Max J. Bartell papers

Finding aid prepared by James Lake.
Special Collections & University Archives
The UCR Library
P.O. Box 5900
University of California
Riverside, California 92517-5900
Phone: 951-827-3233
Fax: 951-827-4673
© 1998
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Max J. Bartell papers
Date (inclusive): 1906-1962
Collection Number: WRCA 026
Creator: Bartell, Max J., 1879-1968
Extent: 2.08 linear feet (5 boxes)
Repository: Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
Riverside, CA 92517-5900
Abstract: The collection consists of materials from Max Bartell, an engineer responsible for multiple water development projects and reports for the city of San Francisco in the early 20th century. Materials in the collection include correspondence, reports, documents, news clippings, and photographs, concerning water supply sources for San Francisco, Calif., other California regions and municipalities, the Tuolumne River, and the Hetch Hetchy Project.
Languages: The collection is in English.


The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of California, Riverside Libraries, Special Collections & University 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.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [date if possible]. Max J. Bartell papers (WRCA 026). Water Resources Collections and Archives. Special Collections & University Archives, University of California, Riverside.

Acquisition Information

Provenance unknown.

Processing History

Processed by Water Resources Collections & Archives staff, 1998.

Collection Number

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

Biographical Note

Max J. Bartell was born in 1879. In July 1908 he was appointed Assistant Engineer with the City Engineer of San Francisco. His early accomplishments included runoff investigations and reinforced concrete sewer design. He designed the Beale St. steel bridge and began stream flow measurements on the Hetch Hetchy Project, a plan to deliver water to the City of San Francisco from the Tuolumne River. He worked with Percy V. Long, City Attorney, John R. Freeman, consulting engineer, and M.M. O'Shaughnessy, City Engineer, in conjunction with the project. He also investigated alternate water supplies for the city from the Mokelumne River, the Stanislaus River, the McCloud River, and the San Joaquin River. In 1914 he was made Chief Hydraulic Engineer for the city and investigated the total available water supply from the Alameda Creek system for the Spring Valley Water Company. He also reported on the underground water supplies of the Livermore Valley, the Niles Cone of Alameda Creek, and the City of San Francisco. He analyzed the Raker Act and its effects upon the water rights of the City and County of San Francisco and served as an expert witness for the City Attorney in water rates cases regarding water productivity and value of water productivity for rate making purposes. In his 41-year career he was responsible for many other projects and reports on San Francisco's water development. He retired from city service in 1949 and died in April 1968 in San Francisco.

Collection Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, reports, documents, news clippings, and photographs, concerning water supply sources for San Francisco, Calif., other California regions and municipalities, the Tuolumne River, and the Hetch Hetchy Project.

Collection Arrangement

The collection is arranged topically.

Indexing Terms

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


Groundwater -- California -- Alameda Creek Watershed
Groundwater -- California -- Livermore Valley
Hetch Hetchy Reservoir (Calif.)
McCloud River (Calif.)
Mokelumne River (Calif.)
O'Shaughnessy Dam (Calif.)
Tuolumne River (Calif.)
Water-supply -- California -- San Francisco

Genres and Forms of Materials


Box 1, Item 1


Box 1, Item 2

San Francisco water supply investigations : Mokelumne River sources as proposed by Sierra Blue Lakes Water Power Co. : possibilities of this source in combination with Lake Eleanor 1912.

Box 1, Item 3

Report on the American-Cosumnes Project as a source of water supply for the City of San Francisco and adjoining communities of the San Francisco Bay Region. San Francisco 1912

Box 1, Item 4

Report showing that the waters of the McCloud River cannot be diverted to the use of San Francisco and the Bay communities owing to its present use by developed priorities in the Sacramento Valley 1912

Box 1, Item 5

Proposed San Francisco water supply cost estimates, McCloud River Project 1912

Box 1, Item 6

Report on underground water supply of Livermore Valley, California 1914

Box 2, Item 7

Report on the Golden Rock Ditch, Tuolumne River, California, its present use and capacity 1915

Box 2, Item 8

Report on water supply, Richmond Municipal Water District, Richmond, California 1916

Box 2, Item 9

Brief report on underground water supply of Livermore Valley 1926

Box 2, Item 10

Coyote Creek and its relation to the ground water of the Coyote Valley, Santa Clara County, California 1937.

