River (10) 

■ Napa River (11) 

■ Coyote Creek (12) 

■ Salinas River (13) 

■ Arroyo Seco (14) 

* Runoff of 50 acre-feet or less 



\ 



NOV DEC 



MAY JUN 



San Joaquin 



Runoff 
(acre-feet) 



I Cosumnes River (19) 

| Merced River (20) 

■ San Joaquin River (21) 

I Kings River (22) 

I Kern River (23) 

* Runoff of 50 acre-feet or less 



Lahontan 



27,000 



Runoff 
(acre-feet) 



Truckee River (24) 

East Fork Carson River (25) 

East Walker River (26) 

Owens River (27) 

Salt Creek (28) 

* Runoff of 50 acre-feet or less 



I — 



Sacramento Basin 



66,000 



60,000 



Runoff 
(acre-feet) 




McCloud River (6) 
Pit River (7) 
Stony Creek (8) 
Sacramento River (9) 



MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP 



Sacramento Basin 



Runoff 
(acre-feet) 




Feather River (15) 
Yuba River (16) 
American River (17) 
Putah Creek (18) 



MOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN 



South Coast and Colorado Desert 



Runoff 
(acre-feet) 




I Ventura River (29) 

I Los Angeles River (30) 

I Santa Ana River (31 ) 

I San Diego River (32) 

I Mojave River (33) 

* Runoff of 50 acre-feet or less 



NOV DEC 



MAR APR 



The dramatic contrast between 
the volumes of water carried 
by the major rivers of the North 
Coast as compared to the much 
smaller quantities of runoff avail- 
able in the South Coast suggests 
one reason why water planners 
in Southern California have often 
looked to the north for assistance 
in meeting the water needs of 
their burgeoning population. In 
addition, this graphic comparison 
of the different points in the 
water year that maximum sur- 
face runoff occurs in each of 
the state's hydrologic basins helps 
to illustrate why simultaneous 
flooding throughout California 
is a rare event. 



streams; or from water falling on impermeable rocks 
or roofs or pavements or ice. Runoff is downhill and 
down valley and it will eventually reach the ocean if 
not lost to the atmosphere or caught in a closed basin 
or other storage facility enroute. Flow to the ocean is 
achieved by a remarkable organization of river 
systems that ramify to the smallest tributaries. The 
incipient development of such systems can be seen 
on smooth slopes such as road cuts, spoil banks, or 
cultivated fields. Overland flow or sheet runoff may 
result from the first rainstorms, but rills and 
branching channels develop quickly by erosion that 
fashions their depth, cross section, and areal 
configuration. Natural channels of all sizes develop 
similarly. 

Mean annual runoff throughout the state is eight 
inches, which is approximately 35 percent of mean 
annual precipitation. In most of California, however, 
variability is the keynote for all runoff, from time to 
time at any place as well as from place to place at any 
time. The direct runoff from rainfall reflects the 
varying intensities and durations of individual 
storms, which are separated by rainless intervals 
that may range from a few hours to many months. 
As a result, the mean monthly runoff in most 
California streams varies greatly throughout the 
year. During individual months of maximum flow, 
runoff is commonly more than 20 percent and may 
be as much as 35 percent of the annual mean. 
Minimum monthly runoff may be less than one 
percent of the annual runoff, and in some streams 
there is no flow at all for one or more months. 

Precipitation on the Coast Ranges is generally rain 
or snow that melts within a few hours or days. 
Runoff from these areas increases soon after a storm 
begins, particularly if rain is intense, and dwindles 
after the storm ceases. The rocks that make up the 
Coast Ranges are generally relatively impermeable, 
and this may increase the rapidity and magnitude of 
storm runoff. In coastal streams generally 75 to 90 
percent of the mean annual runoff has occurred by 
March 31, the end of the rainy season in most years. 

By contrast, the temperatures in the Sierra 
Nevada are cold enough that most precipitation falls 
as snow and remains and accumulates on the ground 
until spring. As a result, more than 60 percent of the 
mean annual runoff may occur after March 31, 
probably reaching a peak in May but continuing 
through June and still significant in July. The graphic 
presentation of annual runoff and seasonality in this 
section shows the great difference that exists 
between the seasons of the rivers and the seasons of 
the heavens, as the time-delay effects of snow 
storage produce different periods of peak runoff for 
each of the hydrologic areas of California. The value 
of the winter accumulation of snow as a magnificent 
water-storage facility provided entirely by nature is 
further illustrated by the example of the Trinity 
River. The Trinity River has a drainage basin of 
2,865 square miles and is tributary to the Klamath 
River, an interstate stream flowing to the Pacific 
Ocean. Much of the precipitation on the Trinity 
basin is rain, and 45 percent of the mean annual 
runoff occurs by March 31. But higher elevations 
within the basin receive considerable amounts of 
snow, which create a freshet during the spring that 
provides 50 percent of the annual runoff. Thus the 
Trinity maintains relatively high rates of runoff over 
a period of six months or more. 

Mean annual runoff rises to more than 80 inches 
in the northwestern corner of the state but declines 
to less than 0.25 inch in the southeastern deserts and 
closed basins in the southern third of the Central 
Valley. Areas of such extreme water deficiency are a 
hostile environment to surface water whether 
flowing in streams or standing in lakes or reservoirs. 
The streams flowing in these desert areas are 
habitual losers to the unrelenting sun. Some streams 
are ephemeral or seasonal, others have broad sandy 
channels which, according to neighbors, "never" 
have water and do not deserve the name of river or 
rio. If there is perennial flow, it is limited to short 
reaches in mountainous headwaters or to areas of 
spring discharge. But such streams can flash into 
national prominence during once-in-a-lifetime or 
"hundred-year" floods. For example, rain beginning 
February 27, 1938, caused disastrous floods in 
Southern California: peak flows on March 2 reached 
100,000 cfs in the Santa Ana River, 65,700 cfs in the 
San Gabriel River, and an estimated 67,000 cfs in the 
Los Angeles River at Main Street. In this flood 
290,000 acres were inundated, 87 lives were lost, and 
estimated damage exceeded $78 million. And yet, 



- 



most people regard the Los Angeles River as a dry 
channel. 

Only one river, the Colorado, traverses the 
Southwest American Desert and discharges into the 
sea. It has done a magnificent job of carving canyons 
and transporting the debris therefrom to form a 
huge delta which separated the Gulf of California 
from the Salton Basin as it sank below sea level along 
the San Andreas Fault. As a result, the Imperial and 
Coachella valleys today are the only agricultural 
regions below sea level in North America. The 
Mojave River, with headwaters in the high San 
Bernardino Mountains, flows toward the Colorado 
River but gets lost in the Mojave Desert. In most 
years the water is lost before it reaches Barstow 50 
miles east of the headwaters, but in flood years some 
water may reach and accumulate in Soda Lake, 
another 50 miles to the east. During the flood of 
March 1938, the Mojave River generated 150,000 
acre-feet in its mountain headwaters, of which 
120,000 acre-feet flowed past Barstow and discharged 
into erstwhile dry lakes. 

The Owens River has several tributaries that 
drain the steep eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, 
and has had enough water in the past to fill Owens 
Lake 250 feet deep and then overflow to form lakes 
in Indian Wells, Searles, Panamint, and Death Valley. 
But that was during the Ice Age which ended 
thousand of years ago. For many centuries the river 
has ended at Owens Lake, and most of its water is 
now diverted into reservoirs and pipelines before it 
gets near the former lake. Evidences of its former 
affluence — a fossil river system — are the high shore 
lines in Death Valley and Panamint Valley, and the 
brines of borax, potash, soda ash, and salt cake that 
have accumulated in Searles Lake. 

The southern part of the Central Valley is 
currently a closed basin. Buena Vista Lake is the 
ultimate goal of the Kern River, southernmost of the 
Sierra rivers. Two smaller rivers, the Tule and 
Kaweah, flow toward a larger and lower depression 
farther north called Tulare Lake, and the Kings 
River still farther north turns southward toward the 
same depression. Although this southern end of the 
Central Valley has become isolated from the San 
Joaquin River System, early explorers noted that in 
1853 the Tulare Basin contained a lake of about 
450,000 acres extent, which overflowed to the San 
Joaquin River. In 1862 Tulare Lake reached a level 
six feet above the overflow line and covered an area 
of perhaps 500,000 acres. It may have been even 
higher in 1868 and overflows occurred in several 
subsequent years before ceasing in 1878. The lake 
dried up during the drought years 1894-1904, 
reappeared during the wet years 1906-16, and then 
disappeared during the drought of 1917-35. Thus, 
this area too has a fossil river system and a phantom 
lake. 

The rivers and creeks that flow to the Pacific 
Ocean south of San Francisco generally have 
headwaters that are high enough to receive mean 
annual precipitation of 20 inches or more. This 
coastal belt experiences a winter surplus and 
summer deficiency of water, adding up to an overall 
annual deficiency generally less than 20 inches. 
Mean annual precipitation in the drainage basins of 
these coastal streams is generally in the range of 20 
to 30 inches, and 10 to 30 percent of this becomes the 
mean annual runoff. Exceptionally high rainfall and 
runoff are recorded in some places: the 46-square- 
mile drainage basin of Big Sur River has mean 
annual precipitation of 51 inches of which 50 percent 
becomes runoff. Farther south and farther inland 
the mountainous Lytle Creek basin near San 
Bernardino has mean annual precipitation of 33 
inches, of which 35 percent becomes runoff. 

North of San Francisco Bay the evaporative 
demand is greater than rainfall most of the year, but 
the rainy season brings enough precipitation to 
provide a water surplus in a normal year. The rivers 
flowing westward have mean annual precipitation 
ranging from 50 to 80 inches on their drainage 
basins, of which 40 to 65 percent becomes runoff. 
The streams draining the east slopes of the Coast 
Range and tributary to the Sacramento River have 
drainage basins with mean annual rainfall of 25 to 40 
inches, of which 35 to 45 percent becomes runoff. 
Most of the water surpluses of the Sierra Nevada 
move westward into the Central Valley through 
tributaries of the San Joaquin-Sacramento river 
system, which flows to the Pacific Ocean via San 
Francisco Bay. From the San Joaquin River north, 
the major tributaries have mean annual precipitation 



t«.^~. 






<***' 



:&*§§ Z$ 



m. 






gSs^m-l 



w 



W®h 






m 






l sfe"i 



'££& 



w 



The water stored as snow on the Sierra Nevada is the principal 
cause of the difference between the seasons of the heavens and 
the seasons of the rivers. The photograph at top shows one of 
the sources of the San Joaquin River. The photograph below 
displays a portion of the snowpack near Lake Tahoe. 



exceeding 40 inches, and more than 50 inches in the 
basins of the Yuba River and the American River. 
The mean annual runoff in these tributaries generally 
ranges from 45 to 55 percent of precipitation. The 
principal streams draining the east slope of the 
Sierra Nevada — the Truckee, Carson, and Walker 
rivers which flow into Nevada — have somewhat less 
precipitation on their mountainous headwaters but 
about the same proportion of runoff. 

The part of California north of Lake Tahoe and 
east of the Sierra Nevada has mean annual precipi- 
tation ranging from 30 inches down to less than four 
inches. The mean annual runoff is less than ten 
inches and generally less than five inches. This is 
Great Basin country, with Goose Lake severing itself 
from the Sacramento River system because of water 
deficiency, and several alkali lakes farther south near 
the Nevada border. It is also lava plateau country, 
high enough that much of the annual precipitation is 
snow, and with rocks permeable enough to absorb 
most of the water from snow melt or rain. In a 
typical stream such as Willow Creek near Susanville, 
40 percent of the mean annual runoff occurs in 
spring with snow melt and the flow is well sustained 
throughout the rest of the year. Several other 
streams in the northeast part of the state have fairly 
uniform flow throughout the year because of 
groundwater inflow: examples are Fall Creek, 
tributary to the Klamath River; and Hat Creek, in 
the Sacramento River system. Such uniformity of 
streamflow throughout the year is rare in California, 
and the lava plateaux are the best place to find it. 
Groundwater can thus provide an important 
adjunct to surface runoff. Although the mountains 
that catch most of the rain and snow are relatively 
impermeable, small valleys within these mountains, 
and larger valleys and plains that border, separate, or 
surround mountains generally contain unconsolidated 
sediments — clay, gravel, sand, and silt — which may 
be hundreds or even thousands of feet deep. These 
permeable sediments form aquifers that may yield 



moderate to large quantities of water to wells. The 
aquifers in these valleys and plains may be recharged 
by direct rainfall, melting snow, tributary streams, 
or by underground movement from adjacent moun- 
ain masses. A gauging station recording the runoff 
from such a mountain valley may show quick 
response to rain storms, slower response to melting 
snow, and a base flow representing continuous 
groundwater discharge into the stream. In succes- 
sive dry years, these groundwater inflows can 
become the principal source of runoff for some 
streams. 



NATURAL WATER STORAGE 

Two-thirds of the precipitation upon California 
does not become runoff, but instead comes down to 
the land surface where it is measured, stored, or 
calculated, and then returns to California's atmosphere. 
This return step in the hydrologic cycle, however, 
only occurs after some delay, which may be a matter 
of hours, days, months, or years. 

Some atmospheric water is intercepted by vegetation, 
or it is condensed directly from the atmosphere as 
dew or frost upon cold objects. The quantity of 
intercepted water is generally unmeasured, and 
presumably much of it is soon evaporated. Neverthe- 
less, it is substantial in some coastal areas; special 
studies have shown it to be generally 5 to 15 percent 
of annual rainfall. Some forms of vegetation such as 
the redwood tree survive long rainless periods partly 
by interception of atmospheric water, particularly in 
the humid coastal areas. Like the individual cold rock 
or plant, the high mountains of California intercept 
atmospheric water, but they do it in a big way. All 
winter long these mountains receive and accumulate 
snow. On April 1 the depth and water content of the 
accumulated snow are measured by snow surveys, 
and these provide estimates of the natural storage of 
water that will contribute to freshets in the 
forthcoming rainless season. 

The land surface thus offers one of the first 
opportunities for delay in the circulation of water 
from the ocean through the atmosphere to earth and 
back again. Although some snow returns to the 
atmosphere by sublimation before it can be measured 
either as precipitation or runoff, rainfall on the land 
may be absorbed by infiltration. Some materials, 
such as dune sand, coarse gravel, talus, and some 
organic soils, are permeable enough to absorb all the 
water from storms of high intensity and long 
duration. Most soils have moderate to low permeability 
and can absorb some water, but the rate of infiltration 
decreases as the uppermost pores fill with water. 
The water that does not go underground but 
remains on the surface may accumulate to form 
puddles, pools, ponds, and lakes, thus filling depressions 
of all sizes and shapes. The depressions in which 
water accumulates are nature's surface water 
storage facilities, and as they fill to overflowing, the 
overflows become runoff, either overland or in a 
stream system. 

Some water is retained as soil moisture in the 
unsaturated materials immediately beneath the land 
surface, where water occurs as vapor, liquid, or frost 
depending on the temperature. Soil moisture is 
estimated to be less than one-tenth of one percent of 
the fresh waters on earth and about three times as 
much as the average water content of the atmosphere. 
Like atmospheric water (and closely dependent on it) 
soil moisture is a very transient storage: yearly 
receipts and dispatches of water by the soil are 
doubtless several times as great as its average water 
content. 

The seasonal availability of soil moisture dictates 
the growing season for many plants in California. 
Grasslands are commonly green in the winter, go to 
forage or hay or seed in early spring, and become 
golden fire-hazards in summer. Similarly, the first 
rains of winter reduce the summer pall of heat and 
increased soil moisture revitalizes the forests, 
chaparral, and brush lands. For much of California's 
native vegetation, summer is consequently the 
dormant season. 

Soil moisture can be retained by molecular forces 
working against the force of gravity until it is 
reached by plant roots. Water storage is not the only 
mechanism, however, by which plants in California 
have adapted to summer drought conditions. Some 
plants form wax coatings to reduce evapotranspiration, 
small leaves to reduce the evaporative surface, or 
leaves that orient side ways to the sun in order to 



10 



Snow Depth 



Average April 1 Snow Depth, 1947-1977 




100 inches 
75 inches 
50 inches 
25 inches 
10 inches 



Snowfall Incidence in the Central Sierra 





















SflOOfr — 


FordyceLake 








U**"""\ 1 

\ e Norden 




6,000 ft 
















m> 


1^ 




uckee-gy 




Tahoe Cit 






II 












4.60C 


ft 






■r 












Ctsco 


u 




7.|l00 ft 




5,000 ft 








Un 


La 


Porte© 


Bowman Dam 
Vinton ^^^ 






Boca Res. 


















3.800 II 


T ' 


\ Portola^ 


iiL/v. 




^p 


















c 
o 

o 4,000ft 


M 


Sierra CHy jf 




4.000 It 

- 1 1 




ili^ 




















0> 
Ul 


H. aioomiield © 


V 

/©Gold 








-□ 


























3,000ft 


Ufl 


















M 
















Grass Vail 


./Nevada 

LJUy 


©Qawnieville 
© 
Camptonvtlle 


2.5D0I 

1 1 














■ 
















2 000 ft 


Colfax 


-n 


L 
















■i 


50% 














^Placerville 


L 1 

— | 2.000 It 


































1,000ft 


^l 


1 1 .500 ill 



































0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 

Percent of Precipitation Occurring as Snow 



a. 

01 

a 




50 miles 



700 kilometers 



Average Snow Depth and Water Content 



Feather River Basin 



Eureka Lake 

Elevation 6200' 



Scott River Basin 
Middle Boulder #1 

Elevation 6600 



320 in 

300 in 

280 in 

260 in 

240 in 

220 in 

200 in 

180 in 

160 in 

140 in 

120 in 

100 in 

80 in 

60 in 

40 in 

20 in 

Oin 



Feb1 Marl Apr1 May1 Feb1 Marl Apr1 May1 Feb1 Marl Apr1 May1 Feb1 Marl Apr1 May1 



Snow Depth at Donner Summit 

Elevation 6,900 feet 



















































































































1 . 








































/ \ 










Me 


xirr 


um Snow: and Flood Year (19! 


51-1952) 










































— 80 


Ye. 


Kfi 


ver 


age 


(1 


396 


-18! 


7t 


o 1 


376 


19 


'7) 














































Ye 


ar c 


f iV 


ini 


nur 


nS 


no\ 


v(1 


976 


-19 


77) 






























































































































































































































































































































































































J| 




S 


^— — . 




\ 










































I 


1 






, v 


i 




































A 


J 


/ 








































- 


.-: 


-_^A \ 


\. 






























1 


k~ 


* 




/Ss. ^ 


\ 























10 20 31 10 20 30 

Oct Nov 



31 10 20 31 10 20 29 10 20 31 10 20 30 10 20 31 10 20 30 10 20 31 10 20 31 10 20 30 

Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep 

Day and Month 



North Palisades Glacier, a rem- 
nant of the great masses of ice 
which carved the face of Cali- 
fornia, appears as the densest 
concentration of white on the 
crest of the Sierra in the photo- 
graph at far right. The Middle 
Fork of the Kings River can be 
seen to the left of the glacier. 
Other forms of natural water 
storage are represented by the 
smaller photographs, which show 
a glacial tarn near Yosemite Valley 
and desert vegetation responding 
to a rainstorm. 



jfc: y*v?i 



:.*¥* 



f -ilflii 



"1W„. 



tf-l: 



■&.' 



. ..■: : 






'-.:!-,' 



J.- ; 



l.'S 



\ 



- 



% 



■■■' 



MM 



*i 



,** * 






^3l< 






"~ 



avoid having their maximum surface area exposed. 
Other have green stems in order to reduce the use of 
leaves in photosynthesis, or close their breathing 
pores (stomata) at the onset of drought. And some 
adopt ephemeral life styles so that they grow only 
when the water supply is sufficient. Only the 
succulents, which are rare among California flora, 
use water storage as a major defense against 
drought. 

Many California householders are more involved 
with soil moisture than they may realize. Roofs and 
pavements reduce infiltration and may create runoff 
instead, which may be a nuisance from the point of 
view of a neighbor. A septic tank increases soil 
moisture, as does any drain field. With a lawn a 
householder establishes a need for very shallow soil 
moisture which is frequently replenished, perhaps to 
the discomfiture of nearby trees and shrubs. Native 
vegetation may also suffer from so much water all 
summer long. Fortunately, soil moisture's movements 
are chiefly upward and downward, and not across 
property lines. Each man has a God-given right 
(Matthew 5:45) to both sun for evapotranspiration 
and rain for infiltration; so doubtless he has a perfect 
right to all soil moisture within his property, and its 
use, benefits, and problems. 

If infiltration exceeds the retention capacity of the 
soil, some water may percolate downward until it 
reaches a zone where all pores are saturated. At this 
point it becomes groundwater and forms a part of 
the water-storage facilities widely distributed 
beneath the lands of California. The total groundwater 
on earth is more than 30 times as much as all the 
water in lakes and rivers plus all the moisture in soils 
and in the atmosphere. The relatively impermeable 
consolidated rocks that make up the mountains, 
canyons, slopes, and foothills of the Sierra Nevada 
and Coast and Basin ranges cover about half of 
California. More permeable sediments in these areas 
are restricted to narrow valleys and "flats". 

In the southeastern deserts groundwater reservoirs 
occupy about ten percent of the state's area. They 
have been explored only enough to show that most 
of them contain some usable water, and some 
contain brines of economic value. Discharge from 
these groundwater reservoirs may come from 
springs or by evapotranspiration from wet playas, or 
through subsurface movement to a lower valley. 
Farther north in California and east of the crest of 



the Sierra Nevada, volcanic rocks on the Modoc 
Plateau and the Cascade Range include some 
excellent aquifers distributed over about 15 percent 
of the state's area. The groundwater here is 
discharged at numerous springs and streams throughout 
the year, and there are some very successful wells. 
But groundwater development has generally not 
been extensive. Thus the deserts and the volcanic 
rocks contain most of the groundwater reservoirs 
still undeveloped in California. 

California's largest groundwater reservoir is in the 
Central Valley. It is composed largely of stream- 
borne sediments that now contain fresh water to 
depths ranging from 400 to 4,000 feet below sea 
level. These sediments include beds of sand and 
gravel, thickest near the canyons of the principal 
streams flowing from the mountains, which are the 
major aquifers, or bearers of water to wells. These 
aquifers are separated by less permeable beds of silt 
and clay which become thicker and more prevalent in 
the middle and western parts of the valley and in the 
intervals separating the major streams. Some deep 
aquifers are separated from shallow aquifers by 
extensive beds of clay, which have created artesian 
pressure sufficient for flowing wells. This Central 
Valley groundwater reservoir is a complex and 
heterogeneous mass, too large to consider conveni- 
ently as a unit and yet with sufficent unity that any 
division on the basis of groundwater characteristics 
is difficult. Taken as a unit, the Central Valley 
groundwater reservoir has a usable storage capacity 
estimated at 100 million acre-feet underlying a 
15,000 square-mile area. 

The Central Valley's groundwater reservoir is 
equivalent to the total area of the other 50 ground- 
water reservoirs from which significant volumes of 
water are pumped today. Approximately 40 of these 
developed groundwater reservoirs are in the drain- 
age basins of streams rising in the Coast Range and 
flowing to the Pacific Ocean. These groundwater 
reservoirs are in alluvial sediments in structural 
valleys or coastal plains, or along streams that drain, 
traverse, or bypass various ranges as they flow 
toward the ocean. The northern coastal region has 
the greatest precipitation and runoff; its ground- 
water reservoirs are recharged each rainy season and 
maintain the perennial flow of streams in the 
rainless season. Water deficiency becomes increas- 
ingly prevalent to the south, where groundwater 



reservoirs are recharged in wet seasons but where 
the water may remain underground as it moves 
toward the ocean, appearing at the surface only 
where it encounters impermeable rocks, faults, or 
other barriers. 

East of the Sierra Nevada and the Transverse 
Ranges farther south, several groundwater reservoirs 
have been developed and pumped chiefly for irrigation. 
Some of these are along perennial streams and 
receive recharge from those streams. Some are 
recharged chiefly during rare intense storms and 
flood runoff. And some give no evidence of replen- 
ishment at any time. 

Natural lakes include all bodies of standing water, 
regardless of size, shape, or salinity. They are found 
in topographic depressions where water can, does, or 
used to flow and accumulate. Rivers and lakes do not 
get along well and tend to work against each other. 
When there is a sufficient surplus to fill the lake 
depression to overflowing, the river will try to 
destroy the lake by using its inflow to deposit 
sediment on the lake bed, and by using its outflow to 
erode its channel and lower the lake level. When, on 
the other hand, there is a deficiency of water, the 
outflow ceases, the lake takes all the water to meet 
evaporative demand, and the river dies. 

Lake Tahoe is California's biggest natural lake. 
With an area of 191 square miles, it contains 
approximately 122 million acre-feet of water, about 
four times the total storage capacity of all the 
modern reservoirs in California. Its usable storage, 
however, is in a six-foot layer between altitudes 
6,223 and 6,229 feet, containing 744,000 acre-feet, 
which is an amount nearly equal to the storage 
capacity of the three Hetch Hetchy reservoirs of 
today. Because its mean annual rate of evaporation 
of 36 inches exceeds its mean annual precipitation of 
24 inches, however, Lake Tahoe may be losing more 
water to the atmosphere than Hetch Hetchy. 

Mono Lake, east of the Sierra Nevada and south of 
Lake Tahoe at an altitude of about 6,400 feet, covers 
about half the area of Lake Tahoe and contains 
approximately four million acre-feet of saline water. 
Eagle Lake, north of Lake Tahoe and at about 5,100 
feet altitude, is only half the area of Mono Lake and 
contains half a million acre-feet of water. Both are in 
areas of water deficiency where annual evaporation 
exceeds rainfall and neither has a natural outflow. In 
both lakes, levels increased after 1850 until about 



12 



Average Annual 
Evaporation 



50 and below 

51 -70 
71 and above 

in inches 




50 miles 
i I 



100 kilometers 



Natural Moisture Demand 



Natural Moisture Demand is the combination of 
processes by which water returns to the atmosphere 
through evaporation from land and water surfaces and 
through transpiration by plants. The statewide pattern 
of Average Annual Evaporation from water surfaces is 
limited principally by the amount of solar energy avail- 
able in a given region or season of the year. Evaporation 
from land surfaces, however, is impeded by the cohesion 
of soil and water particles, while transpiration by plants is 
limited by the availability of soil moisture. As a result, the 
combined rate of these processes, called evapotrans- 
piration, is usually less than the rate of average 
evaporation. 

Evapotranspiration rates also vary with the season, as 
shown in the two maps below, which depict maximum 
potential evapotranspiration for moderately tall grasses. 



In most areas of the state, there is a significant difference 
between potential and actual evapotranspiration at 
various times of the year. These differences are illu- 
strated in the water balance charts for Los Angeles and 
Sacramento. In the rainy winter months, when soil moi- 
sture is the most abundant and solar energy levels are 
low, actual evapotranspiration rates approach their 
potential. As the seasons grow warmer, however, and 
soil moisture is depleted, the difference between poten- 
tial and actual evapotranspiration increases and deficts 
consequently occur. When soil moisture is replenished 
and the natural demands of evapotranspiration are satis- 
fied, as in the months of January and Febuary at Sacra- 
mento, surplus moisture may percolate downward as 
groundwater or move horizontally as runoff. 



Sacramento 



Los Angeles 




Potential Evapotrans 
Actual Evapotranspi 
Soil Moisture Utiliza 
Soil Moisture Recha 


pirat 
atior 
ion 
ge 






on 

* 












* wr 
wi 




































J FMAMJ JASO 

Monlh 



legends refer to both graphs 



Average Daily 

Evapotranspiration 

in January 



04 and below 

041 - .08 

081 and above 




Average Daily 

Evapotranspiration 

in July 



.20 and below 

.201 - .28 

.281 and above 



50 miles 



100 kilometers 



San Diego • 




50 miles 



100 kilometers 



San Diego" 






■?e% 



1915. Because of diversions via tunnel from its 
tributaries, however, Mono Lake no longer mirrors 
climatic fluctuations. Clear Lake, with inflows from 
the east flank of the Coast Ranges north of San 
Francisco Bay, is the largest fresh-water lake entirely 
in California. It appears to be in an area of perennial 
water surplus and it has a perennial outflow which is 
today regulated. 

Goose Lake, in the northeast corner of California, 
is in a closed basin during droughts, but overflows 
southward into the North Fork of the Pit River in 
wetter years. This has not occurred, however, since 
the nineteenth century. Thus its relations to the 
Central Valley are tenuous and ephemeral, like those 
of Tulare Lake at the south end of the San Joaquin 
Valley. Tulare Lake is now confined because its 
natural variable bed is too valuable to be inundated 
at the whim of tributary rivers. As a result, there is a 
water-disposal problem during wet years. The Kern 
River in flood directs its flows toward Buena Vista 
Lake, some 60 miles southeast of Tulare and 100 feet 
higher. The Tulare Lake area would receive the 
overflow from Buena Vista plus the flood flows of 
Tule and Kaweah rivers. The Kings River, generally 
larger than these three combined, has a major chan- 
nel southward down its alluvial fan to Tulare Lake. 
But the Kings River can also flow north westward 
via the Fresno Slough to the San Joaquin River, and 
this is the preferred course today to prevent inunda- 
tion of the Tulare Lake bed. 

Honey Lake, north of Lake Tahoe, has some 
inflow from the Susan River: in years of greatest 
runoff the lake level rises and the water surface 
expands until evaporation balances the inflow; and, 
as inflows decrease the lake does likewise. Thus it is 
similar to the playas and dry lakes in the southeast- 
ern part of the state. Rogers Dry Lake in the 
Antelope Valley, Searles Lake, and Bristol Lake have 
dry lake beds larger than Clear Lake and three times 
as large as the San Luis Reservoir, which is in a 
similarly dry area in the San Joaquin Valley. 
Rosamond Lake, also in Antelope Valley, and Soda 
Lake, which sometimes receives water of the Mojave 
River, are larger than the Oroville Reservoir. In 
these areas of greatest water deficiency, where 
annual precipitation is far less than the evaporative 
demand, these water bodies do not act as reservoirs 
but as evaporating ponds. Their principal products 
are residual salts, which are of sufficient economic 
value to be mined at Searles Lake and Owens Lake. 
The dry lakes of the desert thus provide nature's 
confirmation of the law first stated in 1946 by 
Harold Conkling, an employee of the State Division 
of Water Resources: "No matter how large the 
reservoir capacity, streams of erratic annual and 
cyclic flow will yield for useful purposes no more 
than 50 or 60 percent of the annual average 
discharge because the remainder will be lost, over 
the years, by evaporation from the excessive water 
surface of the reservoirs necessary to impound the 
water of the infrequent years of large discharge." 






XS 



**c *f 



% 






■■> ■■"' &:;,, 






THE OCEAN 

The Pacific Ocean is the ultimate goal of all the 
rain and snow that falls on California, unless it is 
wafted toward heaven sooner by solar energy. Along 
the California coast there are hundreds of places 
where permeable materials — sand or pebble beaches, 
sand spits and bars, sand dunes — extend both inland 
and offshore. Beneath the surface similar permeable 
materials may occur to depths of tens or hundreds of 
feet. In these permeable sediments there will be an 
interface between fresh and salt water. Because the 
groundwater is flowing toward the ocean, this inter- 
face should naturally be close to the coast, and in 
many places fresh water does indeed come to the 
surface close to the strand line. Surely the ocean 
knows its place — below sea level — and stays there 
most of the time. Only rarely does it rise up and 
wreak damage on beachfront structures, vehicles 
and people, shipping and harbor facilities. At such 
times, however, ocean water may move up the 
numerous streams and infiltrate into channel and 
flood plain sediments. 

Seawater intrusion can occur where the natural 
hydraulic gradient is changed so that conditions 
become favorable to landward or upward movement 
of sea water. Such conditions develop where ground- 
water levels are drawn below sea level by pumping 
from wells. This could happen in a groundwater 



*e 






Honey Lake 

reservoir anywhere along the coast but it has hap- 
pened more noticeably in the southland, where fresh 
water is seasonally or perennially deficient. 

By far the greatest influx of seawater into Califor- 
nia occurs in the San Francisco Bay. Every day at 
high tides ocean water enters the bay through the 
Golden Gate and the bay is characteristically saline 
as far as 30 miles inland at the Carquinez Straits. As 
a rare exception, however, during the greatest of 
historic floods in 1862, the flow of fresh water was 
continuous out of the bay into the ocean, and San 
Francisco Bay had freshwater fish for several 
months. In Suisun Bay, east of the Carquinez 
Straits, the water flowing from the Central Valley 
during the nineteenth century was naturally fresh 
enough to drink in some years, although never in 
summer. Under natural conditions the Delta would 
be wetlands through which about half the total 
runoff from California flowed in a maze of channels 
and sloughs with bottoms below sea level. With 
increasing diversions for irrigation upstream in the 
Central Valley, the fresh water flow diminished, and 
saline water moved up the channels and sloughs of 
the Delta. The preservation of the Delta has 
consequently become a central issue in the formula- 
tion of modern water policy. That the issue has 
arisen at all, however, is a measure of how far 
California has come in remaking the natural water 
endowment. 



CALIFORNIA AS IT WAS 



The following accounts by early explorers and settlers of California des- 
cribe aspects of the water environment that no longer exist and some that 
never were. 



In 38 deg.30.min. we fell with a convenient and fit har- 
borough, and June 17. came to anchor therein: where we 
continued till the 23. day of July following. During all which 
time, notwithstanding it was in the height of Summer, and 
so neere the Sunne; yet were wee continually visited with 
like nipping colds, as we had felt before: insomuch that if 
violent exercises of our bodies, and busie imployment about 
our necessarie labours, had not sometimes compeld us to 
the contrary, we could very well have beene contented to 
have kept about us still our Winter clothes. . . . Besides how 
unhandsome and deformed appeared the face of the earth it 
selfe! Shewing trees without leaves, and the ground with- 
out greennes in those moneths of June and July. The poore 
birds and soules not daring (as we had great experience to 
observe it) not daring so much as once to arise from their 
nests, after the first egge layed, till it with all the rest be 
hatched, and brought to some strength of nature, able to 
helpe itselfe.... The inland we found to be farre different 
from the shoare, a goodly country, and fruitfull soyle, 
stored with many blessings fit for the use of man: infinite 
was the company of very large and fat Deere, which there 
we sawe by thousands, as we supposed, in a heard. 

Sir Francis Drake Expedition, 1579 

Through the interpreters that accompanied them, they 
received reports from the Indian residents. ..that on an 
island in the middle of the sea there is a famous settlement 



governed by a queen, a very tall woman who, as they 
demonstrated, is as tall as a giant and who wears many 
strings, joined together like necklaces, of these large pearls 
around her neck and that they cover her breasts.... Accord- 
ing to this report and that which I explored and saw up to 
thirty-four degrees north latitude, this land did not join, 
and thus California is a very large island.... The said land of 
California, along the interior coast, is composed of large 
mountain ranges, barren and rugged and without forests. 
They seem burned for they are composed of silver-bearing 
rock.... Along the sea coast of the interior region, over a dis- 
tance of one hundred leagues, all that one sees are heaps of 
pearl oysters.... They are the size of a small plate, and full 
and complete they would weigh from one to two pounds. 
Report of Nicolas de Cardona, 1632 

The soil is as variable as the face of the country. On the 
coast range of hills there is little to invite the agriculturist, 
except in some vales of no great extent. These hills are, 
however, admirably adapted for raising herds and flocks, 
and are at present the feeding-grounds of numerous deer, 
elk, &c, to which the short sweet grass and wild oats that 
are spread over them, afford a plentiful supply of food.... 
The valleys of the Sacramento, and that of San Juan, are the 
most fruitful parts of California, particularly the latter, 
which is capable of producing wheat, Indian corn, rye, oats, 
&c, with all the fruits of the temperate and many of the 
tropical climates. It likewise offers fine pasture-grounds for 
cattle.... we find great aridity throughout the rest of Cali- 
fornia, and Oregon also. All agree that the middle and 
extensive portion of this country is destitute of the requi- 



sites for supplying the wants of man. 
Charles Wilkes Expedition, 1839-1842 

From Tulare Lake come the turtles that make the rich 
turtle soups and stews of San Francisco hotels and restau- 
rants. It is the western pond turtle common in the fresh 
water ponds. The Italians call it Ella-chick. These turtles are 
sent in sacks to San Francisco. During the season more than 
180 dozen found a ready sale at the bay. 

History of Kern County, 1883 

It is well to state some of the wonderful properties of the 
water, that for bathing, shampooing, and general cleansing 
powers it has no equal among artificial productions. It is 
believed by many to be a specific for catarrhal and lung 
affections.... Though mild and agreeable for a short time, 
yet it will leave no vestige of bones or flesh of man or beast 
put in it for a few hours.... No living thing abides the surface 
of this water, perfectly clear as ever it is, neither fish nor 
reptile nor anything save millions of small white worms 
from which spring other myriads of a peculiar kind of fly.... 
Legions upon legions of a so-called duck ...lived on the 
lake.... They are web-footed but have a bill like a common 
chicken ...they have no real wings or feathers and conse- 
quently cannot fly.... It is the reasoned conviction of parties 
who have observed the facts for years that these birds 
migrate from other regions, alighting on the Lake perfect 
birds, only soon to become bereft of feathers and even the 
physical power to prevent themselves from drowning 
whenever the surface of the water becomes ruffled by a 
continuous breeze. 

"Owens Lake in 1885" T. E. Jones. 



14 



CHAPTER 3 



The Advent of Human 
Settlement 



The first Europeans to come to California found it 
settled by a numerous people of many tribes and 
tongues who lived in so simple and elementary a rela- 
tionship with nature that they had neither need nor 
facility to manipulate its resources. The Indians, as 
the Europeans called them, harvested such food as the 
environment provided: the salmon which annually 
crowded up the rivers; the acorns of the great oak 
forests which covered the land; and the deer, tule elk, 
and antelope which grazed in the hills and f latlands by 
the tens of thousands. Although there is evidence 
that some tribes along the lower Colorado River and 
in the Owens Valley diverted water to flood natural 
areas of vegetation, these native Californians for the 
most part had no tradition of raising crops. They 
made no effort to gather and transport water; rather, 
they went where the water was, and lived beside it. 

The Spaniards who came to Alta California in 1769 
to establish permanent settlements brought with 
them, however, a profoundly different culture. Their 
arrival utterly transformed the Indian world, setting 
in motion a process which would bring about its 
virtual obliteration within the brief span of a century. 
At the same time, the Spanish also transformed the 
relationship between the natural environment and 
humankind, for in their European homeland they had 
been for centuries a farming people living on an arid 



landscape. From the ancient civilizations of Rome and 
the eastern Mediterranean they had inherited the 
skills and attitudes of hydraulic engineering. From 
their perspective, water was a raw material to be 
gathered where it was in surplus and transported, 
often over great distances, to irrigate dry but fertile 
farmlands and quench the thirst of distant settle- 
ments. 

When Father Francisco Palou stood at the site 
where Mission San Gabriel was to be founded, he 
noted in 1771 that there was not only good soil for 
farming, but "an abundance of water that runs 
[nearby] . . .in ditches that form the river. [There are] 
. . . facilities for taking out the water in order to irri- 
gate the land." In 1773, the fathers and their Indian 
laborers built a dam six miles from Mission San 
Diego, and an aqueduct to supply the settlement with 
the water thus impounded. When the metropolis of 
San Diego, with its many hundreds of thousands of 
people, drew most of its water two centuries later 
from the Colorado River through an aqueduct 
system hundreds of miles long, constructed and 
managed by public authority, only the scale of the 
enterprise was different from that of the padres. Its 
essential principle was the same. 

The Spanish and Mexican periods brought little 
modification of the California waterscape, for the 



European population was tiny, scattered thinly along 
the coastline and around the bay of San Francisco, and 
its needs were few and simple. The arrival in 1839 of 
an enterprising Swiss, John August Sutter, began a 
new chain of events. Given a large rancho grant in the 
relatively unoccupied Sacramento Valley, his fort and 
thriving settlement beside the American River near 
its juncture with the Sacramento soon developed 
needs for lumber and other commodities. Sutter 
determined to make a large-scale industrial use of 
waterpower, causing a sawmill to be constructed on 
the upper reaches of the American, where it was 
flowing rapidly in the Sierra foothills. When his fore- 
man, James Marshall, discovered gold in the mill's tail- 
race, California would never be the same again. 

Now a civilization inundated the new American 
state of California that made massive and complex 
demands upon its water resources. It was, moreover, 
an essentially Anglo-American civilization which 
lacked Spain's concept of a strong and centralized 
public authority. In Britain and America, the social 
center of gravity had long since shifted not only 
toward the supremacy of elected legislative bodies 
and away from powerful executives, but also toward 
an assertion of greater freedom for individuals to 
enrich themselves as they saw fit. In resource-rich 
America, this laissez-faire mentality fostered a belief 




This view of San Francisco in 
1873 emphasizes the importance 
the waterfront once had for the 
city as the focus of the com- 
mercial activity the Gold Rush 
brought to California. Virtually 
every type of ship crowds the 
wharves — steam and sail for both 
inland and oceanic navigation. 
A few years earlier, the bay itself 
was filled with empty vessels, 
abandoned by their crews who 
left for the gold fields. 



15 



The map on the facing page dis- 
plays the natural configuration 
of lakes, rivers, and related vege- 
tation which confronted the ear- 
liest European and Anglo-Ameri- 
can settlers upon their arrival in 
California. Urban and agricul- 
tural developments have today 
replaced the inland marshes and 
riparian forests shown here, while 
the construction of the modern 
water system has created the 
Salton Sea and all but eliminated 
Tulare and Owens lakes. This 
map does not, however, show 
the virgin waterscape as it exis- 
ted at any single point in time. 
The levels of many of the natural 
lakes and marshes fluctuated from 
year to year, and the map itself 
has been reconstructed from sev- 
eral historic maps drawn of var- 
ious parts of California between 
1843 and 1878, a period when 
some areas of the state remained 
largely unexplored. 



that the continent's resources were open for the 
strong-minded and the enterprising to seize and use 
in whatever way would most profit them individually. 
Out of this economic anarchy, in which government 
was to stand aside and remain small and inactive, 
would come, it was confidently asserted, the enrich- 
ment of all. 

The Spanish notion of "public property in water," 
developed in an arid land culture where waterworks 
had to be publicly managed to ensure their most effi- 
cient and equitable use, thus gave way to the Anglo- 
American concept of unrestrained private enterprise. 
Coming from lands of water abundance, the Anglo- 
Americans, Germans, and Irish who made up most of 
the white population of California during the nine- 
teenth century were disposed to think of water as a 
free commodity to be used without restraint in any 
industrial or other enterprise that came to hand. 



THE FALL AND RISE OF THE SACRAMENTO 

With the discovery of gold, the Sierra Nevada 
swiftly became the seat of a teeming industrial sys- 
tem devoted to the extraction of the precious metal. 
In 1853, great deposits of gold-bearing gravels were 
discovered in the high ridges overlooking the north- 
ern mines in and around Nevada County. The miners 
soon learned to work these deposits by directing 
heavy streams of water onto the hillsides, washing 
them down so that the flowing mud, sand, and gravel 
passed through long sluice boxes, where the heavy 
gold flakes could be recovered. The torrent of water 
and mining debris pouring out of the sluice boxes was 
discharged into nearby streambeds, its subsequent 
destination not a matter of concern to the miners. 
The miners' need, however, for more and more water 
led to the excavation of ditches to adjacent streams, 
then to the building of a network of reservoirs and 
flumes leading down from the higher mountain 
regions. 

Thus the first large hydraulic engineering works in 
California were constructed entirely through the ap- 
plication of private enterprise and capital, outside the 
realm of public supervision. At the same time, a cadre 
of professional engineers skilled in the building of 
such works was forming, along with a community of 
capitalists confident through direct experience that 
they could transport rivers of water great distances at 
great profit. By 1857, in Nevada County alone there 
were 700 miles of ditches feeding water to the 
hydraulic miners. The hydraulic mining industry, 
however, passed rapidly through a complex techno- 
logical progression which required heavier capitaliza- 
tion and the concentration of scores of individual 
mines into a few large operations. In 1871, the Cali- 
fornia Water Company began operations in El Dorado 
County with a capitalization of $10 million and the 



Canals and Water Ditches for Mining Purposes -1867 





Identifiable 


Total Length of 


Total 


County 


Ditch Systems 


Ditches (miles) 


Cost ($) 


Amador 


27 


412.75 


1,154,500 


Butte 


11 


64.5 


60,700 


Calaveras 1 


15 


272 


754,000 


Del Norte 


13 


35 


59,700 


El Dorado 


24 


786.25 


1,365,500 


Inyo 


1 


15 


30,000 


Klammath 


5 


18.25 


23,100 


Lassen 


4 


18.25 


25,000 


Mariposa 


2 


25 


10,800 


Mono 


1 


20 


75,000 


Nevada 1 


12 


577 


1,771,500 


Placer 


26 


699.5 


1,673,000 


Plumas 


20 


132 


361,050 


Sacramento 


4 


58 


948,000 


Shasta 


15 


201 


297,000 


Sierra 


26 


115.5 


491 ,000 


Siskiyou 


20 


201 


296,000 


Stanislaus 


5 


43 


170,000 


Trinity 


42 


158 


199,000 


Tulare 


17 


70.5 


32,800 


Tuolumne 1 


6 


142 


1,765,000 


Yuba 2 


26 


150 


591,400 



Hydraulic mining in the Sierra 
Nevada brought the first major 
man-made alterations in the nat- 
ural waterscape. In the photo- 
graph at left, great streams of 
water under pressure are used at 
the Malakoff Diggings to break 
down walls of gold-bearing river 
gravel. In the photograph below, 
water drives a sawmill preparing 
timber for the construction of 
flumes and diversion works. The 
photograph at bottom left illus- 
trates a different type of mining 
which became popular during 
the 1860s and 1870s. Here an 
entire river has been diverted 
from its course at the Golden 
Feather Mining Claim to provide 
access to the streambed. Works 
of this magnitude required the 
development of a structured work 
force of paid laborers. The Chi- 
nese workers seen here thus 
began to replace the independent 
miners who first opened the 
mountains to exploitation. 




ownership of 24 lakes. Some operators, as in the case 
of the North Bloomfield Mine, which used a hundred 
million gallons of water a day, built their own water 
systems. In other situations, ditch firms like the 
Eureka Lake and Yuba Canal Company grew so large 
that they acquired their own mines. By 1879, when 
the hydraulic mining industry was operating full 
bore, Nevada County was laced by more than a thou- 
sand miles of ditches and flumes. 

Meanwhile, thousands of farmers began breaking 
the soil of the Central Valley floor to raise crops for 
California's burgeoning markets. Before the 1850s 
were out, however, the farmers and townspeople 
living along the Sacramento learned that they were 
residing on what was essentially a flood plain. The 
rivers crossing the flat valley floor could never con- 
tain within their banks the great volumes of water 
that almost annually surged out of the mountain can- 
yons during winter storms. Flowing over river banks 
for many miles, flood waters inundated the surround- 
ing countryside, forming an inland sea in the Sacra- 
mento Valley which took months to drain away when 
the rains had ended. For this reason, a tule swamp 
many miles across occupied the Central Valley floor, 
paralleling the rivers. In 1850, the City of Sacramento 
was flooded for a mile back from the river and, when 
the water subsided, the community's response set the 
course for valley development over the next several 
generations. Sacramento immediately began throw- 
ing up levees, which were soon overtopped, so that 
the embankments had to be built higher and higher in 
succeeding years. Marysville, sitting at the juncture 
of the Yuba and Feather rivers, had a similar experi- 
ence, so that by the mid-1870s it had made itself a 
walled city. 

In the cities, flood control was a relatively simple 
undertaking, although arduous and costly, because 
the area involved was small and compact. In the 
countryside, however, the problem was more compli- 
cated. At first, there were efforts at central coordina- 
tion. Under the Arkansas Act of 1850 the federal 
government granted to the states all swamp and over- 
flow lands within their borders, on condition that 
these lands be drained and reclaimed. California even- 
tually received a total of 2,191,000 acres of such land, 
more than 500,000 acres of which lay in the Sacra- 
mento Valley. A Board of Reclamation Commis- 
sioners was established in 1861 to oversee the 
reclamation process and careful plans were drawn up 
to ensure that all levees would be constructed along 
natural drainage lines. 



The slow progress and ill-success of the first state- 
directed leveeing projects, however, produced a 
clamor from impatient enterprisers and in 1868 the 
State Legislature passed the Green Act, freeing the 
reclamation process of all controls. Property owners 
could throw up levees along any alignment they 
chose, even along the rectangular pattern of property 
lines. Thereafter, the drainage system of the valley 
was utterly fragmented, a crazy-quilt stitchery of 
levees marching across sloughs and other natural 
drainways, choking channels and producing ponds 
where formerly the water had flowed easily away. 
Out of this flood control anarchy came the popular 
observation, "Of all the variable things in Creation, 
the most uncertain are the action of a jury, the state of 
a woman's mind, and the condition of the Sacra- 
mento. The crookedness you see ain't but half the 
crookedness there is." 

In an ever-escalating spiral, landowners regularly 
raised their levees higher than those put up by farm- 
ers on the opposite side of the river, hoping to force 
the stream to overflow upon their adversaries and 
thereby leave their own land dry. But, since every 
acre protected from flood was therefore unavail- 
able for overflow, and no one was compensating for 
this by building channels which ensured general val- 
ley drainage, the rivers in floodtimes got higher and 
higher. The first levees were three feet high because 
the river overflowed its banks in thin sheets. Even- 
tually, the valley's levees would become great walls up 
to 25 feet high and 200 feet wide at their base. 

Such undertakings went far beyond purely indi- 
vidual resources and, in the late 1860s, the Legisla- 
ture began authorizing the formation of levee and 
reclamation districts which could raise revenues to 
pay for these works by taxing the land protected. 
Soon, the flatlands became a patchwork of such dis- 
tricts. But since no one knew how large the rivers 
were, huge sums were expended in many projects 
which failed, and after 40 years of such efforts, Sacra- 
mento valley farmers were still subject to frequent 
and disastrous flooding. 

Making the situation far worse, and in some parts 
of the valley absolutely hopeless, an enormous mass 
of hydraulic mining debris began issuing from the 
mountain canyons to spread out on the valley floor. 
Since the finest sediments in the mud, sand, and 
gravel which composed the mining debris were 
carried by the river system to San Francisco Bay 
almost as soon as hydraulic mining began, the 
riverbeds had in fact been filling in for some years. 



Sacramento 

Flood Control System 



Flood Hazard Area 

Subject to 100 year flood 

Protected Area 

Subject to inundation by 100 year flood 
in absence of flood control devices 

Bypass Boundary 

Levee Boundary 



Channel Capacities 



t J 0-20,000 

20,001-40,000 
40,001-60,000 
60,001-100,000 
100,001-200,000 
200,001-300,000 
Over 300,001 cubic feet per second 



'Contours at 



foot intervals 



V 



[Black Bum 
Reservoirt 



Tafrmalito 
■redgK 



Lake\ 
Or o villa 



'Oroville 



'■vr 



New Bulfards Bar 
Reservoir . 



Mou 



m Weii 



25,000 cfs 



toiusa wei 
70,000 cfs 



Colusa 



-ftivc 



Butte:;Si> 



Pumping i 



Colusa Bacl 
arrow Pit 



Tisdale Weir 
38.000 cfs 



Bypass 



1 



Yuba City 



Pumping \ 
Plant 



s&v Pumping.;. 
^kPjant l 



m 



CawA 



^ffi < Fremont Weir 
343,000 cfs 



folsomi 
Lake) 



iiitf^ 



Woodland 



m° 



Sacra 



puW^\ 



W 7 



& 



•/Napa 



>£ 



Fairfield 



"t^s/umne. 



xmSL 



Lodi 






Jfe 



4 



ta! 



70 Miles 
_i 



Martinez * 



10 Kilometers 



Flow Past the Latitude of Sacramento During Flood Event 



550 



500 






— Yolo Bypass near Lisbon 

— Flow in the Absence of Regulation 

— Sacramento River at Sacramento 



* 350 
£ 300 



° 200 



X «._-."-N 






100 



50 



20 21 22 
December 1964 



23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 



31 1 2 3 
January 1965 - 



12 13 14 



Maximum/Minimum Discharge 



300,000 



270,000 



240,000 



210,000 



180,000 



150,000 



120,000 



90,000 



60,000 



30,000 



Sacramento River at Red Bluff 

• Highest Mean Daily Discharge 
.Lowest Mean Daily Discharge 

Sacramento River at Verona 

• Highest Mean Daily Discharge 

• Lowest Mean Daily Discharge 



I I 



I 



«!.' 



n 

" A 
'ill 



!! 



Mi! 



i! 



i! ! 



i ! 



! ! 



i ii 



i! 



i i < 

I r 



I M ' 

n 






i / 






A 



1890 



1900 



1910 



1920 



1930 



1940 



1950 



1960 



1970 



Years 



Reservoir Floodwater 
Storage Capacity 



Shasta 



Oroville 



The cubes depict the 
total capacity of 
the major, multi- 
purpose reservoirs 
on the Sacramento. 
The upper portion 
of each cube 
represents that 
part of the total 
capacity which is 
available for flood- 
water storage. 



Reservoir 

Shasta 

Oroville 

New Bullards Bar 

Folsom 

Whiskeytown 

Black Butte 



Total 
Storage 

4,500,000 

3,484,000 

969,600 

1,010,000 

241,000 

160,000 



Flood 

Control Storage 

1,300,000 
750,000 
170,000 
400,000 
30,000 
150,000 



Black Butte 



Folsom 



in acre-feet 



New Bullards Bar 



Whiskeytown 



This type of sedimentation first affected navigation. 
Steamboats which had regularly called at Sacra- 
mento, Colusa, Chico Landing, Marysville, and Oro- 
ville, soon were having difficulty in reaching even 
Sacramento. While navigation upstream on the 
Sacramento and Feather rivers was dying, the many 
channels flowing through the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta became choked and narrowed by debris 
and the beds of these tidal reaches were raised as 
much as 15 feet for long stretches. 

By the 1860s, heavier sediments began coming out 
of the mountains. Farmers noticed that each flood left 
wide deposits of glaring white mud and sand on their 
property. By the 1870s, many thousands of acres 
along the Feather, Yuba, and Bear rivers were buried 
so deeply by mining debris that orchards, houses, and 
barns were swallowed up. The bed of the Yuba, 
between Marysville and the mountains, spread to a 
two-mile width, the stream wandering at random 
over the obliterated farmlands. Where the Yuba and 
Feather met at Marysville, their beds eventually rose 
20 feet, making them much higher than the adjacent 
city streets. Debris pouring out of the mouth of the 
Feather, where it joined the Sacramento, pushed an 
underwater dam across the Sacramento's bed which 
sharply raised flood levels far up that stream to 
Colusa and beyond. The entire central part of the val- 
ley was under siege. 

A bitter controversy consequently sprang up in the 
mid-1870s between the flatland farmers and the 
mountain miners. At first, farmers and townsmen of 
the valley floor sought relief in the courts, asking for 
damages and injunctions. It was impossible, however, 
to establish which mine or company was responsible 
for the mud and sand flowing upon given farms. Then 
both miners and farmers, to quiet and resolve the 
controversy, asked the Legislature to assume respon- 
sibility. A valley-wide program of flood control, based 
upon the first systematic survey of the river system, 
was launched in the Drainage Act of 1880. The basic 
objective of this act was to erect an integrated system 
of levees which would constrict the rivers within nar- 
row channels, create a heavy and concentrated flow, 
and thereby induce the rivers to scour out their own 
beds and carry the mining debris down to the bay for 
deposit. Flood control, navigation, and reclamation 
would all be served by this system. The Drainage Act 
relied upon statewide taxation, however, and an 
avalanche of protest soon poured in upon the Legis- 
lature. Residents of other areas argued that the 
Sacramento Valley should solve its own problems; 
flood control was not a state but a local responsibility. 
In 1881, the California Supreme Court threw out the 
Drainage Act as an unconstitutional assumption by 
the state of an essentially private concern. 

The federal Circuit Court resolved the impasse in 
1884, in the case of Woodruff v. North Bloomfield, etal., by 
issuing a perpetual injunction against the discharging 
of hydraulic mining debris into California's rivers. 
Judge Lorenzo Sawyer held that the discharge of such 
debris created irremediable and uncontrollable 
damage in the community at large and that the gen- 
eral welfare therefore required the termination of 
such discharges, whether of fine or coarse debris. 
Thus, in one of the nation's first environmentally- 
conscious judicial decisions, an entire industry was 
closed down. Mining, which had formed the basis for 
prosperity in the new state of California, was forced 
to give way to the needs of agriculture and commerce. 



THE SACRAMENTO FLOOD CONTROL SYSTEM 

There still remained, however, an enormous 
volume of mining debris already lodged in the moun- 
tain canyons which continued over many years to 
wash down upon the valley floor and create more 
destruction. Not until 1905 would the peak of the 
debris wave pass the City of Marysville and move 
down the Feather. And once again, it was the federal 
government which provided the impetus for a resolu- 
tion of the Sacramento River's continuing flood con- 
trol problems. 

The involvement of the federal government in 
California water affairs began as early as 1868, when 
the United States Army Corps of Engineers respond- 
ed to local requests by making the first of its many 
studies of harbor sites and needs in the Los Angeles 
region. In the 1870s, the Corps began a regular pro- 
gram of pulling snags in the rivers of the Central 
Valley in aid of navigation. In 1873 its engineers con- 
ducted a study of irrigation possibilities in the state, 










and during the hydraulic mining controversy of the 
1870s and 1880s, the Corps made numerous techni- 
cal examinations of the problem and a series of propo- 
sals for dams and drainage works which were not 
funded. 

The first plan for flood control in the Sacramento 
Valley was developed in 1880 by State Engineer Wil- 
liam Hammond Hall who called for constricting the 
rivers within strong levees in order to induce a vigor- 
ous current which would thereby force them to scour 
out their own beds and wash the mining debris down 
into the bay. He warned, however, that even the 
highest levees could never hold the giant floods which 
occasionally strike the valley. Hall argued therefore 
that there should be weirs and drainways at a few lo- 
cations to allow excess water to flow out, as it had 
always done, to pond in the basins beside the rivers. 
Little was done to carry out Hall's plan, but in his 
painstaking studies of the river system he had laid 
down the first reliable body of hydraulic information 
concerning its performance, and his fundamental 
concept endured. 

In 1892, Congress created the California Debris 
Commission, composed of Army Corps of Engineers 
officers, to clear the rivers of mining debris and 
restore a navigable channel. A third mission, to 
restore hydraulic mining through the erection of 



restraining dams, quickly demonstrated its futility. 
For its part in the broader question of flood control, 
the State of California in 1894 established the office 
of Commissioner of Public Works, staffed by two of 
Hall's former assistants, Marsden Manson and C.E. 
Grunsky. They took Hall's plan one step further and 
proposed that the flow of the Sacramento in flood- 
time be divided by constructing a leveed bypass chan- 
nel. This channel would lead out from overflow weirs 
in the east bank of the main river levees, and down 
through the Sutter Basin between the Feather and 
Sacramento rivers and the Yolo Basin, which parallels 
the lower course of the Sacramento on its west side. 
This would force the river to carry all of the water it 
could safely contain, inducing scour, while allowing 
controlled overflows. It would also free most of the 
lands in the basins for agriculture by keeping the 
overflow within leveed bypass channels and prevent- 
ing it from ponding. 

To build such a system, however, would take mil- 
lions of dollars and many years of steady construc- 
tion. Neither Congress nor the State of California 
was yet ready to take up the plan and thereby accept 
the responsibility for flood control with its large 
potential costs. After 1900, however, the national 
mood swung more strongly under the leadership of 
President Theodore Roosevelt toward the use of 



19 



Although John Sutter built his 
fort on high ground at some dis- 
tance from the river, the city 
that grew up around the fort 
soon extended its borders to the 
river banks. The photographs 
above show the consequences of 
this development in two views 
of Sacramento during the flood 
of 1862. Agricultural develop- 
ment on the valley lands below 
the gold fields brought an end 
to hydraulic mining, but great 
fields of spoils left over from 
gold dredging still dot the banks 
of the American River above 
Nimbus Dam as shown in the 
photograph at left. 



public authority to conserve and manage the nation's 
natural resources. At the same time, beginning in 
1902 and occurring again in 1904, 1906, 1907, and 
1909, a series of increasingly violent floods washed 
over the Sacramento Valley, demonstrating the utter 
futility of fragmented, locally managed flood control. 
In addition a new breed of entrepreneurs, college- 
trained and ready to rely upon the expertise of 
engineers, replaced the older generation of reclama- 
tion leaders who had distrusted centralized regula- 
tion and expert professionals. 

By 1905, the California Debris Commission recog- 
nized that it could not control debris along the Yuba 
River, where it had been concentrating its attention, 
without developing a project for valley-wide flood 
control. In 1907, the commission asked Congress for 
funds to purchase two very large dredges of a type 
only recently perfected with which the commission 
proposed to widen the debris-choked channels at the 
mouth of the Sacramento so that the river could 
accommodate an overflow of 600,000 cubic feet per 
second. The dredges began their work in 1913 but so 
large was their task that by 1924 they had succeeded 
in opening the river's mouth only enough to 



accommodate a flow of 400,000 cubic feet per second. 
The improved outflow, however, was so successful in 
scouring out immense quantities of mining debris 
that by 1927 the bed of the Sacramento had been 
restored to its original elevation (before the impact of 
mining debris) at the City of Sacramento. The clear- 
ing of river channels was eventually extended up the 
Feather, where a seven-foot lowering at the mouth of 
the Yuba still left the river 13 feet higher than it had 
been in the days before mining began. 

In 1911, the commission's chief engineer, Captain 
Thomas Jackson, announced his plan for the Sacra- 
mento Flood Control Project. Based upon the bypass 
concept, it would let water flow eastward out of the 
Sacramento River over weirs in the Colusa vicinity 
about a hundred miles north of the river's outlet; this 
excess water would be guided through the Sutter 
Basin within a leveed channel; then across the Sacra- 
mento into the Yolo Basin at a point just above the 
juncture of the Sacramento and the Feather by means 
of the Fremont Weir; finally, the water would be 
allowed to move through a bypass in the Yolo Basin to 
empty back into the main channel of the river just 
above its mouth. Along the course of the bypass chan- 



nel, which in effect formed an additional river bed to 
be brought into use during floodtimes but farmed 
during the dry months, additional inflows would be 
received from other weir points, and the bypass 
levees would grow progressively wider apart. 

Congress took six years to fund the federal aspects 
of Jackson's plan, which were limited to those ele- 
ments regarded as being concerned primarily with 
maintaining a navigable channel. The State of Cali- 
fornia and local landowners, however, moved swiftly 
to carry out their part of the project. A Reclamation 
Board was created in 1911 with the power to regulate 
all private levee-building so as finally to bring order 
and efficiency to the system. The levees of the Sutter 
Bypass were constructed by the state to help meet the 
heavy demands for food production during World 
War One. Many large private reclamation schemes 
were launched, resulting in the construction of 
hundreds of miles of levees and the repair of other, 
existing embankments. 

There were about 300,000 acres of land in the 
valley in a relatively complete state of reclamation in 
1910. By 1918 this figure had risen to 700,000, thanks 
to a total of 350 miles of levees. In one of the more 



The modern Sacramento Flood 
Control System in operation 
during 1975. The Yolo Bypass 
is shown at the left of the photo- 
graph with the Sacramento Ship 
Channel running next to it. The 
Sacramento River can be seen 
entering from the left and curling 
down through the center. The 
American River entering at right 
appears here to have a distinctly 
darker color than the Sacramento 
because the American carries 
less silt. 



■J' ^SH/t^H 






X' <•**> 



p *^ 












striking projects, the entire American Basin east of 
the Sacramento River and north of the American was 
ringed with levees, creating an enclosed area of 
80,000 acres. As the Reclamation Board observed, 
"The sea of flood waters was replaced by a sea of 
waving grain." Furthermore, holdings formerly used 
only for field crops could be transformed into 
orchards, once the danger of flooding had been 
reduced. With this agricultural activity came a new 
transportation system. Railroads and electric inter- 
urban lines were built throughout the valley, and the 
Sacramento, its navigation largely halted for many 
years because of mining debris, quickly became one of 
the major river routes of commerce in the United 
States. Hundreds of boats passed up and down the 
rivers and navigated across the bay to San Francisco, 
where they transferred their cargoes directly to 
ocean-going vessels. By 1916, 90 percent of the 
freight between Sacramento and San Francisco was 
carried by boat, and many thousands of passengers 
relied upon the large paddle-wheeled river steamers. 

After World War One, farm prices slumped, bonds 
floated to construct levees could not be paid off, and 
bankruptcy was widespread. Under the Flood Control 
Act of 1928, the federal government therefore 
assumed most of the costs of the project, which was 
still being built. When the United States Bureau of 
Reclamation took on the construction and 
management of the Central Valley Project in the 
1930s, Washington's commitment to the Sacra- 
mento Valley deepened. Soon, the era of high dams 
around the Central Valley was well launched, greatly 
easing the flood control burden, and an enhanced 
inflow of federal funds for all purposes allowed the 
Sacramento Flood Control Project to move toward 
completion. Largely in place by 1944, it included 980 
miles of levees; 7 weirs or control structures; 3 drain- 
age pumping plants; 438 miles of channels and canals; 
7 bypasses, 95 miles in length, encompassing an area 
of 101,000 acres; 5 low-water check dams; 31 bridges; 
50 miles of collecting canals and seepage ditches; 91 
gauging stations; and 8 automatic short-wave-radio 
water-stage transmitters. 

The Sacramento Flood Control Project was the 
pioneer flood control plan in the nation for a com- 
plete valley, and it has stood as a model for similar 
projects elsewhere. One of the least visible great 
systems of public works in California, it also embodies 
one of the state's most extensive rearrangements of 
the natural waterscape. Still subject to occasional 
levee breaks and overtoppings — William Hammond 
Hall's warning about giant floods can never be safely 
forgotten — its effect has been to transform a mori- 
bund, gravely afflicted valley into one that is extraor- 
dinarily active, productive, and prosperous. 



IRRIGATION AND THE WATER COLONIES 

From the 1860s onward, the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta saw rearrangements of the natural 
waterscape nearly as striking as tHose occurring in the 
Sacramento Valley. Almost three-fifths of the Delta's 
half million acres had originally been subject to daily 
inundations by ordinary tides. The higher tides of 
spring covered the entire Delta except in those areas 
where natural levees of somewhat higher land had 
accumulated around individual islands. Floodwaters 
coming down the Sacramento River also overflowed 
the Delta, especially when met by westerly winds and 
high tides surging in from San Francisco Bay. Utterly 
flat, the Delta's most elevated locations were no more 
than ten feet above sea level. 

Where crops could be raised, however, the deep 
peat soils of the Delta islands proved to be marvelous- 
ly fertile. Following the passage of the Green Act in 
1868, the Delta came under determined assault by 
imaginative entrepreneurs who were ready to take 
heavy risks and had purchased Delta properties from 
the state under the swampland legislation. Levees 
crept first along the upstream edges of the eastern- 
most islands. It was here that the Sacramento and San 
Joaquin rivers entered the Delta, flood overflows 
occurred earliest, and rivers tended to drop the most 
silt as they spread out and slowed down so that the 
land was highest and most easily protected. In later 
years, reclamation districts were formed encompas- 
sing entire islands, and heavy investments in levee- 
building accelerated, subject always to trial and error, 
massive failure, and long years of suspended efforts. 
By 1880 the reclaimed area topped 100,000 acres; by 
1900, it was approaching 250,000, or about half of the 
Delta's total area. And in the next 30 years, the 
acreage enclosed rose to almost 450,000. 



As the islands dried out and were repeatedly 
plowed, however, their peaty soils subsided below sea 
level. Immense drainage works with large pumps had 
to work harder to keep these saucer-like depressions 
dry. Since the area available for overflow in the Delta 
had been drastically reduced from a mean tidal basin 
area of about 325,000 acres to only 39,000 acres, 
levees had to be exceptionally high and broad. But 
because the levees themselves were composed of 
peaty soils and were therefore subject to wash and 
failure, they made for a precarious defense against 
flood. In addition, the Delta lost much of its capacity 
for keeping out salt water from San Francisco Bay 
because its fresh water ran into the bay faster and was 
much less in volume than in pre-reclamation times. 

The Delta was affected, too, by influences arising 
far upstream. From the north, hydraulic mining 
debris came down to fill in the tidal channels. And 
from the south — and eventually from the north as 
well — came the cumulative effects of another great 
human rearrangement of the natural waterscape: 
irrigation. As each year passed, more and more water 
was drawn out upstream to irrigate the fertile plains 
of the Central Valley during the dry months, when 



the Delta most needed a steady flow of fresh water to 
prevent saltwater intrusion. 

The dominating natural fact in the San Joaquin 
Valley was not water abundance and overflow, but 
water scarcity. In its natural condition the valley, 
from the Delta to its southern terminus at the 
Tehachapi mountains, was a spacious dry grassland 
hundreds of miles long, a Kansas in California. Just as 
the grasslands of the eastern Great Plains were 
grazed by huge herds of buffalo, so the San Joaquin 
Valley had its own large animal herbivora which 
roamed the flatlands by the thousands, the tule elk 
and pronghorn antelope. Early settlers of the Central 
Valley consequently turned these vast grasslands to 
cattle ranching, which seemed to offer a surer means 
to profit than the uncertainties of farming in a land of 
rainless summers. Between 1846 and 1860, the state's 
cattle population grew from an estimated 400,000 to 
more than three million. 

Two years of disastrous drought from 1862 to 
1864, however, devastated the herds and encouraged 
the ranchers to turn to other products. Although the 
state government offered cash bounties to farmers 
who experimented with the cultivation of exotic 



The rich soils of the Delta, 
which appear here as red tones, 
contrast dramatically with the 
nonirrigated croplands on the 
Montezuma Hills at left. The 
Delta, however, remains a highly 
vulnerable center of agricultural 
activity, as seen in this view of 
the Rio Vista-Isleton flood July 27, 
1972. The Sacramento River is 
at the left and the San Joaquin 
River enters from the lower right 
corner. Brannan Island is the 
large inundated area at the center 
of the photograph and the top 
of the levee at Rio Vista can be 
seen as a thin line on the west 
side of the island running beside 
the Sacramento. The inundated 
area in the lower right quarter 
of the photograph marks the site 
of Franks Tract which was flooded 
in 1937. 




21 



crops such as flax and hemp, cotton, tobacco, raw silk, 
tea, coffee, and indigo, it was Dr. Hugh J. Glenn's suc- 
cess with the growing of non-irrigated wheat on the 
west bank of the Sacramento River which pointed the 
way to future prosperity. A series of rainy winters 
that began with the crop year 1866-67 opened the 
Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys to large-scale 
wheat production. Grain rapidly replaced beef as the 
state's principal agricultural commodity and the state 
laws which in the 1850s had denied a farmer compen- 
sation for crops damaged by a neighbor's cattle were 
reversed as the political power of the cattlemen 
declined. 

Railroads also greatly modified California's agricul- 
tural economy. For 20 years navigation had bound the 
course of settlement in California to its coasts and 
rivers. But, with the completion of the first transcon- 
tinental railroad in 1869, a revolution in transporta- 
tion technology swept over the state. Tracks were laid 
between existing river cities, undermining the very 
shipping that had made those places important. As 
the network of tracks extended inland, small villages 
that had languished because of their remoteness were 
transformed into bustling trade centers, and virgin 
land was broken and planted to wheat. From north 
and south the grain harvest was hauled to the 
Carquinez Strait where it was loaded onto ships 
bound for Europe. 

Railroads cut the cost of overland freight suffi- 
ciently to allow the intrastate shipment of grain, but 
not so far as to permit its shipment over the transcon- 
tinental routes. Only the highest valued agricultural 
products could be carried great distances, and those 
only with difficulty. The development of refrigerated 
cars, however, combined with the rapid growth of 
eastern cities to create urban markets for California's 
early ripening deciduous fruit and its exotic citrus. 
Entire districts were planted in vines and trees intro- 
duced from the far corners of the world. Oranges, 
grown at Mission San Gabriel since 1804, were made 
a viable commercial crop with the introduction of the 
navel orange to Riverside from Brazil in 1873 and the 
Valencia from the Azores in 1876. Grape stock was 
brought in from France to supplement the vines 
introduced by the Spanish missionaries, lemons 
arrived from Australia and Sicily, and figs came from 
the Levant. Most of these vine and tree crops shared 
one important characteristic: they required irriga- 
tion in California's drier summer climates. 

By the time the railroads were built, water manage- 
ment had already been a principal concern of 
Southern Californians for more than a century. From 
San Diego to Santa Barbara the Franciscan padres 
employed Indian labor to build sometimes elaborate 
systems for the conservation and delivery of the 
precious liquid. The availability of arable land and 
water was the basic requirement for successful 
settlement, ecclesiastical or civil. So it was that when 
Spanish authorities determined to establish a pueblo 
in the south, they chose a low-lying alluvial terrace 
adjacent to that portion of the Los Angeles River 
through which water flowed year round. With its 
founding on September 4, 1781, the Pueblo de los Angeles 
began its enduring relationship with the stream. The 
first settlers erected a brush diversion dam and 
excavated a zanja madre (main ditch) along the base of 
the hills past the northeast corner of the plaza. 
Equally important, a ditch master was appointed and a 
system of rules established for the operation of the 
system. 

Los Angeles' water colony endured the administra- 
tions of three national governments. That it did so is a 
testament to the importance of Spanish colonial 
policy, which gave to California's pueblos the exclu- 
sive right to their rivers. In a land of little rain, this 
provision for the community's exclusive use of the 
Los Angeles River became the legal basis by which 
citizens held their vital resource inviolate, guaran- 
teeing a reliable source of water for domestic and 
agricultural purposes. Only within the confines of the 
muncipality did both an incontestable right to water 
and a political organization for its distribution exist. 
As a result, only there had water development con- 
tinued uninterrupted for more than a century. By 
1888 almost 3,000 acres of irrigated farmland lay 
within the town's borders. The adobe village had 
grown to a city of almost 50,000 persons, the state's 
second largest urban place. 

The pueblo's survival and the resulting continuity 
of water rights and management under Spanish, 
Mexican, and American rule contrasted sharply with 
conditions elsewhere in Southern California. The 
Franciscan missions, the only other institution with 






^ 





flAHdliO 



rfyi^vwf 












IK, 



*H 




% 



* m 



i i mm, 

pfrH II f I lit/ & m 1 ■ 

RiH+rhWrl-rr %f 1 V 



ii> 



'#. 



3$ rJ MEM 



; j- 





!#4ym£ 




<c 



Mf-i i .. IJi &-*■** 



m 



fc7** , SF £ I'V V ,r 




V-i IX;- 



tmml 



»; 





m 









A nepp 



m°$ 



EXPLAA/AT/QA/ 



/#st/G#r/OA/ wo/?#s 




!$7 JUrtJt Jtosa&n* WitttrCa.. 

■*| CryslalSjB-ittfllMatre*, Ctrl*, -fiflif 

0.%' .' 

yS MtofrerXtiirMaptM**, Aftrt« fa W. ft 









3 tr 




&y**r, •Stm/*d&br,Jtyrtruit**m£J>itcA., 



J 1 



- 



}%s*J*su* X* >r 6* ,7*r*xp, SfSMje MtHrC* \ 
CAmmtj, MtprOr, Cthrm*, ZtoUmS. j' — — — ■ — J 



±U 



BALlOftU? o 




> 









= ^ 



«ip^ 




' -^-v-, 



%^f^^ 



't. j 





resources sufficient to construct and maintain elabo- 
rate water systems, were secularized and dismantled 
during the 1830s. Their dams, canals, and extensively 
irrigated fields were abandoned and rapidly fell into 
disrepair. Irrigation did not disappear entirely; at 
scattered locations along the perennial streams, 
water was diverted for gardens and other small plots. 
But in most cases these were individual enterprises, 
limited in scope by an absence of suitable organiza- 
tion, inadequate markets, and ill-defined land and 
water titles. 

Although numerous persons participated in 
bringing water to the land during ensuing years, it 
was never so much individual personalities as organi- 
zations that dominated irrigation development — 
organizations that would capture and manage the 
scarce resource through their ability to concentrate 
money, labor, and political power. The first institu- 
tion to succeed in such a venture after the American 
conquest was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- 
Day Saints, which established a Mormon colony at 
San Bernardino in 1851. This officially sponsored 



settlement was meant to be a strategic outpost on the 
route to Salt Lake City, a community which would 
help secure a protected Mormon corridor to the sea. It 
was in many respects a theocracy; wherever neces- 
sary the church provided the organizational struc- 
ture and required leadership. Its authority was 
immense in all secular matters and, partially as a 
result of this, the enterprise succeeded for awhile. 

Under the direction of the religious leaders, 35,500 
acres of Rancho del San Bernardino were purchased and a 
community laid out on the south bank of the Santa 
Ana River. Fields were planted and an irrigation ditch 
was dug by communal effort. But in 1857, federal 
troops marched on Utah, and central church 
authorities ordered the colony to be abandoned by its 
500 residents. Thus ended the first church-sponsored 
irrigation colony of the American period. Others, 
such as the Presbyterians at Westminster and the 
Quakers at Earlham, would attempt to build New 
Jerusalems among the vineyards and groves of 
Southern California; none, however, were more 
ambitious or by experience and doctrine better pre- 



22 







pared than these first Mormon irrigators. Their suc- 
cesses in the Intermountain West became legendary 
and their settlements the prototype for later federal 
developments. 

Even as the Mormons abandoned San Bernardino 
another type of colony, one organized along ethnic 
lines, began operations on the Rancho Juan y Cajon de 
Santa Ana. The group in this case consisted of 
Germans from San Francisco, who decided to pur- 
chase 1,165 acres south of Los Angeles, subdivide the 
parcel into small farms, and plant vineyards. Since 
none of the 50 subscribers was conversant with the 
operation of water systems, they wisely decided to 
remain at their urban occupations, employing a 
resident manager to prepare the colony for their 
eventual settlement. The manager divided the area 
into 20-acre farms with houseplots grouped together 
in a village where land was set aside for a school and 
other public buildings. On each 20-acre parcel were 
planted eight acres of vines and some fruit trees. Local 
laborers built a water system and planted a 45-mile- 
long living fence of willow trees around the perimeter 



and between individual plots to keep out livestock. 
The manager maintained the whole place until 1860, 
by which time each stockholder had paid $1200 in 
assessments. Lots were assigned by lottery, and a 
dividend was paid to the owners from the sale of the 
company's tools and other assets. When most of the 
original San Francisco subscribers finally took posses- 
sion of their properties, they named their town Ana- 
heim and set about the business of raising grapes and 
pressing wine. These settlers were merchants, black- 
smiths, and watchmakers — people with little or no 
experience in agriculture. That they sought to escape 
their occupations in an urban society seems remark- 
able, that they should succeed even more so. Their 
accomplishment testified to the importance of com- 
munity action and the potential for small-scale, inten- 
sive irrigated agriculture in Southern California. 

In subsequent decades the Anaheim colony and its 
organization would be popularized by writers and 
social reformers as a model of economic planning and 
the proof of one method by which people of modest 
means could acquire a small share of Southern Cali- 



WILLIAM "HAM" HALL 



The nineteenth century maps of early water systems in 
this section are part of the priceless legacy of California's 
first state engineer, William Hammond Hall. Born in Mary- 
land in 1846, "Ham" Hall's early dreams of training as an 
engineer at West Point were dashed by the Civil War. He 
worked instead as a field engineer, draftsman, and hydrog- 
grapher for the Army Corps of Engineers, and his surveys in 
this connection of the sand dunes south of Lands End in San 
Francisco led to his appointment as San Francisco's Engineer 
and Superintendent of Parks in 1870. After six years spent 
supervising the development of what is now Golden Gate 
Park, Hall devoted two years to studies for a canal on the 
west side of the San Joaquin Valley. 

When the menace of hydraulic mining debris resulted in 
passage of the Drainage Act of 1878, Governor William 
Irwin appointed Hall to head the newly created Office of 
the State Engineer, which was charged under the act with 
the responsibility for determining the extent of debris 
damage and developing a program of relief. Hall's work 
measuring the capacities and discharge of the Sacramento 
and San Joaquin rivers quickly expanded to include com- 
prehensive study of all California's water resources. The 
meticulous reports and maps which Hall and his teams of 
assistants assembled thus came to constitute the earliest 
overall survey of California's hydrologic system. 

Hall kept the Legislature steadily supplied with reports 
on his progress and recommendations for new irrigation 
and drainage projects. Where irrigation was involved, how- 
ever, controversy was sure to follow. Charges were re- 
peatedly made but never proved that Hall's assistants were 
supplying the results of their surveys to aid private in- 
terests such as the Miller and Lux Land and Cattle Com- 
pany, and Hall's repeated appeals for greater governmental 
control over the development of the state's water resources 
met with little favor in the Legislature. When the Legisla- 
ture refused in 1888 to provide funding for the completion 
of the third volume of his irrigation studies and the printing 
of the first complete map of the state's water system, Hall 
resigned and his office was abolished. Although portions of 
Hall's work were used by the State Mineralogist to produce 
a statewide map in 1890, the bulk of Hall's vast accumula- 
tion of data lay unpublished and little used by state officials 
for decades. 

Hall thereafter pursued a lucrative private practice until 
his death in 1934. From 1890 to 1898, he acted as a consult- 
ing engineer for the mines of South Africa, and in 1899 he 
developed a series of reports on irrigation and canal projects 
for the Transcaucasus of Russia. He returned to California 
in 1900 and was almost immediately the center of contro- 
versy once again as a result of his activities as an agent for a 
syndicate of New York investors buying up water and 
power rights in the Lake Eleanor and Cherry Creek water- 
sheds. Lake Eleanor was the key to San Francisco's plans to 
tap these waters for the Hetch Hetchy project. Hall's desire 
to retain the right for private development of a power 
project in the area ran directly counter to the insistence of 
the United States Department of the Interior that the 
Hetch Hetchy system be entirely public. After ten years of 
bickering over price, Hall ultimately sold the holdings he 
had acquired for approximately $100,000 to the City of San 
Francisco for a total price in excess of one million dollars. 



The two maps on these pages are part of Ham Hall's 
detailed inventory of irrigated lands in California in 1888. In 
the map of Los Angeles on the facing page the flows of the 
Los Angeles River are shown to disappear temporarily into a 
"dry sandy bed" south of the California Central Railway's 
Santa Fe line. The map on this page displays agricultural 
development in San Bernardino along the Santa Ana River. 
On both maps, principal colors have been used to distinguish 
the service areas of various water works and the darker 
shades of each color identify the areas that are actually 
irrigated. 



fornia's pastoral Utopia. As the residents of other 
colonies patterned after Anaheim soon found out, 
however, development costs were high, and so too 
was the price of colony land. Local residents and the 
poor were not easily persuaded to join such expensive 
enterprises. Instead, most of the colonists were 
drawn from the newly mobile middle classes of the 
Middle West and Northeast. Like Anaheim's Ger- 
mans they were recruited from distant places and 
often settled together at their chosen destinations. 
These new developments sometimes took their 
names from the origins of their promoters or inhabi- 
tants, as in the case of the Indiana Colony at Pasadena 
and the Kansas Colony at Rialto. 

As interst in irrigation increased, companies were 
formed by investors to offer prospective settlers the 
same services San Bernardino's and Anaheim's colo- 
nists had attempted to provide for themselves. 
Neither religious nor ethnic affiliations were so 
common in these enterprises as to make them viable 
organizations for most immigrants. Reclamation 
became a business to be pursued for speculative gain. 



23 



The photographs below depict 
aspects of agricultural develop- 
ment in the nineteenth century. 
Chaffey's colony at Ontario, 
shown here looking northward 
along Euclid Avenue toward the 
San Gabriel Mountains, estab- 
lished the mutual water company 
as the model for building suc- 
cessful planned communities in 
an era of private water develop- 
ment. Below at right, grapes are 
harvested in the San Gabriel 
Valley. At lower left is an example 
of the artesian wells which were 
developed in the last decades of 
the nineteenth century as a way 
of tapping the groundwater basins 
of the lower lying alluvial plains 
of the South Coast and Central 
Valley. 



Vast acreages were purchased, dams built, and canals 
dug in expectation of realizing huge returns on land 
and water sales. Many of these ventures prospered 
for awhile, but the continuing corporate ownership of 
water frequently led to grave legal problems. A few 
companies, not the small farmers, controlled the 
resource upon which the entire economy depended. 
Competing firms diverting from the same stream 
sued each other over water rights, jeopardizing the 
improvements of their colonist clients. And, once the 
lands had been sold, the canal owners often attempted 
to maintain high profits by exercising their monop- 
olistic control over water rates. 

Along the Santa Ana River, the largest Southern 
California stream open to claimants, the problems 
were especially complex. At Riverside, for instance, 
the conflict between irrigators and the Riverside 
Canal Company became so great that the citizens 
sought redress through state legislation which 
attempted to fix the water rates and compel the 
company to furnish water to all customers at the 
same rate for as long as the colonists wished. The 
company replied by reducing service and suing. Years 
of acrimonious litigation passed before the irrigators 
settled the matter by purchasing their antagonist's 
property. 

Riverside's situation was not unusual. Throughout 
the state, the very corporate structure which permit- 
ted extensive systems to be built usually led to a con- 
flict of interest between suppliers and consumers. 
Perhaps the most famous solution to the problem was 
devised by George B. Chaffey, a Canadian often 
credited with successfully applying the concept of a 
modern mutual water company to the California 
scene. In April 1882, Chaffey and his associates began 
developing a "Model Colony" on 6,216 acres of land 
which they had purchased from the Cucamonga 
Grant together with all conflicting claims to the water 
of San Antonio Creek along the east bank. The 



property was surveyed and subdivided into rural 
parcels of ten and twenty acres, suburban lots of two 
and a half acres, and town lots adjoining the Southern 
Pacific Railroad. In honor of his home, Chaffey named 
the colony Ontario. 

Every aspect of the scheme was thoroughly 
planned and executed. Chaffey built a modern water 
system that conveyed water through more than 60 
miles of cement and iron pipe to every holding. For 
public betterment he established an agricultural col- 
lege and outlawed saloons. To beautify the commun- 
ity he laid out Euclid Avenue, a 200-foot-wide boule- 
vard planted with shade trees stretching seven miles 
from the railroad station up to the base of the San 
Gabriel Mountains. Even public transportation was 
provided by the construction of a streetcar line that 
ran the entire length of this principal thoroughfare. 
The most important part of the development, 
however, could not be seen. Chaffey organized the 
San Antonio Water Company for the purpose of con- 
structing and operating the necessary water system. 
Unlike other companies, however, this one was or- 
ganized in such a manner as to vest in the land pur- 
chasers control over water rights and deliveries. 

