Scope and Content
Title: Sidney T. Harding Papers,
Date (inclusive): bulk 1912-1969
Collection number: HARDG
Harding, Sidney Twichell, 1883-1969
Extent: ca. 15 linear ft. (40 boxes)
Water Resources Collections and Archives
Shelf location: Water Resources Collections and Archives
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], Sidney T. Harding Papers, HARDG, Water Resources Collections and Archives, University of California,
Central Valley Project (Calif.)
Feather River Project (Calif.)
Water resources development --California
Water resources development --Nevada
Tulare Lake (Calif.)
Mono Lake (Calif.)
Kings River (Calif.)
Sidney Twichell Harding was born on October 20, 1883, in Brookfield, Massachusetts. After
a boyhood spent in Texas and Kansas, he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1905
with a degree in civil engineering.
Prior to joining the faculty of the University of California in 1914, Harding worked on
irrigation projects in various capacities in Washington, Montana, and California. His
assignment in California resulted in the first comprehensive inventory of water and land
resources of the state; and it brought him into contact with Professor Bernard A.
Etcheverry and the University of California. For the next 35 years, the combination of
Etcheverry and Harding brought fame to the University in irrigation engineering and
produced the graduates and concepts that sparked the development of California's
As Professor of Irrigation, Harding taught such subjects as Irrigation Practice, Water
Rights and Organizations, and Operation and Maintenance of Irrigation Systems. His book
Operation and Maintenance of Irrigation Systems, published in 1917, was a
classic in the field, as was his 1935 treatise
Water Rights for
Near the close of his tenure with the University he turned his
talents to administrative duties, serving as Chairman of the Department of Civil
Engineering from 1944 to 1946. In 1949, at the age of 65, Professor Harding retired from
the University to devote his full attention to water problems of the West, particularly
those of California.
Throughout his career, Harding maintained an extensive consulting activity, advising
federal and state agencies as well as private clients on practical and disputed matters
of water resource development. Almost every important water project or adjudication case
in California and neighboring states called for his expert advice and counsel. From
1940-1954, he participated in the preparation of the Engineer's Joint Council report on
National Water Policy. In 1964 he was presented a Certificate of Honor for service to the
California Irrigation Districts Association.
Upon graduation from college in 1905, Harding joined the American Society of Civil
Engineers. In later years he was President of the San Francisco Section and served as
Director of the Society from 1949-1951. He also served two terms on the Executive
Committee of the Irrigation Division, including the post of Chairman. The Society
presented him with its Royce T. Tipton Award in 1967.
Among Harding's major hobbies were studies of the confined lakes of California and of
means of reducing evaporation from water surfaces. Out of his love for California and his
long familiarity with the State's struggle to develop and utilize it water came his final
Water in California, published in 1960. It presents a history and an
analysis of water conditions in the State. Harding's oral history,
A Life in
Western Water Development,
was published by the Regional Oral History Office,
Bancroft Library, in 1967.
Professor Harding died on April 28, 1969 in Berkeley, California.
In Memoriam, by P. H. McGaughey, J. W. Johnson, and D. K.
Scope and Content
Correspondence; technical reports on various aspects of irrigation; reports and surveys
of specific irrigation projects throughout California, and in Colorado, Idaho, Montana,
Nevada, and North Dakota; and miscellaneous material relating to water costs and
requirements, water rights, groundwater and surface water supply, flood control,
legislation, dendroclimatology, enclosed lakes, and the Central Valley Project and
Feather River Project in California.