Box 2, Item 11

Report on flood control for the Tuolumne River, California 1939

Physical Description: 2 v
Box 2, Item 12

Report on the underground water supply of San Francisco County : present yield--probable additional yield / prepared under the direction of M.M. O'Shaughnessy by M.J. Bartell. San Francisco 1913

Physical Description: 157 p


Note: WRCA has another copy:G4794 D3-10
Box 3, Item 13

Population forecast for Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Region. San Francisco 1936

Physical Description: 1 v
Box 3, Item 14

Contract for delivery of water to Southern San Joaquin Municipal Utility District 1945

Box 3, Item 15

Digest of business, second regular meeting of the Peninsula Water Works Association 1928

Box 3, Item 16

A brief discussion of the earth pressures encountered in the coast range tunnels of the Hetch Hetchy Project 1931.

Box 3, Item 17

Tuolumne River Watershed : runoff estimate as of April 1 from combined precipitation and snow survey data 1945-1949.

Physical Description: 1 v
Box 3, Item 18

Cherry River Project, California 1941-1944

Physical Description: 5 pieces
Box 3, Item 19

Correspondence relating to water supply for San Francisco and peninsula. 1910-1932

Physical Description: 35 pieces
Box 3, Item 20

Measurement of wells, Niles Cone, copy of water level measurements, Alameda Sugar Company's wells, map of delta of Alameda Creek showing location of wells. San Francisco November 28, 1912 and January 6-13, 1913: July 6 -December 31, 1912; 1913.

Physical Description: 4 pieces
Box 3, Item 21

Contents: Agreements, individual agency resolutions and memoranda on the conservation of the waters of the Tuolumne River and cooperation in the operation of reservoirs and releases of water on the river. 1933-1943

Physical Description: 30 pieces
Box 3, Item 22

Investigation of Lake Eleanor rating curve and recalculation of natural flow from the Eleanor Creek Watershed tributary to Lake Eleanor Dam 1940

Box 4, Item 23

Peninsula water supply. Newspaper clippings, statements and documents on Peninsula water supply. 1929-1930.

Physical Description: 2 v
Box 4, Item 24

Reports, articles, diagrams and photos on Hetch Hetchy Dam construction. 1921

Physical Description: 1 v
Box 4, Item 25

Coast range geology: geologic map and section to accompany a preliminary report on the general geology along the proposed line of the Hetch-Hetchy water system 1912

Physical Description: 2 maps

Scope and Contents

Folder includes photograph
Box 4, Item 26

Relation of runoff to precipitation and method of estimating runoff from accumulated part season precipitation for - Sierra Nevada Mountains, California 1946

Physical Description: 1 v
Box 4, Item 26.1

Relation of runoff to precipitation and method of estimating runoff from accumulated part season precipitation for - Sierra Nevada Mountains, California 1948

Physical Description: 1 v
Box 5, Item 27

Study of Tuolumne River Watershed : to establish natural flow at LaGrange with existing reservoirs and to determine quantity available for San Francisco, 1918-1933 1933-1934

Physical Description: 1 portfolio.

Scope and Contents

Contents: Hetch Hetchy water supply, general -- Folder A. Critical study of natural flow at La Grange; A description of the procedure in determining the methods of estimating the annual quantities from 1896 through 1917; Summary of study of Tuolumne River Watershed -- Folder B. Hydrographs of the actual and natural stream flow of the Tuolumne River at La Grange showing effect of San Francisco's reservoirs and Don Pedro Reservoir -- Folder C. Draft studies of San Francisco's Tuolumne River Watershed, in accordance with provisions of the Raker Act -- Folder D. Additional water available to San Francisco determined on the basis of historical use by the irrigation districts -- Folder E. Water put to storage by San Francisco in Lake Eleanor and Hetch Hetchy reservoirs, 1918-1934 -- Folder F. Water put to storage by San Francisco in Lake Eleanor and Hetch Hetchy reservoirs in excess of the computed quantity available to San Francisco -- Folder G. Use by San Francisco for the development of power of stored water released from Lake Eleanor and Hetch Hetchy reservoirs, 1918-1934 -- Folder H. Historical quantities of water put to storage and released from storage in the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts' foothill reservoirs (Owen and Dallas-Warner) -- Folder J. Historical use by the Turlock, Modesto and Waterford Irrigation Districts of the Tuolumne River inflow to Don Pedro Reservoir.