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Walter R. McLean papers
WRCA 077  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Information
  • Collection Scope and Contents
  • Collection Number
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Walter R. McLean papers
    Date (bulk): bulk 1930-1968
    Collection Number: WRCA 077
    Extent: 19 linear feet 40 boxes
    Repository: Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
    Riverside, CA 92517-5900
    Languages: English.


    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 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.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], [date if possible]. Walter R. McLean papers (WRCA 077). Water Resources Collections and Archives. Special Collections & University Archives, University of California, Riverside.

    Biographical Information

    Walter Reginald McLean, the son of Walter Reginald and Sarah Jane (Patterson) McLean, was born on July 16, 1903 in the town of Broderick in Yolo County, California. His distinguished career embraces fifty-three years of service to the East Bay Municipal Utility District, plus fifteen years as a consultant to water-related projects in the United States, South America, and South Africa.
    McLean's forty-one years on the engineering staff of EBMUD spanned the period 1927-1968, during which most of the foundation facilities of the water district were created. In the 1920s he worked on the construction of Pardee Dam and the First Mokelumne Aqueduct. In the 1930s and 1940s, he supervised district projects in the East Bay, including construction of the Orinda Filter Plant and a network of pipelines for water distribution. From 1945-1952 he was in charge of investigations and construction of the sewage collection and treatment facilities that ended the routine discharge of the area's raw sewage into San Francisco Bay.
    In the late 1950s and 1960s, McLean participated in planning and building water facilities to accommodate projected population increases in the East Bay. As manager of the Special Projects Construction Division during these years, he oversaw construction of Camanche Dam, the Third Mokelumne Aqueduct, Briones Dam, the Lafayette Tunnel and Aqueduct and the Walnut Creek Tunnel.
    McLean faced mandatory retirement at age sixty-five from EBMUD in 1968. However, after completing his EBMUD employee status, McLean was neither retired nor tired. So, in 1969, he embarked on another career - this time in the private sector. He joined the civil engineering consulting firm Goslinger/McLean Associates, Inc., under the presidency of his son, Robert J. McLean. He also served as an expert witness in lawsuits and advised on a variety of construction projects, from the BART tunnel in San Francisco to a shrimp farm in Honduras to a pipeline in Ghana.
    He returned to EBMUD in the capacity of a public servant in 1979 after his election to the water district's Board of Directors. He was re-elected by the people twice and served on the board until 1991.
    Excerpted from: Walter R. McLean, From Pardee to Buckhorn: Water Resources Engineering and Water Policy in the East Bay Municipal Utility District, 1927-1991,an oral history conducted in 1991 by Ann Lage, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, 1993.

    Collection Scope and Contents

    Reports and documents relating mainly to water-supply developments of the East Bay Municipal Utility District, Oakland, California. Includes material on the Mokelumne River Project, Briones Dam, the Lafayette Aqueduct, Camanche Dam and Reservoir, the American River Project, Chabot Dam and Reservoir, and Pardee Dam and Powerplant. The collection was given to the Water Resources Collections and Archives by Walter R. McLean in May 1973. Additional materials were given to the Archives by Mr. McLean in January 1992.

    Collection Number

    Collection number updated February 2019. Legacy collection number was MS 76/7. This change was part of a project in 2018/2019 to update the collection numbers for collections in the Water Resources Collections and Archives.

    Indexing Terms

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


    East Bay Municipal Utility District (Calif.)
    Central Valley Project (Calif.). American River Division
    Briones Dam (Calif.)
    Camanche Reservoir (Calif.)
    Chabot Reservoir (Calif.)
    Lafayette Aqueduct (Calif.)
    Municipal water supply -- California -- East Bay
    Pardee Dam (Calif.)
    Water resources development -- California, Northern