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Harvey O. Banks papers
WRCA 232  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Collection Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Collection Number
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Harvey O. Banks papers
    Date (inclusive): 1940-1995
    Date (bulk): 1969-1986
    Collection Number: WRCA 232
    Creator: Banks, Harvey O.
    Extent: 59 linear feet
    Repository: Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
    Riverside, CA 92517-5900
    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.


    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], [date if possible]. Harvey O. Banks papers (WRCA 232). Water Resources Collections and Archives. Special Collections & University Archives, University of California, Riverside.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the University of California, Riverside Libraries, Special Collections & Archives. Distribution or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. To the extent other restrictions apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable rights holder is also required. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    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.

    Collection Scope and Contents

    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.
    1. Series I: Administration
    2. Sub-series I: Articles
    3. Sub-series II: Conferences
    4. Sub-Series III: Contracts
    5. Sub-Series IV: Correspondence
    6. Sub-Series V: Papers and Presentations
    7. Sub-Series VI: Professional Involvement
    8. Sub-Series VII: Publications
    9. Sub-Series VIII: Reports
    10. Series II: High Plains Ogallala Aquifer Study
    11. Series III: Las Vegas Valley Water District
    12. Series IV: Litigation within California
    13. Sub-series I: Baker et al. v United States
    14. Sub-series II: Barkley v. Deer Creek Storm Water District
    15. Sub-Series III: Beaumont Cherry Valley Water District v City of Banning an Yucaipa Valley Water District
    16. Sub-Series IV: Big Bear Municipal Water District v Bear Valley Mutual Water Company
    17. Sub-Series V: Coachella Valley Water District
    18. Sub-Series VI: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California v State Water Resources Control Board
    19. Sub-Series VII: Monolity Cement Company v Mojave Public Utility District
    20. Sub-Series VIII: Morrison Homes Corporation v City of Pleasanton
    21. Sub-Series IX: Morrison and Weatherly v City of Los Angeles
    22. Sub-Series X: Salton Sea
    23. Sub-Series XI: State of California v Byron-Bethany Irrigation District
    24. Sub-Series XII: State of California v Contra Costa Water Agency
    25. Sub-Series XIII: State of California v Contra Costa County Irrigation District
    26. Sub-Series XIV: Alameda County Water District v Niles Sand and Gravel
    27. Series V: Litigation
    28. Sub-series I: Missouri River Basin Litigation
    29. Sub-series II: Rio Grande River Basin
    30. Series VI: National Organizations - Small Contracts
    31. Sub-series I: American Water Works Association
    32. Sub-series II: Colorado River System
    33. Sub-Series III:Delaware River Basin Commission
    34. Sub-Series IV: Environments for Tomorrow
    35. Sub-Series V: Federal Agencies
    36. Sub-Series VI: General Electric
    37. Sub-Series VII: International Projects
    38. Sub-Series VIII: Ohio River Valley
    39. Sub-Series VII: State of Maine
    40. Sub-Series VIII: Utah International, Inc
    41. Sub-Series VII: Washington State Department of Ecology
    42. Series VII: State of California
    43. Sub-Series I: Contra Costa Water District
    44. Sub-Series I: Bay-Delta Hearings
    45. Sub-Series II: Bay-Delta
    46. Sub-Series III: Central Valley Project
    47. Sub-Series IV: Contra Costa Canal
    48. Sub-Series V: Contra Costa Water District and East Bay Municipal Utility District
    49. Sub-Series VI: General Consultation
    50. Sub-Series VII: Litigation
    51. Sub-Series VIII: Los Vaqueros / Kellogg Reservoir Project
    52. Sub-Series IX: Water Supply Alternatives
    53. Sub-Series II: East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD)
    54. Sub-Series III: Lake Elsinore Task Force
    55. Sub-Series IV: Orange County Water District
    56. Sub-Series V: Santa Ana River Watermaster
    57. Sub-Series VI: Santa Ana River Watershed Planning Agency
    58. Sub-Series VII: Santa Clara Valley Water District
    59. Sub-Series VIII: Small Contracts California
    60. Sub-Series IX: State Water Contractor's Task Force
    61. Sub-Series X: State Water Resources Control Board
    62. Sub-Series I: Administrative
    63. Sub-Series II: Basinwide Planning Study
    64. Sub-Series III: Basinwide Water Quality Management Plans
    65. Sub-Series IV: Bay-Delta Project
    66. Sub-Series V: Central Valley Project
    67. Sub-Series VI: Data Management System
    68. Sub-Series VII:Office of Technical Coordination - Water Quality Plan
    69. Sub-Series VIII: Water Quality and Waste Discharge
    70. Sub-Series XI: State Water Rights Board
    71. Series VIII: State of Nebraska
    72. Series IX: State of Texas, Water Development Boards
    73. Sub-series I: Coastal Zone Management Program
    74. Sub-series II: Hydrologic Data Refinement Study
    75. Sub-Series III: Miscellaneous Projects
    76. Sub-Series IV: State Water Plan
    77. Sub-Series V: Oversize Materials
    78. Series X: Separated oversize materials

    Collection Number

    Collection number updated December 2018. Legacy collection number was MS 2008/5. This change was part of a project in 2018/2019 to update the collection numbers for collections in the Water Resources Collections and Archives.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Contra Costa Water District (Calif.)
    East Bay Municipal Utility District (Calif.)
    Texas Water Development Board
    Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation Commission
    Water and Environmental Programs (U.S.)
    Central Valley Project (Calif.) -- Management
    Delta Region (Calif.)
    High Plains Aquifer
    Hydrology -- California -- Maps
    Hydrology -- Missouri -- Maps
    Hydrology -- New Mexico -- Maps
    Rio Grande Valley (Colo.-Mexico and Tex.)
    Salton Sea (Calif.)
    San Francisco Bay Watershed (Calif.)
    Santa Ana River Watershed (Calif.)
    Water -- Law and legislation -- United States
    Water conservation
    Water quality management