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Inventory of the San Francisco Bay Saline Water Barrier Collection, 1929-1963
MS 84/3  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: The San Francisco Bay Saline Water Barrier Collection
    Collection number: MS 84/3
    Creator: Water Resources Collections and Archives
    Extent: 2 boxes (ca. 1 linear ft.)
    Repository: Water Resources Collections and Archives
    Riverside, CA 92517-5900
    Shelf location: Water Resource Center Archives.
    Abstract: Collection of materials covering various saline water barrier plans for San Francisco Bay, with emphasis on the Reber Plan.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], The San Francisco Bay Saline Water Barrier Collection, MS 84/3, Water Resources Collections and Archives, University of California, Riverside.

    Access Points

    Reber plan.
    Biemond plan.
    Saline water barriers--California--San Francisco Bay.
    Salt water encroachment--California--Delta Region.
    Water resources development--California--San Francisco Bay Area.
    Bridges--San Francisco Bay (Calif.)
    Dams--San Francisco Bay (Calif.)
    Schedler, C. W. (Carl William)
    Reber, John, 1887-1960.
    Savage, John Lucian, 1879-1967.

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists of reports, correspondence, addresses, essays, news clippings, magazine and journal articles, maps, and drawings detailing several ideas and schemes for constructing salt-water barriers across San Francisco Bay.
    During the early 20th century, San Francisco Bay Area officials considered many different ideas for solving a variety of problems, including a dwindling supply of fresh water, congested roadways, insufficient means to handle trans-bay traffic, and the encroachment of saline waters into the upper San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In response to these problems, several visionary individuals and groups developed multi-purpose plans for the area.
    By far, the most popular and well-publicized plan was the Reber Plan. Originally called the San Francisco Bay Project, the plan was developed by John Reber, a former schoolteacher and theatrical producer. Reber's plan would create two fresh water lakes in the upper and lower bays by means of earth and rock fill dams between Richmond and Marin County, and San Francisco and Oakland. Over these dams would pass high-speed roads and railways. The Reber Plan claimed it would provide 20,000 acres of additional filled land, increase the deep-water harbor by 50 miles, and conserve 2,400,000 acre-feet of fresh water annually. Critics pointed out the plan's destruction of commercial fisheries, increased sewage disposal problems, adverse effects on the ports of Oakland, Stockton, and Sacramento and flooding potential. Although it attracted considerable attention, even that of the editors of the Saturday Evening Post, the Reber Plan was opposed by the State of California, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers and was never adopted.