Scope and Content
Title: Thomas H. Means papers
Date (bulk): 1905-1958
Collection Number: MEANS
7 linear feet
Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
Collection is open for research.
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 Director of Distinctive Collections. 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.
[identification of item], [date if possible]. Thomas H. Means papers (MEANS). Water Resources Collections and Archives. Special
Collections & University Archives, University of California, Riverside.
Thomas Herbert Means was born in 1875 in Virginia. His early career included nine years in the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Bureau of Soils, during which time he was in charge of soil surveys, principally in the western states. In 1898 he made a
report on reclamation of alkali soils in Yellowstone. He also studied dry land soils and moisture content under different
methods of farming at Glen Ullin and Fargo, North Dakota. In 1902, he visited North Africa, Algeria, Tunis and Egypt to study
soils and irrigation. After that he served six years in the Bureau of Reclamation in land examination and farm unit subdivision
and was in charge of a laboratory for the study of the silt-carrying capacities of western streams.
In 1910, Means went into private consulting practice in San Francisco, California, specializing in engineering connected
with agriculture, irrigation, drainage, reclamation and water supply. At various times he was employed by the State of California
to work on the Central Valley Project, by the City of San Francisco on the Hetch Hetchy Project-he played a key role in the
court battles that led to water rights for the city-and as a consulting engineer for Orange County Flood Control District.
He was also employed by the State of Montana Water Conservation Board on litigation on the Missouri River, and served as an
expert witness in several lawsuits over waters in the western states.
Means died in November 1965 in Berkeley, California.
Scope and Content
Correspondence and reports concerning the Colorado River and flooding in the Imperial Valley, the Hetch Hetchy Project, Los
Angeles water supply, the Southern Sierra Power Company, the salinity of San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin River
Delta, flood control and irrigation projects, groundwater, and land appraisal throughout California and other western states.
Select items from this collection have been digitized and are available online.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the
library's online public access catalog.
Southern Sierra Power Company
Hetch Hetchy Reservoir (Calif.)
Water-supply -- California -- Los Angeles
Salinity -- California -- Delta Region
Salinity -- California -- San Francisco Bay
Floods -- California -- Imperial Valley
Flood control -- California
Irrigation -- California
Groundwater -- California
Soils -- California
Owens Valley (Calif.)
Mono Basin (Calif.)
Real property -- West (U.S.) -- Valuation
Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)