Chaffey's success at Ontario depended in part upon 
the fact that his company had bought out a signifi- 
cant portion of any conflicting claims to its principal 
water supply. These conditions did not obtain, how- 
ever, in other parts of the state, where irrigators 
often found themselves in bitter conflict with one 
another for the limited flows of nearby streams. 
Irrigation in the delta of the Kings River, near the 
present site of Fresno, for example, began as early as 
1858. Following enactment of the Green Act in 1868, 
these efforts were greatly expanded. The water 
seemed freely available to all, and public authorities 
made no attempt to control its appropriation. Irri- 
gators would simply file a claim with the county clerk, 
saying they were taking a certain volume of water out 




of the river, and nail a copy of their claim to a tree near 
their ditch's headgate. People were ignorant of how 
much water the Kings River actually carried; their 
units of measurement as to water volumes varied 
widely; claims overlapped; and the basis for years of 
lawsuits was quickly laid. In this way, ditches were 
dug through the flatlands, forming an intricate 
tracery of water courses, and by 1878, more than a 
thousand miles of irrigation canals were in operation 
in Fresno County. 

A serious drought in 1876, however, set off the 
inevitable warfare of lawsuits that had been long in 
preparation between upstream and downstream 
appropriators of the Kings' flow. The owners of a 
large rancho in the Kings delta, the Laguna de Tache, 
initiated no less than 135 lawsuits against upstream 
irrigation companies to protect their claim to an 
undiminished flow of the river through the rancho's 
lands. At the heart of these and similar conflicts 
throughout the state lay a series of important 
questions about the meaning and suitability of the 
system of riparian water rights, which was part of the 
English common law adopted by the State Legisla- 
ture in its first sitting in 1850 as the basic legal system 
for California. 

THE CONFLICT OVER RIGHTS 

The word rival is derived from the Latin word 
rivalis, which originally meant a person living on the 
opposite bank of a river. The word riparian, which is 
used to refer to land, persons, or anything else along a 
river bank, has a related derivation. The perception 
that the owners of riparian lands, by the nature of 
their situation on a common stream, should be per- 
petual rivals constituted a fundamental aspect of 
water development in California throughout the 
latter half of the nineteenth century and the early 
decades of the twentieth. As a result, the Chief Justice 
of California noted in 1922 that there were more Cali- 
fornia Supreme Court decisions on the law of waters 
than on any other subject. 

Before California's admission to the Union in 1850, 
the doctrine of riparian rights had been recognized in 
both England and the eastern United States. Under 
that doctrine, the owners of lands adjoining a stream 
were held to share the right to the waters of the 
stream for use on those adjoining lands to the exclu- 
sion of use on other lands. When the first California 
Legislature adopted the English common law as the 
basis of the state's legal system, the doctrine of 
riparian rights became the ultimate legal test for 
resolving all disputes on water use. But a doctrine 
developed in foggy, rain-soaked England, where the 
earliest problems of water development involved the 
use of streams and rivers to drain bogs and marshes 
from the land, seemed ill-suited to the arid south- 
western United States. And the story of California 
water rights is consequently in large part a history of 
the continued assault upon the riparian doctrine by 
the adherents of the competing doctrine of appropria- 
tion. Under this doctrine, the right to water is 
awarded to the first person who puts its to a beneficial 
use, regardless of whether that individual in fact uses 
the water on land abutting the stream from which it is 
taken. 

As the western states formed and established their 
individual systems of law, they divided almost equally 
on the question of which doctrine to follow. Oregon, 
Washington, Oklahoma, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and 
Kansas all followed the lead of Texas and California in 
granting primacy to the riparian doctrine with its 
emphasis upon land ownership and physical 
proximity to a water source. In contrast, Montana, 
Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona fol- 
lowed Nevada and Colorado in adopting appropri- 
ative principles which encouraged the development of 
beneficial uses for water. Although these two major 
branches of western water law have come to be 
described as the California and Colorado doctrines, 
the ideas essential to both riparian and appropriative 
doctrines appeared early in California. The critical 
legal difference was that California recognized an 
appropriative right as superior to a riparian right only 
if the appropriation was made while the riparian land 
was in the public domain, whereas Colorado recog- 
nized appropriative rights to the complete exclusion 
of riparian rights. 

The appropriative doctrine was first applied in the 
California goldfields where it became a recognized 
principle among the miners that whoever first extrac- 
ted and used a certain quantity of water from a stream 
would be allowed to continue to extract and use that 



24 



Historic Water Development 



California's waterscape is dotted with lakes and canals built for flood 
control, irrigation, and urban water supply. Many of the early structures 
were built by private interests. As water delivery systems grew in size 
and complexity, however, government agencies assumed a greater role 
in their development. This map illustrates the development of the 
modern water system, the sequence of development and the agencies 
responsible for the development of these facilities. Many of the small, 
private canals and aqueducts shown here have been absorbed into 
larger systems, while others have ceased operations altogether. Dams 
and reservoirs shown here include those built prior to 1900 with a capacity 
of 1,000 acre-feet or more and those built between 1900 and 1940 with a 
capacity of 10,000 acre-feet or more. Some of these facilities have been 
greatly expanded since 1941. In addition, the map displays the massive 
increase in irrigated acreage which the advent of water delivery ac- 
complished between 1912 and 1972. 



Dams constructed before 1941 



Irrigated land 


Constructing agencies 


= XlJ 1912 


private 


— T] 1972 


? municipal 




district 




1 state 

1 | 

I fpHpral 


dams 


canal 






^ </ 


f 


<¥* 


/ ^ 


/ 


JW 


MUNICIPAL 






1 Chatsworth No. 2 


1918 


10,500 


2 Lower San Fernando 


1932 


20,500 


3 Haiwee, South 


1913 


60,000 


4 Tinemaha 


1928 


16,620 


5 Bouquet Canyon 


1934 


36,200 


6 Grant Lake 


1940 


49,300 


7 Long Valley 


1939 


163,000 


8 Barrett 


1922 


42,400 


9 Lake Hodges 


1918 


37,600 


10 Savage 


1919 


49,100 


11 Morena 


1895 


65,800 


12 El Capitan 


1934 


116,500 


13 San Vicente 


1941 


75,200 


14 Lake Eleanor 


1918 


27,800 


15 O'Shaughnessy 






(Hetch Hetchy) 


1923 


360,000 


16 Calaveras 


1925 


100,000 


17 Lower Crystal Springs 


1888 


54,000 


18 Pilarcitos 


1866 


3,100 


19 San Andreas 


1870 


18,500 


20 Upper Crystal Springs 


1877 


15,500 


21 Gibraltar 


1920 


13,746 


22 Hogan 


1932 


76,000 


23 Lake Curry 


1926 


10,700 


24 Lake Frey 


1894 


1,075 


25 Morris 


1935 


36,665 


26 Sweasey 


1937 


18,000 


27 Pardee 


1929 


222,000 


28 Lower San Leandro 


1892 


41,436 


DISTRICT 






32 Puddingstone 


1928 


17,398 


33 Coyote 


1936 


24,560 


34 Santiago Creek 


1933 


25,000 


35 West Valley 


1936 


17,700 


49 Mathews 


1938 


100,000 


50 Gene Wash 


1937 


20,700 


51 Copper Basin 


1938 


20,700 


52 Big Sage 


1921 


77,000 


53 Cuyamaca 


1887 


11,600 


54 Harold 


1891 


6,575 


55 Exchequer 


1926 


289,000 


58 Lake Yosemite 


1888 


7,000 


57 Dal las- Warner 


1911 


27,000 


58 Shasta River 


1926 


72,000 


59 Bowman Rockfill 


1927 


68,000 


60 French Lake 


1859 


12,340 


61 Scotts Flat 


1940 


20,000 


62 Melones 


1926 


112,000 


63 Woodward 


1918 


35,000 


64 Don Pedro 


1923 


289,000 


65 Owen 


1911 


49,000 


66 Bridgeport 


1924 


47,455 


118 San Gabriel No. 1 


1938 


56,000 


PRIVATE 






36 Copco No. 1 


1922 


77,000 


38 Butt Valley 


1924 


49,768 


39 Lake Almanor 


1927 


650,000 


40 Bucks Storage 


1928 


103,000 


41 Crane Valley Storage 


1910 


45,000 


42 Bullards Bar 


1924 


16,620 


43 Round Valley 


1877 


1,285 


44 Blue Lake 


1870 


1,123 


45 Fuller Lake 


1870 


1,194 


46 Kidd Lake 


1855 


1,435 


47 Lake Fordyce 


1926 


46,662 


48 Lake Spaulding 


1913 


74,488 


67 Lake Sterling 


1877 


1,646 


68 Meadow Lake 


1864 


4,800 


69 Upper Peak Lake 


1850 


1,607 


70 Echo Lake 


1876 


1,900 



continued from upper right 



continued lower left 



71 


Twin Lakes 


1922 


21,250 


72 


Salt Springs 


1931 


130,000 


73 


Main Strawberry 


1916 


17,900 


74 


Phoenix 


1880 


1,215 


75 


Relief 


1910 


15,120 


76 


Lake Britton 


1925 


32,200 


77 


Lake Pillsbury 


1900 


73,163 


78 


Hillside 


1910 


13,368 


79 


Gem Lake 


1917 


17,604 


80 


Saddlebag 


1921 


11,138 


81 


Florence Lake 


1926 


64,405 


82 


Huntington Lake 


1917 


88,834 


83 


Shaver Lake 


1927 


135,283 


84 


Independence 


1939 


18,500 


85 


Toreson 


1898 


1,118 


86 


Round Valley 


1892 


2,000 


87 


Red Rock 


1895 


1,675 


88 


Hog Flat 


1891 


8,000 


89 


•Lake Leavitt 


1891 


14,000 


90 


McCoy Flat 


1891 


17,290 


91 


Indian 'Ole 


1924 


21,890 


93 


Branham 


1880 


1,200 


94 


Bidwell Lake 


1865 


4,800 


95 


Donner Lake 


1927 


11,000 


96 


Morning Star 


1870 


2,200 


97 


Clear Lake Impound 


1914 


420,000 


98 


Chabot 


1870 


1,180 


99 


Loon Lake 


1884 


8,000 


100 


Salt Springs Valley 


1882 


12,930 


101 


Twin Lake, Lower 


1888 


4,000 


102 


Sequoia 


1888 


3,000 


104 


Bear Valley 


1911 


72,400 


105 


Lake Arrowhead 


1922 


47,000 


106 


Lake Hemet 


1895 


14,000 


107 


Railroad Canyon 


1928 


12,000 


108 


Lake O'Neill 


1883 


1,390 


109 


Henshaw 


1923 


203,581 


110 


Sweetwater, Main 


1888 


31,176 


FEDERAL 






112 


Boca 


1939 


41,100 


113 


Clearlake 


1910 


527,000 


114 


Dorris 


1925 


11,100 


115 


East Park 


1910 


51,000 


116 


Hansen 


1940 


29,700 


117 


Imperial 


1938 


85,000 


119 


North Fork 


1939 


14,600 


120 


Parker 


1938 


648,000 


121 


Stony Gorge 


1928 


50,055 


122 


Lake Tahoe 


1913 


732,000 


123 


Upper Sardine 


1885 


1,435 



O^ 



120 



Imperial (Alamo) Canal 1901 



Yuma 
Project 

1909 



This map by Ham Hall displays 
the northern end of the San 
Joaquin Valley in the vicinity of 
the watersheds of the Kings and 
Kaweah rivers, site of some of 
the most intense court battles 
over water rights in the nine- 
teenth century. The Fresno 
colony appears at the top left 
and the northern tip of Tulare 
Lake can be seen directly below 
the colony. The blue tones on 
the map depict the extent of 
irrigated lands in 1886; the green 
areas identify swamp and bottom 
lands; and the vast fields of pink 
mark the lands that Hall argued 
might someday be developed for 
agriculture through the construc- 
tion of irrigation systems. 



quantity as against any later user. This principle was 
followed notwithstanding the fact that the land on 
which the stream flowed, in almost every case, was 
actually public land owned by the United States; 
under familiar common law principles, neither pri- 
vate party to a given controversy was in a position to 
assert the rights of the true owner, the United States. 
There were exceptional cases in which the land in 
question was not owned by the federal government, 
and in these cases the California Supreme Court 
made its critical policy determination as early as 1857 
in the case of Crandall v. Woods. The riparian rights of 
land which was in private ownership at the time an 
appropriation was made were held to be superior to 
the rights of the appropriator; the common law rule 
of riparian rights was thus approved. 

The uncertain element in every early appropriative 
right in California, however, was that the federal 
government, either as sovereign or as owner of the 
public land, might repudiate the whole idea. In par- 
ticular, the common law approach of the California 
Supreme Court necessarily reserved the question of 
the rights of the United States as the proprietor of the 
land on which almost all appropriations had occurred. 
In a remarkable post-Civil War legislative battle, Con- 
gress resolved the question in 1866. An effort to 
recover for the United States the value of gold mined 
on public land without congressional authority was 
defeated, and western members of Congress went on 



to win not only the right to mine on public land but 
also federal acquiescence in all water appropriations 
which had been made on the public domain, or which 
might be made in the future. The exact meaning of 
this legislation was much debated, but in the end the 
Congressional waiver of water rights of the public do- 
main was recognized. Indeed, the ultimate contro- 
versy was not whether Congress had given up the 
proprietary rights of the United States but rather 
whether, in the process, it had established a national 
policy in favor of appropriation as against private 
riparian rights. 

In the generation following the decision in Crandall 
v. Woods in 1857, the California doctrine of riparian 
rights on private land drew increasing criticism for a 
number of reasons. First, whatever any individual 
member of Congress may have thought when voting 
for the act in 1866, the appearance of federal approval 
of the idea of appropriation thereafter carried consid- 
erable weight. Second, as mining decreased in 
importance in California and agricultural activity 
increased, and as a larger and larger portion of Cali- 
fornia land was transferred to private ownership, the 
practical consequences of the riparian doctrine grew 
more obvious. In terms of the number of acres af- 
fected, the doctrine constituted an increasingly sig- 
nificant barrier to any land development dependent 
on appropriation. In addition, the decision by Colo- 
rado and other western states in the years after Cran- 



CALIFORNIA STATE ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT. 



TOPOGRAPHICAL AND IRRIGATION MAP 

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY. 



SHEET ]f>ro. 3 



Wm. Ham, Hall. Stat*» Bnjeineer. 
188fS. 

Scale: One Inch to Throe Mile*. 



Tkecurmofcoidonr on thee* eheetthaee been pro* 
jested from data, surging in ealu4 and eemrttfrrim 
in different parti of the region centred (generally 
epeaHng the data in San, Joaquin Count* and en the 
wtil tule of tht Han Jaaqiin Jhver below the grade 
lint from Tuhre lake wait quite complete and ac- 
curate, and the curvet can be relied m 

Over otAer parte of the region the information woe 
not to full. St that the curvet repretent the general 
locution of the contour* of elevation, and often no- 
attempt hat been mid* toJU them to detail* of local 
metis, ridgtt, and hollow* in the plain 

The Foothilw. 

The topography of the foothille along tne eastern 
border of the eaihg it, for the meet part, represented 
on thete $tuett from reeonnoittancw made by the State 
Engineering Department, and U belUcbl to be quite 
true to nature. 




dall v. Woods to opt for the impetus to development, 
stability, and flexibility which the appropriation doc- 
trine offered, spurred efforts in California for a re- 
examination of the early California decisions. 

The issue was joined in the case of Lux v. Haggin, 
which reached the California Supreme Court in the 
middle of the 1880s. Henry Miller and his partner 
Charles Lux bought up vast amounts of acreage in 
the San Joaquin Valley under the state's program for 
disposing of federal swamp and overflow lands during 
the 1850s. The holdings of the Miller and Lux Land 
and Cattle Company embraced both banks of the San 
Joaquin River for a stretch of 100 miles from Modesto 
to Madera, and 50 miles of the Kern River. Ultimate- 
ly, the company laid claim to more than a million acres 
in California, Nevada, and Oregon and Miller boasted 
that he could ride from Mexico to Oregon and sleep 
every night in a ranch house of his own. Although 
Miller and Lux claimed they were cattlemen, their 
critics charged that they were manipulating their vast 
riparian holdings for purposes of land speculation by 
keeping their properties undeveloped and delaying 
subdivision so as to drive up the value of the land. 
Their riparian right to the undiminshed flow of the 
Kern River, moreover, interfered with the intention 
of another firm owned by James Haggin and Lloyd 
Tevis to appropriate water upstream for the purpose 
of irrigating lands lying at some distance from the 



river. 



By a four to three vote, the California Supreme 
Court in 1886 reaffirmed the doctrine of riparian 
rights and denied Haggin's appropriative use of the 
streamflows of the Kern River. The majority opinion 
in the case is the longest in the history of the court, 
and the decision had important effects not only for 
California but for all the states which followed the 
California approach. In part, the decision was politi- 
cal. While the case was pending in the Supreme 
Court, the conflicting rules of riparian and appropri- 
ative rights were much debated in the election of 
1884, and in those days, Supreme Court justices were 
directly elected. Although the riparian estate involved 
in this case was very large, it was argued that appro- 
priation generally favored the well-financed 
promoter or public utility as opposed to the ordinary 
farmers and the owners of Spanish land grants who 
made their living by working the land riparian to Cali- 
fornia's streams. On the other hand, many irrigation 
projects were absolutely dependent on the right of 
appropriation. The controversy became so heated in 
Kern County, where the case arose, that at the next 
judicial election the trial judge, who had decided in 
favor of appropriation, was defeated by an opponent 
who campaigned on the doctrine of riparian rights. 
The Supreme Court's decision in this case did not 
write new law; it simply reaffirmed the principles it 
had recognized earlier. But the effect of the decision 
was to delay for 40 years the advance of the appropri- 
ative doctrine in California. 

Irrigationists, angered by the outcome of the case, 
were successful in obtaining a special session of the 
Legislature to take up irrigation legislation that same 
year. Although this special session failed to achieve 
any reforms, the Legislature did respond to the crisis 
the next year by passing the Wright Irrigation Act of 
1887. Declaring for the first time that the use of 
water for irrigation was a "public use," the Legisla- 
ture by this enactment authorized the formation of 
local public irrigation districts which had the power to 
bring condemnation suits against the existing works 
of private irrigation companies, take them over, and 
build extensions by issuing bonds and levying taxes 
upon the landowners who would be benefited. Enact- 
ment of the Wright Act prompted the formation of 
dozens of public irrigation districts in southern and 
central California. Although 50 districts were ulti- 
mately created under this act, the Modesto and Tur- 
lock districts proved most successful, while others 
floundered and failed. The Legislature repeatedly 
tinkered with the law to try to make it work. But each 
proposal for a new district stirred intense local con- 
troversies; few districts understood how properly to 
design and manage an irrigation system; fraud was a 
persistent phenomenon in connection with land sales; 
litigation flourished luxuriantly; and drought condi- 
tions in some parts of California during the mid- 
18905 drove many districts into bankruptcy. 

By the turn of the century, some advocates of irri- 
gation began to despair that California would ever 
enjoy what they regarded as the civilizing influence of 
irrigated agriculture. "Until quite recent years, the 
people living in the greater part of the State regarded 



26 



m 




Two of the greatest waterworks 
of the nineteenth century no 
longer exist. On the right, the 
Anaheim Flume with a parallel 
line under construction. The 
Sweetwater Dam at far left was 
built entirely with private capital 
in 1883 to serve the San Diego 
and National City areas. Until 
its collapse in 1916, it was one 
of the largest dams in the West. 



irrigation in the same light that eastern people gen- 
erally view it, viz. that it is a grievous hardship im- 
posed by nature upon the inhabitants of certain ill- 
favored regions of the earth/' commented a report of 
the United States Department of Agriculture in 1900. 
The federal investigators who prepared the report at- 
tributed this prejudice against irrigation in part to a 
fear that it would spread malaria but also to a basic 
flaw in the character of Californians: "The cowboy on 
horseback was an aristocrat; the irrigator on foot ... a 
groveling wretch. In cowboy land, the irrigation ditch 
has always been regarded with disfavor because it is 
the badge and symbol of a despised occupation." 

Nonetheless, irrigation pushed ahead persistently. 
The 150,000 acres in Southern California which were 
brought into irrigation districts in 1889 eventually 
became spreading orange and lemon orchards in the 
fertile southern valleys. Vast water importation 
projects described in succeeding sections of this 
volume brought agricultural prosperity to the barren 
wastes of the Imperial, Coachella, and San Fernando 
valleys. The development of efficient, motor-driven 
pumps opened sections of the San Joaquin Valley to 
irrigation by enhancing access to the Central Valley's 
groundwater reservoirs. Establishment of a Bond 
Certification Commission at the state level in 1911 
brought a much-needed measure of stability to the 
fiscal affairs of the irrigation districts. And, with the 
advent of a cycle of wet years beginning in 1908, 66 
new districts were formed in the dozen years between 
1909 and 1921. 

All of this activity proceeded in the absence of a 
definitive system of appropriative water rights. 
Although it is difficult to understand today, the Cali- 
fornia Supreme Court appears to have flirted 
throughout this period with a dog-in-the-manger 
principle whereby a riparian owner could obtain an 
injunction against an appropriative use of water even 
though the riparian owner himself was not using it. 
This was sometimes called the rocking chair theory of 
water rights because it allowed a riparian owner to sit 
in his rocking chair and watch the water flow unused 
to the ocean. The California cases were in conflict. 
One line of decisions held that no injunctive relief 
should be allowed, for the obvious reason that a waste 
of water would result. Another line of cases granted 
injunctions on the ground that the plaintiff would 
otherwise lose his riparian right by prescription. It 
bears noting, however, that this latter line of deci- 
sions began at a time when the law did not yet recog- 
nize declaratory relief, and it was not until 1921 that a 
California statute authorizing declaratory actions 
eliminated the reason for those decisions. 

The Legislature attempted to bring order to the 
condition of appropriative rights through the Water 
Commission Act of 1913 which created a state agency 
to determine whether a proposed appropriation 
should be allowed. Other provisions in the act, 
however, which constituted a direct assault upon the 
doctrine of riparian rights, were declared unconsti- 
tutional. One of these provided for the termination of 
unexercised riparian rights, while another would 
have limited the beneficial use of water on unculti- 
vated land to 2.5 acre-feet per acre. 

One effect of the riparian doctrine was to give 
special prominence to the so-called theory of the long 
purse. So long as litigation was the principal means of 
protecting water rights, anyone setting out to make 
use of California's water supplies had to add to the 
ordinary risks of his enterprise an often large and 
continuing outlay for the support of litigation to 
maintain his right to water. Thus, critics of the 
riparian doctrine complained, those with the longest 
purse could harass other water users into submission 
through frequent suits. 



The crisis finally came in 1926, when the California 
Supreme Court again confirmed the supremacy of 
riparian rights in the case of Herminghaus v. Southern 
California Edison Company. The company proposed to 
store water for hydroelectric purposes, but the plain- 
tiffs sought an injunction on the ground that this use 
would interfere with the natural irrigation of their 
riparian lands. The critical circumstance in the case 
was that the plaintiffs' lands were watered by the 
river only in periods of extremely high flow, during 
the spring and summer melting of the snow in the 
Sierra Nevada when the river water was lifted up to 
remote areas which at other times did not even touch 
the river. Thus, a large volume of water was 
necessary to confer a small benefit — the issue was not 
that the plaintiffs wasted water by not using it at all, 
but rather that the plaintiffs wasted water by making 
an unreasonable use of it. 

As in Lux v. Haggin, the case stirred great public 
controversy and there were numerous briefs filed on 
both sides. Although the law was settled that appro- 
priators could make only a reasonable use of water, 
and that one riparian owner was required to act 
reasonably with respect to other riparian owners, the 
court quoted approvingly from an earlier decision to 
the effect that the law did not require riparian owners 
to act reasonably as against an appropriator. The 
court did not concede that the plaintiffs' use was 
unreasonable, and again, the vote was close. 
Although the opinion appears to have a five-to-one 
majority, with one justice abstaining, there were 
changes in the membership of the court within a few 
days after the decision was issued, and the vote on the 
petition for rehearing was four to three. 

Public reaction was immediate and critical. With the 
collaboration of the author of the dissenting opinion, 
a state constitutional amendment was drafted which 
required all uses of water to be reasonable. The 
amendment was adopted in 1928 and, in several 
decisions immediately following, notably Peabody v. 
City of Vallejo in 1935, the California Supreme Court 
carried out the mandate of the amendment. For some 
time it was believed that the change in law may have 
affected only the remedy of injunction and that a 
riparian owner might obtain damages from an appro- 
priator who interfered with the riparian owner's 
right to make an unreasonable use of water. But in 
1967, the right to obtain damages for such use was 
held to have been terminated by the amendment in 
the case of Joslin v. Marin Municipal Water District. 

The 1928 constitutional amendment did not, of 
course, abolish riparian rights in California. Where 
they survive they are still important and, except for 
riparian land which was still in the public domain 
when a given appropriation was made, riparian rights 
have priority over appropriative rights. But the 
amendment did bind together the competing princi- 
ples of riparian and appropriative doctrines, which 
had been tangled throughout the early years of Cali- 
fornia's settlement, under a system which recognized 
the interest of all the people of California in the pro- 
motion of the "reasonable and beneficial use" of all 
the waters of the state. 

The passage of the constitutional amendment in 
1928 and the assumption that same year of federal 
responsibility for the construction of the major facili- 
ties of the Sacramento Flood Control Project mark 
the end of an era which depended upon individualism, 
local control, and private enterprise for the develop- 
ment of California's water resources. The new era, 
characterized by cooperation, centralized super- 
vision, and the use of public funds and authority, was 
already well advanced by this time, however, thanks 
in large part to the pressing needs of California's 
cities, which by 1900 had become critical. 



PARKS DAM CONTROVERSY 



Rather than resolving private conflicts over water use 
through systematic programs of reclamation and develop- 
ment, the early statutes authorizing the formation of public 
districts in some instances simply provided competing 
water users with another means to wage war. Such was the 
case in a controversy of the 1870s involving two of the larg- 
est landowners in the Sutter Basin near Colusa, William H. 
Parks and L. F. Moulton. 

Parks, the owner of extensive swamplands in the basin, 
formed a levee district in 1871 to implement a plan to drain 
his lands and reduce the risk of floods by constructing a dam 
shutting off natural overflows into Butte Slough. Although 
the plan sparked local controversy because it would require 
taxing farmers who would not benefit from flood control 
while flooding other lands downstream, Parks completed 
his dam on December 6, 1871. 

Moulton owned land along the east side of Butte Slough 
which was protected from floods by a levee system Moulton 
had constructed through the formation of a reclamation 
district. As the water began to back up behind Parks Dam, 
flooding lands that had never before been endangered, a 
band of masked men on December 27, 1871, seized the dam 
and destroyed a part of it. 

The Sutter County Board of Supervisors initially sup- 
ported Parks' efforts to maintain the dam, which 
had to be repeatedly repaired to compensate for floods 
which washed away portions of the dam in 1874 and 1875. 
Moulton meanwhile resorted to litigation to prevent recon- 
struction of the dam and obtain compensation for his losses. 
In the initial phases of his suit, however, Moulton met with 
no success in the courts. 

In 1875 the county required modifications to the dam 
which should have alleviated some of the problems it had 
caused in earlier years. Parks, however, circumvented 
these requirements by placing the dam under the authority 
of a swampland district whose operations would not be sub- 
ject to county approval. On January 3, 1876, Moulton's suit 
came before Judge Phil Keyser in Colusa. As if to support 
his case, floodwaters diverted by the dam washed out the 
levees in another reclamation district and the affected land- 
owners raided Parks Dam in retaliation, destroying a large 
segment of it. Judge Keyser ruled against reconstruction on 
the evidence of the damage the dam had already caused, and 
despite numerous appeals by Parks, this decision was up- 
held. 



27 



' 



CHAPTER 4 



Urban Development 
and the Rise of 
Public Control 



The most densely populated city 
in California today derives its 
water supply almost entirely from 
external sources. From above, 
the only evidence of the water 
delivery system of San Francisco 
are the great flat roofs enclosing 
the reservoirs perched high on 
the slopes of Twin Peaks and 
Sunset Reservoir south of Golden 
Gate Park. 



In the early days, the patterns of settlement within 
California followed traditional lines of civilization, 
centering upon areas of natural water supply. Mis- 
sions, towns, and villages consequently grew up along 
the river courses which provided them with the 
means of life and commerce. The great wave of immi- 
gration that followed the discovery of gold in 1849 
and the opening of the transcontinental railroad soon 
after, however, concentrated the centers of human 
settlement not in areas of abundant natural supply 
but instead in those regions which lacked a natural 
endowment of water capable of sustaining large 
urban populations. The body of law and practice 
which grew out of the conflict between mining and 
agriculture in the nineteenth century established a 
framework for the organization of irrigation districts 
and the protection of the urban trading centers which 
served these newly developing agricultural regions. 
But little attention has been paid to the problem of 
urban water supply itself. Even the federal Reclama- 
tion Act, which did more than any other governmen- 



tal program to remake the western waterscape, made 
no provision in its original form for the supply of 
domestic water needs. By 1900 the spectacular rate of 
California's population growth had rendered these 
shortcomings critical, and the problem of urban water 
supply emerged as the principal obstacle to Califor- 
nia's future prosperity in the new century. 

The aberration of California's growth away from 
the areas of natural water supply was in part the con- 
sequence of the state's appeal. The great wave of new 
Californians who began to arrive in the 1850s did not 
bring with them families to open up the land as had 
happened in the settlement of the Midwestern and 
Plains states. They were instead a predominantly 
male, predominantly young population who came for 
the gold and the fortunes to be made in the mining 
camps. Initially, they came from New England and the 
mid-Atlantic states, and the skills they brought with 
them were not in husbandry but in trade and mer- 
chant shipping. As their hopes of success in the gold 
camps dwindled and the mines played out, they 



returned to the great port cities along the coast, not to 
the inland farms. Despite its success in securing pro- 
tection for agriculture from the threat of hydraulic 
mining, Sacramento's rate of growth slowed as the 
mines closed, while San Francisco's population con- 
tinued to swell. Even as the great wheat empires 
formed in the Central Valley, the proportion of Cali- 
fornia's rural population steadily shrank from 79 per- 
cent of the total population in 1860 to 63 percent, 57 
percent, and 51 percent in each succeeding decade 
until 1890. For America as a whole, the long process 
of transition from a predominantly rural to an urban 
society extended from the latter half of the nine- 
teenth century to the 1920s; in California, however, 
the transformation began almost immediately and 
proceeded with remarkable speed. 

Although the flow of new population was initially 
directed toward the water-abundant areas of North- 
ern California, the opening of the railroads changed 
all that. From 1860 to 1880, 83 percent of California's 
population growth continued to concentrate in the 



■H 



northern sections of the state. An early sign of 
change, however, occurred in 1870, only one year 
after the golden spike was driven at Promontory 
Point, when the rate of growth in Southern Califor- 
nia for the first time surpassed that of the north. The 
opening of the railroad did not bring the immediate 
prosperity its backers had imagined; rather than 
opening new markets to California's products, it 
introduced competition from the East and thereby 
ushered in a sustained recession for California's econ- 
omy. But the Southern Pacific had over ten million 
acres of land to dispose of and it turned its mighty 
promotional engines to the selling of California. 
Handbills and pamphlets flooded the eastern states 
touting the health benefits of life in Southern Califor- 
nia and the profits to be made in land speculation. 
Sunset and Out West magazines were founded to pro- 
mote the Mediterranean qualities of the Southern 
California climate and, in keeping with this theme, 
new towns sprang up with names like Hesperia, Tar- 
ragona, Terracina, and Verona, while San Diego and 
Long Beach tousled for the opportunity to be identi- 
fied as the "Naples of California." Land prices in the 
Los Angeles area spiraled upward for a brief period in 
the late 1880s but plummeted again before the decade 
was out. Despite these setbacks, however, despite the 
bank failures and bread lines that came with the Panic 
of 1893, the closing of the railroads during the Pull- 
man strike of 1894, and the three years of drought 
that descended upon Southern California in the mid- 
18908, the people kept right on coming. By 1900, 30 
percent of the state's population was concentrated in 
the semi-arid South Coast. 

The rapid growth of San Francisco and Los Angeles 
during the latter decades of the nineteenth century 
brought both cities up against the limits of their natu- 
ral water endowment. Continued prosperity could 
not be assured without an additional source of supply. 
But neither city possessed in 1900 an organizational 
structure capable of undertaking the kind of develop- 
ment project required to tap a distant water resource 
because the business of water supply in both cities 
was at that time a private, not a municipal, enterprise. 

Just as Californians were slow to accept the princi- 
ples of systematic irrigation, so too did the state lag 
far behind the rest of the nation by 1900 in the devel- 
opment and distribution of urban water supplies. The 
first American municipal waterworks system was 
installed at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1754. The 
success of the major municipal systems that were 
subsequently constructed in Philadelphia and Cincin- 
nati assured that by the middle of the nineteenth cen- 
tury private water systems, with few exceptions, 
were characteristic only of the smaller cities. Califor- 
nia was one of those exceptions. Of the 16 largest cit- 
ies in the United States in 1860, San Francisco was 
one of only four that still lacked a municipally owned 
water system. Los Angeles went still further in 1868, 
when it leased its entire local water supply for private 
exploitation, a monopoly which the water company 
fought vigorously to retain for four years after the 
expiration of the lease in 1898. The Los Angeles City 
Council would, in fact, have sold the water supply 
outright if Mayor Christobal Aquilar had not vetoed 
the proposal. 

Water was not uniquely treated in this regard; vir- 
tually the full panoply of utility services — gas, elec- 
tricity, telephone service, and urban transit — were 
delivered by private companies in California's cities at 
the turn of the century. This confidence in the private 
sector stemmed from a profound faith in the free- 
enterprise system and an even deeper distrust of poli- 
ticians. As one Los Angeles city councilman remarked 
as he prepared to sign over the city's water rights in 
1868, "It is well known by past experience that cities 
and towns can never manage enterprises of that 
nature as economically as individuals can, and besides, 
it is a continual source of annoyance." Water, under 
California's riparian laws, was treated as a private 
resource, and the success of the water colonies at Pas- 
adena, Anaheim, and elsewhere seemed to offer proof 
of what private capital could accomplish in the way of 
community development. 

The example of the water colonies, however, had 
little application to the plight Los Angeles and San 
Francisco faced in 1900. The colonies' success, after 
all, involved the development of already-available 
water resources. But the delivery of a supplemental 
supply from distant watersheds required capital 
investments which lay beyond the capacity of any pri- 
vate water company to make. Municipalization of the 
urban water supply, as a means of securing access to 
the far greater amounts of capital which government 




Hilly terrain and the absence of municipal waterworks made the 
water carrier at top a common sight in early San Francisco. The 
flatlands of the south coastal plain, on the other hand, made 
the water wheel below the principal method of delivering water 
to residents of Los Angeles for many years after its construction 
in 1859. The wheel lifted water from the Los Angeles River to a 
sufficient height to enable it to flow by gravity into the city. 



can raise through taxation and bond sales, thus came 
to be regarded as the essential first step toward the 
development of a water supply sufficient to sustain 
the dreams of Northern and Southern California's 
city builders. The movement toward municipalization 
in San Francisco and Los Angeles was not founded on 
politically partisan principles or an early urge toward 
progressive reform. Instead, it rapidly attained the 
standing of a principle above politics which promised 
better service and lower rates, and assured continued 
prosperity for all. Thus, San Francisco and Los 
Angeles, confronting a common problem but acting 
independently and exclusively in their own interests, 
began a process of water development through mas- 
sive public projects which would eventually remake 
the entire California waterscape. 



HETCH HETCHY 

The first decade of the twentieth century was a 
time of reform throughout the United States, a move- 
ment which blended an earlier generation's quest for 
opportunity and the new age's preoccupation with 
efficiency. In California especially, problems of land 
and resource management became the focus of 
reformers' efforts to overhaul city and state govern- 
ment and guard the public interest against exploita- 
tion by private interests. While Los Angeles, tradi- 
tionally a business-oriented city, was establishing 
total municipal ownership of its water supply system, 
San Francisco, by reputation a more liberal commun- 
ity, approached the question of public ownership with 
hesitation. 

Ever since the 1860s the bulk of San Francisco's 
water supply had been provided by a private corpora- 
tion, the Spring Valley Water Company. When Wil- 
liam Chapman Ralston, elegant founder of the Bank 
of California, offered to sell the company to the city in 
1875 in an effort to save his toppling financial empire, 
San Francisco rejected the notion. From that time for- 
ward, the company worked resolutely to continue 
expanding its system to meet the steadily increasing 
needs of the Bay Area. When the city's water planners 
proposed the purchase of Calaveras Valley in south- 
ern Alameda County as a future source of the city's 
supply, for example, Spring Valley rapidly bought up 
the area to head off any renewed threat of municipal 



ownership. By the turn of the century, the company 
was delivering water to the city from wells near Pleas- 
anton and from the Sunol and Alameda Creek water- 
sheds through a pipeline running around the south- 
ern end of the Bay and up the Peninsula. 

By 1900, however, the city's population was ap- 
proaching 350,000 and that total was expected to tri- 
ple within the next 50 years. The new city charter 
that year therefore directed San Francisco's public 
officials to plan for a public water supply system capa- 
ble of meeting these future needs, not to replace but 
to supplement the Spring Valley system. Surveys 
conducted over the preceding 20 years had identified 
14 new water sources the city might consider in dis- 
tant watersheds ranging from Plumas to Mariposa. 
But the city engineer, Marsden Manson, considered 
the Tuolumne superior to all the rest. If the Hetch 
Hetchy Valley and neighboring Lake Eleanor were 
used to store the waters of the Tuolumne River, he 
told the city government, a system could be built for 
$70 million that would deliver 60 million gallons a day 
through pipelines to the city's reservoir nearly 160 
miles away. Moreover, the fall of water from the 
ruggedly beautiful Hetch Hetchy Valley at an eleva- 
tion of 3,800 feet down to the San Joaquin foothills 
could be used to generate electric power for the city. 
Best of all, because Hetch Hetchy lay within the public 
domain as part of Yosemite National Park, its water 
supply could be secured at virtually no cost. 

The practicality of Manson's recommendation 
seemed assured when Congress passed the Right of 
Way Act in 1901, authorizing the Secretary of the 
Interior to grant public access to federal reserved 
lands in the state, including Yosemite. But the Secre- 
tary of the Interior, Ethan A. Hitchcock, rejected San 
Francisco's application for access to the Hetch Hetchy 
in 1903, arguing that several alternative sites — many 
of them much closer to the city — could be used 
instead. The area was at this time the focus of 
national attention as a result of John Muir's long cam- 
paign to preserve the Yosemite Valley, only 20 miles 
southeast of Hetch Hetchy, by convincing the state to 
cede title to the valley to the federal government. 
Two years later, Muir's larger cause triumphed when 
the entire park was placed under Interior's jurisdic- 
tion. But by then the resource policies of President 
Theodore Roosevelt's administration were being 
shaped by Chief Forester Gifford Pinchot. 

The controversy over San Francisco's plans for the 
Hetch Hetchy set the two wings of America's nascent 
conservation movement against one another. To 
Muir, founder of the Sierra Club and defender of the 
High Sierra, San Francisco's proposal was anathema. 
"Dam Hetch Hetchy?" he exclaimed. "As well dam for 
water tanks the people's cathedrals and churches; for 
no holier temple has ever been consecrated to the 
heart of man." As an advocate of planned, regulated 
use of the resources in the public domain, however, 
Pinchot was a utilitarian, not a preservationist like 
Muir. "I feel very strongly that San Francisco must 
have an adequate water supply," he told the Sierra 
Club. Hitchcock's decision on the city's application, he 
decided, "entirely failed to meet the needs of the 
situation." The prospects for the eventual triumph of 
Pinchot's belief and San Francisco's plan improved 
markedly when Hitchcock was replaced in 1907 by 
Pinchot's close friend and ally, James R. Garfield. 

By this time, however, San Francisco's enthusiasm 
for the project had begun to cool. The earthquake of 
1906 ruptured the Spring Valley pipeline, leaving the 
city with an inadequate water supply to fight the fires 
that swept the city. While this experience under- 
scored the urgency of San Francisco's need for an 
expanded water supply, the Hetch Hetchy project 
seemed to be a tremendously difficult engineering 
task which would create a great drain on public finan- 
ces already overextended to meet the costs of rebuild- 
ing the city. Moreover, San Francisco's application 
had come under attack not only by environmental 
preservationists but also by the Modesto and Turlock 
Irrigation Districts, which claimed prior rights to the 
waters of the Tuolumne. When William Tevis of the 
Bay Cities Water Company stepped forward in the 
aftermath of the earthquake with an offer to build an 
alternative system to the watersheds of the American 
and Cosumnes rivers near Lake Tahoe for only $10.5 
million, the San Francisco supervisors approved the 
plan without hesitation. Tevis' plan, however, col- 
lapsed the next year amidst charges that one million 
dollars of the project's cost would be used for kick- 
backs to the supervisors, the mayor, and to the city's 
political boss, Abraham Ruef. So chastened, the city 
turned once again to the Hetch Hetchy. 



29 



Northern California Urban Delivery Systems 




This graphic compares the flows, capacities and over- 
all operation of the cross-country delivery systems of 
the San Francisco Water Department and the East Bay 
Municipal Utility District during fiscal year 1975. East 
Bay MUD draws 92 percent of its supplies from the 
Mokelumne River. Pardee Dam retains water for use 



by East Bay MUD while Camanche Reservoir con- 
serves water for the protection of downstream riparian 
rights. The Tuolumne River provides 86 percent of the 
water San Francisco distributes to meet its own needs 
and those of over 50 communities, water agencies and 
private concerns in the Bay Area. 



Aqueduct Systems 



Camanche Reserve 



Pardee Reservoir 





Hetch 

Hetchy 

Reservoir 



_i 50 mi 



MOO km 



All volumes, both 
flow and storage, 
are in acre-feet 



250,000 




100,000 



Cross sections of the water conduits on the diagram 
are directly proportional to the flow through them in 
fiscal year 1975. Diagrammatic reservoirs, however, 
are not scaled by capacity, nor are other point facilities. 
Flow volumes in boldface type are reported values, 
medium type represents inferred values. Dashed paths 
represent no flow in fiscal year 1975. 




At Pinchot's urging and with President Roosevelt's 
endorsement, Garfield approved San Francisco's 
application in 1908. He required, however, that San 
Francisco's voters support the cost of initial con- 
struction and that the work not be delayed. Preser- 
vationists were shocked by the decision; the Roose- 
velt men, they grumbled, were obviously angling for 
political support from California. But Muir's associ- 
ates had admittedly been "inexact dreamers" whose 
arguments about beauty and precedent could not 
even convince all members of the Sierra Club, not to 
speak of the diverse interests of the city. Commercial 
organizations warned that by 1950 San Francisco's 
per capita water consumption would go from 87 gal- 
lons to 130 gallons a day (a level not actually reached 
until the 1960s). They also promoted the project 
with claims that it would eliminate mosquito breed- 
ing grounds and prevent typhoid epidemics, feats 
which then enjoyed popular currency in connection 
with the Panama Canal project. With Garfield's ap- 
proval secured, voters in 1908 approved a $600,000 
bond issue and the city's attorneys set about acquiring 
rights of way along the proposed aqueduct from 
the river valley. 

The advent of William Howard Taft's administra- 
tion in Washington, however, set Pinchot at odds 
with the new Secretary of the Interior, Richard Bal- 
linger. Ballinger visited Yosemite with members of 
the Sierra Club in 1909 and then suspended his 
predecessor's approval of the use of Hetch Hetchy. 
The Secretary ordered the city to demonstrate the 
insufficiency of all other alternative water supply 
sites. His successor, Walter Fisher, extended the 
deadline for decision to 1912, but then concluded as 
he left office that the Right of Way Act gave no clear 
authorization for granting such use of the national 
park. 

Despite these uncertainties, San Francisco's offi- 
cials pushed forward with land purchases and plan- 
ning for transportation routes into the Hetch 
Hetchy. Their cause was substantially boosted when 
a 1912 report demonstrated that three reservoir 
dams in the Hetch Hetchy area could impound 
enough water to meet every estimated municipal 
need without impairing the irrigation requirements 
of the Modesto and Turlock districts. Realizing at 
last that no administrative permit could assure the 
permanent approval San Francisco required, the city 
focused its efforts upon obtaining statutory author- 
ity for the Hetch Hetchy project. Although Muir was 
resolute in his opposition and sought to block Con- 
gressional approval with pamphlets and circulars "in 
a country wide storm thick as snowflakes," Muir's 
publicity was no match for what President Woodrow 
Wilson described as "pressing public needs." And, 
while California Senator John D. Works complained 
that San Francisco's water project would wind up 
costing the public $100 million, his warnings were 
rejected because he came from Los Angeles. San 
Francisco's ultimate victory, however, can perhaps 
be ascribed to one single factor. For, both Congress 
and the President relied upon the recommendations 
presented by Wilson's new Secretary of the Interior, 
Franklin K. Lane, a former city attorney of San Fran- 
cisco who had written many of the briefs in the city's 
long battle for the project. 

The legislation authorizing the Hetch Hetchy pro- 
ject, known as the Raker Act for its author Con- 
gressman John E. Raker, attempted to satisfy all the 
contending interests in the controversy. To appease 
the preservationists, it compelled the city to con- 
struct scenic roads and trails in Yosemite National 
Park and donate them to the United States. To mol- 



lify the concerns of irrigationists in the Turlock and 
Modesto areas, it extended recognition of their 
rights, assured their deliveries, and prohibited San 
Francisco from diverting any more water from the 
San Joaquin Valley than could be used for its own 
domestic or municipal purposes. To protect the 
interests of the Spring Valley Water Company, it 
required San Francisco to use all local supplies before 
any water could be taken from the Tuolumne. And, 
to assure the fiscal stability of the project, it directed 
the city to begin work immediately and to include 
within the project a hydroelectric power system for 
municipal and commercial use, provided that no 
water or power from this public project could ever be 
sold or given to a private interest for resale. 

This last provision proved to be a point of continu- 
ing controversy because the prospect of public power 
development by the City of San Francisco posed an 
immediate threat to the consortium of private utility 
companies newly formed in the Pacific Gas and 
Electric Company. Although construction began in 
1914, progress on the tunnels that had to be drilled 
was slow and the funding soon proved inadequate. 
Storage of water at Lake Eleanor started in 1918 but 
it took five more years to erect O'Shaughnessy Dam 
at Hetch Hetchy. By this time some San Franciscans 
had begun referring to the city engineer, M. M. 
O'Shaughnessy, as "More Money" O'Shaughnessy. 

In order to stretch its financing as far as possible 
and reduce the burden on San Francisco's taxpayers 
for the payment of interest and redemption charges 
on the bonds for the project, the city decided to con- 
centrate first on the revenue-producing aspects of 
the project, specifically the development of power- 
generating facilities. Recalling the prominent role 
played by PG&E in the investigation of municipal 
corruption under Boss Ruef, some thought it a little 
too neat when the city announced it had run out of 
funds for the construction of transmission lines just 
as the project reached PG&E's transmission facilities 
at Newark in 1924. The San Francisco supervisors, 
however, promptly granted PG&E a contract to 
wheel the Hetch Hetchy power to Bay Area com- 
munities. Since PG&E paid San Francisco $2.4 mil- 
lion for power it then sold at retail for $9 million, 
longtime supporters of the Hetch Hetchy system 
strongly objected to the contract as a violation of the 
Raker Act's prohibition against sales to private enti- 
ties and as an alienation of property the city had paid 
for. Others thought the arrangement economical 
and convenient: the company, they argued, was no 
more than an agent for the city. Ray Lyman Wilbur, 
another Californian in the Interior secretaryship, 
ignored objections to the contract, and San Francis- 
co's Mayor James Rolph, soon to be governor, sup- 
ported it. 

The controversy, however, continued to simmer 
as the project moved forward with repeated injec- 
tions of new funding. In 1928 city voters approved 
an additional $24 million in bonds by a wide margin. 
In 1930 they approved an expenditure of another 
$41 million to buy out the Spring Valley Water Com- 
pany. Further funds to complete O'Shaughnessy 
Dam and construct hyrdoelectric power stations 
were passed in the early 1930s despite the Depres- 
sion. But in a series of eight political campaigns 
between 1927 and 1941, the voters of San Francisco 
repeatedly refused either to buy out PG&E's distri- 
bution system or pay for the construction on their 
own. 

In the political climate of the New Deal, with its 
abhorrence for business domination of public inter- 
ests, PG&E's critics presented their objections to 



Franklin Roosevelt's Secretary of the Interior, 
Harold L. Ickes. A strong advocate of public power, 
the secretary ruled in 1935 that San Francisco's con- 
tract violated the terms of the Raker Act. After he 
ordered the city to establish its own power distribu- 
tion system, San Francisco tried twice to develop a 
plan Ickes would accept. Even after Ickes approved a 
plan, the city's voters twice failed to support the $50 
million bond issue it would have required. When the 
federal government won a suit enabling Interior to 
ban sale of Hetch Hetchy power to PG&E, Ickes 
found it necessary to suspend full enforcement of 
the limitation until the city established an alternative 
to the private monopoly. City voters, however, again 
refused to support a $66.5 million bond issue to pay 
for a municipal system. Two attempts to amend the 
Raker Act failed and in 1942 wartime exigencies 
finally convinced the federal government to confirm 
a new contract between the city and PG&E. 

Water from Hetch Hetchy began flowing to San 
Francisco in 1934. As Senator Works had predicted, 
the project wound up costing $100 million. But as 
the city engineers had promised, the supply was suf- 
ficient to meet the city's needs while at the same 
time providing a surplus for sale to more than a 
dozen Bay Area communities. The revenues from 
these sales in turn provided funds for the continued 
expansion of the system. In 1939, the city began the 
development of additional storage and power- 
generating facilities in the Cherry Valley. The 
Modesto and Turlock Irrigation Districts joined San 
Francisco in this project, which provides flood con- 
trol as well as increased supplies of water and power 
for all. As a further part of this cooperative effort, 
the voters of San Francisco in 1961 over whelmingly 
approved a $115 million water bond issue, of which 
$45 million went to pay the city's share of the costs 
of constructing the 580-foot Don Pedro Dam. The 
completion of this project, in turn, has substantially 
reduced PG&E's role in wheeling power for the City 
of San Francisco. 

The modern San Francisco water system delivers 
nearly six times as much water as the original Hetch 
Hetchy project. Federal funds constitute only about 
two percent of the more than $500 million invested 
in the system. San Francisco sells over half of its 
water supplies to suburban communities in San 
Mateo, Santa Clara, and Alameda counties. In addi- 
tion to the $14 million these water sales generate 
each year, the city earns gross revenues of $18.6 mil- 
lion from its sale of electrical power. The project has 
thus more than repaid its costs and it has assumed an 
importance as a source of funding for the city which 
is at least as great as the value of the water it 
provides. 

THE LOS ANGELES WATER SYSTEM 

While San Francisco's Hetch Hetchy project 
labored forward, Los Angeles, starting at the same 
time, built its own system to a watershed adjoining 
the Hetch Hetchy, a project half again as long and 
nearly six times as large as San Francisco's in a fifth 
the length of time it took San Francisco and for only 
a quarter of the cost. The completion of this system, 
which carries water from the Owens Valley 233 
miles south to the San Fernando Valley, laid the basis 
for the modern South Coast metropolis and helped 
to assure Los Angeles' success in the race with San 
Francisco for primacy among California's urban 
centers. 

Los Angeles' success in this enterprise can be 
attributed to at least three principal advantages it 



John Muir's last and least succes- 
sful battle was fought for the 
Hetch Hetchy Valley. Muir is 
shown here with views of the val- 
ley before and after it was flooded 
in 1923 to provide a water supply 
for San Francisco. In the valley 
photographs, Tueeulala and the 
lower Wapama falls can be seen 
cascading down the north wall 
of Tuolumne Canyon. 



31 




-IPS 



WILLIAM MULHOLLAND 



When asked once in court to describe his qualifications as 
an expert on water engineering, William Mulholland 
responded, "Well, I went to school in Ireland when I was a 
boy, learned the three R's, and the Ten Commandments — 
or most of them — made a pilgrimage to the Blarney Stone, 
received my father's blessing, and here I am." From this 
uncertain background, Mulholland rose to become at one 
point the highest paid public official in California and 
for nearly half a century the personal embodiment of Los 
Angeles' water policy. 

Born in 1855, Mulholland landed in New York in 1874 as a 
journeyman sailor. After knocking about in the dry goods 
business and the lumber camps of Michigan for two years, 
he set to sea again on the way to California. After an unsuc- 
cessful stab at prospecting, Mulholland settled in Los 
Angeles in 1878, where he took a job as a ditch tender for 
the Los Angeles Water Company. An earlier experience as a 
laborer on a well-drilling rig had set the course of his career 
in water. "When we were down about six hundred feet we 
struck a tree," he recalled. "A little further we got fossil 
remains and these things fired my curiosity. I wanted to 
know how they got there, so I got hold of Joseph Le Conte's 
book on the geology of this country. Right there I decided to 
become an engineer." 

Blessed with a natural flair for mathematics and a 
phenomenal memory, Mulholland rose rapidly through the 
ranks of the Los Angeles Water Company to become its 
superintendent in 1886. When the city bought out the com- 
pany in 1902, Mulholland remained in charge, in part 
because the city had found that as a result of his profound 
distaste for paperwork, the only records the city had of 
the distribution system it had acquired were those Mul- 
holland carried in his head. 

His managerial skill and the stunning success of his 
aqueduct to the Owens Valley quickly gained him the affec- 
tion of the city and confirmed the confidence the public had 
placed in his abilities. To the progressive reformers of the 
period, Mulholland stood "as an example of what the 
applied scientist can do for his state when he holds his brief 
for the people." Mulholland, however, always held himself 
apart from politics. When pressed to run for public office 
after the opening of the aqueduct had assured his fame, 
Mulholland responded, "I would rather give birth to a por- 
cupine backwards than be Mayor of Los Angeles." Instead, 
he pursued the cause of public water development, serving 
as a consulting engineer to water projects for Sacramento, 
San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, and the State of California 
while at the same time continuing his management of the 
Los Angeles water supply. 

The high esteem in which he was held, however, began to 
decline after 1920 as relations between Los Angeles and 
Owens Valley worsened. His prominence as the principal 
exponent of Los Angeles' water policy cast him as the villain 
in the Owens Valley. Events in the Owens Valley thus 
worked to stiffen resistance to Muholland's drive to tap the 
Colorado through the formation of the Metropolitan Water 
District. His career came to an abrupt and tragic end with 
the collapse of the Saint Francis Dam on the night of March 
13, 1928. Mulholland had personally inspected the dam and 
declared it safe on the morning before it fell. To his credit, 
he accepted complete personal responsibility for the 
hundreds of lives lost and millions of dollars of damage done 
by this unnatural disaster. His reputation irretrievably lost, 
he resigned only a month before President Calvin Coolidge 
signed the legislation creating the Boulder Canyon Project 
for the city he had served so long. 



enjoyed over San Francisco in the development of a 
distant water supply. In the first place, whereas the 
Hetch Hetchy project stalled time and again while 
the city sought additional funds to cover its escalat- 
ing costs, Los Angeles appropriated all of the money 
required for its project at the outset through two 
bond issues which stretched the city's permissible 
indebtedness to the limit. The first of these issues, 
for $1.5 million in 1905, covered the cost of surveys, 
planning, and initial land acquisitions; the second, for 
$23 million in 1907, went to pay for the actual con- 
struction of the aqueduct. The voters of Los Angeles 
were making a desperate gamble: failure of the proj- 
ect could have placed the entire city in receivership, 
and the head of the city's newly municipalized water 
system, William Mulholland, had no formal training 
as an engineer and had never constructed a water- 
works system of the size proposed for the aqueduct. 

Mulholland had, however, directed the activities of 
the private company which owned the lease on Los 
Angeles' water supply before the turn of the cen- 
tury, and when the city bought out the company's 
distribution system in 1902, Mulholland made the 
conversion from the private to the public sector with 
a vengeance. In his first three years as head of the 
municipal system, he rebuilt the outmoded distribu- 
tion network, cut the rates for domestic service in 
half, turned a profit for the city of $640,000, and, in 
the third year, announced his plan for the Owens 
Valley aqueduct. Once begun, Mulholland declared 
that the project should be "public owned from one 
end to the other." Municipal crews built all but 11 
miles of the canal and a quarter-mile of the tunnels, 
using municipal cement and municipal power, a pol- 
icy which Mulholland estimated would save the city 
20 percent of the cost of private contractors. Mulhol- 
land also set quotas for the progress of his work 
crews and paid bonuses when the quotas were 
exceeded. As a result, the project raced forward, set- 
ting records for drilling all along the way and finish- 
ing ahead of schedule and under budget. 

Los Angeles' second great advantage was that it 
did not have to contend with the Pacific Gas and 
Electric Company, which worked so effectively to 
block efforts by San Francisco and the federal 
government to assure that the Hetch Hetchy project 
would be entirely public. In place of the unified 
strength of the many corporations joined under 
PG&E's banner, Los Angeles only had to deal with 
three power companies which had divided the city's 
distribution markets among themselves. Although 
the power companies fought bitterly for the right to 
distribute electricity from the aqueduct within Los 
Angeles and succeeded temporarily in disrupting the 
financing of the project by undermining the market 
for the city's bonds, Los Angeles absorbed their sys- 
tems one by one, making itself in the process the 
largest municipal electric utility in the nation. Elec- 
trical power, however, was not the original purpose 
of the project, only a profitable by-product. 

Opposition to the bond election for the aqueduct, 
in fact, centered not upon the question of public ver- 
sus private ownership but instead upon charges of 
municipal corruption during the planning of the proj- 
ect. In the midst of the 1905 bond election, the 
Hearst press revealed the existence of a syndicate of 
investors who stood to profit fabulously when the 
aqueduct delivered water to their vast but hereto- 
fore arid holdings in the San Fernando Valley. 
Headed by Henry Huntington, the region's foremost 
financier, the syndicate included not only a brace of 
Huntington's associates in the railroad, banking, and 
power industries but also the publishers of three of 
the city's most prominent newspapers, the Times, 
Herald, and Express. Although critics charged that the 
project was being promoted principally for the profit 
of these wealthy financiers, the existence of the syn- 
dicate was apparently irrelevant to most of the 
voters of Los Angeles. And the prospect that certain 
private interests would profit personally from the 
city's water project did little to discourage support 
for a proposal which the voters believed would bring 
prosperity for all. 

Finally, and perhaps most important, unlike San 
Francisco which saw its project repeatedly delayed 
for further studies of the alternative water supplies 
it could tap instead of the Hetch Hetchy, Los Angeles 
had no choices available to it. Mulholland warned the 
voters that Los Angeles' local supply could not sup- 
port a city larger than 200,000 people. Although 
Mulholland clearly understated the limits of the local 
supply during the heat of the election, his essential 
point was correct. For the Owens Valley aqueduct, 




"There it is. Take it," Mulholland told his audience as the first 
water from the Owens Valley arrived in the scene pictured 
above. Also shown, construction along the line of the aqueduct. 



like the Hetch Hetchy project, was built not to serve 
actual and immediate needs but instead to serve the 
prospective demands of a greatly increased future 
population. Although the city surveyed the pros- 
pects for drawing additional supplies from nearby 
watersheds on Piru Creek in Ventura County and 
the Kern, Santa Ana, Mojave, and San Luis Rey riv- 
ers, all were tied down by pre-existing claims and 
none could guarantee the kind of supply available in 
the Owens Valley, which Mulholland declared was 
capable of supporting a city of two million. 

The aqueduct opened November 5, 1913, and 
immediately began delivering four times as much 
water as the City of Los Angeles was then capable of 
consuming for domestic purposes. The city's ability 
to dispose of this surplus, however, was severely re- 
stricted. In response to charges concerning the land 
syndicate's role in planning for the project's develop- 
ment, President Theodore Roosevelt had attempted 
to assure that water from this public enterprise 
would not be used to benefit the syndicate's holdings 
in the San Fernando Valley. As a condition for his 
approval of the aqueduct's right of way in 1906, 
Roosevelt therefore stipulated that no water from 
the aqueduct should ever be offered to any private 
interest for resale as irrigation water outside the city 
limits. 

The city responded to these restrictions by rapidly 
extending its boundaries as a way of applying its sur- 
plus. Between 1914 and 1923, Los Angeles initiated a 
series of annexations which nearly quadrupled its 
land area and eventually embraced all of the syndi- 
cate's holdings. Once annexed by Los Angeles, the 



32 



barren tracts of the San Fernando Valley blossomed 
into citrus groves, beans, and potato fields, and the 
aqueduct, as an urban water development project, 
functioned for its first years of operation principally 
for the benefit of agriculture. With the opening of the 
Panama Canal in 1914, however, Los Angeles began 
to establish itself as the principal port and commercial 
center of the West Coast. The end of World War One 
brought a flood of new immigrants to the city at the 
rate of 100,000 per year. Overall, between 1900 and 
1920, the population of the Los Angeles metropolitan 
area quintupled, while that of the San Francisco Bay 
Area did not quite double, with the result that the two 
regions had drawn equal in size by 1920. 

The aqueduct project did not operate entirely with- 
out controversy. In contrast to San Francisco, which 
found its new water supply in an unpopulated water- 
shed within the public domain, Los Angeles had to 
purchase its water rights and the lands that went with 
them from the agricultural communities of the 
Owens Valley. When Mulholland first toured the 
Owens Valley in 1904, the area was already under 
investigation by the newly created federal Reclama- 
tion Service as the prospective site for a systematic 
irrigation project which would have doubled the 
acreage then in agricultural production within the 
valley. When Los Angeles declared its own interest in 
the region, the Reclamation Service withdrew, in part 
at the urging of its Chief of Southwest Operations, 



Joseph B. Lippincott, a loyal Angeleno who resigned 
to take a high position on Mulholland's staff after it 
was revealed that he had been under contract to Los 
Angeles while drawing his federal salary. When the 
residents of the Owens Valley protested the actions 
of the Reclamation Service and the City of Los 
Angeles, President Roosevelt reviewed their claims at 
the time that he considered whether to grant a right 
of way for the aqueduct. Roosevelt, however, re- 
solved the question in Los Angeles' favor, arguing, "It 
is a hundred or a thousand fold more important to 
state that this [water] is more valuable to the people 
as a whole if used by the city than if used by the people 
of the Owens Valley." 

At first, Los Angeles' water exports did not inter- 
fere with agricultural productivity in the Owens Val- 
ley because the point of intake for the aqueduct lay 
downstream from the valley's irrigation systems. 
Moreover, the prosperity of the valley was enhanced 
by the business activity associated with the construc- 
tion of the aqueduct and by the extension of a railroad 
line to service the aqueduct which opened Los An- 
geles markets, for the first time, to the valley's prod- 
ucts. For a time, the valley and the city flourished 
together. 

As Los Angeles' population growth, however, 
rapidly outran all of the predictions upon which the 
construction of the aqueduct had been founded, the 
city began to expand its water exports by extending 



its land acquisitions steadily northward into the heart 
of the valley's principal agricultural regions. Fearing 
that their homes and the future of their region as an 
agricultural area were threatened, the ranchers and 
businessmen of the Owens Valley banded together 
during the 1920s in an effort to extract from the city 
the highest prices they could for their lands. When 
the city resisted, the aqueduct was repeatedly blown 
up and at one point, in 1924, the aqueduct's principal 
diversion works at Alabama Gates were seized by an 
angry mob of valley ranchers. In the end, Los Angeles 
wound up purchasing virtually all of the private lands 
in the Owens Valley not already held by the federal 
government, thereby creating the anomalous situa- 
tion by which one public entity, the City of Los 
Angeles, has become the principal landowner and 
taxpayer for another public entity, the County of 
Inyo. Since the 1930s, Los Angeles has exercised its 
control over more than 300,000 acres of the Inyo and 
Mono basins to transform the region from an agricul- 
tural area into a major recreational resource for the 
people of the South Coast. 

The acute pressure of its population growth, 
coupled with a severe drought Which descended on 
Southern California in the mid-1920s, forced Los 
Angeles to begin looking for new sources of water 
within only ten years of the completion of the aque- 
duct. In 1924, Los Angeles filed applications with the 
federal government for 1.1 million acre-feet from the 




Runoff from the melting snows 
of the Sierra Nevada provides 
the principal source of water for 
vegetation in the areas of the 
Owens Valley which appear as 
red in the photograph at left. 
From its headgates in the upper 
right corner, the aqueduct traces 
a course which roughly parallels 
that of the Owens River to the 
east. Independence is near the 
middle of the photograph and a 
fault trace can be seen between 
the river and the aqueduct. 



33 



Colorado River Aqueduct 



o 

Pomona 



v rr 



.sir ' PW / 

•"•^••Hfv.p^,-' Prado Flood \-. I, ,..«*( 
.'"" /^C Control Basin; ^,'tS' 




Pac/Y/c Ocean 



20 mi 



3000 



c 2000 
g 

15 
> 

ai 



1000 



Newport 
Beach 



*/ Saijta Ana/.., 

\ J3| 



V 



x^~ 











SB? a** 



\ake 



■ e» 



.V 









r:^fe«iJM w *'*" 






?*aJ#'i 



Profile: Colorado River Aqueduct 



Pacific Ocean 



Palos Verdes Res r 



34C 



Elsinore, y" =6s5 >«'-' y . J 

'"VV Ji 

V-" i/ X 




Eagle Rock/ 

Palos Verdes Feeder 



330 




Upper Feeder 
Distribution System 



San Jacinto Mtn 



Coachella Mtns 



(shaft) < sha,t > 



Lake Mathews 



<0HfMb 



Morris Res 





© o 



o o o o° o 




210 



200 



190 



(9) Foothill PwP -59. J 



Los Angeles Aqueduct 

'--— _ y— ^"^ %>•' i V- ! / 1 — Hlomhall 



....••*< £ Castaic Lake 

(8) San Fernando PwP -44.4 




r/7 V~$f 







(6) San Francisquito #1 PwP -305. 



(7) San Francisquito #2 PwP - 128.0 






Pomona 



/ ' ■ rjFr~Xr>Prado Flood 



Control Basin 



8000 



7000 



6000 



5000 



§ 4000 






Profile: Los Angeles Aqueduct 



3000 



2000 



1000 






>~-^ 



Rosamond i / 

Lake \ — y 



Mojave° <fc>^ 






/ 







y 



/'■ 












r" 



v ^n/--? Rodgers Lake } f 







(5) Haiwee PwP -33.5 





/ 



: 



2QU. ^v (5 y 



"*Mst '.' 



Bouquet 
Res 



Jawbone Canyon 



Antelope Valley 



Fairmont Res 
I San Francisquito #1 PwP 



Los Angeles Res Complex 



Los Angeles 



370 



350 



AJc 



W$—l Foothill PwP 
San Fernando PwP 



340 



San Francisquito #2 PwP 







^p*p== 



Haiwee PwP 



jL.jj Haiwee Res 



Profile of 2nd Los Angeles Aqueduct 



320 



310 



300 



290 



250 



220 



210 



200 



■■■'■■'■ ■ ■■ ' . ' ' : ■.,■ 

180 170 

Distance (in miles) 





System Structures 
bssess Tunnel 

Pipeline 
s - • Conduit 

Open Channel 

River 



e, 



B 



140 130 120 110 



30 



Lake/Reservoir 

Power Plant (PwP) 

Pumping Plant (PpP) 

Siphon 

MWD Feeder Lines 

MWD Service Area 

Los Angeles City Boundary 

LADWP-Owned Lands 

Surface System 

Underground System 

Tunnels 

Power Plant Generation (million kwn) 

Pumping Plant Consumption (million kwn) 



10 



Southern 

California Urban 

Delivery Systems 



Topography is a major factor in distinguishing the operations of 
the interbasin delivery systems serving Southern California's urban 
population. As a gravity-fed, passive delivery system, water flowing 
through the Los Angeles Aqueduct generates electricity, the sales 
of which help to keep city power rates low. The Colorado River 
Aqueduct, in contrast, consumes large quantities of electricity in 
pumping its water over mountain barriers. 

The Los Angeles Aqueduct provides approximately 80 percent 
of the water used by the City of Los Angeles; the balance of the 
city's needs are met by local supplies and purchases from the 
Metropolitan Water District (MWD). Each of 27 member agencies 
of the Metropolitan Water District have a preferential right to a 
share of the district's supplies proportionate to that agency's con- 
tribution to the district's overall taxes. Some agencies, such as Los 
Angeles, draw far less water from the district than this right would 
entitle them to receive; others, such as San Diego, draw far more. 
On an overall basis, however, the Metropolitan Water District's 
supplies from the Colorado River and the State Water Project 
provide approximately 40 percent of all the water used within its 
5105 square-mile service area. 



MWD Operations, 1974/1975 

(All figures in thousands of acre-feet) 

Water Supply Use of MWD Water 





o 
o 

co -o 

O i- 

—1 D_ 

35.3' 


"E 
a> 
E 
a> 

11 

5.7 


> en 

> a> 

O CD 
1— O 


cd 
> 
ha 

-S « 
co -o 

°§ 

° 5 


to 

*ts 

a> a> 

TO O 

CO ct 


CO 

ex 

'cz 


CO 

~5 
o 

< 


28- 
cd or 


Anaheim 


7.4 


6.6 


.8 


7.2 


.2 


0.0 


Beverly Hills 


2.8 


23.9 


11.2 


.5 


10.7 


11.2 


0.0 


0.0 


Burbank 


13.6 


25.3 


9.9 


.1 


9.8 


9.9 


0.0 


0.0 


Calleguas MWD 


16.9 


26.2 


49.5 


0.0 


49.5 


46.3 


3.2 


0.0 


Central Basin MWD 


152.3 


216.0 


141.4 


66.6 


74.8 


57.1 


0.0 


84.3 


Chino Basin MWD 


164.5 


33.6 


8.8 


8.8 


0.0 


5.9 


.9 


2.0 


Coastal MWD 


1.1 


27.9 


42.0 


41.9 


.1 


41.9 


.1 


0.0 


Compton 


6.0 


7.6 


2.6 


1.0 


1.6 


2.6 


0.0 


0.0 


Eastern MWD 


91.3 2 


12.1 


40.6 


40.6 


0.0 


7.7 


32.9 


0.0 


Foothill MWD 


7.5 


15.0 


7.5 


7.1 


.4 


7.5 


0.0 


0.0 


Fullerton 


13.6 


10.2 


14.7 


14.3 


.4 


14.0 


.7 


0.0 


Glendale 


14.4 


26.7 


8.8 


.5 


8.3 


8.8 


0.0 


0.0 


Las Virgenes MWD 


.5 


3.6 


13.6 


0.0 


13.6 


13.6 


0.0 


0.0 


Long Beach 


29.7 


69.2 


39.9 


14.3 


25.6 


39.9 


0.0 


0.0 


Los Angeles 


534.2 s 


540.8 


32.5 


14.6 


17.9 


22.1 


4.0 


6.4 


MWD/Orange County 


167.0 


129.5 


215.5 


161.6 


53.9 


93.1 


23.4 


99.0 


Pasadena 


15.5 


30.0 


17.7 


16.7 


1.0 


17.7 


0.0 


0.0 


Pomona Valley MWD 


60.5 


30.3 


19.2 


18.4 


.8 


18.7 


.5 


0.0 


San Diego CWA 


27.8 


160.5 


378.1 


378.1 


0.0 


289.5 


88.6 


0.0 


San Fernando 


3.1 


.7 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


San Marino 


4.8 


5.7 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


Santa Ana 


23.9 


12.4 


9.6 


9.4 


.2 


9.6 


0.0 


0.0 


Santa Monica 


7.2 


22.7 


9.9 


.4 


9.5 


9.9 


0.0 


0.0 


Torrance 


3.3 


20.5 


18.8 


6.6 


12.2 


18.8 


0.0 


0.0 


U. San Gabriel V. MWD 


175.2 


68.6 


34.7 


13.9 


20.8 


.3 


0.0 


34.4 


West Basin MWD 


42.6 


151.1 


158.8 


35.3 


123.5 


124.6 


.6 


33.6 


W. MWD/RiversideCo 


167.1 


35.1 


36.3 


36.3 


0.0 


9.8 


26.5 


0.0 


Totals: 


1.781.8 1,710.9 


1,329.0 


893.6 


435.4 


887.7 


181.6 


259.7 



1 Excludes deliveries by MWD of Orange County 

2 Includes 4.9 thousand acre-feet of seepage into San Jacinto Tunnel 

3 Includes Owens Valley imports 



Urban 

Delivery 

Systems 




MWD Service Area 
MWD Feeder Lines 
State Water Project 
(California Aqueduct) 
Power Plant 
Pumping Plant 




The photograph at right displays 
the three stages of transition 
that descended almost simulta- 
neously upon the San Fernando 
Valley as a result of its annexa- 
tion by Los Angeles. Water from 
the Owens Valley transformed 
this formerly barren valley into 
rich croplands which were rap- 
idly converted to urban develop- 
ment as Los Angeles' population 
grew. This view, taken in 1928, 
looks northward from a point 
over the intersection of Winnetka 
Avenue and Sherman Way. 



Colorado River, a supply four times greater than its 
aqueduct to the Owens Valley could deliver. The 
$220 million cost of such a project, however, lay 
beyond even Los Angeles' resources, and the city con- 
sequently led the drive to form a consortium of south- 
land communities in the Metropolitan Water District 
which would underwrite the costs of a canal to the 
Colorado, a process described in detail in the next 
chapter. 

With the approval of the Colorado project in 1928 
and the completion of its acquisition of the Owens 
Valley soon after, Los Angeles in 1930 initiated a 105- 
mile extension of its aqueduct still further northward 
into the Mono Basin. Although completed in 1940, the 
Mono extension could not be operated at its full 
capacity because the water rights the city had secured 
within the Mono Basin would deliver more water 
south than the original aqueduct could carry. If the 
rights were not exercised, however, Los Angeles was 



-» 9 * ■ . 



"0, 



& 



&, 



Original Grant 
178 



Ir- 



Los Angeles City 
Annexations 



1781-1913 I 
1914-1923 I 
1924-1977 C 



5 miles 



The arrival of water from the Owens Valley laid the basis for 
the modern metropolis of Los Angeles. Through a series of 
massive annexations, the city of Los Angeles nearly quadrupled 
its land area in order to make full use of the surplus waters its 
aqueduct delivered. This map distinguishes the areas added to 
the city in the 10 years between the first arrival of aqueduct 
water and 1923, when the city's rate of growth finally caught up 
with its new water supply and the city called a halt to further 
large-scale annexations. 



in jeopardy of losing them. Faced with this risk and 
the prospect that deliveries from the Colorado would 
be reduced under the United States Supreme Court 
decision in the lawsuit between California and Ari- 
zona, the city, in 1964, began construction of a second, 
smaller aqueduct, paralleling the first, which is 
designed to carry not only increased exports from the 
Mono Basin but also additional supplies to be pumped 
from the Owens Valley's groundwater basin. The 
second aqueduct was completed and put into opera- 
tion in June 1970. Although the city's pumping pro- 
gram is intended in part to provide for the first time 
an assured dry-year supply for 19,000 acres of leased, 
irrigated city lands in the Owens Valley, groundwater 
pumping has been restricted as a result of litigation by 
Inyo County, which wants to assure that the environ- 
mental effects of the proposed pumping program are 
fully evaluated. 

Los Angeles today derives 80 percent of its water 
supply from the aqueducts to the Owens Valley and 
Mono Basin. Local supplies make up another 17 per- 
cent of the approximately 600,000 acre-feet of water 
the city uses each year. Local supplies play so promi- 
nent a role because the advent of imported water in 
the San Fernando Valley coupled with the water 
spreading and streamflow regulation programs of the 
Los Angeles County Flood Control District have sub- 
stantially enhanced the region's groundwater stor- 
age. The balance of the city's needs are drawn from 
the Metropolitan Water District's supplies from the 
State Water Project and the Colorado River. 

The city's full entitlement to water from the Met- 
ropolitan Water District assures it access to a water 
supply far in excess of its current needs. Although 
currently entitled to approximately 30 percent of the 
1.2 million acre-feet MWD provides today, Los 
Angeles rarely draws more than a small portion of its 
share. By 1977, for example, Los Angeles had received 
only 1.6 of the 21.5 million acre-feet to which it was 
entitled as a charter member of MWD. Los Angeles 
prefers to rely principally upon the Inyo-Mono aque- 
ducts because the aqueduct water is of a higher qual- 
ity than the Colorado River, because the aqueduct 
supply is cheaper than the water MWD must pay to 
pump into the region, and because reductions in the 
aqueduct flow would reduce as well the quantity of 
hydroelectric power generated along the city's gravi- 
ty system. 

The water Los Angeles does not use from MWD's 
supply goes to enhance growth and development in 
the other districts and cities served by MWD, while 
maintenance of Los Angeles' entitlement offers the 
city a margin of safety against decreases in MWD's 
supplies or droughts which may affect the city's other 
water sources. MWD membership, however, is an 
expensive form of insurance because Los Angeles has 
had to pay its share of the costs of MWD's develop- 
ment regardless of how much water it actually 
derives from the system. Between 1942 and 1972, 
when the city took only eight percent of the total 
MWD water to which it was entitled, Los Angeles 
taxpayers paid a cumulative total of $335 million in 
property taxes to maintain the city's right of access to 
MWD's supply. And the first time conditions oc- 
curred which might have compelled Los Angeles to 
draw a large part of its full entitlement during the 
drought of 1976-77, the city was unable to secure 
more than a modest increase in the water it purchased 
from MWD and Los Angeles consequently became 
the only one of MWD's members to undergo manda- 
tory water rationing. 

In comparison to the other major water delivery 
systems in California today, that of the City of Los 
Angeles does not loom particularly large; it distrib- 
utes only a little more than 600,000 acre-feet of water 
to a population of three million. Long-range planning, 
the aggressive pursuit of new water sources, and a 
continuing commitment to construction in advance of 
demand have, however, given it an importance far 
greater than its relative size. The success of the city's 
original aqueduct provided an early and convincing 
demonstration of the potential benefits that could be 
gained through public water development. Its water 
projects today reach out hundreds of miles across the 
Southwest, while its electrical power is drawn still 
farther from projects scattered throughout six states. 
The fact that the city controls one of the largest 
blocks of votes within the Metropolitan Water Dis- 
trict gives it the opportunity to exercise continued 
influence in the overall development of the South 
Coast. And its decisions consequently help to shape 
water policy not only for California but for the entire 
western United States. 



OWENS VALLEY WATER WAR 

The events later popularized as California's "Little Civil 
War" have had a substantial influence in shaping the devel- 
opment of water law and policy in the twentieth century. 
Driven by drought and the demands of its ever-increasing 
population, Los Angeles in 1920 began a series of acquisi- 
tions of riparian lands upstream of the aqueduct's intake. 
Owens Valley resistance to the city hardened in 1922 when 
negotiations failed for the construction of a reservoir at 
Long Valley which many local ranchers believed would 
have provided sufficient storage to sustain their crops while 
at the same time supplying the city's needs. When the city 
brought suit in 1924 to prevent upstream diversions which 
interfered with the streamflows to which the city felt it was 
entitled, the ranchers responded by blowing up the aque- 
duct. 

The seizure of the Alabama Gates that fall riveted 
popular attention to the struggle in the valley. Except for 
the Los Angeles newspapers, accounts of the conflict were 
generally supportive of the valley's position and an investi- 
gative report by the State Engineer, W. F. McClure, in 1925 
was severely critical of Los Angeles' actions. Thus encour- 
aged, the valley interests pressed their demands, not only 
for purchase of their lands but also for "reparations" to 
reimburse valley merchants for the trade Los Angeles' 
actions had denied them. While the city stood ready to 
purchase land and water rights, it steadfastly refused to pay 
reparations, despite the passage of legislation in Sacra- 
mento specifically authorizing such payments. 

Although no blood had yet been shed, the threat of 
violent conflict increased in the summer of 1927 when the 
bombing of the aqueduct was renewed and the city dis- 
patched trainloads of guards armed with Tommy guns to 
protect its embattled water project. In the midst of this 
tension, a state audit conducted at Los Angeles' suggestion 
revealed substantial misdealings by the valley's local 
bankers, who were themselves leaders in the resistance to 
the city. The collapse of the banks destroyed the valley's 
economy and broke the back of the resistance. In a concilia- 
tory gesture, Los Angeles purchased the townsites and 
outstanding agricultural holdings at prices well above their 
depressed fair market values. 

The example of the Owens Valley helped to underscore 
the need for the more orderly system of statewide water 
development proposed in the Constitutional Amendment 
of 1928. In order to assure that no other remote region 
would face the fate of the Owens Valley, the Legislature in 
1931 passed the "County of Origin" law which prohibits the 
draining of one area's water supply for the sake of another. 
These same provisions were amended into the legislation 
authorizing the Central Valley Project, which went a long 
way toward removing the concerns of water-rich north- 
ern counties to that proposed development. The contro- 
versy also had a profound effect upon Los Angeles, which 
has seen its plans for new water projects repeatedly 
countered by opponents recalling "the rape of the Owens 
Valley." In this way, Los Angeles' actions in the Owens 
Valley provided an invaluable tool to the opponents of pub- 
lic water development, as exemplified by these editorial 
remarks from the Sacramento Union which appeared at the 
time of the controversy: "Here is a case where political 
ownership of public utilities had full sway for demonstra- 
tion. The city concerned reverted to ruthlessness, savage 
disregard for moral and economic equations, to chicanery 
and faith breaking.... The municipality became a destroyer, 
deliberately, unconscionably, boastfully." 

Through the development of roads, fish hatcheries, 
recreational reservoirs, and wildlife preserves, Los Angeles 
has worked to shift the economy of the Owens Valley from 
agriculture to recreation. As a result, many valley residents 
today regard the city's stewardship as beneficial because, 
by preventing urban development, Los Angeles has helped 
to preserve the valley's scenic splendors intact. 

Resistance to the city, however, has been renewed with 
the litigation over the city's proposed pumping program 
which many valley residents fear will work irreversible 
damage to the valley's environment by effecting a perma- 
nent reduction in the groundwater table. With questions of 
groundwater management now emerging among the criti- 
cal issues for California's future, the example of the Owens 
Valley may thus once again play a central role at another 
critical juncture in the development of California water 
law. 



36 




In 1901, William Smythe, a prom- 
inent advocate of systematic irri- 
gation in California, predicted 
that the Los Angeles area would 
grow no further because it lacked 
a natural water supply sufficient 
to sustain a large population. 
Smythe failed to foresee the 
massive delivery systems whose 
construction made possible the 
modern metropolis of the South 
Coast. In this satellite image red 
colors indicate the presence of 
vegetation. Thus, a reddish tinge 
distinguishes the suburbs from 
the blue areas where urban 
development has been concen- 
trated. The few remaining agri- 
cultural lands on the coastal plain 
appear as bright red patches on 
the right. 



37 



CHAPTER 5 



The Colorado River 



In the absence of a delivery sys- 
tem like the Colorado River 
Aqueduct, agricultural lands in 
desert areas are sometimes irri- 
gated by pumping from ground- 
water basins that cannot be 
replenished. The bright red areas 
mark the irrigated lands in this 
photograph of such a "water 
mining" operation above Mes- 
quite Dry Lake near the border 
of California and Nevada. These 
practices were common in large 
areas of Arizona before the de- 
velopment of the Central Arizona 
Project to bring water from the 
Colorado River. 



W\ 



& 



w 



% 



3V 



tm 



}-m 






Unlike many other states, California's water 
system is in large part self-contained. With few 
exceptions, Californians have focused their efforts at 
water development upon surface and groundwater 
resources which lie almost entirely within the state's 
borders. The all-important exception to this general 
rule is the Colorado River, which today supplies 
water to half the state's population while at the same 
time supporting an agricultural industry which 
produces crops and livestock valued at many hun- 
dreds of millions of dollars a year. 

One of the great rivers of North America, the 
Colorado rises in the Rocky Mountains and flows 
southwesterly through the states of Wyoming, 
Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, California, 
and Nevada. Along its 1,400-mile course to the Gulf 
of California, the Colorado River Basin drains an 
area of 242,000 square miles or about one-twelfth 
the area of the contiguous United States, and an 
additional 2,000 square miles in the Republic of 
Mexico. 

The unregulated flow of the river varies widely 
during the year, from year to year, and over long 
periods of years. The long-term average virgin flow 
of the river is approximately 15 million acre-feet per 
year. Although early and possibly incomplete records 
suggest that there were higher flows during the 
early part of this century, the flows at Lee's Ferry, 
Arizona, dividing point between the upper and lower 
Colorado basins, have averaged approximately 14 
million acre-feet per year from 1922 to the present. 

In order to minimize the effects of extreme 
fluctuations in the Colorado's flow, the federal 
government has constructed a network of immense 
storage reservoirs. Anchored by Lake Mead in the 
Lower Basin and Lake Powell in the Upper Basin, the 
nine major storage reservoirs in the Colorado River 
Basin have a total usable storage capacity of 61.6 
million acre-feet. After deduction for required flood 
control capacity, these reservoirs make available 
approximately 56.4 million acre-feet of usable 
storage on January 1 of each year. 

These reservoirs have also worked to ameliorate 
the problem of siltation. In its natural state, the 
Colorado was one of the heaviest carriers of silt in 
the world, bearing a concentration of sediments 
about five times that of the Rio Grande, ten times 
that of the Nile, and 17 times that of the Mississippi. 
As the river slowed near its delta, it dropped much of 
these sediments, thereby creating the alluvial flood 
plains of the Yuma and Imperial valleys. Since the 
construction of Glen Canyon and Hoover dams, the 
other dams throughout the Colorado River Basin, 
and works to stabilize the channel and river banks, 
the river's silt load at Imperial Dam has dropped to 
only a fraction of the total load and concentrations 
encountered under natural conditions. 

Through these regulatory works and the con- 
struction of diversion canals to urban and agricultural 
regions lying hundreds of miles outside the river 
basin, the Colorado currently serves a population of 
nearly 12 million people in the coastal plain of 
Southern California, and the Denver, Salt Lake City, 
Phoenix, and Las Vegas areas. The supplies of the 
Colorado, however, are inadequate to meet all of the 
demands planned to be placed upon it in the future to 
serve one of the most arid and fastest-growing 
regions in the United States. 

