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Inventory of the Ralph M. Brody Papers, 1959-1981
MS 86/2  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access points
  • Biographical Information
  • Guide to the Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Ralph M. Brody Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1959-1981
    Collection number: MS 86/2
    Creator: Brody, Ralph M., 1912-1981
    Extent: 15 linear ft. (11 cartons)
    Repository: Water Resources Collections and Archives
    Riverside, CA 92517-5900
    Shelf location: This collection is stored off-campus at NRLF. Please contact the Water Resources Collections and Archives staff for access to the materials.
    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], Ralph M. Brody Papers, MS 86/2, Water Resources Collections and Archives, University of California, Riverside.

    Access points

    California. Burns-Porter Act.
    California. State Water Commission
    California State Water Project
    San Benito Water Conservation District
    Westlands Water District (Calif)
    United States. Bonneville Power Administration
    Irrigation farming -- California
    Reclamation of land -- West (U.S.)
    Water resources development -- California
    Land tenure -- California
    Water -- Law and legislation -- California
    Interconnected electric utility systems -- West (U.S.)
    Water transfer -- California

    Biographical Information

    Ralph M. Brody was born in Madison, Illinois, June 22, 1912 to Russian immigrants Harry and Beckie Brody. After graduating from the State University of Iowa with a BA in Political Science, he attended the University of Iowa where he received his JD in 1938.
    Brody worked as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1938-1944, when he received an appointment as Assistant Regional Counsel to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Sacramento, CA. In 1952 he left the Bureau of Reclamation to pursue private law practice, primarily in the field of water and power law. In 1959 he was chosen by Governor Edmund Brown, Sr. to act as the governor's Special Counsel on Water Issues. At that time he was also appointed Chief Deputy Director of Water Resources. Brody used his water law expertise and political savvy to guide the governor's legislation through the California Legislature. He also acted as a liaison for the governor in presenting the proposed legislation to individuals and groups from one end of the state to the other. The lobbying was successful, and the California State Water Project was authorized by the electorate in 1960.
    In 1960 Brody was appointed to the chairmanship of the California Water Commission, a position he held until the end of the Brown administration in 1966.
    Brody became Manager/Chief Counsel for the Westlands Water District in 1960. Westlands, a water district comprised of some 350,000 acres of farmland, is a prime beneficiary of water from the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project. Brody remained at Westlands until his retirement in 1977, when he became a consultant to Westlands and other water districts.
    Brody died December 22, 1981 while vacationing in Washington, D.C.

    Guide to the Collection

    The collection is divided into ten sections, with each section representing an individual unit within the overall collection. Each file number within each section indicates only the information found in that specific file. There are generally no blanket files containing information not specifically listed in the file heading.
    Some larger files may have tangential information due to the scope of the file. Some larger files may span years, while some of the smaller files may be quite date specific.
    Some of the file headings were Ralph Brody's; there has been an attempt at clarification where the file heading may have been ambiguous or incomplete.