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State Government Records: Water Resources

Ice jam at Cradlebaugh Bridge

Jammed up  Ice jam at Cradlebaugh Bridge, February 7, 1937. State Archives control number NHD-0067.

Water Resource Records

Colorado River Commission Agency History Word document icon and link

General Files


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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.

Division of Water Pollution Agency History Word document icon and link



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This series contains correspondence to subdividers, certifying those developments or not as to whether the plans are in compliance with water pollution and sewage disposal regulations. Arranged chronologically.

Reader Files


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Correspondence from Grants Construction officers regarding the awarding, implementation, and administration of grants. Arranged chronologically.

Construction Grant Priority Lists


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The federal government awards funds to the Nevada Environmental Protection Commission to regrant to local communities and projects to construct water and sewage treatment plant facilities. Organizations apply for grants yearly; the applications are then ranked in priority order by the Commission grant office. The priority list documents contain applicant name, permit number, grant and project numbers, project description, target date of completion, and costs. Policy statements, Nevada and EPA agreements, and correspondence are also included. Arranged chronologically.

Enforcement Branch


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Correspondence regarding work plans and project reports submitted by utilities/contractors of water control projects. Arranged chronologically.

Permits Branch


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Correspondence regarding issuing of permits for water projects and inspection reports. Also included is correspondence from Permits Officers Leo Drozdoff and Albert Porta. Arranged chronologically.

Technical Services Branch


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Correspondence regarding technical aspects of pollution control projects. Arranged chronologically.

Division of Water Resources History Word document icon and link

General Files


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Arranged by subject and thereunder chronologically

Although not voluminous, these records have several varied series of potential interest to environmental historians, particularly those who conduct research on water management:

  • "Drought Relief Project Completion Reports," 1934-1935, submitted by the Nevada Emergency Relief Administration to the Federal Emergency Relief Administration.
  • Carey Act project files, 1910-1918, consisting of reports, correspondence, and field notes.
  • File on the Muddy Water Valley Irrigation Company water rights case, 1920-1946.
  • "Designated Basins" file, 1964-1979.
  • Incoming and outgoing correspondence of State Engineer James G. Scrugham, 1917-1922.
  • Incoming and outgoing correspondence of the State Engineer with the Bureau of Reclamation, 1905-1922 and 1945-1951.
  • Cash Accounts (bound journal), Carey Act Projects, 1911-1912 and 1921-1923.
  • Folder with "Standard Maps for Submission to State Engineer in Connection with Appropriation of Water, George W. Malone, State Engineer," 1927-1932.
  • Folder with resolutions adopted at the annual meeting of the Association of Western State Engineers, Phoenix, Arizona, 1941.

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