As a result of the various demands placed upon the 
river's flow by the seven states and Mexico, the 



38 



Colorado has become one of the most litigated, 
regulated, and argued about rivers in the world. This 
keen competition for the river's water supply can be 
expected to intensify as water use increases throughout 
the Colorado River Basin. Because California's 
current withdrawals from the Colorado are approxi- 
mately equal to the combined use of the other six 
basin states, the future of this "river of controversy" 
has become a key element in shaping the prospects 
for California's continued growth and development. 



DEVELOPMENT FOR CALIFORNIA 
AGRICULTURE 

Californians first turned to the Colorado for the 
means of opening the rich desert lands of the 
Imperial, Coachella, and Palo Verde valleys to 
agriculture. A onetime Indian agent, Dr. Oliver M. 
Wozencraft, first conceived of irrigating the Imperial 
Valley with a gravity-fed canal from the Colorado 
when he passed through the area on his way to the 
gold fields in 1849. His scheme foundered, however, 
upon his determination to own not only the water 
system but the land it served as well; although the 
State Legislature endorsed his request for a federal 
grant of 1,600 square miles of the public domain in 
1859, Congress refused. 

In 1877 Thomas Blythe secured from the state a 
grant of 40,000 acres in the Palo Verde Valley near 
the town which bears his name. Blythe filed one of 
the earliest diversion rights on the Colorado River 
for a canal he built using Indian labor from a point 
one mile above the valley's present diversion dam. 
Farming on these lands languished, however, after 
Blythe's death in 1883, and despite continued 
exhortations to develop the Colorado by nineteenth 
century advocates of systematic irrigation such as 
John Wesley Powell, second director of the United 
States Geological Survey, no serious effort was 
made to realize Wozencraft's original dream until 
California's agricultural potential had been firmly 
established in the 1890s. 

In 1896 Charles R. Rockwood took Wozencraft's 
idea and the financing which his association with the 
prominent water engineer George R. Chaffey helped 
him to secure, and formed the California Development 
Company. Commencing in 1900, Rockwood tapped 
the Colorado just north of the international border 
and began feeding water into the Alamo, an overflow 
channel of the Colorado River which ran through 
Mexico and bypassed the large, shifting sand hills 
that separated the river from the Imperial Valley on 
the American side of the border. The first water 
reached the valley in 1901, and within eight months, 
400 miles of canals and laterals had been built and 
more than 100,000 acres were ready for cultivation 
within the Imperial Valley. 

Those who followed Rockwood into the desert 
soon began to doubt the venture. Because the Alamo 
flowed through Mexico for 50 miles before turning 
north again to the United States, Rockwood had 
promised to provide half the water diverted into the 
Alamo to Mexico in exchange for permission to cross 
Mexican lands. The land in Mexico, however, sloped 
toward the United States and the Imperial Valley 
farmers consequently found themselves threatened 
by flooding unless they constructed and maintained 
levees in Mexico to protect their lands on the 
American side of the border. 

The heavy silt load of the Colorado River soon 
complicated their problems. The intake of the Alamo 
Canal was blocked by silt during the winter of 1903- 
04, but when bypasses were built around the 
headgate, these too quickly silted up. To avoid this 
problem, the company opened a cut between the 
canal and the Colorado River within Mexico but 
failed to protect the cut with an adequate headgate. 
Unfortunately, 1905 proved to be an unusual year 
and five major floods eventually hit the canal intakes 
that winter and spring with the result that by 
August 1905 the entire river was pouring into the 
intake, a half-mile wide at its juncture with the 
Colorado. In a matter of weeks, most of the Salton 
Sink filled to form the Salton Sea. The flood ruined 
the California Development Company and in 1905 
the firm surrendered its management and much of 
its stock to the Southern Pacific Railroad. The 
railroad, however, did not turn the river's flow back 
to the main channel until February 1907. 

By 1909 the land boom Rockwood initiated had 
drawn more than 15,000 people into the Imperial 
Valley where more than 160,000 acres had been 




Chaffey's skill as a promoter was reflected in his decision to 
change the name of the Colorado Desert to the Imperial Valley. 
Railroad companies applied similar stratagems to lure new settlers 
to California with posters like the one above. 



turned to agricultural production. The water system 
upon which these settlers depended, however, had 
by this time passed into a joint receivership with 
Mexico and neither the Southern Pacific nor any 
other private company seemed interested in operating 
it. The farmers, therefore, banded together to create 
the Imperial Irrigation District in 1911 which, five 
years later, assumed the assets of the California 
Development Company for a payment of $3 million. 
Rather than bear the continuing costs of a flood 
control program which benefited an increasingly 
unstable government in revolutionary Mexico, the 
residents of the Imperial Valley immediately set 
about securing support for a new canal from the 
Colorado which would lie entirely within the United 
States. In this effort to construct an "all-American" 



water project, the Imperial Valley soon found it had 
an unexpected and not entirely welcome ally in the 
City of Los Angeles. 



THE BOULDER CANYON PROJECT 

It should have come as no surprise that urban 
interest in the Colorado River would be spearheaded 
by Los Angeles. As early as 1912, Los Angeles had 
sent an investigator to the river who reported on the 
stream's capacity to support "a large and prosperous 
population." "We have in the Colorado an American 
Nile awaiting regulation," declared Joseph B. 
Lippincott, one of the pioneers in western 
reclamation, "and it should be treated in as intelligent 
and vigorous a manner as the British Government 
has treated its great Egyptian prototype." 

In 1912 city leaders felt no compelling need to turn 
to so distant — nearly 240 miles — and, consequently, 
expensive a source. Just nine years earlier the United 
States Supreme Court had confirmed the city's title to 
the Los Angeles River, thus assuring control of the 
major local water supply; and the city's 233-mile-long 
aqueduct to the Owens Valley was by then within a 
year of completion. But by 1920, with its population 
approaching 600,000, the city's water planners 
turned their eyes again to the Colorado. 

The city's concern at first was for electricity rather 
than water. As late as 1890, electricity for household 
use had been unheard of in Los Angeles. But 
thereafter, electrical use increased rapidly and by 
1920 a severe shortage was predicted. At the current 
rate of population growth, stated a special report 
prepared for the city council, the power supply would 
be inadequate to meet the demand within three to five 
years. Construction of local plants could postpone the 
shortage, but city fathers agreed with William 
Mulholland, chief of the Bureau of Water Works and 
Supply, and E. F. Scattergood, head of the Bureau of 
Power and Light, that only the Colorado River could 
provide enough electric power "for all future needs" 
of Los Angeles. Though hindsight would eventually 
reveal the overoptimism of that prediction, no one 
doubted the impending shortage and the Colorado as 
a means of meeting the city's hydroelectric 
requirements for years to come. The city council 
therefore welcomed the news that the United States 
Reclamation Service had joined with settlers along 
the lower Colorado, especially those in the Imperial 
Valley, in advocating the construction of a high dam 
in Boulder Canyon that could be built so as to 




GEORGE CHAFFEY 

At the time he joined Charles Rockwood in the desert, 
George Chaffey was probably the most successful example 
of the engineer as entrepreneur in his generation. Chaffey 
built the first hydroelectric plant in California and the first 
electrically lighted house west of the Rockies. He achieved 
his greatest success, however, through the invention of 
mutual water companies, a system of organization for the 
private development of water resources which helped to 
open large sections of Southern California to settlement 
during the late nineteenth century. 

Born in Canada in 1848, Chaffey was for the most part a 
self-taught genius. His formal education ended at the age of 
13, when his parents withdrew him from school due to ill 



health. After his family moved to California in 1880, 
Chaffey studied the success of the Riverside Colony and 
then initiated his own water colony, Etiwanda, the next year. 
Ontario, "the model colony" described in greater detail 
in the preceding chapter on nineteenth century water 
development, followed in 1882. The success of these ventures 
prompted an invitation in 1885 for Chaffey to bring his 
organizing principles and engineering skill to Australia. 
Although his Mildura Colony prospered in the first years of 
its existence, a financial crisis in 1893 led to a revolt of 
Chaffey's Australian shareholders and government inves- 
tigations ended in charges of gross inefficiency in Chaffey's 
design. 

Chaffey's reputation in the United States, however, was 
untarnished and upon his return he set about the project 
with which his name would be most enduringly linked in 
California history, the development of the Imperial Valley. 
It was Chaffey's idea as a masterful promoter, in fact, to 
name the area Imperial instead of its more forbidding iden- 
tification as the Colorado Desert. Chaffey brought to the 
project not only his profits from Ontario but more impor- 
tantly the good name Rockwood needed to attract financial 
backing. Although his son warned him against association 
with Rockwood, Chaffey was determined to "do one more 
big thing before I die." Soon after signing on as president, 
manager, and chief engineer of the California Development 
Company, Chaffey realized he had been swindled. The 
company owed more than $400,000 in unpaid taxes to New 
Jersey, where Rockwood had chartered it. These debts, 
combined with Rockwood's complicated arrangements with 
Mexico for a right of way on the Alamo, forced Chaffey to 
sell out his interest in 1901 in order to save the company 
from receivership. 

Chaffey was thus not involved in the engineering mis- 
take that would form the Salton Sea and destroy the com- 
pany. His last years were spent in developing the East 
Whittier-La Habra Valley and in an unsuccessful effort to 
create a new colony at Manzanar in the Owens Valley. This 
last venture set him at odds with the Los Angeles Depart- 
ment of Water and Power, whose aqueduct to the Owens 
Valley was already bringing the end to the era of water 
development through private capital in which Chaffey had 
flourished. He died in 1932. 



39 




accommodate a large power plant. On August 30, 
1920, the city council officially endorsed construction 
of the dam and boldly announced its intention to 
obtain electric power "direct from the Colorado 
River." 

News of Los Angeles' action at first alarmed the 
farmers and smaller cities on the south coastal plain. 
They too needed additional electric power and they 
viewed with concern the rapidly deteriorating state of 
Los Angeles' relations with the Owens Valley. "I am 
skeptical of Los Angeles," announced a San 
Bernardino official whose views were shared widely. 
"She has always been inimical to the interests of the 
back country when she should be the reverse." A 
representative from Riverside went still further, 
declaring, "I would rather pay $1.27 per kilowat[t] 
hour and get it than have Los Angeles take it all and 
we get nothing." 

The city's efforts to improve its image among 
neighboring communities took on added importance 
in 1923 when a dry cycle caused the city to announce 
that it now wanted water as well as electricity from 
the Colorado River. The interest in water brought 
with it the realization that expensive aqueducts and 
pumping stations would be required to tap the distant 
river. Considerations of cost and a belief that there 
was enough water for everyone prompted city leaders 
in 1924 to negotiate with representatives of nearby 
communities for the creation of an agency to oversee 
water distribution, arrange for construction, and 
assess costs. The State Legislature approved the idea 
and in 1927 the Metropolitan Water District of 
Southern California was created "to provide a 
supplemental water supply to the coastal plain of 
Southern California." 

Los Angeles and its allies in the Metropolitan Water 
District recognized that a desire for Colorado River 
water and the creation of an agency to distribute the 
water assured them of no water whatsoever. First, 
the river would have to be regulated since an aqueduct 
was a practical impossibility so long as the Colorado 
remained a raging torrent during part of the year and 
little more than a creek at other times. The wide 
fluctuation in streamflow from year to year also 
meant that regulation would be necessary to assure a 
dependable supply of water throughout the year. 
This merely served to reinforce their enthusiasm for 
the proposed dam at Boulder Canyon, even though a 
dam of that size would be so expensive that only the 
federal government could finance it. The United 
States Reclamation Service vigorously supported the 
project, but Congress balked. The representatives of 
the other Colorado River Basin states feared that 
California would use the project to get the lion's share 
of the river. They refused therefore to support the 
undertaking until an agreement could be reached 
among the states as to their respective water rights. 

As the fastest-growing state in the basin and the 
state which contributed the least amount of runoff to 
the river, California had early aroused concern 
among the other basin states — Wyoming, Colorado, 
Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona. The 
doctrine of prior appropriation, which prevailed 
throughout the basin, vested a right to water in the 
first person who used it — "first in time, first in right." 
When the United States Supreme Court in June 1922 
in Wyoming v. Colorado announced that this principle 
was applicable to states as well as to individuals, the 
concern of the other basin states turned to alarm. 
Already uneasy because of the rapid increase of water 
use in California's Imperial Valley and the news of Los 
Angeles' interest in the river, their resistance to the 
Boulder Canyon project stiffened sharply following 
the court action. They could do nothing to undo the 
development in the Imperial Valley, but their control of 
key congressional reclamation committees gave them a 
powerful weapon with which to combat California's 
attempts to obtain federal regulation of the river. 

In 1928 California finally achieved the Boulder 
Canyon Project Act, but to get it California's 
representatives had to agree to two major restrictions 
which still govern the state. The first was embodied in 
the Colorado River Compact of 1922 and the second 
in the California Limitation Act of 1929. The 
Colorado River Compact appeased most basin 
opponents to the Boulder Canyon legislation by 
dividing the river's waters between Wyoming, 
Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico in the upper basin 
and the lower basin states of Arizona, California, and 
Nevada. The agreement apportioned the beneficial 
consumptive use of 7.5 million acre-feet per year to 
each basin and, in addition, permitted the lower basin 
to increase its apportionment by a million acre-feet. 




Construction along the Colorado River Aqueduct 



The provision for this latter million acre-feet was 
added at the insistence of Arizona, which wanted 
compensation for the runoff of major tributaries of 
the Colorado which drained the state. Since the 
compact divided the water between basins and not 
among individual states, however, Arizona could not 
be assigned this water by name. Instead, the million 
acre-feet were apportioned to the lower basin, 
though the negotiators fully expected this water to be 
assigned specifically to Arizona in a future 
lower-basin agreement. Regrettably, this lack of 
specificity in the compact would later fuel bitter 
controversies between Arizona and California. 

In 1922, however, the agreement was considered a 
major achievement, the first time in American 
history that a group of states had apportioned the 
water of an interstate stream and the first time that 
more than two or three states had negotiated a 
treaty to settle any sort of problem among themselves. 
The compact apportioned a total of 16 million acre- 
feet, leaving, according to estimates at the time, a 
surplus of about two million acre-feet for later 
apportionment. The existence of this alleged surplus 
and the setting aside of water for slower-developing 
states in the basin helped remove a major barrier to 
California's river development plans. 

Unfortunately, California and Arizona began 
quarreling almost immediately over their shares of 
the apportionment to the lower basin. The compact 
had repealed the doctrine of prior appropriation so 
far as it applied between the basins, but the principle 
still applied to the states within each basin. Of the 
three states within the lower basin, only Nevada was 
relatively unconcerned. Her topography was such 
that she sought only a small volume of water, and 
Arizona and California readily agreed to her requests. 
The two states were unable to harmonize their own 
demands, however, and their differences intensified 
as each discovered potential uses for Colorado River 
water and hydroelectricity not anticipated earlier. 
Arizona's concern was so great that her Legislature 
repudiated her representative at the compact 
negotiations and refused to approve the agreement. 

When the quarrel had dragged on for nearly six 
years, thereby frustrating federal attempts to control 
the river's often devastating flood waters, Congress 
intervened with a solution of its own. It would 



approve the Boulder Canyon legislation, but the 
measure would become effective only if Arizona 
joined the other basin states in ratifying the compact. 
Failing that, the measure could still take effect, but 
California would first have to limit itself to a specific 
volume of water. Congress set the amount of this 
limitation at 4.4 million acre-feet per year plus no 
more than half of any surplus water unapportioned 
by the compact. Because Arizona believed California 
should be restricted even further, she persisted in her 
refusal to approve the compact. On March 4, 1929, 
the California Legislature therefore agreed to the 
limitation imposed by Congress. The Boulder Canyon 
Project Act, approved by President Calvin Coolidge 
on December 21, 1928, was declared effective by 
President Herbert Hoover on June 25, 1929. 

Californians enthusiastically greeted news of the 
Boulder Canyon legislation. Especially delighted 
were those in Los Angeles and the other coastal 
communities, but also elated were the farmers and 
investors in agricultural lands along the lower 
Colorado. The new law called for an Ail-American 
Canal to free the Imperial Valley from dependence 
on the canal that went through Mexico. More 
important from the point of view of the communities 
on the coastal plain, the law authorized construction 
of the long-sought high dam and power plant. The 
enormity of the undertaking and the onset of the 
Great Depression in 1929 complicated construction 
plans, but by 1935 Hoover Dam had been completed 
(in Black Canyon, rather than Boulder Canyon as 
originally envisaged) and a year later hydroelectric 
power from the river was being used on the South 
Coast. California's willingness to contract for all of 
Hoover Dam's power at a time when there were no 
other customers in the basin made construction of 
the dam and power plant possible. Arizona and 
Nevada eventually contracted for power but, until 
they did so, the Metropolitan Water District of 
Southern California, the Los Angeles Department of 
Water and Power, the Southern California Edison 
Company, and several small contractors obligated 
themselves to purchase the electricity and underwrite 
construction costs. 

Regulation of the river by Hoover Dam (then the 
world's highest) and the availability of large amounts 
of electricity now made possible the construction of 



High natural moisture demands 
in naturally arid regions like the 
Imperial Valley are an important 
factor in determining the amount 
of water required for desert ag- 
riculture and the types of crops 
that can consequently be grown 
most efficiently. The plate on the 
facing page compares evapotrans- 
piration by selected crops in the 
various regions of the state. 



41 







diversion works and pumping plants to bring water 
to Southern California. By 1940 the Metropolitan 
Water District had completed the 242-mile-long 
Colorado River Aqueduct and on June 17, 1941, the 
first water was delivered to the coastal plain. The 
next year, the Ail-American Canal commenced 
service to the Imperial Irrigation District's 1,600- 
mile distribution system. In 1947 San Diego completed 
its connection to the Colorado River Aqueduct. And 
two years later, Colorado water began arriving in 
the Coachella Valley. 

The advent of Colorado River water had a 
profound impact upon Southern California, com- 
mercially, industrially, and agriculturally. Los 
Angeles nearly doubled its population between 1940 
and 1970, growing from 1.5 million inhabitants to 
about three million. Other communities registered 
even greater growth rates, and new cities sprang up 
where earlier there had been only vacant fields. The 
four coastal plain counties of Ventura, Los Angeles, 
Orange, and San Diego tripled their combined 
populations during the three decades after 1940, 
increasing from 3.3 million to more than ten million. 
Those portions of Riverside and San Bernardino 
counties receiving Colorado River water from the 
Metropolitan Water District experienced similar 
growth patterns during these years. Especially 
dramatic was the population explosion in the City of 
Riverside which nearly quadrupled in size. 



i# 



Although initially reluctant to 
join MWD, San Diego today is 
one of the principal beneficiaries 
of water from the Colorado 
River. In the photograph above, 
Point Loma is in the foreground 
while the Salton Sea and Imperial 
Valley can be seen gleaming in 
the distance. Even more striking 
is the fact that the International 
Boundary between Mexico and 
the United States is actually vis- 
ible here as a straight line on the 
right defined by the different land 
uses which an abundant water 
supply makes possible. 



THE METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT 



The Metropolitan Water District today is a wholesaler of 
water to cities and water districts serving 11 million people 
over a 5,105-square mile area. The sheer size of its opera- 
tions assures it a major role in the determination of water 
policy for California. For the first years of its existence, 
however, MWD sometimes seemed an idea whose time 
would never come. 

When the first water from the Colorado arrived in 1941, 
MWD only had 13 members: Anaheim, Beverly Hills, 
Burbank, Compton, Fullerton, Glendale, Long Beach, Los 
Angeles, Pasadena, San Marino, Santa Ana, Santa Monica, 
and Torrance. Other communities were slow to join 
because, in addition to the rates they pay for the water 
itself, the member agencies of MWD must pay through 
property taxes their respective shares of the overall cost of 
the project itself. To assure that no late-joining community 
escapes its portion of this burden, back taxes are assessed as 
well as a four percent delinquency charge for the amount 
that a new member would have paid had it joined the MWD 
in 1928. Rather than pay these high and ever-escalating 
costs of entry, many areas of the southland preferred 
simply to rely upon their local groundwater sources. Rain- 
fall in the South Coast was high during the first years of 
MWD's operation and in 1941 the district delivered only 
15,000 of the 430,000 acre-feet of water its system was 
capable of handling. For the first five years, MWD operated 
at less than two percent of its capacity. And despite sub- 
stantial annexations to the MWD service area between 
1948 and 1952, MWD's huge pumps as late as 1954 could 
deliver all the water that was required by operating only 
half the time. 

San Diego's long resistance to membership was perhaps 
the most surprising because San Diego had been one of the 
earliest and most enthusiastic advocates of Colorado River 
development. In 1917, San Diego led the formation of the 
League of the Southwest to promote the Boulder Canyon 
Project as the means to making San Diego a major port and 
industrial center. Although Los Angeles' decision in 1923 
to seek Colorado water for itself dashed San Diego's dreams 
of leadership, the city's reluctance to join thereafter in 
support of the Boulder Canyon Project was based on more 
than spite. For, San Diego had filed its own application for 
112,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water and this right 
would have to be turned over to MWD if the city ever 
joined. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, San Diego's water 
planners dreamed anew of someday constructing their own 
system to connect with the Ail-American Canal. With the 



advent of World War Two and the vital role San Diego's 
shipyards came to play in that conflict, it seemed that 
federal funds for such a massively expensive undertaking 
might be made available in the interests of national defense. 
But the war ended before San Diego's plans came to fruition 
and, faced with a continuing drought that cut deeply into 
the city's water supply from 1944 onward, San Diego in 
1946 gave up its precious right to the Colorado flows in 
exchange for a connection to the MWD system. This 
arrangement ultimately proved to work to San Diego's 
advantage in that the San Diego County Water Authority 
today takes approximately four times as much water as its 
own filing with the Department of Interior would have 
allowed. 

MWD's early difficulties in finding a market for its ample 
supplies were further complicated by the fact that few of its 
members took as much water as their assessed valuation 
entitled them to receive. San Marino, although a charter 
member, did not receive a drop of Colorado River water 
until 1960 and has only taken a total of 32 acre-feet since 
then, and Los Angeles has taken only seven percent of the 
water it might have received since 1941. Despite these 
problems, however, MWD pressed ahead in 1952 with 
a $200 million expansion program to bring its underused 
pipeline up to its full 1.2 million acre-feet a year capacity. By 
the 1960s, demand at last began to catch up with MWD's 
supply, and with the addition of the water it has contracted 
to receive from the State Water Project, the system's total 
deliveries are expected to reach 3.2 million acre-feet after 
1990. 

Each of MWD's 27 member agencies appoints at least one 
representative to MWD's board of directors and one addi- 
tional director for each three percent of MWD's total as- 
sessed valuation that is taxable for district purposes. Each 
representative in turn is accorded one vote for every $10 
million of his or her agency's assessed valuation. Directors 
for each member agency are required, however, to cast 
their votes as a block, and no member may have more votes 
than all the other members combined. This last provision 
assured that Los Angeles would never exercise more than 
half the votes of the district. Although the City of Los 
Angeles' share of the votes has declined since 1953 from 50 
percent to only about 25 percent, the city still commands 
almost twice as many votes as any other single member. By 
vesting control of its operations in its constituent members, 
however, MWD acts as a forum for the development of 
water policy for most of the South Coast. 



THE COLORADO TODAY 

Contracts between Southern California agencies 
and the Secretary of the Interior for Colorado River 
water currently total 5,362,000 acre-feet per year. 
The United States Supreme Court decree in Arizona 
v. California apportioned 4.4 million acre-feet to 
California of the first 7.5 million acre-feet per year 
available for consumptive use plus 50 percent of any 
surplus above 7.5 million. Actual use, however, is 
somewhat less than the full contracted amount, 
currently about 4.7 million acre-feet per year. 
Annual withdrawals by the Metropolitan Water 
District, for example, peaked at approximately 1.2 
million acre-feet between 1967 and 1972. Since that 
time (with the exception of the drought year of 
1977), the district gradually reduced its consumption 
and has been using about 800,000 acre-feet in each 
year since 1975. The arrival in 1973 of the first 
deliveries from the State Water Project in part made 
this reduction possible and thereby helped to relieve 
MWD of the high cost of electrical energy needed to 
pump greater quantities of water through the 
aqueduct. MWD's allotment of low-cost power from 
Hoover and Parker dams is sufficient to pump 
800,000 acre-feet a year. It is expected that some time 
during the middle 1980s, when the Central Arizona 
Project commences deliveries, California will cut back 
its use still further to the basic 4.4 million acre-feet 
per year entitlement. 

Overall, the Colorado River supplies a little more 
than half of all the water used in Southern California. 
Nearly 80 percent of California's entitlement is used 
by the four agricultural districts of the Imperial, 
Coachella, and Palo Verde valleys and the Bureau of 
Reclamation's Yuma Project. The Yuma Project, 
which serves the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation and 
the adjoining Bard Water District, is one of the 
earliest federal reclamation projects and the first to 
be developed on the Colorado. Today, however, it is 
the smallest of the four; in 1977, for example, only 
12,156 acres were under irrigation here as compared 
with the more than 500,000 acres cultivated that 
same year in the mammoth Imperial Irrigation 
District. Nearly three-fourths of the 675,000 acres 
receiving irrigation water from the Colorado in 
California during 1977 lay within the Imperial 
district, where crops and livestock production that 
year were valued at more than half a billion dollars. 

This great agricultural productivity is a function of 
the district's success in achieving a delicate balance 
with the salts that suffuse the land and water upon 
which settlement depends. The Imperial Valley's rich 
earth is made up almost entirely of waterborne 
sediments which extend not six or ten inches deep 
but, in most areas, a mile or more below the surface. 
Because of the prevalence of fine-grained clay and 
silt deposits in the sediments, water does not drain 
readily through most of the soils of the Imperial and 
Coachella districts. Consequently, farmers in these 
areas have had to install a vast complex of thousands 
of miles of tile drains to carry away the salts which 



42 



substantial 
the floods, 



would otherwise accumulate near the surface as a 
result of extended agricultural production. Seasonal 
variations in the salinity of the Colorado's flows 
make these drainage systems all the more essential; 
for the Colorado tends to carry its highest concen- 
tration of salts during the autumn and winter when 
the most salt-sensitive crops are being planted and 
seed germination is taking place. 

The accident which destroyed Rockwood's California 
Development Company has been made the heart of 
the Imperial and Coachella valleys' drainage system 
and the basis, therefore, of their continued prosperity. 
As an unnatural body of water, the Salton Sea has 
been maintained as a drainage sump which receives 
90 percent of its surface inflow in most years from 
the saline wastewater of the Imperial and Coachella 
districts. For the Palo Verde Irrigation District, on 
the other hand, the only one of the four districts not 
served by the All-American Canal, the problem of 
securing adequate drainage was not solved until the 
river itself was moved into a new channel in 1970. 
This channel, called the Cibola Cut, bypassed the 
meanders of the old channel and lowered the water 
levels in the Palo Verde Outfall Drain and feeder 
drains by several feet. 

Careful management, backed up by 
capital investments, has thus dammed 
reduced the sediment loads, and set about controlling 
the salts which would otherwise have made agriculture 
in the Colorado Desert impossible. Increasing 
demands upon the limited water resources of the 
region could, however, someday upset the delicate 
balance that has been achieved. The Imperial 
Irrigation District, for example, has done more than 
prevent the accumulation of salts; since 1955, the 
district has been a net exporter of salts, draining out 
approximately 15 percent more salt than the 
Colorado carries into the district each year. Because 
the drainage flows into the Salton Sea are about one- 
tenth the concentration of salinity levels within the 
sea, these drainage waters slow the rate of increase 
in the Salton Sea's overall level of salinity. Studies 
have shown, however, that salinity in the Salton Sea 
will increase, despite the diluting effect of drainage 
waters, with the result that recreational and fish and 
wildlife resources of the Salton Sea could someday 
be in danger unless measures are taken to reverse 
the rise in salinity. 

Salinity levels in the flows of the Colorado are 
expected to increase substantially as the upper basin 
states expand their consumptive uses of the river for 
agricultural and industrial development. Recognizing 
this problem, Congress passed the Colorado River 
Basin Salinity Control Act of 1974, which established 
a salinity control program designed to maintain 
salinity levels in the lower basin at or below the 
levels set in 1972. In addition, the basin states have 
adopted numerical salinity standards and a plan of 
implementation to achieve this goal. These are major 
steps, but considerable work remains to be done 
before the salinity problem can be considered fully 
resolved. 

The responsibility for dealing with these problems 
and protecting the state's interest in the river is 
vested in the Colorado River Board of California. 
Created by the Legislature in 1937, the board 
originally consisted of representatives from the six 
public agencies with rights to Colorado River water 
and power: Palo Verde Irrigation District, Imperial 
Irrigation District, Coachella Valley County Water 
District, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern 
California, the San Diego County Water Authority, 
and the Los Angeles Department of Water and 
Power. In 1976 the State Legislature added five 
additional members to the board — three individuals 
representing the public and the directors of the 
Department of Water Resources and the Department 
of Fish and Game. In the years ahead, this body will 
continue to play a central role in the major issues 
surrounding California's continued reliance on the 
Colorado. 



THE FUTURE OF THE COLORADO 

Southern California has been successful in using 
the resources of the Colorado River to support a 
rapid rate of growth, but it faces continuing 
problems in the future. One of the most serious of 
these has been the gradual realization that the 
Colorado River has much less water than earlier 
believed. Although the negotiators of the compact 
believed there were 16.4 million acre-feet at Lee's 



THE ARIZONA NAVY 



Arizona's long resistance to development of the Colorado 
River for California reached a bizarre turn in 1934, when 
the Governor of Arizona dispatched a waterborne army to 
"repel the threatened invasion of the sovereignty and terri- 
tory of the State of Arizona." In February of that year, dril- 
ling began for the construction of Parker Dam, which 
would provide the principal water source for the aqueduct 
to California's South Coast. Although financed by the 
Metropolitan Water District, the dam was built by the 
Bureau of Reclamation because California had no authority 
to construct a project on the Arizona side of the river which 
would be used exclusively for the benefit of Californians. 

On March 3, Governor B. B. Moeur of Arizona dis- 
patched his personal secretary and Major F. J. Pomeroy in 
command of the 158th Infantry Regiment, Arizona Na- 
tional Guard, with orders to "protect the rights of the State 
and report at once any encroachment on the Arizona side of 
the river." Finding that the drilling site was virtually 
inaccessible by land, Pomeroy borrowed the Julia B, a ferry- 
boat owned by Joe and Nellie Bush which normally plied the 
trade between Parker, Arizona, and Earp, California. Work- 
ing their way upstream to the point at which drilling was 
being conducted from barges anchored to the riverbanks, 
the military force found its way blocked by the barge cables. 
The workmen, however, obligingly sent a rowboat to the 



Julia B to convey the soldiers to a suitable bivouac site 
upstream. Leaving a six-man scout team at the encamp- 
ment, Pomeroy returned home to enthusiastic applause 
from loyal Arizonians who w£re by now calling upon Con- 
gress to dispatch the battleship Arizona up the Colorado to 
reinforce the Julia B. 

After a nine-month vigil on the river, the scout team tele- 
graphed an urgent message in November that construc- 
tion of the dam had at last reached the Arizona side of the 
river. Governor Moeur immediately declared martial law in 
the area and ordered up the army once again, promising 
United States Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes that he 
was prepared to "go down fighting." Eighteen army trucks 
carrying a hundred troops, machine guns, and a mobile 
hospital, set out for the dam site on November 12. Because 
the river was low at that time of year, the Julia B could not be 
used. The next day, Ickes ordered all work stopped, and 
both sides adjourned to the courts. Pointing out that the 
dam had not been specifically authorized by Congress, 
Arizona succeeded on April 29, 1935, in obtaining a court 
order that the dam should not be built. Four months later, 
however, Congress corrected its oversight, granting speci- 
fic authority for the construction of Parker Dam and 
thereby ending the threat of military action between the 
states. 



Ferry, the river's actual annual flow at Lee's Ferry 
since 1922 has averaged about 14 million acre-feet. 
Although there is presently a surplus of water in the 
river when compared to current uses, there will not 
be sufficient water to cover all of the apportionments 
made by the compact. 

This lowering of reliable expectations most 
directly affects the upper basin, which obligated 
itself in the compact to provide the lower basin with 
"75,000,000 acre-feet for any period of ten consecutive 
years." This provision obligated the upper basin to 
deliver to the lower basin an average of 7.5 million 
acre-feet annually. Although deliveries may vary 
from year to year, the effect of this apportionment 
meant that the upper basin's depletion measured at 
Lee's Ferry would not be more than the residual 
amount of water available after meeting the required 
deliveries to the lower basin. The upper basin states 
of Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Utah 
currently deplete the flow of the river at Lee's Ferry 
by 3.8 million acre-feet per year. By 1990 upper basin 
uses are projected to total about 4.2 million acre-feet 
per year. Beyond 1990 the demands are highly 
conjectural, being dependent upon available water 
supply, agricultural development, and the uncertain 
prospects for development of the area's huge 
reserves of oil shale and coal. Although numerous 
projections have been made of the basin's future 
water demands, California water planners believe 
that the upper basin will not reach a level of use of 
5.8 million acre-feet per year until early in the 
twenty-first century. The overestimate of the 1920s 
has thus compelled the basin states to reassess their 
plans. Although there have not been any actual 
shortages of water so far, the fact that there is less 
water today in the Colorado River system than the 
negotiators of the compact estimated has caused 
more pressure on planners than there would have 
been under more favorable water flow conditions. 



In addition to the sharply reduced estimate of 
streamflow, there have been other developments 
which have further restricted or threatened to 
restrict water use in the Colorado River states. One 
of these was the Mexican-American Water Treaty of 
1944. This treaty, which Californians vigorously 
opposed, awarded Mexico 1.5 million acre-feet, an 
amount which approximated the Republic's maximum 
uses prior to the agreement. The treaty requirement 
represents a first lien on the river and it must be 
satisfied ahead of any uses in the United States. 
According to the Colorado River Compact, Mexico is 
to be supplied from surplus waters unless there is 
insufficient surplus, in which event each basin must 
provide half the Mexican obligation. The two basins, 
however, currently disagree over the extent of their 
respective obligations to Mexico; the heart of their 
disagreement involves the manner in which the 
lower-basin tributaries are to be counted in deter- 
mining the existence of a surplus. Both basins agree, 
nonetheless, about the seriousness of the Mexican 
burden. 

The gravity of the matter was reinforced in 1961 
when heavily saline "return flow" — water already 
used at least once — from Arizona's Wellton-Mohawk 
Project crossed into Mexico. While the United States 
insisted that the 1944 treaty imposed no obligation 
"with respect to the quality of the water," Mexico 
disagreed and demanded water as good as that which 
was being used when the treaty was signed. In 
August 1973, after lengthy negotiations between the 
two countries, the United States agreed to build a 
desalination plant at Yuma and to construct other 
facilities designed to provide a "permanent and 
definitive solution" to the salinity problem. The 
agreement represented a major step forward, but the 
future must reveal whether it will bring about the 
desired results. 

The severest blow to Southern California's plans 



o 
o 

o 



c 
o 



0> 

o. 

(0 

r 

s 

tn 
T3 

O 
</> 

■o 
a> 

_> 

o 

(/> 
(A 



(0 

.o 



AG 
































39 
































38^ 

































^7 -1 
































36 




\ 




























3*5 
































3<1 
































^ 


































1 


1 












1 


i 


■ 


> 


■ 


1 


1 


i 



Salinity is an important factor in 
determining the future value of 
this artificial inland sea as a re- 
source for recreation and wildlife. 
This chart traces the salinity lev- 
els of the Salton Sea between 
1948 and 1977. The values shown 
are the average of samples taken 
from Bertram Station, Desert 
Beach, Sandy Beach, and Salton 
Sea Beach. 



1950 



1960 



1970 



43 



Colorado River Basin 1975 



This map displays the amounts of water used for various 
purposes in each of the seven states of the Colorado River 
Basin and Mexico during calendar year 1975. The water is 
obtained from the mainstream of the Colorado River, its 
tributaries, and the groundwater basins. The map also details 
evaporative losses from the principal reservoirs on the lower 
mainstream, the location of major Indian reservations, the 
quality of flows at key stations along the river, and the Imperial, 



Coachella, and Mexicali valleys outside the basin. Also shown 
are the assumed apportionments to the four Upper Basin 
states, the apportionments of mainstream water for the three 
Lower Basin states, and the 1944 treaty obligation to Mexico. In 
most instances, direct comparison of apportionment to 
consumptive use is not possible, as explained in the 
accompanying discussion 'Apportionment and Use of the 
Colorado River Water Supply.' 



<? 



WYOMING 



Consumptive Uses And Losses (1,000 Acre-Feet) 



96.7 



101.0 



20.3 



439.2 



842.0 



Irrigated Agriculture 
Municipal and Industrial 
Undifferentiated Exports 
Reservoir Evaporation and Wildlife 
Total Consumption and Losses 
Apportionments 



416 



Main Stem Reservoir Evaporation and Channel Losses 



Water Quality as shown here is 
measured in parts per million of total 
dissolved solids. The data have been 
related to flows in order to express 
mean annual flow-weighted levels of 
concentration for 1975. 

776 • 



Indian Reservations 



Aqueducts and Pumping Plants 



Fontenelle Res. 







253.2 


31.3 








6.6 


.2 


291.3 


720.0 



COLORADO 



Flaming Gorge 




<tf 



a 
***- 147 



Craig 



1166.1 
42.9 
~562lT 
5.8 
1777.4 
2661.0 



25 

20 

15 

10 

5 

1900 1910 1920 1930 


Virgin Flow at Lee Ferry 
(millions of acre-feet) 

1940 1950 1960 1970 



Duchesne . 521 

o 



\N"' te 



."& 



Granby Lake 



Strawberry I 



371 



UTAH 



560.2 


25.2 


104.2 


8.1 


897.7 


1183.0 




, Price 



Green River , 



7650 



• 444 



Grand Junction 



Q. 



o>° 



O y 



o Moab 



St. George 






• 392 



"son 



/?/, 



Blue Mesa 



UPPER BASIN 



Lake Powell 



Juan 



NEVADA 




1.9 



155.7 



300.0 



2029 



Las Vegas 





<?/> 



379 



*S"i 




Durango 



• Lake Mead G°S 



ra' 



do 



<%: 



|Lee Feo^M 5 Glen Canyon Dam 
-^ 1 

* 555 



Farmington 



Navajo Res, 



Hoover Dam 1 



r^ 



CALIFORNIA 



690 



Grand Canyon 







NEW MEXICO 



\ Lake Mojave 
<—, Davis Dam 



LOWER BASIN 



as 

4461.5 



4937.3 



4400.0 



Flagstaff 







131.9 






39.6 










145.2 






6.0 


322.7 










579.0 



Needles I 

o 



Ver, 



°o/ t 



Or. 



*ob 



S>. 



&& 



Lake Havasu 



e*£>^ 



J >> 



Parker Dam 



703 



Indio 



Salton Sea 



Blythe 





ARIZONA 



CENTRAL ARIZONA PROJECT 
^„ (Under Construction) (~^<- y ~~ "~\ 



Salt 



<S 



PHOENIX ° 



Roosevelt Lake 



San Carlos Res. 



R iye r 







El Centro 

All-American \ Canal/ 



829 



PI 



vef 



Mexicali 



f%° Yuma 



mperial Dam G" a 

MEXICO 



(Proposed) 



ty. 



50 



100 mi 



100 



200 km 



Tucson ° 



1655.6 
1500.0 




4892.8 

397.0 

2.2 

222.3 

5514.3 

2850.0 



APPORTIONMENT AND USE OF THE COLORADO RIVER WATER SUPPLY 



The Upper Basin states and the Lower Basin states do not 
agree on the interpretation of the Colorado River Compact. 
The most significant issue of disagreement involves the 
Upper Basin's obligation with respect to the Mexican Water 
Treaty. Although the Compact apportions an average of 7.5 
million acre-feet per year to the Upper Basin, it seems clear 
that downstream requirements and the actual water supply 
will limit use in the Upper Basin to less than this amount. 
The estimate most commonly used is that the Upper Basin 
will not be able to use more than 5,800,000 acre-feet per 
year. The Upper Colorado River Basin Compact appor- 
tioned 50,000 acre-feet per year to Arizona and the remain- 
der according to the following percentages: Colorado 51.75, 
New Mexico 11.25, Utah 23.00, and Wyoming 14.00. 

In the Lower Basin, the United States Supreme Court's 
decree in Arizona v. California apportioned the first 7.5 million 
acre-feet per year available in the lower Colorado River 
mainstream for consumptive use by the three Lower Basin 
states as follows: Arizona 2.8 million, California 4.4 million, 
and Nevada 300,000. If more than 7.5 million acre-feet are 
available, then California is apportioned 50 percent of the 
surplus, Arizona 46 percent, and Nevada 4 percent. During 
shortage conditions, the Secretary of the Interior is directed 
first to satisfy present perfected rights and then to appor- 
tion the amount remaining to the states. The 1968 Colo- 
rado River Basin Project Act gave California's basic appor- 
tionment of 4.4 million acre-feet per year priority over the 



Central Arizona Project. Streamflows from the tributaries 
in the Lower Basin have not been apportioned by compact 
nor adjudicated among the states. 

For the Upper Basin states, the total water use shown on 
the map for Colorado and Wyoming may be compared with 
the indicated apportionments. The total water use shown 
for Utah and New Mexico includes use in both the Upper 
and Lower Basins, whereas the indicated apportionments 
are for the Upper Basin only since the Lower Basin tribu- 
taries have not been apportioned. 

For the Lower Basin, the apportionment shown for 
Nevada is of Colorado River mainstream and tributaries. 
For Arizona, the apportionment shown is the sum of the 
state's Upper Basin apportionment plus the state's Lower 
Basin apportionment from the mainstream only. The water 
Arizona uses is drawn from three major sources: the main- 
stream of the Colorado River, its tributaries, and ground 
water basins. For California, both the apportionment 
shown and the total use are from the mainstream only. 
California's 1975 water use is in excess of the indicated basic 
apportionment of 4.4 million acre-feet because the 1970 
Operating Criteria provides that California can use as much 
water as it can put to beneficial use under its contracts with 
the United States until the Central Arizona Project be- 
comes operational in 1985. California has water delivery 
contracts with the Secretary of the Interior totaling 
5,362,000 acre-feet annually. 




for the Colorado occurred in 1963 in the United 
States Supreme Court decision of Arizona v. California. 
Arizona went to court when she proved unable to 
reach an agreement with California over their shares 
of the water apportioned to the lower basin by the 
Colorado River Compact. Though California in 1929 
had agreed to limit itself to 4.4 million acre-feet of 
the 7.5 million acre-feet apportioned by the compact, 
this assurance had not settled fundamental differences 
between the two states over how Arizona's tributaries 
were to be counted. Aware of the declining water 
supply, California insisted that the tributaries be 
counted in a way which would lessen Arizona's share 
of mainstream water and thereby assure sufficient 
supply for California's contracts for surplus water. 
The court's decision disappointed California and 
gave Arizona a major victory. Of the first 7.5 million 
acre-feet available in the mainstream for the lower 
basin, the court, basing its opinion on its interpretation 
of the Boulder Canyon Act of 1928, awarded Nevada 
300,000 acre-feet, California 4.4 million acre-feet, 
and Arizona 2.8 million acre-feet plus all the water 
in her tributaries. The court further apportioned 50 
percent of any surplus water to California, 46 
percent to Arizona, and 4 percent to Nevada. 

Arizona, which currently uses about 1,250,000 
acre-feet per year from the mainstream, is forecast 
to increase its use to 2.8 million acre-feet per year 
upon completion of the Central Arizona Project. 
Nevada's use of approximately 100,000 acre-feet per 
year is projected to increase to its full 300,000 acre- 
feet per year apportionment by the year 2000. 
Mexico is guaranteed 1.5 million acre-feet per year 
under the terms of the 1944 Mexican-American 
Water Treaty. The effect of the Supreme Court 
decision thus left California with the prospect of its 
uses being reduced to the basic 4.4 million acre-feet 
per year when the proposed Central Arizona Project 
becomes operative and the further prospect of 
additional reductions. The congressional legislation 
authorizing the Central Arizona Project in 1968, 
however, protected California's use of its 4.4 million 
acre-foot apportionment by assigning it a higher 
priority than the demands of the Central Arizona 
Project. Thus, diversions to the Central Arizona 
Project, estimated to average 1.2 million acre-feet a 
year, would have to be completely eliminated before 
California's apportionment of 4.4 million acre-feet 
per year could be reduced. 

Water use and depletions by the United States and 
Mexico currently total approximately 11.4 million 
acre-feet per year. Reservoir losses to evaporation 
from Lake Mead are approximately balanced by the 
inflow between Glen Canyon Dam and Hoover 
Dam. River losses and reservoir evaporation below 
Hoover Dam total approximately 600,000 acre-feet 
per year. Thus, the current overall use of the entire 
mainstream, which must be essentially met by the 
virgin flow at Lee's Ferry, is approximately 12 
million acre-feet per year. This can be compared with 
what is considered to be the dependable flow of the 
river at Lee's Ferry of about 14 million acre-feet per 
year. Surplus water has been going into Lake Mead 



and the large reservoirs constructed in the upper 
basin in the last decade. There has been almost no 
flow to the Gulf of California since 1961. If average 
runoff conditions prevail for the next several years, 
reservoirs will reach the flood control space in about 
five years and the probability is high that ap- 
proximately 56 million acre-feet of water in storage 
can be obtained prior to commencement of operation 
of the Central Arizona Project. 

Total basin uses are projected to approach the 
dependable annual flow of 14 million acre-feet by 
about 1990, after the Central Arizona Project goes 
into full operation. Thereafter, as annual uses in the 
upper basin increase to the maximum annual level of 
5.8 million acre-feet that the lower basin's planners 
project, water could be withdrawn from reservoir 
storage at a rate equal to the increases in upper basin 
uses. Based upon current projections of future 
storage increases and runoff, California's water 
planners are therefore confident that the basic water 
requirements can be met for many years beyond the 
turn of the century. Shortages would occur earlier, 
however, if the rate of growth in the upper basin 
proceeds more rapidly than assumed, or if long 
periods of below-average flow should occur. 

In addition to the risks inherent in any long-range 
forecast, however, there is another consideration 
which threatens to reduce California's supply of 
Colorado River water. This threat comes from the 
basin's forgotten people — the American Indians. 
Scattered throughout the Colorado River states are 
numerous reservations, including the nation's 
largest, the Navajo. The Indians living on these 
reservations possess characteristics that are the envy 
of no one: lowest income in the nation, highest 
unemployment, highest suicide rate, least formal 
education, highest death rate from alcoholism. 
Indian leaders are arguing that the economic and 
other conditions of their reservations cannot be 
improved unless they obtain a sufficient supply of 
water, and they have turned, or are planning to turn, 
to the courts for help. 

What the outcome of their suits will be is difficult 
to predict, but they have powerful precedents on 
their side. One is the so-called Winters Doctrine, first 
enunciated in 1908 in the U. S. Supreme Court 
decision of Winters v. United States. This doctrine holds 
that Indians possess a special right which dates from 
the time a reservation is created and continues 
unimpaired whether the Indians are using the water 
or not. In Arizona v. California, the court reaffirmed 
the doctrine and held that the quantity of the right 
was determined by the extent of the "practicably 
irrigable" acreage on the reservation. On this 
occasion the court limited itself to the reservations 
along the mainstream of the lower Colorado where 
five tribes are entitled to about 900,000 acre-feet of 
diversions, mostly in Arizona, with actual con- 
sumptive use estimated to be 600,000 acre-feet. But 
the decision has prompted other tribes in the basin to 
plan suits of their own. The Navajo, for example, 
have talked about suing for as much as ten million 
acre-feet or about 70 percent of the flow of the 



Colorado River. The outcome of Indian claims and 
their impact on Southern California's water uses will 
not be known for years. 

Colorado River water has permitted Southern 
California to become one of the great industrial and 
agricultural centers of the world. The use of the 
river's waters has also led to bitter legal, political, 
and engineering battles and there is the prospect of 
more such controversies. Behind those disputes has 
been the realization that the Colorado contains 
enough water for only a limited number of cities and 
farms. Significant questions remain with respect to 
the rate of growth that will occur in the upper basin, 
the effectiveness of salinity control programs, the 
interpretation of the compact, and the extent of 
Indian claims. But the seven basin states have 
recognized that they use one common resource and 
that it is more advantageous to work cooperatively 
in resolving problems than to take adversary 
positions with respect to one another. 

Southern California vigorously supported the 
State Water Project, which has been bringing about a 
million acre-feet of water from the northern portion 
of the state since 1973. Eventually, plans call for 
more than two million acre-feet to be diverted 
southward and the availability of this water will 
more than offset expected losses of Colorado River 
water and thus help to meet the needs that will be 
created with expected increases in Southern California's 
population. But water shortages will occur unless 
alternative sources are discovered or patterns of 
consumption altered. The water being brought 
southward, as events in 1977 indicated, can be shut 
down when drought hits the north. Southern 
California did not resist the shutdown in 1977 
because sufficient water was still available from the 
Colorado. These conditions will change, however, as 
states elsewhere in the basin begin using their full 
shares of water. 



That the Drought of 1976-77 
affected other parts of the state 
more severely than Southern 
California is suggested by this 
photograph of the snow which 
fell on the Angeles Crest in Jan- 
uary 1977 — a rare event in any 
year but especially so in the midst 
of the worst drought of this cen- 
tury. Expanded deliveries from 
the Colorado enabled MWD to 
turn back water from the State 
Water Project in order to assist 
other regions in need. 



45 



CHAPTER 6 



The Great Valley Systems 



This map by Ham Hall displays 
the extent of irrigation in the 
Fresno area in 1885. The Central 
Colony, prototype for the ple- 
thora of water colonies clustered 
here, lies to the southwest of the 
Central Pacific Railroad line near 
the middle of the map. 



ciLinnu mn minimi mnmmi DETAIL IRRIGATION MAP fbesno sheet. 




i.-:r- 







li 



ytoti* 



■M&>* 



-»*$* 



,-■■• 



// 



iMM 



/ 



— i" 



/ 



T J«S 



/SuhH aJ Cat/ 1 



n 12 



ft fy 



EXPlAMTtOM 



Gtraxl jLtrtts . 

<Stro«m4 , ..._„_ ,r~"— 

C&uttt vndjfi&fa* . . , . ■ i ... " , , i ~^\ . r ~^— — 

J!rlMtzn.>rai* ..,„,,'• © © © 

JSnwp ondlhxrfi.Zerul ........ V~~ ] 

■Mxtt.laxA ...... . . . ... .( ~1 

IAM0S lAMBi UW4 

mnfsmver a xdrw«e . . p7p f_J C~~~l 

J***** P™~ : ~1 C~~"~) ~ I 



MmOrSWt* 1 j CZ3 \ 1 

*>«&*»*■ ■ - - - .gi] CZ3 r — 1 

£i&*rfy„ . g| LZZD 1 *~1 

GenOfrvtfit and Ainfffary . f~~ 



-Mv#*f #nith 



/ 



GmriSe#*r$ 



Jt,f*at 






i 



4jmj*._ 



/,/ 



/ 



y 



r>£tia n 



/ 







\s 







* »A* 

"t iS S ,j « 20 E, 



/ 



ww*** 




/ 



sr 










/ 



• 



/i/ 



£*&., 






r/ 



/■ / 



A/ 



f 



/ 





PIZ 



/ 




• 



• 



^U3?£k< 




/ 



/ 



^ 



,teJSm 





™,/(t=. i Twi'V.JJ» 



/ 



WHoiHaii.. State Emrin 



Inl«dlojvD<ito,1865. 



SCALE:! MlLK to IInCH. 



46 



The Central Valley and State Water Projects were 
born in the agricultural transformation of Califor- 
nia's Central Valley during the first two decades of 
the twentieth century. Early settlers of the Central 
Valley had foreseen the potential of the area for irri- 
gated agriculture if additional surface water could 
only be delivered to it, and the first State Engineer, 
William "Ham" Hall, proposed the development of a 
great system of irrigation canals in the 1880s. But it 
was the dry farming of wheat which instead domi- 
nated valley agriculture in the latter half of the nine- 
teenth century. The ruthless exploitation of the soil 
by this one-crop economy, however, gradually 
lowered the yield of grain, and increasing competition 
from the Mississippi Valley and Russia brought the 
collapse of California's wheat empires by the end of 
the century. Enthusiasts of systematic irrigation such 
as William Smy the, author of The Conquest of Arid Amer- 
ica, saw in the passing of the wheat barons a blessing 
for the future of California. "The fall in wheat prices 
has broken the land monopoly which kept labor ser- 
vile and gave the most fruitful of countries to four- 
footed beasts rather than to men," wrote Smythe in 
1900. "With the supremacy of wheat will go the 
shanty and the 'hobo' laborer . . . . In their places will 
come the home and the man who works for himself. 
Civilization will bloom where barbarism has blighted 
the land." 

The turn of the century marked the end of a pro- 
longed economic depression that had affected agricul- 
ture throughout California and the West. For the 
next two decades, California farmers enjoyed height- 
ened prices for their products which were accentu- 
ated especially during the era of World War One. 
With prosperity came a flood of new immigrants. 
Between 1900 and 1920, approximately 45,000 new 
farmsteads were formed in California. Uniquely for 
the Golden State, most of the new farms were created 
from the subdivision of former grain and cattle 
ranches; only about a half million acres of new farm- 
land came under cultivation in this period. The subdi- 
vision phenomenon produced smaller, family-sized 
farms than the typical mid-American quarter-section 
farm of 160 acres. Of the 45,000 new farms formed in 
this period, census data reveal that 37,600 of them 
were smaller than 50 acres in size. The San Joaquin 
Valley in particular surpassed the other regions of the 
state in the growth of its rural population. Fully a 
third of the state's overall growth in farm population 
occurred here, tripling the population of the area in 
only two decades. 

The expansion of intensive, diversified, irrigated 
agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley followed the 
model established by the various colonies commercial 
companies had set up in the Fresno area during the 
1870s. Developers such as William Chapman and 
Moses J. Church created the prototype Central Col- 
ony and its successors in clusters around the sites of 
Fresno, Selma, Dinuba, Kingsburg, and Reedley. 
Water companies such as the Fresno Canal and Irriga- 
tion Company laid out roads and town centers, 
planted shade trees, established nurseries for the cul- 
ture of raisin grapevines, and divided the agricultural 
land into 20-acre plots. The developers sought homo- 
genous social populations for each colony so that 
compatible, hard-working ethnic groups would make 
a successful adjustment. The settlers' water rights 
were made a part of their land purchase agreements. 

The colonization program that began with a 
nationwide publicity campaign in the first decade of 
the twentieth century and ended in the 1920s, how- 



ever, differed materially from earlier colonization 
efforts in other parts of the state. The promotional 
programs launched by the Sacramento Valley Devel- 
opment Association, the California Promotion Com- 
mittee, the California Development Association, the 
colonization departments of the Southern Pacific and 
Santa Fe railroads, and the advertisements of innu- 
merable land colonization companies emphasized the 
economic prospects of specialized farming on small 
acreage. The first years of the land boom after 1906 
demonstrated the speculative profits that might be 
derived by realtors from the subdivision of large 
ranches where wheat land could be bought for $25 an 
acre and sold as prime vineyard and orchard property 
for prices ranging from $100 to $300 an acre. In 
consequence, the developers proved to be concerned 
principally with selling colony real estate. The custo- 
mers, many of whom lacked actual farming 
experience, were left to their own devices once the 
contracts of sale and mortgage deeds had been exe- 
cuted. 

The survival of many of these poorly planned colo- 
nies depended upon the grim determination of the 
original settlers, their ability to learn from adversity, 
and in many areas, the exploitation of groundwater 
resources through the introduction of centrifugal 
pumps powered by gasoline engines or electricity. 
Such was the history of the Wasco colony initiated in 
Kern County in 1907. The Patterson colony, estab- 
lished in 1909, was the first to draw its water by 
pumping from the lower San Joaquin River in Stanis- 
laus County. Groundwater sources had been availa- 
ble in the San Joaquin Valley prior to 1900 from 
flowing artesian wells. But after the turn of the cen- 
tury, pumping became more and more a necessity. 
There were 597 pumped wells operating in the San 
Joaquin Valley in 1906; by 1910, the census reported 
5,000; 11,000 in 1920; and 23,500 in 1930. A million 
and a half acres received the major portion of their 
irrigation supply from groundwater by 1940. This 
valuable supplement to the supply of surface streams 
encouraged the land boom in small farm sites. Present 
at all times, however, was the threat of lowering 
groundwater tables as the number of wells increased. 
The need for supplemental sources in order to halt 
the depletion of groundwater reserves led in time to 
demands for a comprehensive program of water 
importation. 

The plight of the small farmers encouraged the 
coordination of water development. Some areas were 
dependent upon commercial or cooperative water 
companies for irrigation supplies that were drawn from 
both surface water sources and underground aquifers. 
During the 1920s, for example, some 400,000 acres of 
Miller and Lux Company lands were sold on the west 
side of the San Joaquin Valley. All water rights were 
reserved by the Miller and Lux Company, and the 
venerable San Joaquin and Kings River Canal Company 
with its 350 miles of canal sold water to subdivided 
tracts for less than two dollars an acre a year. 
Undoubtedly the most successful colonies in the 
Central Valley, however, were those whose members 
organized public irrigation districts. The advantages of 
this type of organization for water delivery were patent. 
The district raised money and built its facilities through 
the sale of bonds, all landowners were subject to 
common taxation, and democratic organization assured 
local responsibility and a means to solve mutual 
problems as the farmers became their own water 
suppliers. 

Legislative changes in the Wright Act in 1909 and 
1911 encouraged the subdivision of large, 
unimproved tracts in each district and provided 
greater security for district bonds, thus assuring their 
marketability. As a result, there was a real spurt in the 
number of irrigation districts formed after 1915. In 
1922 three million acres in California were served by 
irrigation districts. By 1930 there were almost 100 
districts financed by bonds valued at $100 million. 
The most successful districts in the San Joaquin Val- 
ley were the Modesto and Turlock Irrigation Districts 
with water rights to the Tuolumne River, the Merced 
District drawing from the Merced River, and the 
Fresno Irrigation District created in 1920 from the 
Fresno Canal and Irrigation Company. The financial 
success of the Modesto, Turlock, and Merced districts 
was assured by their development of storage reser- 
voirs equipped with generators for the production 
and sale of hydroelectric power to local utilities. Alto- 
gether, irrigation districts provided 92 percent of the 
water used for irrigation in the San Joaquin Valley 
before the Central Valley Project came on line with its 
supplemental supplies. 

By the time the boom in agricultural land sales 




The realities of farming in the 
Central Valley before the devel- 
opment of the Central Valley 
Project often differed consider- 
ably from the idyll depicted in this 
nineteenth century painting of 
agriculture in the California 
paradise. 



finally began to taper off in the middle of the 1920s, 
the San Joaquin Valley was the acknowledged leader 
among the agricultural sections of the state. While 
the output of the valley as a whole was varied, individ- 
ual farms and localities specialized in crops and pro- 
ducts which had a national or statewide market and 
which were specially adapted to local climatic and soil 
conditions. Thus, cotton came to be associated with 
Kern County, oranges and lemons with the Porter- 
ville region, deciduous fruit and nut trees together 
with vines from the Fresno, Merced, and Turlock 
areas, alfalfa and dairy products from Modesto and 
the West Side. Cotton and melons also began to make 
their appearance on the west side of the San Joaquin 
River. And the Delta featured truck vegetables such 
as potatoes, onions, celery, and asparagus. 

The nation's agricultural depression of the 1920s 
was delayed in reaching California until 1930 by con- 
tinued capital investment and immigration to the 
state. The prevailing optimism associated with Cali- 
fornia agriculture in the 1920s was reflected in the 
stable value of California lands as prices remained 
fairly constant between 1921 and 1930. Nevertheless, 
trouble spots did begin to appear on the horizon in the 
1920s as small farm owners found irrigation increas- 
ingly expensive. The speculatively inflated land prices 
were but the starting point for a small farmer's costs; 
to these expenses were added ground leveling, ditch- 
ing, and charges for water rights. Generally it was 
thought that a farmer must have $5,000 in hand in 
order to make an effective start. As a result foreclo- 
sures and the failure rate among small farm owners 
were much higher than anticipated. 

The mounting costs of farm operations thus 
seemed to favor large-scale agricultural operations. 
Certain areas in the San Joaquin Valley had never 
been subdivided but were farmed instead by corpo- 
rate entities. The Kern County Land Company and its 
associates, for example, owned 300,000 acres drawing 
water from the Kern River. Corporations possessed 
over half the expansive Tulare Lake Basin and on the 
upper west side, banks, oil, railroad and 
food-processing companies controlled over 700,000 
acres in the area that today makes up the Westlands 
Water District. 

Tenantry was spreading. The Delta district, com- 
posed of some 350,000 acres of reclaimed land, was 
largely farmed by tenants of foreign extraction. Their 
truck crops were contracted to commission 
merchants who then deducted rental fees from the 
proceeds in favor of the large owners responsible for 
reclamation district operations. Alarmed by the 
growth of tenantry and the plight of the small farmer, 
the state itself inaugurated a land development col- 
ony program at Durham and Delhi in 1917. The pub- 
lic at large, however, considered the experiment a 

costly mistake with little effect on land tenure pat- 
terns and the state liquidated the program in 1930. 

These mounting problems were compounded after 
1917 by a series of subnormal rainfall years which 
encouraged overpumping and thereby depleted the 
water-bearing gravels in the upper San Joaquin Val- 
ley. Deeper wells consequently had to be drilled and 



new pumps installed. This additional $5,000 expense 
for a 60-acre tract proved fatal for many small opera- 
tions in the disastrous drought years from 1928 to 
1935 when 400,000 acres in the South San Joaquin 
Valley were seriously overdrawn and 20,000 acres 
had to be abandoned. The fate of California's most 
productive agricultural region thus came to be seen as 
dependent upon a successful state plan which would 
provide the engineering design for a vast water 
importation scheme to serve the Central Valley. 



THE CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT 

Although attempts had been made for decades 
before 1920 to bring the state government directly 
into the business of water development, it was the 
private publication of a statewide water plan by 
Colonel Robert B. Marshall in that year which finally 
induced the state to undertake an ambitious program 
of water resource planning. Publicized broadly 
throughout the state by the California Irrigation 
Association in an ad hoc campaign subsidized by the 
agricultural interests of the Central Valley, 
Marshall's bold proposal caught the imagination of 
the public. Working from the concept of a coordi- 
nated, basin-wide water plan for the Central Valley, 
Marshall proposed the construction of a storage 
reservoir on the Sacramento River above Redding 
which would feed two parallel aqueducts running 
down both sides of the Sacramento and San Joaquin 
valleys to Dos Palos on the west and the San Joaquin 
River to the east. The plan also called for saltwater 
barriers at the Carquinez Straits and a tunnel to 
divert the waters of the Kern River south, through 
the Owens Valley to Los Angeles. Additional water 
for the Central Valley would also be drawn from the 
Stanislaus River. 

The scheme was far too grandiose to win ready 
acceptance among public officials and the engineering 
fraternity. There were more factors at work to create 
support for some kind of state program, however, 
than the emerging problems of Central Valley agri- 
culture. A statewide conference on water use in 1916, 
for example, had identified navigation, irrigation, 
electric power generation, flood control, drainage, 
and land reclamation as problems needing special 
attention. The conference solved nothing, but it did 
advocate state aid for the creation of a general plan to 
attack these problems. Inspired by the popular enthu- 
siasm Marshall's plan generated, and the example of 
the spectacular success of Los Angeles' aqueduct to 
the Owens Valley, the Legislature in 1921 initiated a 
series of comprehensive studies of California's water 
resources by the State Division of Engineering which 
eventually stretched out over the next ten years and 
cost over a million dollars. 

The obstacles to the development of a state water 
project, whether Marshall's or anyone else's, were 
immense. For one thing, California's entire system of 
riparian rights had first to be modified. Those seg- 
ments of public opinion most anxious for a compre- 
hensive state water program were warned that large 



47 



Central Valley Project water Year 1975 



Deliveries 



The width of the flow lines is proportional to the quantity of water, in acre-feet, 
delivered to that water contractor from October 1974 through September 1975. 






WATER CONTRACTORS 

(Contractor/Canal/Acre-Feet) 

Minor x 4 (A) * 27,285 

Orland WUA (B) 252,788 

Minor x1 (C) 13,650 

Minor x 2(D) 27,110 

Contra Costa CWA(E) 76,137 
Hospital WD (F) 31,600 

W. Stanislaus ID (F) 36,100 



Minor x 26 (F) 



208,419 



Central Cal. ID (F,G) 527,894 




San Luis CnC. (G) 169,711 — 

Chowchilla WD (H) 129,867 — 

Minor x 1 (H) 441 — 

Grassland WD (F,G) 52,089 — 

Minor x 2 (L) 147 — 

Madera ID (H) 188,888 — 

Minor x 14 (G) 75,386 — 

Columbia CnC. (G) 61,740 — 

Firebaugh CnC. (F,G) 79,162 — 

Panoche WD (F,i) 1 13, 745 - 

San Luis WD (F,i) 104,291 — 

City of Fresno (K) 23,000 — 

Fresno ID (K) 78,365 — 

Mendota WMA (G) 22,581 — 

Tranquility ID (G) 33,919 — 

James ID (G) 47,051 — 

Orange Cove ID (K) 35,300 — 

Minorx7(l,J) 6,798 — 



Westlands WD (G,i) 1,250,279 



Minor x 15 (K) 97,565 

Tulare ID (K) 186,000- 
Lindmore ID (K) 50,200 

Lower Tule River (K) 223,000 



Porterville ID (K) 
Saucelito ID (K) 

Delano- 
Earlimart ID (K) 



23,700- 
42,200 

168,100 



S. San Joaquin 
MUD (K) 



138,700 
Shafter-Wasco ID (K) 72,900 
191,200 



\ Arvin Edison 
WSD (K) 



(3)« 



rm 



< 7 >i 
ok 



V(8) 



(B)/V 



(A) 



<A 



(12) 



o)£> 



may 



,no) 



L(G) 



(16) f 



n v\6 






K 



6 



P 6 U \ J(20) 
\6(L) 



«o 



(J)I \ 



"° I <K) 

-o Of 



Of' 



Facilities 



Lake or Reservoir 
and ID # for graph 

Pumping Plant 
and ID # for graph 

Power Plant 

and ID # for graph 

Contractor's location 



River 



Central Valley Project—aqueduct/canal 



(B) Canal ID letter (see below) 



Canal/Unit: 




(A) 


Corning 




(B) 


North and South 


(C) 


Tehama-Colusa 


(D) 


Folsom South 




(E) 


Contra Costa 




(F) 


Delta- Mendota 




(G) 


San Joaquin River and Mendota Pool 


(H) 


Madera 




0) 


San Luis 




(J) 


Coalinga 




(K) 


Fri ant-Kern 




(L) 


Millerton Lake 






Abbreviations: 




CnC 


Canal Company 




CWA 


County Water Agency 




ID 


Irrigation District 




MUD 


Municipal Utility District 




PpP 


Pumping Plant 




PwP 


Power Plant 




Res 


Reservoir 




WD 


Water District 




WMA 


Waterfowl Management Agency 




WSD 


Water Storage District 




WUA 


Water Users Association 



100 km 



Minor: Represents the total number of water contractors (x n) that received 20,000 acre-teet or less from that canal during 
the water year. The numerical figure represents the total amount delivered collectively to all these contractors. 



»8 




• •••• 

• •••• 

d) 



(2) 



• 4 

• •••• 

• •••• 

(3) 



600 



500 



° 300 



200 



H 



100 




-<D- 



(4) 




O 



••••• •« 

••••• ••••• 

••••• ••••• 



(5) 



(6) 



(7) 



(8) 



• •••• 

• •••• 

• •••• 



(9) 



• « 



5 


2 


to 

E 


Q_ 


o 


o 






— ' 




a 


a 


X! 




£z 


E 


c 


c 


o 


o 


z 


O 


O 




( 






I I 





(10) 






(11) 



(2) (3) 



-(4)- 



(5) 



(6) 



(7) 



(12) 



O 



(13) 



(8) 



(9) 



(10) 



• < 



(14) 



-(15)- 



■ 





J£ 

CO 

_l 

E 
o 
w 

o 

U- 









• 






0- 




a. 
a. 




5 

0. 




0. 




»s 




>> 




a. 




o 




a. 








CL 




H- 




b 




(16) 



(11) 



-(12) (13) 



Energy Generation, Use, 
and Water Pumped 



••••• 



•••« 



(17) 



-(18)- 




(14) (15) 



(16) 



-(17)- 



(19) 



50 million kilowatt hours 
of energy generated 

50 million kilowatt hours 
of energy consumed 

Total water pumped 



Absence of symbol indicates less than 25 
million kilowatt hours consumed or generated. 
•Joint federal/state facility. Only federal 
share is shown. 



Reservoir 
Capacities 



Water 

storage 

capacity 



•Joint federal/state 
facility. Total 
capacities are shown. 



(18) (19) 



(20) 



land holders with unrestricted riparian water rights 
could block the large-scale transfer of water essential 
to any plan. These fears, in turn, helped build support 
for passage of the constitutional amendment in 1928 
that limited the owners of riparian rights to a reaso- 
nable use of water, the same sort of requirement 
heretofore imposed on appropriative water rights. 

Financing proved an even more vexatious obstacle. 
Supporters of the Marshall Plan in the Legislature set 
to work implementing it through a proposed Califor- 
nia Water and Power Act which would have provided 
for state distribution of all power generated by state- 
financed projects. The revenues from the sale of 
power would thus be used to offset the cost of water 
development. Such a proposal posed a direct threat to 
the private power companies, whose markets would 
be undercut by public power. Having failed to secure 
passage of the bill in the more conservative Assembly, 
backers of the bill promoted it as an initiative. In three 
successive campaigns in 1922, 1924, and 1926, the 
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, whose member- 
ship included virtually all of the light and power com- 
panies in Northern and Central California, paid out 
hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of suc- 
cessful efforts to defeat the proposal. 

With the onset of the Depression, however, devel- 
opment of a water project for the Central Valley 
seemed a desperately needed curative for the state's 
troubled economy. In 1931 the State Engineer, 
Edward Hyatt, finally produced the results of the 
investigations the Legislature had begun ten years 
before. In his Bulletin 25, Hyatt addressed only the 
most critical water problems. Most of his proposed 
dams, canals, pumping stations, and the necessary 
hydroelectric generating plants to help pay for the 
innovative interbasin water conveyance system, 
however, were ultimately included in the modern 
Central Valley Project. The Legislature in 1933 
approved the project with a provision calling for pub- 
lic construction of both generating plants and trans- 
mission lines. And that same year, $170 million in 
bonds were authorized by the voters to pay the initial 
costs of the project's development. PG&E fought back 
with a referendum campaign which attacked the pro- 
ject as a whole, claiming that additional irrigation 
would add to the state's agricultural surpluses while 
imposing an unfair burden on Southern California's 
taxpayers for a project that would benefit the north- 
ern and central portions of the state. Even though Los 
Angeles County voted two-to-one for repeal, the act 
authorizing the Central Valley Project was sustained 
by a narrow statewide majority December 19, 1933. 

In the depths of the Depression, however, no 
market could be found for the state's bonds, and so 
they were not put up for sale. The lawmakers had 
foreseen the inability of the state government to 
finance the project and had therefore included within 
the act authorizing its construction a provision for 
negotiations to be carried forward for federal con- 
struction and operation. The first acceptance of some 
federal responsibility for implementing the Central 
Valley Project appeared in a federal-state commission 
report sponsored by President Herbert Hoover and 
Governor Clement Young in 1930. Here the recom- 
mendations were that the federal government build 
the dams and supporting facilities while the state 
would repay construction costs with interest and 
operate the project. The federal government would 
reimburse the state for flood control and navigation 
benefits. By 1934, however, it became apparent to 
state authorities that the entire burden of construc- 
tion cost would have to be supported by Congres- 
sional appropriation. Thereafter, State Engineer 
Edward Hyatt was in the forefront of a continuing 
round of conversations with federal officials. Tenta- 
tive proposals for loans from the Public Works 
Administration in Washington proved unacceptable 
to a financially troubled state administration. The 
way was finally cleared for the Bureau of Reclamation 
to take over construction of the project in 1935 when 
President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized 
emergency relief funds and the Bureau turned in an 
approving feasibility report. 

The Bureau set up its headquarters in Sacramento 
in 1935 and began construction of the first unit, the 
Contra Costa Canal, in 1937. It was blandly assumed 
in the Golden State that the project which had come 
from the state engineer's reconnaissance and drawing 
boards would be built at the same rate of speed the 
Bureau completed Hoover Dam. Development of the 
Central Valley Project, however, proved to be a far 
more complex undertaking, and the resulting delays 
in its construction had significant consequences for 





Although many of the wheat empires were initially divided up 
into small family farms, Mexican laborers still made up a significant 
part of the farm labor force in the Central Valley, as suggested by 
the scene at top of a summer work camp in 1897. 



the administration of the initial facilities. There were 
several reasons why the project did not come on line 
with its first power sale from Shasta Dam until 1944 
and its first delivery of Shasta Dam water to irriga- 
tors in the San Joaquin Valley until 1951. There was 
the time-consuming problem of right-of-way and 
water rights acquisition through eminent domain and 
purchase. Construction delays came through 
revamping some of the state's design to enlarge 
Shasta Dam and substitute the Delta-Mendota Canal 
for a proposed San Joaquin River pumping system. 
The organization of the Bureau was strained to pro- 
vide engineering capability for the many public works 
projects it undertook in the West during the New 
Deal. Policy-making mechanisms for administering 
the new type of multi-purpose projects had to be 
developed from scratch. There were demands for 
continued local or regional control over the opera- 
tions of Hoover Dam, the Columbia Basin Project, 
and the Central Valley Project. Most important, the 
outbreak of World War Two depleted the ranks of the 
Bureau's personnel and brought material shortages 
which interrupted development of many of the key 
structures in the Central Valley Project. 

The celebrations of August 1951 marked the end of 
14 years of construction and the fulfillment of a 
dream as water flowed through the Delta-Mendota 
and Friant-Kern canals, capping a triumphant engi- 
neering achievement in the Central Valley interbasin 
transfer system. The key structure was the majestic 
600-foot concrete Shasta Dam which impounded 4.5 
million acre-feet of Sacramento River water for 
release through its five generators to an afterbay 
created by Keswick Dam. Here, more electric power 
was generated and water moved downstream to meet 
the irrigation needs of the Sacramento and San Joa- 
quin valleys. At the same time, the flows aided navi- 
gation, flood control, and protection of the Delta from 
saline intrusion. Protection of the Delta, however, 
was not one of the purposes of the project specified by 
Congress. A high-voltage power line ran to the Tracy 
pumping station where Shasta public power operated 
the pumps to lift Sacramento water to the Delta- 
Mendota Canal. The concrete-lined Contra Costa 
Canal, running 48 miles along Suisun Bay from the 
West Delta near Oakley to the Martinez Reservoir, 



began to deliver water to municipal and industrial 
customers in 1940 but was not completed until after 
the war. It represented an engineering answer to the 
demands of industrial and agricultural interests 
which had been troubled during the 1920s with salt- 
water seepage into groundwater tables and Suisun 
Bay saline pollution. The Delta Cross Channel was 
dredged out by Reclamation engineers between Wal- 
nut Grove on the Sacramento River and a natural 
slough that channeled Sacramento River water to the 
Tracy and Contra Costa pumping stations. The huge 
Friant Dam north of Fresno is a straight, concrete, 
gravity dam 315 feet high, which impounds a half 
million acre-feet from the San Joaquin River 
watershed. Its reservoir, Millerton Lake, provides 
flood control and conservation storage as well as a 
capability for diversion into the Madera Canal run- 
ning to the Chowchilla River, and the 152-mile-long, 
concrete-lined Friant-Kern Canal ending at the Kern 
River near Bakersfield. The total cost of these initial 
facilities has been estimated in excess of $400 million. 



THE STRUGGLE FOR CONTROL 

The extended delays in the completion of the project 
frustrated the efforts of New Deal social reformers to 
realize their goals for the distribution of public power 
and enforcement of the family farm provisions of rec- 
lamation law through the Central Valley Project. The 
years between 1944 and 1954 were, in consequence, 
crucial to the political struggle between California and 
Washington to determine how the Central Valley Proj- 
ect would be administered. Important decisions were 
made in this period concerning control of the facilities 
by the state or the Bureau of Reclamation, whether 
competing water delivery systems would be permitted 
to intrude upon the comprehensive, basin-wide, inte- 
grated water management system planned by the 
Bureau of Reclamation, and who would benefit from 
the distribution of cheap public power and the disposal 
of interest-free water for irrigation purposes. 

The state Chamber of Commerce sounded the 
alarm in 1945 giving expression to the view that the 
Central Valley Project was more than a complex multi- 
purpose water delivery system; it was a force repre- 
senting a remote Washington bureaucracy which might 
through its irrigation and power facilities determine 
the shape of California's society and economy. The 
Chamber was reacting to the findings of the Central 
Valley Project Studies, a cooperative Bureau of Agri- 
cultural Economics program initiated in 1941 to antici- 
pate social and economic impacts of the completed 
Central Valley Project. One study, for instance, noted 
the concentrations of corporate land ownership in the 
Central Valley and recommended changed cropping 
and marketing practices so that the family farm provi- 
sion of reclamation law could be enforced. 

A reorganization of the Bureau of Reclamation in 
1944 put a strong advocate of public power and the 
excess lands law requirement in charge of the Bureau's 
activities in California. The large farm interests in the 
upper San Joaquin Valley were apprehensive over the 
strivings of the Bureau to expand its public power facili- 
ties with new transmission lines as well as a steam 
plant. They saw the energetic campaign for public 
preference customers as a betrayal of the state's Cen- 
tral Valley Project Act which had proposed public 
power development merely as an adjunct of the system 
to help pay for the delivery of irrigation water. Public 
power and the 160-acre limitation provision of recla- 
mation law thus came to be the evils that must be 
exorcised. A campaign that merged the forces of the 
state Chamber of Commerce, the Pacific Gas and 
Electric Company, the Farm Bureau Federation, and 
the Irrigation Districts Association sought achieve- 
ment of their ends through state purchase of the Cen- 
tral Valley Project, the introduction of the Corps of 
Engineers as a competitor to the Bureau in the Central 
Valley, and the Congressional exemption of the proj- 
ect's water services area from enforcement of the 160- 
acre limitation requirement. 

In the prolonged battle against power distribution 
neither side could claim a complete victory. So long as 
PG&E refused to allow its own facilities to be used for 
the transmission of project power, the Bureau sought to 
build its own distribution system. And although PG&E 
through its allies in Congress successfully blocked all 
appropriations for the development of government- 
owned transmission lines while construction on the 
project went forward, a compromise had to be reached 
when the project finally came on line in 1951. Under the 
so-called wheeling agreement of that year, power 



49 



The reclaimed areas in the pho- 
tograph above have been turned 
into richly productive croplands 
through the development of the 
modern water system. Clifton 
Court and the facilities of the 
State Water Project and Central 
Valley Project are at the lower 
left and the San Joaquin River 
is at the upper right corner. 






THE 160-ACRE LIMITATION 



Few legislative acts have had as enduring an effect in cre- 
ating the economic basis for the modern prosperity of the 
western United States as the adoption under the administra- 
tion of President Theodore Roosevelt of the Reclamation Act 
of 1902. In addition to creating the modern Bureau of Recla- 
mation, this act and its succeeding amendments established a 
framework for the administration of lands benefiting from 
the Bureau's programs which has been the focus of intense 
controversy through this century. 

Rather than breaking up large landholdings already in 
existence in 1902, the reclamation act sought in part to create 
new farmlands in the 17 contiguous states west of the 100th 
meridian which would then be reserved for settlement as 
small family farms. As Roosevelt told the Congress in calling 
for the reclamation act, "These irrigation works should be 
built by the National Government, the lands reclaimed by 
them should be reserved by the Government for actual set- 
tlers, and the cost of construction should, so far as possible, be 

repaid by the lands reclaimed Our people as a whole will 

profit, for successful homemaking is but another name for 
the up-building of the nation." 

In order to assure that reclamation projects will not be 
operated for the benefit of large landowners within their 
service areas, the act requires that water from these public 
projects cannot be delivered to landholdings larger than 160 
acres. Individual owners or the members of a family may, 
however, combine their 160-acre plots into larger agricul- 
tural operations. And no single owner of more than 160 
acres can be compelled to break up his holdings so long as he 
does not take water from the project for more than 160 
acres. But those who do are required to sign contracts 
agreeing to sell any lands in excess of this 160-acre limita- 
tion within a specified period of their first receipt of proj- 
ect water. Lastly, in order to prevent these owners from 
profiting unduly from the sale of their lands at the increased 
values they would obtain as the result of the availability of 
project water, an amendment to the original act in 1926 
provided that these "excess" lands must be sold at a price 
approved by federal officials that reflects the value of the 
land without the delivery of project water. 

Since its adoption, virtually every aspect of the act has 
been the object of extended litigation and the precise effect 
of the 160-acre limitation and the obligations it creates for 



landowners is a question that remains before the courts to- 
day. As the agency responsible for enforcement of the 160- 
acre limitation, the Bureau of Reclamation has been criti- 
cized at various times and in different quarters for being 
either too lax or too vigorous in its efforts to implement the 
restriction. No state, however,has benefited more than 
California from federal reclamation programs, and in no 
state, consequently, has the contoversy over the 160-acre 
limitation raged with greater intensity. Of the 16,891,000 
acres subject to the excess lands provision in all Bureau of 
Reclamation projects throughout the United States in 1977, 
fully 4,867,00 lay within California. 

In recent years, questions involving the enforcement of 
the 160-acre limitation within California have centered 
upon two of the state's largest agricultural districts: the Im- 
perial Irrigation District and the Westlands Water District. 
The Imperial Irrigation District secured a letter from the 
outgoing Secretary of the Interior, Ray Lyman Wilbur, in 
the closing days of the Herbert Hoover Administration sup- 
porting the district's contention that it should be exempt 
from the 160-acre limitation because its lands and irriga- 
tion systems had already been partly developed before the 
completion of the Ail-American Canal. Although the dis- 
trict has relied upon that letter in the years since, the fed- 
eral government has sought since the 1960s to compel the 
district to accept a new water service contract which would 
apply the 160-acre limitation to lands of the Imperial Irriga- 
tion District. This question is still pending in the courts. 

At least 217,700 of the approximately 600,000 acres in 
the Westlands Water District must be sold as excess lands 
between 1978 and 1987 under the contracts district land- 
owners signed when they first accepted water service from 
the San Luis Unit. In addition, the district needs to enter 
into new water service and construction contracts with the 
Department of the Interior in order to continue receiving 
federal funds for the further development of the district's 
water distribution and drainage system. Numerous ques- 
tions concerning the operations of the district and its com- 
pliance with federal law, however, were raised by a local, 
state, and federal task force in 1978. The administration of 
future land sales in the Westlands district and the precise 
terms of the contracts the district requires are consequently 
unresolved questions at this time. 



generated at Shasta was transmitted by the Central 
Valley Project to its pumping station at Tracy over its 
own lines. In exchange, PG&E became the retail 
distributor for the project's public preference 
customers. The Bureau was denied its own steam 
generating plant to provide back-up power — PG&E 
agreed to provide that service. PG&E buys power from 
the project at nearly the same low rates the Bureau 
charges to its preference customers, but the power 
PG&E buys is only that which is surplus, after the 
project's needs and those of the Bureau's preference 
customers have been met. The rates at which PG&E 
sells project power are much higher than the public 
power advocates demanded in their zeal to provide 
cheap electricity for the public. But the large farm 
interests approved the rates because they help to pay a 
substantial portion of their irrigation water costs. The 
wheeling agreement has had the effect of binding the 
Bureau and PG&E together in a mutually beneficial 
arrangement. PG&E gets cheap power the project 
cannot use, and this helps delay the utility's need to 
build new power plants of its own. The Bureau, in turn, 
is able to extend the distribution of project power at low 
rates to a wider range of customers. 

In 1944 representatives of California's major 
agricultural interests in Congress secured the passage 
of a flood control act which authorized the Corps of 
Engineers to initiate a chain of dams in the Central 
Valley whose principal function of flood control also 
provided water conservation capability. Although few 
of the Corps' projects could be integrated into the 
Central Valley Project, these proposed dams interfered 
with the original intent of the Central Valley Project to 
coordinate the flow of water and power throughout the 
basin under unified Bureau of Reclamation direction. 
Rivalry between the Bureau of Reclamation and the 
Corps of Engineers prompted both agencies to advance 
planning documents on proposed future dams for the 
Central Valley in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Of the 
initial series of Corps projects, only Folsom Dam was 
integrated into the Central Valley Project and 
subsequent efforts at coordination between the twp 
federal agencies have not prevailed. 

Because the Bureau markets all irrigation water from 
Corps projects in the West, the intervention of the 
Corps in Central Valley water development did nothing 
to relieve corporate farms within the Bureau's service 
area from the strictures of the 160-acre limitation. The 
large-scale agribusiness concerns, in league with many 
irrigation districts, have therefore fought the 
imposition of family farm controls on Central Valley 
Project service area lands from 1944 until the present 
day. In memorable Congressional struggles in 1944 and 
again in the period 1947-49, efforts to secure exemption 
for the Central Valley Project from the 160-acre 
limitation met defeat. Efforts to challenge these 
limitations in the courts were finally blocked as well in 
the United States Supreme Court Ivanhoe Irrigation 
District v. McCracken decision in 1958. Administrative 
devices, like the use of ten-year recordable contracts, 
combined with fluctuating degrees of enthusiasm for 
enforcement by federal authorities, relaxed the most 
immediate constraints of the law, but the threat of its 
implementation remained. 

The movement for state purchase of the Central 
Valley Project came to nought when the system became 
fully operational in 1951. Many districts were quick to 
sign up for the interest-free federal water which eased 
the problems of groundwater depletion in the eastern 
San Joaquin Valley. Support for state ownership of the 
project facilities fell away, in the last analysis, because of 
the sheer cost of purchase. Inquiries had been made in 
1945 when the Secretary of the Interior suggested a 
purchase price of $357 million. In 1952 the Legislature 
appropriated $10 million for feasibility studies of the 
proposal. But in 1954 the drive for state purchase 
foundered on the Bureau of Reclamation's reappraisal 
which doubled the value of the project. Governor 
Goodwin Knight's decision in October 1954 to drop the 
proposal altogether thus shifted attention to plans which 
the State Engineer, A. D. Edmonston, had put forward 
for the state to construct its own project on the Feather 
River. 

THE STATE WATER PROJECT 

Despite the opening of the Central Valley Project in 
1951, the rush of migration to California in the years 
after World War Two combined with corporate 
agriculture's dissatisfaction with the 160-acre limitation 
to create a renewed interest in state development of 
additional water supplies to serve California's swelling 
population. In 1945 the Legislature created the State 



50 



Water Resources Control Board and directed it to make 
a comprehensive investigation of the water resources of 
California and to develop plans for a project to meet 
California's water needs in the near future. These 
studies were carried out for the board by the Division of 
Water Resources of the Department of Public Works. 
The first phase of the comprehensive study, and 
inventory of water resources throughout the state, was 
published in 1951. 

The publication of the inventory coincided with the 
appearance of two proposals for the development of 
new water projects, one by the Bureau of Reclamation, 
and the other by the state engineer. The Bureau 
approached the problem of California's water supply 
from a broad perspective that took into account the 
needs of neighboring western states. Its study proposed 
the diversion of more than six million acre-feet from the 
Klamath River, whose flows California shares with 
Oregon, to serve the Central Valley and South Coast of 
California. Of this total, only 286,000 acre-feet would 
go to municipal uses, although the Bureau proposed 
taking another 1.2 million acre-feet from the Colorado 
River basin for unspecified purposes. Even more 
dramatic from the point of view of California's water 
planners, the Bureau proposed allocating the waters of 
Los Angeles' Owens Valley aqueduct to the Mojave 
Desert and diverting a part of the flow of the American 
River to Nevada. 

Although Edmonston's report contained many of the 
features of the Bureau plan, it excluded, of course, the 
controversial proposals for massive shifts in the sources 
of Southern California's water supply and diversions to 
other states. Instead, Edmonston proposed a much 
smaller project to divert water from the Feather River 
to a multi-purpose dam, reservoir and power facility 
near Oroville which would control floods, augment the 
natural dry-weather flows to the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta, and provide a source of supply for a 
state-constructed delivery system to transport water 
from the Delta to portions of the San Francisco Bay 
Area, the farmlands in the San Joaquin Valley, and to 
the people and industry of Southern California. 

The Legislature authorized funds for continued 
planning for Edmonston's proposal and in early 1955, 
Edmonston made a more detailed report which 
reviewed the engineering and financial feasibility of the 
project and recommended modifying the original plan 
to include the San Luis Reservoir in the western San 
Joaquin Valley and additional service to the Bay Area. 
This report was then submitted to the Bechtel 
Corporation, an independent consulting firm, which 
approved the basic engineering concepts and financial 
arrangements by year's end. That winter a devastating 
flood hit Northern and Central California, causing loss 
of life and extensive property damage. This disaster 
pointed dramatically to the need for flood control on the 
Feather River and, with the start of its next session, the 
Legislature appropriated over $25 million to begin 
preliminary work on the Feather River Project. 

The state government, however, had never con- 
structed a water supply project of any size and was 
poorly organized to undertake a project of the dimen- 
sions Edmonston proposed. There were 52 indepen- 
dent California agencies with responsibility for some 
aspect of water development and more than 90 state 
officers working on water problems without coordina- 
tion or central direction. Eight separate agencies dealt 
with questions of water rights, 14 handled pollution 
control, three flood control, and planning was con- 
ducted by four different offices. To bring order to this 
tangled bureaucracy, Governor Knight called a special 
legislative session in 1956 which created the Depart- 
ment of Water Resources as an amalgam of these for- 
merly independent entities. 

With the groundwork thus laid for his project, and 
his office as State Engineer abolished as a result of the 
formation of the new department, Edmonston retired. 
While inventories of the state's water resources con- 
tinued and studies of alternative routes for the project 
were pressed forward, the task of building popular 
support for Edmonston's proposal fell to the ad hoc 
Feather River Project Association. Enthusiasm for the 
project, however, remained concentrated in the agri- 
cultural interests of the San Joaquin Valley. Edmon- 
ston had succeeded in enlisting urban allies in the 
Santa Clara Valley by including the Alameda-Santa 
Clara-San Benito Aqueduct in his 1951 proposal to 
supply the rapidly expanding communities of the 
South Bay. But most water interests in the north were 
unhappy with plans to export "their" water. If surplus 
water were to be sent south, they wanted the right to 
the water when they needed it. They also wanted 
funds to develop their own local projects. 




Even worse, the urban communities of the South 
Coast who were the proposed beneficiaries of the proj- 
ect greeted the plan through their representatives on 
the Metropolitan Water District with suspicion and 
outright hostility. Although their supply from the 
Colorado was threatened by the suit Arizona filed in 
1952, many directors of MWD were reluctant to 
weaken their case before the Supreme Court by com- 
mitting themselves to a large alternative source of 
water from the proposed state project. And, although 
Southern Californians recognized that they would 
eventually need an additional source of water, they 
were afraid that if they contracted for water from the 
Feather River, the Legislature at some future time 
might overturn their contracts, taking back "their" 
water for Northern California. 

MWD, representing most of the population in that 
area, therefore demanded a state constitutional 
amendment guaranteeing its water deliveries from the 
project. When two-thirds of the state legislators 
proved unable to word an amendment acceptable to 
the different water interests they represented, MWD 
was in the forefront of the opposition to bills authoriz- 
ing the project in 1958 and 1959. Under the leadership 
of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Sr., however, a new 
approach was tried. Instead of a constitutional amend- 
ment, guarantees for the proposed delivery contracts 
were written into a bond measure to be passed by the 
Legislature and submitted to the voters of the state. 
Although still opposed by MWD, this State Water 
Resources Development Bond Act, known as the 
Burns-Porter Act, passed the Legislature in 1959, sub- 
ject to ratification by the voters at the 1960 General 
Election. In addition to authorizing $1.75 billion in gen- 
eral obligation bonds to help finance construction of 
specific state water facilities, the act provided for 
future dams on northern rivers and a drain to remove 
agricultural wastewater from the Central Valley. 

The act attempted to strike an accommodation 
between competing regional interests. For the north- 
ern part of the state, it specifically guaranteed protec- 
tion of water rights in the areas of origin of the water, 



and provided that $130 million from the sale of the 
bonds would be designated for loans and grants to 
public agencies for construction of local water projects 
as provided in a companion bill called the Davis- 
Grunsky Act. For water interests in the south, it 
required that the state not impair contracts for sale 
and delivery of water during the lifetime of the bonds. 
The campaign for authorization of the bonds in 1960 
nevertheless became one of the most fiercely contested 
elections in the history of the state. 

Proponents cited the need for water for California's 
rapidly growing cities and to supplement the badly 
overdrawn groundwater basins in agricultural areas. 
But many Northern Californians simply did not want 
Southern California taking "their" water. While some 
people felt that the state must help provide water for 
the growth of the Los Angeles area, especially if water 
from the Colorado River were not available, others did 
not want to provide water which they felt would 
encourage growth in an area which could not accom- 
modate it. Some believed that the state's high rate of 
growth would not continue unabated, that the projec- 
tions of future water needs were consequently unreal- 
istic, and that the water, therefore, would not be sold. 
While the large-scale, industrialized farmers in the San 
Joaquin Valley were anxious for a new source of water 
not subject to acreage restrictions by the federal 
government, the State Grange opposed the project and 
many people felt that the 160-acre limitation was desir- 
able in order to preserve small family farms. Organized 
labor, which today provides one of the most resolute 
reservoirs of support for public works projects of every 
kind, split on the issue of the bonds. While the team- 
sters, steelworkers, and operating engineers supported 
the project, the California Labor Federation opposed it, 
arguing that the project would principally benefit 
agribusiness, which the Federation regarded as the 
enemy of the farmworkers it hoped to organize. Envi- 
ronmentalists pointed to possible adverse effects on the 
Delta and San Francisco Bay, and the future dangers of 
development on the North Coast rivers. Furthermore, 
they felt that not enough attention had been paid to 



VALLEY DELIVERERS 



In contrast to Mulholland and Chaffey, the self-taught 
geniuses who shaped water development in an earlier era, 
the men who conceived the Central Valley Project and State 
Water Project were products of the governmental bureau- 
cracies and twentieth century engineering professions 
which have come to dominate the modern course of water 
development. Robert Bradford Marshall joined the United 
States Geological Survey after his graduation from 
Columbian (now George Washington) University in 1888, 
and rose over the next 20 years to become its chief 
geographer. Arthur D. Edmonston, a native Californian, 
took his civil engineering degree from Stanf ordUniversity in 
1910 and spent virtually his entire professional career inside 
the Department of Water Resources. 

Both men served with the army engineers during World 
War One; Marshall as a Lieutenant Colonel, Edmonston as a 
Second Lieutenant. But, whereas Edmonston joined the 



state after the war, Marshall left government service in 1919 
to promote his plan for the Central Valley. The long hours 
Marshall devoted to arguing for his project ultimately cost 
him his voice, although a bellows-like device developed by 
the Bell Telephone Company in 1929 enabled him to regain 
at least partial speech. 

Following the loss of his campaign and the decision to turn 
development of the Central Valley Project over to the federal 
government, Marshall ended his career as an employee of the 
California Division of Highways. Marshall lived to see the 
transformation of his dream into concrete reality before his 
death in 1949, and it was Edmonston, as the state's Principal 
Hydraulic Engineer, who was responsible for drawing up 
many of the specific plans and designs for the Central Valley 
Project. Edmonston, however, died within a year of his 
retirement and so never saw his plan for the State Water 
Project take shape. 



To a greater extent probably than 
any other part of the state, the 
development of agriculture in the 
Central Valley has been the pro- 
duct of technological innovation. 
Before the introduction of cen- 
trifugal pumps powered by gas- 
oline or electricity made the use 
of groundwater possible on a 
large scale, valley farmers ex- 
perimented with wind and horse 
power to pump the water they 
required. 



51 



State Water Project water Year 1975 



The width of the flow lines is proportional to the quantity of water, in acre-feet, 
delivered to that water contractor from October 1974 through September 1975. 



NapaFC&WCD 



South Bay 




WATER CONTRACTORS 

(Contractor/ Acre-Feet) 

Feather River 

Last Chance Crk WD 19,129 
PlumasFC&WCD 477 
Butte County 238 

Thermalito ID 468 

North Bay 



Service Areas and Facilities 



6,919 



ACFC&WCD (#7) 17,179 

Alameda Co. WD 5,760 

Santa Clara 

Valley WD 103,881 



San Joaquin 



Tracy G&CC 6 

Oak Flat WD 7,266 

Kings County 1,580 

Empire WSID 6,528 

Tulare Lake WSD 201,202 

Green Valley WD 2,217 

Dudley Ridge WD 80,356 



North 
Bay 



Devil's Den WD 
Hacienda WD 
Buena Vista WSD 



16,871 

8,952 

6,397 1 



Kern County WA 788,409 



Feather River 




(V 



(2) 



(7) 

> A! 

' (9) 




(1) 



Delta 



■(3) 



South 
Bay 



mm) 

(13) V 



^ 



Lake or Reservoir 
and ID # for graph 

Pumping Plant 
and ID # for graph 

Power Plant 

and ID # for graph 

Contractor's location 



River 

State Water Project— aqueduct 

Service area boundary 

General area of distribution points for 
Kern County Water Agency members 



6 



o 



Abbreviations: 


AC 


Alameda County 


AV-EK 


Antelope Valley-East Kern 


FC 


Flood Control 


G&CC 


Golf and Country Club 


PwP 


Power Plant 


ID 


Irrigation District 


MWD 


Metropolitan Water District 


PpP 


Pumping Plant 


Res 


Reservoir 


VM 


Valley Municipal 


WA 


Water Agency 


WCD 


Water Conservation District 


WD 


Water District 


WS 


West Side 


WSD 


Water Service District 




50 mi 
i 1 1 



100 km 



(9) \ 






S 



San Joaquin 



Southern California 

AV-EK WA 6,87 

Mojave WA 1 

Littlerock Crk ID 77: 

Coachella WD 6,84 

Desert WA 10,90 

San Gabriel VM WD 2,71. 



<Ss.ni) 

(12)\ 



Southern 
California 




MWD- 
Southern 
California 



479,565 



Crestline- 
t Lake Arrowhead WA 768 

I San Bernadino 

VMWD 5,385 




C3 



• ••• 








• •••• 




••••• 
••••• 
••••• 
••••• 
• •••• 




a 

Q_ 






• ••« 




CO 

o 























o 



(12) 



(13) 



(14) 



O 



(15) 



• • 



(16) 





a> 




CC 


CO 

® 

CC 


o 
sz 
o 


OT 


o 


C 


as 


as 


CL 


CD 





as 


O 
Li_ 


o 




>> 








E 


c 




a> 
















CL 


a> 






UJ 






I I 



(11)- 



(12) (13) 



(14) 



(15) 



(16) (17) 



(18) 



Energy Generation, Use, 
and Water Pumped 

The graph compares the amount of energy generated 
by power plants along the system with the still larger 
amount of energy consumed by pumping plants to 
maintain flows within the system and to lift water over 
physical barriers. The absence of a symbol for certain 
pumping plants indicates the energy consumed was 
less than 25 million kilowatt hours. 

• 50 million kilowatt hours of energy generated 

• 50 million kilowatt hours of energy consumed 
I Total water pumped 

"Joint federal/state facility. Only state share is shown. 

Reservoir Capacities 

Project reservoirs have a total storage capacity of about 
6.8 million acre-feet. Seasonal variations in supply and 
demand produce significant differences in the amount 
of water stored in a given month. Also, the reservoirs 
provide different functions for the system. Oroville, for 
example, retains water near its source in the Sierra; San 
Luis stores water in transit within the system; and Pyra- 
mid holds water for distribution to an urban area. 



(19) 



(20) 



Water storage capacity 



*Joint federal/state facility. Total capacities are shown. 



alternative sources of water such as desalination, 
geothermal deposits, and wastewater reclamation, 
although others pointed out that these alternative 
sources of water were not yet economically available. 

Controversy focused especially upon the provisions 
of the bond measure for financing the project. Of the 
estimated $2.5 billion total cost of the project, only 
$1.75 billion would be covered by the sale of bonds. 
The Burns-Porter Act appropriated to the project por- 
tions of the state tideland oil revenues, which project 
proponents hoped would provide another $500 million 
by the time these funds were needed for construction. 
But the Davis-Grunsky Act pledged $130 million from 
the bond sales for a host of local projects, the promise 
of which had been crucial in lining up votes for the 
proposal in the Legislature. Additional promises had 
been given for so-called "second stage works" which 
opponents argued would cost the equivalent of all the 
tideland oil revenues set aside for the project itself. 

In an effort to resolve these questions and additional 
complaints that the discount rate used for evaluation 
was too low and that the proposal underestimated the 
effects of inflation, the state retained two independent 
consulting firms to report on the project's economic 
feasibility. Two weeks before election day, their pub- 
lished reports gave a qualified endorsement of the plan 
but noted that the funding was sufficient only if infla- 
tion did not further erode the value of the dollar. The 
failure of this conclusion to resolve the controversy is 
suggested by the fact that the Los Angeles Times, which 
supported the project, reported that the consultants 
had given the plan a "sound rating" while the San Fran- 
cisco Chronicle, virulent in its opposition, headed its story 
on the reports, "State Water Plan Called Impossible." 

As the election drew near, MWD's board of directors 
began to waver in their adamant opposition to the 
plan. When the Burns-Porter Act first cleared the 
Legislature, MWD made clear its rejection of the plan 
by announcing plans to develop a project of its own, 
tapping the Eel River for the benefit of the South 
Coast. When this gesture of defiance prompted memo- 
ries throughout the state of Los Angeles' activities in 
the Owens Valley, MWD found its position increas- 
ingly isolated as communities in the South Coast 
began individually endorsing the project. Four days 
before the election, the board reversed its earlier oppo- 
sition and signed a contract with the state for the deliv- 
ery of 1.5 million acre-feet of project water. On 
November 8, the bond issued passed by a margin of 
173,944 votes out of a total of 5.8 million cast. Wide- 
spread popular support in Sothern California delivered 
this narrow victory; among the counties of Northern 
California, the bond issued passed only in Butte 
County, site of the proposed dam at Oroville. 



MODERN OPERATIONS 

The 1950s, when the State Water Project was pro- 
posed, planned and designed, was a period of wide- 
spread expansion for water projects throughout 
California. While the state was raising funds for its 
own project, Congress, under the leadership of friends 
of California water development such as Clair Engle, 
untied the federal purse strings. In 1949 the Bureau of 
Reclamation published a study of the Central Valley 
Basin which detailed no less than 38 future dam sites 
for multi-purpose projects with connecting canals and 
power support facilities. And the two decades which 
followed saw the implementation of many of these 
proposals. 

Unplanned irrigation diversions from the Sacra- 
mento River brought an awareness that Shasta Dam 
did not provide enough capacity to meet the manifold 
water requirements of the Delta Pool. Folsom Dam, 
the major facility of the American River Division, was 
built by the Corps of Engineers between 1948 and 
1956 and then taken over by the Bureau, which built 
Nimbus Dam as a downstream regulating facility. 
When the Sacramento Valley Canals Unit was sent to 
Congress by President Harry S. Truman, he, tied its 
construction to a North Coast or Trinity River source 
for augmenting flows in the Sacramento River. The 
Trinity River Division, built between 1957 and 1964, 
carries water from Clair Engle Lake to the Lewiston 
Dam, then through a 17-mile tunnel through the 
Coastal Range to Whiskeytown Dam before reaching 
the Sacramento at Keswick Dam. The San Luis Unit, a 
combined operation with the State Water Project, also 
had its inception in the Bureau's Central Valley plans 
of 1949. Its reservoirs were designed to augment the 
underground water table on the west side of the San 
Joaquin Valley where a half million acres of farmland 



Future Deliveries of the State Water Project 











Maximum 


First 






1975 


1975 


Annual 


Year of 




CONTRACTOR 


Actual 


Contracted 


Contracted 


Maximum 




Type of Water 


Delivery 


Entitlement 


Entitlement 


Entitlement 


Feather River Service Area 










1. 


Butte County 












Entitlement Water 


253 


1,050 


27,500 


1990 


2. 


Last Chance Creek Water District 












Regulated Delivery of Local Supply 


18,602 











3. 


Plumas County Flood Control and Water Conservation District 












Entitlement Water 


405 


560 


2,700 


2016 


4. 


Thermalito Irrigation District 












Regulated Delivery of Local Supply 
Yuba City 


413 








5. 












Entitlement Water 








9,600 


1990 


North 


Bay Service Area 










6. 


Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District 
Regulated Delivery of Local Supply 
Entitlement Water 


6,840 














25,000 


1990 


7. 


Solano County Flood Control and Water Conservation District 












Entitlement Water 








42,000 


1990 


South 


Bay Service Area 










8. 


Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District - Zone 7 










Entitlement Water 


4,618 


16,000 


46,000 


1997 




Regulated Delivery of Local Supply 
Alameda County Water District 


1 1 ,702 








9. 










Entitlement Water 


986 


20,500 


42,000 


1994 




Regulated Delivery of Local Supply 
Santa Clara Valley Water District 


7,739 








10. 










Entitlement Water 


88,000 


88,000 


100,000 


1994 




Surplus Water 


18,470 














San Joaquin Valley Service Area 










11. 


Buena Vista Water Storage District 
Repayment of Preconsolidation Water 


6,797 








12. 


Devil's Den Water District 










Entitlement Water 


10,700 


10,700 


12,700 


1977 




Surplus Water 


7,495 








13. 


Dudley Ridge Water District 










Entitlement Water 


40,555 


40,555 


57,700 


1990 




Surplus Water 


40,555 










14. 


Empire West Side Irrigation District 












Entitlement Water 


3,000 


3,000 


3,000 


1969 




Surplus Water 


3,448 










15. 


Green Valley Water District 
Surplus Water 


2,217 








16. 


Hacienda Water District 










Entitlement Water 


3,758 


3,758 


8,500 


1990 




Surplus Water 


3,759 








17. 


Kern County Water Agency 












Entitlement Water 


410,820 


410,820 


1,153,400 


1990 




Surplus Water 


410,820 










18. 


Kings County 












Entitlement Water 


1,600 


1,600 


4,000 


1987 


19. 


Oak Flat Water District 












Entitlement Water 


3,576 


3,576 


5,700 


1990 




Surplus Water 


3,576 








20. 


Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District 










Entitlement Water 


82,500 


82,500 


110,000 


1990 




Surplus Water 


132,206 










Central Coastal Service Area 










21. 


San Luis Obispo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District 












Entitlement Water o 







25,000 


1990 


22. 


Santa Barbara County Flood Control and Water Conservation District 












Entitlement Water o 







57,700 


1990 


Southern California Service Area 










23. 


Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency 












Entitlement Water 


8,068 


35,000 


138,400 


1991 


24. 


Castaic Lake Water Agency 












Entitlement Water 





7,500 


41,500 


1991 


25. 


Coachella Valley County Water District 












Entitlement Water 


7,000 


7,000 


23,100 


1990 


26. 


Crestline-Lake Arrowhead Water Agency 












Entitlement Water 


825 


1,450 


5,800 


1990 


27. 


Desert Water Agency 












Entitlement Water 


11,000 


11,000 


38,100 


1990 


28. 


Littlerock Creek Irrigation District 












Entitlement Water 


520 


520 


2,300 


1990 




Surplus Water 


356 









29. 


Metropolitan Water District of Southern California California 












Entitlement Water 


526,958 


555,200 


2,011,500 


1990 


30. 


Mojave Water Agency 












Entitlement Water 





15,400 


50,800 


1990 


31. 


Palmdale Water District 












Entitlement Water 





5,580 


17,300 


1990 


32. 


San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District 












Entitlement Water 


13,865 


52,500 


102,600 


1991 


33. 


San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District 












Entitlement Water 


5,450 


13,100 


28,800 


1990 


34. 


San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency 












Entitlement Water 








17,300 


1990 


35. 


Ventura County Flood Control District 












Entitlement Water 








20,000 


1990 


TOTAL STATE WATER PROJECT 


1,911,152' 


1 ,386,869 


4,230,000 


2016 



1. This total includes 11,700 acre-feet wheeled for the United States 
Fish and Wildlife Service to the San Joaquin Valley Service Area. 



The configuration of water deliveries shown on the map of the 
State Water Project is scheduled to change dramatically under the 
contracts the Department of Water Resources has entered into 
for the future. This table compares the actual deliveries made to 
water contractors in 1975 with the amounts to which they were 
entitled under these contracts in that year. Current deliveries are 
in turn compared to the maximum amounts to which these con- 
tractors are ultimately entitled and the years in which their enti- 
tlements will reach these maximum figures. The dates of maxi- 
mum entitlement shown here are those stipulated in the current 
contracts; the actual dates when deliveries will reach these max- 
imums may be different and the state is currently seeking to 
make revisions in some of its contracts. 

The state, in 1978, distinguished 15 types of water in connec- 



tion with the operation of the State Water Project. The four types 
commonly used in most years are shown here. Entitlement water 
is the water made available to a contractor under the terms of a 
contract with the state. Surplus water is the amount that can be 
made available in any year after entitlement deliveries and the 
requirements for construction and operation have been fulfilled. 
Repayments of preconsolidation water involve the repayment of 
water loaned to the state by local water agencies for purposes of 
aqueduct construction; these amounts are currently scheduled 
to be repaid fully by 1985. Regulated deliveries of local supply 
occur where water derived from local sources but regulated by 
state facilities is delivered to the contractor by the state; in most 
cases, the local agency holds water rights within the watershed 
of a reservoir on the State Water Project. 



53 



When the proposed admission of 
California to the Union threat- 
ened to upset the antebellum 
balance of slave and free states, 
Daniel Webster sought to allay 
the fears of southern senators by 
pointing out that California could 
never undermine the economy 
of their states because it was 
incapable of producing cotton. 
As the presentation of agri- 
cultural water use on the facing 
page makes clear, however, the 
construction of the modern 
water system has transformed 
the natural conditions on which 
Webster's assurances were based, 
and cotton today accounts for a 
major part of the irrigation water 
applied each year in California. 

The photographs on this page 
include a construction scene 
during the building of the State 
Water Project, a pumping plant 
west of Buena Vista Lake, and a 
view of the Carquinez Strait at 
Vallejo, the heavily industrial- 
ized corridor through which the 
great rivers of the interior flow 
into San Francisco Bay and the 
ocean. 





were threatened by subsidence, salinity, and a rising 
water table. 

The San Luis site was included as well in Edmon- 
ston's original plans for the Feather River Project in 
1951. The agreement for joint construction, ownership, 
and use of San Luis between the State of California and 
the United States government marked the first such 
undertaking by the Bureau of Reclamation and both 
governments have realized economies of scale as a 
result. The state paid 55 percent of the construction cost 
of the facility and the Bureau of Reclamation provided 
the balance. The giant, 600,000-acre Westlands Water 
District is the principal contractor for federal water 
from the San Luis Unit. Although the Congressional 
authorization for the project in 1960 required arrange- 
ments to be made for an adequate agricultural drain for 
the San Luis water service area, negotiations between 
the Bureau and the State Department of Water Re- 
sources for the joint development of a San Joaquin 
Master Drain collapsed in 1967 when the state with- 
drew and the Bureau commenced building its own San 
Luis Drain. This project is now partially completed from 
Kettleman City north to a reservoir near Gustine. 
Although it is planned to reach the southern Delta, 
lawsuits are promised to protect the Delta from the 
harmful effects of alkaline salt and nitrogen pollutants 
which some fear the drain would introduce into the 
Delta channels. 

While these federal projects took shape, the state 
pressed ahead with the development of its own State 
Water Project. The first general obligation bonds were 
sold in early 1964 and sales continued for several years, 
supplemented by revenue bonds backed by hydroelec- 
tric power sales and by the use of $325 million in 
revenue bonds authorized years before for the original 
state Central Valley Project. As interest rates in the 
bond market increased, however, the state could no 
longer sell the water bonds within the rate limit for 
general obligation bonds required by the California 
Constitution. In 1970 the voters approved increasing 
the interest rate ceiling to seven percent, making the 
bonds once again competitive. By the spring of 1972, the 
last of the water bonds available for financing the initial 
project facilities had been sold. 

The first deliveries from the State Water Project were 
made to Plumas County and to the Livermore Valley in 
1962. In 1965 the project reached the Santa Clara Val- 
ley. In 1967 both Oroville Dam and the San Luis Dam 
were finished. In 1968 water began flowing to Napa 
County and the San Joaquin Valley. And in 1971 the 
first project water crossed the Tehachapis to Southern 
California. By the end of 1968 the last contracts were 
signed for the full project yield of 4,230,000 acre-feet of 
water per year. And by 1973 the first phase of the State 
Water Project, the facilities to provide water contracted 
for until 1980, was essentially complete. The largest 
area to be served is Southern California with 2.5 million 
acre-feet. The Metropolitan Water District increased its 
original contract to two million acre-feet when Califor- 
nia lost the Colorado River decision. The second largest 
area of use is the San Joaquin Valley with 1.3 million 
acre-feet, most of which goes to the Kern County 
Water Agency. Contracts with other service areas 
include 188,000 acre-feet to the southern San Francisco 
Bay area, 83,000 to the South Coast, 67,000 to the 
northern San Francisco Bay Area, and 37,800 to the 
Feather River Area. These contracts presently provide 
for increasing amounts of water each year until 1990 to 
provide time for the build-up of demand. 

For years critics of the project had predicted financial 
disaster. But by 1974 the Department of Water Re- 
sources could report, "The State Water Project is a 
financially viable project, producing revenues which are 
sufficient to pay all costs of operation and maintenance, 
repay all capital expenditures with interest and eventu- 
ally producing surplus revenues for any future addi- 
tions to the State Water Resources Development 
System that may be authorized." The basic financial 
concept of the State Water Project is that the costs are 
paid by those who receive the direct benefits. Water 
users pay 80 percent of the costs; power users, 13 
percent. Funds for recreation and fish and wildlife 
benefits, amounting to three percent of total project 
costs, come from the state General Fund. The federal 
government pays the one percent flood control costs, 
and the other three percent comes from such sources as 
interest, rentals, and the sale of excess lands. Water 
rates are based on a Delta Water Charge, reflecting the 
construction and operating costs of the conservation 
facilities necessary to supply water to the Delta Pool, 
and a Transportation Charge, which includes construc- 
tion and operating costs of aqueducts and pumping 
plants to deliver the water from the Delta to the specific 



54 



Applied Irrigation Water 

1972 



I J Pasture 

I Meadow Pasture 
| | Alfalfa 
| I Grain 



Crop Types 

I | Miscellaneous Field 

| | Rice 

| Cotton 
| | Deciduous Orchard 

■ Subtropical Orchard 



Miscellaneous Truck 
Sugar Beets 
Tomatoes 
Grapes 



□ Each block represents 5,000 acre-feet of water applied to that crop type 

707,000 Number represents the total acre-feet of applied water in that Hydrologic Basin area 




50 miles 

i 



100 kilometers 






Before the construction of the 
modern water delivery systems 
of the Central Valley, residents 
of Coalinga had to bring their 
jugs to the distillation plant 
shown here to purchase their 
water for household use. Water 
deliveries have also enhanced 
the development of sophisticated 
corporate agricultural operations 
which farm vast tracts of land 
using mechanized equipment like 
the tomato picker at right. 

The satellite image on the facing 
page illustrates in part the inter- 
action of natural and artificial 
components of the modern water 
system through the juxtaposition 
of the Sierra Nevada and the 
great rain shadow it casts to the 
east with the intensive agri- 
cultural activities which water 
deliveries have helped to bring 
about in the San Joaquin Valley 
at left. 



service areas. After 1983, when the project's current 
energy contracts will expire, transportation charges for 
areas south of the Tehachapis will increase dramati- 
cally. All charges, however, include the repayment of 
principal and interest on the bonds used for financing 
construction. During the years when surplus water is 
available, it may be sold for the incremental costs of 
transporting the water and administering the program. 
During years of drought when less water is available, 
the state's contractual commitments for water are 
decreased. 

This system of full-cost financing for the State Water 
Project contrasts markedly with the methods of financ- 
ing employed in the Central Valley Project. The Bureau 
today delivers approximately 6.5 million acre-feet of 
water for irrigation on approximately two million acres 
of the Central Valley served by 130 irrigation districts in 
the project's water service area. Most of these districts 
have their own distributing systems built under Bureau 
programs and depend upon the Bureau only for supple- 
mental needs; however, the Bureau of Reclamation 
constructed distributing canals at reduced expense for 
the huge Westlands Water District. The demand for 
federal water is encouraged by the low price of this 
water, about one-fourth the rate for an acre-foot in the 
State Water Project service area. 

These low rates, of course, are sustained by subsidies 
such as the interest-free component in reclamation 
project construction charges. Federal taxpayers as a 
whole underwrite an estimated 13 percent of the cost of 
the Central Valley Project. It has also been estimated 
that public power sales from the Bureau's generating 
plants subsidize approximately 65 percent of the true 
cost of irrigation water deliveries. Detailed economic 
analyses of the project's operations, however, vary 
widely in their conclusions depending upon the 
discount rates chosen, the separable costs of the project 
that are attributed to irrigation, and the selection of 
items that are counted as expenses for the project's 
beneficiaries. Thus, while irrigators are chargeable by 
official estimate with 63 percent of the project's reim- 
bursable costs, some studies indicate that they in fact 
repay only 17 percent, while power users pay 72 percent 
and municipal and industrial users about 10 percent. 
Ever since the completion of the Contra Costa Canal 
serving residential and industrial customers along Sui- 
sun Bay, however, the Central Valley Project has found 
an increasing demand for its water in an expanding 
urban market. Coalinga is one of the most recent cities 
which has come to rely on project water. In 1975 a 
reported 147,000 acre-feet of Central Valley Project 
water served California's urban and industrial areas. 

The total capital investment in the Central Valley 
Project as of June 30, 1976, was $1,718,907,425. 



Another two billion dollars would be required to com- 
plete the project if all the authorized units such as the 
Auburn-Folsom South Unit, the San Felipe Division, 
and other major units were finished. No terminal date 
has been attached to these projections, however, and 
inflation may at some future time make these additions 
prohibitively expensive. Completion would bring the 
benefits of irrigation water to a total of three million 
acres of prime Central Valley agricultural land while at 
the same time making a million acre-feet of water avail- 
able to municipal and industrial users. 

Since the advent of the 1970s, however, environmen- 
tal concerns have combined with the increasing costs of 
project development to impose restraints upon the 
rapid course of water development that marked the 
1950s and 1960s. An early sign of these changing condi- 
tions was the intense reaction sparked by a 1967 report 
of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers proposing con- 
struction of a dam on the Middle Fork of the Eel River at 
Dos Rios. Water from this project would travel through 
a 21-mile state-financed tunnel to the Sacramento Val- 
ley for use in the State Water Project. A vigorous cam- 
paign was waged against both the economic and 
environmental aspects of the proposed dam and in 1971 
Governor Ronald Reagan joined in opposing plans for 
the Dos Rios Dam, thus forcing its suspension. A deci- 
sion by the State Water Resources Control Board that 
same year required the State Water Project to release 
water for the protection of the environment of the 
Delta. This decreased the amount of water available to 
meet contractual obligations. The following year the 
Legislature passed the California Wild and Scenic Rivers 
Act of 1972, prohibiting the construction of dams or 
diversion facilities, except for local needs, on those free- 
flowing North Coast rivers which were once considered 
as future water sources for the State Water Project. 

Increased attention to water quality standards in the 
Delta has also pitted the Bureau of Reclamation against 
the California State Water Resources Control Board. 
The Bureau must secure from this board permits to 
water rights for unappropriated water to be impounded 
by every new Bureau of Reclamation dam. The regional 
director for the Central Valley Project went on record in 
1957 stating that the Bureau's responsibility for con- 
trolling salinity intrusion in the Delta channels was 
limited to the waters adjacent to the pumping stations 
for the Contra Costa and Delta-Mendota canals. Some 
thought this stance a betrayal of federal obligations 
going back to the Hyatt Report of 1930. The board's 
decision in 1971 to require both the State Water Project 
and the Central Valley Project to release fresh water in 
the Delta so as to give protection to fish and wildlife 
beyond the previous agricultural, municipal, and indus- 
trial water-use standards placed significant constraints 




upon the Bureau's plans for operation of the New 
Melones and Auburn dams. Although the federal 
government went to court to test the authority of Cali- 
fornia to limit its water rights and operations in these 
and related cases, the United States Supreme Court in 
1978 upheld the board's power to impose requirements 
upon the operation of the New Melones Dam so long as 
these requirements do not conflict with the purposes 
for the dam which Congress specified in its authoriza- 
tion. 

The prospects for eventual completion of all the Cen- 
tral Valley Project's planned facilities are thus some- 
what doubtful. The New Melones project, although 
proceeding, has met with persistent opposition. Com- 
pletion of the Auburn Dam has been held up by con- 
cerns over seismic safety. Construction of the San 
Felipe Division to divert water from the San Luis Reser- 
voir to Santa Clara and San Benito counties has long 
been delayed by environmental impact studies and a 
lack of funding. The future activities of the Bureau in 
California may consequently involve not so much new 
construction as greater emphasis upon water manage- 
ment. This could be achieved through efforts aimed at 
more closely integrating the Bureau's operations with 
those of the Corps of Engineers, improved manage- 
ment of groundwater basins, enhancement of waste- 
water reclamation, new efforts at water conservation, 
and a re-examination of the Bureau's present agricul- 
tural water pricing system. The National Water Com- 
mission in 1973 recommended that water management 
functions take priority over further construction by the 
Bureau of Reclamation with emphasis directed toward 
increasing the efficiency of water use in the western 
states. 

In the case of the State Water Project, the great 
question for the future involves the development of the 
proposed Peripheral Canal, which was initially proposed 
by Bureau engineers as a means of conveying water for 
export and was adopted by the Department of Water 
Resources in 1965 as a means also of repelling tidal 
salinity intrusion in the Delta. In 1974 the Department 
of Water Resources released a draft environmental 
impact report on the Peripheral Canal which met with 
considerable opposition. A delay in the schedule for 
building the canal was announced and the following 
year, under a new administration, the Delta Alter- 
natives Review Program was established to reconsider 
the need for the canal or a different Delta transfer 
facility. This study was later expanded to include 
other water issues. 

In 1977 the Department recommended the Periph- 
eral Canal as part of a course of action which also 
included additional construction of some surface stor- 
age facilities; greater emphasis on conjunctive use of 
surface and groundwater supplies through 
underground storage in the San Joaquin Valley and 
Southern California for later withdrawal in dry years; 
and a series of new programs to encourage water con- 
servation and the greater use of reclaimed water. With 
respect to the Delta, the plan recommended completing 
and implementing the Four Agency Fisheries Agree- 
ment with other state and federal agencies directly con- 
cerned with the Delta; completing a long-term federal 
Central Valley Project-State Water Project operating 
agreement; and requiring assurance of federal authori- 
zation for the Central Valley Project to release stored 
water to protect Delta water quality. The Department 
argues that the Peripheral Canal is the best method of 
protecting the environment of the Delta while 
efficiently transporting water for export. While some 
environmentalists agree, others feel that conveying the 
water through natural Delta channels, which requires 
the release of fresh water to repel salt water from the 
ocean in order to protect the quality of export water, is 
the only sure way to protect water quality in the Delta. 

Congress has not yet appropriated funds for 
construction of the Peripheral Canal and the 
Department's overall program still awaits approval by 
the California Legislature. The severe drought in 1976 
and 1977, however, pointed forcefully to the need to 
provide additional water and power to meet ultimate 
contract commitments. While the future of the 
Peripheral Canal is being debated, the Department is 
working on a Water Action Plan, reviewing specific 
water issues and suggesting ways to solve them. Thus, 
for the Department of Water Resources as for the 
Bureau of Reclamation, the emphasis of earlier years on 
damming rivers to provide increasing amounts of water 
has shifted to one which also includes the increased use 
of management techniques to meet the expanding 
range of demands that are being placed upon the water 
supplies now available. 



56 



Hi 





'* JpM 











*§i 



•>. '* «* 







^ij 



■ 



& 



57 




CHAPTER 7 



The Operation of the 
Modern Water System 



The preceding sections have traced the sequential 
development of the major components of the modern 
water system. Within the brief span of only a little 
more than a century, Californians have remade the 
natural waterscape through the construction of a 
great network of artificial lakes and rivers. The 
modern water system, however, is more than these 
physical elements: it is made up as well of the legal and 
institutional structures we have erected to govern it 
and the social and economic development it has 
helped to foster. The wealth we have invested in the 
transformation of the natural waterscape has worked 
to make California the most populous and 
agriculturally productive state in the nation. In the 
process, however, we have become a culture which is 
as dependent upon water as the great water-based 
civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the 
Yang-tse and Yellow rivers. This section treats both 
the power and the limitations of the modern water 
system by examining the profound changes this 
system has wrought in the natural water 
endowment, the legal and institutional constraints 
under which it operates today, and the limits which 
nature nonetheless imposes upon the system through 
the extreme events of flood and drought. 

By draining the land and moving water over great 
distances, the development of the modern water 
system has altered the intricate balance of the water 
environment. The natural infiltration of water into 
the soil has been reduced by asphalt in our urban 
areas and increased by repeated plowing in the 
countryside. Evaporation from reservoirs, cloud 
seeding, and evapotranspiration from irrigated 
agriculture affect the flow and concentration of 
atmospheric water. And intensive pumping of 
groundwater basins has resulted in land surface 
subsidence in some areas and induced underground 
saltwater intrusion in others. 



THE ALTERED ENDOWMENT 

California today has more large dams with a 
greater total storage capacity than any other state in 
the Union. The myriad of surface storage facilities 
which has been created as a result is displayed on the 
map of California's major lakes and reservoirs in this 
section. Although California has a large number of 
natural lakes, their storage capacity, as the map 
shows, is considerably smaller than that of the 
reservoirs. The major exception, of course, is Lake 
Tahoe, whose great volume vastly exceeds that of all 
the other lakes and reservoirs shown here. The lakes 
and reservoirs on this map have been distinguished 
according to their surface elevations and surface 
acreage, which are important factors in determining 
the amount of evaporative loss any surface water 
storage body will experience. Most of the major 
reservoirs have been located in the mountains, where 
the best reservoir sites exist. Building reservoirs at 
these heights, however, also helps to reduce 
evaporation and create gravity flows for the 
generation of hydroelectric power. In the southern 
parts of the state, where evaporation rates are higher 
than in the north, reservoirs tend as well to be built 
deeper with less surface acreage as a way of reducing 
evaporative losses. 

The comparison of unimpaired and measured flows 
in this section provides probably the most graphic 
demonstration of the impact of human development 
on California's major rivers. With dams and diversion 



structures, we have smoothed out the seasonal peaks 
of natural streamflows and altered the concentration 
of sediments and nutrients these rivers once carried. 
As a result, the modern system of dams, reservoirs, 
and artificial channels has encouraged erosion in 
some areas and stopped it in others while slowing or 
halting the formation of alluvial floodplains in some 
parts of the state and accelerating their formation in 
others. 

The waterworks of California have also changed 
the distribution and abundance of virtually every 
native aquatic plant and animal in the state. No 
natural landscape in California has undergone a more 
severe alteration in this respect than its valley 
bottoms. In 1850 the Central Valley was a vast 
expanse of alkali flats, grassland prairie, and 
marshlands composed of tule beds, oxbow lakes, and 
freshwater bogs. In addition, forests of willow, oak, 
cottonwood, and sycamore covered an estimated 
775,000 acres. The bottomlands of the Sacramento 




Smog covers the pine forests of the San Gabriel Mountains. 



SUBSIDENCE AND SALTWATER INTRUSION 



Groundwater as a source of local supply possesses nu- 
merous advantages. Because it is insulated by an overlying 
mantle of soil and rock, groundwater does not suffer evap- 
orative losses, and its temperature is more uniform, a signal 
advantage in instances where it is to be used for air condi- 
tioning and certain other industrial uses in which water of a 
particular temperature is required. Most important, in 
areas where surface supplies are limited, it is often less ex- 
pensive to pump from a local groundwater basin than pay 
the costs of imported water. Overdraft by pumpage of a 
groundwater basin, however, may lead to subsidence of the 
land surface and, in some coastal areas, the usefulness of a 
groundwater reservoir may be impaired by saltwater intru- 
sion. 

Saltwater intrusion can occur wherever the natural sea- 
ward hydraulic gradient is reversed so that conditions favor 
the landward movement of sea water as when groundwater 
levels are drawn down below sea level by pumping. This 
could happen in a groundwater reservoir anywhere along 
the coast but the problem appeared first in Southern Cali- 
fornia. As early as 1906 saltwater was found to have moved 
up the San Diego River from Mission Bay, causing the 
abandonment of wells in San Diego's Old Town pumping 
field. Seasonal saltwater intrusion was noted as well in the 
Tijuana and San Dieguito river basins in San Diego County. 
And along the San Luis Rey River pumping for agricultural 
and municipal use had by 1938 drawn groundwater levels 
below sea level in a trough two to six miles inland from the 
ocean. In the years since water from the Colorado River 
became available, groundwater pumping in this area has 
been reduced and surface water has been used to recharge 
the groundwater basin, thus enabling the basin to hold its 
own against saltwater intrusion. 

The coastal plain in Los Angeles and Orange counties 
has been the scene of the most serious occurrences of salt- 
water intrusion and the most intensive countermeasures in 
California. For more than 50 years pumping from numer- 
ous wells progressively lowered groundwater levels until 
by 1953 they were below sea level in a large part of the area. 
Numerous wells near the coast had to be abandoned be- 
cause of increased salinity, and brackish groundwater ap- 
peared as much as eight miles inland. Most of the seawater 
intrusion occurred in the West Basin of Los Angeles Coun- 
ty, where groundwater levels fell to as much as 100 feet 
below sea level. Although water levels in most of the West 
Basin were still below sea level in 1970, saltwater intrusion 
had been repelled by the development of a barrier ridge 
created by injecting Colorado River water into a line of 93 
wells. In Orange County pumping from wells has been 
substantially reduced and Colorado River water is spread 
for artificial recharge. 

Further north, in Santa Barbara County, fears of salt- 
water intrusion were widespread during the drought of 



1945-55, when the City of Santa Barbara and numerous 
outlying communities were dependent upon groundwater 
pumping from three small coastal basins. The intrusion did 
not occur because these basins are separated from the ocean 
by impermeable materials, which did not permit the migra- 
tion of sea water. 

In contrast to saltwater intrusion, which is limited for the 
most part to the coastal areas of California, subsidence can 
occur wherever overdrafts of a groundwater basin reduce 
the upward hydraulic pressure that supports the overlying 
land surface. In the San Joaquin Valley, the site of the most 
extensive groundwater overdraft in California, subsidence 
became a noticeable problem by the 1920s. By 1970, an esti- 
mated 5,200 square miles of the valley had dropped to a 
maximum of 28 feet in the area west of Mendota. This sub- 
sidence in turn has created a need for expensive repairs to 
the Delta-Mendota and Friant-Kern canals, which were 
fractured as the ground beneath them subsided. 

The Santa Clara Valley along the southern arm of San 
Francisco Bay has achieved particular success in combating 
the problems of subsidence. Abundant artesian water 
supplies helped to establish the Santa Clara Valley as a 
principal center of fruit canning and drying in the 1930s. 
At this time, more than 110,000 acres of the valley were 
devoted to fruit and nut bearing orchard crops. The water 
demands of these crops, however, caused groundwater 
levels to drop over 150 feet in an area where 2,000 artesian 
wells once flowed and extensive subsidence became evident 
in 1933. The rate of subsidence declined, however, during 
the wet years the valley experienced from 1936 to 1943 and 
groundwater levels in some parts of the valley rose as much 
as 80 feet. 

After World War Two the Santa Clara Valley underwent 
intensive urban and industrial growth as the area's popula- 
tion increased from 291,000 in 1950 to 900,000 by 1965. 
The ensuing changes in land use from agriculture to urban 
development further taxed the local groundwater supplies. 
The overall volume of land subsidence from 1934 to 1967 is 
estimated to have been half a million acre-feet, the equiv- 
alent of about ten percent of the water pumped in this 33- 
year period. In some areas, the land surface dropped by as 
much as twelve feet between 1930 and 1969, causing mil- 
lions of dollars of damage. The Santa Clara Valley Water 
District responded by instituting a cloud seeding program 
and by purchasing water from the Hetch Hetchy project. 
These deliveries were used both on the surface and to re- 
charge the depleted aquifers. In 1965, water from the State 
Water Project became available through the South Bay 
Aqueduct, and the valley's annual imports increased to 
120,000 acre-feet by 1970. From 1967 to 1970 water levels 
in more than a hundred wells rose an average of about 56 
feet, and land subsidence was consequently brought to a 
halt. 







Principal Lakes and 






A 1 





Earth & Rock 

Unsorted, or sorted to 
use materials optimally. 




Earth Fill 

Inexpensive. Must be pro- 
tected from erosion and 
damaging percolation. 




New Melones 
New Exchequer 

(McClure) 
Hell Hole 
Pyramid 
Salt Springs 
Court right 
Wishon 
Bucks 

Cherry Valley (Lloyd) 

Whiskeytown 

Terminus (Kaweah) 

Buchanan 

Bradbury (Cachuma) 

New Hogan 

Clear Lake Reservoir 

Calaveras 



Oroville 

Don Pedro 

Trinity (Clair Engle) 

Union Valley 

Mammoth Pool 

Castaic 

San Luis 

Casitas 

Mathews 

Stampede 

L. L. Anderson 

(French Meadows) 
Indian Valley 
Twitchell 



Merced River 


1966 


Rubicon River 


1966 


Piru Creek 


1973 


No. Fk. Mokelumne R. 


1931 


Helms Creek 


1958 


North Fork Kings River 


1958 


Bucks Creek 


1928 


Cherry Creek 


1956 


Clear Creek 


1963 


Kaweah River 


1962 


Chowchilla River 


1975 


Santa Ynez River 


1953 


Calaveras River 


1964 


Lost River 


1910 


Calaveras Creek 


1925 


Feather River 


1968 


Tuolumne River 


1970 


Trinity River 


1960 


Silver Creek 


1963 


San Joaquin River 


1960 


Castaic Creek 


1971 


San Luis Creek 


1967 


Coyote Creek 


1959 


trib. of Cajalco Creek 


1938 


Little Truckee River 


1970 


Mid. Fk. American R. 


1965 


North Fk. Cache Creek 


1975 


Cuyama River 


1958 



Merced Irrigation District 
Placer Co. Water Agency 
Dept.of Water Resources 
Pacific Gas & Electric 
Pacific Gas & Electric 
Pacific Gas & Electric 
Pacific Gas & Electric 

City & Co. San Francisco 
US Bur. of Reclamation 
Army Corps of Engineers 
Army Corps of Engineers 
US Bur. of Reclamation 
Army Corps of Engineers 
US Bur. of Reclamation 
City & Co. San Francisco 



Dept. of Water Resources 
Turlock & Modesto IDs 
US Bur. of Reclamation 
Sacramento MUD 
Southern Calif. Edison 
Dept. of Water Resources 
US Bur. of Reclamation 
US Bur. of Reclamation 
Metro. Water Dist. So. Cal. 
US Bur. of Reclamation 

Placer Co. Water Agency 

Yolo Co. FCWCD 

US Bur. of Reclamation 



IFRP 

IMRP 

CIMFRP 

P 

P 

P 

IP 



CIMFl 
IMRP 
I FR 
IFR 
I MR 
C I FR 
IFR 
CM 



CIMFRP 

CIMFRP 

IMRP 

C I MRP 

MRP 

CIMFRP 

CIMRP 

IMR 

IM 

IMFR 

CIMRP 

IMFR 

IMFR 



F flood control 

R recreation 

P power generation 

N navigation (draft maintenance) 



Gravity 



Sheer mass of monolithic 
concrete resists water 
pressure. 




New Bullards Bar 

(Builards Bar) 
Monticello (Berryessa) 
Parker (Havasu) 

Nacimiento 
San Antonio 
Santa Felicia (Piru) 
Isabella 

Camp Far West 
Camanche 
Vermillion Valley 

(Edison) 
Coyote (Mendocino) 
Black Butte 
Long Valley (Crowley) 
Perris 
Prado 
Buena Vista 



Shasta 
Pine Flat 
Pardee 
O'Shaughnessy 

(Hetch Hetchy) 
Friant (Millerton) 
Folsom 
Shaver 



North Yuba River 
Putah Creek 
Colorado River 

Nacimiento River 
San Antonio River 
Piru Creek 
Kern River 
Bear River 
Mokelumne River 

Mono Creek 

East Fk. Russian River 

Stony Creek 

Owens River 

off stream 

Santa Ana 

Kern River 



San Diego River 
North Fk. Feather River 
San Luis Rey River 

Sacramento River 
Kings River 
Mokelumne River 

Tuolumne River 
San Joaquin River 
American River 
Stevenson Creek 



1934 
1927 
1923 

1949 
1954 
1929 

1923 
1947 
1956 
1927 



City of San Diego 
Pacific Gas & Electric 
Vista Irrigation District 

US Bur. of Reclamation 
Army Corps of Engineers 
East Bay Mun. Util. Dist. 



CI M 
I R P 
CI R 

IMF RPN 
CI FR 
M FR P 



City & Co. San Francisco CM F P 

US Bur. of Reclamation IFR 

US Bur. of Reclamation I FM R P 

Southern Calif. Edison RP 



1970 Yuba Co. Water Agency IMFRP 

1957 US Bur. of Reclamation IMFR 

1938 US Bur. of Reclamation FMRP 

1957 Monterey Co. FC&WCD CIMFR 

1965 Monterey Co. FC&WCD CIMFR 

1955 United Wtr. Conserv. Dist. CI M R 

1953 Army Corps of Engineers CIFR 
1963 South Sutter Water Dist. CIR 
1963 East Bay Mun. Util. Dist. MF 

1954 Southern Calif. Edison PM 
1959 Army Corps of Engineers CIMFR 
1963 Army Corps of Engineers IFR 
1941 City of Los Angeles MRP 
1973 Dept. of Water Resources IMR 
1941 Army Corps of Engineers F 

1890 Boswell Co. & Tenneco W. / 



Arch 

Thin, curved shell trans- 
mits force of water to 
canyon walls. 




McCloud River 

above Shasta 
Lake 




Each diagram pair represents streamflow past a gauging station in 
the water year October 1974 through September 1975. The nearer 
of the pair represents the actual flow as measured at the gauging 
station. The farther diagram represents the hypothetical "virgin" 
condition as it would have been if there were no artificial diversions 
or storage facilities. 

Green tints have been used wherever the yellow and blue tints over- 
lap and where only an unimpaired flow is shown. Broken lines iden- 
tify those periods during the water year when water flows were or 
would have been zero. 

Streamflow volumes vary significantly from one river to another. To 
represent these differences, the values assigned to the horizontal 
lines measuring volume vary according to the width of the diagram. 
In the narrowest diagrams, each horizontal line represents 12,500 
acre-feet. The wider diagrams employ multipliers of 2, 4, and 8, and 
in these diagrams, the values of the horizontal lines increase ac- 
cordingly to 25,000, 50,000 and 100,000 acre-feet. 

Except for the Colorado, a single diagram identifies a river which 
has neither significant regulation nor diversion. For the Colorado, 
unimpaired and measured flows are shown only at Lee's Ferry, 
where the amount of water available for lower basin users is 
measured. Downstream, at Davis Dam, Palo Verde Dam, and the 
international boundary, only the measured flows have been shown 
as an index of the succession of diversions to California and 
Arizona. 



The impact of human develop- 
ment upon the water environ- 
ment is especially evident in the 
southern end or San Francisco 
Bay. In the photograph at right, 
the bright green areas are salt 
ponds, rusty red tints define 
natural tidal marshes, and brown 
marks the tidelands which have 
been diked for reclamation but 
not used. 



and southern San Joaquin rivers and their tributaries 
supported golden beaver, mink, and river otter. 
Grizzlies and black bears made seasonal migrations to 
hunt the salmon and freshwater fish like the thick-tail 
chub, and Sacramento perch complemented the 
salmon and sturgeon fisheries of the native peoples. 
Great flights of ducks, geese, swans, cranes, and 
shorebirds wintered on the hundreds of thousands of 
acres of marsh, overflow lands, and waterways in 
these valleys, the Delta, and around San Francisco 
Bay. 

By 1950 only three percent of the floodplain forests 
remained, principally in the area between Red Bluff 
and Colusa. Drainage systems dried up the nurseries 
of the thick-tail chub and reduced the distribution of 
California's vernal pools to a few remnants. And the 
population of beaver, mink, and river otter was 
depleted by reclamation of their habitat for irrigated 
agriculture. 

Waterfowl and shorebirds have felt the effects of 
drainage most. They routinely stopped at the 
Klamath, Buena Vista, and Tulare lakes, the overflow 
lands south of the Tehachapis, and the non-alkaline 
natural surface storage areas of Great Basin Lakes, 
Owens Valley, and the lower Colorado. Buena Vista, 
Tulare, and Owens Lake rarely exist at all today due 
to diversion and drainage. The marshlands of the 
lower Colorado and Owens River have largely 
disappeared, although the Salton Sea has become a 
man-made haven for migrating birds. The Klamath 
Lakes were drained, but have been gradually replaced 
by a managed wetland. San Francisco Bay and the 
Delta, however, have lost an estimated 60 percent of 
their marshland, including the famous Alvarado 
Marsh in the South Bay which has been given over to 
salt evaporation ponds. 

No creature is a better "barometer" for the 
existence or destruction of California's riparian 
woodlands than the yellow-billed cuckoo. Originally, 
the cuckoo nested in willow and cottonwood forests 
in most of the valleys of the Coastal Range from San 
Diego County to Sebastopol in Sonoma County. It 
flourished as well throughout the Central Valley 
from Bakersfield to Redding, in the Owens Valley, 
and along the Colorado River. The cuckoo's breeding 
habitat disappeared as groundwater levels fell 
because of pumping, streamside vegetation was 
cleared for flood control and farming, marshland 
drained for extensive agriculture, and forests cut for 
wood. Only 35 to 68 pairs were reported in the 
Sacramento Valley in 1977. Although another 
population may nest consistently on the lower 
Colorado, the cuckoo is considered a rare bird in 
California today. 

In place of the yellow-billed cuckoo and other 
riparian song birds such as the Bell's vireo, willow 
flycatcher, and yellow warbler has come the cowbird, 
a parasite which leaves its eggs in the nests of other 
birds to be hatched and fed. Until 1900, only one 
cowbird had been seen in all the Sacramento Valley. 
With the spread of irrigated agriculture, however, the 
cowbird population has been vastly expanded and 
flocks of up to 10,000 birds have been counted along 
the river in recent years. 

The native members of the salmon family provide a 
similar index of the effects of the modern water 
system upon the state's fish and fisheries. Rainbow 
trout once abounded in virtually all of the Sierra and 
Cascade streams. King salmon inhabited most of the 
larger foothill tributaries of the Sacramento and San 
Joaquin rivers up to elevations of 3,000 or 4,000 feet. 
King salmon were also abundant in the larger coastal 
rivers and creeks. And silver salmon and steelhead 
trout inhabited most of the coastal streams of 
California in increasing numbers from south to 
north. 

Sedimentation from hydraulic mining in the 
nineteenth century damaged the salmon runs along 
the Yuba, American, and Feather rivers. The 
excavation of railroad lines by dynamiting along the 
banks of the Sacramento left barriers of rock and 
debris which proved impassable for many fish. By 
1883 the spring run of king salmon on the McCloud 
River as well as the hatchery that tried to compensate 
for detrimental activities downstream were both 
closed. And by the 1920s, dams on the Stanislaus, 
Tuolumne, and San Joaquin rivers closed the access of 
king salmon to a major portion of their spawning 
grounds. 

Any barrier across a stream or river that prevents 
the passage of salmon reduces their population. But 
the barrier does not have to be a concrete wall. 
Barriers are also created by increasing temperatures, 
reducing the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the 




Common Name 


Native 

or Year 

Introduced 


American Shad 


1871 


Asiatic Clam 


1870-90 


Bull Frog 


1870's 


Carp 


1872 


Crayfish 


Native 

and introduced 

1900-25 


Lahontan Cutthroat Trout 


Native 


Lake Trout 


1889 


Mullet 


Native 


Pond Turtle 


Native 


Roughfish (Greaser, 
Blackford, Hardhead) 


Native 


Sacramento Perch 


Native 


Sacramento Pike or 
Squawfish 


Native 


Salmon (all species) 


Native 


Steelhead (Rainbow Trout) 


Native 


Striped Bass 


1879 


Sturgeon (White and Green) 


Native 


White Catfish 


1874 



Inland Commercial Fishing 



Commercially Fished 



-Status- 
Active or Year 
Commercial 
Fishing Ended 



Sacramento-San Joaquin System 

Sacramento-San Joaquin System 

Statewide 

Sacramento-San Joaquin System; Clear Lake; 
Lake Almanor and other reservoirs 

Lake Tahoe 

Sacramento-San Joaquin System 

Lake Tahoe 

Lake Tahoe 

Salton Sea; Colorado River 

Sacramento-San Joaquin System; Tulare Lake 



Clear Lake; Sacramento-San Joaquin System 

Sacramento-San Joaquin System 
Sacramento-San Joaquin System 

Smith; Klamath; Eel; Mad 

Russian; Sacramento-San Joaquin System 

Smith; Klamath; Eel; Mad; Russian; Sacramento- 
San Joaquin System; Central Coastal Streams 

Sacramento-San Joaquin System 

Sacramento-San Joaquin System 

Sacramento-San Joaquin System 



1957 
Active 
Active 
Active 

1970 
Active 

1917 

1917 

1952 

Can be taken for 
scientific and 
educational 
purposes only. 

Active 

1957 
1951 

1934 
1957 

1927 

1935 
1917 
1953 



Inland fishing was at one time an important commercial 
activity in California. Salmon, steelhead, and other species 
were extensively fished in the rivers of the North Coast 
and in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. More than 25 
canneries were operating in the Delta when the industry 
reached its peak at the turn of the century. In the early 
decades of the twentieth century, however, the industry 
declined rapidly due to overfishing of the resource, siltation, 



pollution, shipping activities, and the construction of dams 
and water diversion facilities. This table summarizes those 
species that were once or are still taken commercially. 
Although the commercial fishing of many inland species has 
been halted, many of these species can still be taken by 
sport fishermen or under special exceptions such as those 
granted to certain Indian tribes on the Klamath River. 



water, and concentrating pollutants through which 
salmon will not swim. These problems are especially 
acute in the lower reaches of the Sacramento and San 
Joaquin rivers. Reduced flows because of diversions 
and dams can also delay the start of salmon migration. 
The spring run of king salmon head upstream when 
spring freshets reach the Delta. These freshets bring 
increased currents and the odor or taste of the 
salmon's stream of birth; king salmon follow this 
"aquatic scent" to their ancestral spawning grounds. 
In addition, reduced flows and dam diversions can 
prevent the tributaries to streams from adding their 
yearly load of sediment to the main channel, where it 
is washed downstream leaving clean, aerated gravel 
for salmon young. When the Lewiston Dam 
prevented the flows of the Trinity River from 
washing sediments out of the mainstream spawning 
beds, for example, thousands of salmon were lost as a 
result. 

Dams also hinder the survival of young salmon 
trying to move downstream. This problem has been 
hard to quantify, but kills of young have been caused 
by passage through hydroelectric turbines, by the 
water quality in some reservoirs, and by predators 
who wait for the juveniles to bunch up along dam 
walls. Further downstream, the young encounter 
agricultural canals and other diversions. If these 
artificial channels are not screened with a relatively 
fine mesh (which is unusual because maintenance of 
clogged screens is costly), the young swim down these 
diversions to become stranded in the fields. And in the 
Delta, many young are sucked into the Tracy pumps 
although some survive to be trucked back to the Delta 
and a few even descend the Delta-Mendota Canal. 

Hillside erosion and channelization cause many 
physical changes to rivers that discourage salmon 
survival. The stream bed becomes more uniform and 
the deep pools needed for summer survival of king 
and silver salmon and rainbow trout are lost. The 
undercut banks and fallen trees which provide shelter 
for juveniles disappear. And the lack of trees also 
reduces shade, allowing temperatures to fluctuate 
more widely. 

Numerous local, state, and federal agencies have 
joined forces to combat these influences and protect 
fish populations through the development of 
hatcheries and management programs that affect not 
only dam operations but also modern logging 
practices and a wide range of industrial, municipal, 
and agricultural waste discharges. Artificial 
hatcheries, however, cannot duplicate the 
productivity of natural spawning areas. 

Modern water technology has brought great 
wealth to California and its people, but this 
technology has also had serious environmental 
consequences that would require large expenditures 
of public funds to rectify. The opportunities for the 
development of coordinated programs for the 
resolution of these and other environmental and 
social conflicts, however, have been greatly 
complicated by the vast array of public agencies which 
are involved in the administration of water today in 
California. 

WATER DISTRICTS IN CALIFORNIA 

The responsibility for the day-to-day management 
of water in most of the state is vested in more than 
3,700 public and private agencies with administrative 
authority over some aspect of water supply, delivery, 
use, and treatment. Special districts organized under 
general enabling statutes make up the majority of 
these agencies. Although state statutes currently 
provide for 17 different classes of special district for 
water management, there are as well a number of 
districts — the Kern County Water Agency as a 
prominent example — which have been established 
under special legislative acts which apply uniquely to 
their operations. These special act districts have been 
classified into three functional categories and 
combined with the other districts formed under 
general enabling statutes in the table of district 
organization in this section. 

These local agencies range from small agricultural 
districts representing only a handful of landowners to 
mammoth entities like the Westlands Water District, 
Kern County Water Agency, and Metropolitan Water 
District which exercise broad powers over large 
segments of the state's land and population. The 
proliferation and configuration of special districts and 
the assignment of their responsibilities, however, 
reflect many of the economic and social changes that 
have shaped the history of water development in 
California. 











Water District Organization 














Type of 
District 


1880 
-89 


1890 
-99 


1900 
-09 


1910 
-19 


Year 

1920 
-29 


Organized 

1930 1940 
-39 -49 


1950 
-59 


1960 
-69 


1970 


No 
Date 


Dissolved 


Total 

in 
1970 


Community Service 












1 




38 


56 


14 


1 


2 


108 


Flood Control & 
Water Conservation 
















2 


1 




5 




8 


Harbor & Ports 














1 












1 


Municipal Improvement 
















2 


2 








4 


Maintenance 
















2 


8 


1 


25 




36 


Reclamation 








1 


3 












5 




9 


Recreation & Parks 


















5 




1 




6 


County Service Area 


















19 


8 


6 




33 


Municipal Utility 










1 


1 




1 










3 


Public Utility 










7 


10 


25 


7 


2 




1 




52 


California Water 










1 


2 


9 


69 


72 


4 


5 




162 


County Water 








3 


9 


8 


18 


77 


72 


8 




11 


184 


Metropolitan 










1 
















1 


Municipal Water 








1 






2 


29 


17 


2 




3 


48 


Water Agency 
or Authority 
















11 


9 


1 


4 




25 


Water Conservation 










2 


1 


1 


3 




1 


2 


2 


8 


Water Replenishment 
















1 










1 


Water Storage 










2 


1 


1 


3 


1 








8 


County Waterworks 








2 


5 


4 


4 


30 


21 


2 


24 


2 


90 


Irrigation 


5 


1 


2 


23 


44 


4 


8 


8 


1 


1 


10 


2 


105 


TOTALS 


5 


1 


2 


30 


75 


32 


69 


283 


286 


42 


89 


22 


892 



Reclamation districts were the first to be 
authorized, when the state's swelling population in 
the 1860s created the need to reclaim the marshes, 
swamps, and tidelands that were seen as obstacles to 
widespread settlement. As agriculture assumed its 
central role in California's economy, irrigation 
districts organized under the Wright Act of 1887 and 
its succeeding amendments became the 
predominating form of special district. With the 
concentration of the state's population in urban 
centers and the consequent movement toward 
municipal control of water resources after the turn of 
the century, however, came a series of legislative acts 
authorizing the formation of municipal and county 
water districts in 1911 and 1913. 

The adoption of the municipal and public utility 
district acts in 1921 marked a shift in approach which 
recognized water management as only one part of an 
integrated program for the provision of utility 
services to the public. Drought conditions in the 
middle of the 1920s intensified the problems of 
matching water supply to rising demands in many 
parts of the state. Prompted in part by the particular 
problems of groundwater overdraft which the Santa 
Clara Valley experienced in this period, the 
Legislature placed a new and special emphasis upon 
the management of limited water resources through 
the enactment of the water conservation acts of 1927, 
1929, and 1931. 

Since the 1930s the emphasis in new water district 
formation has been placed upon the authorization of 
entities with broader powers and areas of activity 
than was accorded in the earlier statutes. The 
Community Services District Law of 1951, for 
example, extended a general authority for the 
provision of public services to meet the needs of 
California's growing suburban population in areas 
which lacked municipal organization. This general 
trend toward liberalizing the purposes for which 
districts may be formed has brought in turn a 
spectacular rise in the proliferation of districts. 
Whereas an estimated 214 water utility districts of 
one sort or another were organized in all the years 
prior to 1950, 283 new districts were incorporated in 
the 1950s and another 285 in the 1960s. These 
relatively new districts formed since 1950 now 
constitute a majority of the more than 900 water 
utility districts operating in California. Most were 
organized under the broad governmental powers 
accorded to county water districts, California water 
districts, and community services districts. 

With "this trend toward the assumption of broad 
governmental powers by new districts has come an 
increasing" reliance upon property ownership as a 
qualification for voting on bonds and the election of 
district officers. Residency and the "one-man-one- 
vote" rule govern the elections in public utility, 





In the 1960s one Los Angeles 
politician campaigned for public 
office on a pledge to turn the 
Los Angeles River blue by paint- 
ing the concrete channel through 
which it flows today. In the 
photograph above a salt-laden 
slough winds through the Suisun 
Marsh. 



63 



The fluctuating surface area of 
Tulare Lake once extended to 
cover an estimated 700 square 
miles of the Central Valley. 
Modern diversion structures 
keep the lake basin dry in most 
years because the lands that 
were formerly under water are 
so valuable for agriculture. The 
photograph below was taken 
during a flood in October 1969, 
which inundated 139 square 
miles causing an estimated $20 
million in damage. The faint 
lines on the land surface which 
can be seen encircling the in- 
undated area trace the ancient 
shoreline of Tulare lake. The 
photograph at right shows the 
interior of the State Water Proj- 
ect's Delta Pumping Plant. 



irrigation, and county water districts. The directors 
of county service areas and districts for the 
maintenance of ports and harbors, among others, are 
appointed by county boards of supervisors. The 
California Water District Act of 1913, however, 
grants to the district electors one vote for each dollar 
of the assessed value of their land. The provisions for 
elections in water storage districts and water 
conservation districts are also weighted in favor of 
property ownership. It has been estimated that 
approximately one-fifth of all the water utilities in 
California currently require property ownership as a 
qualification for voting in district elections. A total of 
310 districts — more than half of the districts formed 
between 1950 and 1969 — operate under these 
restrictions on the electoral franchise. 

In part, this preference for recognizing property 
ownership in district elections reflects the emergence 
of large-scale corporate agriculture in the 
development of naturally water-deficient areas on 
the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and other 
areas of Southern California. This system of 
agricultural organization, characterized by vast land 
holdings owned by distant corporate interests, 
contrasts markedly with the smaller, owner-occupied 
farms which proliferated in the nineteenth century 
along the stream-fed areas of the eastern San Joaquin 
Valley. In certain extreme cases, the property 
ownership requirements for district elections can 
render a public district little more than the agent of a 
few corporate interests. Four or five major 
landholders in the Westlands Water District, for 
example, can swing a majority of all the votes in the 
district. In the Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage 
District, where four corporations farm nearly 85 
percent of the district's land area, the J. G. Boswell 
Corporation alone controls enough votes to 
determine the outcome of district elections while 189 
other landowners command only a little more than 
two percent of the district's acreage and exercise a 
proportionately small influence in the election of 
district officers. And, when the Irvine Ranch Water 
District was organized as a California water district in 
1961, the Irvine Company owned fully 98 percent of 
the district's land, while the remainder was divided 
among 31 different owners. 

Although statutory provisions requiring that 
directors of the Imperial Irrigation District must 
themselves be district landowners have been declared 
unconstitutional in California, the related 
requirements for property ownership as a 
qualification to vote have been upheld by the United 
States Supreme Court. The J. G. Salyer Land 
Company brought suit against the Tulare Lake Basin 
Water Storage District after its property was flooded 
in 1969. The flood could have been contained and 
Salyer's property protected, but this would have 



interfered with the agricultural operations of the J. G. 
Boswell Corporation on land within the Buena Vista 
Lake Basin to which the flood waters would have been 
diverted. Since Boswell held a majority of the votes 
within the district, the district's board of directors 
never activated its flood control system to save 
Salyer's property. In its majority opinion, the 
Supreme Court denied Salyer's complaint on the 
grounds that the district's powers were not so broad 
as to qualify as being truly "governmental" and that 
the district's activities, therefore, "fall so 
disproportionately on landowners as a group that it is 
not unreasonable that the statutory framework 
focuses on the land benefited, rather than people as 



sue 



h.' 



LEGAL CONSTRAINTS: THE LAW OF RIGHTS 

As important as the panoply of local, state, and 
federal agencies may be in the provision of water 
services, the ultimate authority over the distribution 
and management of California's water resources has 
resided with the judiciary ever since the earliest days 
of white settlement. An earlier section of this volume 
traced the struggle over riparian versus appropriative 
rights up to the time that the constitutional 
amendment was adopted in 1928 recognizing the 
interest of all the people in the state's water resource. 
Since that time, California's dual system of riparian 
and appropriative doctrines has continued to evolve 
and the courts have established specific rules 
governing each type of right. 

In the frequently quoted statement that Arizona's 
adoption of the English common law, which had 
recognized the supremacy of riparian rights, "is far 
from meaning that the patentees of a ranch on the 
San Pedro are to have the same rights as owners of an 
estate on the Thames," Chief Justice Oliver Wendell 
Holmes Jr. capsulized the central tenet of the law of 
waters in the western United States. In California, 
one of the most fundamental controversies has 
concerned the definition of riparian land, and three 
major tests have emerged. First, some part of the land 
in question must actually touch the stream (except in 
the infrequent case where a deed has preserved the 
riparian rights of the portion separated from it). 
Second, only that portion can be riparian which lies 
within the watershed of the stream, although any 
portion draining into another stream may be riparian 
to that other stream. In the case of tributaries, a 
special application of this watershed test requires that 
land adjoining one tributary of a river does not have a 
riparian right to water extracted from another 
tributary upstream from the junction of the two 
tributaries. Finally, once any portion of the riparian 
land loses its riparian character by being separated in 



title from the portion touching the stream, it can 
never again be riparian, not even if it is later joined in 
title to land which remains riparian. 

Although the parties to a sales transaction may 
provide for the continued use of water by a severed 
tract of land, this chain-of-title test has steadily 
reduced the amount of riparian acreage in California 
as land is continually subdivided and sold. Thus, in a 
city bordering on a river, only the owners whose land 
touches the river would ordinarily have riparian 
rights in it; the owners in the next block away from 
the river would not. Even if a riparian owner with a 
house facing the river bought the lot behind to serve 
as a back yard and joined it in title with the lot which 
touches the river, there would be a right to take water 
from the river for the front lawn but not for the 
garden in the newly acquired back yard. Nor does it 
make any difference that the entire city adjoins the 
river; riparian rights are a matter of land ownership, 
not municipal boundaries. The city may take water 
for riparian use on its own riparian land, as for a park 
or a city facility located next to the river, but when the 
city supplies water as a municipal utility to non- 
riparian land, even within the city limits, it acts as an 
appropriator. 

Ordinarily riparian rights apply only to the natural 
flow of streams and it is not essential to the riparian 
right that the land in question touch the stream at all 
times. The California courts recognize an important 
distinction, however, between two kinds of floods. 
The perennial, predictable Central Valley flood 
waters, whose source is the gradual melting each year 
of the Sierra Nevada snow pack, are subject to 
riparian rights. Sudden, unpredictable flash floods, 
however, whose source is runoff from rainstorms, 
are not subject to riparian rights. The theory is that 
these latter flows are too uncertain and too fleeting to 
be utilized as they occur; only through storage can 
they be put to beneficial use. 

Storage has itself been a major area of riparian 
litigation involving the question of what constitutes a 
proper riparian use. In England and the United States 
during less populous and less industrialized times, 
water on riparian land was commonly used by the 
owner and his family. Water for commercial crops 
was usually a matter of rainfall. With the industrial 
revolution, water was needed more and more for 
business purposes, and increasing urbanization 
created a demand for the recognition of the needs of 
public utilities. Also, in the western United States, the 
climate was such that irrigation became a necessity 
for agriculture. The courts were called upon, 
therefore, to interpret the doctrine of riparian rights 
and decide whether some or all of these new uses 
were permissible. In reaching its decisions, the court 
often cited two principles underlying the riparian 
doctrine: first, that the riparian owner is entitled to 





64 



the "natural advantages" of his situation; second, that 
the respective riparian owners along a stream are 
entitled to have the stream flow "as it was 
accustomed to flow." 

Although it was urged by some that in applying 
these principles commercial use should not be 
permitted, particularly where such use involved a 
significant reduction in the flow of the stream, 
California law ultimately recognized any reasonable 
beneficial use. Thus, water for large herds of cattle, as 
opposed to domestic stock, may be taken pursuant to 
the riparian right, and water may also be used for the 
irrigation of commercial crops. Even electric 
generation is permissible. It can readily be seen that 
these rulings were as important as recognition of the 
riparian doctrine in the first place. Had irrigation, for 
example, been held to be a prohibited use, then 
California agriculture would have had to turn to 
appropriation as a source of water, and the battle 
between the riparian and appropriative doctrines 
might have had a different result. 

Two special rules were developed as a result of the 
decision to permit riparian owners to take water for 
any reasonable beneficial use. First, it has been 
necessary in some cases to face the fact that there is 
not enough water available in a particular stream for 
all possible riparian uses. The California Supreme 
Court has held that the rights of riparian owners as 
among themselves are correlative, and when there is 
a deficiency of supply to satisfy all the riparian 
demands at a given time, the court may make an 
equitable apportionment of the supply. The cases 
which have reached this point have been few, 
however, and the rules for determining what is 
equitable are not specific. Second, in California at 
least, the notion that certain riparian uses are more 
natural than others has resulted in a rule that for 
personal domestic purposes an upstream riparian 
owner may take as much water as necessary, even if it 
has the effect of depriving riparian owners 
downstream of any share of the supply. 

The principle that a riparian owner is entitled to the 
natural advantages of his situation appears to have 
been determinative in decisions which refuse to 
recognize a right to store water pursuant to riparian 
right. Storage contemplates use at a time when the 
water would not naturally be present. On the other 
hand, impounding water in order to create a pressure 
head for irrigation is not storage and does not 
constitute use at an unnatural time; it merely makes it 
possible to lift and distribute the water for immediate 
use, and the short lapse of time involved is incidental 
to the delivery process. 

One of the most frequently mentioned criticisms of 
the riparian doctrine is that riparian rights are not 
transferable. The right is not "appurtenant" to the 
land, it is "part and parcel" of the land. Thus, it passes 
automatically with any conveyance of the land, and it 
may not be severed from the land and conveyed 
separately. Nature does not always bestow her 
blessings in the most sensible manner; the most 
efficient and desirable place to use the water of a 
particular stream may be on land that is not riparian. 
With most economic resources, the answer is simply 
to buy the resource from the owner and transport it 
to the more profitable location. But in the case of a 
riparian right, the very character of the owner's 
property in the water makes such a transaction legally 
impossible. The riparian owner does not own the 
water but only the right to use it on riparian land. 

A way around this restriction on transferability has 
been recognized: a riparian owner may not convey his 
water right, but he may agree not to exercise it. In 
fact, a deed purporting to convey the right is 
construed by the courts as an agreement not to 
exercise the right. The purchasing appropriator, 
therefore, must buy off enough riparian owners to 
make sure that the uses of the remaining riparian 
owners leave the amount of water he needs. Such a 
purchaser does not, however, acquire the priority of 
the seller, but only the elimination of that seller's 
demand upon the stream. This is especially important 
if there have been earlier appropriations; the new 
appropriator who "purchases" a riparian right will be 
junior to those earlier appropriations, even though 
the riparian seller had priority over them. 

Perhaps the most heated criticism of the riparian 
doctrine has been directed against the rule that the 
right is not lost by nonuse. One important result is 
that prospective appropriators are discouraged from 
making use of water which flows by idle riparian land; 
they realize that at some future time the prior 
riparian rights of such undeveloped land may be 



exercised and that anyone appropriating water in the 
meantime may be cut off. In theory this criticism 
merely reargues the underlying principle of the 
appropriation doctrine that first in time should be 
first in right. Although efforts have been made to cut 
off unused riparian rights, these attempts have been 
criticized as a denial of due process. Although the 
question is once again pending in the California 
Supreme Court, the court has held in the past that the 
1928 constitutional amendment had the effect of 
protecting this perpetual feature of the riparian right 
because the amendment was aimed at limiting the 
riparian right to reasonable purposes and its authors 
had inserted a disclaimer of any other restriction on 
the right. 

Even though riparian rights are, with certain 
exceptions, recognized in California as "prior and 
paramount" to appropriative rights, the majority of 
California's waters today are utilized pursuant to 
appropriation. There are two major categories of 
appropriative rights. First, as against the public lands 
of the United States, appropriative rights have 
priority. When unreserved public land is transferred 
to a private owner, that land acquires riparian rights 
which are superior to later appropriations; but it is 
important to remember that any appropriative rights 
perfected before the transfer will continue to have 
priority, even against the new riparian owner who 
acquired the land from the United States. Second, 
water which is "surplus" to the needs of riparian 
owners may be appropriated. If the riparian owners 
cannot, or do not, use the entire supply, they cannot 
object when the water they do not use is taken by 



others. The rules of appropriation then apply in 
determining the priorities among these subordinate 
users. 

Each appropriative right is for a definite quantity of 
water and has a definite date of priority. Although the 
right is perfected by actual use for reasonable 
beneficial purposes, there can be complications in 
determining the priority of rights between two 
prospective appropriators. At one time posting a 
notice at the site of a project was required, but later 
statutes called for the recording of a notice of 
appropriation. The appropriator must be diligent in 
bringing a project into operation; but once begun, the 
project will not necessarily be limited to the amount 
of water first applied to it. And so long as the 
appropriator is diligent in developing the facilities, he 
may continue to increase the actual appropriation 
over a period of years, gradually building up to the 
maximum stated in the original notice. This doctrine 
helps to protect many large municipal projects, which 
are planned and built to a larger capacity than is 
presently required in the expectation of substantial 
municipal growth in the future. 

Appropriations may be made for use on any land 
and for any reasonable beneficial purpose. Thus, an 
appropriator is not restricted to use on land adjoining 
a stream or land inside the watershed of the stream. 
Nor is an appropriator prohibited from storing water 
for use at a later time. However, an appropriation 
must be reasonable in both use and method of use, 
and, if it is not reasonable, a junior appropriator may 
be able to assert a prior right. Considerable debate, 
for example, has attended the question of the 



The South Coast has been the 
scene of the state's most complex 
controversies over groundwater 
in part because the area's need 
for water so far exceeds the 
natural supply. In this photo- 
graph, the principal rivers of the 
basin appear as narrow concrete 
channels crossing the metro- 
politan area. The Los Angeles 
River curves through the middle 
of the photograph emptying into 
Long Beach Harbor. To its right 
are the San Gabriel and Santa 
Ana rivers. 



65 




:*$(*». 



■I:* ft 

*f0 <Sf 



A, 








#%V c - : ■"> . 



•s*?_^*r--",,!^ 
















Pf 



In this photograph of the San 
Antonio Reservoir, the "borrow 
pits" dug in the course of the 
reservoir's construction appear 
at the far right as permanent 
features on the landscape of the 
Sunol Valley. 



reasonableness of flooding as a method of irrigation, 
since it may have the effect of requiring more water 
than a different method. 

The law regarding the use of agricultural return 
flows, in fact, illustrates another important principle 
of appropriation: that an appropriator may change 
the place and type of use so long as the change is 
reasonable and does not prejudice other rights. When 
water is used for irrigation, a substantial portion of it 
is not consumed by a crop and instead sinks into the 
ground or returns to a nearby stream where it is 
available for further appropriation. If a second 
appropriator establishes a right to this return flow, 
even though it is junior in priority to the first 
appropriation, the first appropriator may not change 
his operations in order to direct the return flow to 
another location where it would not be available to 
the second appropriator. This does not mean that an 
appropriator may not appropriate his own return 
flows as a part of his project; nor can the first 
appropriator be forced to continue his diversion just 
to satisfy the second appropriator. But, so long as the 
first appropriator continues to divert water in the 
original way and allows the return flow to pass 
beyond his control, then the second appropriator's 
right to that return flow must be respected. 

As in the case of riparian rights, an appropriator 
does not own the water itself, only the right to use it 
in a certain way. Unlike a riparian right, however, an 
appropriative right may be lost by nonuse. And an 
appropriative right may be sold or otherwise 
transferred. This constitutes a major advantage over 
the riparian right, for it permits the economic 
flexibility ordinarily associated with property 
rights — the ability to change from one owner to 
another, from one purpose to another, even from one 
region to another. Nevertheless this transferability is 
subject, of course, to the rule that there can be no 
prejudice to other existing rights. 

Substantial changes in the California law of 
appropriation were made by the Water Commission 
Act of 1913. Although portions of this act have been 
set aside by the courts, its most important surviving 
provision gave exclusive jurisdiction to a state agency 
to determine whether a proposed appropriation 
should be allowed. This authority is vested today in 
the State Water Resources Control Board. Under this 



statutory procedure, an intending appropriator must 
file an application, and the time of filing establishes 
the priority date if the application is approved. The 
board is not bound to approve the application, 
however, and it may instead approve a competing 
application which has been filed later. Upon approval, 
a permit is issued which authorizes the taking of 
water and establishes a time limit within which the 
project must be completed and the water actually put 
to use. The board may also impose a wide range of 
other conditions relating to the use of the water. 
When water is actually used in accordance with a 
permit, a formal license is issued and any subsequent 
changes in use or place of use are subject to board 
approval. 



THE DECLINE OF PRIVATE RIGHTS 

The period since World War Two has seen the rise 
of water resource planning by large public agencies 
and a corresponding decline in the importance of 
private water rights. The seeds of this change were 
planted much earlier and grew from the same social, 
economic, and political changes which both developed 
from and made possible the construction of the 
modern water system. Rules of law and institutional 
arrangements which were adequate to resolve water 
disputes between small groups of farmers and miners 
have come to be seen as insufficient for California's 
modern urban societies. Out of this perception came 
the impetus for the municipal ownership of water 
resources, which laid the institutional foundation for 
the construction of the Hetch Hetchy and Owens 
Valley water projects. These same principles of 
"public entrepreneurship" gradually extended to 
support water projects involving groups of cities, 
groups of states, and ultimately the federal 
government itself. 

In the Central Valley Project water rights were 
perfected by the United States in a format of historic 
appropriation. At the private or local consumer end of 
the chain, however, water rights became a matter of 
special contract. Federal requirements relating to 
acreage limitations and water pricing control thus 
characterize the nature and utility of the modern 
rights encompassed in the Bureau of Reclamation's 



contracts. Similarly, the rights of the Metropolitan 
Water District on the Colorado River were originally 
thought to be based upon appropriative doctrines. 
Assignments and transfers of earlier appropriative 
rights were assiduously documented and an 
agreement was achieved after long negotiation 
setting forth the priorities and rights on the Colorado 
River between California agencies. Yet, when the 
United States Supreme Court finally resolved the 
lower Colorado River dispute in Arizona v. California, 
classical concepts of appropriative rights were of no 
avail. In effect, the court ruled that, with the adoption 
of the Boulder Canyon Project Act in 1929, the 
Colorado River had been converted to a delivery 
facility under the direction of the Secretary of the 
Interior. For all practical purposes, no rights in the 
waters of the Colorado River below Hoover Dam 
were acquired after 1929, except as they might be 
represented through contracts with the Secretary. 

