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Inventory of the Records of the California Central Valleys Flood Control Association
C103  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History
  • Scope and Content
  • Accruals
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material at the California State Archives

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Records of the California Central Valleys Flood Control Association
    Dates: 1926-1981
    Collection number: C103
    Creator: California Central Valleys Flood Control Association
    Creator: Flood Control Association of Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers System
    Creator: Sacramento Valley Water Users Committee
    Creator: Sacramento River and Delta Water Association
    Creator: Sacramento River and Delta Water Committee
    Creator: Delta Water Agency
    Creator: Delta Counties Consulting Board
    Creator: North Delta Area Water Quality Committee
    Extent: 17 cubic feet of textual records, and 18 maps.
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The California Central Valleys Flood Control Association (CCVFCA) records consist of 17 cubic feet of records and 18 maps created and collected by the CCVFCA, its predecessor, related committees, and affiliated groups. The records are arranged into 24 series. The bulk of the records in this collection were created in the 1950s and 1960s. The collection documents the efforts of the CCVFCA, composed of individual landowners, irrigation districts, reclamation districts, drainage districts, and others, in working with federal and state agencies for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a Central Valley flood control system. The CCVFCA also took an interest in water rights, area of origin issues, water diversion and use, and water quality issues.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information

    Access

    While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], California Central Valleys Flood Control Association Records, C103.[series number], [box /folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California Central Valley Flood Control Association donated the records to the California State Archives in 1996.

    Agency History

    The California Central Valleys Flood Control Association (CCVFCA) began its existence as the Flood Control Association of Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers System (FCA) in 1926. Various private interests formed the FCA in order to promote Central Valley flood control issues with both the state and federal governments, as stated in Article II of the FCA's Articles of Association:
    This association is organized for the following purposes:
    (a) To keep before the National Government, and particularly before the National Congress, the established and recognized principle that control of the flood waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and their tributaries is a national problem which must be financed by the United States Government in co-operation with local interests; and to endeavor to secure from time to time an equitable distribution of the cost of such flood control between the National Government, the State Government, and the lands subject to benefit from such control. (b) To secure through the executive and legislative branches of the United States and the State of California adequate annual appropriations to continue the construction and maintenance of works to control the flood waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and their tributaries....
    The Central Valley's history of devastating floods led the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' California Debris Commission (CDC) to develop plans for a levee and bypass flood control system in the Sacramento River watershed, called the Sacramento Flood Control Project (also known as the Sacramento River Flood Control Project). Assessments of landowners supplemented by monies from both the state and federal governments were to fund the construction and maintenance of the Project. In 1911, the California Legislature adopted a Flood Control Act formally approving the CDC's plan and creating a State Reclamation Board to supervise such reclamation activities across the state. The federal government endorsed the Project in 1917 as part of the first national Flood Control Act.
    Although construction on the Sacramento Flood Control Project began almost immediately, activity slowed in the 1920s. American farming entered a depression early in this decade, initiated by drastic decreases in farm prices after World War I. As a result, landowners could not afford to pay the large assessments imposed by the state to cover the soaring construction costs of the Project. State and federal negotiations ensued, in order to re-evaluate a means of funding the Project. In 1926, various Central Valley landowners decided that they needed an organization designed specifically to lobby for, and safeguard private interests in, the development, construction, and financing of a flood control system on the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. They created the FCA.
    Membership in the FCA consisted of reclamation, levee, and drainage districts in the watersheds of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers; landowners outside such districts but within the watershed; and the cities of Sacramento and Stockton. The governing body consisted of a Board of Directors elected biennially by the Association's constituents. By 1929, 43 districts had joined the FCA, with a total area of 725,027 acres. The FCA levied assessments on its members periodically, financing the activities of the Association in promoting the position of private interests in regard to flood control. Such activities included monitoring state and federal legislation that impacted flood control projects and cooperating with state, federal, and local government agencies (like the State Reclamation Board) in the planning and construction of flood control works. The Great Depression took its toll on Central Valley landowners however, and by 1933 the activities of the financially struggling FCA had virtually ceased.
    Interest in the Association revived in the late 1930s. In 1938, representatives of various reclamation, flood control, levee, and drainage districts met to organize a new association. Although they adopted Articles of Association very similar to those of the FCA, the representatives chose a different name for the new organization: the California Central Valleys Flood Control Association (CCVFCA), by which it was known until the mid-1970s. After that time, the organization took on its current name, the California Central Valley Flood Control Association.
    The CCVFCA concentrated most of its efforts upon flood control issues surrounding the Sacramento River watershed. Since its inception, the CCVFCA has worked closely with federal, state, and local government agencies as well as its constituents to promote the development, construction, and maintenance of effective flood control systems integrated with the numerous irrigation and other water projects constructed throughout the Central Valley, such as the Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project. The Association has taken a close interest in various issues regarding the Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta, as well as the water rights of its members. Currently, the CCVFCA has 75 members, consisting primarily of reclamation, drainage, and levee districts.
    At times throughout its existence, the CCVFCA developed committees to deal with specific issues, or made arrangements with like-minded organizations, some of the records of which are included in this collection. These records are described below as subgroups of the CCVFCA collection. These subgroups include: Sacramento Valley Water Users Committee (1942-1960); Sacramento River and Delta Water Association (1950-1970); Sacramento River and Delta Water Committee (1970-1972); Delta Water Agency (1963-1971); Delta Counties Consulting Board (1961-1966); and North Delta Area Water Quality Committee (1974-1981).

