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Finding aid of the Harvey O. Banks Papers
MS 2008/5  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Indexing Terms
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement

  • Collection Summary

    Repository: Water Resources Collections and Archives
    Riverside, CA 92517-5900
    Creator: Banks, Harvey O (Harvey Oren), 1910-1996
    Title: Harvey O. Banks papers
    Dates: 1940-1995
    Bulk Dates: 1969-1986
    Collection number: MS 2008/5
    Abstract: The Harvey O. Banks Papers consist of files dating from his work as a consultant for water control, on water quality and management projects, in various water rights hearings and court cases, as well as allocation and planning / projections within communities. The materials include the following formats: articles, correspondence, contracts, reports, legal transcripts, papers, publications, photographs, photographic slides and negatives, graphs, maps, blueprints, notes, and legal documents pertaining to water rights, water control and management, and water quality for municipalities, states and federal and international agencies.
    Physical Description: 59 linear feet
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    The heirs of Harvey O. Banks donated these materials to the Water Resources Collections and Archives in 1996.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], The Harvey O Banks papers, MS 2008/5, Water Resources Collections and Archives, University of California, Riverside.

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Banks, Harvey O. Papers
    Contra Costa Water District (Calif.)
    East Bay Municipal Utility District, Oakland, Calif.
    Texas Water Development Board
    Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation Commission
    Water - - Law and Legislation - - United States
    Water quality management
    Water conservation
    Hydrology - - New Mexico - - Maps
    Hydrology California Maps
    Hydrology - - Missouri - - Maps
    Water and environmental programs (U.S.)
    High Plains Aquifer
    Rio Grande Valley
    Santa Ana River Watershed (Calif.)
    San Francisco Bay Watershed (Calif.)
    Central Valley Project (Calif.) - - Management
    Sacramento - - San Joaquin Delta (Calif.)
    Delta Region (Calif.)
    Salton Sea (Calif.)

    Biography / Administrative History

    Harvey Oren Banks (1910-1996) was born in Chaumont, New York on March 29, 1910. He obtained his bachelor's degree in civil engineering at Syracuse University. From there he went on to attend Stanford University where he obtained his Master's degree in hydraulic and sanitary engineering. Between the years 1934 and 1955, Mr. Banks worked as an engineer in different capacities for various bodies including the Cities of Palo Alto and Los Angeles, the United States Soil Conservation Service, and as an engineer for the California Division of Water Resources.
    In 1956, California Governor Goodwin Knight appointed Mr. Banks as the first director of the newly founded California Department of Water Resources. Soon after his appointment, Mr. Banks began work on developing the legislation and infrastructure for what would become the California State Water Project. The extensive project protected areas of origin, fostered wildlife conservation and required co-operation between state, federal and local agencies. It was to be financed by a state-wide bond measure, which passed in 1960. The next year, Mr. Banks left the Department of Water Resources and joined the consulting firm of Leeds, Hill, and Jewett, Inc where he served as president and chairman of the board until 1969. He left that year to found his own engineering consulting firm. Except for the years between 1977 and 1982 when he joined the company Camp, Dresser and McKee, he worked as an independent consulting engineer.
    In his work as an independent consultant and in his work with other companies, Mr. Banks was involved with projects nationally as well as internationally. Throughout his career he continued to serve the state of California working on the California Water Plan, and for various municipalities throughout the state. Nationally, his major projects include his work on developing, formulating and implementing a long range water plan for the State of Texas, serving as project director on the 6-state High Plains-Ogallala Aquifer Regional Resources Study, and as an expert witness in the litigation between the State of New Mexico and Texas over water rights to the Rio Grande River. He served as an expert witness for both federal and state court cases involving various aspects of water rights and water control and management.
    In addition to his consulting work, he also served on state and federal panels throughout the United States and served on international commissions and committees. He published extensively on water resources management and water law. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1973, and served as an honorary member of both the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Water Works Association. Among his many awards are: the ASCE Julian Hinds Award in 1976 for his distinguished service in the planning, development, and management of water resources; the 1973 Royce J Tipton Award from the ASCE for his contributions to irrigation; the 1980 Icko Iben Award from the American Water Resources Association for promotion and multidisciplinary planning of water resources. Throughout his career, he was a staunch advocate of environmental values and believed that such values could be harmonized with human needs and with economic growth and development.
    In recognition of his outstanding work on the California Water Project, the first pumping plant on the California Aqueduct was named the Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant.
    Mr. Banks worked until shortly before his death from Leukemia in 1996.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Harvey O. Banks Papers consist of files dating from his work as a consultant in various water control, water quality and management projects, water rights cases, as well as allocation and planning projects within communities. The collection encompasses a range of subjects and includes materials such as articles, correspondence, contracts, reports, legal transcripts, papers, publications, photographs, photographic slides and negatives, graphs, maps, blueprints, notes, and legal documents - documenting his role in such projects as Californian's Central Valley Project, the San Francisco Bay and San Joaquin/Sacramento River Delta projects, for various projects with the Contra Costa Water District, and in his role as the Santa Ana River Watermaster. Nationally his large projects include the 6-state High Plains-Ogallala Aquifer Regional Resources Study, Platte River Licensing, and serving as an expert witness for the State of New Mexico in their litigation with Texas over rights to the Rio Grande River. He served as an expert witness in many federal, state and municipal cases and this is documented through court transcripts and legal briefs.
    In many instances, his work on projects overlapped. Often, he worked for several clients at the same time. He worked on several large projects, such as the Bay-Delta and Central Valley projects, at the municipal and state levels concurrently.