California has not followed the example of those 
areas of the eastern United States served by the 
Tennessee Valley Authority, where the power to 
adopt management programs embracing whole 
watersheds has been vested in a single administrative 
agency. But the practice of public entrepreneurship 
has invaded the field of local water system operations 
and with it has come a shift in the ownership of local 
water rights from private individuals, mutual water 
companies, and investor-owned utilities to public 
districts and municipal corporations. This 
transformation in turn has helped to bring about the 
adoption of judicial techniques better suited to 
enhance area-wide water resource planning. 

This process is most clearly illustrated in the legal 
conflicts over groundwater rights in Southern 
California. Area-wide planning for water resources 
obtained an early start in Los Angeles under Spanish 
law. In a long succession of cases beginning in 1881, 
the California Supreme Court determined that the 
Spanish government intended in founding the Los 
Angeles pueblo to dedicate to it the entire flow of the 
Los Angeles River. As the boundaries of the city 
expanded, the pueblo right expanded with them. At 
the turn of the century, the court held that this right 
to all the waters of the river as needed for reasonable 
purposes carried with it the right to the underground 
waters of the San Fernando Valley, which are the 



66 




principal source of the river. This same rule was made 
applicable to the City of San Diego's rights on the San 
Diego River in 1930. 

When Los Angeles realized at the beginning of the 
twentieth century that the flows of the Los Angeles 
River would not be sufficient for its future needs, 
water was imported from the Owens Valley, and for 
many years thereafter the city no longer needed the 
total local supply. During this period other cities and 
private parties began to share fully in the waters of 
the San Fernando Basin. But as Los Angeles' needs 
continued to increase, these other parties were cut 
off. Their claim that their use had ripened into a 
prescriptive right against the city was rejected by the 
California Supreme Court on the ground that they 
were entitled to use the water only when the city did 
not need it and when their taking, therefore, would 
not be adverse. The pueblo water right, moreover, 
was held to be a public trust and consequently a right 
not subject to prescription. 

The fact that supplemental water became available 
through the Metropolitan Water District in 1941 
seemed to promise that none of these other parties 
would have to go without water. But the advent of 
water from the Colorado River only complicated the 
problem of groundwater rights in the South Coast. 
The cost of the imported water significantly exceeded 
the cost of pumping local groundwater. As a result, 
Southern California's groundwater basins by the end 
of World War Two were being increasingly mined of 
the water in storage over and above the renewable 
safe yield of the basins involved. An urgent need was 
thus created for a method of effectively utilizing the 
delivery system which had been funded and con- 
structed by the joint efforts of the 13 cities which 
constituted MWD. 

Groundwater law at that time, however, provided 
no demonstrable solution to the problem. Originally, 
following the English common law, California 
recognized a law of capture: anyone with land lying 
over a groundwater basin could extract water and use 
it on any other land. In 1902, however, this early 
California rule was overturned on the ground that 
the English law on the subject is not suited to 
conditions in California. The California Supreme 
Court substituted a rule of correlative rights, 
analogous to riparian rights, by which an overlying 



owner was held to have a right, in common with other 
overlying owners, to extract and use groundwater 
from the basin for reasonable beneficial purposes on 
the overlying land. As with the riparian right, the 
overlying owner is said to be entitled to the natural 
advantages of his situation. Appropriations of 
groundwater are allowed and in most respects are like 
surface appropriations. One major difference is that 
the statutory licensing procedure is applicable to 
groundwater only in the rare instance where the 
water flows through known and definite 
subterranean channels. 

It can be factually difficult at times, however, to 
determine just what is overlying land, particularly if 
there is more than one basin or subbasin involved and 
if there is a suggestion of interconnection. At the 
edges of a basin there may be land which is overlying 
when the basin is full but not when it has been 
pumped down. Legally, the definition of overlying 
land is easier than in the case of riparian land in that 
there is only one test: the land either lies over the 
basin or it does not. The watershed or drainage area is 
not considered; only land actually on the surface of 
the basin qualifies. But each pumper, by developing a 
cone of depression at his well, is able to change the 
gradient of the water table in the basin and thereby to 
cause water from any part of the basin to be drawn 
toward that location. It is physically possible, 
therefore, for one pumper to affect adversely the 
supply of all the other users, regardless of their 
relative location on the surface of the basin. 

In addition, the amount of water available from a 
groundwater basin can be deceptive. Some very large 
basins can be pumped for many years without 
harmfully lowering the groundwater level. 
Overpumping which might damage or exhaust a 
basin can be controlled by operating within the limits 
of the basin's safe yield. This technique involves the 
selection of a typical weather cycle of wet and dry 
years and the determination of the average supply to 
the basin from rain and runoff in that period; 
depending on circumstances, such cycles may range 
from three years to several decades. With certain 
exceptions, this average is the safe yield. The amount 
of any excess over the amount used is surplus and is 
available for appropriation. As the culture of the land 
overlying the basin changes, however, more water 



may be used and the surplus may eventually 
disappear. When the annual draft on the basin 
exceeds the annual safe yield, the owners of prior 
rights have a cause of action to enjoin the overdraft. 

Although the early groundwater cases effectively 
defined the relative rights of overlying owners and 
appropriators, and resolved disputes between a 
limited number of competing appropriative rights, 
none addressed the problem which confronted water 
planners in the South Coast in the 1940s of balancing 
and integrating imported supplies and local waters. 
Their problem was one of area-wide resource plan- 
ning, and their objective was to control groundwater 
extractions so as to bring operations in the local 
basins within the limits of a safe yield. Because 
deficiencies in local supplies could be made up by 
imports, a plan for the equitable sharing of the higher 
cost of the imported water was the key. 

In the late 1940s, attempts were made to develop 
plans for coordinating local and imported water 
supplies in a way that would be compatible with 
private and public rights in the context of establishing 
principles of water law. The result was a series of 
plenary water cases involving substantially all of the 
parties using a groundwater basin. In the first of 
these basin adjudications, City of Pasadena v. City of 
Alhambra, the hydrologic condition of overdraft in the 
Raymond Basin was recognized, the major water 
users were all appropriators, and supplemental 
imported water was available through MWD. The 
central problem was to determine who would be 
required to restrict their groundwater extraction and 
take more imported water. Reference was made by 
the court to the State Water Rights Board for a 
determination of the physical facts, and it was 
stipulated in open court that the use of each party was 
adverse to the rights of every other party. From that 
stipulation, the California Supreme Court developed 
a doctrine of "mutual prescription." Simply stated, 
every party's rights to use of the waters of the 
Raymond Basin were dependent upon each party's 
highest five years of continuous extraction. All rights 
thus determined were of equal priority and these 
rights were then proportionally reduced so that the 
total extractions from the basin equalled its 
long-term safe yield. Cities, water districts, public 
utilities, and other major appropriators were thus 
placed in a position of equality in their access to 
groundwater supplies. 

As a matter of orderly and equitable planning, all 
parties were forced to take a proportional share of 
their water needs from the more expensive imported 
supply of MWD. This solution by resort to "mutual 
prescription" sidestepped the complexities of 
appropriative rights based on the principle of "first in 
time, first in right." Urban development in the 
Raymond Basin made unnecessary the resolution of 
the interplay between major overlying rights because 
such rights are exercised for agricultural purposes, 
which were not significant in that basin in the 1940s. 
This case and those which soon followed in other 
basins are a testament to the ingenuity of lawyers and 
hydrologists. They present as well, however, a study 
in what might be called "dinosaurism" — a process in 
which a huge and impressive entity is created whose 
very size and clumsiness threatens its demise. 

The second major basin adjudication was in the 
West Basin of Los Angeles County where continued 
extractions of groundwater were inducing seawater 
intrusion along the coastal portion of the basin. The 
parties to that plenary adjudication took almost 15 
years, including two court references, before 
reaching agreement on a form of judgment es- 
sentially following the mutual prescription doctrine 
of the Raymond Basin case. In the 1950s, a plenary 
adjudication of rights on the Santa Margarita River 
consumed over a decade to achieve a judgment that 
solved nothing. In the Mojave River Basin, over ten 
years of litigation ended in outright dismissal and 
abandonment when agreement could not be reached. 
And the City of Los Angeles litigated its pueblo right 
and its rights to store imported water in the San 
Fernando Basin in Los Angeles v. San Fernando for more 
than 23 years, an undertaking that would have 
bankrupted a lesser litigant. 

The cost of these plenary adjudications was proving 
monumental. The legal and engineering professions 
had built an expensive prototype and the limit, in 
terms of adversary litigation, had been reached. The 
beast had grown so big it threatened to exhaust its 
source of sustenance. It was in this context that 
resourceful people in the water industry converted 
the cumbersome process of court adjudication into a 



Marinas like the one shown here 
at Stockton are common features 
of the artificial waterscape of the 
twentieth century. 



67 



Groundwater 



California pumps more water from the ground than any 
other state in the Union; groundwater today provides 40 
percent of all the water Californians use in an average year. 
The intensity of groundwater pumping and the amount 
that is known about the groundwater resource varies, 
however, between areas of the state and even within 
individual groundwater basins. This map delineates the 
boundaries of California's principal groundwater basins. 
The basins identified here as developed underlie 30 square 
miles or more and experience moderate to intensive 
pumping. Although the rate of pumping is less than mod- 
erate in the undeveloped basins, development of the 
groundwater resource may be intense in small, localized 
areas within some of these basins. The undeveloped 
basins shown here all have a known total storage capacity 
of potentially extractable groundwater which is one million 
acre-feet or more. 

Although overall groundwater extraction totalled more 
than 15 million acre-feet in 1972, as indicated in the chart 
comparing groundwater pumpage in the state's major 
hydrologic planning areas, intensive pumping in the South 
Coastal Plain and the San Joaquin Valley accounted for 
nearly three-fourths of this total. The map also identifies 
those basins in which the groundwater resource was 
intentionally recharged in water year 1972 by means other 
than the percolation of excess irrigation water; the artifi- 
cial recharge chart below provides further information 
with regard to the number of recharge facilities and the 
amount of water applied for this purpose in each of these 
basins. 



Groundwater Basin Characteristics 

The table below provides additional information concerning the 
individual groundwater basins identified by location numbers on 
the map. In some groundwater basins, the storage capacity of 
potentially extractable water is unknown. The quantity of minerals 
in solution in the water of a particular basin, expressed here as 
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in milligrams per liter, can impose a 
significant constraint upon the potential use of the groundwater 
resource. In some basins, however, the presence of trace 
minerals such as boron can severely impair the use of the 
resource even though the overall concentration of TDS is low. 
Where information is available concerning the conditions of a 
particular groundwater basin which may impair its use, these 
problems have been indicated. In the case of many basins, how- 
ever, this information is incomplete and the data available on the 
individual basins has therefore been rated in accordance with the 
following schedule: 

General information on all relevant parameters of the basin and 
detailed information on some parameters. 
B General information on most relevent parameters and detailed 
information available for some localized areas. 
General information on some relevant parameters but very 
little detailed information available. 
Very little information available. 











*A& 














Developed 










1 


Smith R V 


.10 


33-175 


B 


danger of SW, Fe 


2 


Klamath R V 


UNK 


82-833 


D 


Na, N03, WQ 


3 


Butte V 


UNK 


109-1,890 


B 


temporary summer OD, 
Na.As 


4 


Shasta V 


UNK 


160-4,870 


B 


Na, CI, B 


5 


MadR V 


.06 


70-570 


B 


N03, S04 


6 


Eureka Plain 


UNK 


98-634 


B 


SW, Fe 


7 


EelRV 


.14 


161-3,900 


B 


SW, Fe 


8 


Alturas Basin 


8.30 


112-909 


c 


Na, N03, Fe, B 


9 


BigV 


3.70 


145-1,380 


c 


low yielding sediments, 
thermal water, WQ, Fe, 
N03. NaS04. B. F. Mn 


10 


Surprise V 


4.00 


166-2,000 


c 


WO 


11 


Redding Basin 


3.50 


121-27,000 


C 


saline water, Na, B 


12 


Honey Lake V 


16.00 


170-1,350 


c 


thermal water, B, F, S04, 
Na, As, Fe, N04 


13 


Sierra V 


7.50 


118-1,390 


c 


thermal water, F, B 


14 


Kelseyville V 


.12 


165-617 


D 


B 


15 


Sacramento V 


113.65 


99-2,790 


B 


WQ, OD, subsidence, B 


16 


Martis V 


1.00 


63-140 


B 


none known 


17 


Ukiah V 


.40 


100-1,030 


c 


B 


18 


Alexander V 


.50 


220-1,320 


c 


hard water 


19 


Santa Rosa V 


8.32 


93-427 


B 


hard water, TDS 


20 


Petaluma V 


2.10 


225-4,300 


B 


hard water, SW, CI, TDS 


21 


Napa-Sonoma V 


2.90 


118-11,700 


B 


hard water, connate water 
SW, Fe, CI, B, TDS 


22 


Suisun-Fairfield V 


.23 


155-5,600 


B 


hard water, SW, B 


23 


Pittsburg Plain 


UNK 


480-2,060 


c 


SW 


24 


Clayton V 


.18 


212-692 


c 


SW 


25 


Ygnacio V 


.20 


715-2,333 


c 


SW 


26 


Santa Clara V 


12.20 


20-3,220 


A 


potential SW, former 
subsidence 


27 


Livermore V 


.54 


304-4,810 


A 


hard water, TDS, CI, B 


28 


Pajaro V 


UNK 


255-759 


B 


hard water. TDS, 
N03, SW 



Table continued on following page 



Undeveloped Basins 



Developed Basins 

<1 maf 



1 - 10 maf 
> 10 maf 
Unknown 



Known total storage capacity 
in millions of acre-feet (maf) 



Artificial Recharge in 1972 ZZtT 01 



30 
32 



Basin Name 
North Coastal 

3 Butte Valley 
San Francisco Bay 

26 Santa Clara Valley 

27 Livermore 
Sub Total 

Central Coastal 
29 Gilroy-Hollister Valley 

Salinas Valley 

Santa Maria Valley 

Sub Total 
San Joaquin 
36 San Joaquin Valley 
South Coastal 
47 Santa Clara River Valley 

San Fernando Valley 

Los Angeles Coastal Plain 

San Gabriel Valley 

Orange County Coastal Plain 
54/55 Upper Santa Ana Valley 
56 San Jacinto Basin 

Sub Total 

Grand Total 



of Facilities 



41 
2 



12 
1 
1 



Amount 

UNK 

136 
8 



13 

215 

21 



Pumpage in 1972 thousandsof 



50 
51 
52 
53 



3 


19 


8 


11 


8 


111 


37 


29 


5 


35 


65 


200 


2 





128 


405 


441 


1,012 



Hydrologic Basin 

North Coastal 
San Fransico Bay 
Central Coastal 
South Coastal 
Sacramento 
San Joaquin 
North Lahontan 
Colorado Desert 
Total 









29 


Gilroy/Hollister V 


.93 


276-2,560 


B 


OD, TDS, B 


30 


Salinas V 


10.30 


251-3010 


B 


hard water, SW, TDS 


31 


Arroyo Grande V 


1.70 


117-2,900 


B 


possible SW, TDS 
CI, S04 


32 


Santa Maria R V 


2.00 


200-3,200 


A 


possible SW 


33 


Cuyama V 


2.10 


206-5,000 


B 


WQ 


34 


San Antonio Creek V 


2.10 


129-38,600 


C 


TDS 


35 


Santa Ynez R V 


2.70 


179-24,034 


B 


possible SW, TDS 


36 


San Joaquin V 


570.00 


64-10,700 


B 


OD, subsidence, saline 
connate waters, Na, CI, 
S04, B, N04 


37 


Tehachapl V 


.35 


364-1,037 


C 


none known 


38 


Owens V 


38.00 


90-470 


B 


hard water, F, B, Na, As 


39 


Indian Wells V 


5.12 


141-232,000 


B 


CI, B, TDS 


40 


Searles V 


2.14 


11,900-420,000 


C 


WQ 


41 


Fremont V 


4.80 


349-100,000 


B 


WQ 


42 


Harper V 


6.98 


316-14,700 


C 


WQ 


43 


Antelope V 


70.00 


123-7,700 


B 


OD 


44 


Lower Mojave R V 


5.10 


190-2,340 


B 


OD, WQ 


45 


Middle Mojave R V 


8.05 


145-3,900 


B 


OD, WQ 


46 


Upper Mojave R V 


26.53 


16-2,760 


B 


OD, WQ 


47 


Santa Clara R V 


30.00 


278-33,500 


A 


OD, SW, Mg, S04, CI, 
N03, B, TDS 


48 


Pleasant V 


1.89 


134-92,270 


B 


OD, Mg, S04, CI, 
N03, TDS 


49 


Los Posas V 


4.25 


130-4,927 


B 


CI, B, TDS 


50 


San Fernando V 


3.40 


222-2,120 


A 


WQ 


51 


Coastal Plain of L.A. 


31.73 


144-34,800 


A 


OD, SW, CI, S04, TDS 
Fe, Mn 


52 


San Gabriel V 


10.44 


107-1,000 


A 


OD, N03, TDS 


53 


Coastal Pin/Orange Co 


.40.00 


138-36,500 


A 


TDS, SW, OD 


54 


Upper Santa Ana V 


.75 


180-796 


A 


N03, TDS 


55 


Upper Santa Ana V 


16.00 


60-1,900 


A 


OD, N03, TDS 


56 


San Jacinto Basin 


6.11 


278-3,910 


D 


N03, CI, TDS, B, Na 


57 


Temecula V 


1.20 


250-700 


B 


S04, CI, Mg, N03, TDS 


58 


San Luis Rey V 


.24 


83-14,300 


C 


SW, connate water, Mg, 
S04, CI, N03, Fe, TDS 


59 


Lucerne V 


4.74 


97-10,140 


C 


TDS, N03, CI, S04, F, B, 

OD 

OD, F, S04, TDS, B 


60 


Coachella V 


39.00 


147-3,180 


B 


61 


Borrego V 


1.30 


300-2,150 


C 


Mg, N03, F, S04, CI, 
TDS, Na 


62 


Needles V 


1.10 


831-1,500 


C 


S04, CI, F, TDS, Na, OD 


63 


Palo Verde V 


4.96 


856-11,000 


C 


F, CI, TDS, S04 


64 


Yuma V 


4.60 


935-14,700 


D 


Mg, S04, CI, Mn, TDS, Na 


Undeveloped 










65 


Madeline Plains 


2.00 


86-2,330 


C 


Fe, B, CI, S04, N03 


66 


Goose Lake V 


1.00 


66-577 


C 


F, B, Na 


67 


Mono V 


3.40 


60-2,060 


D 


TDS, B, Na 


68 


Eureka V 


2.07 


?-554 


D 


none known 


69 


Saline V 


2.43 


790-3,760 


D 


F, CI, S04, TDS, B, Na 


70 


Panamint V 


3.40 


282-272,000 





WQ 


71 


Death V 


11.00 


300-300,000 


C 


F, B, CI, TDS, Na 


72 


Middle Amargosa V 


6.80 


490-2,300 


D 


F, B, S04, Na 


73 


Lower Kingston V 


3.39 


5,380-8,540 


D 


WQ 


74 


Upper Kingston V 


2.13 


344-1,080 


D 


F, B, CI, TDS, S04, Na 


75 


Riggs V 


1.19 


344-8,540 


D 


none known 


76 


Bicycle V 


,1.70 


608-? 


D 


none known 


77 


Ivanpah V 


3.09 


231-2,230 


D 


WQ 


78 


Kelso V 


5.34 


272-570 


D 


WQ 


79 


Broadwell V 


1.22 


470-1,260 


D 


WQ 


80 


Soda Lake V 


9.30 


242-3,350 


C 


Na, F, TDS 


81 


Coyote Lake V 


7.53 


312-2,480 


C 


F, TDS 


82 


Caves Canyon V 


4.15 


198-1,270 


D 


WQ 


83 


Troy V 


2.17 


278-3,310 


C 


WQ 


84 


Superior V 


1.75 


284-2,260 


C 


WQ 


85 


Cuddeback V 


1.38 


395-4,730 


C 


WQ 


86 


Pilot Knob V 


2.46 


389-1,510 


D 


WQ 


87 


El Mirage V 


1.76 


320-14,100 


C 


WQ 


88 


Johnson V 


1.30 


342-3,134 


C 


S04 


89 


Lavic V 


2.70 


7-1,680 


D 


F, CI 


90 


Ames V 


1.20 


75-1,408 


C 


TDS, F, CI 


91 


Deadman V 


1.27 


172-982 


C 


none known 


92 


29 Palms V 


1.42 


86-1,180 


C 


F 


93 


Dale V 


2.00 


1,070-304,000 


c 


WQ 


94 


Bristol V 


7.00 


289-298,000 


D 


WQ, F 


95 


Fenner V 


5.60 


287-872 


D 


none known 


96 


Lanfair V 


3.00 


230-2,000 


C 


S04, TDS 


97 


Piute V 


2.40 


UNK 


D 


S04, F, Na 


98 


Chemehuevi V 


4.70 


351-1,090 


D 


S04, CL, F, TDS, Na 


99 


Ward V 


8.70 


394-21,600 


D 


saline water, TDS, S04, 
F, CI 


100 


Cadiz V 


4.30 


615-2,000 


D 


WQ 


101 


Chuckwalla V 


9.10 


274-12,300 


C 


S04, CI, F, TDS, B, Na 


102 


RiceV 


2.28 


661-2,690 


D 


CI, TDS, F, S04, B 


103 


Vidal V 


1.60 


450-1,060 


D 


S04, CI, F, TDS, Na 


104 


Catzona V 


1.50 


450-1,060 


D 


S04, CI, F, TDS 


105 


Orocopia V 


1.50 


460-1,500 


D 


F, TDS 


106 


Palo Verde Mesa 


6.84 


856-11,000 


C 


AS,Sn,F,CI,S04, TDS, B 


107 


Vallecito/Carrizo V 


2.50 


220-1,378 


D 


Mg, S04, CI, TDS, Na F 


108 


Ocotillo V 


5.80 


498-3,161 


D 


CI, F, S04, TDS, Na 


109 


Coyote Wells V 


1.70 


442-8,660 


D 


WQ 


110 


Imperial V 


14.70 


694-3,560 


D 


deposits of low 
permability, WQ 


111 


Amos V 


2.90 


370-1,600 


D 


WQ 


112 


Arroyo Seco V 


7.00 


330-1,690 


D 


Mn, CI, TDS, Na 


113 


Ogilby V 


2.90 


370-1,600 


D 


WQ 


Key to Abbreviations in ' 


Table 






As - Arsenic 




N03 - Nitrate 






B 


- Boron 




OD - Overdraft 




CI - Chloride 




R - River 






F 


- Fluoride 




Sn - Selenium 




Fe - Iron 




S04 - Sulfate 






M 


- Magnesium 




SW - Seawater Intrusion 


Mn - Manganese 




UNK - Unknown 


Na - Sodium 




V - Valley 






NaS04 - Sodium Sulfate 


WQ - Water Quality 



tool for implementing already agreed upon 
management plans. In three subsequent ad- 
judications, an answer to the size and cost of the 
Raymond Basin and West Basin prototypes was found 
in negotiation and agreement by the parties outside of 
the courtroom. Although the settlements were 
ultimately confirmed by a judgment of a court and 
placed under watermaster control, no real adversary 
trial was thereafter resorted to. 

Such litigation by mutual agreement was not easily 
accomplished. In San Gabriel Basin, the case involved 
over 100 parties; in Central Basin, about 600; and in 
Chino Basin, over 1,300 defendants. Substantive 
water law and ordinary legal procedures did not 
simplify solution; to the contrary, the determination 
of all rights in the strict sense of California's water 
rights law would have meant total failure. The system 
of rights which emerged from these settlements 
consequently does not conform to historic categories 
of California's water rights. Rather, they emphasize 
equities and social and economic acceptability. Thus 
resource planning began to overshadow the intricate 
and heretofore inviolable field of water rights. In 
some instances, the resort to court was entirely 
avoided. By legislative action, water districts were 
given the power to tax all extractions from the 
groundwater basin for the purpose of obtaining funds 
to buy imported water to recharge the local supply. 
This results in individual access to the groundwater 
supply solely by reason of a political management 
decision without regard to individual "water rights." 

The California Supreme Court's decision in Los 
Angeles v. San Fernando in 1975 further enhanced the 
standing of public agencies in the context of 
traditional rights. As a result of the Raymond Basin 
case, all pumpers within a groundwater basin were 
encouraged to increase the volume of their 
appropriations in order to establish their rights under 
the doctrine of mutual prescription. In the San 
Fernando case, however, the court removed the prize 
from this so-called "race to the pumphouse" by ruling 
that no private pumper can obtain prescriptive rights 
within a groundwater basin as against any public 
entity. This unanimous decision had the effect of 
placing the private pumper at a distinct disadvantage 
in any basin where public entities are also involved. 
More importantly, it would appear as a result that the 
doctrine of mutual prescription will be limited in its 
future application only to those instances where all of 



the pumpers in an overdrafted basin are private 
appropriators or where all appropriators consent to 
its enforcement as a basis for mutual agreement. 

If the era of water resource planning appears to 
have achieved the elimination or reduction in 
importance of historic disputes over private water 
rights, resource planning from a statewide per- 
spective has given birth to other major problems. 
Rather than individual disputes, the problems now 
relate to regional or intergovernmental struggles 
over the allocation and transfer of water supplies 
between areas of surplus and deficiency within the 
state. 

The aqueduct systems which transfer large 
quantities of water from one watershed area to 
another, for example, generally operate on the 
assumption that their appropriations extend only to 
surplus waters. Such appropriations may be 
protected by congressional authorization where the 
waters arise on public lands, as in the case of the 
Hetch Hetchy project of the City of San Francisco, or 
through the purchase and acquisition of substantially 
all private lands, as in the case of Los Angeles' rights 
in the Owens Valley. But the areas in which these 
exported waters originate have been historically 
concerned with the specter that a major aqueduct 
system once constructed tends to preempt the supply 
that it exports and to preclude future local 
development. That concern led to the adoption of 
"area-of-origin" statutes which qualify and limit the 
operations of the Central Valley Project, the State 
Water Project, and other recent transfer projects. The 
implications of area-of-origin legislation have not 
been fully tested in the courts, but as the demands for 
water increase, the pressure will continue to build to 
restrain historic exports and preclude future exports 
of water regardless of economic feasibility or social 
necessity. 

Environmental statutes in recent years have 
imposed further restraints upon the operation of the 
water industry in California. Water resource 
planners who at one time looked to the state's total 
"water crop" and contemplated transfers from the 
abundance of the North Coast to the arid areas of 
Southern California have seen California's Wild and 
Scenic Rivers Act erected as a wall sealing off their 
access to approximately one-fourth of the state's total 
average annual runoff. At the same time, there is 
increasing pressure for the protection of in-stream 



THE WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS ACT 



Landmark legislation is often the result not only of com- 
promise but also of a unique combination of personalities 
and events. Such was the case with the adoption of Cali- 
fornia's Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the brainchild of Peter 
H. Behr, Republican State Senator from Tiburon. 

An attorney and former Marin County supervisor, Behr 
was elected to the State Senate at the end of 1970 following 
his successful leadership of a statewide petition drive to 
convince President Richard Nixon to complete the purchase 
of Point Reyes National Seashore. Although freshman state 
legislators do not customarily carry major legislative pro- 
posals, one of Behr's first acts upon taking office was to 
introduce his bill to reverse a century of attitudes toward 
water development in California and preserve the last free- 
flowing rivers of the North Coast in their natural condition. 
Still more audacious from the point of view of legislative 
etiquette, none of the rivers affected by the bill were actual- 
ly located in Behr's senatorial district as it was then consti- 
tuted. Instead, the rivers ran through the district of Senator 
Randolph E. Collier, the most senior member of the Senate 
and chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, 
whose long state service had earned him sobriquets as 
"Father of the California Freeway System" and "Silver Fox 
of the Siskiyous." 

Behr succeeded that first year in bringing his bill through 
the finance committee but lost it on the Senate floor. Popu- 
lar support for environmental programs was high, how- 
ever, and Governor Ronald Reagan's earlier decision to 
abandon the Corps of Engineers' proposed project at Dos 
Rios seemed to signal that attitudes at the state level toward 
water development were changing. When Behr introduced 
his bill again at the beginning of the 1972 legislative ses- 
sion, Collier responded with a bill of his own which dupli- 
cated Behr's in most respects with the significant exception 
that Collier's proposed legislation did not extend protected 
status to the Eel River. 

The two bills moved in tandem through both houses of 
the Legislature and reached the governor's desk simul- 
taneously. In the end, however, Governor Reagan gave his 
approval to the somewhat stronger protections afforded by 
the Behr bill. 

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act generally prohibits the 
construction of dams or diversion structures on the entire 
Smith River and specified stretches of the Klamath, Trinity, 



Van Duzen, Scott, Eel, Salmon, and American rivers. Al- 
though a state statute cannot prohibit a federal agency from 
developing projects of its own on these rivers, the act does 
forbid any state agency to lend specific assistance to such an 
effort. The Department of Water Resources, however, is 
required to report to the Legislature in 1985 with respect to 
any needs that may exist for water supply or flood control 
projects on the Eel River. In addition, the act permits the 
construction of diversion facilities on these rivers if the 
state's Secretary for Resources determines that these facili- 
ties will serve only local, domestic water needs and that they 
will not adversely affect the free-flowing condition of the 



river. 




State Senator Peter H. Behr 



69 



Conveyance Facilities 



1 Tule Lake Tunnel 

2 Eastside Canal 

3 Westside Canal 

4 McArthur Diversion Canal 

5 Bella Vista Conduit 

6 Spring Creek Tunnel 

7 Clear Creek Tunnel 

8 Whiskeytown Conduit 

9 South Canal 

10 Corning Canal 

11 Tehama-Colusa Canal 

12 Glenn-Colusa Canal 

13 Colusa Basin Drain 

14 Western Canal 

15 Cherokee Canal 

16 Main Drainage Canal 

17 Eastside Canal 

18 Cross Canal 

19 North Drainage Canal 

20 East Drainage Canal 

21 West Drainage Canal 

22 Tule Canal 

23 Willow Slough Bypass 

24 Winters Canal 

25 East Park Feed Canal 

26 Potter Valley Tunnel 

27 Putah South Canal 

28 North Bay Aqueduct 

29 Cache Slough Conduit 

30 Santa Rosa-Sonoma Aqueduct 

31 Petaluma Aqueduct 

32 North Marin Aqueduct 

33 Ygnacio Canal 

34 Clayton Canal 

35 Contra Costa Canal 

36 Delta Cross Channel 

37 Mokelumne Aqueduct 

38 Folsom South Canal 

39 Camino Conduit 

40 Swager Ditch 

41 Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct 

42 Grant Line Canal 

43 South Bay Aqueduct 

44 California Aqueduct 

45 Delta Mendota Canal 

46 Modesto Main Canal 

47 Turlock I.D. Lat.2 

48 Ceres Canal 

49 Turlock I.D. Lat.5 

50 Turlock Canal 



51 Highline Canal 

52 Turlock Main Canal 

53 Merced Main Canal 

54 Le Grand Canal 

55 San Luis Drain 

56 Outside Canal 

57 Main Canal 

58 Chowchilla Canal 

59 Madera Canal 

60 Dry Creek Canal 

61 Fresno Canal 

62 Fowler Switch Canal 

63 Centerville-Kingsbury Canal 

64 Liberty Millrace Canal 

65 James Canal 

66 Crescent Ditch 

67 San Luis Canal 

68 Coalinga Canal 

69 Lemoore Canal 

70 Last Chance Ditch 

71 Lone Oak Canal 

72 Lakeside Ditch 

73 Helm-Lewis Ditch 

74 Tulare Lake Canal 

75 Gates-Jones Canal 

76 Wilbur Ditch 

77 Blakeley Canal 

78 Liberty Farms South Canal 

79 Liberty Farms East Canal 

80 Lakeland Canal 

81 Homeland Canal 

82 Pozo Canal 

83 Alpaugh Irrig-Dist. Canal 

84 Goose Lake Canal 

85 Friant-Kern Canal 

86 Westside Canal 

87 Eastside Canal 

88 Calloway Canal 

89 Lerdo Canal 

90 Pioneer Canal 

91 Cross Valley Canal 

92 Alejandro Canal 

93 Buena Vista Canal 

94 Stine Canal 

95 Kern Island Canal 

96 New Rim Ditch 



97 Kern River Intertie 

98 Eastside Canal 

99 Tehachapi Cummings Pipeline 
100a First L.A. Aqueduct 

100b Second L.A. Aqueduct 

101 Coastal Branch 

102 Whale Rock Conduit 

103 San Luis Conduit 

104 Solvang-Santa Ynez Conduit 

105 Tecolate Tunnel 

106 Mission Tunnel 

107 South Coast Conduit 

108 Doulton Tunnel 

109 Robles-Casitas Canal 

110 Casitas Gravity Canal 

111 Rubicon Main 

112 California Aqueduct West Branch 

113 California Aqueduct East Branch 

114 Gage Canal 

115 Fallbrook Oceanside Branchline 

116 2nd San Diego Aqueduct 

117 San Diego Aqueduct 

118 La Mesa-Sweetwater Extension 

119 Colorado. River Aqueduct 

120 Coachella Canal 

121 Vail Canal 

122 East Highline Canal 

123 Moss Lateral 

124 Occidental Lateral 

125 Plum Canal 

126 Rose Outlet Drain Canal 
12.7 Acacia Canal 

128 Central Main Canal 

129 Westside Main Canal 

130 All-American Canal 

131 Yuma Main 

132 Cocopah Canal 

133 Reservation Main Drain 

134 Eastside Drain 

135 Palo Verde Canal 




California Waterscape 



Cities and Towns 



-» more than 200,000 population 
under 200,000 population 
Selected Conveyance Facilities 

state developed 
locally developed 
federally developed 



dashed lines refer to uncompleted sections 



Wetlands 



Includes freshwater marsh, brackish marsh, 
and high water table native pasture. 



Coastal Salt Marsh 



A wetland subject to tidal inundation and 
characterized by pickleweed and cordgrass. 

Wild and Scenic Rivers 

Protected from instream development or 
diversion pursuant to the California Wild 
and Scenic Rivers Act of 1972. 

Intermittent Lakes and Reservoirs 

i Lakes and reservoirs which contain some 
water on a nearly continuous basis. 

Lakes and reservoirs that are commonly 
dry except during years of heavy runoff. 





San Diego 
Bay 



*' Anacapa Island 



Santa Catalina Island 



Point Conception 



San Clemente Island 



Santa Rosa Islan 



San Miguel Island 



San Nicolas Island 



'<*> s 



50 kilometers 



Comparison of Peak Streamflow Records 



This is a summary of the peak flow histories for the fifteen 
rivers. Each block symbol represents one recorded year, 
and is colored in the flow class shadings used on the main 
graphic. The outlined squares denote flows of 10,000 c.f.s. 
or less. There is no chronological order to the arrangement 
of the blocks. They are grouped strictly by flow class to 
relate only the actual number of years within each class 
that has been recorded on the river since 1905. 



S Klamath River 

at Klamath 



III 



■■■ 
■■■ 



Eel River 

at Scotia 



■■■■■■ 

■ ft ■ ■ ■ ft 

■ ft- ft ■ ft ft ft 



Pit River 

at Big Bend 




Feather River 

at Oroville 



mmmmmmms 




American River 

at Fair Oaks 



Putah Creek 

near Winters 



Cosumnes River 

at Michigan Bar 



an Joaquin River 

below Friant 



Coyote Creek 

near Madrone 



Arroyo Seco 

near Soledad 



Kern River 

near Bakersfield 



Los Angeles River 

at Long Beach 



Santa Ana River 

near Mentone 



Mojave River 

at Lower Narrows 
near Victorville 




East Fork Carson River 

near Gardnerville, Nev. 



uses, which have the effect of interposing fish and 
wildlife as parties to traditional disputes over the 
division of water for human needs. 

The environmentalist today looks to the 1928 
constitutional amendment as a mandate compelling 
water users to restrict and conserve their use — a 
concept yet to be fully developed in California's water 
law. At the same time, water districts and agencies 
committed to water resource development see the 
constitutional amendment of 1928 as compelling the 
application of the state's water supplies to the 
maximum beneficial use of its people. In either case, 
water rights and property in the use of the state's 
water are seen as subservient to the social and 
political requirements of society. 

The era of water resource planning has opened the 
way toward the use of the water resources of the 
state in a way that exceeds the imagination of earlier 
generations. For the first time, State Water Project 
planners have begun to look to the enormous 
quantity of unused groundwater storage capacity 
throughout California as a reservoir, or series of 
reservoirs, in which the surplus waters of the state 
from wet years can be stored to meet the demands of 
drought years. This conjunctive use of groundwater 
basins represents a major step forward in water 
resource planning. The way for its implementation 
was cleared by the California Supreme Court decision 
in Los Angeles v. San Fernando. But the implementation of 
that mandate will, in all probability, be accomplished 
by political action and agreement, not by water rights 
litigation in an adversary sense. 



NATURAL CONSTRAINTS: FLOODS AND 
DROUGHT 

Most Californians are primarily concerned with the 
ability of the modern water system to protect them 
from the vicissitudes of nature. Floods and drought 
are potentially disastrous natural events that 
frustrate our attempts to regulate the hydrologic 
cycle. Despite contemporary technology and an 
elaborate system of water management facilities, 
man has been unable totally to alleviate the effects of 
these two extreme natural phenomena. 

Rainfall-induced floods are a relatively common 
characteristic of most rivers and streams in 
California. Even arroyos in the driest parts of the 
state experience floods periodically. Precipitation is 
the principal climatic cause of flooding because it 
dictates the spatial and temporal characteristics of the 
moisture available within a given drainage basin. A 
large amount of rainfall received over several days 
may produce a flood discharge similar to that 
resulting from a smaller amount of rainfall received 
very intensely during a few hours. Once precipitation 
has reached the earth's surface, however, 
evapotranspiration and antecedent soil moisture 
become additional factors in determining the 
proportion of rainfall from a particular storm that will 
be delivered to the stream channel. The magnitude of 
precipitation collected at the surface is a function, 
moreover, of the physical features of the 
watershed — the basin's area, shape, elevation, soils, 
and slope. The area of the watershed is commonly 
recognized as the single most important 
physiographic factor in determining the magnitude of 
a flood. In general, as the area of the watershed 
increases, the surface for collecting precipitation 
increases and the greater magnitude of intercepted 
precipitation produces a higher flood flow. 

The relationship between watershed area and peak 
flow is illustrated by the graphic comparison of peak 
streamflows in this section. The annual peak flows 
for the Feather River are consistently greater than 
those for the American River, whose drainage area is 
only half as large as the Feather River watershed. In 
Southern California, the peak flows for the Los 
Angeles River are greater than those for the Santa 
Ana River which drains a smaller area. There are 
exceptions to most generalizations, however, and one 
exception to the relationship between area and flow is 
evident in the case of the Klamath River. The 
drainage area of the Klamath is approximately four 
times larger than that of the Eel River, but the record 
peak flow of the Eel exceeds that of the Klamath by 
1.35 times. Also, the annual peak flow of the Eel has 
exceeded the annual peak flow of the Klamath in 
numerous years. This deviation from the general rule 
illustrates the mutual interdependence of the climatic 
and physiographic factors that control flood peaks. In 
these basins, intense rainfall seldom occurs uniformly 



over all parts of a large basin, but intense rainfall may 
cover most of a watershed of moderate size. 
Consequently, the Eel River watershed commonly 
receives more precipitation from a given storm and 
produces a higher flood flow even though its area is 
smaller than that of the Klamath River Basin. 

A flood may occur somewhere in California in 
every month of the year, but some general seasonal 
characteristics of flooding are identifiable. 
Rainfall-induced floods resulting from prolonged 
general storms may occur anywhere in the state from 
November through March, and the area of flooding 
may be statewide or localized. The majority of 
California's most serious floods have resulted from 
the passage of such general storms. From late spring 
through fall thunderstorms or other locally intense 
storms may produce flooding in the Sierra and in 
Southern California. Thunderstorm floods tend to be 
of short duration and they are often very localized in 
their effects. In September and October, tropical 
storms may produce flooding in Southern California 
and the Colorado Desert. These storms move 
eastward out of Mexico north of their usual track and 
they produce intense rainfall and flooding along their 
paths. 

It is in the period from March through June, 
however, that snowmelt floods may be expected in 
streams draining the Sierra. A snowmelt flood differs 
from a rainfall-induced flood in that the peak flow is 
usually lower although the flood flow is sustained 
longer. These conditions occur because the melting of 
snow moves upslope as thawing progresses from the 
lowest elevations along the stream channel toward 
the drainage divide. As the snow retreats upslope, less 
of the area contributes melted water and the result is 
a flood flow sustained by the more rapid melting of a 
decreasing snowpack. However, a cool spring 
followed by rapid warming will find nearly the entire 
snowpack still in the mountains and melt rates under 
these conditions can produce damaging floods. Rivers 
in the Tulare Basin are particularly noted for 
snowmelt floods resulting from a combination of 
unseasonably warm spring temperatures and a heavy 
snowpack. 

When the annual peak flows for the rivers on the 
peak streamflows plate are compared, it is evident 
that there is a need for differentiating the peak flows 
in order to relate them to identifiable flood events and 
to compare the peak flows for different rivers. The 
common convention is to identify flows associated 
with specified flood recurrence intervals or the 
average span of time within which a flood flow of a 
given magnitude will be expected to be equaled or 
exceeded. The recurrence interval identifies a specific 
flood flow for a particular river, but it does not imply 
that a ten-year flood represents the same flow on all 
rivers. For example, a ten-year flood on the 
Cosumnes River is represented by a flow of 30,000 



The intensive logging of forests 
in the Klamath River watershed 
visible in the photograph below 
add to the load of sediment that 
the river naturally carries. A 
plume of sediment at the river's 
mouth appears here as a lighter 
color sweeping southward along 
the coast. Mount Shasta is in 
the background near the center 
of the photograph. 




73 



The principal features of the Eel 
River floodplain receive promi- 
nent display in the photograph 
on this page. The oxbow lakes 
and cursive scars that mark the 
surface of the land to the right of 
the river's present course of flow 
define the extent of lateral move- 
ment that has occurred in the 
streambed of the Eel. Loleta is 
at the left and Highway 101 
crosses at the top. 

The photograph on the facing 
page also shows a segment of the 
Eel River today. Inclusion of the 
Eel in the state's Wild and Scenic 
Rivers Act met with opposition 
from many residents of the 
North Coast who recalled "killer 
floods" on the Eel and therefore 
felt it unwise to prohibit the 
construction of flood control 
facilities on the river. As a result 
of this controversy, a compro- 
mise was struck and the act 
requires a review to be made in 
1985 of the continuation of the 
Eel's protected status under the 
law. 



cubic feet per second while a ten-year flood on the 
American River is a flow of 108,000 cubic feet per 
second. 

Recurrence interval flood flows are computed by 
assuming that annual peak discharges for a river may 
be treated statistically as a series of random events. A 
flood discharge having a recurrence interval of five 
years, for example, can be expected to occur once in 
five years or it has a 20 percent chance of occurring in 
any year. A 50-year flood can be expected to occur 
once in 50 years or it has a two percent chance of 
occurring in any year. Recurrence frequency is an 
important design and planning tool, but it does not 
mean that the designated flood discharge occurs at a 
regular span of five years or 50 years. Five-year floods 
may occur in successive years and then not recur for 
ten years or more and 50-year floods may occur in 
successive years and then not recur for 150 years or 
more. 

On the peak streamflow plate, only the Eel and Pit 
rivers have experienced 100-year floods during the 
period of record shown. Fifty-year floods are more 
common, but seven of the rivers have not experienced 
such flood flows since 1905. The Los Angeles River, 
however, had two 50-year floods during the 32 years 
between 1938 and 1969. Ten of the rivers have 
experienced 25-year floods. Arroyo Seco is 
noteworthy in that it experienced 25-year flood flows 
in 1956, 1958, and again in 1967. The Klamath River 
had four ten-year floods during the 62 years shown, 
but three of these occurred in successive years from 
1970 through 1973. In fact, the 62-year record for the 
Klamath River contains one 50-year flood and one 
25-year flood, and both of these floods occurred 
during the last 12 years of record. These data provide 
a striking example that floods are capricious even 
though they tend to conform with expected 
probabilities over a long period. 

Floods due to high tides, tsunamis, and dam failures 
occur infrequently in California, although such floods 
are extremely destructive because they often produce 
a flood flow which overtops flood protection facilities 
designed to contain rain or snowmelt floods. High 
tides and wind may produce or contribute to flooding 
along the lower reaches of rivers whose discharge is 
at or near flood stage. Tsunamis are a flood hazard 
along the entire California coastline, but the north 
coast is the most frequently affected region. The 
greatest tsunami damage along the California coast in 
the last 100 years resulted from the wave generated 
by the Alaskan earthquake in March 1964. Since that 
time, seven tsunamis have been recorded at Crescent 
City, but none have approached the magnitude of the 
1964 flood wave. 

California has been fortunate that with over 1,200 
dams in the state, extensive damage due to the failure 
of major dams has been limited to only a few cases in 
the state's recent history. Flooding subsequent to the 
1928 failure of the St. Francis Dam in the San 
Francisquito Valley north of Los Angeles cost as 
many lives as the San Francisco Earthquake. The 
partial collapse of the Baldwin Hills Dam near Culver 
City in December 1963 was preceded by an 
evacuation warning which limited the number of 
fatalities although flooding caused an estimated $50 
million in property damage in the residential area 
below the dam. And in December 1964, Hell Hole 
Dam on the Rubicon River was breached by flood 
water impounded behind the partially completed 
structure. Fortunately, the flood flow resulting from 
the failure of Hell Hole Dam was contained 
downstream by Folsom Dam on the American River. 

Earthquakes represent a particularly serious 
concern for dam safety in most areas of California. 
The nature of the threat that earthquakes pose to 
dam safety and flooding was demonstrated by the 
moderate earthquake which struck the San Fernando 
Valley in February 1971. The intense ground shaking 
accompanying the earthquake caused the near failure 
of the Lower San Fernando Valley Dam and seriously 
damaged the Upper San Fernando Valley Dam. 
Approximately 80,000 people living in the area below 
these hydraulic fill dams would have been affected by 
flooding if the lower dam had failed. 

An earthquake near Oroville Dam in August 1975 
called attention to another concern related to 
earthquakes and dam failures. Evidence is mounting 
that the construction of dams and reservoirs may 
trigger seismic activity near a dam. The increased 
surface load created by the weight of the water in the 
reservoir and the seepage of water from the reservoir 
into the underlying strata have been proposed as 



Nv« 



-fir W* 






■% 



~V 3 



k V 






r^ 



■dm 



«>- 






v. v • 



W 



f 



^ 



4>S 



J^W 



I 






4. .*r #*" V* t 4£ '• •P'^'i^iJ 



*i 



74 




LOS ANGELES COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT 



In California, the urban flood problem reaches its most 
serious level within the metropolitan region of Los Angeles. 
This area is probably subject to a greater potential flood 
hazard than any other area of similar size and population 
density in the United States. Furthermore, the flood hazard 
due to the flow of large volumes of water is compounded by 
damage due to debris carried from the steep mountain 
slopes by the flood waters. It has been estimated that the 
mountain watersheds surrounding Los Angeles when de- 
nuded by fire produce as much as 130,000 cubic yards of 
debris per square mile of watershed during a major storm. 

The Los Angeles County Flood Control District was the 
first flood control district in California to be created by a 
special act of the Legislature in 1915. Today there are 31 
such districts. Because flood control problems seldom coin- 
cide with the boundaries of local governments, creation of a 
flood control district permits county governments to en- 
gage in county-wide flood control and water conservation 
activities which are formulated on the basis of natural 
watershed boundaries rather than political boundaries. 
In addition, formation of a flood control district permits the 
financial burden for flood protection to be distributed equit- 
ably among the property owners who benefit from the 
activities of the district. 

The Los Angeles district today is one of the largest special 
governments in the United States in terms of bonded debt, 
area of jurisdiction, population, assessed valuation, and the 
number of its employees. The district is governed by the Los 
Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and it is charged 



with responsibility for flood control and water conservation 
in the southern three-fifths of Los Angeles County. The 
effectiveness of its flood control facilities was demonstrated 
during a severe storm in January 1969 when most Southern 
California counties were declared national disaster areas 
while the areas within the district's jurisdiction escaped 
inundation. 

In addition to providing flood protection, the district is 
responsible for conserving flood and reclaimed waters for 
beneficial use. Impounded flood water is conserved by con- 
trolled releases and by enhanced opportunities for percola- 
tion of flood water into groundwater reservoirs, either in 
natural channels or in spreading grounds which have been 
constructed adjacent to river channels. The conservation of 
flood water by the district is supplemented by spreading 
reclaimed water and water imported from the Colorado 
River and from Northern California. To protect the quality 
of the water held in groundwater storage, the district oper- 
ates three barrier projects designed to prevent seawater 
intrusion into groundwater reservoirs. Injection wells are 
employed to maintain pressure ridges along the coastline at 
selected locations, and the pressure ridges prevent seawater 
from migrating into the inland water-bearing formations. 
These water conservation activities are essential for main- 
taining groundwater supplies which provide approximately 
40 percent of the water used in Los Angeles County. And 
the benefits derived from groundwater replenishment and 
the seawater barriers are especially significant when 
groundwater pumpage increases during a drought. 



potential causes for seismic activity. Conclusive 
evidence linking reservoir construction and 
earthquakes is still lacking, but the threat of 
earthquakes to dam safety and the potential flooding 
resulting from an earthquake-induced dam failure are 
major concerns which have delayed construction of 
the Auburn Dam on the American River. 

Most of California's urban and agricultural 
development has occurred on land subject to periodic 
inundation under natural conditions. Extensive flood 
control projects have been constructed to protect 
much of this land, but complete flood protection or 
the elimination of floods is an unrealistic goal. In 
general, current minimum standards attempt to 
provide protection from a ten-year flood for 
agricultural areas and from a 100-year flood for urban 
areas. Flood control is particularly necessary in urban 
areas because the concentration of population and 
their dependence on urban services magnifies the 
problems which accompany flooding. 



□ 

Woodland 



Folsom 
Dam 




nundation area 



Rio Vista 



This map presents a greatly simplified version of the maps 
prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation detailing the areas that 
would be inundated in the event of the failure of the Auburn Dam 
and the times at which the flood wave could be expected to arrive. 
State law currently requires the preparation of such maps by all 
agencies with dams subject to state jurisdiction whose failure 
might endanger populated areas. The Office of Emergency 
Services keeps a file of approximately 95 percent of the inundation 
area maps prepared for California. 



Flood control programs in California employ a mix 
of structural and nonstructural measures to prevent 
or reduce flooding, to prevent loss of life, and to 
reduce flood damage. The most common structural 
measures are flood control reservoirs, bypass 
structures, debris basins, levees, and improved 
channels. Nonstructural flood control measures 
include flood forecasting, flood proofing, floodplain 
zoning and management, and watershed land 
treatment. Although some type of structural flood 
control facility has been constructed in each of the 
eleven hydrologic areas in California, there are 
significant differences among the regions with regard 
to the level of development. During the critical period 
of the flood season, about six million acre-feet of flood 
control storage is provided by reservoirs whose 
designated functions include flood control. Large, 
multi-purpose reservoirs account for more than 95 
percent of the total flood control capacity, and 65 
percent of the capacity is provided by reservoirs in the 
Sacramento and Tulare basins. In addition, incidental 
but often significant flood control benefits are 
provided by reservoirs which do not have flood 
control as a designated function. 

Over 6,000 miles of levees and improved channels 
provide varying degrees of flood protection 
throughout the state. Levee construction has been 
most actively pursued in the Delta-Central Sierra 
region and in the Sacramento Basin. These two areas 
account for 44 percent and 26 percent, respectively, of 
the total mileage of levees in California. Channel 
improvements in and around urban areas account for 
the majority of the mileage in this category. The 
south coastal region alone contains 76 percent of the 
total mileage of improved channels in the state. 

While flood control structures provide moderate 
protection from flooding, they do not eliminate the 
risk or necessarily reduce the threat of flood damage. 
New developments in unprotected areas, urban and 
agricultural encroachments into lower elevations 
along a floodplain, and the inevitable flood which 
exceeds the design limits of structures are dangers 
that must be recognized. These are situations in 
which nonstructural measures may be used 
effectively. Watershed land treatment measures in 
both rural and urban areas can be initiated to retard 
and to reduce runoff so that flood peaks are 
decreased. Evidence suggests that land-use practices 
can be especially effective in small watersheds for 
reducing small flood flows. Floodplain development 
can be regulated by zoning and management policies 
and flood forecasting and flood proofing can be 
employed to reduce losses from floods which exceed 
the design limits of flood control structures. 

Our inability to moderate the extreme conditions 
of flood and drought may be the single common trait 
these two events share. Floods have a relatively rapid 
onset, a short duration, and may recur more than 
once in a specified period. In contrast, it is often 
difficult to determine when a drought begins and 



when it ends. Drought tends to be a long-duration 
condition when compared to the suddenness of other 
natural calamities, and drought recurs capriciously. 
But, whereas floods often produce dramatic changes 
in the landscape, extensive property damage, and loss 
of life, drought rarely causes structural damage or 
loss of human life in California. 



THE DROUGHT OF 1976-1977 

Drought is a multi-faceted natural phenomenon 
which means different things to different people. 
Acceptance of a universally applicable notion of 
drought is impeded by the fact that drought is a 
relative rather than an absolute condition, and the 
beginning and ending of drought are difficult to 
specify objectively. For general purposes, subnormal 
rainfall is commonly recognized as the single most 
important factor in the occurrence of a drought, 
although the magnitude of natural moisture needs is 
an integral part of the drought concept as well. The 
inclusion of subnormal rainfall as a component of 
drought has particular significance in California 
because it permits drought to be distinguished from 
the seasonally low rainfall which is characteristic of 
the summer months throughout the state. 

The severity of a drought is measured 
conventionally by the duration and areal extent of 
moisture deficiency. In California, the severity of a 
drought is seldom uniform throughout the state. 
Although an absence of rainfall is commonly the first 
hint of a drought, other clues are apparent to the alert 
observer. The flow of rivers and streams, especially 
small streams, begins to decline in response to the 
cessation of runoff which is sustained by rainfall. 
Evaporation dries the soil surface and transpiration 
by plants removes moisture from the root zone of the 
soil. These drying processes are accelerated during 
rainless periods and temperatures during a drought 
are often higher than average. The depletion of soil 
moisture during rainless periods causes plants to wilt 
and eventually die. Groundwater is the last form of 
natural storage to display the effects of drought, but 
groundwater is also slower to respond to the 
cessation of drought. Groundwater discharge 
sustains streamflow during rainless periods, but as 
the duration of the drought extends, the magnitude 
of water in underground storage decreases and 
streamflow is reduced. The eventual desiccation of 
streams during a drought results from the absence of 
surface runoff and the depletion of groundwater. 

For the state as a whole, water year 1976 was the 
fourth driest year of record and water year 1977 was 
the driest. These two years in succession produced 
the most severe drought of this century in California. 
During the 25 months from November 1975 through 
November 1977, many locations received little more 
rainfall than would be expected during an average 12 
months. The precipitation map for water year 1977 in 



75 







Lake Oroville 





Sacramento 



<T 6 
Folsom Lake 

r a 



Nicasid)Res 



San Francisco 9 






Snowpack in Percent of Average 
April 1, 1976 and April 1, 1977 









'ine Flat Res./ 
18 





Bakersfield 






Percent of Average 
Precipitation and Snowpack 

Oct 1, 1975 -Sep 30, 1976 

Precipitation in Percent of Average 



150% 

100% 

50% 




Shasta Lake ■v'— so-« 







fX 




Sacramento 



jgJ-akeT)roville 

V 6 

Folsqjri Lak- 



Percent of Average 
Precipitation and Snowpack 

Oct 1, 1976 -Sep 30, 1977 

Precipitation in Percent of Average 




150% 

100% 

50% 



Nicasio Res 




San Francisco to 






** 1C f/.afce.Croi 



Pine Flames. , 



Fresno 




•50 



Lake 
Havasu 




■<f>" 



,Bakersfield 





00 
Los Angeles 



San Diego 



The two maps show deviations from 
average precipitation and snowpack, 
illustrating the pattern of drought. 




Lake 
Havasu 



Monthly differences between the natural moisture supply 
and demand are portrayed by the Climatic Water Balances. 



Reservoir Storage 



Nicasio 




Storage during the drought years is compared to the average monthly storage of these reservoirs during the 
preceding decade, 1966-1975. The table below each graph gives the actual reservoir level in thousands of acre-feet. 



Shasta 



Oroville 



Folsom 




1976-77 



1976-77 





1976-77 




1975-76 



1975-76 



1975-76 



S O N D J F M / 



Potential Evapotranspiration 
— Actual Evapotranspiration * 
— Precipitation 
111!! Soil Moisture Recharge 
XV Soil Moisture Utilization 
I | Water Deficit 







1975-76 



Oct 75 70.7 Apr 



7.7 Jan '77 



Oct 75 


3470 


Apr 


3000 


Oct 




Apr 
May 




Nov 


3330 

3040 


May 


2570 


Nov 


1560 






Jun 


2130 


Dec 


1600 






Jan '76 


2930 
■ 


Jul 


1650 


Jar; 77 


1530 


Jul 






Auq 


1310 


Feb 




Auq 
Sep 




Mar 


3170 


Sep 


1300 


Mar 


1460 


630 



Oct 75 


2810 
2730 


May 


2750 

2630 


Oct 
Nov 


1740 
1690 


Apr 


1400 


Dec 

Jarl '76 


2580 
2680 


Jun 
Jul 


2420 
2110 


Dec 
Jan 77 


1630 
1600 


Jun 

Jul 

AUQ 

Sep 


1200 


Feb 
Mar 


2750 
2030 


Auq 
Sep 


1930 
1830 


Feb 
Mar 


1570 
1560 


890 
920 



Pel 75 700 Apr 

Nov 630_ May 

Dec 570 Jun 

Jan 76 540 "Jut 

580 Auq 



520 Jan 77 



630 Sep 



Pine Flat 




Lake 
Crowley 



Cachuma 



Lake 
Havasu 



1975-76 





1975-76 




1976-77 



1975-76 




1975-76 







Apj 



Mayl 



Oct 


230 


Apr 


340 


Nov 


250 


May 


3S0 


Dec 


250 


Jun 


340 


j?.r; '77 


270 


Jul 


130 


Feb 


280 


Auq 


70 


Mar 


290 


Sep 


70 



Jan 76 140 Jul 

Feb 130 Auq 

Ma r 130 Sep 



. 40 , Jun 



55 Aug 



Jan 76 170 Jul , 



_J60_ Jan 77 



Oct 75 


550 
:i5G 
540 
550 


Apr 


590 


Oct 


570 


Apr 




Nov 


May 


670 


Nov 


540 






Dec 


Jun 


600 


Dec 


570 






Jan 76 


Jul 


570 


Jan 77 


540 






Feb 


540 
570 


Auq 


560 


Feb 


550 








Sep 


580 


Mar 


570 


Sep 


570 




this section shows that precipitation over most of 
northern and central California was less than 
one-third of normal. Statewide precipitation for 1977 
averaged only 35 percent of normal. Snow 
accumulation on April 1, 1977, was the lowest in 47 
years in all basins except those of the Trinity and 
Feather rivers, and the water content for this record 
low snowpack was only 25 percent of normal. 

Reduced surface runoff and groundwater 
discharge during the drought lowered the flow of 
rivers and streams to record levels. Runoff for the 
year was only 24 percent of average, and many 
smaller streams, especially those at lower elevations, 
ceased to flow. Even rivers regulated by reservoirs 
eventually carried significantly reduced flows. In 
October 1977, the Cosumnes River dwindled to a 
series of stagnant pools of water. The flow of the 
American River below Folsom Dam was reduced on 
October 1 to 250 cubic feet per second, while 
pre-drought releases maintained the river at a low 
flow of 1,500 cubic feet per second. In September 
1977, the level of Lake Tahoe fell below the natural 
lake rim and the Truckee River, for several miles 
downstream, was reduced to a flow sustained by 
sewage effluent and discharge from springs along the 
river. 

Meager runoff during the drought was inadequate 
for maintaining storage reservoirs at their usual 
levels, and many reservoirs were drained to their 
lowest levels since initial filling of the facilities was 
completed. The changes in reservoir storage during 
the drought are illustrated by the reservoir graphics 
on the drought plate in this section. The eight 
reservoirs shown here were selected as 
representative examples of statewide reservoir 
conditions. Declining storage levels are evident for all 
reservoirs except Lake Havasu, which was sustained 
by the Colorado River whose flow was little affected 
by the drought in California. Large reservoirs on 
rivers whose headwaters are in California, such as 
Shasta Lake, were severely depleted but maintained 
carryover storage. Smaller reservoirs, represented by 
Nicasio, were almost totally depleted. By August 1, 
1977, the total storage in 143 reservoirs representing 
the bulk of California's surface water storage was 
only 39 percent of the average for that date. 

During the drought, many cities and communities 
were forced to implement emergency measures to 
meet their essential water needs. The most 
widespread practices included mandatory con- 
servation, the temporary importation of water from 
other areas, the drilling of new wells, increased water 
rates, and water rationing. Ultimately, almost every 
community in the state placed restrictions on the 
outdoor uses of water and more than 100 cities 
adopted some form of mandatory water conservation 
or rationing. The effectiveness of water conservation 
programs in selected cities is illustrated by the table of 
municipal water use. Differences in the reduced 
consumption of water reflect, among other things, 
local perceptions of drought severity. The smallest 
percentage reductions were achieved in Southern 
California where the availability of Colorado River 
water eased the drought threat. The largest 
percentage reductions were achieved by the Marin 
Municipal Water District and by communities on the 
Monterey Peninsula. The reduced consumption 
achieved in Marin was the result of one of the most 
austere water conservation programs in the state, 
which limited water to a maximum of 45 gallons per 
day per resident for all uses and doubled the unit price 
for water. Not all water price increases during the 
drought were intended to encourage water 
conservation however; several water agencies in the 
San Francisco Bay Area raised water rates to 
compensate for a substantial decline in revenues 
resulting from reduced water use by their customers. 

Although water agencies in Southern California 
were less aggressive than those in other parts of the 
state in striving for reduced water use, four agencies 
responded to the water needs of Northern California 
in another way. The Metropolitan Water District of 
Southern California, San Bernardino Valley 
Municipal Water District, Coachella Valley County 
Water Agency, and Desert Water Agency agreed to 
exchange some or all of their 1977 State Water 
Project allotments with customers in Northern 
California. MWD freed 400,000 acre-feet for use in 
Northern California by increasing its water 
withdrawal from the Colorado River, and 
approximately 120,000 acre-feet of this water was 
delivered to the San Francisco Bay Area. San 
Bernardino relinquished 39 percent of its entitlement 




Shasta Lake during the Drought of 1976-1977 







Urban Response to Drought 








Municipal Water Use (millions of gallons) 








Jan. 1, 1976- 


Jan. 1, 1977- 




Difference 


City 


June 30, 1976 


June30, 1977 


Difference 


in Percentage 


Eureka 


694 


546 


-148 


-21 


Redding 


938 


816 


-122 


-13 


Alturas 


153 


140 


-13 


-8 


Chico 


2,471 


1,969 


-502 


-20 


Subtotal 


4,256 


3,471 


-785 


-18 


Sacramento 


13,156 


10,760 


-2,396 


-18 


San Francisco 


18,859 


13,564 


-5,295 


-28 


San Jose 


20,808 


15,495 


-5,313 


-26 


East Bay MUD 


39,553 


25,161 


-14,392 


-36 


Alameda Co. WD 


4,912 


3,458 


-1,454 


-30 


Stockton 


4,828 


3,565 


-1,263 


-26 


Contra Costa Co. WD 


18,414 


14,633 


-3,781 


-21 


Santa Clara 


3,789 


2,921 


-868 


-23 


San Mateo 


2,302 


1,492 


-810 


-35 


Daly City 


1,440 


1,025 


-415 


-29 


Hayward 


2,737 


1,756 


-981 


-36 


Sunnyvale 


3,963 


2,859 


-1,104 


-28 


Marin MWD 


3,934 


1,848 


-2,086 


-53 


North Marin Co. WD 


1,160 


717 


-443 


-38 


Santa Rosa 


2,263 


1,424 


-839 


-37 


Subtotal 


142,118 


100,678 


-41 ,440 


-29 


Fresno 


10,297 


7,658 


-2,639 


-26 


Bakersfield 


7,539 


6,087 


-1,452 


-19 


Modesto 


5,016 


3,887 


-1,129 


-23 


Merced 


2,043 


1,385 


-658 


-32 


Monterey Bay 


2,652 


1,414 


-1,238 


-47 


So n o ra- J a m esto w n 


267 


200 


-67 


-25 


Subtotal 


27,814 


20,631 


-7,183 


-26 


Los Angeles 


94,983 


82,335 


-12,648 


-13 


Long Beach 


10,873 


9,148 


-1,725 


-16 


San Diego 


25,344 


23,584 


-1,760 


-7 


Anaheim 


8,479 


7,530 


-949 


-11 


Riverside 


6,755 


5,919 


-836 


-12 


Santa Barbara 


2,376 


1,926 


-450 


-19 


Oxnard 


2,802 


2,649 


-153 


-5 


Ventura 


3,463 


2,799 


-664 


-19 


San Luis Obispo 


1,041 


924 


-117 


-11 


Santa Maria 


1,297 


1,068 


-229 


-18 


Subtotal 


157,413 


137,882 


-19,531 


-12 


Total Reported 


331,601 


262,662 


-68,939 


-21 



77 






for 1977, and the Coachella Valley and Desert water 
agencies gave up their entire State Water Project 
allotments. These actions provided another 30,000 
acre-feet of water for use in Northern California. 

Although agricultural losses due to the drought 
have been estimated at $510 million for 1976 and 
$800 million for 1977, most agricultural areas of 
California had more options available for responding 
to the drought than water users in most urban areas. 
In the early months of the drought, agricultural 
activities most affected by the meager rainfall were 
dry farming operations, including grain, hay and 
range crops, ranchers and dairymen. Over 90 percent 
of the drought losses in 1976 were experienced by 
nonirrigated agriculture while the needs of irrigated 
agriculture were generally satisfied in 1976. The 
State Water Project delivered over two million 
acre-feet of water in 1976, including 626,000 
acre-feet of projected surplus water, the largest 
single-year delivery of water in the history of the 
project. The Bureau of Reclamation delivered about 
six million acre-feet to Central Valley Project 
customers in 1976 and fulfilled all its contractual 
commitments. The 1976 deliveries, however, left 
storage reservoirs seriously depleted, and deliveries 
to agricultural users in 1977 were reduced by as much 
as 60 percent for State Water Project customers and 
by as much as 75 percent for customers of the Central 
Valley Project. 

Agriculture responded to reduced water deliveries 
during 1977 in several ways. More attention was 
given to water-efficient irrigation practices, and 
double cropping was eliminated in many areas, even 
though these forms of response in some instances had 
the effect of increasing the costs of agricultural 
production or decreasing the income from sales. In 
many areas, the acreage of less water-intensive crops, 
such as cotton and wheat, was increased, and the 
acreage of heavy water-using crops, such as rice and 
sugar beets, was decreased. In the case of processing 
tomatoes, however, which require more water than 
most vegetable crops, the acreage was increased in 
response to favorable market prices. And, as the table 
of acreage and production shows, on a statewide 
basis, the acreage of fruit and nut bearing crops, 
vegetables, and melons actually increased in 1977 
while that of field crops decreased. California's 
overall agricultural production during the drought 
was in fact only 7.6 percent lower in 1977 than the 
1975 record high of 51.7 million tons. 

Agriculture survived the drought so well in part 
because groundwater was used extensively for 
irrigation to replace deficient surface water supplies. 
An estimated 10,000 new wells were drilled and by 
the end of 1977 groundwater pumpage was providing 
an estimated 53 percent of all the water used by 
agriculture. As groundwater pumping lowered water 
tables and created greater pumping lifts, however, 
the cost of using groundwater increased significantly. 
And a shortage of hydroelectric energy required the 
use of more expensive fossil fuels for energy 
production, which in turn increased the cost of 
electricity to operate groundwater pumps. 



HISTORIC FLOODS AND DROUGHTS 



Prior to the drought of 1976-77, the drought which lasted 
from September 1923 to September 1924 ranks as the most 
severe period of statewide water deficiency in this century. 
In all but the interior desert regions, precipitation in 1923- 
24 was only 40 to 50 percent of average and runoff in the 
San Joaquin and Tulare Lake basins fell to 25 percent of 
normal. Drought conditions in this period were complicated 
by persistant desiccating winds which created dust storms 
and aided in the spread of forest fires. To make matters still 
worse, severe frost destroyed much of the state's citrus 
crop while an unseasonal spate of rain ruined the lettuce 
crop in the Imperial Valley. 

In general, drought conditions tend to be most severe 
only in limited regions of the state. The drought of 1863-64, 
for example, had a greater impact on Southern California 
than the other parts of the state, and the drought of 1929- 
34 struck the Sacramento River basin with special severity. 
Similarly, the droughts of 1945-51 and 1958-61 had their 
principal effects in the Santa Ynez and San Joaquin basins 
respectively. 

Simultaneous statewide flooding is even more rare. The 
legendary Noachian flood of 1861-62 came closest to affect- 
ing the state as a whole, but the records of this event are too 
incomplete for a certain assessment of the full extent of 
flooding. The rains began November 10, 1861, and con- 



tinued almost without ceasing for the next two months. On 
January 8, 1862, a tropical storm brought warmer tempera- 
tures which accelerated melting of the snowpack. As a 
result, an inland lake 60 miles across formed in the Sacra- 
mento Valley and much of what is now the Los Angeles 
metropolitan area was inundated. Although the rains were 
less severe in the South Coast, the damage was in some re- 
spects much worse than that suffered in other parts of the 
state, because many of the houses there were built of adobe, 
which collapsed, and because hundreds of acres of vine- 
yards and farmlands were washed away by rain-engorged 
streams and rivers cutting new channels to the ocean. 

A storm in December 1955 brought extreme flood condi- 
tions to the area from the Oregon border to the Tehachapis. 
Although the recently completed Folsom Dam on the 
Amerian River protected Sacramento, severe flooding on 
the Feather and Yuba rivers forced the evacuation of more 
than 20,000 people from Marysville and Yuba City. More 
recent storms have produced even higher flood flows than 
1955 on many rivers, but the extent of flooding has been 
more limited. Intense storms in December 1964 and Janu- 
ary 1965 were extremely destructive on the North Coast. 
And the storms of January and February 1969 produced 
flooding from the Delta southward that rivaled or exceeded 
the flood stages associated with the rains of 1955. 




Agriculture also benefited from water exchanges 
during the drought. The San Joaquin Valley received 
about 70 percent of the water freed as a result of 
MWD's decision to use Colorado River water in place 
of deliveries from the State Water Project. 
Agricultural contractors in the San Joaquin Valley 
consequently received the equivalent of 91 percent of 
their 1977 State Water Project entitlement rather 
than the 40 percent they would have received without 
the exchange. Agricultural users in Northern 
California received about 30,000 acre-feet of the 
water relinquished by San Bernardino Valley, 
Coachella Valley, and Desert water agencies. And in 



still another case, several rice growers in the southern 
Sacramento Valley agreed to sell about 10,000 
acre-feet of water to farmers in the Friant-Kern 
service area rather than use the water themselves. 

California's response to the drought of 1976-77 
required considerable flexibility among the 
institutions which govern and administer the modern 
water system. The fact, however, that the drought in 
Southern California was replaced by destructive 
flooding in February and March of 1978, which 
caused 38 deaths and $180 million in damages, 
emphasizes that total alleviation of nature's extreme 
events continues to be an elusive goal in California. 



This table displays the harvested acreage and production of 
the principal crop groups in California during the drought 
of 1976-77 as compared with the two previous years. These 
figures include both irrigated and dry farm acreage and 
production. As indicated, acreage and production actually 
increased in the drought year 1977 for fruit and nut bearing 
crops, vegetables, and melons. 



Year 



1974 
1975 
1976 
1977 



1974 
1975 
1976 
1977 



Field 
Crops 



6,520,300 
6,602,000 
6,590,000 
6,359,000 



24,986,000 
28,566,000 
28,965,000 
25,009,000 



Agricultural Response to Drought 



Acreage 



Fruit and Nut 
Bearing Crops 



1,508,010 
1,571,440 
1,634,540 
1,673,890 



Production (tons) 

8,702,700 
9,794,800 
9,626,600 
9,673,700 



Vegetables 
and Melons 



861 ,320 
921 ,660 
829,466 
914,652 



1 1 ,820,750 
13,312,050 
11,051,650 
13,037,750 



Total 



8,889,630 
9,095,100 
9,054,006 
8,947,542 



45,509,450 
51,672,850 
49,643,250 
47,720,450 



78 



CHAPTER 8 



The Economics of Water 



The study of the economics of water involves the 
science of efficiency. Because our collective desire for 
water exceeds the available supply, the fundamental 
economic question for the allocation of water is how 
best to use the resources we have. Economic 
efficiency, which means getting the greatest "net 
benefit" (benefits minus costs) out of the use of the 
resource, is accomplished through the operation of a 
market mechanism wherein buyers and sellers 
hypothetically come together to register their 
preferences for the use of the resource. The result of 
this process is a set of water prices which assures 
that water will be allocated to those uses for which 
need is most intense. In this regard, the market is 
simply an elaborate communication system enabling 
the myriad of individual preferences to be recorded, 
summarized, and balanced against one another. In 
such a theoretical system the allocation of water is 
treated no differently from any other commodity, 
and there is no place for the argument that water 
needs to be treated specially because of its importance 
to life and the production of goods and services. 

Although the market for water shares basic 
similarities with other markets, it also possesses 
several distinctive features which distort the normal 
interaction of supply and demand and alter significantly 
the ability of the market to achieve purely economic 
efficiencies. In the first place, the principal commodity in 
the market, the water itself, has been treated, for the 
last half century at least, as a free good, a grant from 
nature which belongs to all the people of California. 
This public interest in the allocation of water 
resources assures that social values have had an equal 
and sometimes predominating play in the market in 
relation to simply monetary values. As a result, 
through legislation, water is not assigned just to 
those who will pay the highest price for it; instead, we 
have allocated our water resources to accomplish 
such societal objectives as the support of agriculture 
or the preservation of some streams in their natural 
state as wild and scenic rivers. 

A further ramification of the way in which we treat 
water as a free good is that no scarcity value is 
assigned to water in California. Diamonds, in 
contrast, achieve a high scarcity value and the 
diamond market works to limit the supply at any 
given time so that prices will remain high. But when 
water supplies decline in California, as in a drought, 
prices do not automatically go up. Instead, when 
water supplies become scarce or overdrawn, more 
incentive is given to developing new supplies of water 
rather than letting the market mechanism raise the 
price to allocate the water to the highest value use. 

An elaborate set of subsidies encourages this 
behavior. Federal water projects, for example, obtain 
subsidies through extraordinarily inexpensive 
financing arrangements and long-term repayment 
terms which may extend over 30 or 40 years. Where 
water projects generate hyrdoelectric power, the 
revenues from energy sales are often applied to 
subsidize the cost of water delivery. And in many local 
projects, property tax revenues are used to pay off 
portions of the development costs of a water system 
and thereby mask the true cost of water to the 
consumer. 

Water law, by protecting pre-existing rights to 
water use, also works to preserve current use 
patterns regardless of scarcity or other changing 
conditions and thereby prevents the easy reallocation 
of water to higher value uses. If water is itself 



I 







"In some areas the disappearance 
of a pre-existing water source 
can create economic benefits, as 
in the case of the mining opera- 
tion shown here which is ex- 
tracting commercially valuable 
salts and chemicals from the dry 
bed of Searles Lake. 





■»Hr 



jr&fr 



.'«"{" 



~r 





> 





79 



Urban Water Use 
and Price 



Price 

(in dollars/acre-foot of water) 



&> ,& <r ^x? 



^ N o <t> 













1 










:" ; 





The height of the column represents that city's total water use per capita per day in 
gallons. The key above places a city in one of four Use classifications and compares this 
with one of four Price categories. This creates a color matrix, giving each Use-Price com- 
bination a distinct color for its column on the state map. Price figures are in dollars per 
acre-foot of water. Those cities which charge either a flat rate for unlimited water use, 
have the option of a flat rate fee available to its users, or charge no fee for water use, are 
specially noted. 



Total water use in gallons 
per capita per day 




treated as a valueless commodity, the right to its use 
is accorded a very high value indeed in California. In 
some areas — the Owens Valley, for example, in the 
1950s — efforts have been made to tax such rights as 
though they were property. Rights can be preserved, 
however, only so long as they are exercised. By 
protecting water rights, therefore, water law 
operates not only to prevent the reassignment of 
water to its highest economic uses but also to keep 
water in some lower value uses even when the 
possessor of the right to such use is applying the 
water only for the purpose of preserving his right. 
While this is not an argument for overturning all 
water rights in California, this aspect of the system 
of rights is significant both for its impact on the 
water market and for its effects in interfering with 
the achievement of other societal objectives for 
water, such as conservation, economic efficiency, or 
the assignment of water to its highest beneficial 
uses. 

The physical nature of the water delivery systems 
we have constructed in California constitutes a 
further restraint upon the transferability of water to 
its most efficient or desirable uses. These delivery 
systems represent massive investments and water 
cannot simply be redirected to a user, no matter how 
much he is willing to pay, if the user is not located 
next to an existing water supply or delivery system. 
Similarly, once a user is hooked up to a water 
delivery system, he cannot easily take his business 
elsewhere if he is displeased with the service. In rare 
instances, however, rights have been transferred 
within an existing delivery system. This occurred, 
for example, during the drought year 1977 when 
legal restrictions were relaxed to allow transfers of 
water within Kern County. In these circumstances, 
the water obtained a scarcity value of approximately 
$75 an acre-foot. 

The final element of the water market which 
distinguishes it from other markets is the monopo- 
listic nature of water supply within individual 
geographic areas and the consequent need for regu- 
lation these conditions create. The capital costs 
associated with building big delivery and distribution 
systems like the Central Valley Project, the State 
Water Project, or the Colorado River Aqueduct assure 
high barriers to entry into the market, and therefore, 
basically monopolistic conditions. In some areas 
where substantial underground pumping can occur 
with much lower capital investments, competition 
among pumpers is more likely. But, if the competitors 
are pumping from the same basin, the results may be 
preverse and may deplete the groundwater basin 
more rapidly than is socially desirable. 

Regulation in either case is necessary. In the 
underground pumping case, regulation is necessary 
to force the level of extraction of the water to be that 
which is in the long-run interest of society and not to 
permit windfall profits to accrue to the pumpers. An 
alternative to regulation of pumpers would be to 
force monopolistic ownership so that the long-run 
view is taken using the self-interest motive. But 
again, regulation would be required to substitute for 
the competitive market by developing rules and 
procedures which make a monopoly operate in a way 
similar to that which would occur in a competitive 
market. 



SUPPLY AND DEMAND 

The supply of water available within the market is 
determined by the underlying costs of production. If 
these costs cannot be covered, there will be no 
supply on the market for very long. These basic costs 
are determined in turn by the production technology 
involved, the cost of the water or right to its use, the 
amounts of water involved, the prices of related 
goods, price expectations about the future, the 
number of sellers in the market, and any other 
relevant cost factors, such as the presence of taxes or 
subsidies. The major determinants of demand 
include tastes for the product, the number of buyers 
competing in the market, their income, the prices of 
related goods (both substitutes and complements) 
and, finally, expectations about future prices which 
bear on decisions of whether to buy now or not. 

In the figure below, supply is shown as a schedule 
which depicts the various amounts of a resource the 
producer is willing and able to produce and make 
available for sale in the market at each possible price 
during a specific time period. 




Quantity of Water 

Figure 1 
Supply and Demand for Water (Hypothetical) 

In reality, however, the lines of price and quantity 
would be more jagged than smooth as shown in the 
figure below. Supply is jagged because the lowest 
cost sources of water (the cheapest dams and 
distribution systems from a productivity standpoint) 
are developed first before successively more expen- 
sive sources are brought on in the future. Demand is 
somewhat jagged also, although constant within 
ranges, suggesting that users will take definite 
blocks of quantities of water at given prices. Buyers 
would ideally like to buy a large amount of a resource 
at a very low price. Unfortunately, this is not 
possible if the producers are unwilling to produce 
that amount of the resource at such low prices. In 
fact, there is only one price at which both demanders 
and suppliers in aggregate are mutually happy; that 
is the equilibrium price designated by P 1 when 
quantity Q 1 is sold. 



Supply of Water 



a> 

0) 

o 



\ 
































\o 






\$. 






Y^ 






\v 




\o- 




\ <£ 




\Q. 








\> 







Q 1 
Quantity of Water 

Figure 2 



Because water is a public resource in California 
which has been developed in large part by public 
agencies, the interaction of buyers and sellers differs 
somewhat from the private market. When deciding 
whether or not to build a delivery system like the 
State Water Project, we the people are both buyer 
and seller. The effect in terms of the interaction of 
price and quantity, however, is essentially the same; 
for, in such a situation, regulation, legal constraints, 
regional differences, contending environmental and 
economic interest groups, and our willingness and 
ability to pay the costs of development, all act in 
place of the normal operation of supply and demand 
to fix a unique point at which P a and Q 1 will 
intersect. 

The demand for water in California is divided 
between two principal markets: agriculture, which 
accounts for approximately 85 percent of all the 
water used each year; and the urban areas of the 
state. Agricultural demand varies in accordance with 
soil characteristics and their effect upon irrigation 
efficiency, the quality of the irrigation water itself 
(which determines how much water needs to be used 
to leach out salts), topography, climate, technology, 
and the way in which water is used to produce a crop 
(rice, for example, can be grown by flooding the land 
to control weeds, which uses a lot of water; less 
water would be required if weeds were controlled by 
other means). 

The considerable variation in intensity of agricultural 
water use among adjoining crops is illustrated by the 
two-page map in this chapter of a section of the San 
Joaquin Valley. In some areas, crops requiring large 
applications of irrigation water are grown in the 
midst of other crops which use far less water; 
delivery systems must be built, however, with a 
capacity to serve the heaviest use. The reader may 
also examine the map to determine comparative 
efficiencies of water use between the large, corporate 
land holdings on one side of the valley and small, 
family farms on the other side. In addition, the map 
depicts the impact on agricultural land use within the 
areas of urban development around the City of 
Fresno. 

The demand for water in urban areas is composed 
of residential, commercial, industrial, and govern- 
mental uses. In California, residential demand 
accounts for about 68 percent of the total urban 
water usage; industrial, 18 percent; commercial, 10 
percent; and governmental, 4 percent. Different 
water consumption rates among urban areas result 
from several variables, including the type of climate, 
the presence of water-intensive industries, the 
extent of irrigated landscaping, population density, 
use of water meters, and water prices. 

Residential demand for water is composed of 
interior and exterior uses. Interior water uses 
include sanitation, bathing, laundry, and cooking; 
these uses are primarily a function of the size and 



Trends in Urban Water Use 





AVERAGE ANNUAL USE 
(gallons per capita per day) 








AVERAGE 
(gallons 


MONTHLY USE 1966-70 
per capita per day) 










1941-50 


1951-60 


1961-70 


J 


F 


M 


A 


M 


J 


J 


A 


S 


O 


N 


D 


Eureka 


80 


104 


131 


120 


123 


124 


127 


134 


163 


174 


162 


138 


117 


111 


108 


Sacramento 


249* 


253 


264 


151 


147 


174 


237 


332 


385 


449 


444 


380 


261 


175 


158 


San Francisco 


101 


115 


135 


126 


127 


129 


141 


153 


157 


160 


158 


157 


144 


132 


125 


Fresno 


341 


333 


326 


124 


129 


179 


267 


435 


526 


610 


574 


433 


262 


162 


131 


Santa Barbara 


125 


153 


172 


108 


126 


142 


168 


204 


212 


238 


231 


208 


174 


140 


115 


Los Angeles 
(city & harbor) 


125 


157 


160 


137 


136 


143 


156 


172 


180 


196 


199 


182 


169 


149 


137 


Los Angeles 
(San Fernando) 


201 


205 


194 


130 


131 


147 


174 


213 


233 


278 


279 


233 


197 


154 


129 


San Bernardino 


213 


217 


226 


140 


148 


163 


198 


258 


298 


369 


359 


295 


231 


179 


139 


San Diego 


120 


123 


142 


114 


117 


126 


147 


171 


176 


196 


200 


181 


162 


134 


114 



'includes only 1949-50 

In addition to the differences between cities in average per 
capita water use displayed on the map of urban water use 
and price, municipal per capita water use varies according to 
the month of the year. 

The location of a city is an important factor in determining 
water use, particularly outdoor uses for such things as 
garden irrigation. Cities in the coastal zone experience a 
lower evaporative demand than warmer inland locations. 
Related to this is the size of the yard and the type of plants 
which are grown. Suburban areas have larger lot sizes and 
therefore more plants to water. In addition, exotic plants 
need more water than native species which are already 
adapted to California's rainless summers. Urbanized areas 
with smaller lots, higher population densities, and more 



cement surfaces will generally have a lower rate of use. 

Another important factor is the relative wealth of the 
members of the community. These differences are reflected 
in the figures for the selected cities shown in this table. In 
addition, it can be seen that water use on an average annual 
basis is increasing, in part as a by-product of the increasing 
affluence of society as a whole. One study showed that of 
every thousand dollars added to annual income, a consumer 
will spend about one dollar more for water a year. This does 
not seem significant, but in Los Angeles this dollar would 
buy about 15,000 gallons of water. Consequently a family in 
Los Angeles earning $30,000 annually may theoretically 
consume some 300,000 gallons of water more than a family 
making $10,000. 



81 




mm® 



[2] Crop Types/Land Use 




[2] Applied Water 




[4] Crop Types/Land Use 




[4] Applied Water 




Crop Patterns and Applied Water 









Crop Types and Land Use 



Applied Water (depth) 



Transect Location 



Subtropical Fruits 



Deciduous Fruits and Nuts 



Rice 

Grain and Hay 





Grapes 
Tomatoes 

Miscellaneous Truck 
Cotton 
Safflower 

Miscellaneous Field 
Key to Transect Alignment 






Alfalfa 
Pasture 






Fallow and Idle 












Semiagricultural 










Urban 








Native Vegetation 






■ — w 


[1] 


[2] 


[3] 


[4] 


[5] 



Scale 



0.0- 1.0 feet 
1.1 -2.0 feet 
2.1 -3.0 feet 
3.1 -4.0 feet 
4.1 -5.0 feet 
5.1 -6.0 feet 
6.1 -7.0 feet 
Not Irrigated 




! J ij- 



3 kilometers 
i 



This series delineates the wide variations in average applied water use 
among adjoining crops and land uses within the San Joaquin Valley. Land 
and water uses are shown separately for each of the five segments of this 
transect, which traces a two-mile-wide swath across 70 miles of Fresno 
County. Data are from DWR surveys made in 1969 and 1972. 