    Scope and Content

    The California Central Valleys Flood Control Association (CCVFCA) records consist of 17 cubic feet of records and 18 maps created and collected by the CCVFCA, its predecessor, related committees, and affiliated groups. The records are arranged into 24 series. The bulk of the records in this collection were created in the 1950s and 1960s. The collection documents the efforts of the CCVFCA, composed of individual landowners, irrigation districts, reclamation districts, drainage districts, and others, in working with federal and state agencies for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a Central Valley flood control system. The CCVFCA also took an interest in water rights, area of origin issues, water diversion and use, and water quality issues, especially in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s when the massive federal Central Valley Project and the State Water Plan were implemented.
    The earlier records of the CCVFCA, including those of its predecessor the FCA, deal primarily with flood control issues in the 1930s and 1940s. Series C103.01 through C103.04, as well as Series C103.07, includes records regarding flood control project works planning, operation, and maintenance. After most of the initial construction work on the Sacramento River Flood Control Project had been completed, the CCVFCA turned its attention to other water issues affecting its members. At this point, a major division in the records is apparent: records dealing with the Sacramento River above the City of Sacramento and records pertaining to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
    Those records regarding the Sacramento River and its tributaries appear in Series C103.05 through C103.16, C103.18, C103.19, and C103.024, and include records of the CCVFCA, the Sacramento Valley Water Users Committee, and the Sacramento River and Delta Water Association. When the federal government began full-scale operation of the Central Valley Project, many landowners and districts in the Sacramento Valley felt that their present and future water rights were threatened by diversions to the San Joaquin Valley. Many of these records focus on protests to and other issues surrounding applications by the United States Bureau of Reclamation for the appropriation of water in the Sacramento River system. The Bureau, as well as the California Division of Water Resources (later Department of Water Resources), undertook several studies of water rights, water diversion and use, land use, and water quality along the Sacramento River. These studies, and the data that contributed to them, are often included in these records. Most of this work was done in the 1950s and 1960s, when federal and state agencies were negotiating water use contracts with many of these landowners and districts.
    The records pertaining to the Delta appear in Series C103.05, C103.07, and C103.13 through C103.024. Most of these records date to the mid-1960s and early 1970s, when negotiations began in earnest between Delta landowners and federal and state governments over water diversion from the Delta. The CCVFCA and affiliated groups (such as the Sacramento River and Delta Water Association, Sacramento River and Delta Water Committee, Delta Water Agency, Delta Counties Consulting Board, and North Delta Area Water Quality Committee) participated in these negotiations. Water rights was only one of the topics discussed in regard to the Delta - also of interest for the parties involved were issues of water quality, salinity intrusion, flood control issues specific to the Delta communities, and area of origin concerns over the protection of both present and future water needs. The State Water Rights Board (later, the State Water Resources Control Board) held several hearings regarding the Delta in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Background information to the decisions subsequently reached by the State boards is included in this collection.
    Most of the major issues facing Central Valley water users in the mid-twentieth century are addressed by records in this collection: flood control, water rights, water quality, water use and diversion, irrigation, and the friction between landowners, local districts, and municipal, state, and federal government agencies. Researchers are also encouraged to review the records of the California Water Commission, State Reclamation Board, State Water Rights Board, and Department of Water Resources at the California State Archives for additional information on these topics.

    Accruals

    No further accruals are expected.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California Central Valleys Flood Control Association
    Water rights
    Water Management
    Central Valley (Calif.)
    Irrigation water
    Sacramento San Joaquin Delta
    Floods California
    Sacramento River (Calif.)

    Related Material at the California State Archives

    California Water Commission Records
    Department of Water Resources Records
    State Reclamation Board Records
    State Water Rights Board Records