Guide to the Collection
Title: Ralph M. Brody Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1959-1981
Collection number: MS 86/2
Brody, Ralph M., 1912-1981
Extent: 15 linear ft. (11 cartons)
Water Resources Collections and Archives
Shelf location: This collection is stored off-campus at NRLF. Please contact the Water Resources Collections and Archives staff for access
to the materials.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Water Resources Collections and Archives. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Archives. Permission for publication is given on
behalf of the Water Resources Collections and Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or
imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], Ralph M. Brody Papers, MS 86/2, Water Resources Collections and Archives, University of California,
California. Burns-Porter Act.
California. State Water Commission
California State Water Project
San Benito Water Conservation District
Westlands Water District (Calif)
United States. Bonneville Power Administration
Irrigation farming -- California
Reclamation of land -- West (U.S.)
Water resources development -- California
Land tenure -- California
Water -- Law and legislation -- California
Interconnected electric utility systems -- West (U.S.)
Water transfer -- California
Ralph M. Brody was born in Madison, Illinois, June 22, 1912 to Russian immigrants Harry and Beckie Brody. After graduating
from the State University of Iowa with a BA in Political Science, he attended the University of Iowa where he received his
JD in 1938.
Brody worked as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1938-1944, when he received an appointment as Assistant
Regional Counsel to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Sacramento, CA. In 1952 he left the Bureau of Reclamation to pursue
private law practice, primarily in the field of water and power law. In 1959 he was chosen by Governor Edmund Brown, Sr. to
act as the governor's
Special Counsel on Water Issues. At that time he was also appointed Chief Deputy Director of Water Resources. Brody used his water law expertise and political
savvy to guide the governor's legislation through the California Legislature. He also acted as a liaison for the governor
in presenting the proposed legislation to individuals and groups from one end of the state to the other. The lobbying was
successful, and the California State Water Project was authorized by the electorate in 1960.
In 1960 Brody was appointed to the chairmanship of the California Water Commission, a position he held until the end of the
Brown administration in 1966.
Brody became Manager/Chief Counsel for the Westlands Water District in 1960. Westlands, a water district comprised of some
350,000 acres of farmland, is a prime beneficiary of water from the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project. Brody remained
at Westlands until his retirement in 1977, when he became a consultant to Westlands and other water districts.
Brody died December 22, 1981 while vacationing in Washington, D.C.
Guide to the Collection
The collection is divided into ten sections, with each section representing an individual unit within the overall collection.
Each file number within each section indicates only the information found in that specific file. There are generally no blanket
files containing information not specifically listed in the file heading.
Some larger files may have tangential information due to the scope of the file. Some larger files may span years, while some
of the smaller files may be quite date specific.
Some of the file headings were Ralph Brody's; there has been an attempt at clarification where the file heading may have been
ambiguous or incomplete.