2 miles 




income of the family. Exterior water uses are for 
swimming pools, lawns, and gardens; these uses are 
influenced by precipitation and temperature as well 
as family income. 

Industrial water demand consists of a wide range 
of uses, including product and equipment cooling, 
processing, steam generation, sanitation, and air 
conditioning. Industrial water demand is a function 
of several variables, including the type and size of 
the plant, the technology employed by the plant, the 
cost of water and waste treatment, and environmental 
guidelines concerning waste disposal. Industrial 
plants that use large amounts of water include 
petroleum refineries, smelters, chemical plants, pulp 
mills, and canneries. 

Commercial water demand consists of those uses 
which are incidental to the operation of the business 
(such as drinking, sanitation, landscape watering) 
and those uses which are employed in producing 
saleable services (such as laundries, car washes, and 
restaurants). Commercial water demand is dependent 
upon the income of the area and the extent to which 
the area provides commercial services to the 
residents. Precipitation and temperature are minor 
influences upon commercial demand, except in cases 
of landscape watering. 

Governmental water demand also includes sanitation 
and landscaping as well as fire control. The extent of 
such uses is primarily a function of the amount of 
urban area devoted to public parks and recreation, 
temperature, and precipitation. 

Water price is a variable that can affect all types of 
water demand. In general, the demand for water 
should decrease when the price of water increases. 
The effect of price upon actual water use will vary, 
however, depending upon rate structure, the use of 
metering, and the proportion of the total costs of 
water delivery which are borne directly by the water 
consumer. 

THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF PRICING 

If the water market is to satisfy demand in the 
most cost-effective way, water needs to be properly 
priced. One method would entail a two-part tariff 
such that the capital or fixed costs of a water project 
are distributed over time among all users in 
proportion with the amount of project water they 
actually consume. The variable or marginal costs, 
such as operations, energy, administration, chemicals, 
maintenance, and some depreciation should be 
charged to each user on a per-acre-foot basis in 
accordance with individual demand. If there are any 
particular peaking costs or capacity costs incurred by 
the system for the sake of any group of users, those 
particular beneficiaries should bear the charges for 
this additional capacity through a third tier to the 
tariff system. 

Such a pricing system, called short run marginal 
cost pricing, assures an economically efficient use of 
the current plant and system, provides a basis for 
peak load pricing, and delivers the same price signals 
to the consumer as are received by the utility. 
Incentives to use water are correct and in line with 
costs incurred in providing the water. The dis- 
advantages of this approach, however, are several. 
First, the revenue requirements of the utility may 
not be satisified. Secondly, such a system may not 
provide accurate signals to the consumer of the long- 



run marginal costs that can be predicted. This is 
important if consumers are making durable good 
purchases such as swimming pools or residences 
with large irrigation requirements, or if farmers are 
investing in an irrigation system based on current 
water prices when these current prices will not be in 
effect over the long term. Also, under short run 
marginal cost pricing, utilities may not necessarily 
move toward the best plant mix and technology for 
the long run. A final disadvantage is that short run 
marginal cost pricing is efficient only if the prices of 
labor, energy, and all the other costs of water 
delivery as well as the prices of all the products and 
services that result from water delivery are themselves 
efficiently priced. 

Actual pricing policies differ from agency to 
agency and among the various regions of the state. 
Urban water delivery systems generally attempt to 
recoup the cost of transporting, storing, and 
distributing the water; operating and maintenance 
costs; and the expense of water treatment. The value 
of the water itself is usually not included and the 
methods of calculating depreciation vary widely. 
Sometimes urban water agencies charge a price 
which exceeds the cost of service so that excess 
revenues can be contributed to the local agency's 
general fund. In other cases, agencies undercollect 
and are in turn subsidized by local agencies. In 
general, urban pricing policies have historically 
attempted to recover as large a part of capital costs as 
possible through the use of property taxes while 
charging a service rate which will cover operating 
costs and the remainder of capital charges. With 
popular resistance to the property tax on the rise, 
however, these practices are declining. The use of a 
basic "meter" fee plus a service rate which fluctuates 
with actual usage is becoming more common. 

The map of urban water use and price displays the 
considerable range of prices paid for water in 200 
urban locations throughout California. Geography 
and climate play a part in accounting for some of 
these differences. Some regions, for example, enjoy 
access to groundwater near the surface, which can 
be pumped more cheaply than buying imported 
water. In addition, the water agencies on the South 
Coast which overlie groundwater basins can purchase 
imported water for groundwater replenishment at a 
rate lower than that charged for other urban uses 
because such deliveries are made on an interruptible 
basis. The resulting savings are passed on to urban 
consumers. 

Access to groundwater and other local water 
supplies also has a significant effect upon the 
differences in agricultural water prices. For very arid 
regions which have to import water over long 
distances, the water becomes increasingly expensive, 
thus making agriculture more costly, other things 
being equal. When the price of water goes up to 
farmers, incentive develops at the margin either to 
rotate crops and plant those which are less water- 
intensive; to change farming methods so that other 
resources, such as capital, are substituted for water; 
or to alter irrigation systems which may require 
large capital investments in changing over from 
sprinkling, for example, to drip methods of irrigation. 
To determine what combination of these events 
actually occurs, not only is the price of water 
important, but so too are the prices of the agricultural 
products themselves. In Orange County, for example, 



Comparative Values in Agricultural Production 



CROP 


IRRIGATED 

ACREAGE 

(Acres) 


Percent 


APPLIED 

WATER 

(acre-feet) 


Percent 


TOTAL VALUE 

TO PRODUCER 

(Dollars) 


Percent 


Alfalfa (hay and grain) 


1,341,175 


47 


6,732,100 


54 


251,580,000 


27 


Cotton (lint and seed) 


961,700 


34 


3,874,700 


31 


305,937,000 


33 


Grapes (all types) 


544,805 


19 


1,903,350 


15 


368,106,000 


40 




2,847,680 


100 


12,510,150 


100 


925,623,000 


100 



Alfalfa, cotton, and grapes were the top three crops in 
California in 1972 in terms of irrigated acreage, water 
consumed, and total value yielded to the producer. Together, 
these three crops accounted for nearly one-third of the 
irrigated acreage and applied irrigation water used by the 



200 commercial crops California produces. As the table 
illustrates, however, the crops which occupy the greatest 
acreage and consume the largest volumes of water are not 
necessarily those which yield the highest value to the 
producer. 



fiEXT OBIHKING WATER 
128 MILES 

HEXT RADIATOR WATER 
42 MILES 

STATE DEPARTMENT 

OF 

HEALTH 





The pricing systems used in California today assign no scarcity 
value to water. This was not always the case in the nineteenth 
century, when water was treated as a private commodity. At the 
Lyons Well above, for example, desert travelers could purchase 100 
gallons for 25 cents or water a two-horse team for a dime. 



which imports water and also efficiently manages its 
water basins through pump taxes, agricultural water 
is comparatively expensive; agriculture survives in 
part by producing very high value crops, such as 
asparagus which is exported to restaurants in Japan 
and France. If the costs of water increase as well as 
the costs of labor, fertilizer, equipment, seeds, and 
other essentials, there comes a time, however, when 
the land simply becomes more valuable in other uses. 

To protect agricultural development, federal water 
policies have sought to keep the price of some 
agricultural water low through subsidies which are 
ultimately paid by all taxpayers. Agricultural 
interests argue that the urban user gets the subsidy 
back in lower food prices. But most of the subsidy is 
capitalized in the value of the land and not passed 
forward to the consumer in terms of lower food 
prices. Moreover, to the extent that the subsidy does 
lower food prices, that subsidy is not recaptured 
solely in California by local water consumers; the 
benefits of the subsidy are instead exported to all 
agribusiness consumers in other parts of the United 
States and throughout the world. Rice grown in 
California, for example, uses huge amounts of water 
per acre, but is primarily exported abroad. 

Furthermore, keeping the costs of irrigation water 
artifically low gives the wrong incentives all the way 
around. When water is so cheap that it can be used as 
a substitute for capital and labor, wasteful irrigation 
technology and highly consumptive crop mixtures 
may be chosen. Agricultural interests, of course, 
point out that subsidized agricultural water deliveries 
permit more rapid growth which confers secondary 
and intangible benefits to the area. For example, 
people come to service the agricultural commun- 
ity, jobs are created, and land values go up. While 
subsidies do cause an economic multiplier effect to 
increase the growth rate in an agricultural area, the 
process may benefit some people at the expense of 



I 




others. Even though land owners may achieve 
economic benefits individually, society as a whole 
pays by having its resources cheapened and a less 
than optimally efficient system of agricultural 
production results. These historically given water 
subsidies could, however, be given in other ways so 
that the benefits could be wider spread while 
affording an even higher multiplier effect. 

WASTE, EQUITY, AND THE FUTURE 

Many people think it equitable that the price of 
water should be kept very low because water is 
essential to life. Many problems would arise, 
however, from such a policy. First, the amount of 
water actually used for life-sustaining purposes is 
very small compared to the total uses to which water 
is put. If society's interest is in achieving an efficient 
allocation of a limited resource, then water should be 
priced no lower than its true marginal cost to society. 
If society believes that beneficial uses exist for the 
water at prices lower than marginal costs, and that 
some users should be supplied more water than they 
could otherwise afford, then the solution is not to 
make the water inexpensive for everyone because 
this would result in prices which give incentives to 
all users to waste water. 

Under the economist's definition, waste of a 
resource occurs when additional consumption 
results in more cost to the producer than the value 
provided to the customer. By this definition, water is 
often wasted when it is offered at prices below the 
true cost to society of producing the resource and 
when the consumer buys it for low value uses. An 
economist would not define certain uses of water 
such as hosing down sidewalks or filling swimming 
pools as wasteful if the value to the consumer of the 
water used for these purposes is at least as high as 
the price charged for the water when that price truly 



reflects the real cost to society for producing this 
water. 

The map of urban water use and price reveals the 
startling differences in the rates of per capita water 
use which occur under the various prices charged by 
urban water agencies in California. In part these 
differences in use are due to climatic conditions 
which vary, for example, according to whether a 
particular community is located along the coast, in 
the interior valleys, or on the desert. The spec- 
tacularly high rates of use among the communities 
of the Owens Valley and the succession of tall, 
yellow columns which can be seen marching down 
the spine of the Central Valley Project, however, 
suggest a correlation between high use and low-cost 
or free water. But this relationship, as the map 
shows, is neither direct nor wholly consistent. With- 
in the Owens Valley, for example, per capita use is 
higher in Independence and Big Pine, where a flat fee 
is charged, than in Bishop, where water is free. And 
water use in Mammoth is much lower than that in 
Bishop even though both communities charge 
nothing for water deliveries. The map instead 
reveals a much more consistent relationship between 
high water use and high wealth, as in the cases of 
Beverly Hills, Montecito, Hillsborough, and Palm 
Springs. 

Nevertheless, the price of water does have a direct 
effect upon the desire for new water supplies and the 
readiness of society to pay for their delivery or 
development. Prices are almost certain to increase 
dramatically in the heavily populated south coastal 
plain, for example. Both the State Water Project and 
the Colorado River Aqueduct, the principal sources 
of supply for the Metropolitan Water District, 
require large quantities of energy to effect their 
deliveries. Given the rapid rise in energy costs which 
has occurred since these projects were begun, the 
Metropolitan Water District is already predicting a 



doubling of its water prices by 1987. 

With prices rising, it would be expected that all 
users of water would have more incentive to 
conserve. The fixed cost component of water 
delivery is predetermined and is not affected by the 
actual quantity of water users demand. But the 
variable portion of costs, such as the charges for 
pumping and maintenance, can be reduced through 
conservation. Conservation, however, is beneficial 
to society only up to a point. The time may come 
when society values the benefit of new water 
supplies more highly than the costs of developing it. 
The high cost of fresh water, coupled with governmental 
requirements for wastewater treatment to effect 
pollution control, may mean, for example, that 
reclaimed water will become economic for some 
types of use, including greenbelts, irrigation, and 
groundwater replenishment to prevent salt water 
intrusion. To the extent that this becomes possible, 
there will be reduced pressure to construct new 
energy-intensive delivery systems unless demand 
grows very quickly as a result of population 
pressures or increased development of water- 
intensive enterprises such as agriculture and certain 
types of industry. 

Theory suggests that under low price conditions, 
demand is higher than it would be otherwise. An 
appearance is thus created that we need more water 
supplies. Since Western water law and practice have 
historically permitted contractual obligations to be 
made to provide water at prices lower than the full 
cost of supply, from a practical standpoint California 
may very well determine that it requires new 
supplies. The economist's retort, however, is that no 
more water projects can be proved to be needed until 
every user pays through his water rate the full cost 
of supplying the water. Only then will the state and 
affected agencies have adequate information about 
the real demand for water. 



The high cost of developing new 
water supplies and changes in 
the traditional concepts of what 
constitutes reasonable use may 
ultimately pose a challenge to 
the continued application of great 
quantities of water to grow rice 
on these fields north of Sacramento. 



85 



CHAPTER 9 



Commercial and 
Recreational Water Use 




INDUSTRIAL WATER USE 

Gold mining constituted the first significant water- 
using industry in California. The early miners used 
pans and small sluice boxes to separate the free gold 
from stream sediments. As hydraulic mining developed, 
high pressure water hoses were used to wash gold- 
bearing hillsides into large-capacity sluice boxes. The 
lumber industry grew apace to meet the demand for 
lumber for the sluice boxes, flumes, and dams associ- 
ated with the gold mining activities and to provide 
housing for the state's burgeoning population. Com- 
mercial food processing too had an early start in 
California. The Civil War's demand for preserved food 
reduced the quantity available for import into the state 
and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 
1869 further stimulated the continued growth of the 
industry as mining declined. By the late 1800s, the 
petroleum industry began to emerge as a significant 
industrial enterprise requiring large quantities of water. 



Standard Oil Refinery on Point Richmond 



With the advent of the automobile and the tremendous 
growth in population and supporting industrial devel- 
opment during the twentieth century, petroleum 
refining has continued to increase production to meet 
demand. 

In California today, industrial use accounts for 
approximately 20 percent of the five million acre-feet of 
fresh water applied annually to urban-related purposes. 
By far the largest quantities of water among industrial 
groups is used for food processing in the state which 
today produces nearly one-third of the nation's canned 
food. Paper and pulp mills, petroleum refineries, 
chemical plants, and lumber mills are the next largest 
industrial water users. Lesser but still significant 
quantities of water are used by transportation equip- 
ment producers and metal fabricators, principally to 
provide air conditioning and sanitation facilities for the 
large numbers of their employees. 

The availability of adequate water supplies has 
consequently become as important a factor in the 



location of industries as the availability of raw materials 
and a sufficient labor supply. The relative importance of 
these three factors, however, varies according to the 
kind of industry. Lumber, pulp, and paper mills, for 
example, are principally found in or near the forest 
areas of Northern California. Most of the food process- 
ing plants are located in the Central Valley, where about 
75 percent of the state's cropland is located, although 
these plants can be found wherever significant amounts 
of agricultural production occur. In some instances, 
such as in the San Francisco Bay Area, food processing 
plants have remained in operation in locations where 
the surrounding croplands which originally supported 
them have long since been converted to urban settle- 
ment. 

In the case of petroleum refineries, proximity to 
transportation facilities and a supply of crude oil are the 
principal considerations in locating plants. Most refiner- 
ies are located in the oil-producing areas of Los Angeles 
County and the southern San Joaquin Valley and in 
those places where crude oil can be discharged from 
ocean-going vessels to onshore facilities along the 
Southern California coast and the shores of San 
Francisco Bay. Transportation manufacturing and 
metal fabricating industries, on the other hand, tend to 
locate in any major metropolitan area where labor is 
readily available. 

Because the uses of water in industry are so different, 
the quality of water required can vary accordingly. The 
food processing industry, for example, requires large 
volumes of clean water which meets potable standards 
because raw foods must be clean and wholesome for 
human consumption and food processing plants must 
be sanitary at all times. Fruits and vegetables are 
blanched with steam or hot water, and sometimes are 
peeled by use of steam or high-pressure jets. Cereals are 
steam-exploded to produce the many forms of break- 
fast food or are wet-milled and separated into fractions 
in water suspension, as in the production of cornstarch. 
Some meats are injected with, or pickled in, water 
solutions of salts. Beverages are malted, boiled, cooled, 
and fermented by means of water and steam. Sugar is 
decolorized in, and crystallized from, water solution. 
Hot water or steam is applied to sterilize food stuffs and 
flume systems are often used to transport produce 
through the various plant operations. Where possible, 
water used for one process is often reused for another 
purpose for which water quality requirements are less 
demanding. 

Paper and pulp mills also reuse significant quantities 
of water in order to prevent waste of chemicals and 
pulp. California now has more than 40 pulp and paper 
plants producing kraft paper and board, corrugating 
medium, box board, newsprint, fine paper, tissues, 
molded pulp, roofing felts, and many specialty products. 
Wood is fed to digesters where water, steam, and 
chemicals act to separate the individual wood fibers. 
The fibers are blown into pits where they are washed 
and then flushed onto screens where knots and larger 
pieces of wood are removed. Next, the material is 
bleached in a solution of hypoclorite, chlorine dioxide, 
or peroxide, washed, and passed to beaters where more 
water is added. From here it is blended, treated in mills 
to further separate the individual fibers, and, with the 
addition of water to obtain the desired consistency, 
passed to the paper machine. The pulp is distributed 
uniformly onto a continuous wire screen through 
which the water drains. Steam is then employed to raise 
the temperatures of reacting mixtures and to dry the 
final product. 



86 



Transportation Equipment 



ft- 



& 



\ 



Food & Kindred Products 






"t? 



Q 







5V 



,<b 



Water Use 
by Industry 



<o- 



-%- 



& 



& 



°> 



^' 












Electronic Equipment 



^ 



<v 



r> 



Vf 






Machinery, except Electronic 



^ .n o- 



Fabricated Metal 



<0 






Stone, Clay, & Glass Products 



Chemicals & Allied Products 






^ 



.«3 



£' 



^ 



<n 




^ 









-SX 



♦' 



<b 



^*- 



<b 



Primary Metal 



K <5- 



^ 



o 



^ 



& 



a- 



Petroleum & Coal 









gross water used (gwu) 


All values are in 








billions of gallons 








Water Intake 






consumption (c) 


fresh water (f) 


HE 


n Water Discharge 


■ 




treated (t) 


brackish water (b) 




salt water (s) 






untreated (u) 






The diagrams at left illustrate water intake, use, and discharge by Cali- 
fornia's major industries in 1972. Water is taken in at the left of each 
diagram and discharged \o the right. Consumption is the difference 
between water intake and water discharge, regardless of its eventual 
disposition. Gross water used is the amount necessary for the industry: 
because most industries recirculate some water internally, this figure 
is usually greater than intake and only some of it will be consumed. 
When the volume of water in a given category is too small to be shown 
by its designated color, the abbreviation for that category follows the 
number. The industrial groups have been ranked according to the 
number of their employees. 






Data deleted to protect the anonymity of specific companies. 



# 
# 



J2_ 



^ 
^ 



<b 






N^ 



O) 



Rubber & Misc. Plastic Products n <> v .^V 9 




-CF 






aO' 






.<b 



♦' 



Instruments & Related Products 









Lumber & Wood Products 



^?- 






V 






Paper & Allied Products 




#• 



.^ 



& 



~*5 



Su 






.<o 



<o 



<r 



o> 



& 



<\ 



& 



Textile Mill Products 



^ 






Miscellaneous Manufacturing 






^ 









uL 



A 



*v 






^ 




Leather & Leather Products 







N 



^ 



The cubes compare the kinds and quantities of cooling 
water used by steam plants for electrical power gener- 
ation in 1977. Coastal power plants use sea water only 
once before discharging it back into the ocean. Inland 
power plants continuously recirculate their more lim- 
ited water supplies, replacing only the amounts lost 
through evaporation. 



The Sacramento Municipal Util- 
ity District maintains its own 
reservoir to replace the water 
that is evaporated from the cool- 
ing towers of the Rancho Seco 
nuclear power plant. 



The ever-increasing demand for petroleum products 
has made petroleum refining the third largest industrial 
water user in California. Petroleum refining is a 
distillation process. The crude oil is heated to boiling and 
each product is separated in accordance to its boiling 
temperature in a fractionating tower where vapor is 
condensed and cooled by water. Many of these petro- 
leum fractions must be specially treated by cracking or 
reforming molecules, then redistilled to make products 
which will meet the required specifications. All of this 
takes considerable heat, followed by quick cooling with 
water. Fresh water is needed for steam generation, to 
replace evaporation and blow-down from cooling 
towers, and for washing the gases and liquids in the 
process streams. Steam is used for a number of pur- 
poses in a refinery, in the generation of electrical power 
for operation of the plant, in chemical reactions, and in 
providing heat in certain chemical processes. A recent 
survey by the Department of Water Resources shows a 
substantial increase in the rate of recirculation and 
reuse of the initial intake supply by refineries before the 
deterioration of water quality requires its discharge. 
Without this high rate of reuse, the water requirements 
of the petroleum industry would surpass that of any 
other industry in California. 

The separation and purification of substances with 
the use of water are also fundamental operations in the 
chemical industry. Large volumes of water are often 
required to extract heat from products or to use the 
water as a reactant which is chemically or physically 
combined with other substances. For example, water 
reacts with calcium carbide to form acetylene, the basic 
material for a large organic chemicals industry. Another 
type of reaction is the hydrolysis of animal fats to 
produce glycerine and fatty acids for soap manufacture. 
Miscellaneous uses of water include the disintegration 
or milling of clays, the quenching of molten products 
such as caustic soda, and the emergency drowning of 
reactions out of control, such as might occur in the 
manufacture of trinitrotoluene (TNT). These are but a 
few of an endless list of water use functions in chemical 
or chemical-related industries. 

Cooling and process water also play prominent roles 
in the steel industry. The reduction of iron from its ore, 
the compounding of this iron into pig iron, wrought 
iron, carbon steel, and alloy steels, and, finally, the 
forging of these products into usable shapes, are all 
done at very high temperatures. Water is used for 
cooling parts of the furnaces, the rollers, and skid rails. 
Hot billets are descaled by means of high-pressure 
water jets which provide a combination of thermal 
shock and mechanical action. Steel is pickled in a strong 
acid solution to remove mill scale and then rinsed with 
water. When the metal is to be tinned, galvanized, or 
chemically coated for corrosion protection, it is passed 
through successive tanks containing alkaline detergent 
solutions and rinsed in water. 

As impressive as the many uses of water in industrial 
processes may be, however, on a statewide basis, the 
greatest use of water by industry is for cooling, not 
processing. Industrial use of water for cooling in 1970 
was larger by one-third than the use for all other 
industrial purposes combined. And, the use of cooling 
water for electrical energy production that same year 
was more than four times greater than the total use for 
industrial cooling. 

POWER GENERATION 

Electrical energy production requires the use of large 
quantities of water for two very different kinds of 
generating plants. Hydroelectric plants use falling 
water to turn turbines which generate electrical energy. 
Because hydroelectric plants can begin generating 
power almost as soon as water is diverted to them, they 
are used today to respond quickly to fluctuations in peak 
power demand. In this way, they operate in partnership 
with steam plants, fired by fossil or nuclear fuels, which 
handle the base load of daily power supply. Although 
both types of plants depend upon the availability of 
water, electrical energy production is not itself a major 
consumptive use of water. Once through the turbines, 
the water used by a hydroelectric plant usually flows 
downstream for subsequent use in cities and irrigated 
agriculture. The water in the boilers of steam plants, on 
the other hand, is condensed and reused repeatedly. 
While steam plants also employ large amounts of water 
for cooling, that water too is either continuously 
recirculated by inland plants or used in the form of salt 
water passed through the power generating systems of 
plants on the coast. Part of the cooling water used by 
inland plants, however, is evaporated in cooling towers 
and must be replaced. 




The use of water for energy grew apace with the 
astonishingly rapid expansion of electrical services in 
America. The first electrical street lighting system in 
the United States was erected in Cleveland in 1877; San 
Francisco and New York installed their own systems 
only three years later. By 1892, when the San Antonio 
Light and Power Company put the first commercially 
successful hydroelectric plant in California into opera- 
tion, there were 235 municipally owned electric systems 
in America. On September 7, 1893, the Redlands 
Electric Light and Power Company (since acquired by 
the Southern California Edison Company) was the first 
to use polyphase transmission now in universal use. In 
1895, the same year Niagara Falls began generating 
electrical power, a 10,000-volt transmission line was 
installed at Folsom for service to Sacramento. And by 
the end of 1899, when the Colgate Plant on the Yuba 
River began long distance transmission to Oakland 142 
miles away, it is estimated that California's hydroelec- 
tric resources had reached 21,500 kilowatts. 

Early hydropower developments in California were 
almost exclusively constructed by investor-owned 
utilities to meet the expanding demand for a cheaper 
energy supply. These developments usually operated 
for the single purpose of power generation, and any 
downstream flow improvements in late summer from 
reservoir operations were regarded as incidental. 
Similarly, nineteenth century developers of water 
supplies for urban and agricultural use treated the 
hydroelectric generating potential of their projects as 
only a happy but definitely subsidiary byproduct of their 
efforts. It was not until 1906, for example, that Con- 
gress in the Town Sites and Power Act specifically 
provided for the lease of surplus power from a reclama- 
tion project and even then the lease was forbidden to 
interfere in any way with the efficiency of irrigation. 

The Los Angeles and San Francisco water projects of 
the early twentieth century, however, made energy 
production and sales a central feature of both the design 
and financing of their systems. Soon, water planners in 
Theodore Roosevelt's administration at the federal level 
recognized that hydroelectric power sales could provide 
the means of financing multi-purpose public water 
projects throughout the nation. "It seems clear," 



President Roosevelt wrote in 1902, "that justice to the 
taxpayers of the country demands that when the 
Government is or may be called upon to improve a 
stream, the improvement should be made to pay for 
itself, so far as practicable." 

The establishment of this linkage between public 
water projects and power sales touched off a con- 
troversy which eventually emerged as one of the 
principal obstacles to water development in California. 
Private power companies did not object to water 
development per se but they fought mightily to prevent 
public agencies from entering the business of distribu- 
ting power from these public projects. Private compa- 
nies successfully resisted municipalization of the local 
power system in San Francisco but lost in Los Angeles. 
When the Boulder Canyon Project was proposed, 
private power companies throughout the Southwest 
rallied in opposition out of a general concern that 
increased power supplies from the project would lower 
prices and out of a more specific fear that, by increasing 
the supply to Los Angeles' municipally owned electric 
system, the project would aid the cause of what the 
power companies called "socialism." The battle over 
public versus private power, however, reached its peak 
in the controversy surrounding construction of the 
Central Valley Project, a process described in an earlier 
section of this volume. 

Private utilities today produce and distribute approx- 
imately 72 percent of the electrical energy consumed in 
California each year. Residential use constituted 30 
percent of consumption in 1975, commercial use 29 
percent, and industrial use 28 percent. Although 
agriculture only consumes approximately two percent 
of all the electrical energy used each year, its depend- 
ence upon electrical supplies for groundwater pumping 
illustrates an important aspect of the relationship 
between water and power in California today. In 
contrast to the early days of water development— when 
electrical power generation was regarded as a profitable 
byproduct of a water delivery system— modern water 
planners in an era of dwindling energy reserves have 
had to take increasing cognizance of the considerable 
quantities of energy that are consumed simply in 
moving water around the state. Electrically powered 



88 



_ 



Fall Creek 
Fall Creek (Pacific Pwr & Light) 2 



Butt Creek (PG&E) 

Lake Almanor (PG&E) 



North Fork Feather River (PG&E) 
Caribou No.1 & 2 185 




Hydroelectric Power Generation 

Facilities, Installed Capacities, and Load Factors 

1972 




Installed Capacity 

(x 1000 kilowatts) 



25- 




South Fork American River Chili Bar 7 

SMUD & PG&E) White Rock 190 ■ 

Camino 142 
*Mokelumne River (PG&E) Electra 89" 

> Pardee (EBMUD) 15' 

'Angels Creek (PG&E) Murphys 4 

Angels Camp 1 

Stanislaus River Melones 24 

(South San Joaquin & Oakdale ID) Tulloch 17 

Sullivan Creek (PG&E) Phoenix 2 

New Don Pedro 138 
letch Hetchy Aqueduct (SFWD) Moccasin 9(J 
Tuolumne River La Grange 4 



Buck's Creek 55 
Poe 124 

Forbestown 29 South Fork Feather River 
Woodleaf 52 (Oroville-Wyandotte ID) 

Dutch Flat No.'l 22 Bear River (PG&E & Nevada ID) 
Dutch Flat No. 2 23 

Drum No. 2 411 [Spaulding No. 2 4 

Drum No.1 49| Spaulding No. 3 6 

r- Yuba River (PG&E & Nevada ID) -L Spaulding No.1 7 



Farad 3 Truckee River (Sierra Pacific Pwr Co.) 
Alta 2 
L. J. Stevenson 110 (Placer Co. WA) Middle Fork American River 
: rench Meadow 15 (Placer Co. WA) Rubicon River 



Loon 74 Gerle Creek (SMUD & PG&E) 
Union Valley 33 Silver Creek (SMUD & PG&E) 

Robbs Peak 24 Tells Creek (SMUD & PG&E) 

El Doradr>20 
Jaybird 133 \ 

Salt Springs No/I & 2 39 North Fork Mokelumne River (PG&E) 
^ West Point 14 
Tiger Creek 51 

Donnells 54 Middle Fork Stanislaus River (PG&E) 
Beardsley 10 
Spring Gap 6 
Stanislaus 82 

Holm 135 Cherry Creek (Turlock & Modesto ID) 
Kirkwood 68 Tuolumne River (SFDW) 

Lundy 3 Mill Creek (SCE) 

Poole 10 Lee Vining Creek (SCE) 
\ 
, Rush 8 Rush Creek (SCE) 




— 100 



— 50 



Load Factor (percent) 

average generation 

installed capacity 




The cube symbol on the map represents the installed capacity of the 
generating facility. The lower, dark colored, portion of the cube represents 
the average power generated annually by the plant over the history of its 
operation. This fraction of the total capacity of the powerplant is known as 
the load factor. The lighter tint above the load factor represents reserve 
capacity which is available to take advantage of water in excess of normal 
supply or to meet peak demands. 

All powerplants which discharge into the same stream are colored the 
same. Each cube is identified by facility name, ownership, installed capa- 
city, and stream name. With few exceptions, powerplant ownership is the 
same for all facilities on one stream. For that reason, where map space is 
critical, ownership codes are attached to stream names. 

The largest plant on this map has a capacity 3,500 times greater than the 
smallest. The volumes of the three-dimensional cubes have been drawn in 
proportion to the cube roots of their actual installed capacities. 



Mammoth Pool (SCE) 
ncheria 



Merced Falls 
(PG&E) 
|McSwain 
New | 



Creek 

reek 
Crane Valley 

San Joaquin No. 3 



|Exchequer 80 Wishon 

Merced River (Merced ID) 
San Joaquin No. 2 3 
San Joaquin No.1A 0.3 
Willow Creek (PG&E) 



Kerckhoff (PG&E) 34 

Big Creek No. 4 (SCE) 84 " 
San Joaquin River Big Creek No. 3 (SCE) 106 




Haas 135 
Kings River (PG&E) 
Balch 128 

Kings River 44 <^a ,. ;, .. « 

Ar Kawean No 1 2 
Kaweah River (SCE) ^0 Kaweah No.2 2 
Kaweah No.3 3 

Middle Fork Tule River 

Tule River (PG&E) 5 

Lower Tule (SCE) 2 




Ownership Abbreviation Key 


DWR 


Department of Water Resources 


EBMUD 


East Bay Municipal Utility District 


-- ID 


- - Irrigation District 


LADWP 


Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power 


PG&E 


Pacific Gas & Electric 


SCE 


Southern California Edison 


SFWD 


San Francisco Water Department 


SMUD 


Sacramento Municipal Utility District 


USBR 


US Bureau of Reclamation 


USNPS 


US National Park Service 


-- WA 


- - Water Agency 




Upper Gorge 38 
Middle Gorge 38 
Control Gorge" 38 
Measant Valley 3. 



Owens River 
(LADWP) 



\ 



shop Creek No. 6 2 
shop Creek No. 5 4 



Bishop Creek (SCE) 



tig Pine 3 Big Pine Creek (LADWP) 

vision Creek 1 Division Creek (LADWP) 
shop Creek No.4 7 

ishop Creek No.3 7 

Bishop Creek No.2 7 
Big Creek No.1 67 



| Cottonwood No.3 2 

Los Angeles Aqueduct (LADWP) 



Kern River 




wmm 



\\ver No.3 (SCE) 32 



Borel (PG&E) 9 

Kern River No.1 (SCE) 16 
Kern Canyon (SCE) 8 



Los Angeles Aqueduct (LADWP) 
San Francisquito No.1 58 



San Antonio Creek (SCE) 
Ontario No.2 0.3 
Sierra Pumphouse 0.5 
Ontario No.1 0.6 



San Gabriel River 
Azusa (City of Pasadena) 3 l^* 



O^ 



Franklin Canyon ( 
Franklin Canyon (LADWP) 2 



Lytle Creek (SCE) 
Lytle Creek 0.4 
Fontana 1.9 




California Aqueduct (East Branch) 
Devils Canyon (DWR) 120 



Santa Ana River (SCE) 
Santa Ana No.3 1.2 
r Santa Ana No.2 0.8 
Santa Ana No.1 3.2 




<2| San Gorgonio No.1 1.5 
$*^ San Gorgonio No.2 0.8 

Mill Creek No.1 0.8 
Mill Creek No.2 0.2 
Mill Creek No.3 1.8 Mill Creek (SCE) 



Whitewater River (SCE) 



XSWMl 




All American Canal (Imperial ID) 
Pilot Knob 33~| 
Drop No.2 10 
Drop No.3 9.8 
Drop No.4 19.6 



Yuma Canal 

(USBR) 

Siphon Drop 1.6 




The streets of Los Angeles were 
illuminated by electricity for the 
first time on Hew Year's Eve, 
1882. The arc light in the upper 
photograph at right was one of 
seven installed on 150-foot poles 
at Main Street near Commercial 
and at First and Hill Streets. 
California today is experiment- 
ing with a new source of power 
from water through the develop- 
ment of geothermal power plants 
like the one shown below. 





pumps, for example, lift an average of 15 million acre- 
feet of water a year from underground reservoirs to 
provide approximately 40 percent of the irrigation 
water used by California agriculture. Both the Colorado 
River Aqueduct and the State Water Project use more 
energy than they generate. Under ultimate project 
water deliveries, in fact, hydroelectric power plants on 
the State Water Project will generate only 40 percent of 
the estimated 12 billion kilowatt-hours per year the 
State Water Project will require by the year 2000; the 
rest will have to be obtained from other sources. 

These considerations, together with other factors in 
the rapidly changing energy picture for California, have 
caused some experts to predict a renewed interest in 
hydroelectric power plant construction. In the first 
decade of the twentieth century, hydroelectric plants 
replaced many steam plants because hydroelectric 
plants offered lower operating costs at a time when 
fuels were expensive. Even until the early 1950s, 
hydroelectric plants generated more than half of the 
electrical energy produced in California. As the most 
economical hydroelectric sites were developed, how- 
ever, and steam plant technology improved, nuclear and 
fossil fuel steam plants assumed a larger part of the 
burden of supplying California's demand. By 1975, 174 



hydroelectric plants with a combined capacity of 8,440 
megawatts generated only 30 percent of the total 
energy produced in California, while 63 steam plants 
with a combined capacity of 25,735 megawatts pro- 
duced almost all the rest. 

If fossil fuel costs continue to escalate, however, and 
resistance to nuclear power development does not 
diminish, hydroelectric power generation may become 
increasingly attractive as a power source which depends 
upon a non-consumptive use of a renewable resource. 
Although few new dams are being constructed in 
California, plans are underway for construction of 
power plants below several existing dams that were 
built without power plants due to unfavorable econom- 
ic conditions at the time. These tentative plans include 
the addition of power plants at such sites as the 
Thermalito Diversion and Warm Springs dams. Further 
development of hydroelectric power in California, 
however, will be restricted by the limited number of 
suitable sites that have not already been developed. 



INLAND NAVIGATION 

California's rivers were the original routes of 
commerce. John Sutter operated the first large vessel on 
the Sacramento River between 1840 and 1848. As 
hordes of new immigrants began to arrive in San 
Francisco following the discovery of gold in 1849, 
dozens of steamboat companies sprang up to work the 
trade routes to the gold fields along the Sacramento, 
Feather, Yuba, and American rivers. Many of these 
companies consolidated in 1854 to form the California 
Steam Navigation Company. On the Sacramento, 
steamboats navigated regularly as far upstream as 
Colusa and Chico Landing. On the San Joaquin River, 
there was a twice-weekly service available between 
Stockton and Fresno. And on the Feather, waterfronts 
developed at Marysville and Oroville. The onslaught of 
debris from hydraulic mining, however, put an end to 
navigation above Sacramento and the railroads bought 
out the California Steam Navigation Company in 1869 
as part of their increasing domination of California's 
transportation network. By the 1890s, when other 
states began to press for the expansion of their inland 
harbors and waterways, inland navigation in California 
seemed to have entered upon an irreversible decline as 
demands increased for other uses of the state's limited 
water resources for irrigation, urban development, and 
electrical power generation. 

California's first state engineer, William Hammond 
Hall, envisioned in the nineteenth century a system of 
canals in the San Joaquin Valley which would operate 
not only for drainage and water supply but also for 
transport using long chains of electrically powered 
barges carrying freight and produce throughout the 
valley. When the Central Valley Project and State 
Water Project were finally built, however, navigation 
was no longer a central feature of their design. The 
principal responsibility for the development of naviga- 
tion within California consequently passed to the Army 
Corps of Engineers. Authorized by Congress in 1852 to 
assist in the development of civilian works, the Corps 
played a major role in the development of ports at San 
Diego, San Francisco, and Oakland. Inland, it worked to 



improve river navigation through dredging and the 
removal of obstructions along the San Joaquin and 
Sacramento rivers. 

The Corps' devotion to its principal mission of 
enhancing navigation often set it at odds with water 
planners at the state and federal levels near the turn of 
the century. As the concept of multi-purpose water 
development gained currency with the advent of 
Theodore Roosevelt's administration, for example, the 
Corps strenuously resisted new programs for water 
conservation, reclamation, and a coordinated, basin- 
wide approach to the development of water resources. 
The need, according to Corps officials, was "to differen- 
tiate instead of coordinate" and navigation should 
always be made the primary feature of river develop- 
ment with all other uses secondary to that. The Corps' 
major role in the development of the Sacramento Flood 
Control system, for example, was played out under a 
formal guise of improving navigation because the Corps 
at that time was reluctant to involve itself directly in 
flood control. 

Although navigation is still a major part of its 
program, the Corps' range of activities has expanded 
today to include flood control, wastewater manage- 
ment, and beach erosion protection. California's two 
major inland ports, Stockton and Sacramento, operate 
on commercial navigation channels created by the 
Corps of Engineers. The deep-water port at Stockton 
opened in 1933 and today handles bulk and processed 
agricultural products primarily for export. Since its 
opening in 1963, the Port of Sacramento has expanded 
an export trade tied to the bulk handling and processing 
of rice, lumber, and wood chips, as well as farm products 
from the Sacramento Valley and many other mid- 
America products shipped to the Port through an 
extensive rail and highway system. Together the ports 
of Sacramento and Stockton account for about five 
percent of the total deep-draft shipping in California. In 
1977, the Port of Sacramento handled 1.8 million tons 
of shipping on 121 ships while the Port of Stockton 
handled 2.5 million tons on 101 ships. Both ports have 
regularly scheduled barge service to San Francisco Bay 
and the Pacific and this shallow-draft traffic accounts 
for approximately one-fourth of the total tonnage 
handled by the ports. 

Many experts foresee a gradual increase in inland 
commercial navigation although estimates of the 
anticipated growth rate vary widely. In California the 
growth of commercial navigation has been and will 
continue to be closely related to the expansion of 
agriculture and the continued development of the 
state's transportation system. Overall development of 
commercial navigation, however, depends not only 
upon the expansion of physical facilities such as docks, 
terminals, and warehouses but also upon commodity 
manipulations, foreign exchange rates, and technology 
advancement in the export markets. The most immedi- 
ate planned improvements that could influence the 
growth of the ports of Sacramento and Stockton, given 
suitable world market conditions, include studies by the 
Corps of Engineers to deepen the San Francisco Bay 
approaches to inland waters at Collinsville to 45 feet and 
then deepen to 35-45 feet the Sacramento and Stockton 
ship channels. The completion of these improvements 
would permit larger-tonnage carriers and deeper-draft 








l8xi~ 








■:£;*;«£ 




W*\s 



m 







In the State Water Project, where recreation and the 
enhancement of fish and wildlife have been made a part 
of planning and development, a number of project 
features are included that would not have been possible 
had recreation been added as an afterthought. For 
instance, at all State Water Project reservoirs, recrea- 
tional lands have been acquired along with lands needed 
for other project purposes. More than 45,000 acre-feet 
of the project's annual capacity was built to deliver 
water for specific recreation needs — drinking water, 
water to irrigate landscaping, water to maintain live 
streams, and water for recreational pools. 

Recreational activity and resources generally do not 
consume significant quantities of water. Usually, the 
development of recreational facilities takes place on a 
lake, reservoir, or stream that would have existed in any 
event. When a water surface is maintained solely for 
recreational use, however, evaporation losses from the 
surface and transpiration losses from vegetation at its 
edges do constitute consumptive uses that must be 
charged to recreation. Water released to streams for 
recreational use, as occurs on the American River, is 
usually recaptured downstream and used again for 
other purposes. Consumptive uses do occur, however, 
when the flow cannot be recovered, as in the case of a 
release to a coastal stream that reaches the ocean. The 
use of water for drinking and sanitation, and for 
irrigation of landscaped areas, is also a factor at every 
recreation site. Although such uses are usually moder- 
ate, a recreational facility which attracts great concen- 
trations of people at the same time, such as a ski resort, 
can create problems by, for example, overloading the 
capacity of a local wastewater treatment facility during 
those periods of peak usage. 



Ham Hall's original plan for a 
water project in the Central Val- 
ley included a water-borne trans- 
portation system to serve the 
needs of agricultural commerce. 
But when the state and federal 
governments built their modern 
systems, inland navigation was 
no longer a part of their plans. 
The painting at left shows a 
steamboat calling at a stock farm 
near Courtland. 



shipping to enter the Delta directly instead of transfer- 
ring their cargo to barges to lighten the loads. Contrary 
plans, however, call for the use of small-unit cargo 
carriers between inland ports which would then be 
loaded directly onto very large container ships at 
centralized container terminals in San Francisco Bay. 
Therefore, while commercial waterborne traffic is 
expected to grow,the extent and location of this growth 
is difficult to predict. 

The most rapidly expanding aspect of navigation in 
terms of vessel numbers and movements is occurring in 
recreation. The California recreational fleet has in- 
creased from 288,000 to 540,000 craft since 1962. 
Waters suitable for boating exist throughout the state, 
although in some areas, particularly the central and 
south coastal regions, inland lakes and reservoirs are 
limited in number and size with the result that a heavier 
burden is placed on the ocean and coastal bays. In terms 
of size and boat accommodations, the Pacific Ocean is 
virtually unlimited while the channels of the Sacra- 
mento-San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco and Suisun 
bays provide thousands of miles of boating waterways. 
The Delta waterways, by virtue of their 40,000 surface 
acres, offer in fact some of the most diverse recreational 
opportunities for boating in the United States. 



RECREATIONAL BENEFITS 

A major national survey of recreation conducted in 
the 1960s reported that 44 percent of the American 
people prefer water-based recreational activities over all 
others. Calif ornians are especially attracted to water- 
based recreation. A California recreation plan also 
prepared in the 1960s estimated that nearly 60 percent 
of the state's total recreational activity occurs near 
streams, reservoirs, lakes, or the ocean. Typical recrea- 
tion scenes, such as a Chamber of Commerce would use 
to illustrate a poster, might show: 

- Swimming, surfing, and sailboating on the South- 
ern California coast; 

- Steelhead fishing in streams of the North Coast; 

- Trout fishing or snow skiing in the Sierra Nevada; 
-Water-skiing on the foothill reservoirs of the 

Central Valley or Southern California; and, 

- Boating on the waterways of the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta. 

Even those activities not directly dependent on 
water — camping, hiking, picnicking, and bird watch- 
ing — are enhanced by the presence of a serene lake or 
quiet stream. Only in interior Southern California 
might it be expected that a typical recreation scene 
would be other than water-associated. Perhaps a desert 
recreation scene would be most likely, but even in such a 
scene there would be a good chance of a swimming pool 
being shown. 



Most water-related recreation in California — like 
most other outdoor recreation — is provided by govern- 
mental agencies. Approximately half of the state is 
owned by the federal government, and most of the 
agencies managing these federal lands recognize 
recreational enhancement as one of their responsibili- 
ties. The National Park Service and the United States 
Forest Service manage some of the most magnificent 
resources in California — many of them of a water 
resources character. The two large federal water 
agencies — the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army 
Corps of Engineers — have developed numerous water 
projects offering major water recreation benefits. The 
Bureau of Land Management also controls vast 
amounts of land and is currently expanding its role of 
offering recreation opportunities. State agencies with 
significant water-related recreation programs include 
the departments of Parks and Recreation, Fish and 
Game, Water Resources, and Navigation and Ocean 
Development. And, local agencies — cities, counties, and 
many types of districts — provide recreation services and 
programs of all sorts. 

The dramatic increase in the recreational use of water 
projects began shortly after World War Two. Califor- 
nia's rapidly growing population found itself with more 
leisure time, greater disposable income, and greater 
mobility. As a result, many people increased their 
participation in outdoor recreation. As the natural lakes 
and streams became heavily developed and crowded, 
recreationists began flocking to newly completed 
reservoirs. Water planning and development agencies, 
which had formerly added recreational facilities and 
operations only as an afterthought to existing projects, 
now began to include them in their planning. In fact, 
water agencies were the first to recommend that 
recreation should be treated as a water project purpose 
and included with irrigation, hydroelectric power, flood 
control, and other traditional purposes in the planning 
and financing of multi-purpose projects. 

In 1961 the California Legislature enacted the Davis- 
Dolwig Act, setting forth a policy which declared for the 
first time that recreation and the enhancement of fish 
and wildlife resources are among the purposes of water 
projects constructed by the state. Comparable legisla- 
tion affecting federal programs was enacted in 1965 as 
the Federal Project Recreation Act. Legislation has also 
been enacted to encourage the integration of recreation 
as a project purpose in water projects undertaken by 
local agencies. The Davis-Grunsky Act, for example, 
which provides financial assistance to local water 
projects in several ways, furnishes grants to projects 
that include recreation and fish and wildlife enhance- 
ment among their purposes. Since the program began 
in 1958, a total of $62,500,000 in grants has been 
approved for 33 water projects that include recreational 
programs as part of their operations. 





These photographs illustrate only 
a few of the many ways water is 
used in recreation for swimming, 
skiing, white-water kayaking as 
well as for quiet comtemplation. 
The hotel at Redondo Beach in 
the photograph above was one of 
the most popular resorts in Cali- 
fornia at the turn of the century, 
and it was here some say that the 
Hawaiian sport of surfing was 
first introduced to the mainland. 




91 



Region/County 



Planning District 1 

Del Norte; Humboldt; 
Lake; Mendocino 

Planning District 2 

Butte; Colusa; Glenn; 
Lassen; Modoc; Plumas; 
Shasta; Siskiyou; Tehama; 
Trinity 

Planning District 3 

El Dorado; Nevada; Placer; 
Sacramento; Sierra; 
Sutter; Yolo; Yuba 

Planning District 4 

Alameda; Contra Costa; 
Marin; Napa; San Francisco; 
San Mateo; Santa Clara; 
Solano; Sonoma 

Planning District 5 

Alpine; Amador; Calaveras; 
Merced; San Joaquin; 
Stanislaus; Tuolumne 

Planning District 6 

Fresno; Kern; Kings; 
Madera; Mariposa; Tulare 

Planning District 7 

Monterey; San Benito; 
San Luis Obispo; Santa 
Barbara; Santa Cruz 

Planning District 8 

Imperial; Los Angeles; 
Orange; Riverside; San 
Bernardino; Ventura 

Planning District 9 

San Diego 

Planning District 10 

Inyo; Mono 

State Total 



1,133,900 5,476,730 



4,955,100 4,746,080 



732,500 6,158,140 



1,183,700 15,396,170 4,383,791 



891,100 



7,188,320 



10,700,900 24,788,690 5,785,915 



1,672,300 



25,000 



2,739,560 
8,448,590 



21,891,000 101,563,500 33,040,986 




Public Water Recreation Facilities 

Acreage of 
Publicly 
Operated Land Surface Area Surface Area Vessel Boat Boat Boat 

Population Total Area and Water of Lakes of Reservoirs Registrations Berthings Moorings Ramp Lanes 

July 1, 1977 (acres) for Recreation (acres) (acres) 1977 1977 1977 1977 



212,200 6,041,410 1,466,642 



384,300 20,579,810 9,711,861 



48,905 



338,504 



9,740 



204,046 



13,349 



27,239 



3,811 



4,202 



2,202 



1,378 



205 



269 



1,661,910 



416,502 



128,530 



460 



58,103 



45,379 



53,164 



131,722 



4,508 



20,088 



1,269 



1,247 



196 



274 



1,559,313 



1 ,486,939 



5,859 



16,210 



1,218 



225,457 



859,616 
5,708,497 



60,304 



825,456 



73,985 

85,307 
22,514 

70,660 

17,815 

15,731 

603,280 



32,288 

29,761 
23,004 

197,482 

32,562 

1,232 

542,665 



4,610 



2,101 



4,262 



30,669 



7,678 



347 



82,276 



484 



1,302 



903 



3,127 



150 



206 



12,268 



137 



155 



74 



400 



92 



41 



1,843 



This table provides several indexes of the extent of water addition, these figures do not include the extensive recreational 

recreation facilities available in California. Not all publicly owned use made of the state's streams and rivers. Counties have been 

lands are open to the public and only those which are available for grouped according to the planning districts of the state Depart- 

recreational use have been included in the totals shown here. In ment of Parks and Recreation. 



As a consequence of being included as a full project 
purpose, recreation has also been made to assume some 
of the burdens of water project development. In a multi- 
purpose project, the costs of joint project facilities are 
allocated among the various uses for which the project 
has been built. In the State Water Project, for example, 
recreation has already paid more than $51 million in 
joint costs allocated to it and, when all joint costs are 
allocated, the Department of Water Resources esti- 
mates that recreation's share will reach $100 to $200 
million. Funds for many of these specific recreation and 
fish and wildlife costs have come from bond issues 
approved by the people of the state. Proposition 20 in 
the General Election of 1970 provided $60 million for 
State Water Project recreation and fish and wildlife 
facilities. Proposition 2 of the 1976 General Election 
included an additional $26 million for this purpose. 

With the expansion of recreational facilities has come 
an increasing sensitivity to the changes in recreational 
opportunities which are a necessary consequence of 
water development. The regulation of streamflows, for 
example, shifts the recreational use of a particular water 
resource from stream to lake fishing, from kayaking to 
motorboating, and from bird watching to more inten- 
sive camping. From the years following World War Two 
through the 1960s, most water projects which included 
recreational development were welcomed. Such proj- 
ects were looked upon as providing large water surfaces 
for recreation at a time when the demand for water- 
related recreation greatly exceeded the supply. Opposi- 
tion to these projects from those who might prefer to 
keep a river environment in its natural state was not 
often heard. 



Beginning in the late 1960s, however, as the result of 
a popular surge of environmentalconcern, greater 
value came to be placed on natural environments than 
on artificial ones, and voices preferring natural and 
free-flowing streams to impounded water were heard 
with increasing effect. The impact of this movement on 
water-associated recreation has brought a great in- 
crease in interest and participation in very active 
instream recreational sports such as whitewater 
boating, kayaking, and rafting on flowing streams. One 
major effect of this new interest was the enactment by 
the California Legislature of the Wild and Scenic Rivers 
Act of 1972. This new law protects five river systems 
from development or use that would impair their free- 
flowing character and prohibits state agencies from 
providing any assistance to federal projects which might 
have these effects. 

In any range of activities as broad and diverse as 
California's water-based recreation, there will probably 
never be uniform agreement on resource use priorities. 
Fishermen will probably always resent intrusions by 
water-skiers, and whitewater boaters will have differ- 
ent development priorities than those who enjoy the 
large open expanses of reservoirs. As the state's 
population continues to grow, the job of allocating 
resources among the different recreational interest 
groups will become more difficult. Now that recreation 
interests have been included in planning for resource 
use, however, it is essential to provide a means of 
expression for those with differing viewpoints in order 
that the great variety of water-associated recreational 
opportunities that exist now in California will continue 
to exist in the future. 



CHAPTER 10 



Water Quality 



Although the long history of human involvement 
with the water environment has been focused upon 
efforts to rearrange the natural distribution of water 
supplies within California so as to enhance a wide 
range of human activities, the last three decades 
have brought an increasing appreciation of the fact 
that water quality can act as just as important a con- 
straint upon use as water quantity. The term water 
quality should not suggest a value judgment con- 
cerning the innate good of a particular water 
source; for, the very constituents in a water sample 
which would make it unacceptable for one type of 
use may enhance its suitability for another use. 
Modern programs for the protection and enchance- 
ment of water quality therefore emphasize control 
rather than the eradication of all the elements in 



water which can affect its quality. Pure, distilled 
water is seldom found in nature, and, if our water 
supplies were this pure, most life systems in the 
natural environment could not survive. The goal of 
water quality control consequently involves the 
maintenance of a balance between the competing 
needs of all aspects of our environment for water 
possessing very different qualities and constituents. 



NATURAL WATER QUALITY 

Because the world's water supply is fixed and 
virtually no part of that supply has been added or 
lost since the formation of the planet, the water we 
rely upon today is the result of continuous recycling 



and cleaning by natural processes. Evaporation and 
transpiration by plants are the principal natural 
methods of water purification, and both of these 
natural processes are powered by solar energy. Once 
water molecules condense into water vapor in the 
atmosphere, however, they begin picking up addi- 
tional properties almost immediately. Water vapor 
collects around minute particles of salt and dust and 
liquid water in the atmosphere tends to become 
saturated with gases. Carbon dioxide, although it 
makes up only a small part of the total volume of the 
atmosphere, most frequently combines with atmos- 
pheric moisture because it is very soluble. Atmos- 
pheric water can also contain other gases which are 
the result of volcanic eruptions; natural, bilogical, or 
chemical processes; or human air pollution. 




The impact of a broad range of 
human activities that affect water 
quality can be seen in the sedi- 
ment plumes discoloring the wa- 
ters of San Pablo Bay. Moving 
clockwise from the Richmond- 
San Rafael Bridge at bottom, the 
bay is ringed by reclaimed agri- 
cultural lands, the Mare Island 
Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, and 
the complex of oil refineries and 
sewage treatment facilities near 
Richmond. 



The great quantities of sediment 
carried by the Eel River appear 
here as a vivid blue extending 
into the ocean beyond the river's 
mouth. Eureka, Areata, and the 
wood processing plants on Hum- 
boldt Bay are at left. 



When gases combine with atmospheric water, weak 
acids are formed that aid in the breakdown of rock 
when the moisture falls to earth as precipitation. Rain 
and melting snow and ice thus work to dissolve 
minerals that are then washed into streams and 
percolate into groundwater reservoirs. The minerals 
dissolved in water reflect the geology of the water- 
shed. The streams draining the granitic watersheds of 
the Sierra Nevada, for example, are low in dissolved 
solids and suspended sediment, while the streams of 
the North Coast have higher dissolved solids and 
carry large amounts of suspended sediment. 
Vegetation also helps to determine water quality 
within individual watersheds. Bicarbonate waters are 
usually found in areas of lush plant growth and some 
metals which are stored by plants may enter the 
water system when the plants decay. Accordingly, 
temperature, rainfall, geology, vegetation, and the 
seasonality of runoff all work to produce variations in 
natural water quality which can change with the sea- 
son, month, or day. 

Human activities have had a profound influence 
upon these natural processes. Rainfall has been 
chemically altered by concentrated air pollutants in 
some areas, producing acid rains which destroy vege- 
tation, accelerate the weathering of rocks, and harm 
fish. Dams modify the natural transport of sediment 
and organic material in streams and rivers. Municipal 
sewage plants, irrigation, and industrial growth have 
introduced a wide range of nutrients, chemicals, and 
pollutants to natural water bodies. The construction 
of highways and housing, logging, and some agricul- 
tural activities have enhanced surface runoff and 
erosion. And water temperature has been changed by 
the discharge of cooling water used in certain indus- 
trial processes and in the generation of electrical 
energy. The growing recognition of the detrimental 
effects of these human influences upon the water 
environment prompted the development over the last 
three decades of an increasingly sophisticated range 



of water quality control programs. With the develop- 
ment of these programs has come, in turn, a greater 
understanding of the specific constraints which the 
various elements of water quality impose upon water 
use. 

QUALITY AS A CONSTRAINT UPON USE 

In general, the elements of water quality which are 
most directly related to human use have been divided 
into three broad categories of impurities, pollutants, 
and contaminants. Impurities are physical, chemical, 
or biological substances found in water and include: 
dissolved gases such as carbon dioxide; dissolved 
solids such as decomposing plant and animal matter- 
dissolved minerals such as calcium, magnesium, 
chlorides, sulfates, and bicarbonates; and suspended 
and settleable solids such as the colloidal material that 
causes coloring and turbidity. Pollutants are sub- 
stances in water that impair the usefulness of water 
or make it offensive to the senses. Sediments, and 
floating matter such as grease, oil, or organic matter 
are all pollutants. Pathogenic organisms or toxic sub- 
stances that make water unfit for human or animal 
consumption or domestic use are called contaminants 
and include bacteria, viruses, protozoa, flukes 
(worms), heavy metals, toxic organic compounds, and 
radioactive substances. 

The study of the full range of chemical, physical, 
biological, and bacteriological properties of water 
involves measurements of minute quantities of 
material. Quantities of dissolved chemicals in water 
are often expressed in nearly equivalent terms as 
parts per million or milligrams per liter. The range of 
concentration levels which are acceptable for certain 
uses can be similarly small. A concentration of 13 
parts per million of dissolved oxygen, for example, is 
considered quite high, while a concentration of four 
parts per million is low. Boron, a minor constituent of 
most water, is an essential element for plant growth 




but is fatal in excess for most vegetation. Sugar beets, 
lettuce, and asparagus, for example, can tolerate 
boron concentrations as high as four milligrams per 
liter, but trees in citrus orchards may be damaged if 
their water supply contains more than one milligram 
per liter. 

The concentration of dissolved oxygen is one of the 
most widely used indicators of the biochemical con- 
dition of water because it indicates how much "free" 
oxygen (that not chemically bound with other 
elements) is available for respiration by plants and 
aquatic organisms and for organic and inorganic 
chemical reactions. Unlike most other parameters of 
water quality, a high level of dissolved oxygen con- 
centration is considered desirable. Because oxygen is 
needed by bacteria to break down plant and animal 
wastes, a low level of dissolved oxygen would suggest 
the presence of large concentrations of these wastes. 
Water bodies display fluctuations in the level of 
dissolved oxygen both in the long and short run. 
Temperature affects the amount of dissolved oxygen 
water can hold; the higher the temperature the less 
oxygen water can dissolve. Organic material, the 
magnitude of flow, and the gradient of the stream 
also affect dissolved oxygen levels. All other things 
being equal, dissolved oxygen levels would be higher 
in a steep mountain stream than in a slowly moving 
river on a flood plain. 

The amount of waste in a stream can also be 
measured in terms of the amount of oxygen required 
for chemical reactions. These relationships are 
expressed as biochemical oxygen demand or chemical 
oxygen demand. If there is not enough oxygen to 
meet the demand for these reactions then anaerobic 
reactions can begin, producing noxious and some- 
times explosive gases. 

California has several areas where low levels of dis- 
solved oxygen have been a problem, most notably in 
the San Francisco Bay. In the 1960s, for example, the 
inflow of municipal and industrial wastes created low 
levels of dissolved oxygen in the South Bay and in 
many of the streams tributary to the northern 
portions of the Bay. Improved sewage treatment 
techniques in recent years, however, have achieved 
some progress in correcting these problems. 

High levels of suspended sediments in a stream may 
be due to natural conditions within a drainage basin, 
or they may be caused by road building, logging, over- 
grazing of pasture lands, fire, agriculture, or urban 
development. Erosion rates can be increased four to 
nine times by some types and methods of agricultural 
development and by as much as ten times by 
construction activities. The presence of dams on a 
stream can substantially alter the natural concentra- 
tions of sediment. The high dams on the Colorado 
River, for example, have reduced the large quantities 
of sediment this river once carried and these sedi- 
ments have accumulated in the reservoirs behind the 
dams. On the Trinity River below Clair Engle Reser- 
voir, however, controlled releases of water have so 
reduced the natural flow of the river that the main- 
stream cannot dispose of the silt delivered by its 
tributaries. As a result, the stream bed is suffering 
from siltation. 

If a stream or river does not flow at a rate sufficient 
to carry its sediment load, numerous problems can 
result. Deposited material can blanket fish spawning 
gravels, smother aquatic organisms that dwell on the 
bottom of stream beds, and interfere with the respira- 
tion of fish eggs. Turbid waters, by reducing light 
penetration, can also reduce the population of photo- 
synthesizing microorganisms which are a primary 
food source in the aquatic food chain. In addition, high 
loads of sediment increase the costs of water treat- 
ment and can interfere with irrigation by leaving a 
hard layer of sediment on the topsoil which seedlings 
may have difficulty breaking through. 

The total dissolved solids in water indicates the 
concentration of inorganic salts and other dissolved 
materials. Although the concentration of total dis- 
solved solids can be measured in parts per million, this 
determination requires the filtration and drying of a 
water sample. A more practical method measures the 
specific conductivity of water. Two electrodes are 
placed in the water and the resistance of the water to 
the flow of an electrical current is measured. The 
higher the conductance, the higher the concentration 
of dissolved solids. The advantage of this method is 
that it is quick and can be done in the field. The result 
is commonly expressed in micromhos. 

Excess dissolved solids are objectionable in drinking 
water because they affect the taste of the water, 
induce possible physiological effects, and usually 




What appear to be waves in this aerial view of Clear Lake in 
Northern California are in fact non-point source pollutants which 
the wind has whipped to froth. 



EXAMPLES OF WATER QUALITY PROBLEMS 



Modern water quality control programs must deal with a 
wide range of problems which originate in different ways 
and require correspondingly diverse responses. The prob- 
lems of water quality on the Santa Ana and Trinity rivers 
and at Lake Tahoe suggest the breadth of this diversity. 

The demands placed upon the Santa Ana River for in- 
dustry, recreation, and urban development greatly ex- 
ceeded the capacity of this small Southern California 
stream. Flows at some times declined to only one or two 
cubic feet per second, resulting in excessive concentrations 
of nutrients, salts, bacteria, and virus. Beginning in 1971, a 
plan was formulated to augment the flows of the river with 
wastewater effluents from a series of three new regional 
treatment plants which would replace the eight plants al- 
ready located on the river. Industrial discharges high in 
boron and salts were limited within the basin, and some 
saline effluents are now piped to Orange County for dis- 
charge into the ocean. 

Completion of the Trinity Dam in 1962 drastically altered 
the regimen of the lower Trinity River. The Trinity water- 
shed has a naturally high sediment yield which has been in- 
creased by logging and construction activities within the 
basin. With the diversion of a million acre-feet of water to 
the Central Valley Project, streamflows on the lower 



stretches of the river declined to the point that the spawn- 
ing beds of anadromous fish silted in and willows and other 
vegetation began to encroach upon the stream bed, thereby 
further slowing the river's flow and complicating the prob- 
lems of sedimentation. A task force composed of federal, 
state, and local representatives is now at work developing a 
20-year program for the rehabilitation of the river through 
the removal of barriers, the construction of sediment catch- 
ments and riffles, and the stocking of anadromous fish. 

At Lake Tahoe, the problem of protecting the clarity of 
this largest of North American alpine lakes involves the 
control of non-point sources of sediment and nutrientw. 
Sewage at Lake Tahoe is pumped out of the basin and con- 
struction practices have been controlled for the last 15 
years. The rate of new development along the shoreline, 
however, and the effects of airborne pollutants have re- 
sulted in siltation and the growth of algae near the shore 
and especially in the areas around the mouths of tributary 
streams. The 208 plan for Lake Tahoe was rejected by Cali- 
fornia's Water Resources Control Board and is currently 
being revised. Meanwhile, negotiations between California 
and Nevada are proceeding over the means of developing an 
effective program for regulating the rate of new growth 
and development within the basin. 



create a need to use large amounts of detergent for 
washing. Many industries set specific limits on the 
concentration of dissolved solids acceptable for their 
use. If the quantity of dissolved solids in irrigation 
water is high enough, agriculture can also be affected 
because the salts will accumulate in the root zone, 
thereby reducing the crop yield and creating a need 
for larger volumes of irrigation water to flush the 
salts from the soil. 

High concentrations of calcium, magnesium, and 
certain metals decrease the effectiveness of soap. This 
quality, called hardness, causes scale on radiators, 
boilers, water heaters, pipes, and other water fix- 
tures; toughens cooked vegetables; and increases 
wear on clothes. Limestone deposits are a natural 
source of hardness, although inorganic chemical 
processing plants and some mining activities can also 
contribute to hardness. 

Heavy metals in water, such as cadmium, iron, lead, 
mercury, and arsenic, usually occur in trace amounts 
which require extremely sensitive equipment to be 
measured. These substances, however, do not break 
down organically and hence they become concen- 
trated in plant and animal tissues along the food 
chain. Runoff from urban areas and drainage from 
operating and abandoned mines in the Sierra and 
Klamath mining areas are common sources of heavy 
metals in California waters. Water degradation from 
mine drainage can be controlled by regrading or seal- 
ing the mine, diverting its drainage, or by the use of 
chemical and biological inhibitors to reduce acid for- 
mation. Arsenic pollution can result from residual 
concentrations of certain types of pesticides which 
are no longer in use today. 

Many pesticides are extremely poisonous. Only a 
few parts per billion, or even parts per trillion in the 
case of some compounds, can be extremely toxic to 
fish and other aquatic life. In 1976 an estimated 252 to 
290 million pounds of pesticides were used in 
California to control weeds and insects. Next to air, 
water is the most common method for the transpor- 
tation of pesticides within the environment. These 
toxic organic chemicals enter the water supply 
directly through some industrial processes, agricul- 
tural discharge, spillage, and illegal dumping. They 
can also enter water systems indirectly, however, by 
drifting away from areas where pesticides are being 
sprayed, through surface runoff from treated fields, 
and by leaching or return flows from irrigation. Like 
heavy metals, pesticides concentrate in plant and 
animal tissues and many of these compounds are con- 
sidered to be carcinogenic to humans. Although many 
pesticides are designed to deteriorate rapidly when 
exposed to sunlight and air, they may persist for 
months or even years in water. 

Agricultural activities can also cause excessive con- 
centrations of nitrogen, which is an important con- 
stituent of many fertilizers. Nitrogen in its various 
forms is an important nutrient for plants. But when it 
occurs in sufficient concentration in drinking water, 
it can be hazardous to infant children. Excessive con- 
centrations of nitrogen also accelerate the natural 
process of eutrophication in lakes and reservoirs by 
which the water becomes so rich in nutrients that 
algal blooms form and the resulting abundance of 



aquatic organisms eventually depletes the oxygen 
content of the water. Small amounts of nitrogen are 
found in rocks and much higher concentrations are 
found in most soils and organic matter. Some nitro- 
gen, generally in the form of nitrates, is found in rain- 
water. When used by plants, nitrogen usually returns 
to the soil upon the death of the plants, where some of 
it is carried away by subsurface percolation and 
surface runoff. Other sources of nitrogen pollution 
include municipal and industrial effluent, feed lots, 
and septic tanks. 

The acidity or alkalinity of water is measured by the 
pH factor. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 1 to 
7 being acid, 7 to 14 being alkaline, and 7 being 
neutral. A change of one point on this scale repre- 
sents a ten-fold increase in acidity or alkalinity. The 
pH of water is measured for public water supplies to 
determine what treatment process to employ. Acidic 
waters may be corrosive to pipes and treatment 
facilities. In addition, certain water treatment and 
sewage treatment processes work most effectively 
within certain pH ranges. Water acidity is also an 
important consideration in the management of 
fisheries. Ranges of 6.5 to 9.0 are considered harmless 
to fish. Outside this range, however, fish begin suf- 
fering physiologically. The pH range itself is not a 
problem for fish and aquatic animals and plants, but 
certain chemical reactions become lethal for fish at pH 
levels outside this range. For example, ammonia, 
which is a major component of sewage discharges, can 
be completely safe at pH 7.0 and extremely toxic to 
fish at pH 8.5 for the same total ammonia concentra- 
tion. 

Although the various elements described so far are 
important in determining water quality, tempera- 
ture is a factor which can affect nearly all of the 
chemical, physical, and biological properties of water. 
Temperature is an important agent in any chemical 
reaction and heat can consequently affect the sanitary 
and aesthetic condition of any water body. Higher 
temperatures accelerate the biodegradation of 
organic material. This accelerated "cleaning," how- 
ever, also means that more dissolved oxygen will be 
demanded, even though the ability of water to hold 
dissolved oxygen decreases as temperature increases. 
Temperature also determines the kinds of plants and 
animals that will flourish within water bodies. 
Different species live and, more importantly, repro- 
duce at different temperatures. Anadromous fish 
migrate in response to temperature changes and their 
eggs require water that is around 50 degrees 
Fahrenheit. Temperature also directly affects human 
uses of water. Industrial uses for processing and cool- 
ing require water of a certain temperature and 
temperature also influences the effectiveness of 
water and sewage treatment processes. Coliform 
bacteria for example, tend to die more quickly in 
warmer waters. Warmer water is also desired for 
certain agricultural products such as rice because 
warmth accelerates growth. 

WATER QUALITY CONTROL PROGRAMS 

Although water quality control has become a 
central part of all water planning in the United States 



only in the years since World War Two, people have 
probably been concerned about water quality 
management since the earliest days of water develop- 
ment. The ancient Romans, for example, learned to 
their regret that dumping refuse indiscriminately on 
land overlying and abutting their local water sources 
would foul them beyond use, and it was this discovery 
which drove the Romans to construct aqueducts to 
distant supplies beyond the influence of their pollu- 
tion. In California, the resistance to the introduction 
of systematic irrigation in the nineteenth century was 
fueled in part by fears that so much standing water 
would enhance the spread of disease. Opponents of 
Los Angeles' aqueduct to the Owens Valley charged, 
incorrectly, that the city's new source of supply was 
polluted by alkali and cow droppings from 
agricultural operations around Bishop. And one of 
the many things that agitated the early settlers of the 
Imperial and Coachella valleys to campaign so vigor- 
ously for construction of the All-American Canal was 
the fact that corpses from revolutionary Mexico 
sometimes floated into their irrigation systems. 

Although domestic water supplies have existed in 
the United States since the Water Works Company of 
Boston began service to Conduit Street in 1632, the 
formation of water quality control agencies was 
delayed until 1869, when the Massachusetts State 
Board of Health was formed in response to findings 
by European bacteriologists that epidemic diseases 
were passed through drinking water contaminated by 
untreated wastes. For the most part, dangers to public 
health in domestic water supplies arise from the 
presence of contaminants in the water. Pathogenic 
organisms are those that cause disease or death in 
people and animals. Viruses are organisms that attach 
to the cell walls of the host, inject their own structure 
into the cell, and cause the cell to acquire the charac- 
teristics of the virus. Although viruses are very 
difficult to detect and remove from public drinking 
water supplies, they are responsible for such diseases 
as aseptic meningitis, infectious hepatitis, and polio. 



Probably no other creature has 
played so central a role in man- 
kind's rearrangement of the nat- 
ural waterscape as the mosquito, 
seen below in its larval stage. 
Many of the most densely popu- 
lated areas of California today 
were once uninhabitable malarial 
bogs, and it was the fear of the 
diseases mosquitoes spread which 
lent support for the reclamation 
programs of the nineteenth cen- 
tury. The opposition to the intro- 
duction of systematic irrigation 
at the turn of the century was 
founded in part upon the same 
fear that large fields of standing 
water would provide a breeding 
ground for mosquitoes. As a 
result, the spread of irrigation 
districts was attended by the rise 
of another kind of special district 
for mosquito abatement. Recent 
studies suggest that the area of 
California's mosquito populations 
has extended to correspond al- 
most exactly with the acreage of 
irrigated agriculture. Those spe- 
cies which carry encephalitis and 
malaria are found near rice fields 
and other areas that stay wet for 
long periods. The most common 
pes* species of mosquito {Aedes 
nigromaculis) thrives where crops 
are periodically flooded, as in ir- 
rigated pastures. 




95 



8.8 


64 




12.5 


120 





9.9 


72 


.01 


10.5 


82 


.02 



9.0 


97 




13.7 


226 





8.5 



13.3 



184 



8.5 


146 




13.0 


433 






/ 



7.9 


109 


.07 


12.3 


139 





Sacramento River 

System 






N 


D 


J 


F 


M 


A 


M 


J 


J 


A 


S 



































































9.4 


70 




10.7 


165 








12.2 



12.2 



106 



\ 



8.9 


212 




.18 


10.6 


707 





9.4 


107 


.09 


11.6 


142 






J 



10.4 


79 




12.1 


146 






Red Bluff 
D 



9.1 


243 




10.5 


498 





9.8 


87 


.02 


12.2 


201 





9.5 


72 


.03 


13.5 


207 






8.4 


96 


.05 


12.5 


463 


.07 



7.7 


187 




10.7 


420 





9.6 


105 




11.9 


153 





June LaKe 



9.3 


63 


.01 


12.2 


218 





r^ 



8.0 


198 


.00 


12.6 


750 


.35 



10.8 



9.0 



112 




149 





North 



10.2 



- 

7.1 


367 




.14 


584 


.42 



11.4 


368 

■ 


.04 


.87 



10.5 



.07 



.43 



A 

10.3 


361 


.02 


724 


1.20 



8.1 


128 


.08 


11.4 


240 


.30 




O 


N 


D 


J 


F 


M 


A 


M 


J 


J 


A 


S 













































































8.6 


63 


.00 


11.9 


99 


.22 



10.5 


245 


.07 


495 


.20 



8.3 


99 


.01 


11.5 


152 


.30 



" 


461 











8.6 


46 


.02 


11.6 


68 


.15 



r Folsor, 
J Lake 



Foisom 



7.6 


100 


.08 


11.0 


202 


.29 



8.0 


117 .10 
198 .31 


;1 


132 ioTj 

■ H 



8.2 


100 


.09 


10.8 


160 


.34 





8.3 


41 


.00 


12.2 


69 


.10 



8.2 


43 




11.2 


61 






^S 




8.6 


36 




11.7 


55 





7.9 


35 


.01 


11.6 


148 


.14 



8.2 


40 




12.3 


98 






~--, 


-. 


— ■ 


10.9 


69 




125 






9.1 


41 




11.9 


48 





7.3 


S3 


.07 


9.6 


182 


.27 



30 km 




Colorado River 



fi 



Franconia 



□ 









N 





J 


F 


M 


A 


M 


J 


J 


A 


S 

































^ 



■%. 



\. ) \ 



v'V 



x 



^ash_ 






; 





□ Parker 



V 



y 



v 



\ 






.93 



V 



\ 



r 



Blythe D 




g 



.13 



.32 



Ripley 
D 



g 



.08 



.59 



\ 



f" 



g 



.85 



r 









/ 




S 






.01 



.07 






\ 



v 



V 



y. 



/ 



■T 



J 






.J" 









\ s 


m_ 


s 



barker v_ 
Dam 



y 



Klamath 



% 




Korth 



/ 



r 



20 mi 

-1 I 



D 
Antioch 



/ 



Klamath River System 



9.1 


114 


.15 


12.4 


244 


.40 



8.7 


111 


.07 


11.5 


224 







Lake Shastina 






N 


D 


J 


F 


M 


A 


M 


J 


J 


A 


S 



























































































North 




30 km 



Surface Water 

Quality Water Year 1975 

These maps compare the concentration of three principal constituents of water quality in 
four stream systems during water year 1975. Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and Nitrates (NO3) are 
represented in milligrams per liter (mg/L) and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is shown in 
terms of the electrical conductivity of the water measured in micromhos (mmhos). General- 
ly, higher levels of TDS and NO3 indicate degradation of water quality, while higher levels of 
DO are beneficial to most uses of water. 

Minimum and maximum observed concentrations of the three constituents are shown at 
specific locations. Seven stations have been selected for a more detailed presentation of 
month to month variations in concentration. The concentrations of these constituents vary 
from year to year as well, depending upon flow levels and other changing conditions within 
individual watersheds. 

The tables below present the minimum and maximum concentrations of these constitu- 
ents which are commonly regarded as acceptable for various uses. 



DO EC NO3 

mg/L micromhos mg/L 



Minimum/Maximum 
Concentrations (Water Year) 



13.1 and 100 and 
above below 


.50 and 
below 

.51-1.00 


11.1-13.0 

9.1-11.0 

7.1-9.0 


101-250 


251-500 
501-1000 


1.01-1.50 
1.51-2.00 


5.1-7.0 1001-1500 


2.01-2.50 


3.1-5.0 

3.0 and 
below 


1501-2000 


2.51 and 
above 


2001-2500 






2501 and 
above 





DO 


EC 


NO3 


7.3 


83 


.07 


9.6 


132 


.27 



Minimum 
Maximum 



Monthly Concentrations* 






N 


1 





N 


t* 













N 


r 


s 



A colorless square represents no data. 



DO 
EC 
NO3 



' The graphs represent monthly 
concentrations from October 1974 
through September 1975. 



Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): A measure of salts in 
solution. TDS can be measured either in milligrams 
per liter or specific conductance (EC). An EC mea- 
surement of 1500 micromhos is approximately equal 
to 1000 mg/L TDS. 



Dissolved Oxygen (DO): High levels of dissolved 
oxygen indicate that excessive quantities of oxygen 
demanding wastes probably are not present. 



Recommended limits 


micromhos 


Domestic water supply 


750 


Irrigation water-salinity 



Nitrate (NO3): A major nutrient for vegetation and a 
measure of the amount of inorganic nitrogen in 
water. Sources of nitrate include municipal and in- 
dustrial wastes, irrigation return flows from fertilized 
soils, and septic tank outfalls. 



No detrimental effects 
Detrimental to sensitive crops 
Can have detrimental effects 
on many crops 
Water for tolerant crops 
permeable soils 



750 
750-1500 



1500-3000 
3000-5000 



Livestock and Poultry 
excellent for all 


7500 


Industrial Uses 
Canning 
Fine Paper 
Petroleum refining 


825 

300 
5250 


Electrical utility 


45000 


Propagation of fish 


3000 


Good mixed fish population 

(fish can grow accustomed to very 
high levels of dissolved solids) 


600 



Domestic water supply 


not 


significant 


Industrial water supply 


not significant 


Irrigation 


not significant 


Livestock and Poultry 


not significant 


The following are recommended minimum 


levels 




Fish embryos and larvae 

Sal monoid spawning 

Salmonoid migration 

Warm water fish 

Highest number and variety of fish 

exist when DO is greater than 

To prevent generation of sulfide 




5 mg/L 
9 mg/L 
7 mg/L 
5 mg/L 

9 mg/L 
2 mg/L 


The following are recommended maximum 


levels 




Low pressure boiler feed water 

(industrial) 

Electrical utilites 

Optimum range for minumum 

damage to pipes 




2.5 mg/L 
.007 mg/L 

1-4 mg/L 



industrial 




Petroleum refining 


8 mg/L 


Food canning industry 


45 mg/L 


Canned, dried, frozen fruits 


10 mg/L 



Agricultural 

Livestock and Poultry 
recommended limit 
tolerance 

Irrigation water for sugar beets, 

grapes, apricots, citrus, avocado, 

and tomatoes 

no problem-less than 

increasing problem 

severe problem-greater than 



100 mg/L 
300 mg/L 



5 mg/L 

5-30 mg/L 

30 mg/L 



An algae bloom requires greater than 

(plus greater than .01 mg/L phosphorus) 
Warm water fish 



.30 mg/L 
90 mg/L 



Chinook salmon-96 hour tolerance 



1310 mg/L 







D 


J 


F 


M 


A 


M 


J 


J 


A 


S 










































I 

■n 













































82 






20 


.00 


9.9 


31 


.02 



° 


N 




J 


F 


M 


A 


M 


Jl j| A 

I I 


! 















































127 


.14 


203 


.40 





N 


D 


J 


F 


M 


A 


M 


J 


J 


A 


S 






























































































San Joaquin River System 



9.4 


30 


.01 


11.2 


41 


.02 



8.6 


34 


.01 


9.9 


46 


.04 



10.4 


37 




11.6 


96 





Hetch Hetchy Res 



79 


10 


.03 


9.5 


30 


.06 



8.6 




33 


.00 


9.9 


68 


.02 





8.1 


15 


.01 


11.0 


49 


.02 



9.6 


10 


.02 


10.6 


11 


.08 



11.3 


34 


.03 















8.0 


132 


.09 


11.3 


233 


.36 



7.2 


268 


.50 


10.4 


430 


.80 





8.0 


134 


.09 




11.0 


357 


.40 







8.3 


143 


.04 






11.3 


350 


.46 




Although early water quality con- 
trol programs emphasized the 
installation of sophisticated cen- 
tral sewage treatment systems, 
resistance to the construction of 
such expensive facilities is grow- 
ing in remote areas like the 
Bolinas Lagoon, where simpler 
alternative technologies may be 
more appropriate. The conflict, 
however, has created serious haz- 
ards for the public health in the 
communities of Bolinas and Stin- 
son Beach, which can be seen at 
the left and right sides respec- 
tively of this photograph. 




Bacteria are single-cell organisms found both in 
nature and in human wastes. Of major interest to 
sanitary engineers is the coliform group of bacteria, 
whose presence in very small amounts is a reliable 
indication of the extent of bacteriological treatment 
of waste water. Other bacteria are responsible for a 
variety of ailments, such as cholera, typhoid, para- 
typhoid, and dysentery. Protozoa are single-cell 
organisms ranging from 10 to 100 microns in dia- 
meter. The only known pathogen is the Endamoeba 
histolytica, which causes amoebic dysentery in 
tropical climates. Flukes that live in the bloodstream 
may, however, be passed into the water by contact 
with human feces and thus spread shistosomiasis, a 
disease afflicting the intestine, liver, and spleen. 

The earliest emphasis in American water quality 
control programs was placed upon the protection of 
public health through the treatment of domestic 
water supplies. Congress created the Public Health 
Service in 1901 to protect the public from waterborne 
diseases, and in 1912 the authority of this new 
agency was extended to include the control of pollu- 
tion in navigable streams. Enforcement of water 
quality standards, however, from 1912 to 1948, was 
left largely to the individual states. California 
responded in 1915 by creating its own Bureau of Sani- 
tary Engineering and requiring all suppliers of 
domestic drinking water to obtain permits from the 
bureau. The Legislature failed, however, to grant this 
new agency any enforcement power. Although the 
State Department of Fish and Game did establish a 
regulatory program to prohibit discharges that might 
be harmful to fish, the principal responsibility for the 
protection of water quality was left in large part to 
local initiative. 

As a result, California's major metropolitan areas 
pursued their own independent courses with respect 
to the development of sewage treatment facilities. 
Although sewer systems were common, communities 
such as San Diego and San Francisco continued to dis- 
charge untreated or minimally treated wastes into 
local bays and the ocean as late as the 1940s. Inland, 
the situation was even more chaotic. Upstream 
communities which shared a common stream had 
little incentive to undertake the costs of constructing 
sophisticated water treatment facilities because the 
effects of pollution were seldom experienced locally 
but instead troubled only the users downstream. The 
communities downstream in turn objected strenu- 
ously to having to build treatment systems to control 
the wastes of their neighbors. 



As California's urban population swelled in the 
1940s, a series of incidents dramatically demon- 
strated the consequences of this haphazard approach 
to water quality control. Shellfishing in San Francisco 
Bay was quarantined because of contamination of 
the fishery by municipal and industrial sewage. 
Fourteen miles of the beach near El Segundo were 
also closed as a result of grease building up along the 
shore. And in Montebello, the illegal dumping of 
industrial chemicals polluted the wells of three water 
companies and contaminated the principal ground- 
water recharge area for the region of Los Angeles. 

These and similar incidents prompted the Legisla- 
ture to establish the modern system of regional water 
quality control boards. The Dickey Act of 1949 
created nine regional boards with the authority to 
establish and enforce water quality standards within 
entire watersheds under the direction of a central 
state board. The Porter-Cologne Act of 1969 
expanded the supervisory and appelate powers of 
these boards and required the formulation of specific 
water quality objectives and plans for their achieve- 
ment for each of the regions they serve. 

From the 1950s forward, the basic framework for a 
coordinated approach to the state's water quality 
problems began to be set in place. The state govern- 
ment began offering grants to local agencies to sub- 
sidize the construction of new and improved sewage 
treatment facilities. A quarantine which the state 
Health Department imposed on San Diego Bay 
brought about a major renovation of that city's 
sewage treatment system. In Orange County, a 
county-wide sanitation district was formed in 1947 to 
bring an end to the dumping of raw municipal sewage 
into the ocean by numerous small towns and cities. In 
the San Francisco Bay Area, San Leandro, Oakland, 
Hayward, Ora Loma, and Castro Valley all installed 
primary treatment facilities by 1950. San Francisco 
stopped discharging all of its raw sewage into the Bay 
with the construction of the Sunset-Richmond 
primary treatment plant, although the fact that San 
Francisco's sewage and storm runoff systems are 
linked results in the continued discharge of untreated 
municipal sewage whenever heavy rains occur. 

