The Rank v. Krug collection measures 9 linear feet and consists of eleven series; Case documents, Clippings, Indentures, Interior
Department and Congressional documents, Publications, reports and statistics, Related cases, Water applications, protests
and complaints, Water districts, Miscellaneous, Maps and Photographs.
The Rank v. Krug case originated with the construction of the Central Valley Project in California. Friant Dam was constructed
on the San Joaquin River as part of the project with the purpose of diverting water from the river into the Madera and Friant-Kern
Canals in order to irrigate lands in the Valley which had no nearby source of irrigation water. Seeing that their own irrigation
water might be threatened, two hundred downstream landowners protested the construction of the dam and canals. The Bureau
of Reclamation, who managed the project, attemped to assuage the concerns of the landowners, however it became readily apparent
as construction of the dam neared completion and Millerton Lake began to fill that stream flows would be heavily impacted.
In 1947, Everett G. Rank and twelve of his fellow riparian landowners filed a lawsuit to stop the water diversions in the
Fresno County Superior Court against Secretary of the Interior Julius Krug and several Bureau of Reclamation officials. The
group organized as the San Joaquin River Riparian Owners Association and soon hundreds of other downstream landowners and
the City of Fresno were added as plaintiffs. They hired local attorney Claude Rowe to represent them and the case was soon
transferred to a federal court. Rowe's main argument was that the water in the San Joaquin River belonged to the state of
California and the federal government did not have a right to it without filing for a permit. Presiding judge Person M. Hall
issued a temporary injunction to halt the water diversions. The Bureau found a way around this injunction and increased diversions
as the Madera Canal was completed in 1950.