    The papers are subdivided into 10 series. Some of the descriptive titles at both the series and the file levels were titles that Mr. Bank's created. There has been an attempt at clarification where the file heading may have been ambiguous or incomplete. Many boxes were received with materials in their original folder and these files often corresponded to an arrangement scheme. However, a large portion of the materials were loose and in no order what-so-ever. As the collection contains materials that were inter-related, decisions were made during processing to group the materials based upon project and a system of order was created. To some degree, this follows the original arrangement scheme. The materials were divided into 10 series based upon project. They were arranged within the series according to format (i.e. article, correspondence etc.) or by subject. Due to the fact that Mr. Banks often worked for a single agency on multiple projects, over a span of years, many of the series are further sub-divided by the various projects. Unless otherwise noted, the materials were arranged according to format and alphabetically by folder title.
    • Series I: Administration
    • Sub-series I: Articles
    • Sub-series II: Conferences
    • Sub-Series III: Contracts
    • Sub-Series IV: Correspondence
    • Sub-Series V: Papers and Presentations
    • Sub-Series VI: Professional Involvement
    • Sub-Series VII: Publications
    • Sub-Series VIII: Reports
    • Series II: High Plains Ogallala Aquifer Study
    • Series III: Las Vegas Valley Water District
    • Series IV: Litigation within California
    • Sub-series I: Baker et al. v United States
    • Sub-series II: Barkley v. Deer Creek Storm Water District
    • Sub-Series III: Beaumont Cherry Valley Water District v City of Banning an Yucaipa Valley Water District
    • Sub-Series IV: Big Bear Municipal Water District v Bear Valley Mutual Water Company
    • Sub-Series V: Coachella Valley Water District
    • Sub-Series VI: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California v State Water Resources Control Board
    • Sub-Series VII: Monolity Cement Company v Mojave Public Utility District
    • Sub-Series VIII: Morrison Homes Corporation v City of Pleasanton
    • Sub-Series IX: Morrison and Weatherly v City of Los Angeles
    • Sub-Series X: Salton Sea
    • Sub-Series XI: State of California v Byron-Bethany Irrigation District
    • Sub-Series XII: State of California v Contra Costa Water Agency
    • Sub-Series XIII: State of California v Contra Costa County Irrigation District
    • Sub-Series XIV: Alameda County Water District v Niles Sand and Gravel
    • Series V: Litigation
    • Sub-series I: Missouri River Basin Litigation
    • Sub-series II: Rio Grande River Basin
    • Series VI: National Organizations - Small Contracts
    • Sub-series I: American Water Works Association
    • Sub-series II: Colorado River System
    • Sub-Series III:Delaware River Basin Commission
    • Sub-Series IV: Environments for Tomorrow
    • Sub-Series V: Federal Agencies
    • Sub-Series VI: General Electric
    • Sub-Series VII: International Projects
    • Sub-Series VIII: Ohio River Valley
    • Sub-Series VII: State of Maine
    • Sub-Series VIII: Utah International, Inc
    • Sub-Series VII: Washington State Department of Ecology
    • Series VII: State of California
    • Sub-Series I: Contra Costa Water District
    • Sub-Series I: Bay-Delta Hearings
    • Sub-Series II: Bay-Delta
    • Sub-Series III: Central Valley Project
    • Sub-Series IV: Contra Costa Canal
    • Sub-Series V: Contra Costa Water District and East Bay Municipal Utility District
    • Sub-Series VI: General Consultation
    • Sub-Series VII: Litigation
    • Sub-Series VIII: Los Vaqueros / Kellogg Reservoir Project
    • Sub-Series IX: Water Supply Alternatives
    • Sub-Series II: East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD)
    • Sub-Series III: Lake Elsinore Task Force
    • Sub-Series IV: Orange County Water District
    • Sub-Series V: Santa Ana River Watermaster
    • Sub-Series VI: Santa Ana River Watershed Planning Agency
    • Sub-Series VII: Santa Clara Valley Water District
    • Sub-Series VIII: Small Contracts California
    • Sub-Series IX: State Water Contractor's Task Force
    • Sub-Series X: State Water Resources Control Board
    • Sub-Series I: Administrative
    • Sub-Series II: Basinwide Planning Study
    • Sub-Series III: Basinwide Water Quality Management Plans
    • Sub-Series IV: Bay-Delta Project
    • Sub-Series V: Central Valley Project
    • Sub-Series VI: Data Management System
    • Sub-Series VII:Office of Technical Coordination - Water Quality Plan
    • Sub-Series VIII: Water Quality and Waste Discharge
    • Sub-Series XI: State Water Rights Board
    • Series VIII: State of Nebraska
    • Series IX: State of Texas, Water Development Boards
    • Sub-series I: Coastal Zone Management Program
    • Sub-series II: Hydrologic Data Refinement Study
    • Sub-Series III: Miscellaneous Projects
    • Sub-Series IV: State Water Plan
    • Sub-Series V: Oversize Materials
    • Series X: Separated oversize materials