Although California's approach to water quality 
control has in many respects provided models for 
similar efforts in other parts of the country, the prin- 
cipal authority over water quality programs has been 
increasingly assumed by the federal government. The 
Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 authorized 
federal assistance to states in the development of 



comprehensive programs to reduce pollution, and 
subsequent amendments to that act have greatly 
enhanced the availability of federal technical assist- 
ance, funding, and research. The creation of the 
federal Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and 
the adoption of a national water quality program in 
1972 established a systematic program for the control 
and reduction of water pollution backed up by 
unprecedented amounts of financing for the con- 
struction of pollution control works. And the Safe 
Drinking Water Act of 1974 gave the EPA the 
authority to establish and enforce guidelines for the 
achievement of minimum national water quality 
standards for every public water supply system serv- 
ing 25 people or more. 



METHODS OF CONTROL 

Most municipal water supplies are treated to 
provide safe, pleasant-tasting drinking water. The 
level of treatment required by federal standards, 
however, may not be sufficient to meet the criteria for 
certain industrial and other uses. Process water and 
water to be used in boilers, for example, often require 
further treatment of municipal supplies by industrial 
users. 

An important factor in water treatment processes 
is the source of water. Different sources have varying 
water quality characteristics which require different 
treatment operations. These characteristics can 
change seasonally or even daily. Well water, for 
example, may be hard because it has a higher concen- 
tration of dissolved minerals than surface supplies. 
River water may have many constituents that require 
treatment or removal, depending on the characteris- 
tics of the drainage basin and the amount of pollution 
added upstream by municipalities, industries, and 
agriculture. Although the quality of streamflow fluc- 
tuates according to the quantity of runoff available at 
any given point in the water year, lake and reservoir 
sources are also subject to seasonal quality changes 
due to temperature stratification. Usually the highest 
quality water comes from the middle depths of such 
a storage facility. Efforts to control the quality of 
water in a storage reservoir by adding chemicals to 
inhibit algal growth can, however, interfere with later 
treatment processes and harm the aquatic resources 
of the reservoir itself. 

The initial purpose of water treatment is to remove 
suspended material and kill possibly pathogenic 
organisms. The water is filtered either through sand 



THE 208 NON-POINT SOURCE 
CONTROL PROGRAM 



Under the Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 
1972, the federal government has provided extensive sub- 
sidies for the construction of sewage treatment facilities to 
combat the effects of point source pollution. Section 208 of 
the Act also included a systematic program for dealing with 
non-point source degradation of water quality. Non-point 
sources of water pollution include drainage and runoff from 
some agricultural activities, erosion from logging practices, 
mine drainage, saltwater intrusion, the effects of hydro- 
logic modifications such as reduced streamflow due to dams 
and diversion facilities, and the effects of water runoff from 
urban centers which include constituents resulting from 
the fertilization of home gardens, landfills, and the grease, 
oil, and asbestos which accumulate on streets and high- 
ways. 

Section 208 requires each state to develop a plan to con- 
trol non-point source pollution in order to achieve man- 
dated clean water levels by 1983. Each state plan will identi- 
fy the so-called Best Management Practices for various 
types of land use which will cause the least degradation to 
water quality. Regulatory and planning agencies at the 
federal, state, and local levels are responsible for developing 
and implementing these plans, and once the plans have been 
approved by the United States Environmental Protection 
Agency, the regulatory agencies will in turn be responsible 
for their enforcement. 

The success of the 208 non-source point program de- 
pends upon cooperation among the many public and private 
interests that would be involved in the adoption and imple- 
mentation of the plans. Data on the full extent of the cause 
and effect of non-point source pollution, however, have 
been lacking, and some advocates of 208 planning complain 
that the federal government has failed to provide sufficient 
guidance or funding for the development and implementa- 
tion of the plans required by the Act. Nevertheless, increas- 
ing recognition of the importance of non-point source pol- 
lution seems to assure that similar cooperative approaches 
to the problems of enforcement will become an important 
part of water quality control programs in the future. 



98 




Sewage Treatment Facilities 



Capacities,Treatment Standards & Volumes, 1975 



Disposal of Liquid Effluents 


Numbers refer to outfall code 


on 


Facilities List. 


1 


Outfall to surface waters 


2 


Ocean outfall 


3 


Holding pond 


4 


Deep well 


5 


Ground water recharge 


6 


Other land disposal 


7 


Recycling and reuse 


8 


Septic tank field 


9 


Other 



Numbers at left of column refer to map, 
and increase from north to south. 



outfall code 
location 




9 


Grass Valley WWTF 


Grass Valley 


13 


10 


N Tahoe Joint WWTF 


Tahoe Vista 


69 


11 


Ukiah STP 


Ukiah 


13 


12 


NW Clearlake WWTF 


Lake County 


61 


13a 


Marysville STP 


Marysville 


358 


13b 


Linda STP 


Marysville 


56 


14 


South WRF 


Yuba City 


3 


15 


Olivehurst STP 


Olivehurst 


1 


16 


S Lake Tahoe WRF 


S Lake Tahoe 


6 


17 


Rsvle-Rocklin-Loomis WWTF Roseville 


1 


18a 


Woodland Domestic WWTF Woodland 


13 


18b 


Woodland Industrial WWTF Woodland 


13 


19 


Northeast WWTF 


Carmichael 


19 


20a 


Meadowview WWTF 


Sacramento 


19 


20b 


Sacto Regional WWTF 


Sacramento 


167 


20c 


Main WWTF 


Sacramento 


19 


20d 


Sanitation District No. 6 


Sacramento 


19 


20e 


Arden Sanitary District 


Sacramento 


1 


21 


Cordova WWTF Rancho Cordova 


19 


22a 


Central Plant 


Davis 


1 


22b 


Davis Campus WWTF 


Davis 


1 


23 


W Sacramento WWTF 


W Sacramento 


1 


24a 


West College STP 


Santa Rosa 


137 


24 b 


Laguna STP 


Santa Rosa 


137 


25 


Rohnert Park WWTF 


Rohnert Park 


19 


26 


Easterly WWTF 


Vacaville 


71 


27 


Napa SD Ponds 


Napa 


1 


28 


Sonoma Valley WWTF 


Sonoma 


16 


29 


Petaluma WPCF 


Petaluma 


1 


30 


Fairfield-Suisun Regnl WWTF Fairfield 


136 


31 


White Slough WPCF 


Lodi 


16 


32 


Vallejo WWTF 


Vallejo 


1 


33a 


Novato STP 


Novato 


91 


33b 


Ignacio STP 


Novato 


9 


34 


Montezuma STP 


Pittsburg 


19 


35 


Pinole STP 


Pinole 


19 


36 


Central Contra Costa SD STP Martinez 


17 


37 


Antioch WWTF 


Antioch 


19 


38a 


Las Gallinas Valley WWTF San Rafael 


19 


38b 


San Rafael SD WWTF 


San Rafael 


9 


39a 


Main WQCF 


Stockton 


19 


39b 


North WQCF 


Stockton 


1 


40 


San Pablo WPCF 


San Pablo 


1 


41 


Sanitation District 1 STP 


Greenbrae 


1 


42 


Richmond WPCF 


Richmond 


1 


43 


Mill Valley WWTF 


Mill Valley 


1 


44 


Sausalito-Marin City STP Sausalito 


1 


45 


East Bay MUD STP 


Oakland 


1 


46a 


Southeast Plant No. 2 


San Francisco 


1 


46b 


North Point WPCF 


San Francisco 


9 


46c 


Richmond-Sunset WPCF San Francisco 


29 


47 


Manteca WQCF 


Manteca 


6 


48 


Oakdale WWTF 


Oakdale 


39 


49 


San Leandro WPCF 


San Leandro 


1 


50 


Ripon Sewage Facilities 


Ripon 


13 


51 


Tracy WPCF 


Tracy 


1 


52 


Oro Loma-CV. WWTF 


Castro Valley 


19 


53 


VCSD STP 


Dublin 


19 


54 


North San Mateo WWTF 


Daly City 


2 


55 


Riverbank STP 


Riverbank 


9 


56 


Hayward STP 


Hayward 


1 


57 


Livermore WRF 


Livermore 


169 


58 


Sunol STP 


Pieasanton 


369 


59 


Sharp Park WWTF 


Pacifica 


2 


60 


S S.F.-Sn Bruno WWTFS Sn Francisco 


1 


61 


Modesto WQCF 


Modesto 


1 


62 


Millbrae-Madrone WWTF 


Millbrae 


1 


63 


Alvarado Plant 


Union City 


1 


64 


Burlingame WWTF 


Burlingame 


1 


65 


Mammoth WWTF Mammoth Lakes 


35 


66 


Hughson WWTF 


Hughson 


3 


67 


San Mateo WQCF 


San Mateo 


1 


68 


Foster City WWTF 


Foster City 


29 


69 


Redwood City WPCF 


Redwood City 


91 


70 


San Carlos-Belmont WWTF San Carlos 


91 


71 


Menlo Park STP 


Menlo Park 


19 


72 


Palo Alto STP 


Palo Alto 


19 


73 


Turlock WQCF 


Turlock 


1 


74 


Patterson STP 


Patterson 


1 


75 


Sunnyvale STP 


Sunnyvale 


19 


76 


Bishop STP 


Bishop 


6 


77 


Atwater WWTF 


Atwater 


1 


78 


San Jose WWTF 


San Jose 


19 


79 


Merced WWTF 


Merced 


16 


80 


Gustine STP 


Gustine 


356 


81 


Chowchilla WWTF 


Chowchilla 


356 


82 


Los Banos STP 


Los Banos 


16 


83 


Capitola-Aptos WWTF 


Aptos 


29 


84 


Gilroy WWTF 


Gilroy 


93 


85 


Santa Cruz STP 


Santa Cruz 


2 



86 


Madera STP 


Madera 


3 


87 


WWTF No. 1 


Watsonville 


19 


88 


Municipal WWTF 


Hollister 


53 


89 


Fresno WPCF 


Fresno 


356 


90 


Sanger WWTF 


Sanger 


1 


91a 


Salinas WWTF No. 1 


Salinas 


19 


91b 


Salinas Industrial WWTF Salinas 


169 


91c 


Salinas WWTF 


Salinas 


19 


92 


Pacific Grove STP 


Pacific Grove 


29 


93 


WPCF Seaside-Sand City 


19 


94 


Reedly WWTF 


Reedly 


6 


95 


Monterey Collection System Monterey 


29 


96 


Carmel WPCF 


Carmel 


2 


97 


Dinuba WWTF 


Dinuba 


36 


98 


Hanford WWTF 


Hanford 


36 


99 


Visalia WWTF 


Visalia 


1 


100 


King City WWTF 


King City 


6 


101 


Tulare STP 


Tulare 


36 


102 


Porterville WWTF 


Porterville 


56 


103 


Delano Plant No. 1 


Delano 


9 


104 


El Paso de Robles WWTF Paso Robles 


1 


105a 


Bakersfield WWTF No. 


2 Bakersfield 


63 


105b 


N. of River SD Plant No. 1 Bakersfield 


6 


105c 


Bakersfield WWTF 


Bakersfield 


6 


105d 


Bakersfield WWTF No. 


3 Bakersfield 


5 


105e 


Bakersfield WWTF No. 


1 Bakersfield 


639 


106 


Morro Bay-Cuycos 


Morro Bay 


26 


107 


S. L. Obispo WWTF 


San Luis Obispo 


136 


108 


S San Luis Obispo WWTF Oceano 


2 


109a 


Santa Maria STP 


Santa Maria 


3769 


109b 


Laguna County SD WWTF Santa Maria 


163 


110 


Barstow WWTF 


Barstow 


57 


111 


District 14 WRF 


Lancaster 


19 


112 


Victor Valley Regnl WWTF Oro Grande 


5 


113 


Lompoc WPCF 


Lompoc 


13 


114 


District 20 WRF 


Palmdale 


67 


115 


Goleta SD WWTF 


Goleta 


2 


116 


Santa Barbara WWTF 


Santa Barbara 


2 


117 


District 26 WRF 


Saugus 


1 


118 


Carpenteria STP 


Carpenteria 


2 


119 


Oak View Sewerage System Oak View 


13 


120 


District 32 WRF 


Valencia 


1 


121 


Santa Paula WRF 


Santa Paula 


81 


122 


Eastside WRF 


Ventura 


1 


123 


Simi Valley WWTF 


Simi Valley 


1 


124 


Camarillo WWTF 


Camarillo 


16 


125 


Oxnard STP 


Oxnard 


2 


126 


Hill Canyon WWTF 


Thousand Oaks 


13 


127 


Port Hueneme STP 


Port Hueneme 


2 


128 


San Bernardino WWTF San Bernardino 


16 


129 


Regional WWTF No. 3 


Fontana 


5 


130 


Tapia WRF 


Calabasas 


167 


131 


Burbank WRF 


Burbank 


19 


132 


Rialto STP 


Rialto 


15 


133 


Whittier Narrows WRF 


El Monte 


1 


134 


Colton Wastewater Facilities Colton 


15 


135 


Redlands WWTF 


Redlands 


1 


136 


Hyperion STP 


Los Angeles 


29 


137 


Pomona WRF 


Pomona 


1 


138 


Rubidoux WPCF 


Rubidoux 


169 


139 


Riverside WQCF 


Riverside 


1 


140 


Regional WWTF No. 2 


Chino 


1567 


141 


San Jose Creek WRF 


Whittier 


15 


142 


Corona WRF 


Corona 


351 


143 


Palm Springs WRF 


Palm Springs 


1356 


144 


Joint WPCF 


Carson 


2 


145 


Los Coyotes WRF 


Cerritos 


1 


146 


Hemet-San Jacinto WRF San Jacinto 


56 


147 


Long Beach WRF 


Long Beach 


15 


148 


Terminal Island WWTF 


Los Angeles 


29 


149 


Valley Sanitation District WWTF Indio 


15 


150 


WWTF No. 1 


Fountain Valley 


25 


151 


Coachella WWTF 


Coachella 


16 


152 


WWTF No. 2 Huntington Beach 


2 


153 


Irvine WWTF 


Irvine 


457 


154 


Laguna Beach STP 


Laguna Beach 


29 


155a 


Subregional STP 


Laguna Niguel 


76 


155b 


Coastal Treatment Plant Laguna Niguel 


2 


156 


SER System San Juan Capistrano 


2 


157 


San Clemente WRF 


San Clemente 


2 


158a 


Buena Vista STP 


Oceanside 


9 


158b 


San Luis Rey STP 


Oceanside 


2356 


158c 


La Salina STP 


Oceanside 


179 


159 


Carlsbad WPCF 


Carlsbad 


2 


160 


Hale Avenue WQCF 


Escondido 


259 


161 


San Elijo Joint Facilities Cardiff 


23 


162 


Brawl ey STP 


Brawley 


1 


163 


El Centra WPCF 


El Centra 


1 


164 


Point Loma STP 


San Diego 


2 


165 


Calexico STP 


Calexico 


1 



Abbreviations 

Municipal Utility District 
Public Utility District 
Sanitation District 
Sewage Treatment Plant 
Water Pollution Control Facility 
Water Quality Control Facility 
Water Reclamation Facility 
Wastewater Treatment Facility 



The great quantities of sediment 
occurring as effluents into the 
ocean from the urban and indus- 
trial centers of the South Coast 
have been chromatically enhanced 
in the satellite image below. 



or activated charcoal and, if necessary, treated 
chemically to remove unwanted constituents such 
as iron. It is then sterilized by chlorination or by 
exposing it to ultraviolet lights. While the goal of 
water treatment is to change the characteristics of 
water to meet certain use requirements, the purpose 
of sewage treatment is to remove organic and other 
material that may deplete the quantity of dissolved 
oxygen and thereby bring on septic conditions in 
receiving waters. Like water treatment, sewage treat- 
ment methodology is dependent upon the composi- 
tion of the sewage received. 

Sewage treatment is classified into three levels: 
primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary treatment 
removes trash, oils, and other solids. The sewage is 
first screened to remove sticks, rags, and other large 
items. The fluid is then passed into basins where sus- 
pended solids are settled out. At this point the sewage 
leaves the primary treatment phase. Although many 
plants discharge disinfected primary effluents, this 
practice is changing under the Federal Water Pollu- 
tion Control Act. If further treatment is required, the 
effluent is usually pumped to another portion of the 
plant for secondary treatment. 

Secondary treatment removes many of the remain- 
ing biological and chemical impurities. Treatment 



begins by aerating the sewage to increase the amount 
of oxygen and hasten the natural breakdown of 
organic wastes. This part of the treatment process is 
biochemical in nature; microorganisms do most of the 
work. The sewage is then placed in basins or ponds 
where the decomposed organic materials — known as 
sludge — are allowed to settle out. The remaining 
water is given chlorine or ozone treatment to elimi- 
nate bacteria before it is discharged. The remaining 
sludge is converted into methane gas, water, and a 
heavy humus-like material through a process known 
as sludge digestion. Sludge may also be burned or 
used for landfill or compost. 

Primary and secondary treatments are generalized 
processes. Tertiary treatment, in contrast, varies 
according to the specific constituents that are to be 
removed. Tertiary treatment most often involves the 
removal of nutrients. Nutrients provide food for 
aquatic plants and algae and aid in the eutrophication 
of water bodies. Several methods of nutrient removal 
are available. One process begins with nitrification. 
Water is aerated to convert ammonia to nitrites and 
then to nitrates. In the next step in the process, called 
denitrification, methyl alcohol is added to the solution 
which helps bacteria to convert nitrates into nitrogen 
gases. Phosphorus can be precipitated out of solution 




by adding lime to the effluent. Viruses are removed 
by filtration. The resulting water is disinfected and 
then either discharged to water bodies or reused for 
certain purposes. 

Wastewater treatment is a more efficient method 
of protecting downstream uses than additional treat- 
ment at the next point of use. Wastewater treatment 
can also be considered a method of water conserva- 
tion. California, however, currently reclaims only 
about 190,000 acre-feet of water each year through 
formal reclamation projects. The amount of inciden- 
tal reclamation — where water is used, treated, and 
then returned to a water course for reuse down- 
stream — is unknown but believed to be substantial. 
The inertia against development of this resource 
stems from the lack of a clear concept of who will 
utilize reclaimed water, restrictions based on the 
assumed "staying power" of certain pollutants such as 
heavy metals, water rights laws, a preoccupation with 
the fact that agricultural needs exceed the amount of 
water that could be reclaimed, the tendency to persist 
in accustomed habits, and the lower cost of fresh 
water as opposed to the economies of reclamation. 
The Office of Water Recycling, established by Gover- 
nor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 1977, is currently 
attempting to overcome these obstacles in order to 
reclaim an additional 400,000 acre-feet per year by 
1982. 

The science of water quality treatment is changing 
rapidly and technological advances have introduced 
new approaches to treatment and revealed new areas 
of concern. The most virulent waterborne diseases 
have been all but eradicated in California, for 
example, while concern for the largely unknown, 
long-term effects of pesticides on human health is 
growing. The emphasis in California's programs was 
originally placed upon the control of effluents from 
specific sources and the removal of specific contam- 
inants. As these approaches have progressed, non- 
point sources of pollution and the control of trace 
elements such as heavy metals are receiving greater 
attention. These new areas of activity, in turn, have 
required the development of new methods which are 
not so dependent upon structural solutions to the 
problem of pollution. 

The trend now is toward source control and non- 
structural solutions which seek to get at the source of 
a problem by changing the practices which cause it 
rather than simply treating the waste product. Water 
pollution from some agricultural practices can be 
reduced, for example, by altering irrigation and tillage 
techniques and by controlling the amount of pesti- 
cides and nitrogen fertilizers applied. Similarly, 
erosion and sedimentation from logging operations 
can be restricted by not harvesting timber adjacent to 
streams. The implementation of these new 
approaches, moreover, depends upon cooperation 
between individual industries, state, and local 
agencies instead of the traditional methods of regula- 
tion and enforcement. 

In addition, governmental agencies today are 
exploring alternative methods for the treatment of 
domestic waste through wastewater reclamation, 
sprinkler irrigation, and the use of septic tanks. An 
estimated 12 percent of the housing units in 
California are currently served by septic tanks or 
other home-site waste management systems. 
Although governmental water quality control pro- 
grams have traditionally emphasized the construc- 
tion of centralized sewer systems, there is growing 
support today for further experimentation with these 
so-called on-site waste management techniques as a 
less expensive alternative to sewer construction in 
rural areas. 

A field of expertise that is developing as rapidly as 
water quality control depends ultimately upon the 
continuous monitoring of the constituents of water 
quality. Although a relatively expensive activity, con- 
tinuous monitoring provides the means of identify- 
ing developing trends and changes in water quality so 
that necessary corrective measures can be taken in 
advance. Through monitoring, for example, scientists 
have learned that some of the chemical compounds 
formed in early water treatment processes may them- 
selves be carcinogens. Similarly, monitoring has 
revealed that airborne pollutants can be an 
important factor in the protection of natural water 
bodies such as Lake Tahoe and that air and water 
quality control programs should consequently be 
linked. Monitoring has thus become an essential part 
of water planning in California and increasing atten- 
tion to the relationships between land and water 
resource planning helps to assure that fewer remedial 
measures will need to be adopted in the future. 




—, 



CHAPTER 11 



Unresolved Questions for 
the Future 



The preceding sections of this volume have each 
identified problems for the future which rise to signifi- 
cance in relation to the individual topics treated and the 
expertise of the authors involved. This section will not 
seek to separate from this multitude of issues those 
that seem really important in the view of this author; 
nor will it attempt to prognosticate the future of water 
development in California. The intent of this section is 
to identify instead those questions related to water 
which seem to loom largest for the state as a whole, at 
least in 1978. The risk of such an undertaking is great. 
It is doubtful, for example, that any but the most far- 
sighted water developers in 1880 would have predicted 
that the problems of urban water supply would have 
assumed the urgency they obtained by 1900. Similarly, 
few people in 1950 foresaw the influence that the costs 
of energy supply have come to exercise over the eco- 
nomics of water delivery in the 1970s. The risk, there- 
fore, is that this piece too may become simply an 
historical curiosity 20 years from now, of interest prin- 
cipally for the things it left out or the problems it failed 
to foresee. 

On the other hand, many of the great water systems 
we have built in California and the institutional ar- 
rangements we have erected to manage the business of 
water today were designed, for the most part, to resolve 
problems that had already been identified in the 
nineteenth century. Inflation, a greater awareness of 
environmental considerations, and a host of other 
factors, however, are changing the rules by which 
water development proceeded in the past. As a result, 
many of the problems that concern us most today have 
simply not been raised before now. The development of 
water quality protection programs since the 1950s 
provides the most prominent example of a new range of 
concerns that have been addressed by later additions to 
the water supply and delivery systems we have built. 
The questions for the future of our relationship with 
the water environment are consequently legion, and 
only time, hard work, and the involvement of an 
informed public will tell what answers we will find. 

ELEMENTS OF DEMAND 

One thing that has not changed is the expectation 
that our demand for additional water supplies will con- 
tinue to increase. California's population is projected to 
increase to a level of approximately 29 million by the 
year 2000. In addition, the increasing complexity of the 
social, economic, and technological aspects of our cul- 
ture can be expected to intensify demands for water 
use. 

Southern California in particular has experienced a 
phenomenal rate of population and economic growth 
in the last 50 years, despite the fact that water supplies 
in this entire area from local streams and groundwater 
sources are not nearly adequate to support so great a 
demand for water. These needs were met by massive 
importations of water, first from the Owens Valley, 
then from the Colorado River, and today through 
deliveries from the State Water Project. The United 
States Supreme Court decree in Arizona v. California 
reduced California's apportionment of Colorado River 
water by approximately one million acre-feet. This 
reduction will not take full effect, however, until the 
completion of the Central Arizona Project by the Uni- 
ted States Bureau of Reclamation sometime after 



Salt marshes and mudflats off Palo Alto 




101 



Irrigation Methods and Crop Acreage, 1972 



Acreage ■ 5,000 acres employing the same irrigation method 

□ 2,000-4,999 acres employing the same irrigation method 
O Less than 2,000 acres employing the same irrigation method 



Methods of 
Irrigation 



Surface Irrigation, Wild Flood 
Surface Irrigation, Border 
Surface Irrigation, Basin 



Surface Irrigation, Furrow 

Sprinkler Irrigation, Solid Set, 

Hand Move, or Mechanical Move 



Drip Irrigation 
Sub Irrigation 



In areas where only one symbol is present, the total irrigated acreage is 
under 5,000, and only the dominant irrigation method has been shown. 



9> 



c 
c 

■S 

Q. 



(4 
(0 
OQ 

s 
i 



Klamath River 



Sacramento River 



Sacramento- 
San Joaquin Delta 




San Joaau n River ■■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■■ 

oau uuanuiii niver ■■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■■ 

■■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■■ 



Kings Kern Rivers- 
Tula re Lake 



North High- 
Desert Lahontan 



South High- 
Desert Lahontan 



West Low-Desert 
Colorado River 



East Low-Desert 
Colorado River 



Santa Ana River 



San Diego River 



Crops 



&* 
^ 












• 



<r 



4r 



f 









** 






cr^ 



0** 



J? 



<& 




The grain fields in the photograph at top are an example of dry 
farming in the Montezuma Hills. In the lower photograph, 
irrigation water enters the furrows of a field south of Dixon. 



IRRIGATION METHODS 



The selection of the various irrigation methods used in 
different areas in California is determined in large part by 
the cost, availability, and quality of the water used; drain- 
age, ground slope, and the quality, texture, and depth of the 
soil; and the type of crop being grown. Border check irriga- 
tion, whereby water is directed across a field by parallel 
earth dikes, is the most prevalent method and has devel- 
oped in areas where the topography is flat and water is 
available cheaply and in abundance. Although a less effi- 
cient method of irrigation in terms of water use, this type 
flood irrigation is usually the least expensive method where 
water is readily available at costs often dollars per acre-foot 
or less. Rice is usually irrigated by contour checks and 
border check irrigation is used in some parts of California 
for almost all types of crops including orchards and vine- 
yards. 

Furrow irrigation is a variation of flood irrigation in 
which the water is confined to narrow furrows rather than 
wide border checks. Furrow irrigation is used for row crops, 
orchards, and vineyards where the ground slopes less than 
two percent, the soils are fine textured, and the crops them- 
selves would be drowned if flooded. 

Sprinkler irrigation systems are generally used under 
conditions in which flood or furrow irrigation cannot be 
applied efficiently, as in areas where the soil is sandy, the 
ground slopes more than three percent, and water is expen- 
sive and available only in limited quantities. Sprinklers are 
also required, however, to deal with specialized problems 
such as frost control, leaching, or where crops are being 
planted on ungraded land. Sprinkler irrigation methods 
usually require less water and less labor than border check 
or furrow irrigation, but the initial investment for installa- 
tion is higher. 

Drip irrigation is the most efficient in terms of water use 
because the system delivers small quantities of water con- 
tinuously and directly to the root zones of the plants being 
grown. In some instances, water can be reduced by one- 
third or more with drip irrigation, lower quality water can 
be used, and crop yields are increased. The installation and 
maintenance costs of drip irrigation systems, however, are 
high and this method is used on orchard, vineyard, and 
truck crops but not field crops. 



1985. Contracts for the delivery of two million acre- 
feet from the State Water Project will more than make 
up for this reduction. 

Although the most immediate problems of water 
supply for Southern California and the protection of 
water quality in the Colorado seem to have been met, 
numerous questions remain for the years ahead. The 
State Water Project has contractual commitments to 
provide water service in the future that exceed its 
present supply by a considerable margin. Additional 
development will therefore be needed to firm up these 
commitments. On the Colorado, although the upper 
basin states have not as yet used all of their compact 
rights to the river, accelerated development of the 
extensive oil shale and coal deposits in this area could 
create water quality problems all the way down to the 
mouth of the river unless existing laws are enforced. A 
question of even greater potential effect is posed by 
the claims of various Indian tribes to portions of the 
flow of the Colorado, a concern which applies equally 
to virtually all the rivers on which California depends. 

Even though 85 percent of California's people live in 
cities, about 85 percent of the state's total water supply 
is used for agriculture. California has been the nation's 
leading agricultural state for each of the past 25 years. 
Today California has more irrigated acreage and pro- 
duces a wider variety of commercial crops than any 
other state. Agriculture in California currently pours 
out a cornucopia of wealth worth some $9 billion a 
year. When these commodities are processed, stored, 
transported, and marketed, another $18 to $20 billion 
is added to California's economy. Irrigated agriculture 
provides a uniformity of quantity and quality of output 
and, thus, a degree of economic stability, that cannot 
be matched by the rain-fed agriculture of the Mid- 
Western and Eastern United States. Irrigation allows 
the production of a wider variety of crops with the 
result that California's agricultural industry can 
respond more readily to changes in market demands. 
Irrigation also permits an intensity of land use that 
surpasses that of any rain-fed producing region. 

Agriculture is like water in that both are annually 
renewable resources so long as they are managed prop- 
erly. Otherwise, deterioration follows. In recent years, 
however, hundreds of thousands of acres of prime farm 
land have been forever lost to the expansion of large and 
small cities in the south coastal area of Southern Cali- 
fornia, San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno, Modesto, and 
Davis. It is currently estimated that 20,000 acres of irri- 
gated land are converted to urban uses every year in 
California. 

The problem is one of significance to consumers 
throughout the United States, especially to the extent 
that urban expansion affects those agricultural regions 
which produce two-thirds or more of the total national 
supply of a given crop. These crops in which California 
has virtually a monopoly position in the national market 
include lettuce, broccoli, garlic, artichokes, Brussels 
sprouts, grapes, plums, lemons, almonds, walnuts, 
olives, avocados, apricots, figs, dates, and ladino clover 
seed. Most of these crops require special climatic and 
soil conditions, and urban expansion in such areas could 
consequently reduce production and increase costs for 
the consumer. In addition, with millions of people living 
in concentrated areas, air quality in some of the agricul- 
tural regions located adjacent to large urban centers has 
deteriorated to the point that the productivity and qual- 
ity of some crops have been reduced. If this situation 
continues to worsen in the future, the market may be 
forced to accept the substitution of crops which are 
more tolerant of air pollution. State policy is lacking, 
however, with respect to these specialized crop situa- 
tions and future action on these questions or the lack 
thereof will affect all consumers of these commodities 
throughout the country. 

A second threat to agricultural productivity, which is 
also growing worse each year, is posed by the deteriora- 
tion of soil quality due to waterlogging and soil salinity. 
The continued application of fertilizers and irrigation 
water, which usually contains some mineral salts, 
results in a buildup of salts in the soil and an accumula- 
tion of saline groundwater near the soil surface. These 
conditions reduce the quantity and quality of crop pro- 
duction. The remedy is drainage, whereby the salts can 
be leached out and carried away and the water table 
lowered. Irrigated croplands that slope usually drain 
adequately, but lands located in flat areas, especially 
lands lying in the trough or lowest parts of a valley, may 
have little or no natural drainage. These areas will even- 
tually go out of production if drainage is not provided. 

The state's most endangered area in this regard is the 
San Joaquin Valley, where upwards of 400,000 acres 
could be lost by the end of this century. Salts and salty 



water threaten the productivity of the soils, endanger 
the valley's groundwater basins, and degrade surface 
water supplies in the San Joaquin River. At the level of 
development predicted to occur by 1990, about three 
million tons of new salts will be added to the valley floor 
each year, mostly on irrigated lands. Approximately 1.1 
million acres, or nearly 25 percent of the irrigated land 
in the valley, possess the potential of developing saline 
drainage problems. 

Although a master drain has been proposed to carry 
salts out of the valley through a canal extending along 
the length of the valley trough from a point west of 
Bakersfield to a final point of discharge in the tidal 
waters contiguous to San Francisco Bay, the financial 
and institutional obstacles to development of this 
project have thus far proven insurmountable. To avoid 
degrading usable water supplies with saline water or 
adversely affecting fish and wildlife resources, the point 
of discharge for such a drain would have to be carefully 
chosen. Although the ocean, with its vast assimilative 
capacity to absorb poor quality water, seems the most 
logical physical solution, the cost of transporting saline 
waters from inland valleys directly to the ocean is 
enormous. Short of that, any other receiving waters 
such as the Delta, would probably be adversely affected 
unless the draining waters were treated first to a quality 
equal to that of the water already in the Delta. Thus, 
while the implementation of a valley-wide salt manage- 
ment system with the master drain as its central feature 
has been delayed by financial, institutional, and political 
problems, the need for drainage continues to increase. 

GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT 

The future productivity of the San Joaquin Valley is 
further threatened by the problem of overdraft of its 
groundwater supply, which could eventually remove 
large amounts of the valley's land from crop production 
if some kind of rescue action is not taken. Although 
there are numerous instances of groundwater over- 
draft occurring throughout the state, the situation is 
most serious in the San Joaquin Valley, where the 
extent of overdraft has reached 1.5 million acre-feet in 
years of normal precipitation. 

The problems of groundwater management are com- 
plicated by a lack of clarity in the legal principles govern- 
ing groundwater extractions and the competition 
among pumpers. Questions about groundwater apply 
both to the nature of the groundwater right and to the 
possible limitations upon this right which might be 
imposed in order to develop effective management of 
the total groundwater resource. The decision of the 
California Supreme Court in 1975 in City of Los Angeles v. 
City of San Fernando largely destroyed the utility of the 
"mutual prescription" doctrine under which the rights 
of groundwater pumpers in overdrafted groundwater 
basins had been decided on the basis of historical usage 
by the pumpers. In principle it remains possible to 
return to concepts developed by the court at the 
beginning of the twentieth century, according to which 
pumpers overlying a groundwater basin and using 
water on land they owned would have the first prefer- 
ence and others would be treated as appropriators of 
groundwater bound by the principle of "first in time, 
first in right." 

These concepts are easy to state, but in basins with 
heavy groundwater pumping at a wide range of loca- 
tions and for a diversity of purposes/these concepts 
may be difficult if not impossible to apply in practice. 
Another approach, suggested indirectly by the court's 
opinion in the San Fernando ease, is to allocate ground- 
water pumping rights on the basis of the doctrine of 
"equitable apportionment." This doctrine, frequently 
used by the United States Supreme Court in resolving 
conflicts between states, provides a flexible means for 
courts to take into account a broad range of factors in 
order to reach a just result in particular controversies. 

Whatever doctrine is used to allocate groundwater 
pumping rights after the San Fernando decision, it 
remains clear that the judiciary could premise any 
adjudication of groundwater rights upon the notion of 
"safe yield." In overdrafted basins the aggregate of 
pumping would have to be reduced in order to return 
that basin to some balance between extractions and 
average annual replenishment. It also appears to be 
clear that under the established precedents, such cut- 
backs would not entitle present or potential pumpers to 
compensation for their losses. 

Safe yield adjudication provides one means for 
achieving effective groundwater management. In sev- 
eral Southern California adjudications of this type, the 
parties engaged in elaborate negotiations to reach set- 
tlements based upon stipulated judgments. These 

103 



The rich agricultural productivity 
of the Delta farmlands, indicated 
in the photograph at right by red 
colors, contrasts dramatically with 
the unirrigated land on the op- 
posite bank of the Sacramento 
River. Rio Vista can be seen in 
the upper right quarter of the 
photograph and the San Joaquin 
River enters from the lower right 
corner. 



judgments establish relatively sophisticated manage- 
ment programs for the particular groundwater basins 
in question. These programs, however, have been made 
possible by the fact that the basins involved are 
relatively isolated, and in every instance supplemental 
surface waters have been available to replace waters no 
longer available from under the ground. The focus of 
these negotiations consequently has been upon means 
for paying for the more expensive supplemental surface 
water, not upon deciding who should receive less water. 

In considering means for bringing effective ground- 
water management to other areas of California, adjudi- 
cation may be of limited utility. Particularly with regard 
to the badly overdrafted areas in the southern half of 
the San Joaquin Valley, it has been recognized that the 
basins are related to each other, that supplemental sur- 
face water is not readily available, and that the number 
of groundwater pumpers may make groundwater 
rights adjudication entirely impractical. An important 
question in this context is whether proposed projects 
for importing water to the San Joaquin Valley can be 
made to correct such overdrafts before bringing new 
lands under irrigation. If, on the other hand, the cost of 
providing new water supplies continues to increase at 
its current rate, agriculture by the end of the century 
may be unable economically to compete for these addi- 
tional supplies, and even some urban areas may find 
them too expensive, with the result that a portion of 
agriculture's existing supplies could be transferred to 
urban uses. 

A report by the Governor's Commission to Review 
California Water Rights Law in 1978 recommended 
that emphasis be placed upon development of nonad- 
judicatory means for the effective management of the 
groundwater resource through the development of a 
statewide groundwater policy. The commission recom- 
mended a process by which local governments would 
develop groundwater management programs within 
the context of state groundwater policy. The commis- 
sion suggested that such a process would be useful in 
protecting the local and statewide interests in proper 
groundwater management, both in deficit basins 
plagued by problems of overdraft, water quality degra- 
dation and subsidence, and in nondeficit basins where 
groundwater surpluses may exist and may serve to 
meet deficits elsewhere in the state. 

THE DELTA 

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta lies at the center 
of almost all discussions of California's future water 
supply. What is so important about it? Why should 
700,000 acres — less than one percent of the total area of 
California — have such a major influence on our future? 

The Delta lies in that area where the Sacramento and 
San Joaquin rivers meet to discharge over 40 percent of 
the state's natural runoff into the eastern part of San 
Francisco Bay. As a result, whatever affects the Delta in 
one way or another tends to influence much of our total 
water resource. And the reverse is also true, for what- 
ever affects water elsewhere in the state sooner or 
later is felt in the Delta. This was never more apparent 
than in 1977 when California was short on water and 
long on perplexing water issues. Probably one of the 
biggest stumbling blocks to resolution of the tangle of 
Delta problems is the enormous complexity of the 
issues involved and the manner in which each ties in 
tightly with another. This is the case whether it is a 
matter of preserving the fishery, maintaining a usable 
supply of water for Delta farms and industries, or mak- 
ing certain that enough good quality water is available 
to meet delivery commitments to contracting water 
agencies elsewhere in California. Solving one problem 
depends on solving some others. And there is a multi- 
plicity of interests and overlapping jurisdictions — 
federal, state, county, regional, local, and private — 
which have a stake in the well-being of the Delta. 

The Delta has had problems ever since the 1860s, 
when Delta farmers began to suffer from the vast 
amounts of debris that were being swept down the riv- 
ers from the upstream hydraulic mining sites. Once a 
vast marshland, much of the Delta today has been 
reclaimed for rich agricultural lands, producing crops 
worth over $300 million a year. This land, some of it as 
much as 20 feet below sea level, consists of almost 60 
islands protected by aging levees from over 700 miles of 
meandering waterways. When the flow of fresh water 
through the Delta is substantially decreased by up- 
stream diversions or by natural conditions, it is replaced 
by salt water from San Francisco Bay. This saline 
intrusion adversely affects the farmers and other Delta 
industries which take their water directly from the 
waterways. 



Saline intrusion in the Delta does not only affect 
human enterprise, for in addition to agriculture, the 
Delta provides a major habitat for many kinds of wild- 
life. The Suisun Marsh, located in the western part of 
the Delta and the largest area not under agricultural 
production, is the winter home for millions of water- 
fowl of the Pacific Flyway. Because of upstream water 
diversions, the diking of natural waterways, the uncer- 
tainties of nature during periods of low Delta outflow, 
and poor management techniques, the marsh during 
some years has become dependent on releases of water 
from upstream storage to sustain the plants on which 
the wildfowl feed. In addition, over half of California's 
anadromous fish, such as striped bass and salmon which 
live in the ocean but travel to fresh water to spawn, are 
dependent on the waters of the Delta. They need posi- 
tive downstream water flows and a salinity gradient 
where they can make a gradual change from salt water 
to fresh water and back in order to migrate successfully. 
And, because of the abundant fish and wildlife, and the 
scenic lands and waterways, the Delta is an important 
recreation area for hunters, fishermen, bird watchers, 
and boaters from throughout the state. 

Approximately 20 major storage projects, each with a 
capacity of 200,000 acre-feet or more, have been 
constructed in the Central Valley for supplying local 
uses and for export to the San Francisco Bay region, the 
San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. Each of 
these projects affects the quantity and quality of inflows 
to the Delta. Both the State Water Project and the 
Central Valley Project pump water through the Delta 
for export. In addition to upstream and local Delta uses, 
one-fourth of the land area and two-thirds of the 
population of the state are served (at least partially) by 
water exported from the Delta. Under the presently 
authorized contracts of these two agencies, the amount 
of water exported will increase substantially during the 
balance of this century. 



While some of these projects provide valuable flood 
control for the Delta and the release of stored water 
during the dry summer months improves water quality 
and the general environment of the Delta, the lessening 
of naturally high winter and spring flows through 
capture and storage and the pumping of water through 
the natural waterways of the Delta cause damage to the 
environment. As exports increase, these problems will 
become more severe. 

Pumping water from the Delta has resulted in 
numerous conflicts among the water agencies involved. 
The Bureau of Reclamation, for example, has not con- 
formed with water quality standards adopted by the 
state and the United States Environmental Protection 
Agency, although the 1978 decision by the United 
States Supreme Court concerning the operation of the 
New Melones Dam may result in some modification of 
the Bureau's policies. In addition, although the State 
Water Project and Central Valley Project have the right 
to pump water from the Delta, the operators of these 
systems have failed to establish a permanent operating 
agreement which specifies their respective responsibili- 
ties in meeting both Delta needs and project needs. 
Moreover, there are no contracts between the major 
Delta water agencies, the state Department of Water 
Resources, and the federal government concerning 
water supply and quality. The present yield of both 
projects, moreover, is insufficient to cover existing 
export water supply contracts while still meeting Delta 
quality and quantity needs. 

In sum, all of these human activities have combined 
with nature's functions to produce severe problems of 
supply for both local and distant water users, and 
problems of quality which will affect fish and wildlife 
because of the reduced flows available to flush out the 
Delta and San Francisco Bay and resist the ebb and flow 
of the ocean tides. The welter of issues surrounding the 
Delta involve questions of efficiency, monetary gains 




104 



San Francisco Bay 
and the Delta 




Sonoma 



Major Effluent Dischargers October 1, 1978 



1. Sacramento County S.D. 

2. City of Fairfield 

3. Exxon Company, USA 

4. City of Benicia 

5. Vallejo S.D. 

6. Napa S.D.-American Canyon 

7. Sonoma Valiey County S.D. 

8. Novato, Marin County S.D. 6 

9. Ignacio, Marin County S.D. 6 

10. Las Gallinas Valley S.D. 

11. San Rafael S.D. 

12. San Ouentin Prison 

13. Marin County S.D. 1 

14. City of Mill Valley 

15. Richardson Bay S.D. 

16. Marin County S.D. 5 

17. Sausalito-Marin City S.D. 

18. San Francisco (North Point) 

19. P. G. & E. (Potrero) 

20. San Francisco (Southeast) 

21. P. G. & E. (Hunters Point) 

22. Merck & Co. 

23. South San Francisco and San Bruno 

24. San Francisco Intl. Airport 

25. San Francisco Intl. Airport 

26. City of Millbrae 

27. City of Burlingame 

28. City of San Mateo 

29. Estero Improvement District 

30. San Carlos and Belmont 

31. Redwood City 

32. Menlo Park S.D. 

33. City of Palo Alto 

34. City of Sunnyvale 

35. City of San Jose 

36. Irvington, Union S.D. 

37. Newark, Union S.D. 

38. FMC Corporation 



39. Alvarado, Union S.D. 

40. City of Livermore 

41. Dublin-San Ramon S.D. 

42. City of Hayward 

43. Oro Loma S.D. 

44. City of San Leandro 

45. East Bay Municipal Utility District 

46. Colgate-Palmolive Co. 

47. Stauffer Chemical Co. 

48. City of Richmond 

49. Chevron, USA 

50. Chevron Chemical Co. 

51. West Contra Costa S.D. 

52. City of Pinole 

53. Pacific Refining Co. 

54. Rodeo S.D. 

55. Union Oil Company 

56. P. G. & E. (Oleum) 

57. C & H Sugar Refining Co. 

58. Shell Oil Company 

59. Mountain View S.D. 

60. Tosco Corporation 

61. Central Contra Costa S.D. 

62. Allied Chemical Company 

63. Contra Costa County S.D. 7 

64. P. G. & E. (Pittsburg) 

65. City of Pittsburg (Montezuma) 

66. U.S. Steel 

67. City of Pittsburg (Stoneman) 

68. Dow Chemical Company 

69. City of Antioch 

70. Crown Zellerbach Corporation 

71. Fiberboard Corporation 

72. P. G. & E. (Contra Costa) 

73. E. I. du Pont 

74. City of Tracy 

75. City of Stockton 



Delta Outflows Under Different Conditions 



Estimated actual outflow in year shown 
Calculated outflow assuming current conditions 



50,000 , 


Wet Year (1940-41) 


25,000. 


■// \\ 


00.000 


75.000 - 


50.000 . 


// \ \ 


25.000 


I \\ 





J 



Above Normal Runoff (1935-36) 



ONOJ FMAMJJAS 



Dry Year (1943-44) 



125.000. 






100.000 


I 


t 


1 75.000- 
□ 50.000 


I 
1 / 

// 
// 


l\ 

\ \ 

\ \ 


25.000 


// 


\ \ 





==» 





ONDJFMAMJ JAS 



Critically Dry (1932-33) 



Q 10,000 




y 




ONDJ FMAMJJ AS 



ONDJ FMAMJ JAS 



Estimated Annual Delta Outflows (Water Years 1922-1977) 



50,000,000 



40,000,000 



30,000,000 



Outflow in acre-feet 



20,000,000 



10,000,000 



1922 1930 



1940 



1950 



1960 



1970 1977 



Water quality in San Francisco Bay and the Delta 
is the product of a complex and only incompletely 
understood interaction of natural and human 
influences. The columns on this map identify the 
major sources of man-made wastes that are 
introduced into the waters of this dynamic system, 
either as industrial effluents in the form of 
processing or cooling water, or as municipal 
sewage which is characterized by various levels of 
treatment as defined by the Environmental 
Protection Agency. 

Salinity levels in the Delta are determined by the 
interaction of tides, freshwater inflows, and 
agricultural return flows. The histogram of 
estimated annual Delta outflows reveals wide 
variations in historic freshwater flows. These flow 
variations are linked to expanding and contracting 
areas of salinity intrusion in the Delta, as shown by 
the lines marking the maximum intrusion of water 
containing 1,000 parts per million of chloride. 
Differences between the limits of salinity intrusion 
during the dry years of 1931 and 1977, and between 
the wet years of 1941 and 1969 are primarily the 
result of water management programs upstream. 
The four graphs at left show monthly Delta outflows 
under various conditions and the outflows that 
would have occurred in these years if current levels 
of water export and development had existed. 



Tidal action plays a central role in 
the dynamics of San Francisco 
Bay and the Delta. Tidal features 
and the variations in water depth 
are given special prominence in 
this view of the southern end of 
the bay at low tide. 




and losses, equity, and the environment. And, the 
problems grow more acute with each passing year, as 
the amounts of water pumped out of the Delta increase 
while urban and agricultural development continues to 
expand upstream, thereby further reducing the quanti- 
ties of water available. 

Numerous solutions have been proffered: a peripher- 
al canal, first formally proposed in the mid-1960s to 
convey water for export across the Delta more effici- 
ently; the construction of more water projects up- 
stream to add water to the Delta; increased use of the 
groundwater resources of the Central Valley conjunc- 
tively with surface water supplies; and, higher water 
prices for some water agencies which use water 
originating in the Central Valley in order to bring about 
the more efficient use of water. In 1977 the Department 
of Water Resources proposed an amalgam of programs 
and multi-billion dollar facilities to be jointly con- 
structed by the state and the federal government which, 
among other things, would include the Peripheral 
Canal, Suisun Marsh protection facilities, on-stream 
and off-stream storage in the Sacramento Valley, 
groundwater and off-stream storage in the San Joaquin 
Valley, a Mid-Valley Canal in the San Joaquin Valley, 
groundwater storage in Southern California, waste- 
water reclamation, and enhanced water conservation 
practices. Each proposal, however, seems to meet with 
vigorous opposition from one or another of the many 
interests involved. As a result, that compromise which 
is essential for resolving the problems of the Delta has 
yet to be found. 



CONSTRAINTS ON SUPPLY 

Where will the water come from to meet the domes- 
tic needs of an estimated seven million more people in 
California by the year 2000, protect water quality in the 
Delta, fulfill the contracts for delivery by the State 
Water Project and the implied commitments for in- 
creased service from the Central Valley Project, and 
mitigate the effects of groundwater overdraft in the 
San Joaquin Valley? The answer to this question does 
not lie simply in additional development. 

The last ten years have seen the introduction of some 
very sobering constraints upon project development, 
the full effects of which have probably not yet been fully 
realized. Inflation in this period has doubled the capital 
costs of water project construction, while interest rates 
have increased by about one-third. Thus, the annual 
financing costs of a major water project over a typical 
30-year repayment period have increased by nearly two 
and one-half times. In addition, federal and state envi- 



ronmental laws and the requirement for more seis- 
mically safe structures have increased construction 
costs while at the same time restricting the areas within 
which construction might occur. Considering all of 
these factors, overall costs are estimated to have 
increased nearly three times within the last ten years. 
And even this comparison does not take into account 
the fact that the annual yield of water that is made 
available per acre-foot of project storage is declining 
because the best storage sites have already been 
developed. 

The increased costs of project construction affect all 
water agencies, of course, but the problems are most 
acute for federal agencies, which have had the longtime 
habit or political custom of annually appropriating 
limited sums of money to many projects. When infla- 
tion was minimal and interest rates low, this "shotgun 
approach" perhaps was tolerable. In view of the serious 
capital funding problems that exist today, however, this 
tradition is causing havoc to both financing and repay- 
ment. 

If a project is to be built, it would seem the only way to 
combat the insidious effects of inflation is either to scale 
down the size of the project or to obtain a lump sum of 
money necessary to complete the project as soon as 
possible rather than depending upon uncertain, sequen- 
tial appropriations. This so-called lump sum method of 
financing is commonly used by the state and by local 
agencies for their construction projects. 

The panoply of constraints upon development, 
however, make it increasingly difficult to obtain 
approval for any kind of new project, no matter what 
the method of financing may be. As a result, water 
planners now and in the future must confront at least 
five principal questions regarding any new project they 
may propose. Is the project feasible in terms of engi- 
neering? Is it economically justified? Is it financially 
feasible? Is it environmentally sound? And, is it 
institutionally operable? If the answer to any one of 
these tests is negative, then it is unlikely that the project 
will ever be built. Moreover, these tests become even 
more critical when imported water supplies are in- 
volved, whether interbasin or interstate. 

The history of California's water development 
reveals that local surface and groundwater supplies are 
developed first and, as these become inadequate, then a 
widening parameter of source possibilities is explored. 
Statutes protecting the areas in which water supplies 
originate from exploitation and the rigidity of water 
rights laws retard the transferability of water from 
lower to higher beneficial uses of water. As a result, 
entities have had to reach out farther for new supplies 
even though cheaper sources may be nearer by. These 



conditions have encouraged many water planners 
through the years to extend their search for new 
supplies beyond the borders of California. 

The development of the Colorado River represents 
the most successful interstate project California has 
undertaken. California is, however, involved in another 
interstate compact. The California-Nevada Interstate 
Compact of 1968 allocates the waters of Lake Tahoe 
and the Truckee, Carson, and Walker river basins 
between the two states. In contrast to the Colorado, 
California in this case is in the position of being an upper 
basin state. Unfortunately, the compact has not as yet 
received the necessary ratification by the federal 
government, but the two states have continued to 
honor its terms in the meanwhile. Difficulties lie ahead, 
especially with respect to the limited water supply in the 
Truckee River, because of the absence of federal 
approval, the claims of Indian tribes to a larger share of 
the Truckee River waters, the lowering level of Pyramid 
Lake which is the river's terminous, and the vigorous 
urban growth occurring in the Reno area. 

Although plans have been proposed to draw water 
for California from as far away as Idaho and Alaska, the 
prospects for importation from the Columbia River 
have received the most widespread attention in recent 
years. The Columbia has more than ten times the 
runoff of the Colorado River and more than twice that 
of all the streams in California combined. In the 1950s 
and 1960s some federal water planners and several 
consulting firms began feasibility studies of importing 
water from the Columbia or its principal tributary, the 
Snake River, to California and the Southwest. These 
plans ran into opposition, however, from the Pacific 
Northwest states, and the Congress in 1968 declared a 
moratorium on any such planning by a federal agency. 
This moratorium was extended for another ten years in 
1978. 

The prospects for importations from the Columbia 
are consequently quiescent for the time being, although 
the day may come when the situation of supply and 
demand in California will be so acute that this huge, 
external source of supply will be given serious 
consideration. Given the enormous quantities of 
energy that would be required to lift water some 4,500 
feet into California, the environmental and institutional 
constraints that need to be overcome, and the likelihood 
that the resulting cost of Columbia River water would 
be prohibitive for irrigation, it may prove to be more 
economical to go without, or to seek other sources 
closer by. 

For its part, California's state government does not 
suggest the Columbia as a future supply possibility, 
contending instead that there are sufficient water 
resources within the state, if managed properly, to meet 
the needs of California. The great collection of 
programs and projects which the state proposed in 1977 
in connection with the controversy over the Delta 
would provide about 2.7 million acre-feet of water to 
meet designated needs up to the end of the century. The 
diversity of interests competing for water and the 
dependence of this proposal upon extensive state and 
federal financial participation, however, suggest that it 
will take years to implement this plan or something 
approximately equivalent to it. 

Increased storage might also be achieved by enlarging 
the Shasta and Monticello dams as well as expanding 
existing canal capacities. The New Don Pedro and New 
Melones dams are both the result of efforts to enlarge 





The importation of water from the Columbia River would require 
the construction of pumping plants on an even greater scale than 
this facility of the State Water Project. 



106 



«■ 



""" 



PIPE DREAMS 



The approval of the State Water Project by California's 
voters in 1960 and the United States Supreme Court's de- 
cision in 1963 restricting California's access to the Colorado 
River inspired a flurry of plans and proposals in the mid- 
1960s for even larger and more technologically sophisticated 
waterworks to serve California and the American South- 
west. All of the plans described here achieved a measure of 
notoriety among water planners, engineers, and some 
governmental agencies in this period. But this list of pro- 
posed projects is far from complete and none has actually 
been approved for construction. 

Within three months of the Supreme Court's decision in 
Arizona v. California, Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall 
proposed a panoply of water conservation and development 
projects in the Pacific Southwest Water Plan which would 
have substantially rearranged the water supplies of Cali- 
fornia, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico. Within 
California the plan, among other things, called for damming 
the Trinity, Eel, Mad, and Van Duzen rivers on the North 
Coast and diverting a portion of their flows to Arizona. The 
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power responded to 
Udall's proposal by recommending consideration of a plan 
proposed by a private engineer, William G. Dunn, to bypass 




Snake-Colorado Project 



existing dam and reservoir projects. This approach has 
the advantage that the incremental costs of added 
storage normally would be less than the cost of an 
alternative supply, while the environmental impacts 
and social dislocation effects are also reduced. In 
addition, a number of projects are currently being 
implemented for the storage of water in groundwater 
basins during wet years and the conjunctive use of 
groundwater and surface supplies in times of need. 
Difficult financial and institutional problems and 
political resistance, however, have so far precluded 
widespread adoption of such programs in the largest 
groundwater basins, which are in the Sacramento and 
San Joaquin valleys. 

State planning and policy for the future are currently 
focused on the Sacramento Valley where it is possible to 
develop more supplies more economically by means of 
both on-stream and off-stream storage and through the 
use of groundwater basins. Nevertheless, as economic 
and therefore political pressures increase for additional 
water supplies in the Sacramento and San Joaquin 
valleys and in Southern California, there is expected to 



the North Coast and transfer instead 2.4 million acre-feet 
from the Snake River in Idaho to supplement the flows of 
the lower Colorado. 

In contrast to the estimated $2.4 billion cost of the Pacific 
Southwest Water Plan, Dunn's proposal carried an esti- 
mated price tag of $1.4 billion. Another consulting engineer 
in Los Angeles pointed out in 1964, however, that for an- 
other $1.2 billion, the plan could be expanded to tap the Yel- 
lowstone River in Montana, thereby increasing the yield of 
the project to 3.4 million acre-feet. In 1965, Dunn did modify 
his original plan, but he eschewed the Yellowstone, deter- 
mining instead to bring five million acre-feet from the Snake 
south through eastern Oregon at a cost then estimated at 
$3.2 billion. 

Other water planners meanwhile turned their eyes to- 
ward the Columbia River. In 1964, Frank Z. Pirkey, a private 
consulting engineer retired from the Army Corps of Engin- 
eers and the Department of Water Resources, proposed 
pumping 15 million acre-feet of water from the Columbia 
4,900 feet over the mountains to Goose and Shasta lakes, 
whence it would flow south to Lake Mead. Pirkey estimated 
his project would cost $11 billion, but other engineers of- 
fered somewhat less expensive alternatives that would have 



bypassed Goose and Shasta lakes, relying instead upon a sys- 
tem of new reservoirs. 

As expensive as tapping the Columbia for California may 
be, a Pasadena engineering firm in 1965 proposed a novel 
method for achieving interbasin transfers within California 
through a pipeline under the ocean which the Bureau of 
Reclamation estimated would cost $20 billion. The so-called 
NESCO Plan called for anchoring a fiberglass pipe along 
California's continental shelf to carry four million acre-feet 
of water from the rivers of the North Coast to serve the 
municipal and industrial water needs of Monterey, Santa 
Maria, and the South Coast. 

The most elaborate project of all also originated in Pasa- 
dena with the Ralph M. Parsons Company in 1964. This plan, 
the North American Water and Power Alliance, proposed 
tapping the rivers of the Yukon to augment water supplies in 
Canada, Mexico, and the United States from the Great Lakes 
to California. Although several, less expensive modifica- 
tions to the Parsons plan have since been suggested by other 
engineers, the proponents of NAWAPA estimated that this 
massive system, drawing from watersheds with a total area 
nine times the size of California, would cost an estimated 
$200 billion and require over 30 years to construct. 




Western Water Project 
(Pirkey Plan) 



be increasing pressure to release at least a portion of the 
large undeveloped water supplies of the verdant North 
Coast for export. Here lie the state's last great untamed 
and free-flowing rivers, the Smith, Klamath, Van 
Dusen, and Eel, containing 21 million acre-feet of water 
or about one-third of the state's total supply. 

Since 1972 these rivers have been under the 
protection of California's Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. 
Some North Coast waters are already exported out of 
the region. The Trinity River, which flows into the 
Klamath, has had large quantities of water diverted to 
the upper Sacramento Valley for the Central Valley 
Project since the early 1960s. And a utility has been 
diverting water from a branch of the upper Eel River to 
the Russian River for the last 50 years. The federal 
government is not precluded from constructing 
facilities in the North Coast, although the Wild and 
Scenic Rivers Act does prohibit state agencies from 
lending any assistance to such an effort. The statute 
does, however, provide for state reports after 1984 as to 
the need for flood control and water conservation 
facilities on the Eel River and the appearance of these 




North American Water and Power Alliance 
(NAWAPA) 



reports can be expected to encourage demands by 
potential recipients of North Coast exports for a 
reopening of the question of wild and scenic rivers 
protection. 



PROBLEMS OF MANAGEMENT 

As the opportunities for new, large-scale water 
development projects have diminished, greater 
attention has been directed to problems of water 
management. These involve, in turn, questions of 
equity, economics, efficiency, administrative practice, 
and the prospects for new legal and technological 
innovations which will help California conserve the 
water supplies it already has. 

Cities and water districts individually and collectively, 
and the state and federal governments have 
constructed an amazing grid of water storage and 
distribution systems that convey water through 
mountains and across and down valleys from one water 
basin to another. Probably there is no other area in the 

107 



Although the law currently per- 
mits almost any reasonable use 
of water, choices may have to be 
made among competing uses if 
the demand for a limited water 
supply continues to intensify in 
the future. This prospect has 
assumed particular currency in 
the case of Mono Lake, shown at 
top right, where diversions to 
the City of Los Angeles have 
substantially lowered the lake 
level in recent years. Should the 
needs of an urban populace su- 
percede the use of water to 
preserve a remote saline lake or 
support desert vegetation like 
that of the Antelope Valley shown 
at the lower left? Some water 
planners are already suggesting 
that the constitutional mandate 
to apply water to beneficial pur- 
poses may invalidate state stat- 
utes designed to protect the en- 
vironment as well as the local 
water supplies of areas such as 
the North Coast shown at 
bottom. 



world where such intensive and extensive water 
development has occurred. This grid of water 
distribution systems became even more useful during 
the unprecedented drought of 1976-77 when numerous 
arrangements were made between local, state, and 
federal water agencies to exchange water or aid areas 
facing critical shortages. These major engineering 
accomplishments can thus be compared to a huge 
insurance policy which is capable of providing 
protection to the people and their activities from nearly 
all vicissitudes of the weather or even natural disaster. 

Inasmuch as the best water development sites have 
been developed and water agencies have had to reach 
out ever farther for additional water supplies, the 
magnitude of the legal and financial problems associated 
with large projects has increased so as to preclude nearly 
all but the largest agencies from water development 
planning. As a consequence, most of the proposed 
projects today are being planned by the state 
Department of Water Resources, the Army Corps of 
Engineers, and the federal Bureau of Reclamation. In 
view of the fact, however, that there are more than a 
thousand districts and municipalities and numerous 
state and federal agencies engaged in various aspects of 
California's water business, many arenas for conflict 
exist between consumptive users of water, between 
consumptive and nonconsumptive uses, and between 
different levels of government. Recognizing this 
multiplicity of diverse interests, the state for at least the 
past quarter century has been emphasizing that it is the 
only agency vested with a statewide interest and 
responsibility and that it, therefore, is in the best 
position to know where, when, and how water 
development should occur. 

The federal water agencies, though influenced by 
state policy and actions, do not necessarily believe 
themselves to be bound by such direction. As a result, 
opportunities for the development of comprehensive 
water management strategies have all too often been 
frustrated by a controversy between state and federal 
agencies that has existed for the past 25 years and that 
may even intensify in the future. 

This continuing rivalry between state and federal 
authority reached its most recent peak in the 
controversy over efforts by the State Water Resources 
Control Board to impose restraints upon the operation 
of the New Melones Dam by the Bureau of 
Reclamation. Although the United States Supreme 
Court ruled in favor of the state on this question in 
1978, indicating that the state may impose conditions so 
long as they are not contrary to a clear Congressional 
directive, it remained unsettled which, if any, of the 
particular conditions the board has imposed are 
contrary to a clear Congressional directive. Similar 
questions exist for the conditions contained in other 
permits issued to the Bureau of Reclamation. 

Another broad front of continuing controversy over 
water management involves the pricing practices of the 
Bureau's Central Valley Project. The price of water 
plays an important role in water usage. As a general 
rule, when water is cheap, there is little or minimal 
incentive to conserve. Low-priced water in California 
usually occurs where there is pumping from 
groundwater, riparian and appropriative rights to 
streamflows, or subsidized prices. In such situations, 
crops with high water needs are grown, such as rice, 
alfalfa, and pasture. These, together with other crops 
grown for livestock use, such as corn, milo, and grain, 
account for 40 to 45 percent of the state's total irrigated 
acreage. These crops, however, generally do not have a 
high enough value to pay the cost of the water they 
require. Inasmuch as the outlook is for a tightening of 
water supplies in relation to increasing demand, 
questions are beginning to be raised as to whether 
applying nearly half of the water used by agriculture to 
crops consumed by livestock truly enhances the 
commonweal. 

In California, the biggest subsidizer of irrigation 
water is the federal government, principally the Bureau 
of Reclamation. The Central Valley Project currently 
has contracts to deliver approximately 3.5 million 
acre-feet of irrigation water at prices which are several 
hundred percent below costs. The resulting subsidies 
amount to more than $1,100 per acre. This federal 
policy no doubt had merit during the first half of this 
century as a means of speeding up settlement of the arid 
West. Many believe this policy has today become 
anachronistic and have called for more rigorous pricing 
policies to put at least some of this highly subsidized 
water to higher beneficial uses, especially where the 
cost of developing new supplies exceeds $100 an 
acre-foot. In response, the Bureau is moving in the 
direction of adopting somewhat more rigorous 




repayment policies, although these will not become 
fully effective until the 1990s. 

Water rights laws also play an important role in water 
conservation, often adversely, by protecting the 
longtime uses of water regardless of changing priorities 
and needs. The role of the law in bringing increased 
efficiency, however, remains uncertain. Of central 
importance is the provision in the California 
Constitution which limits all water rights to 
"reasonable beneficial use." While this provision serves 
to direct all water users to engage in water conservation 
in times of shortage, the courts have not established 
many guidelines for the determination of 
reasonableness. Nor has the Legislature deemed it 
appropriate to develop detailed statements of what 
would constitute reasonable beneficial use in particular 
situations. 

Many resource economists suggest that more 
exchanges or transfers of water and water rights would 
be beneficial to improving the efficiency of water use 
and that the law acts currently to prevent such 
transactions. It has been recognized, however, that such 
transferability should be coupled with appropriate 
protection for areas of origin and that only modest 
exchanges and transfers should consequently be 
anticipated. It appears that in addition to specific 
constraints in the law, broad institutional factors 
involving the way in which water districts are 
established, the objectives they are designed to serve, 
and the means open to them for disposal of their 
revenues, play a large part in inhibiting water rights 
transfers and exchanges from taking place. 

Although groundwater, discussed in an earlier part of 
this section, appears to be the most pressing 
management question for California's future, another 
important area of concern involves the protection of 
in-stream uses of water for such purposes as fishery 
preservation and enhancement, recreation, and scenic 
and aesthetic enjoyment. Although the state has 



108 



m 




Supply and Demand 

1972 



North Coastal 



North Lahontan 



San Francisco Bay 



The isometric diagrams compare the natural 
surface water supply and actual demand within 
each of the eleven hydrologic basins for water 
year 1972. 

The base of each diagram represents the total 
area of the basin, divided into 100,000-acre units. 
The total supply within the basin from precipita- 
tion is projected above this base, and is distribut- 
ed to an equal depth of water, in feet, over the 
entire basin. This is shown as the dashed blue 
line. The shaded blue block represents the net 
supply which occurs as runoff. The difference 
between precipitation and runoff is a measure of 
the natural moisture demand within the basin. 

Actual demand is shown by the orange and 
green columns representing the gross amount of 



water applied within each basin for irrigated 
agricultural and urban use. The area of the base 
of each column depicts the amount of land within 
that basin which is classified as urban (orange) 
or agricultural (green). The height of the column 
represents the depth in feet of water applied to 
that area of use within the basin. 

Beside each graphic is a numerical breakdown 
of the basin Area in acres (all figures are given in 
thousands), followed by the percentages of the 
basin area devoted to irrigated agriculture (a) 
and urban use (u). Available supply is shown as 
Runoff in acre-feet, together with a multiplier 
that will give total precipitation for that basin. 
Finally, total agricultural and urban Demand is 
stated in acre-feet. 



Sacramento Basin 





Area: 3,891 (3.5°ha, .5%u) 
Runoff: 1,420 (x4.0) 

Demand: 420a, 23 u 



Area: 3,910 (3%a, 12%u) 
Runoff: 1,110 (x4.4> 

Demand: 250a, 990 u 



Area: 11,334 (2%a, .4%u) 
Runoff: 30,736 (x 1.5) 

Demand: 710a, 93u 




Delta-Central Sierra 



San Joaquin Basin 



Tulare Basin 



Area: 16,960 (9% a, 1%u) 
Runoff: 18,370 (x 1.8) 

Demand: 6,020a, 470 u 




Area: 3,168 (25%a, 2%u) 
Runoff: 940(x5.0J 

Demand: 2,470a, 173u 



Area: 7,078 (20% a, .8%u) 
Runoff: 4,224 fx2.2; 

Demand: 5,450a, 192u 




Area: 11,129 (28%a, 1%u) 
Runoff: 1,551 <x5.1) 
Demand: 10,890 




Central Coastal 




South Lahontan 



South Coastal 




Colorado 
Desert 




Area: 7,328 (5%a, 2%u) 
Runoff: 730 (x8.2) 

Demand: 1030a, 181 u 



Area: 17,312 (.5%a, .4%u) 
Runoff: 1,090 (x5.7) 

Demand: 310a, 89u 



Area: 7,027 (5% a, 20% u) 
Runoff: 560 (x9.6) 

Demand: 920a, 2,370 u 



Area: 12,422 (5%a, .5%u) 
Runoff: 150 (x7.6) 

Demand: 3,220a, 99u 



Water Year 1972 

Percent of Average 
Annual Runoff 



. Delta-Central 
San \ "S Sierra 

Francisco Bayj^X 66% 




Interregional Transfers, 1972 




This graphic illustrates 
the quantity of water, in acre- 
feet, that was exported and imported 
by each hydrologic basin during 1972 
Groundwater pumping alleviates deficits in some basins 



All figures in thousands of acre-feet 
Exported water does not orginate in basin. 



The photographs on this page 
provide several examples of the 
importance of technology to the 
creation of the modern water 
system. The introduction of the 
clamshell dredge on the left revo- 
lutionized reclamation methods 
and made possible the construc- 
tion of hundreds of miles of dikes 
to protect Delta agriculture. Be- 
cause horses ana conventional 
wheeled vehicles soon bogged 
down in the porous, peaty soils 
of the Delta, track-laying vehicles 
like the Holt tractor at right were 
invented and these later served 
as the basis for the modern tank. 
Each technology, however, has 
locational advantages and disad- 
vantages. When Los Angeles im- 
ported the track-laying vehicles 
developed for use in the Delta to 
haul pipe during the construction 
of the aqueduct to the Owens 
Valley, the machines quickly broke 
down in the desert, forcing the 
city to replace them by assem- 
bling huge teams of mules. 



repeatedly articulated a policy favoring in-stream 
protection, the means for implementing this policy 
remain unsatisfactory. At one extreme, for many years 
it has been possible for those concerned about in-stream 
protection to protest applications filed by those seeking 
to appropriate water for beneficial uses away from the 
stream. Thus, in many instances, prospective 
appropriators seeking water for irrigation, municipal 
water supply, or other off-stream purposes have been 
required to negotiate protests filed by the state 
Department of Fish and Game. Although this process 
has provided some in-stream protection, it has offered 
at best a fragmentary, reactive, and unsystematic 
approach to the problem. At the other extreme, near 
total protection for in-stream flows has been provided 
in limited instances by the California Wild and Scenic 
Rivers Act. This approach, while perhaps satisfactory 
and certainly effective for the rivers in question, is of 
doubtful utility on the vast majority of rivers where 
extensive development has taken place or is 
contemplated for the future. 

Two important legal questions regarding the 
protection of in-stream uses of water remain 
unresolved at the end of 1978. First, to what extent is 
the classical system for establishing private property 
rights in water available to protect in-stream uses? It is 
clear that riparians need not take water from a stream in 
order to protect their uses, including in-stream uses. 
And it is clear that the State Water Resources Control 
Board can deny an application to appropriate because 
the water in question is needed for in-stream beneficial 
uses and it could consequently condition the permits 
and licenses it grants in ways designed to protect 
in-stream uses. It is unsettled, however, whether public 
or private entities can acquire appropriative rights 
without establishing some sort of physical control over 
the water. 

The second unresolved question with regard to 
in-stream uses is whether a more effective "middle of 
the road" means of regulation can be found. The 
Governor's Commission to Review California Water 
Rights Law recommended in 1978 that the State Water 
Resources Control Board be authorized to develop 
comprehensive in-stream flow standards on a 
stream-by-stream basis. These standards would be 
implemented by requiring all subsequent 
administrative decisions to conform to them, by 
arranging physical solutions which would reorganize 
diversions to enhance in-stream protection wherever 
possible, by limiting restrictions placed upon off-stream 
users in the name of the public interest, and by 
compensating those off-stream users whose rights 
would be purchased in order to realize the in-stream 
objectives. Whether this proposal will be accepted, 
however, remains to be seen at the time of this writing. 

NEW TECHNOLOGY 

The course of water development in California has 
been in large part a function of technological 
advancement. People in the nineteenth century could 
dream of building the massive water delivery systems 
which have changed the face of the California 
waterscape today but, until the technology existed for 
the construction of large-scale siphons and pumps, 
these dreams had no means of realization. Without the 
invention of the centrifugal pump, the Caterpillar and 
Holt tractors, and, most important, the discoveries of 
Thomas Edison, California could never have developed 
in the way it did. 

New technologies do not just happen. Instead they 
are usually the result of economic and political 
necessity. As the costs of conventional sources of supply 
increase at a faster rate than the costs of the new 
technologies required to develop what once were 
considered exotic water sources, these new sources 
come closer to being justified. Technological 
developments outside the water industry can have the 
effect of increasing the future demand for water, as in 
the case of water for electrical powerplant cooling, or 
decreasing the future demand for water through, for 
example, the genetic development of plants capable of 
withstanding drought and salinity. 

Within the water industry there are a number of 
unfolding technological developments for increasing 
usable water supplies through the desalting of seawater 
and brackish water, cloud seeding, and long-range 
weather forecasting. In addition, technologies exist 
which extend the use of water through the advanced 
treatment of sewage and wastewater for reuse, the 
aeration of water for quality improvement, the 
renovation of wastewater by surface spreading, and 
water recycling by industry. 




Each technology has locational advantages and 
disadvantages. For instance, cloud seeding is impractical 
in desert regions and desalination is impractical for 
providing a new or supplemental water supply for most 
of California's irrigated agriculture. On the other hand, 
improvement in the accuracy of both intra-year and 
inter-year weather forecasting can have a tremendous 
impact on the management and use of the state's water 
resources. 

As the population and economy grow, more 
wastewater must be treated because state and federal 
water quality laws require treatment of urban 
wastewater before it is discharged into another body of 
water. There are today more than 850 community 
wastewater treatment systems in California serving a 
population of 19 million. Less than ten percent of these 
treated waters, however, was further treated for reuse 
and approximately two-thirds was discharged to the 
ocean, coastal bays, and estuaries. With additional 
treatment, these waters offer a potential for meeting a 
significant portion of the water supply needs in and 
adjacent to metropolitan regions where they can be 



Beneficial Uses of Reclaimed Water in 
California in 1975 



TYPE OF USE 



VOLUME RECLAIMED 
PER YEAR 
(acre-feet) 



Agricultural 

Landscaping 

Industrial 

Groundwater Recharge 

Recreational Impoundments 

TOTAL 



134,657 
17,574 

1,936 
26,971 

6,605 

187,743 



reused as an industrial water supply, for the irrigation 
of crops, parks, and other open spaces, and for 
groundwater recharge. 

Nearly 200 wastewater reuse and reclamation 
projects exist in California today and many experts 
believe that advanced treatment and the extensive 
reuse of urban wastewater will be commonplace by the 
end of the century. Not all of the treated wastewaters, 
however, can be reused due to their chemical 
constituents. This technology, moreover, is capital- and 
energy-intensive and public health concerns and 
institutional problems need to be resolved before much 
progress can be made in its widespread application. 
Water planners, however, need to have these options 
remain open for as long as possible in order to perceive 
what effect technological developments occurring 
outside of the water industry will have on overall water 
demand and supply. 

CONSERVATION 

The unprecedented severity of the drought of 
1976-77 in the northern two-thirds of the state called 
for similarly unprecedented water conserving measures 
by residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural 
users. Water use was reduced by one-third in many 
instances and by as much as one-half in some areas. The 
drought provided a classic demonstration of how use 
can be reduced to the level of supply. But this is what 
water conservation is all about. If the development of 
new water supplies does not keep pace with the 
increases in demand that are expected to result from a 
rising population and greater economic activity, then 
the per capita use of water must decrease. Reducing the 
per capita use of water, in turn, postpones the day when 
already very expensive planned water storage projects 
need to be built and thereby reduces the bonded 
indebtedness of water utilities, adverse environmental 
effects, the need for electrical energy, and the future 
costs of water and sewage treatment. 



110 





The question in 1978 does not appear to be whether 
or why water conservation will occur in California. The 
why is already clear in the greatly increased costs of 
developing new water supplies. The how of water 
conservation is not so much in doubt either. 
Fortunately, many techniques, practices, and policies 
are already available to reduce per capita water use 
through fixtures inside the household, revised 
residential watering and landscaping, new industrial 
production and cooling processes, metering, rationing, 
increased water prices, drip irrigation, leak detection 
programs, sewer charges based on water consumption, 
and many others. 

The issue, therefore, involves the cost — both 
monetary and nonmonetary — at which increased 
conservation will be achieved. Just as increasing water 
supplies exacts its costs in diverse ways, so too does the 
conservation of water. Each area of the state has 
different water supply and demand relationships and 
the response of the public to the ways and means of 
water conservation in agricultural and urban settings 
will vary in accordance with the situation in particular 
areas. The policies of water districts and urban 



communities with regard to meters, pricing, and ad 
valorem taxes, for example, can have profound effects on 
water use. Meters provide an economic incentive to 
curb water use. Prices can encourage water use by 
decreasing as use increases, or they can discourage use 
by increasing as the use of water increases. Similarly, if 
ad valorem taxes are used to subsidize and thereby reduce 
the prices charged for water, greater use will be 
encouraged. 

The halcyon days when ample new water supplies 
were available at low development costs are gone 
forever in California. Whether the many agencies that 
make up the modern water industry will grasp this 
fundamental point and move effectively to adopt 
conservation policies in a timely manner is a matter very 
much in doubt. The capacity of our citizens, however, to 
adjust to these changed conditions was demonstrated 
most effectively in Marin County during the recent 
drought. Water consumption in the Marin Municipal 
Water District, the county's largest, dropped from 
31,600 acre-feet in 1975, before the drought, to 24,000 
acre-feet in 1976, and 11,700 acre-feet in 1977. During 
July and August, the peak periods of water use, when 



approximately 41 million gallons per day are normally 
consumed, consumption for these two months in 1977 
declined to approximately 11 to 12 million gallons per 
day. 

The costs of these conservation measures included 
agricultural losses, damage to the landscape, plumbing 
changes, sewer repairs, wells and pumps, and the 
purchase of bottled and trucked-in water for residences, 
apartment houses, and businesses. It is to be hoped that 
such severe measures will never need to be taken again 
in California. But, the so-called Marin approach to the 
drought probably was the most sophisticated and 
equitable attempt at universal conservation that has 
ever been put into effect. It demonstrated that people 
can and will manage with far less water than they once 
thought adequate. Thus, as complex as the problems of 
California's future relationship to water may be, there 
seems to be little cause for pessimism. In reviewing the 
long history of struggle and conquest by the people in 
coping with a myriad of water problems in the Golden 
State, there is still reason to believe that there will be 
sufficient wisdom, born out of experience and 
knowledge, to sustain us in the years ahead. 



Just as San Francisco Bay and the 
Delta lie at the center of any 
discussion of the future of water 
development in California, so too 
does the example of Marin Coun- 
ty's success in meeting the 
Drought of 1976-77. 



Ill 



Afterword 



At one dicey point when the California Water Atlas Project looked as 
though it might collapse, Bill Kahrl quietly checked his alternatives. He called 
a few outfits in the private sector who might be expected to handle such jobs. 
They were boggled by the scope and schedule of the project, and Bill was 
boggled by their estimated cost of taking it over — five times greater than 
what it was costing the state to do it. 

Why? 

At any point after the first months if you had looked in on the administra- 
tive, research, cartographic and editing staffs of the project you would have 
found people working 80-hour weeks (and getting paid for 40) and heard 
comments such as, "Nobody has any personal life left," "Tired doesn't matter 
anymore," "Nobody here has ever worked this hard in their life," "Everyone's 
giving 150%," "I've never felt so good about myself." 

Why? 

This afterword will try to give some sense of the process that led to the 
product you're holding, try to answer the two questions above, and try to pin 
down what went well and not so well in the structure of our atlas-making 
process so that others on similar projects might be inspired or warned by our 
experience. 

It didn't begin as a water atlas. Years before this project got started, an 
informal gathering of California-based cartographers had noted the shocking 
lack of any atlas for the state and schemed up a list of subjects they thought 
should be in such a tome. Imagining that the Reagan administration would be 
unreceptive to the idea, they went no further with the plan. But later, one of 
that group, Ted Oberlander of the University of California, Berkeley, know- 
ing that I was doing temporary duty as a consultant to the new Brown 
administration, mentioned the atlas idea to me while we were working 
together on a world map. 

I bandied the notion around the Governor's Office until it was seized by 
Bill Press, head of the Office of Planning and Research. The time was 1976- 
1977, California's worst drought in this century. A special commission was in 
the process of reviewing the state's water laws. And the Peripheral Canal 
around the Delta was a major political issue. In that context we decided to 
approach an "Atlas of California" incrementally. We would start with a water 
atlas of a state that we were realizing was uniquely defined by its water 
situation. 

It would be nice, we told one another, to have in one place a mutual frame 
of reference for all the parties to the various water issues, so they could 
identify more clearly their points of disagreement and perhaps see also the 
larger water context in which resolution might lie. It would be nice, we said, 
if California's citizens and representatives had some help in understanding 
why and where and how water was a problem in the state. 

At this point three key figures made key decisions. Bill Kahrl of the Office 
of Planning and Research (OPR) agreed to take on full responsibility for the 
project. Governor Brown agreed that the project should go ahead. And Ron 
Robie, head of the Department of Water Resources, on whose turf all state 
mapping and water matters properly belonged, enthusiastically endorsed 
OPR as the vehicle for the project. 

That kind of support never let up. When the water drought year of 1977 
passed rainily into the fiscal drought year of 1978, the year of the Jarvis-Gann 
tax limitation initiative, and everybody's pet projects were dying, the water 
atlas survived. Part of the attraction was that the water atlas is expected to 
pay back in sales the cost of its production. Also, the $515,000 proposed to be 
spent on the project did not loom very large in the context of a $20 billion 
state budget. Furthermore, by the time the Jarvis-Gann limitations took 
effect, the project was under way and already had a reputation as something 
going well. 

Why was it doing well? Mainly because it was attracting outstanding 
people. As Bill Kahrl recalls, "The project sold itself." Starting with Bill 
Bowen, who had been recommended by Oberlander, the cartographic staff 
came together amidst the excellent equipment at California State University, 
Northridge. Some of the research staff was acquired through the normal 
process of announcement-resume-interview (Walraven Ketellapper); some 
were stumbled on fortuitously (Marlyn Shelton). 

Bill Kahrl: "To select the advisors we talked to everyone we could think of 
and asked, 'Who else should we talk to?' The advisors we eventually selected 
came largely from that second generation of contacts. Advisory groups are 
often rubber-stamp operations, but in this case the advisors personally 
shaped the whole thing from the beginning. I don't know any other advisory 
group that has been made to work as hard. 

"With the authors the entire problem was finding precisely the right 



person for each section, someone whose expertise in the subject would not 
only be recognized but who would also be detached enough to provide a 
balanced perspective. Those people are rare enough, but we also needed the 
kind of people who can reduce their knowledge to fit within the limited space 
we had available and still be able to write it up in such a way that it would all 
come alive for the reader. Once we had a list of the people we wanted, all but 
one said they would be delighted to contribute, even though we were saying 
to them, 'We'll give you 90 days to write this and we won't pay you hardly 
anything and, I'm sorry, it probably means you'll have to give up your plans 
for the summer.' 

"People worked as hard as they did, regardless of their compensation, 
because of a realization that working on the water atlas was an oppor- 
tunity that might never come again. It was a once-in-a-lifetime shot." 
Bill Kahrl had a job similar to that of a movie director — holding the vision of 
the whole intact and refining it while balancing and integrating the many 
talents involved and scheduling their work so that each part of the process 
informed the others. Research (familiarization) started first, then initial 
advisory meetings, then beginning data collection from the agencies, then the 
first cartographic images, and finally the generation of text. Each group — 
researchers, advisors, agencies, cartographers, and authors — had to review 
and improve and adapt to the products of others. 

Some of it was easier than expected. The state government probably has 
more information on water than any other subject, but early fears that the 
information would be jealously guarded by the agencies turned out to be 
incorrect. At every level, from local to state to federal, people were generous 
with their data and their time. 

Walraven Ketellapper: "You have some guy who's been collecting a certain 
kind of a number for 25 years and the only people looking at it are other guys 
like him. Now all of a sudden his numbers are going to be put in a place where 
a whole new bunch of people are going to see it. It's refreshing for him. 

"We learned that before calling we needed to get a good background in the 
subject we were calling about. A lot of these people are really input-output 
minded. If you say, 'What do you do?' they say, 'We do a lot of things. What do 
you want to know?' So first you look at a report by that agency or you look at 
a textbook and get some terms down. You don't ask about water quality if 
you can't tell the difference between dissolved oxygen and a nitrate. And as 
you go along you develop a giant list of contacts — you tap into a network of 
rolodexes." 

The major frustrations in the project occurred because of the lag in getting 
graphic material generated and cycled. The 500-mile distance between the 
cartographic equipment and staff in Los Angeles and the research informa- 
tion and staff in Sacramento was maddening at times. And there were 
recurring instances of an elaborate color plate being prepared, going back to 
the agency for review, who said, "Oh, sorry, wrong information, that was 
interim data, here's the final data," and amid gnashing teeth the plate would 
have to be adjusted. 

Part of the problem, or advantage, was that the early plates set a high level 
of complex sophistication — "avant garde cartography," someone called it — 
which everyone wanted to maintain even though it was costly in time to do. 
In retrospect all of the staff agree it would have been better to have had the 
research team start much farther in advance of the cartography team so as to 
generate a body of confirmed data, using perhaps one in-house graphic 
person to sketch up the plates for review by the agency people. In addition, 
the cartographic staff should have been larger earlier — five people from the 
beginning instead of three. It would have been helpful at the very start to 
have generated one prototype for each plate to establish time, cost, sophisti- 
cation, and printing standards early on instead of having to confront these 
limitations later, when in a sense it was too late. 

The question of schedule is a fascinating one. The water atlas was done in 
15 months. Would it have helped to have a longer time? Everyone I've talked 
to says no, crushing as the workload was, the prospect of an end-in-sight 
made it bearable. Better sequencing and pacing would have solved the struc- 
tural problems. However, as it was, the load on the cartography end got too 
heavy late in the game and the 50 color plates originally planned had to be cut 
back along with the number of diagrams to accompany the text. It's the old 
illusion I've seen (and committed) around magazine and book publishing for- 
ever—that once the "piece" is done, then editing, design, illustration, paste- 
up, and corrections take no time. Ha. 

I'm able to focus on what went awkwardly with the project because so 
much went so well. The advisory process was smooth, lending perspective to 
the judgment of staffers, shaping and reshaping the content of the book, and 
providing many of the authors — all of that managed adroitly by Bill Kahrl's 
office (not by me the decorative chairman). Research, especially Marlyn 



112 



Shelton, gracefully handled the three-way press of traffic between the 
agencies, the cartography team, and the process of administration and 
editing. 

