Physical Description: 863 file folders (36 cubic feet) and 55 maps and blueprints.
Arranged numerically by application number.
Scope and Content Note
Compiled files of the application, permit, and license process of the State Water Commission (1913-1921), and its successors,
the Department of Public Works, Division of Water Resources (circa 1921-1956), the State Water Rights Board (1956-1967), and
the State Water Resources Control Board (1967-1986). The application files reflect the process of obtaining appropriative
water rights in California, as well as the Board's supervision of those water rights. Application files unveil the many recorded
forms provided by both the applicant and the State Water Rights Board as well as a bulk of correspondence between the Board,
applicants, and protestors. Additionally, these files contain well-documented reports and analyses written by Board members
and engineers pertaining to the construction of water projects and the use of the appropriated waters. The application files
generally contain specific information on California's waterways, water sources, and watersheds. These include some of the
state's more vital waterways including the Colorado River, Owens River and river valley, San Joaquin River, Sacramento River,
and Tuolumne River as well as the lesser known water sources. Some noteworthy applicants for appropriating water appear in
these files including legendary filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, entrepreneur Dean Witter, the City of Los Angeles Department of
Water and Power, various United States National Forests, and other federal and state entities. An application of particular
interest, especially to Southern Californians, is application number 4056. The City of Los Angeles Department of Water and
Power applied for the right to appropriate water from the Colorado River via aqueduct. This application includes informative
reports, surveys, protests, publications, heavy correspondence, and many maps and diagrams including one displaying the routes
for diverting water from the Colorado River compiled by the Department's head engineer William Mulholland. All application
files are consistent with the filing number 266.1 of the filing system of the California Department of Water Resources. Similar
application files exist in the California State Archives in the Selected Archives collection, identification number F1761.
There are approximately 32 file folders of water rights application files in that collection.