Guide to the Mojave Water Agency Collection, Water Resources Collection

Finding aid created by Russell Michalak, 2009
Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library, Claremont University Consortium 2009
Libraries of The Claremont Colleges
800 N. Dartmouth Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 607-3977
Fax: (909) 621-8681
© 2009
Claremont University Consortium. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Mojave Water Agency Collection, Water Resources Collection
creator: Mojave Water Agency
Dates: 1960-1970
Abstract: The Mojave Water Agency collection contains memorandum and meeting minutes of the board of directors about water-supply and water-rights in the Mojave, California region during the 1960s.
Extent: 1 box
Repository: Claremont Colleges. Honnold/Mudd Library.
800 N. Dartmouth Avenue
Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library
Claremont University Consortium
Claremont, California 91711
Collection Number: h2009.11
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English
Physical Location: Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library. Claremont University Consortium.

Information for Researchers

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact Special Collections Library staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Mojave Water Agency, Water Resources Collection. Special Collections, Honnold Mudd Library, Claremont University Consortium.

Acquisition Information

Louis J. Alexander, date unknown.

Processing Information

Arranged and Processed by Rusty Michalak, 2009.


No additions to the collection is anticipated.

Biographical Note

The creation of the Mojave Water Agency was made possible through an enabling act prepared by attorney William J. Johnstone (who would later become the MWA’s first attorney) and the Mojave-Antelope Water Agency Committee. Introduced by State Senator Stanford C. Shaw, the bill gave the people of the High Desert the right to determine water policies for the Mojave River. On July 18, the bill was signed into law by Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown.
The members of the formation committee for the Mojave Water Agency included M. Penn Phillips, Hesperia; Newton T. Bass, Apple Valley; Robert J. Speth, Daggett; Harold V. Smith, Helendale; Henry W. Balsinger, Hinkley; Mayor George Oakes, Barstow; Edward A. Rodeman, secretary, Victorville; William J. Johnstone, legal adviser, Victorville; E.F. Dibble, engineering adviser, Redlands.
In June of 1960 the people voted overwhelmingly to form the Mojave Water Agency, casting 2,860 votes in favor, with only 606 votes in opposition.Because the economy of the high desert in 1960 was based primarily on farming and ranching, a majority of the MWA’s first board of directors were farmers and ranchers.
The passage of the Water Act authorized the state to issue nearly $2 billion in bonds. Property owners within the MWA service area were obligated to pay their fair share of the costs of constructing the California Aqueduct. To meet fiscal requirements from the 1960 state-wide bond, the MWA began assessing property owners a tax referred to as Debt One. In 1961 the Agency’s Board of Directors consisted of 11 members, seven elected and four appointed. As the board wrestled with the new problems arising from the fledgling agency, several key questions and issues emerged.
Taken from on 9/17/2009

Series Arrangement

Series 1 Mojave Water Agency Meeting Minutes, Memorandum, and Court Case

Subject Headings

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection
Mojave Water Agency
Western Americana -- 1900-1960


Series 1 Mojave Water Agency Meeting Minutes, Memorandum, and Court Case,

box 1, folder 1

Memorandum Reviewing Proceedings, Working Committee on Water Development, 1966-1967

box 1, folder 2

Memorandum Reviewing Proceedings, Working Committee on Water Development, 1967

box 1, folder 3

Suggested Amendments to Mojave Water Agency Act, 1966


Laid in: Draft No. 3 Dec. 15, 1966
box 1, folder 4

To Minutes of the Working Committee of the Mojave Water Agency, 1967

box 1, folder 5

Minutes of a Special Meeting of the Board of Directors, 1966

box 1, folder 6

Plans for Utilization of State PRoject Water, by Carl P. Coleman, 1967


Lain in: Memo to L. J. Alexander from E. F. Dibble, Feb. 20, 1967.
box 1, folder 7

Court Cases: Mojave Water Agency v. Clarence L. Abbey-June 9, 1967, 1967


Copy of a letter regarding the case: To James J. Krieger, Best, Best and Krieger, from Burton J. Gindler, Dep. Attorney General, State of Calif., June 14, 1967.