In the course of its development the water atlas inspired many of the 
agencies to a broader sense and pride of what they were about, and it brought 
attention to new kinds of information that the state needs to have. We need 
to collect more data about water quality and about the end-use and cost of 
water in various areas. Bill Kahrl: "Many of the components of the modern 
water system and consequently the data collection efforts of the responsible 
agencies have been designed to address problems that were identified and 
defined in the nineteenth century. We were unable to get information on 
many of the topics we wanted most to treat simply because the questions 
we were raising had never been asked before. 

"The weight of water, for example, is an aspect of delivery that has not 
been considered except as an engineering problem; but now that energy is 
no longer cheap, the cost of moving water around the state is a key problem 
for the future operation of the State Water Project and the Colorado River 
Aqueduct. Similarly, even though groundwater provides 40 percent of the 



water we use, this atlas has the first map of the state's groundwater basins, 
and the information we have on the subject is incredibly incomplete." 

Was it worth doing? 

Bill Kahrl: "We start with the presumption that it is worthwhile to spend 
taxpayers' dollars to enhance taxpayers' understanding of the opportunities 
for them to take a role in shaping policy in a very difficult subject area." 

The key word there is understanding. It's the difference between raw data 
and the ability to do something with it. The sheer labor of doing the water 
atlas indicates its need. The digging, collecting, translating, reporting, illus- 
trating, and checking of information that went into this book is that much 
work that has been saved any citizen who might want to do something about 
water in California. 

A bargain. 

Do more such. 

Stewart Brand 
Sausalito, 1978 



For Further Reading 



The printed matter pertinent to California water problems 
might be measured, not in volumes, but in tons. This bibliography 
has, consequently, been limited to a few guides to the literature of 
the field, some of the more important works on the history of 
water development and water-related problems in the state, and 



the most comprehensive sources of statistical data on water supply 
and water use in California. These titles should be accessible in the 
larger public libraries, in college libraries, or through inter-library 
loan from the State Library and the major academic institutions. 
The reader who wishes to pursue a particular topic beyond the 



confines of this bibliography will find more specialized citations in 
the works listed below, many of which contain extensive biblio- 
graphies of primary source materials, and in the guides to the liter- 
ature listed here. 



California. Department of Water Resources. Chronological List of 
Bulletins and Reports: Department of Water Resources and its Predecessors, 
from 1880. Sacramento, CA: Department of Water Resources, 
Central Records Section. Loose-leaf, additional pages issued 
frequently. List of DWR Bulletins and other reports, some of 
which were originally issued in very limited numbers. The list 
is arranged by year of publication, without an index; however, 
key words are underscored in most titles to facilitate scanning. 
Although many reports are not readily available in most 
libraries, copies may be borrowed from the California State 
Library on inter-library loan. 

California. State Library. Government Publications Section. Cali- 
fornia State Publications. Vol. 1-. Sacramento, CA: State Library, 
1947 to date. Monthly, cumulated annually in the December 
issue. "Listing of official California state documents received 
by the Government Publications Section, California State 
Library." This is not a complete list of all publications of state 
agencies, but includes only those publications sent to deposi- 
tory libraries under the Library Distribution Act, and some 
additional agency-produced material received in the State 
Library. Arranged by State Library classification number, 
indexed by personal and corporate author, title, and subject. 

California. University. Water Resources Center Archives. Diction- 
ary Catalog of the Water Resources Center Archives, University of 
California. 5 vols. Boston: G.K. Hall & Company, 1970. Up- 



GUIDES TO THE LITERATURE 

dated with annual or biennial supplements, 1971 to date. 
Photographic reproduction of the card catalog of the state's 
major library in the field of water resources. The Archives, 
with its primary collection on the Berkeley Campus of the 
University, and a Southern California and southwestern re- 
gional collection at UCLA, collects historical and technical 
works on all aspects of water resources development, man- 
agement, use, and conservation; water economics and law; 
and coastal and offshore engineering. Both collections are 
open to the public and will lend materials to other libraries. 

Giefer, Gerald J. Sources of Information in Water Resources: An Annota- 
ted Guide to Printed Materials. Port Washington, NY: Water Infor- 
mation Center Inc., 1976. 290 pages. A list of reference 
works, handbooks, manuals, bibliographies, abstracting jour- 
nals, indexes, dictionaries, and encyclopedias in the field of 
water resources. Citations are annotated, arranged by broad 
subject and by form within subject, and indexed by author, 
title, and specific subject. 

Jones, James R. Inventory of Research Activities in the Lake Tahoe Area: A 
Bibliography, 1845-1976. South Lake Tahoe, CA, and Carson 
City, NV: Lake Tahoe Area Research Coordination Board and 
Nevada State Library, 1976. 219 pages. Listing of over 1,000 
research reports, journal articles, conference papers and 
theses, published and unpublished, many with annotations. 
Citations are arranged by broad topic and indexed by author 



and subject. Libraries possessing copies of these reports are 
noted. Appendix gives summaries of current research projects. 

Orse, Richard J. A List of References for the History of Agriculture in 
California. Davis, CA: University of California, Agricultural 
History Center, 1974. 141 pages. Annotated bibliography of 
books and journal articles on the history of agriculture in 
California. Includes agricultural and irrigation practices of 
the Indians and of the missions. Arranged by subject with 
author index. 

Selected Water Resources Abstracts. Vol. 1-. Washington, D.C.: U.S. 
Water Resources Scientific Information Center, 1968 to date. 
Biweekly. Abstracts of books, scientific and technical reports, 
journal articles and symposia in the field of water resources. 
Author, subject, organization, and accession number indexes 
are cumulated annually. 

U.S. Geological Survey. Reports for California by the Geological Survey 
Water Resources Division. Menlo Park, CA: U.S. Geological 
Survey, Water Resources Division, 1978. 145 pages. Alpha- 
betical listing by author of the Survey's publications about 
water in California. The list, which includes publications 
dealing with broader regions and the United States as a 
whole if data on California are included, is updated and 
reissued every few years. Indexed by hydrologic area, county, 
and subject. 



Bailey, Harry P. The Climate of Southern California. In California 
Natural History Guides: 17. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: 
University of California Press, 1966. 87 pages. Discusses 
climatic regions of Southern California, the effects of wea- 
ther patterns on the problems of fire, flood, drought, and 
smog. Tabular data on temperature and precipitation for 
selected stations. 

Bain, Joe S., Richard E. Caves, and Julius Margolis. Northern 
California's Water Industry: The Comparative Efficiency of Public Enter- 
prise in Developing a Scarce Natural Resource. Baltimore, MD: 
John Hopkins Press for Resources for the Future, 1966. 
766 pages. Economic and legal analysis of the institutions 
responsible for water supply development and management 
in California west of the Sierra Nevada and north of the 
Tehachapi Mountains. Discusses the legal framework and 
operations of water agencies, costs of supplying water, and 
water pricing and allocation. 

Bakker, Elna, S. An Island Called California. Berkeley and Los 
Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 1971. 357 pages. 
A natural history of California with discussion of each of the 
major ecological communities. Lists of plant and animal 
species are included. 

California. Coastal Zone Conservation Commission. California 
Coastal Plan. San Francisco, CA: Coastal Zone Conservation 
Commission, 1975. 443 pages. 

. Summary. 1975. 22 pages. Compilation of the 

findings, conservation and development policies, and goals 
prepared by the six regional commissions in response to the 
1972 Coastal Initiative. Colored maps detail coastal resour- 
ces, including estuaries, lagoons, and marshes, and planning 
goals for each subregion. 

California. Department of Fish and Game. Coastal Wetlands Series. 
No. 1-. Sacramento, CA: Department of Fish and Game, 1970 
to date. Each report covers geography, hydrology, and eco- 
logy of the area, inventories of plant and animal species, uses 



READING LIST AND SOURCES OF STATISTICS 

to which these resources have been and are being put, and 
recommendations for the mitigation of adverse impacts. 
Reports issued to date are: 

. No. 1 : Report on the Natural Resources of Upper Newport 

Bay and Recommendations Concerning the Bay's Development, by Herbert 
W. Frey, Ronald F. Hein, and Jack L. Spruill. 1970. 68 pages. 

. No. 2: The Natural Resources of Goleta Slough and 

Recommendations for Use and Development, by John W. Speth, et al. 
1970. 42 pages. 

. No. 3: The Natural Resources of Bolinas Lagoon: Their 

Status and Future, by Paul E. Giguere, et al. 1970. 107 pages. 

. No. 4: The Natural Resources of Elkhorn Slough: Their 

Present and Future Use, by Bruce M. Browning, et al. 1972. 
105 pages. 

. No. 5: The Natural Resources of San Diego Bay: Their 

Status and Future, by Bruce M. Browning, John W. Speth, and 
Wendal Gayman. 1973. 105 pages. 

. No. 6: The Natural Resources of Humboldt Bay, by 

Gary W. Monroe. 1973. 160+ pages. 

. No. 7: The Natural Resources of Los Pensacuitos Lagoon 

and Recommendations for Use and Development, by Peta J. Mudie, 
Bruce Browning, and John W. Speth. 1974. 75+ pages. 

. No. 8: The Natural Resources of Morrow Bay: Their 

Status and Future, by Gene L. Gerdes, Edward R. J. Primbs, and 
Bruce M. Browning. 1974. 103+ pages. 

. No. 9: Natural Resources of the Eel River Delta, by 

Gary W. Monroe, et al. 1974. 108 pages. 

. No. 10: Natural Resources of Lake Earl and the Smith 

River Delta, by Gary W. Monroe, Bobby J. Mapes, and Patrick L. 
McLaughlin. 1975. 114 pages. 

. No. 11 : The Natural Resources of Bodega Harbor, by Jon 

Standing, Bruce M. Browning, and John W. Speth. 1975. 
183+ pages. 

. No. 12: The Natural Resources of San Dieguito and 

Batiquitos Lagoons, by Peta J. Mudie, Bruce M. Browning, and 

John W. Speth. 1976. 100+ pages. 

. No. 13: The Natural Resources of Carpinteria Marsh: 



Their Status and Future, by Keith B. MacDonald. 1976. 69+ pages. 

. No. 14: Natural Resources of Coastal Wetlands in 

Northern Santa Barbara County, by Clark R. Mahrdt, et al. 1976. 
99+ pages. 

. No. 15: The Natural Resources of the Nipomo Dunes and 

Wetlands, by Kent A. Smith, John W. Speth, and Bruce M. 
Browning. 1976. 106+ pages. 

. No. 16: The Natural Resources of Agua Hedionda 

Lagoon, by Jack Bradshaw, et al. 1976. 110+ pages. 

. No. 17: The Natural Resources of Mugu Lagoon, by 

Keith B. MacDonald. 1976. 119+ pages. 

, . No. 18: The Natural Resources of Anaheim Bay — 

Huntington Harbour, by John W. Speth, et al. 1976. 103+ pages. 

. No. 19: The Natural Resources of Napa Marsh, by 

Madrone Associates. 1977. 97+ pages. 

. No. 20: The Natural Resources of Esteros Americano and 

de San Antonio, by Madrone Associates and James Swanson. 
1977. 81+ pages. 

California. Department of Fish and Game. Fish Bulletin. No. 1-. 
Sacramento, CA: Department of Fish and Game, 1913 to date. 
An irregular series of reports on various fish and fishery- 
related topics, including, annually, the California marine fish 
catch. Other titles of general interest include: 

. No. 96: California Fishing Ports, by W. L. Scofield. 

1954. 159 pages. 

. No. 113: The Ecology of the Salton Sea, California, in 

Relation to the Sportfishery, by Boyd W. Walker. 1961. 204 pages. 

. No. 123: The California Oyster Industry, by Elinore 

M. Barrett. 1963. 103 pages. 

. Nos. 133 and 136 : Ecological Studies of the Sacramento- 
San Joaquin Estuary, by D. W. Kelley and Jerry L. Turner. 1966. 
133 and 168 pages. 

. No. 150: A History of California's Fish Hatcheries, 

1870-1960, by Earl Leitritz. 1970. 92 pages. 
. No. 157: Guide to the Coastal Marine Fishes of Califor- 
nia, by David J. Miller and Robert N. Lea. 1972. 235 pages. 



113 



. No. 164: Trout and Salmon Culture, by Earl Leitritz 

and Robert C. Lewis. 1976. 197 pages. 

California. Department of Navigation and Ocean Development. A 
Guide to California Boating Facilities. Sacramento, CA: Depart- 
ment of Navigation and Ocean Development, 1974 to date. 
Issued in three booklets covering Northern, Central, and 
Southern California, tables keyed to maps show locations of 
launching ramps, berths, fuel docks, and associated chandler- 
ies along the Pacific Coast and on inland rivers, lakes, and 
reservoirs. 

California. Department of Public Health. Bureau of Sanitary 
Engineering. Water Reclamation. 15 vols. Berkeley, CA: Depart- 
ment of Public Health, Bureau of Sanitary Engineering, 1972. 
Part I provides general information on possible uses of re- 
claimed water in California, with quantity and quality re- 
quirements and public health considerations. Part II consists 
of separate volumes for each of the major drainage basins, 
including information on existing and planned reclamation 
operations (as of 1971) and identification of potential markets. 

California. Department of Water Resources. Bulletin. No. 1-. Sacra- 
mento, CA: State Printing Office, 1922 to date. The bulletins, 
of which numbers 1-56 and new series numbers 1-24 were 
published by the Department's predecessor agencies, include 
reports and statistical data on many aspects of water supply, 
development, management, and use in California. An anno- 
tated list and comprehensive index to the entire series is 
published semi-annually with periodic cumulations as Bulletin 
No. 170. The index also includes a list of libraries which 
receive the bulletins. Some titles of general and current 
interest are: 

. No. 17: Dams Within the Jurisdiction of the State of 

California. 1941 to date, irregular. 

. No. 63: Sea Water Intrusion in California. 1957 to date. 

irregular. A series of reports on the intrusion of salt water 
into groundwater basins in various parts of the state. 

. No. 68: Inventory of Waste Water Production and Waste 

Water Reclamation in California. 1953 to date, irregular. 

. No. 69: California High Water. 1962/63 to date. 

annual. Report of precipitation, peak flows, floods, and damages 
resulting from major storms during the water year October 1 to 
September 30. 

. No. 80 : Reclamation of Water from Wastes in Southern 

California. 1961 to date, irregular. 

• No. 113: Vegetative Water Use in California. 1954 to 

date, irregular. Data tabulated by evapotranspiration zone 
and by crop. 

. No. 118: California's Ground Water. 1975. 135 pages. 

. No. 120: Water Conditions in California. 1963 to date. 

Issued monthly, February through May with summary in 
October. Includes precipitation, snowpack, reservoir storage 
and streamflow data. 

. No. 130: Hydrologic Data. 5 vols. 1963 to date. 

annual. Contents: (l) north coastal area; (2) northeastern 
California; (3) central coastal area; (4) San Joaquin Valley; 
and, (5) Southern California. Includes streamflow at selected 
stations, water level in observation wells, surface and ground- 
water quality data. 

. No. 132: California State Water Project in (year). 1963 

to date, annual. Report on construction, operation, finance, 
and water deliveries to contracting agencies. 

. No. 160: The California Water Plan: Outlook in (year). 

1966 to date, irregular. This report updates the planning 
assumptions and projections of the Department and describes 
alternative future development and operating policies. 

■ No. 166-2 : Urban Water Use in California, by Richard 

J. Wagner. 1975. 172 pages. 

. No. 189: Waste Water Reclamation: State of the Art, by 

James M. Morris, Jr., Charles F. Kleine, and Earl G. Bingham. 
1973. 43 pages. 

■ No. 190: Water and Power from Geothermal Resources in 

California: An Overview, by Charles R. White and Phyllis J. 
Yates. 1974. 52 pages. 

• No. 194: Hydroelectric Energy Potential in California, 

by Robert G. Potter, et al. 1974. 61 pages. 

■ No. 198: Water Conservation in California, by Glenn 

B. Sawyer, et al. 1976. 95 pages. 

. No. 200: California State Water Project. 6 vols. 1974. 

Contents: vol. 1, History, Planning and Early Progress: vol. 2, 
Conveyance Facilities; vol. 3, Storage Facilities; vol. 4, Power and 
Pumping Facilities; vol. 5, Control Facilities; vol. 6, Project Supplements. 

• No. 201 : California Water. 1977 to date, annual. A 

report intended for the general public discussing current 
water supply and management issues and Department activities. 

California. Department of Water Resources. Directory of Officials of 
Flood Control, Reclamation, Levee and Drainage Districts, and Munici- 
palities. Sacramento, CA: Department of Water Resources, 
1964 to date, irregular. List, arranged by district, of officials 
responsible for flood control activities. Includes addresses 
and telephone numbers. Center-fold map shows locations of 
districts in Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. 

California. Governor's Commission to Review California Water 
Rights Law. Staff Paper. No. 1-. Sacramento, CA: Governor's 
Commission to Review California Water Rights Law, 1977 to 
date. A series of background reports on various questions 
prepared for the Commission. Papers issued to date are: 
. No. 1: Appropriative Water Rights in California: Back- 
ground and Issues, by Marybelle D. Archibald. 1977. 63 pages. 

• No. 2: Groundwater Rights in California: Background 

and Issues, by Anne J. Schneider. 1977. 105 pages. 

. No. 3 : Legal Aspects of Water Conservation in California : 

Background and Issues, by Clifford T Lee. 1977. 76 pages. 

. No. 4: Riparian Water Rights in California: Background 

and Issues, by David B. Anderson. 1977. 90 pages. 
. No. 5 : The Transfer of Water Rights in California: Back- 
ground and Issues, by Clifford T. Lee. 1977. 72 pages. 
. No. 6: Legal Aspects of Instream Water Uses in Cali- 
fornia: Background and Issues, by Anne J. Schneider. 1978. 131 
pages. 

California. State Water Resources Control Board. Publication. No. 1-. 
Sacramento, CA: State Water Resources Control Board, 1952 
to date. A series of reports on various aspects of water 
quality and water pollution. Before 1968, issued by the 
board's predecessor agencies: Numbers 1-24 by the State 



Water Pollution Control Board, and numbers 25-37 by the 
State Water Quality Control Board. Some titles of general 
and current interest are: 

. No. 3- A: Water Quality Criteria, edited by Jack 

Edward McKee and Harold W. Wolf. 2nd ed., 1963. 584 pages. 
A condensation and critical evaluation of the technical and 
legal literature pertaining to water quality criteria for the 
various beneficial uses of water. Includes a bibliography of 
some 3,800 citations. 

. No. 44: Study of Toxicity and Biostimulation in San 

Francisco Bay-Delta Waters. 8 vols. 1972. Contents: vol. 1, Sum- 
mary Report, by Randall L. Brown and Louis A. Beck; vol. 2, A 
Statistical Evaluation of the Relationships Between Relative Toxicity and 
Species Diversity Index, by Hydroscience Inc.; vol. 3, Acute Toxicity 
of Discharged Wastes, by Dennis C. Wilson and C. R. Hazel; vol. 4, 
Toxicity Removal from Municipal Wastewaters, by Larry A. Esvelt, 
Warren J. Kaufman, and Robert E. Selleck; vol. 5, Dispersion 
Studies, by Harlan J. Proctor, Jr. and Gerald C. Cox; vol. 6, 
Bioassays of the Lower Trophic Levels, by Hans-Jurgen Krock and 
David T Mason; vol. 7, Effects of Wastes on Benlhic Biota, by Dick 
A. Daniel and Harold K. Chadwick; vol. 8, Algal Assays, by 
Randall L. Brown, Gary Varney, and Harold K. Chadwick. 

. No. 46: Environmental Impact of Detergent Builders on 

the Waters of the State of California, by David Jenkins, et al. 1972 
61 pages. 

. No. 50: A Method for Regulating Timber Harvest and 

Road Construction Activity for Water Quality Protection in Northern 
California, by Jones and Stokes Associates. 2 vols. 1973 

. No. 56: Oil Spills in California and Effects of Cleanup 

Agents, by Fred Kopperdahl, Charles Hazel, and Norman 
Morgan. 1975. 106 pages. 

. No. 57: Tahoe Basin Studies Report, A compendium of 

Reports to the State Water Resources Control Board. 1974. 79 pages. 

. No. 59: California Water Quality Research needs. 1977. 

83+ pages. 

California. University. Water Resources Center. Annual Report. 
Davis, CA: Water Resources Center, 1964 to date. The 
Center was established in 1957 to coordinate and fund water- 
related research on all campuses of the University of Cali- 
fornia. The Annual Report summarizes research in progress or 
completed in the past year, and lists reports published by the 
Center and other publications emanating from research 
projects. 

California. University. Berkeley. Sanitary Engineering Research 
Laboratory. Comprehensive Study of San Francisco Bay: Final Report 
In the Laboratory's SERL Report Nos. 65-7, 65-8, 67-3, 65-10, 67-2, 
67-4, 67-1, and 67-5. 8 vols. Berkeley, CA: Sanitary Engineer- 
ing Research Laboratory, and the School of Public Health, 
1965-1907. Contents: vol. 1, Physical, Chemical and Microbiolog- 
ical Sampling and Analytical Methods; vol. 2, Biological Sampling and 
Analytical Methods; vol. 3, Waste Discharges and Loadings; vol. 4, 
Physical and Hydrological Characteristics of San Francisco Bay; vol. 5, 
Summary of Physical, Chemical and Biological Water and Sediment Data ; 
vol. 6, Water and Sediment Quality and Waste Discharge Relationships; 
vol. 7, A Model of Mixing and Diffusion in San Francisco Bay; vol. 8, 
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations. 

California Water Code. Compilation and codification of laws in effect 
at the time of publication dealing with state powers over 
water, water rights, flood control, water conservation and 
development projects including the California Water Plan and 
Central Valley Project, water quality, and the formation and 
operation of various types of water districts. Through 1969 
the Water Code was published biennially by the California 
Department of General Services. After that date, commer- 
cially published editions such as West's Annotated California 
Codes: Water, or Deering's California Codes, Anotated: Water, should 
be consulted. These latter include, in addition to the text of 
the law, cross-references to legal opinions, law review arti- 
cles, etc. The reader should be warned that not all water- 
related law is contained in the Water Code; it is sometimes 
necessary to consult other codes such as Government, Harbors 
and Navigation, or Public Utilities. 

Cooper, Erwin. Aqueduct Empire: A Guide to Water in California, Its 
Turbulent History and Its Management Today. In Western Lands 
and Waters Series VII. Glendale, CA: Arthur H. Clark Co., 
1968. 439 pages. Summarizes the history of California water 
development with special emphasis on the State Water Pro- 
ject and future alternatives. 

Dames & Moore. National Shoreline Study, California Regional Inventory. 
San Francisco, CA: U.S. Corps of Engineers, South Pacific 
Division, 1971. 256 pages. Inventory of erosion problems 
along the California coast, recommendations as to suitable 
protection, tables and maps detailing shoreline characteristics 
ownership status, use, erosion, and protection measures. 

Dana, Richard Henry. Two Years Before the Mast, (many editions 
available). This classic of the sea contains an eyewitness 
account of California in the 1830's. Detailed account of the 
hide and tallow trade and shipping, descriptions of climate 
coastal weather, and the geography and vegetation of the 
California coast. 

DeRoos, Robert. The Thirsty Land: The Story of the Central Valley Project: 
Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1948. 256 pages. 
History of the Central Valley Project, includes planning, 
politics, conflicts between the Bureau of Reclamation and the 
Corps of Engineers, 160-acre limitation, hydroelectric power, 
and conflicts with Pacific Gas and Electric Co., financing and 
repayment, state versus federal control. 

Dunne, Thomas and Luna B. Leopold. Water in Environmental Plan- 
ning. San Francisco, CA: Freeman, 1978. 818 pages. Compre- 
hensive text and basic reference covering hydrology, fluvial 
geomorphology, and river quality. Illustrated with numerous 
examples of field problems frequently encountered by plan- 
ners and water resource managers. An interdisciplinary 
approach stressing alternative strategies and the bases and 
techniques of quantitative analysis. 

Fellmeth, Robert C. Politics of Land. New York: Grossman, 1973. 
715 pages. Report of Ralph Nader's Study Group on Land Use 
in California. Analysis of land ownership patterns and the' 
concommitant political and financial influence on water pol- 
lution regulation, the development and operation of publicly 
funded irrigation and water transfer projects. Included are 
the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Act and the regulatory 



performance of the State and Regional Water Quality Con- 
trol Boards; financial arrangements of the State Water Pro- 
ject; operations of the Bureau of Reclamation in the San Luis 
Project, Westlands Water District; and the effects of recrea- 
tion development on adjacent waters. 

Fuhriman, Dean K. and James R. Barton. Ground Water Pollution in 
Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah. U. S. Environmental Protec- 
tion Agency, Water Pollution Control Research Series 16060 
ERU 12/71. Washington, D.C.: U. S. Government Printing 
Office, 1971. 249 pages. Survey of groundwater pollution 
problems, discussion of the various causes of pollution, and 
recommendations for further research. Includes extensive 
bibliography. 

Gilliam, Harold. Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region. Berkeley, CA: 
University of California Press, 1966. 72 pages. (California 
natural history guides: 6). Covers basic principles of meteor- 
ology and how the topography of the Bay Area modifies the 
prevailing weather patterns, creating local microclimates. 

Goldman, Charles R. Eutrophication of Lake Tahoe Emphasizing Water 
Quality. In U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ecological 
Research Series EPA-660/3- 74-034. Washington, D.C.: U. S. 
Government Printing Office, 1974. 408 pages. Study of the 
chemical and limnological factors affecting Lake Tahoe water 
quality. Graphs, tables, and maps showing data from 4 1/2 
years of water quality monitoring. Some discussion of land 
application of waste water within the watershed. 

Harding, Sidney Twichell. Water in California. Palo Alto, CA: N-P 
Publications, 1960. 231 pages. Summarizes the geography of 
water in California and traces the history of water supply 
development and use, including the evolution of water rights 
and water law, hydraulic mining, navigation, irrigation, hy- 
droelectric power, and flood control. 

Hundley, Norris. Water and the West: The Colorado River Compact and 
the Politics of Water in the American West. Berkeley and Los 
Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 1975. 395 pages. 
Historical and political study of the background and effects 
of the Colorado River Compact apportioning Colorado River 
water between the upper and lower basins, legal conflicts 
between Arizona and California, and apportionments of 
lower basin flows among Arizona, California, and Nevada. 

Hutchins, Wells Aleck. The California Law of Water Rights. Sacra- 
mento, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural 
Research Service and California State Printing Office, 1956. 
571 pages. Analysis and explanation of water rights law in 
California, with index of topics covered and of cases cited. 

Kelley, Robert L. Gold vs. Grain: The Hydraulic Mining Controversy in 
California's Sacramento Valley, A Chapter in the Decline of the Concept 
of Laissez-Faire. In Western Lands and Waters Series I. Glendale, 
CA: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1959. 327 pages. Study of the rise 
of hydraulic mining in California, the effects of hydraulic 
mining debris on agriculture, navigation, and flooding in the 
Sacramento River Valley, and the battles in the courts, State 
Legislature, and Congress between mining and agricultural 
interests. 

MacDiarmid, John MacLeod. The Central Valley Project, State Water 
Project, and Salinity Control in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Sacra- 
mento, CA: State Water Resources Control Board, 1976. 553 
pages. (Thesis, M.A. in Geography, California State Univer- 
sity, Chico). Available from National Technical Information 
Service, Springfield, VA PB 254-093. History of salinity intru- 
sion problems in the Delta and the response of governmental 
agencies, including various saltwater barrier projects. The 
planning and operation of the Central Valley Project by the 
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and of the State Water Project 
by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and of the State Water Pro- 
ject by the California Department of Water Resources; the 
setting of Delta water quality standards and the responsibil- 
ities of the State Water Resources Control Board; as well as 
conflicts among these and other agencies are discussed. 

MacMullen, Jerry. Paddle-Wheel Days in California. Stanford, CA: 
Stanford University Press, 1944. 157 pages. History of inland 
steam navigation on San Francisco, San Diego, and Humboldt 
bays, the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, and the lower 
Colorado. Appendices list steamboats which saw service on 
California rivers, steamboat builders, tables of distances be- 
tween river landings, and ferry-boats. 

McNairn, Jack and Jerry MacMullen. Ships of the Redwood Coast. Stan- 
ford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1945. 156 pages. History 
of the coastwise lumber trade. Appendices list wooden steam- 
schooners, steam-schooner conversions, steam-schooner op- 
erators, lumber ports of Northern California, and masters of. 

May, Philip Ross. Origins of Hydraulic Mining in California. Oakland, 
CA: Holmes Book Co., 1970. 88 pages. Historical study con- 
centrating on the technological developments in hydraulic' 
mining, with illustrations from contemporary sources. 

Nadeau, Remi A. The Water Seekers. Santa Barbara, CA: Peregrine 
Smith, 1974. 278 pages. History of water supply development 
in Southern California since the late 1800s with emphasis 
on the building of the Owens Valley Aqueduct and develop- 
ment of the Colorado River. 

Ostrom Vincent. Water and Politics : A Study of Water Policies and Admin- 
istration in the Development of Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA: 
Haynes Foundation, 1953. 297 pages. History of the develop- 
ment of the municipal water supply system of Los Angeles 
from Pueblo days to the post-War era, concentrating on the 
political, institutional, and administrative aspects. 

Pacific Southwest Inter-Agency Committee. California Region 
Framework Study Committee. Comprehensive Framework Study, 
California Region. 21 vols, [n.p.], The Framework Study Com- 
mittee, 1971. Water supply and use data for the California 
Region (including parts of southern Oregon drained by the 
Klamath River) as of 1965, with projections to 2020. Outlines 
alternative water and land resource uses for the future. Con- 
tents : appendix 1, History of the Study; app. 2, The Region; app. 3, 
Legal and Institutional Environments ; app. 4, Economic Base and Pro- 
jections; app. 5, Water Resources; app. 6, Land Resources and Use; 
app. 7, Mineral Resources; app. 8, Watershed Management; app. 9, 
Flood Control; app. 10, Irrigation and Drainage; app. 11, Municipal 
and Industrial Water; app. 12, Recreation; app. 13, Fish and Wildlife; 
app. 14, Electric Power; app. 15, Water Quality, Pollution and Health 



114 



Factors; app. 16, Shoreline Protection; app. 17, Navigation; app. 18, 
General Program and Alternatives. State and federal comments. 

Rada, Edward L. and Richard J. Berquist. Irrigation Efficiency in the 
Production of California Crop Calories and Proteins. Davis, CA: Uni- 
versity of California Water Resources Center, 1976. 93 pages. 
(The Center's Contribution No. 158). Includes statistics on 
production of calories and protein per acre-foot of irrigation 
water applied by crop and by hydrologic area. Data for 1964, 
1969, and 1972. 

Rogers, Harold E. and Alan H. Nichols. Water for California: Planning, 
Law and Practice, Finance. 2 vols. San Francisco, CA: Bancroft- 
Whitney, 1967. Compiled primarily as a reference work for 
engineers, attorneys, public officials, and financial consul- 
tants, these volumes discuss various water development pro- 
jects, water rights, types of water organizations and their 
statutory basis, and the financing of water projects. Many 
legal citations. 

San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. 
Background Reports. San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Bay Con- 
servation and Development Commission, 1966-1968. 25 re- 
ports and summaries. An unnumbered series of reports by 
various consultants and the staff of the BCDC. Titles are: 
The Tides of San Francisco Bay, by Bernard Smith; Sedimentation 
Aspects of San Francisco Bay, by Bernard Smith; Pollution, Water 
Pollution and San Francisco Bay, by BCDC staff; Preliminary Fish 
and Wildlife Plan for San Francisco Bay-Estuary, by Glenn Delisle; 
Some Ecological Aspects of San Francisco Bay, by H. Thomas Harvey; 
Flood Control in the San Francisco Bay System Tidal Plain, by Bernard 
Smith; Smog and Weather: The Effect of San Francisco Bay on the Bay 
Area Climate, by Albert Miller; Appearance and Design: Principles 
for Design and Development of San Francisco Bay, by Harold B. 
Goldman; Fill: Three Reports on Aspects of Fill in San Francisco Bay, 
by Lee and Praszker, Consulting Engineers, H. Bolton Seed, 
and Karl V. Steinbrugge; Salt, Sand and Shells: Mineral Resources 
of San Francisco Bay, by Harold B. Goldman; Economic and Popu- 
lation Growth in the San Francisco Bay Area, by Clifford W. Graves; 
Ports: Maritime Commerce in the San Francisco Bay Area, by Clifford 
W. Graves; Air Transportation and San Francisco Bay, by Clifford 
W. Graves; Transportation: Surface Transportation On and Around 
San Francisco Bay, by George E. Reed; Recreation On and Around 
San Francisco Bay, by BCDC staff; Waterfront Industry Around San 
Francisco Bay, by Dorothy Muncy; Waterfront Housing: Residential 
Development Around San Francisco Bay, by Clifford W. Graves; 
Public Facilities and Utilities In and Around San Francisco Bay, by 
Clifford W. Graves; Solid Waste Disposal and San Francisco Bay, by 
David M. Stevens; Ownership, by BCDC staff; Government: 
Regional Organization for Bay Conservation and Development, by 
Stanley Scott and John C. Bollens; Powers and Money Needed to 
Carry Out the Bay Plan, (7 vols, by various authors); Oil and Gas 
Production in San Francisco Bay, by Peter A. Stromberg; Review of 
Barrier Proposals for San Francisco Bay, by Richard W. Karn. 

San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. 
San Francisco Bay Plan. San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Bay 
Conservation and Development Commission, 1969. 43 pages. 
In 1965 the McAteer-Petris Act established the Commission 
to prepare "A comprehensive and enforceable plan for the 
conservation of the water of San Francisco Bay and the devel- 
opment of its shoreline." This volume summarizes the find- 
ings and details the proposed policies of the Commission. 
The Commission was made permanent by act of the State 
Legislature in 1969. 

. Supplement. 1969. 572 pages. Summaries of all 

of the Background Reports prepared for the Commission by its 
staff and consultants for use in formulating the Bay plan. 

Schelhorse, Larry D., et al. The Market Structure of the Southern 
California Water Industry. La Jolla, CA: Copley International 
Corp. for the U.S. Office of Water Resources Research, 1974. 
204 pages. Description of water supply and use in Southern 
California, and an analysis of the physical, legal, and organi- 
zational aspects of the water industry of Los Angeles, Orange, 
San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Imperial, 
and Inyo counties. Discusses demand for water by various 
sectors of the Southern California economy and the costs 
of supplying that water. 

Scott, Edward B. The Saga of Lake Tahoe. Crystal Bay, NV: Sierra- 
Tahoe Publishing Co., 1957. 519 pages. Illustrated history of 
the development of the Tahoe area from its discovery (Euro- 
pean discovery, that is) in 1844. 

Seckler, David, ed. California Water: A Study in Resource Management. 
Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California 
Press, 1971. 348 pages. A collection of 16 papers by various 
authors. Subjects covered include: the State Water Plan; use 
of water in urban areas, in agriculture, and by native vegeta- 
tion; desalination; waste water reclamation; geothermal and 
hydroelectric resources; acreage limitation; conjunctive use; 
and techniques of resource allocation and project evaluation. 

Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Coastal Water 
Research Project Annual Report. El Segundo, CA: Southern Cali- 
fornia Coastal Water Research Project, 1974 to date. The 
project was established in 1969 by local government agencies 
in the Southern California coastal area to study the waters 
from Point Concepcion to the Mexican border. The Annual 
Report summarizes research findings and lists papers and tech- 
nical reports prepared by the project staff. Research for the 
period 1970-73 was reported in The Ecology of the Southern 
California Bight: Implications for Water Quality Management. 1973. 
531 pages. 

Stewart, J. Ian. Irrigation in California: A Report to the State Water 
Resources Control Board. Davis, CA: University of California, 
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, Water Science 
and Engineering Section, 1975. 64 pages. Detailed study of 
irrigation water use in California based on 1972 data. In- 
cludes irrigation locations, types of crops and acreages of 
each, quantities of water applied and irrigation methods 
in use. 

Thomas, Harold Edgar and D. A. Phoenix. Summary Appriasals of 
the Nation's Groundwater Resources — California Region. In U. S. Geo- 
logical Survey, Professional Paper 813-E. Washington, D. C. : 
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1976. 51 pages. 
Information on the location and geology of aquifers and 
groundwater basins, pumpage, natural and artificial recharge, 



seawater intrusion, land subsidence, groundwater quality and 
pollution, conjunctive use, and reservoir management. 

Thompson, John. Settlement Geography of the Sacramento-San Joaquin 
Delta, California. 1957. 551 pages. (Thesis, Ph.D. in Geography, 
Stanford University. Available from University Microfilms, 
Ann Arbor, MI). Comprehensive study of the geography, 
hydrography, European discovery, exploration, and settle- 
ment of the Delta. History of reclamation efforts, agricultural 
development and land use patterns, establishment of towns 
and transportation facilities, and floods since 1850. 

U. S. Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors. Port Series. Wash- 
ington, D. C: U. S. Government Printing Office, (various 
dates). Each volume of this series, which is prepared for the 
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, covers a single port or group 
of nearby ports, and provides data on port and harbor con- 
ditions, navigation channels and anchorages, wharves and 
piers, shoreside warehouses and cargo-handling facilities, 
marine repair facilities, and a detailed map. Updated at irreg- 
ular intervals. Port Series volumes for California are: 

. No. 27: Port of San Diego. 

. No. 28: Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. 

. No. 30: Ports of San Francisco and Redwood City. 

. No. 31: Ports of Oakland, Alameda, Richmond and Ports 

on the Carquinez Strait. 

. No. 32 : Ports of Sacramento, Stockton, Pittsburg and 

Antioch. 

U. S. Bureau of the Census. Report on Agriculture by Irrigation in the 
Western Part of the United States at the Eleventh Census: 1890, by 
F. H. Newell. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Government Printing 
Office, 1894. 336 pages. 

. Crops and Irrigation. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Gov- 
ernment Printing Office, 1902. 880 pages (12th Decennial 
Census: 1900, vol. 6). 

. Irrigation. Washington, D. C: U. S. Government 

Printing Office, 1913. pages 827-876. (Taken from the 13th 
Decennial Census (1910) chap. 11 of the vol. 6). 

. Irrigation and Drainage: General Report and Analytical 

Tables and Reports for States, with Statistics for Counties. Washington, 
D. C. : U. S. Government Printing Office, 1922. 741 pages. 
(14th Decennial Census: 1920, vol. 7). 

. Drainage of Agricultural Lands: Reports by States with 

Statistics for Counties, a Summary for the United States and a Synopsis of 
Drainage Laws. Washington, D. C: U. S. Government Printing 
Office, 1932. 453 pages. (15th Decennial Census: 1930). 

. Irrigation of Agricultural Lands. Washington, D. C: 

U. S. Government Printing Office, 1942. 689 pages. (16th 
Decennial Census: 1940). 

. Drainage of Agricultural Lands. Washington, D. C. : 

U. S. Government Printing Office, 1942. 683 pages. (16th 
Decennial Census: 1940). 

. Irrigation of Agricultural Lands. Washington, D. C: 

U. S. Government Printing Office, 1952. various pagings. 
(U. S. Census of Agriculture: 1950, vol. 3). 

. Drainage of Agricultural Lands. Washington, D. C. : 

U. S. Government Printing Office, 1952. 307 pages (U. S. 
Census of Agriculture: 1950, vol. 4). 

. Irrigation of Agricultural Lands. Washington, D. C. : 

U. S. Government Printing Office, 1962. 400 pages. (U. S. 
Census of Agriculture 1959, vol. 3). 

. Drainage of Agricultural Lands. Washington, D. C. : 

U. S. Government Printing Office, 1961. 364 pages. (U. S. 
Census of Agriculture: 1959, vol. 4). 

. Irrigation. Washington, D. C: U. S. Government 

Printing Office, 1973. 273 pages. (U. S. Census of Agriculture : 
1969, vol. 4). While, with the exception of the report from 
the 1890 Census, the reports listed above cover the entire 
United States, much of the detailed data is arranged by state. 
In addition, data on irrigated acreage and the value of crops 
therefrom are presented in the California volume of each 
U. S. Census of Agriculture (1950, 1954, 1959, 1964, and 
1969). 

. Census of Housing. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Gov- 
ernment Printing Office, 1940 to date. Decennial. Reports 
prepared from data collected in the Decennial Census of 
Population include statistics on plumbing, source of house- 
hold water supply, and, since 1960, method of sewage disposal. 
In the most recent censuses, data are presented by state, by 
standard metropolitan statistical area, and by city block. The 
1940 census included special tables on rural housing. 

. Water Use in Manufacturing. Washington, D. C. : 

U. S. Government Printing Office, 1954 to date. Quinquennial. 
(U. S. Census of Manufactures: 1954 to date, vol. 1, various 
chapters). Data for industries, grouped according to the 
Standard Industrial Classification, are presented by state in 
some tables and by industrial water use region in others. 
Topics covered include water intake and source, water con- 
sumption, water discharged, and effluent treatment. 

U. S. Comptroller General. California Drought of 1976 and 1977: 
Extent, Damage, and Governmental Response. Washington, D. C. : 
U. S. General Accounting Office, 1977. 92 pages. Summary 
of extent and economic impact of the latest California drought. 
Analysis of governmental responses to the drought on the 
federal, state, and local level. 

U. S. Congress. House. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. 
Central Valley Project Documents, compiled by Clair Engle and the 
Committee staff 84th Cong. 2nd sess. REPT. 415. 85th 
Cong., 1st sess. REPT. 246. 2 vols. Washington, D. C. : U. S. 
Government Printing Office, 1956-1957. Volume 1 is a com- 
pilation, in whole or in excerpt, of the authorizing docu- 
ments, reports, and legislation related to water planning in 
California beginning with the establishment of the Office of 
Surveyor General in 1850, through the first two decades of 
operation of the Central Valley Project. Volume 2 contains 
operating documents, excerpts from committee hearings, 
water and power contracts, financial data, and legal opinions 
and decisions. Each volume is indexed separately. 

U. S. Corps of Engineers. Waterborne Commerce of the United States, 
Part 4: Waterways and Harbors, Pacific Coast, Alaska and Hawaii. 
Vicksburg, MS: U. S. Army Engineer Division Lower Missi- 
ssippi Valley, 1920 to date, annual. Statistics on tonnage of 
imports, exports, and coastwise shipping by commodity and 
port or waterway. Trips and drafts of vessels inbound and 
outbound by port and type of vessel. Passenger statistics for 
certain ports. 



. South Pacific Division. Water Resources Development 

by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in California. San Francisco, 
CA: U. S. Corps of Engineers, South Pacific Division, 1950 to 
date, biennial. Reports of flood control, harbor and navigation 
and beach erosion control projects and research undertaken 
by the Corps in California. 

U. S. Environmental Data Service. Climate of California. In the Ser- 
vice's Climatography of the United States, No. 60 : Climates of the 
States. Asheville, NC: National Climatic Center, 1959 to date, 
irregular. Brief text, tables of monthly average temperature, 
precipitation, and probability of freezing. Tables of normals, 
means, and extremes for selected stations. Maps of mean 
temperature, precipitation, and freeze-free period. The 1970 
edition has been reprinted in Climates of the States. Port Wash- 
ington, NY: Water Information Center Inc., 1974. 

. Climatological Data, California. Vol. 1-. Asheville, 

NC: U. S. Environmental Data Service, 1897 to date. Monthly. 
Daily precipitation and temperature, evaporation and wind, 
snowfall and snow on ground, map of gauging stations and 
station index are included. Issue No. 13 each year is the an- 
nual summary. 

U. S. Geological Survey. Estimated Use of Water in the United States, 
1950—. In the Survey's Circular Nos. 115, 398, 456, 556, 676, 
765. Washington, D. C: U. S. Government Printing Office, 
1951 to date. Quinquennial. Estimates of ground and surface 
water withdrawn and consumed for public water supply, 
rural domestic and livestock use, irrigation, industrial use 
(self-supplied) and thermoelectric and hydroelectric power 
generation. Data are presented by state and region. 

. Water Resources Data for California, 196 1 -. Menlo Park, 

CA : U. S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division, 1963 
to date. Annual. Daily streamflow records from several hun- 
dred gauging stations maintained by the Survey, reservoir 
storage, water level in observation wells, water quality, and 
suspended sediment measurements. The surface water sup- 
ply records are cumulated at intervals in Surface Water Supply of 
the United States, Part 9: Colorado River Basin; Part 10: Great Basin, 
and Part 11: Pacific Slope Basins in California. Records of obser- 
vation wells are cumulated in Groundwater Levels in the United 
States: Southwestern States. Water quality data was republished 
annually through 1970 in Quality of Surface Waters of the United 
States, Parts 9, 10, and 11. All of these cumulations and repub- 
lications are issued as various numbers of the U. S. Geolog- 
ical Survey Water-Supply Papers. 

. Water-Supply Paper. No. 1-. Washington, D. C. : 

U. S. Government Printing Office, 1896 to date. Irregular. 
Reports on water-related topics throughout the United States, 
and occasionally abroad. Includes records of ground and sur- 
face water supply, water quality, and floods in California. 
Indexed by author, topic, and geographic area in Publications of 
the Geological Survey. Index volumes cover 1879-1961, 1962- 
1970, and have been issued monthly with annual cumulations 
thereafter. 

. Water Resources Division. California Streamflow 

Characteristics (from Records through 1968). 2 vols. Menlo Park, CA: 
U. S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division, 1971. 
(Openfile report). Includes gauging station descriptions, dur- 
ation tables for daily discharge, highest mean discharge for 
specified consecutive periods, and statistics for monthly and 
annual mean discharges for selected gauging stations. 

U. S. National Weather Service. Precipitation-Frequency Atlas of the 
Western United States, Volume 11: California. In NOAA Atlas 2. 
Silver Spring, MD: U. S. National Weather Service, 1973. 71 
pages. Isopluvial maps showing 6-hour and 24-hour precipi- 
tation for 2-year, 5-year, 10-year, 25-year, 50-year, and 100- 
year frequency of occurrence. Accompanying text gives meth- 
ods of data collection and analysis, interpretation of results, 
and procedures for estimating values for durations other 
than 6 and 24 hours. Prepared for the U. S. Soil Conser- 
vation Service. 

Waananen, A. O. and J. R. Crippen. Magnitude and Frequency of Floods 
in California. Menlo Park, CA: U. S. Geological Survey, Water 
Resources Division, 1977. 96 pages. (The Division's Water 
Resources Investigation 77-21). Equations and nomographs 
for the estimation of magnitude and frequency of floods on 
gauged and ungauged drainage areas in California. 

Water Quality Control Plan Report: (name of basin). Sacramento, CA: 
State Water Resources Control Board, (various dates). Irreg- 
ular. Plans for the various basins, prepared by the Regional 
Water Quality Control Boards in response to the Porter- 
Cologne Water Quality Act, have appeared in several pre- 
liminary versions over the past decade. The "Final" Plans 
were submitted to the State Board in 1975, the "Draft" 
Environmental Impact Reports on the adoption of the Plans 
have now begun to appear. The Plans identify past, present, 
and potential beneficial uses of surface and groundwater, 
and set water quality objectives to protect those uses, and 
recommend alternative pollution control measures. Back- 
ground data on the geography, hydrology, and current waste- 
water production of the basin are included. Plans have been 
issued for the following basins: 1 — A, Klamath River Basin: 
1— B, North Coastal; 2, San Francisco Bay; 3, Central Coast; 
4 — A, Santa Clara River Basin; 4 — B, Los Angeles River 
Basin; 5 — A, Sacramento River Basin; 5 — B, Sacramento — 
San Joaquin Delta Basin; 5 — C, San Joaquin River Basin; 
5 — D, Tulare Lake Basin; 6 — A, North Lahontan; 6 — B, 
South Lahontan; 7— A, West Colorado River Basin; 7 — B, 
East Colorado River Basin; 8, Santa Ana River Basin; 9, San 
Diego Basin. 

Watkins, Tom H. "California: The New Romans." The Water 
Hustlers. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club, 1971, pp, 131-201. 
History and critique of water resources development in 
California, concentrating on the State Water Project, its plan- 
ning, financing, and political controversies. 

Watkins, Tom H., et al. The Grand Colorado: The Story of a River and 
Its Canyons. Palo Alto, CA: American West Publishing, 1969. 
310 pages. Copiously illustrated work covering many facets 
of the Colorado: history of Indian settlement; Spanish ex- 
ploration; early cartographic efforts; American explorers, 
particularly the expedition of John Wesley Powell; develop- 
ment of irrigated agriculture in Arizona and Imperial Valley; 
construction of dams; the images of painters and photo- 
graphers; and the coming of tourists and conservationists. 



115 



Key to Sources 



The lists below identify the principal sources 
used in the preparation of maps, tables, and 
charts, as well as the institutions and individuals 
who contributed photography and other graphic 
materials to the atlas. Because the atlas was in- 
tended in part as a demonstration of the ways in 
which the great quantities of information gov- 
ernmental agencies collect can be reconstituted 
in a form which is more readily accessible to the 
general reader, the emphasis in our research 
program was placed at the outset upon the 
assembly of already available data rather than 
the generation of new information. In the pro- 
cess of fitting together data from disparate 
sources in order to create a statewide presenta- 
tion of particular aspects of the water situation 



in California, however, we encountered numer- 
ous inconsistencies not only among the data 
supplied by the major water agencies but even 
between reports published by the same agency. 
A major part of the research effort consequently 
involved the resolution of conflicts between re- 
porting agencies with respect to definitions, 
reservoir capacities, methods of calculation, and 
the names given to place names and facilities. 
In the selection of data sources, our prefer- 
ence throughout the project was to use already 
published or publicly available information. The 
water year 1975 was selected for the illustration 
of many aspects of the modern water environ- 
ment because that was the most recent fully 
reported year in which precipitation and runoff 



nearly approximated long-term averages. Earlier 
years were used where more recent information 
was not available or where historic events were 
treated. Later years were used in instances 
where the exceptional events associated with 
the drought of 1976-77 would not be relevant to 
the topic being presented or where the drought 
itself was the topic. With respect to place names, 
the identification used by the United States 
Geological Survey has been given. In the de- 
tailed maps of individual water delivery systems, 
however, the facilities have been identified with 
the names used by the agency operating that 
facility. 

In many instances a choice had to be made 
among several available data sets, any one of 



which would have given different results than 
any of the others. In these instances, we selected 
that data set which best suited our desire to give 
a comprehensive treatment of the topic being 
presented. Additional research was sometimes 
necessary either to fill in missing elements or to 
correct obvious errors, and these instances have 
been noted below. In general, in those cases 
where experts might disagree as to the validity 
of some of the specific information contained in 
the data sets we have employed, our rule was to 
maintain a degree of consistency with the pub- 
lished source given below such that another 
person using the same source would obtain a 
comparable result. 



PLATES 



HYDROLOGIC BALANCE 

Adapted from Department of Water Resources 
flow diagram Hydrologic Balance for Cali- 
fornia, November 1977. 

Artist: David L. Fuller Page: v 

CALIFORNIA IN CONTEXT 

U. S. Geological Survey. Estimated Use of Water in 
the United States in 1975. In Circular 765. 
Washington, D. C. : U. S. Government Print- 
ing Office, 1977. 

. National Atlas of the United States 

of America. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Gov- 
ernment Printing Office, 1970. 

. Water Supply Paper. Washington, 

D. G: U. S. Government Printing Office, 
1970. (various numbers and dates). 

Artist: Wdliam A. Bowen Page: 2 

MEAN ANNUAL PRECIPITATION 

Rantz, S. E. Mean Annual Precipitation in the Cali- 
fornia Region. Menlo Park, CA: U. S. Geolog- 
ical Survey (open-file maps), 1969. 

U. S. Department of Commerce. Climatological 
Data: California. Washington, D. O: Super- 
intendent of Documents, 1975. 

Artist: Donald A. Ryan Page: 5 

PRECIPITATION VARIABILITY 

Data provided by unpublished computer listings 
from the Department of Water Resources, 
Division of Planning, Water Resources Eval- 
uation Section. 

Artist: Judith Christner Page: 7 

ANNUAL RUNOFF AND SEASONALITY 

U. S. Geological Survey. National Atlas of the 
United States of America. Washington, D. C. : 
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1970. 

Additional information provided by the U. S. 
Geological Survey, Water Resources Divi- 
sion, California District, Menlo Park, Cali- 
fornia. 

Artist: David L. Fuller Page: 8 

SNOW DEPTH 

Data provided by Department of Water Resour- 
ces, Division of Flood Management, Snow 
Surveys Branch, and Division of Planning, 
Resources Evaluation Section. 

Map adapted from material developed by Greg 
Scharfen, intern with Department of Water 
Resources for Division of Planning, Re- 
sources Evaluation Section. 

Artist: David L. Fuller Page: 11 

NATURAL MOISTURE DEMAND 

California. Department of Water Resources. 
Bulletin. No. 113-3: Vegetative Water Use in 
California, 1974. Sacramento, CA: State Print- 
ing Office, 1974. 

Data for the evapotranspiration maps were 
adapted from material developed by W. O. 
Pruitt, Department of Land, Air, and Water 
Resources, and Elias Fereres and Kent Kaita, 
Cooperative Extension, University of Cali- 
fornia, Davis. 

Artist: Mark E. Goldman Page: 13 

THE VIRGIN WATERSCAPE 

Derby, G. H. Map of San Diego River, 1853. Ob- 
tained from the California Section of the 
State Library. 

Kuchler. Natural Vegetation of California (map), 
1977. Obtained from the California Section 
of the State Library. 

Nichols, D. and N. Wright. Preliminary Map of 
Historic Margins of Marshlands, San Francisco 
Bay, California. San Francisco, CA : San Fran- 
cisco Bay Region Environment and Resour- 
ces Planning Study, U. S. Geological Survey 
and Department of Housing and Urban 
Development Basic Data Contribution 9. 

Whitney, J. D. Map of California and Nevada, 1873. 
Obtained from the California Section of 
the State Library. 



. Map of Tidelands of California, 

1873. Obtained from the California Section 
of the State Library. 
Artist: Donald A. Ryan Page: 17 

SACRAMENTO FLOOD CONTROL SYSTEM 

California. Department of Water Resources. 
Bulletin. No. 69-65: California High Water 1964- 
1965. Sacramento, CA: State Printing Of- 
fice, 1965. 

. Flood Channel Capacities (map). 

Sacramento, CA: Department of Water 
Resources, 1970. 

. 1975 National Assessment : Specific 

Problem Analysis. Sacramento, CA: State 
Printing Office, 1977. 

U. S. Geological Survey. California Streamflow 
Characteristics (open-file report). Menlo Park, 
CA: U. S. Geological Survey, 1971. 

. Water Supply Paper 1686, Part 

11. Magnitude and Frequency of Floods in the United 
States. Menlo Park, CA: U. S. Geological 
Survey, 1967. 

Artist: Mark E. Goldman Page: 18 

HISTORIC WATER DEVELOPMENT 

California. Department of Public Works, Divi- 
sion of Water Resources. Dams Under the Jur- 
isdiction of California. Sacramento, CA: State 
Printing Office, 1971. (Now identified as 
Bulletin 17-41). 

California. Department of Water Resources. Bul- 
letin. No. 3: The California Water Plan. Sacra- 
mento, CA: State Printing Office, 1957. 

. No. 160-74: The California Water 

Plan Outlook in 1974. Sacramento, CA: State 
Printing Office, 1974. 

. No. 200, Vol. 1 : California State 

Water Project. Sacramento, CA: State Print- 
ing Office, 1974. 

Hall, William H. Irrigation Maps, 1890. Obtained 
from the Water Resources Archives, Uni- 
versity of California, Berkeley. 

Harding, Sidney Twichell. Water in California. 
Palo Alto, CA: N-P Publications, 1960. 

Tait, C. E. Irrigation in the Imperial Valley. Senate 
Document No. 246. Washington, D. C: 
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1908. 

U. S. Bureau of the Census. Report on Agriculture 
by Irrigation in the Western Part of the United 
States at the Eleventh Census -.1890, by F. H. 
Newell. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1894. 

U. S. Department of Agriculture. Office of 
Experiment Stations. Bulletin. No. 100: Irri- 
gation Investigations in California. Washington, 
D. O: U. S. Government Printing Office, 
1901. 

. No. 158: Annual Report of Irriga- 
tion and Drainage Investigations. Washington, 
D. O: U. S. Government Printing Office, 
1904. 

. No. 207: Irrigation in the Sacra- 
mento Valley. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Gov- 
ernment Printing Office, 1909. 

. No. 237: Irrigation in California. 

Washington, D. C. : U. S. Government Print- 
ing Office, 1911. 

. No. 239: Irrigation in the San 

Joaquin. Washington, D. O: U. S. Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1912. 

. No. 254: Irrigation Resources of 

California and their Utilization. Washington, 
D. O: U. S. Government Printing Office, 
1912. 

U. S. Geological Survey. Water-Supply Paper 
No. 17: Irrigation Near Bakersfield. Menlo Park, 
CA: U. S. Geological Survey, 1898. 
Near Fresno. Menlo Park, CA: U. S. Geo- 
logical Survey. 1898. 

Artist: Donald A. Ryan Page: 25 



NORTHERN CALIFORNIA URBAN 
DELIVERY SYSTEMS 

East Bay Municipal Utility District. Distribution 
System Comprehensive Map. Oakland, CA: East 
Bay Municipal Utility District, 1973. 

. Flow and Distribution Diagram for Fiscal 

1975. Oakland, CA: East Bay Municipal 
Utility District, 1975. 

. Map of Water Production System. Oakland, 

CA: East Bay Municipal Utility District, 
1975. 

San Francisco Department of Water. Annual 
Report. San Francisco, CA: San Francisco 
Department of Water, 1975. 

. San Francisco Department of Water Service 

Area (map). San Francisco, CA: San Fran- 
cisco Department of Water, 1962. 

Artist: Donald A. Ryan Page: 30 

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA URBAN 
DELIVERY SYSTEMS 

Flaxman, B. The Price of Water: Who Pays and Who 
Benefits? A Policy Study of the Metropolitan Water 
District of Southern California. Berkeley, CA: 
Claremont Graduate School, Public Policy 
Studies, 1976. 

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. 
Map of Water and Power Facilities Along the Los 
Angeles Owens River Aqueduct System. Los An- 
geles, CA: Los Angeles Department of Wa- 
ter and Power, 1968. 

Metropolitan Water District of Southern Cali- 
fornia. Map of Member Agencies 1977. Los 
Angeles, CA: Metropolitan Water District 
of Southern California, 1977. 

. Thirty-Eighth Annual Report, 1976. Los 

Angeles, CA: Metropolitan Water District 
of Southern California, 1976. 

. Thirty-Seventh Annual Report, 1975. Los 

Angeles, CA: Metropolitan Water District 
of Southern California, 1975. 

Additional data provided by the Los Angeles 
Department of Water and Power, Los An- 
geles, California. 

Artist: David L. Fuller Page: 34 

GROWING SEASON 
EVAPOTRANSPIRATION 

California. Department of Water Resources. Bul- 
letin. No. 113 — 3: Vegetative Water Use in Cali- 
fornia, 1974. Sacramento, CA: State Print- 
ing Office, 1975. 

Additional information provided by B. D. Meek 
of the Imperial Valley Conservation Re- 
search Center, Brawley, California, in a 
letter dated January 30, 1978. 

Artist: David L. Fuller Page: 40 

COLORADO RIVER BASIN 1975 

U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of 
Indian Affairs. Indian Land Areas and Related 
Facilities as of 1971 (map). Washington, D. C. : 
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1971. 

U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of 
Reclamation. Colorado River System Consump- 
tive Uses and Losses Report, 1971-75. Washing- 
ton, D. C. : U. S. Government Printing 
Office, 1975. 

Additional data provided by the Colorado River 
Board of California, Los Angeles, California. 

Artist: William A. Bowen Page: 44 

CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT: 
WATER YEAR 1975 

U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, Central Valley 
Operations. Annual Report of Operations, 1974. 
Sacramento, CA: Bureau of Reclamation, 
1974. 

. Annual Report of Operation, 1975. Sacra- 
mento, CA: Bureau of Reclamation, 1975. 

Additional information provided by Bureau of 
Reclamation : Operations Branch, Repay- 
ment Branch, and Public Information Of- 
fice; and Department of Energy, Western 



Area Power Administration. 
Artist: David L. Fuller Page: 48 

STATE WATER PROJECT: 
WATER YEAR 1975 

California. Department of Water Resources. Basic 
Facts Booklet: California Water Project. Sacra- 
mento, CA: State Printing Office, 1973. 

. Boundaries of Public Water Agencies San 

Joaquin Valley (map). Sacramento, CA: State 
Printing Office, 1975. 

. Bulletin. No. 132-75: The California State 

Water Project in 1975. Sacramento, CA: State 
Printing Office, 1975. 

. No. 132-76: The California State 

Water Project in 1976. Sacramento, CA: State 
Printing Office, 1976. 

. State Water Project: Report of Operations. 

Sacramento: CA: State Printing Office, 
October 1974 through September 1975. 
Issued monthly. 

. Sacramento, CA: State Print- 
ing Office, 1974. Annual report. 
. Sacramento, CA: State Print- 
ing Office, 1975. Annual report. 

Artist: David L. Fuller Page: 52 

APPLIED IRRIGATION WATER 

California Department of Water Resources. Bul- 
letin. No. 198: Water Conservation in California. 
Sacramento, CA: State Printing Office, 1976. 

Artist: David L. Fuller Page: 55 

PRINCIPAL LAKES AND RESERVOIRS 

California. Department of Finance. California 
Statistical Abstract. Sacramento, CA: State 
Printing Office, 1975. 

California. Department of Water Resources. Bul- 
letin. No. 17-76: Dams Within the Jurisdiction 
of the State of California. Sacramento, CA: 
State Printing Office, 1976. 

California. State Water Resources Control Board. 
Lakes of California: An Electronically Processed 
File. Sacramento, CA: State Water Resour- 
ces Control Board, Division of Planning 
and Research, Surveillance and Monitoring 
Unit, 1978. 

Artist: Donald A. Ryan Page: 59 

MEASURED AND UNIMPAIRED 

STREAMFLOWS: WATER YEAR 1975 

California. Department of Water Resources. Bul- 
letin. No. 120-75: Water Conditions in California. 
Sacramento, CA : State Printing Office, 1975. 

U. S. Geological Survey. Water Resources Data for 
California: Water Year 1975. In Water Data 
Report CA— 75. Vol. 1—4. Menlo Park, CA: 
U. S. Geological Survey, Water Resources 
Division, 1975. 

Additional information provided by the Depart- 
ment of Water Resources, Snow Surveys 
Branch. 

Artist: Donald A. Ryan Page: 60 

GROUNDWATER 

California. Department of Water Resources. Bul- 
letin. No. 98: N. E. Counties Groundwater Inves- 
tigation. Sacramento, CA: State Printing Of- 
fice, 1963. 

. No. 118: Groundwater in Califor- 
nia. Sacramento, CA: State Printing Office, 
1975. 

. No. 118-4: Groundwater Resour- 
ces: Sonoma County. Sacramento, CA: State. 
Printing Office, 1975. 

. No. 130-72: Southern California. 

Sacramento, CA : State Printing Office, 1972. 

. No. 130-73: San Joaquin Valley. 

Sacramento, CA: State Printing Office, 1973. 

. No. 130-75 : Hydrologic Data. Vol. 

1-5. Sacramento, CA: State Printing Office, 
1975. 

California. Department of Water Resources. 
San Joaquin District. Artificial Recharge of 
Groundwater in the San Joaquin-Central Coastal 



116 



Area. Sacramento, CA: State Printing Of- 
fice, 1977. 

California. Department of Water Resources. 
Southern District. Summary of Groundwater 
Quality Data. Sacramento, CA: State Print- 
ing Office, 1973. 

Los Angeles County Flood Control District. 
Hydrologic Report, 1974-75. Los Angeles, CA: 
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, 
1975. 

Santa Clara Valley County Water District. 
Groundwater Recharge Report. San Jose, CA: 
Santa Clara Valley County Water District, 
1977. 

Thomas, Harold E. and D. A. Phoenix. Summary 
Appraisals of the Nation's Groundwater Resources 
— California Region. In U. S. Geological Sur- 
vey, Professional Paper 813-E. Washington, 
D.C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 
1976. 

U. S. Geological Survey. Artificial Recharge in 
Upper Santa Ana Valley (open-file report). 
Menlo Park, CA: U. S. Geological Survey, 
1969. 

. Groundwater Data as of 1967 (open-file 

report). Menlo Park, CA: U. S. Geological 
Survey, 1969. 

Additional data provided by the Department of 
Water Resources, Division of Planning, 
Statewide Planning Branch. 

Artist: Mark E. Goldman Page: 68 

CALIFORNIA WATERSCAPE 

California. Department of Finance. California 

Statistical Abstract 1975. Sacramento, CA: 

State Printing Office, 1975. 
California. Department of Fish and Game. 

Coastal Wetland Series. Nos. 1-20. These are 

listed individually in the bibliography. 
California. Department of Wafer Resources. 

Bulletin. No. 160-7 '4: Surface Water Resources 

Development in California. Sacramento, CA: 

State Printing Office, 1974. 
Major, J. and M. G. Barbour. Terrestrial Vegetation 

of California. New York, NY: John Wiley & 

Son, 1977. 
U. S. Geological Survey. State of California (map). 

Menlo Park, CA: U. S. Geological Survey, 

1970. 

. State of California — North Half (map). 

Menlo Park, CA: U. S. Geological Survey, 

1970 

. State of California — South Half (map). 

Menlo Park, CA: U. S. Geological Survey, 

1970. 



HYDRAULIC MINING IN 1867 Page: 16 
Browne, J. Ross. Resources of the Pacific Slope: A Sta- 
tistical and Descriptive Summary; with a Sketch of 
the Settlement and Exploration of Lower California. 
New York, 1869. 

THE CITY WATER BUILT Page: 36 
City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Engineering. 

Annexation and Detachment Map, 1978. 

SALTON SEA SALINITY LEVELS Page : 43 
Layton, David and Donald Ermak. A Description 
of Imperial Valley, California, for the Assessment 
of Impacts of Geothermal Energy Development. 
Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, UCRL- 
52121. 
Additional data provided by the Imperial Irri- 
gation District. 

FUTURE DELIVERIES OF THE Page: 53 
STATE WATER PROJECT 

California. Department of Water Resources. Bul- 
letin. No. 132-76: The California State Water 
Project in 1976. Sacramento, CA: State Print- 
ing Office, 1976. 

INLAND COMMERCIAL Page: 62 

FISHING 
California. Department of Fish and Game. The 
Commercial Pish Catch of California for the Year 



Bancroft Library, University of California, Ber- 
keley: 15, 16, 19, 31, 47, 90. 

William A. Bowen: 12, 39, 56, 58, (2) 63, 90, 
(2) 91, 95, (2) 103, 108. 

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power: 
29, (3) 32, 90, 110. 

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 
Ames Research Center : 1, 6, 10, 12, 14, 19, 



Additional data provided by the Department of 
Fish and Game, Wildlife Management Sec- 
tion; and the Department of Water Re- 
sources, Northern District. 

Artist: Mark E. Goldman Page: 70 

PEAK STREAMFLOWS 

Waananen, A. O. and J. R. Crippen. Magnitude 
and Frequency of Floods in California. In U. S. 
Geological Survey Water Resources Inves- 
tigation 77-21. Menlo Park, CA: U S. Geo- 
logical Survey, Water Resources Division, 
1977. 

Additional information provided by the U S. 
Geological Survey, Water Resources Divi- 
sion, California District Office, Menlo Park, 
California; and the City of Bakersfield 
Water Department, Bakersfield, California. 

Artist: David L. Fuller Page: 72 

DROUGHT: WATER YEARS 1976/1977 
California. Department of Water Resources. 
Bulletin. No. 202-76: Water Conditions and 
Floods in California. Sacramento, CA: State 
Printing Office, 1976. 

. Unpublished computer printout of 

reservoir storage data. Sacramento, CA: 
Department of Water Resources, Snow 
Surveys Branch. 
Artist: David L. Fuller Page: 76 

URBAN WATER USE AND PRICE 
Data provided by the Department of Water Re- 
sources, Division of Planning, Water Use 
and Economics Unit. 
Artist: David L. Fuller Page: 80 

CROP PATTERNS AND APPLIED WATER 
California. Department of Water Resources. 
Untitled Land Use Maps of Fresno County. 
Sacramento, CA: Department of Water Re- 
sources, 1968, 1972. 
Artist: William A. Bowen Page: 82 

WATER USE BY INDUSTRY 

U. S. Bureau of the Census. Water Use in Manu- 
facturing. Washington, D. O: U S. Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1972. 

Additional information provided by the Cali- 
fornia Energy Commission. 

Artist: Donald A. Ryan Page: 87 

HYDROELECTRIC POWER GENERATION: 
FACILITIES, INSTALLED CAPACITIES, 
AND LOAD FACTORS 
California. Department of Water Resources. 
Bulletin. No. 194: Hydroelectric Energy Po- 
tential in California. Sacramento, CA: State 



Printing Office, 1974. 
Artist: Donald A. Ryan Page: 89 

SURFACE WATER QUALITY: 
WATER YEAR 1975 

Ayers, R. S. and R. Branson. Water Quality: Guide- 
lines for the Interpretation of Water Quality for 
Agriculture. Davis, CA: University of Cali- 
fornia, Davis, Department of Land, Air, 
and Water Resources, Cooperative Exten- 
sion, December 1973, rev. September 1976. 

California. Department of Water Resources. 
Course Manual, Introduction to Water Quality. 
Unpublished instruction manual by Jim 
Morris with the Department of Water Re- 
sources. 

California. Water Resources Control Board. 
Publication No. 3A: Water Quality Criteria. 
Sacramento, CA: State Printing Office, 
1963. 

. Publication No. 36: Problems of Setting 

Standards and of Surveillance for Water Control. 
Sacramento, CA: State Printing Office, 
1967. 

Environmental Protection Agency. Water Quality 
Criteria 1972. Washington, D. C: U. S. Gov- 
ernment Printing Office, 1972. 
. Water Quality Criteria 1976. Washing- 
ton, D. C: U. S. Government Printing Of- 
fice, 1976. 

Food and Agriculture Organization of the 
United Nations. FAO Irrigation and Drain- 
age Paper No. 29: Water Quality for Agricul- 
ture. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Or- 
ganization of the United Nations, 1976. 

Ingram, W M. and Kenneth MacKenthun. "Pol- 
lution." McClane's Standard Fishing Encyclopedia. 
New York, Chicago, San Francisco: Holt, 
Rinehart, & Winston, 1965 ed. 

U. S. Geological Survey. Water-Supply Paper 
No. 1473: Study and Interpretation of 
Chemical Characteristics of Natural Water. 
Menlo Park, CA: U S. Geological Survey, 
1970. 

Artist: David L. Fuller and Judith Christner 
Page: 96 

SEWAGE TREATMENT FACILITIES: 

CAPACITIES, TREATMENT STANDARDS 
AND VOLUMES, 1975 

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Cost Es- 
timates of Construction of Publicly-Owned Waste- 
water Treatment Facilities — 7976 Needs Survey. 



SUPPLEMENTARY GRAPHICS 



(year). Sacramento, CA: Department of Fish 
and Game, (various years). 

Outdoor California, March-April 1970. 

Skinner, John. Fish and Wildlife Resources of the San 
Francisco Bay Area. Sacramento, CA: Depart- 
ment of Fish and Game, Water Projects 
Branch, Report No. 1, June 1962. 

Additional data provided by the Department of 
Fish and Game. 

WATER DISTRICT Page: 63 
ORGANIZATION 

Goodall, Merrill R., John D. Sullivan, and Timothy 
De Young. California Water: A New Political 
Economy. New York, NY : Allanheld, Osmum 
and Co., 1978. 

URBAN RESPONSE TO Page: 77 

DROUGHT 
California. Department of Water Resources. The 
1976-77 California Drought: A Review. Sacra- 
mento, CA: State Printing Office, 1978. 

AGRICULTURAL RESPONSE Page: 78 
TO DROUGHT 

California Crop and Livestock Reporting Ser- 
vice: California Fruit and Nut Statistics, 1965- 
19 77 ; and California Vegetable Crops; Acreage, 
Production, and Value, 1969-1977. 



U. S. Department of Agriculture and California 
Department of Food and Agriculture. An- 
nual Field Crop Summary. Released January 23, 
1978. 

TRENDS IN URBAN WATER USE Page : 81 
California. Department of Water Resources. Bul- 
letin. No. 166-2: Urban Water Use in California. 
Sacramento, CA : State Printing Office, 1975. 

COMPARATIVE VALUES IN Page: 84 
AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION 

Stewart, J. Ian. Irrigation in California : A Report to 
the State Water Resources Control Board. Davis, 
CA: University of California, Department 
of Land, Air and Water Resources, Water 
Science and Engineering Section, 1975. 

California. Department of Finance. California Sta- 
tistical Abstract. Sacramento, CA : State Print- 
ing Office, 1973. 

PUBLIC WATER RECREATION Page: 92 
FACILITIES 

California. Department of Finance. California Sta- 
tistical Abstract. Sacramento, CA: State Print- 
ing Office, 1977. 

California. Department of Finance. Population 
Estimates for California Counties. Sacramento, 



PHOTOGRAPHY 



20, 21, 28, 33, 38, 42, 50, 54, 62, 65, 66, 67, 
73, 74, 77, 85, 86, 88, 93, 94, 98, 101, 104, 
106. 111. 

Security Pacific National Bank, Los Angeles, 
California: (2) 24, 27, (2) 49, 110. 

Argus Books: 91; Army Corps of Engineers: 
78; Hon. Peter H. Behr: 69; California De 
partment of Water Resources: 4, 54, 64, 



106 ; California Historical Society, San Fran- 
cisco, California: 24, 27, 29, (2) 31; Califor- 
nia Historical Society, Title Insurance Com- 
pany of Los Angeles: (2) 51, (2) 84, 91, 110; 
California State Library: 19; California State 
University, Northridge: 36; Jack Clark: 54, 
56, 95; William L. Kahrl: 12, 36, 108; 
Walraven F. Ketellapper: 75; Jet Propulsion 
Laboratory: 37, 57, 100; Kerr McGee Cor- 



Denver, CO: General Services Adminis- 
tration, 1977. 
Artist: Donald A. Ryan Page: 99 

IRRIGATION METHODS AND 
APPLIED DEMAND 

Stewart, J. Ian. Irrigation in California: A Report to 
the State Water Resources Control Board. Davis, 
CA: University of California, Department 
of Land, Air, and Water Resources, Water 
Science and Engineering Section, 1975. 

Artist: David L. Fuller Page: 102 

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AND THE DELTA 

California. State Water Resources Control 
Board. Interim Water Quality Control Plan, San 
Francisco Bay. Sacramento, CA: State Water 
Resources Control Board, 1971. 

. Environmental Impact Report for the Water 

Quality Control Plan and Water Rights Decision, 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh. 
Sacramento, CA: State Water Resources 
Control Board, 1978. 

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Ad- 
ministration. Nautical Chart 18652. Washing- 
ton, D.C.: U. S. Government Printing 
Office, 1978. 

Additional data provided by the Department of 
Water Resources Central District, Delta 
Branch; the State Water Resources Control 
Board Delta Studies Unit; and, Regional 
Water Quality Control Boards, Regions 2 
(San Francisco Bay Region) and 5 (Central 
Valley Region). 

Artist: William A. Bowen Page: 105 

SUPPLY AND DEMAND: 1972 

California. Department of Water Resources: 
Bulletin. No. 120-72: Water Conditions in Cali- 
fornia. Table 3, p. 17. Sacramento, CA: State 
Printing Office, 1972. 

. No. 160-74: The California Water 

Plan Outlook in 1974. Figures 32-53 and 
Figure 3. Sacramento, CA: State Printing 
Office, 1974. 

Pacific Southwest Interagency Committee. Cali- 
fornia Region Framework Study Commit- 
tee. Comprehensive Framework Study, California 
Region. Appendix V, Table 1, p. 11. [n.p.] The 
Framework Study Committee, 1971. 

Additional data provided by the Department of 
Water Resources, Division of Flood Man- 
agement, Snow Surveys Branch. 

Artist: David L. Fuller Page: 109 



CA: State Printing Office, 1977. Report 
No. 77E-2. 

California. Department of Navigation and Ocean 
Development. Inventory of California Boating 
Facilities. Prepared by Management Consult- 
ing Corporation, Sacramento, California, 
1977. 

California. Department of Parks and Recrea- 
tion. Parks and Recreation Information Sys- 
tem (PARIS). 

California. State Water Resources Control Board. 
Lakes of California: An Electronically Processed 
File. Sacramento, CA : State Water Resour- 
ces Control Board, Division of Planning 
and Research, Surveillance and Monitoring 
Unit, 1978. 

BENEFICIAL USES OF Page: 110 
RECLAIMED WATER IN 
CALIFORNIA IN 1975 
California. Department of Health, Water Sani- 
tation Section. Reliability of Wastewater Recla- 
mation Facilities. Sacramento, C A : State Print- 
ing Office, 1976. 



poration: 79; Metropolitan Water District 
of Southern California: (3) 41; Ontario City 
Library, Model Colony Collection: 39; Scott 
Stine: 108; United Aerial Survey: 64; Peter 
T Vorster : 45, 91, 108; Werner Vorster: 10; 
Water Resources Archives, University of 
California, Berkeley: 22, 23, 26, 46; Peter C. 
Welti: 91. 



117 



Index 



We assumed in constructing this volume that 
many people do not read an atlas from begin- 
ning to end but instead turn directly to the sub- 
jects that interest them most. The contents have 
consequently been organized to ease a peripate- 
tic approach of this kind and the reader will find 
the treatment of discrete topics like the Hetch 
Hetchy project or water quality concentrated for 
the most part in individual segments of the 
narrative. Certain topics, however, such as 



groundwater or the law of rights, are ubiquitous 
in any discussion of water in California. Where 
such topics crop up repeatedly, we have attemp- 
ted to introduce them within the specific context 
in which they appear in a manner that would be 
sufficient for the individual who reads that sec- 
tion and none other. While this means that such 
a reader will not have to hunt through other 
sections of the book to discover the meaning of 
an unfamiliar principle such as the appropriative 



doctrine when he or she encounters it for the 
first time, the approach does have at least two 
drawbacks. First, the person who reads the atlas 
consecutively will encounter some unavoidable 
repetition, although instances of this have been 
kept to a minimum. More importantly, the 
reader who encounters a topic such as the 
appropriative doctrine in relation to hydraulic 
mining should not make the mistake of believing 
that this context exhausts the topic. There are 



many other aspects of the appropriative doc- 
trine, for example, that are treated in other 
parts of the volume. The index has, therefore, 
been prepared primarily to aid the reader in 
tracing the substantive treatments of such multi- 
faceted topics, as well as to locate specific refer- 
ences to individuals and institutions mentioned 
in the text. 



Acreage limitation, 49,50,51 
Area of origin (statutes), 36, 69 
Arizona v. California, 36, 42, 45, 66, 101 
Arkansas Act of 1850, 16 

Army Corps of Engineers, 19, 49, 50, 53, 56, 
90, 91, 108 

Ballinger, Richard, 31 
Behr, Peter H„ 69 
Blythe, Thomas, 39 
Brown, Edmund G., Jr., 100 
Brown, Edmund G., Sr., 51 
Bond Certification Commission, 27 
Boswell, J.G., Corporation, 64 
Boulder Canyon Project, 39, 41, 66, 88 
Bureau of Reclamation, 21, 33, 39, 49, 50, 51, 
54, 56, 78, 91, 101, 104, 108 

Burns-Porter Act, 51, 53 

California Debris Commission, 19, 20 
California Development Company, 39, 43 
California Irrigation Association, 47 
California Limitation Act, 41 
California-Nevada Interstate Compact, 106 
California Steam Navigation Company, 90 
California Water and Power Act, 49 
California Water District Act, 64 
Central Arizona Project, 42, 45, 101 
Central Valley Project, 21, 46, 47-56, 66, 69, 

78, 85, 88, 104, 106, 108 
Chaffey, George B., 24, 39 
Colorado River, 10, 15, 36, 38-45, 66, 101, 

103, 106 
Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act, 43 
Colorado River Board, 43 
Colorado River Compact, 41, 43, 45 
Columbia River (proposals for development), 

106,107 
Community Services District Law, 63 
Constitutional Amendment of 1928, 27, 49, 64, 

65, 73, 108 
Crandall v. Woods, 26 

Davis-Dolwig Act, 91 

Davis-Grunsky Act, 53, 91 

Delta, 3, 10, 14, 21, 47, 51, 56, 62, 63, 91, 

103, 104-106, 110 
Department of Fish and Game, 43, 110 
Department of Water Resources, 43, 51, 106, 108 
Dickey Act, 98 



Districts, 16, 19, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 39, 43, 47, 

54, 56, 63-64, 108, 111 
Drainage Act of 1880, 19 
Drought, 24, 29, 73, 75; 1976-77, 3, 45, 75-78, 

108, 110, 111 

Earthquakes, 74-75 

Edison, Thomas, 110 

Edmonston, Arthur D., 50, 51, 54 

Engle, Clair, 53 

Environmental Protection Agency, 98, 104 

Evapotranspiration, 3, 6, 10, 14, 73 

Federal Project Recreation Act, 91 

Fish and wildlife, 3, 4, 21, 58, 62-63, 73, 92, 

94, 104, 110 
Fisher, Walter, 31 
Flood control, 19-21, 74, 75 
Floods, 9, 16, 19, 20, 64, 73-75, 78 

Garfield, James R., 29, 31 

Glenn, Hugh J., 22 

Governor's Commission to Review California 

Water Rights Law, 104, 110 
Green Act, 21 
Groundwater, 3, 10, 12, 36, 47, 66-69, 73, 90, 

103-104, 106 
Grunsky, C.E., 19 

Hall, William "Ham", 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 46, 90 

Herminghaus v. Southern California Edison Company, 27 

Hetch Hetchy, 29-32, 66, 69 

Hitchcock, Ethan A., 29 

Hoover, Herbert, 49 

Huntington, Henry, 32 

Hyatt, Edward, 49, 56 

Hydraulic mining, 16, 19, 20, 21, 26, 28, 62, 86 

Hydroelectric power, 31, 32, 39, 41, 42, 49, 88-90 

Ickes, Harold L., 31 

Indians, 15, 22, 39, 45, 103, 106 

Irvine Company, 64 

lvanhoe Irrigation District v. McCracken, 50 

Jackson, Thomas, 20 

]oslin v. Marin Municipal Water District, 27 

Knight, Goodwin, 50, 51 

Lane, Franklin K., 31 
Lippincott, Joseph B., 33, 39 
Los Angeles Aqueduct, 31-36, 39 



Los Angeles County Flood Control District, 36, 

75 
Los Angeles v. San Fernando, 67, 69, 73, 103 
Lux v. Haggin, 26, 27 

Manson, Marsden, 19, 29 

Marshall, James, 15 

Marshall, Robert B., 47, 51 

Marshall Plan, 47, 49 

Metropolitan Water District, 36, 41, 42, 43, 51, 

53, 54, 66, 67, 77, 85 
Mexican-American Water Treaty, 43 
Muir, John, 29, 31 
Mulholland, William, 32, 33, 39 

Natural moisture demand, 10, 12, 13, 73, 75 
Navigation, 19, 21, 22, 90-91 

O'Shaugnessy, M.M., 31 

Owens Valley controversy, 15, 33, 41, 47, 53, 

95 
Pacific Gas and Electric company, 31, 32, 49-50 
Palou, Francisco, 15 
Parks Dam, 27 

Pasadena v. Alhambra (Raymond Basin), 67 
Peabody v. City of Vallejo, 27 
Peripheral Canal, 56, 106 
Pinchot, Gifford, 29, 31 
Porter-Cologne Act 98 
Powell, John Wesley, 39 
Precipitation, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 73 
Pricing, 54, 56, 79-85, 108, 110, 111 

Quality, 3, 36, 42-43, 62-63, 93-100 

Railroads, 21, 28-29, 90 

Raker, John E., 31 

Reagan, Ronald, 56, 69 

Recycling, 1, 100, 110 

Right of Way Act, 29 

Rights, 24, 26, 27, 29, 47, 49, 64-73, 79, 108, 110 

Rockwood, Charles R., 39 

Rolph, James, 31 

Roosevelt, Franklin D., 49 

Roosevelt, Theodore, 19, 29, 31, 32, 33, 88, 90 

Ruef, Abraham, 29, 31 

Runoff, 3, 6-10, 73, 94, 95 

Sacramento Flood Control Project, 15, 16, 19-21, 

27 
Safe Drinking Water Act, 98 



Salinity, 42-43, 103 

Saltwater intrusion, 14, 58, 103, 104 

Salyer, J.G., Land Company, 64 

San Joaquin Master Drain, 54, 103 

Scattergood, E.F. 39 

Seasonality, 4, 6-9 

Sewage treatment, 100 

Smythe, William, 46 

Snow, 4, 9, 10, 11, 73 

Soil moisture, 10, 12, 73 

Spanish, 15, 22, 66 

Spring Valley Water Company, 29, 31 

State Water Project, 36, 45, 46, 50-56, 69, 73, 

78, 85, 91-92, 101, 103 
State Water Resources Control Board, 56, 66, 

108, 110 
State Water Resources Development Bond Act, 

51, 53, 66 
Subsidence, 58, 103 
Supreme Court, California, 19, 24, 26, 27, 65, 

67, 69, 73 
Supreme Court, United States, 36, 45, 64, 66, 

101, 103, 104, 108 
Sutter, John August, 15 

Taft, William Howard, 31 
Tevis, William, 29 
Town Sites and Power Act, 88 
Tsunamis, 74 

Use: Agricultural, 1, 81, 103; commercial, 65, 
84; consumptive, 3; industrial, 84, 86-88, 
95; instream, 3, 69, 73, 108, 110; recrea- 
tional, 91-92; residential, 1, 81, 84 

Water colonies, 22-24, 29, 46-47 

Water Commission Act, 27, 66 

Water pollution Control Act, 98 

Wilbur, Ray Lyman, 31 

Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, 3, 56, 69, 92, 107, 

110 
Wilson, Woodrow, 31 
Winters v. United States, 45 
Woodruff v. North Bloomfield ei.al, 19 
Works, John D., 31 
Wozencraft, Oliver M., 39 
Wright Irrigation Act, 26, 47, 63 
Wyoming v. Colorado, 41 

Young, Clement, 49 



118