Skip to Main Content

Colorado River Commission

Black and white image of the face view of Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam, Nevada (1954)

Image from the State Archives (PLA-0249).

These files appertain to many of the activities of the Colorado River Commission of Nevada (CRCN), from its inception as an informal body created by Governor Emmet D. Boyle. The records include incoming and outgoing correspondence, minutes of CRCN meetings, maps, proceedings and minutes of interstate and regional organizations, tentative and final forms of the Colorado River Compact of 1922, state and federal legislation, proposed legislation, memoranda, reports, contracts, leases, legal documents, statements of estimated generation charges, work programs, notices of meetings, finance files, and land files.

The correspondence is with, among others: power companies, water districts, federal agencies, the Colorado River agencies of other states, members of Congress, and officials of the other states of the Colorado Basin.

Major topics dealt with in the records are hydroelectric power, irrigation, hydro-chemical production, flood control, the Central Arizona Project, the Basic Magnesium Project, and domestic water storage, treatment, and distribution.

Nevada state agencies represented in the files are: the State Planning Board, State Engineer, Department of Highways, Office of the Attorney General, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Public Service Commission.

Federal agencies with which the CRCN has been involved include the Bureau of Reclamation, Federal Power Commission, Rural Electrification Administration, Defense Plant Corporation, and the U. S. Geological Survey.

Among the major private and public entities receiving water or power from the CRCN are the Southern California Edison Company, Basic Magnesium, Southern Nevada Power Company, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Non-governmental or quasi-governmental organizations with which the CRCN has been associated include: the (interstate) Colorado River Commission, Committee of Fourteen, Committee of Sixteen, Colorado River Users' Association, National Reclamation Association, Upper Colorado River Basin Committee, and the Columbia Basin Inter-Agency Committee.

The legal materials largely pertain to Nevada's activities as a rôle in the U. S. Supreme Court case Arizona v. California (1963) and litigation associated with the acquisition of lands in the Fort Mohave Valley.

The microfilmed materials are of operation and maintenance files, contract files, old contract correspondence, pre-design reports, Power Division files, minutes of officially scheduled and special meetings; other microfilm pertains to bonds (general obligation, improvement, facilities and refunding, water improvement).

Because the governor was for many years a member of the Commission, and the Office of the Attorney General has furnished legal counsel to the Commission, most of the records concerning the CRCN are in files of the governors and attorneys general and are not included in the records described here. Also, several files involving the CRCN are among the records of the State Planning Board, and the records of the Office of the Secretary of State contain records relating to contracts entered into by the Commission, 1960-1990.

To learn more about the commission, download the history here:

Contents Dates Extent

General Files


5 cu. ft.

Search the Archives

Search by Subject: