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California Environment Information Sources

Water Feature Place Names

See also the list of general California Gazetteers (Place Names).

  • California Dams Database (California Department of Water Resources) (print copy available as Dams Within the Jurisdiction of the State of California--Cal Docs W 750 B9 #17--DWR Bulletin #17) Lists over 1,400 jurisdictional dams in California that are over 25 feet in height or have an impounding capacity of 50 acre-feet or more. Search by dam name, owner, stream or county. For each dam gives location information, dam characteristics and reservoir characteristics.
  • Gazetteer of Surface Waters of California(Wood) 1913 (print copy available in Docs I 19.13: 295-297) (USGS Water-Supply Paper 295, 296, 297) Prepared in cooperation with the State of California this three volume gazetteer contains descriptions of all streams and lakes named on the best available maps of the time, including USGS topographic maps and other county maps. Since California was not mapped in detail as of 1913 this gazetteer does not represent a complete listing of the surface waters of the state. For each steam gives USGS topographic quadrangle where found, PLSS coordinates, altitude of origination, direction and length of flow and and outlet. For each lake gives gives USGS topographic quadrangle where found, PLSS coordinates, elevation, and length and fall of outlet.
  • Inventory of Large Lakes in California (Crippen) 1969 (Docs I 19.76:1969-9) and Inventory of Medium-Sized Lakes in California (Wallace) 1970 (Docs I 19.76:1970-1/3) For each lake includes geographic coordinates, county, area and altitude of the water surface, drainage area, principal inflow and USGS topographic quadrangle where located. The large lakes inventory includes 169 lakes over one square mile in surface area and the medium-sized inventory includes 142 lakes having a water surface area of 160 to 640 acres.
  • Lakes in California (Historical Map Works) Alphabetical listing of lakes found on over 7,000 historical California maps. Maps have a limited public view.
  • "Lakes of California" (Davis) 1933 IN California Journal of Mines and Geology 29: 175-236 (Cal Doc C 810 C3) Discusses the geomorphological origin of 129 lakes in California. Includes a location map keyed to the included lakes.
  • Mineral Springs and Health Resorts of California (Anderson) 1892. Includes an alphabetical index of 174 mineral springs in California, many with long narrative descriptions and chemical analysis.
  • Reservoir Information (California Department of Water Resources) Listing of reserviors in California sorted by dam name. Each entry gives information on location, operataor, stream, capacity, year built, and average monthly storage.
  • Reservoirs in California (Historical Map Works) Alphabetical listing of reserviors found on over 7,000historical California maps. Maps have a limited public view.
  • Rivers of California (Pacific Gas and Electric) 1962 (GB 1225 C3 P2) Popular one or two page accounts of 84 rivers in California that describe their physical characteristics, notable historical events, and hydroelectric and other water resources development activities.
  • Springs of California (Waring) 1915 (print copy available in Docs I 19.13: 338) (USGS Water-Supply Paper 338) Describes the springs of California in nine groupings--hot springs, carbonated springs, sulphur springs, saline springs, magnesic springs, iron springs, artesian springs, large cold springs, and minor perennial springs. Table 1 contains an alphabetical list by county of all springs that are shown on the included "Topographic Map of California, Showing Location of Springs". Table 2 includes a list of springs used as resorts or camping locations. Also included is a "Map of California, Showing Locations of Hot, Carbonated and Sulfur Springs."
  • Streams in California (Historical Map Works) Alphabetical listing of streams found on over 7,000historical California maps. Maps have a limited public view.
  • "Tabulated List of Thermal Springs and Thermal Wells", pp. 81-118 IN An Explantory Text to Accompany the 1:750,000 Scale Fault and Geologic Maps of California (Jennings) 1985 (California Geological Survey Bulletin # 201) (Cal Doc C810 B9 #201) Lists thermal springs and wells shown on the 1985 Fault Map of California. For each spring gives location, topographic quadrangle, water temperature, and reference.
  • Thermal Springs List for the United States: California (Berry, Grimm, and Ikelman) 1980 (US National Geophysical Data Center Key to Geophysical Records Documentation No. 12) (print copy available in Docs C 55.219/2:12) Lists 304 thermal springs in California. Derived mainly from Thermal Springs of the United States and Other Countires of the World--a Summary (Waring) 1965 (USGS Professional Paper 492) (print copy available in Docs I 19.16:492). The Virtual Map of Thermal Springs plots these springs on a map.

Magazines and Journals

Western Water (Water Education Foundation) (Periodical Collection TD 201 W4) Bimonthly magazine from the non-profit Water Education Foundation which aims to create a better understanding of water issues and help resolve water resource problems. Thematic issues cover such topics as water supply, water quality, the Colorado River, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, groundwater, and endangered species. The Western Water Magazine Archiveslists all issues from 1997 to the present with online fulltext of selected articles. Articles are searchable from the Water Education Foundation home page.

Environmental History

  • Aqueduct Empire: a Guide to Water in California, its Turbulent History and its Management Today (Cooper) 1968 (HD 1694 C2 C67) A standard history on California water development with special emphasis on the State Water Project and its alternatives.
  • Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water (Reisner) 1993 (HD 1739 A17 R45) Award winning social history of the politics of water development in the western US, with an emphasis on dam building and water rights battles to provide water for interests in Los Angeles and the Central Valley of California. A four part PBS series of the same name was adapted from the book.
  • California Water Atlas (Kahrl) 1979 (print copies available in atlas folio G 1526 C3 C3 1979; also Cal Docs P 580 W 38 folio) Provides a comprehensive introduction through text, maps and graphics to water as a natural resource and to water resources development in California, dating from the advent of European settlement. Prepared by the Governor's Office of Planning and Research and the California Department of Water Resources.
  • Evolution of California State Water Planning 1850-1928 (Jackson and Pisani) 1983. Provides a chronological overview of State involvement in water resource development leading up to 1930 when the first comprehensive State water plan was presented to the public. Focuses on two themes: the evolution of legislative water law and the development of the multiple-use concept of water planning.
  • The Great Thirst: Californians and Water: a History (Hundley) 2001 (HD 1694 C2 H83) The major history on California's complicated water picture that consumes 800 pages. The respected water historian in the beginning chapters outlines two entirely different relationships to water in California--the native Californians who adapted their culture to the water conditions they found and the white settlers who followed the forty-niners who tried to adapt water to culture. Succeeding chapters cover the history of the major state and federal water projects in the state, the environmental movement and state water policy at a crossroads.
  • Irrigation in California (Roeding) 1911 (print copy available in Docs A 77.403: 237) (USDA Office of Experiment Stations Bulletin # 237) Includes a history of irrigation development and irrigation enterprises up through 1911.
  • Water and the California Dream: Choices for the New Millennium (Carle) 2000 (TD 224 C3 C3725 2003) Shows how imported water has shaped the pattern of population growth in California, and argues that it is possible to improve California's damaged environment and quality of life if Californians will accept limited water supplies as a fact of life.
  • Water in California (Harding) 1960 (HD 1694 C2 H3) Covers the geography of water in California and the history of the state's water supply and development up to 1960. Hardingwas involved in water resources development in California for over 50 years.

Reviews and Assessments

  • California Water Myths (Public Policy Institute of California) Explores eight common water myths, involving water supply, ecosystems, and the legal and political aspects of governing California’s water system.
  • California Water Plan (California Department of Water Resources) Every five years (print copy available in Cal Doc W750 B9 #160) (DWR Bulletin #160) Assesses California's agricultural, environmental and urban water needs and evaluates water supplies to quantify the gap between existing and forcasted future water demands and the corresponding water supplies. The series presents a statewide overview of current water management activities and provides water managers and others with a framework for making water resources decisions. See A Look Back at Past California Water Plans for a history of past water plans and Previous Reports with links to these reports.
  • California's Groundwater (California Department of Water Resources) 2003 ( DWR Bulletin 118--2003) (print copy available in Cal Docs W750 B9 #118--2003) 30% of California's water needs are supplied through groundwater. This latest assessment in a time series of reports on groundwater in California contains an overview of groundwater in general and in California; management issues; policy issues; and a summary inventory of available information on statewide and regional groundwater resources. Supplemental web material contains hydrogeologic descriptions, maps, and GIS compatible data files for each of the 431 delineated groundwater basins in California. Earlier reports include:
    • Ground Water Basins in California (California Department of Public Works, Division of Water Resources) 1952 (Water Quality Investigations Report No. 3) (print copy available in Cal Docs P2500 W24) This first groundwater report identified 223 alluvium-filled valleys that were believed to be basins with usable groundwater in storage and created a base index map of the “more important ground water basins”. A statewide numbering system was created in cooperation with the State Water Pollution Control Board (now the State Water Resources Control Board) based on the boundaries of the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards. Includes a bibliography of published and unpublished investigations and reports on the geology and hydrology of groundwater basins in California between 1937 and 1952..
    • California’s Ground Water (California Department of Water Resources) 1975 ( DWR Bulletin 118--75) (print copy available in Cal Docs W750 B9 #118--75) Summarizes available information from DWR, U.S. Geological Survey, and other agencies for individual groundwater basins to “help those who must make decisions affecting the protection, additional use, and management of the State’s ground water resources.” It contains a summary of technical information for 248 of the 461 identified groundwater basins, subbasins, and what were referred to as “areas of potential ground water storage” in California as well as maps showing their location and extent. Includes a bibliography of groundwater reports statewide in coverage or used in making basin inventory summaries.
    • Ground Water Basins in California: A Report to the Legislature in Response to Water Code Section 12924 (California Department of Water Resources) 1980 ( DWR Bulletin 118--80) (print copy available in Cal Docs W750 B9 #118--80) Includes 36 groundwater basins with boundaries different from Bulletin 118-75. The changed boundaries resulted by combining several basins based on geologic or political considerations and by dividing the San Joaquin Valley groundwater basin into many smaller subbasins based primarily on political boundaries. These changes resulted in the identification of 447 groundwater basins, subbasins, and areas of potential groundwater storage. This bulletin also identified 11 basins subject to critical conditions of overdraft.
  • California's Rivers: a Public Trust Report (California State Lands Commission) 1993 (print copy available in Cal Doc L 260 R58) Describes the conditions of rivers in California and their watersheds, documents the historical and current causes for their alteration and the nature and extent of their degradation, and presents suggestions for reducing their degradation and promoting their restoration. Chapters cover early exploration and exploitation, fishing and fisheries, navigation, timber harvesting, grazing, water development, recreation, pollution, and hydrology. One chapter provides regional perspectives on the seven major watershed basins in California.
  • Ecological Condition Assessments of California’s Perennial Wadeable Streams: Highlights from the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program’s Perennial Streams Assessment (PSA) (2000-2007) (Ode, Kincaid, Fleming and Rehn) 2011. Report highlights some of the most significant results from the first eight years of the Perennial Streams Assessment (PSA) program, part of the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP)
  • Management of the California State Water Project (California Department of Water Resources) Annual (print copy available in Cal Doc W 750 B9 #132) (DWR Bulletin # 132) Reports on the status and progress of the State Water Project (SWP) which delivers water to 29 state water contractors that provide water to more than 23 million people, irrigation for 750,000 acres of agricultural lands and environmental benefits to wildlife refuges and recreation facilities. The infrastructure that the SWP uses to delivery the water includes 17 pumping plants, 8 hydroelectric power plants, 32 storage facilities and more than 693 miles of canals and pipelines. The main report each year covers the continuing history of the SWP; construction progress; water and power management; water conditions and deliveries; and recreation, fish and wildlife activities. Appendices include financial statements; data and computations used to determine water charges; costs of recreation, fish and wildlife enhancement; maps and descriptions of various SWP installations; and water operations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
  • Managing California's Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation (Hanak and others) 2011. Policy document that explores solutions for the present when "water management must become more balanced and flexible to support both economic prosperity and environmental sustainability." Reviews the history of how California has adapted to changes and conflicts in water management in the past and then lays out a variety of principles and directions for improving water management in California for contemporary and anticipated future conditions.
  • Reports on the Irrigation Resources of California (Adams, Harding, Robertson and Tait) 1912. First comprehensive assessment of irrigated lands in northern, central and southern California produced cooperatively by the US Department of Agriculture and the California Conservation Commission. Includes extent of agricultural and irrigated lands and for each agricultural area gives a description of irrigation conditions and possibilites.
  • State of California Rivers (Trust for Public Land) 2001 (print copy available in ref GB 1225 C3 H65 2001) Reports on the health of California's major rivers. The report divides California into seven major hydrologic basins and surveys the status of 80 major rivers in these basins. Each basin contains an overview followed by individual river reports that describe its physical and biological characteristics, major threats to river health, protection and restoration efforts, public access and recreation, fish species of special concern and organizational contacts for further information. The North Coast/Klamath Basin is one of seven hydrologic basins.
  • Summary Appraisals of the Nation's Ground-water Resources--California Region (Thomas and Phoenix) 1976 (US Geological Survey Professional Paper 813-E) (print copy available in Docs I 19.16: 813-E) Federal assessment of groundwater resources in California--physical geography; history of development; characteristics of individual resevoirs; problems, e.g., pollution, land subsidence, saltwater intrusion; and opportunities.
  • Water Quality Assessment (California State Water Resources Control Board) Links to water quality assessment reports required by the federal Clean Water Act Sections 303(d) and 305(b). Includes assessments of surface water quality monitoring data and listings of water bodies and pollutants that exceed protective water quality standards. A interactive mapper enables users to view assessed and impaired waters in a region or county, or zoom to a specific water body. the mapper also can do specialized displays of those waters assessed for a particular pollutant or pollutant category. These reports are incorporated into EPA's National Assessment Database and their National Water Quality Inventory Report to Congress.
  • Water Resources of California (California State Water Resources Board) 1951 (print copy available in Cal Doc W 750 B9 #1) (California Department of Water Resources Bulletin #1) First major assessment and inventory of the water resources of California. For each of the seven hydrographic areas includes available basic data on precipitation, runoff, flood frequencies, and quality of surface and ground waters in the state. Also includes a brief history of water resources development in California and previous investigations.

CA - Water Resources and Quality Maps

California Rivers Map - California Lake Map:


See Water Feature Place Names for names and location of current and historical water features in California.

Guides and Indexes

  • Guide to USGS Geologic and Hydrologic Maps (Andriot) 1992 (Abstract Docs QE 77 G85) Includes subject, area and geographic coordinate indexes.
  • List of U.S. Geological Survey Geologic and Water-Supply Reports and Maps for California (US Geological Survey) 1987 (print copy available in Abstract Docs I 19.41/7: C12) Lists reports published by the US Geological Survey relating to the geology, mineral resources and water resources of California from 1880 to 1987. Reports are listed by series with subject and county indexes.
  • Publications Warehouse (US Geological Survey) Indexes over 1500 geologic and hydrologic maps covering California. Includes links to online fulltext if available.

Maps and Atlases

  • California (Nationalatlas.gov) Shows major California rivers and lakes.
  • California Aqueducts (Maps.com)
  • California Groundwater Aquifers (Google Earth Library) Available as a Google Earth KML layer. Source data is from the California Department of Water Resources.
  • California Ground Water (Water Education Foundation) 1999 (map G 4361 C34 1999 W38)
  • California Rivers Assessment (CARA) (International Center for the Environment and California Resources Agency) For each of the 120 river basins in California five maps are available: hydrologic, vegetation, shaded relief, land ownership, and a 1:24,000 quad grid. Other nongraphic watershed statistics and information are also available. IceMaps2 provides interactive mapping capability.
  • California Rivers Map - California Lake Map (Geology.com)
  • California State Water Project Atlas (California Department of Water Resources) 1999 (atlas TC 424 C2 C3 1999) Describes major features of the State Water Project using text, maps and illustrations.
  • California Water (California State University, Chico. Geographical Information Center)
  • California Waterfalls - Nevada Waterfalls (Geology.com) Uses a Google Maps interface to plot major waterfalls in California and Nevada. Also includes a table giving geographic coordinates and USGS topographic quadrangle.
  • California Water Atlas (Kahrl) 1979 (print copies available in atlas folio G 1526 C3 C3 1979 and Cal Docs P 580 W 38 folio) Provides a comprehensive introduction through text, maps and graphics to water in California from the advent of European settlement to the mid 1970's. The atlas covers water as a natural resource and its utilization and development in California. Prepared by the Governor's Office of Planning and Research and the California Department of Water Resources.
  • California Water Map (Water Education Foundation) 1986 (map G 4361 N44 1986 W4)
  • California Watershed Browser (California Watershed Council) Users drill down through a map of California's watersheds using the CalWater geographic dataset. Once an area of interest is identified, the user can retrieve digital orthophoto quads; scanned USGS map sheets for the area; watershed projects from the Natural Resources Project database; and a list of rare species and natural communities inventoried by Fish and Game’s Natural Diversity Data Base.
  • Callifornia Watersheds (California Interagency Watershed Mapping Committee) Generated from the CalWater gis dataset.
  • California's Major Water Projects (California Department of Water Resources) 2005. Map within the California Water Plan Update that maps state, federal and private water projects.
  • CALWATER: a Standardized Set of Watersheds (California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection, Fire and Resource Assessment Program) Generated from the CalWater 2.2 dataset.
  • EnviroMapper for Water (US Environmental Protection Agency) Interactive mapper includes data layers for watersheds, water quality and water pollution.
  • eWRIMS (Electronic Water Rights Information Management System) Web Mapping Application  (California State Water Resources Control Board) Database and interactive mapping application that queries and maps information on water right permits and licenses that have been issued by the State Water Resources Control Board and its predecessors.
  • Facilities in state: California (US Bureau of Reclamation) Statewide map of dams operated by the US Bureau of Reclamation with links to projects, powerplants and dams.
  • Ground Water Atlas of the United States: California, Nevada (US Geological Survey) 1995 (print copy available in Docs I 19.89:730B) Describes the location, extent, geologic and hydrologic characteristics of important aquifers in California.
  • Hydrologic Unit Map--1978, State of California (U.S. Geological Survey) 1978 (print copy available in Docs I 19.89/1 C12) 1:500,000 scale map of USGS hydologic units in California..
  • Pacific Coastal Watersheds (US National Ocean Service. Special Projects Office) Maps watersheds included in the Coastal Assessment and Data Synthesis System (CA&DS).
  • River Stage Maps from National Weather Service/California Nevada River Forecast Center (California Department of Water Resources - California Data Exchange Center) Contains regional maps showing river stages and discharge levels at selected gaging sites during three time intervals: current hour, 1 hour ago, and 2 hours ago.
  • Water Resources of California: Streams, Lakes and Reserviors (US Geological Survey) Simliar maps show shaded relief and average annual precipitation 1961-1990.
  • WaterWatch--Current Water Resources Conditions: California (US Geological Survey) Series of maps that graphically show streamflow conditions in California. Maps are updated daily or more frequently. Individual maps show real-time streamflow compared to historical streamflow, flood and high flow conditions, daily streamflow compared to historical streamflow, 7-day average streamflow compared to historical streamflow, below normal 7-day average streamflow compared to historical streamflow, and drought watch. Mouse-over any of the 200+ recording sites to get detailed site information.

Guides and Bibliographies

  • Abstracts of DWR Publications (California Department of Water Resources) (Cal Doc W 750 B9 # 170) Index to California Department of Water Resources publications. Entries include detailed abstracts. Cumulative issues cover 1922-1969, 1970-1974, 1775-1979, 1980-1984, 1985-1989, 1990-1994, and 1995-1999.
  • "Building the Hydraulic Empire" IN Bibliography of California Environmental History pp. 67-78 (Teisch) 1998 (GE 155 C2 G75 1998) Lists primary and secondary books and journal articles.
  • California Statewide Water Conditions (California Department of Water Resources) Links to frequently updated reports and charts that provide an overview of hydrologic conditions, precipitation, snowpack, river runoff, river forecasts, and reservoir storage.
  • California Water Resources Directory (Childers) 1991 (Ref TC 424 C2 C35 1991) Directory of approximately 1,000 governmental and non-governmental organizations in California that deal with water policy, development, supply, conservation, and environmental protection.
  • California Water Science Center (US Geological Survey) Includes links to USGS online data and publications on California water.
  • California Watershed Portal (California Resources Agency and California Environmental Protection Agency) Portal that contains online tools to identify ongoing watershed activities; provides access to important data and information; and links to the larger California watershed community.
  • CDEC Resource Directory (California Department of Water Resources) Directory from California Data Exchange Center that links to state and federal sources of information and data on current river conditions, snowpack status, river stages and flows, reservoir data and reports, satellite images, statewide water conditions, precipitation and snow, river and tide forecasts, water supply , weather forecasts and station specific data.
  • Guide to Finding Historic Streamflow Records: U.S. Geological Survey Water Supply Papers: Index to Surface Water Supply of the United States Part 11: Pacific Slope Basins in California (UC Berkeley Water Resources Center Archives) Guide to USGS surface water records extending back to 1907 that appeared in the USGS Water Supply Paper series.
  •  Index to Sources of Hydrologic Data (California Department of Water Resources) 1984 (print copy available in Cal Doc W 750 B9 #230) (DWR Bulletin #230) Contains a comprehensive list of hydrologic data stations through 1981. Each station entry includes relevant geographic information on the station and period of record or number of measurements. Separate lists cover surface water measurement stations, surface water quality stations, ground water wells samples, and precipitation stations. For further information see Water Data Library.
  • List of U.S. Geological Survey Geologic and Water-Supply Reports and Maps for California (US Geological Survey) 1987 (print copy available in Abstract Docs I 19.41/7: C12) Lists reports published by the US Geological Survey relating to the geology, mineral resources and water resources of California from 1880 to 1987. Reports are listed by series with subject and county indexes.
  • Publications Warehouse (US Geological Survey) Indexes over 5300 geologic and hydrologic reports and maps covering California. Includes links to online fulltext if available.
  • Reports for California by the US Geological Survey Water Resources Division (US Geological Survey) 1989 (print copy available in Docs I 19.76: 89-29) (USGS Open-file Report 89-29) Lists water resources reports prepared by USGS researchers from 1898 through 1988. Includes both official USGS publications and non-agency publications authored by USGS researchers. Indexing is available by county, hydrologic area and subject.
  • Research and Publications (Aquafornia) Categoried list of research reports on California water issues.
  • Science in Your Watershed: California (US Geological Survey) Guide to USGS scientific data and information organized by 8-digit hydrologic unit code (HUC) or watershed. Use the graphical interface to navigate to a specific watershed page which contains links to streamflow, water quality, water use, and groundwater data; gis data, and USGS scientific publications on the watershed.
  • Sources of Groundwater Information (California State Water Resources Board) Lists state and federal sources of California water quality information
  • Water Resources Center Archives (University of California, Riverside) Major library collecting material on all aspects of water. The majority of the 140,000 items in the collection focus on California. For further information on accessing materials in the library see How to Find WRCA Materials.

Government Agencies and Other Organizations

    Following are directories to governmental and other organizations that focus on water and watersheds:

    Following are few major government agencies and organizations:

    General Introductions

      • Briefing on California Water Issues (Totten) 2004. Produced by the impartial Water Education Foundation to provide a short overview of current key issues in California water. Topics covered include fish and wildlife, growth, urban needs, water conservation, Bay-Delta, Colorado River, water marketing, groundwater, and agricultural drainage.
      • California River and Streams: the Conflict between Fluvial Process and Land Use(Mount) 1995 (G 1225 C3 M68) Part I presents an overview of the physical and biological processes that shape California's rivers and watersheds. Basic principles of hydorlogy and geomorphology are used to explain the differences in character of the state's rivers. Part II evaluates the impact on the state's rivers made by different land use practices--logging, mining, agriculture, flood control, urbanization, and the damming for water supply--starting with the arrival of the first Europeans.
      • California State Water Project (California Department of Water Resources) Overview and history of the SWP, the largest water project in the United States. For a longer treatment seeCalifornia State Water Project (DWR Bulletin # 200) (Cal Doc W 750 B9 #200), a six volume set published in 1974 that records in detail its planning, financing, design, construction and operation.
      • California State Water Project Atlas (California Department of Water Resources) 1999 (atlas TC 424 C2 C3 1999) Describes in text and illustrations major features of the State Water Project.
      • "California Stream Water Quality " (Iwatsubo and Woodard) pp 187-196 IN National Water Summary 1990-91: Hydrologic Events and Stream Water Quality (Paulson) 1993 (print copy available in Docs I 19.13:2400)(USGS Water-Supply Paper 2400) Brief introduction to water quality in specific river basins and water quality trends statewide.
      • California Water II (Littleworth and Garner) 2007 (KFC 790 L58 2007) Introduction to California water law that includes information on the historical, legal, and policy issues affecting the use of water in California.
      • "California Water Supply and Use" (Templin) pp 173-182 IN National Water Summary 1987: Hydrologic Events and Water supply and Use (Carr) 1990 (print copy available in Docs I 19.13:2350)(USGS Water-Supply Paper 2350)
      • California Water Atlas (Kahrl) 1979 (atlas folio G 1526 C3 C3 1979; also Cal Docs P 580 W 38 folio) Provides a comprehensive introduction through text, maps and graphics to water in California from the advent of European settlement to the mid 1970's. The atlas covers water as a natural resource and its utilization and development in California. Prepared by the Governor's Office of Planning and Research and the California Department of Water Resources.
      • California's Water (Huell Howser Productions) Series of 30 minute video productions on various aspects of water and water resources development in California. May be viewed online or purchased.
      • California's Water: A LAO Primer (California Legislature. Legislative Analyst’s Office) 2008 A "quick reference" document relying heavily on charts to present a snapshot of water in California. Includes chapters on California’s water governance; water supply, source, and delivery; financing of water projects; cost of water; and current issues for Legislative consideration.
      • Central Valley Project (US Bureau of Reclamation) The federal Central Valley Project consists of 20 dams and reservoirs, 11 powerplants, and 500 miles of major canals that annually deliver about 7 million acre-feet of water for agricultural, urban, and wildlife use in California's Central Valley. This web site includes a brief overview of the Central Valley Project, operating data (water delivery, reservoir levels, water quality, fish loss, power generation), and financial information. For a more extensive overview of the project's purposes and history see Central Valley Project General Overview (Stene) and The Thirsty Land: The Story of the Central Valley Project (de Roos) 1968 (HD 1694 C2 D4)
      • "Groundwater Resources of Northern California: an Overview" (Ferriz) IN Engineering Geology Practice in Northern California (Ferriz and Anderson) 2001, pp 19-44. (California Geological Survey Bulletin 210/Association of Engineering Geologists Special Publication 12) (Cal Docs C810 B9 # 210) Introduction to the major groundwater basins of northern California, organized by geologic province.
      • Introduction to Water in California (Carle) 2004 (TD 224 C3 C3723 2004) (California Natural History Guides # 76) Popularly written natural history guide that interweaves the historical, human, and technological factors with the ecological and environmental realities of water in California. The first section of the book looks at the water cycle that shapes the state's relationship with water; the second section looks at the original waterscape of California compared to today across 10 distinct hydrologic regions; the third section details the distribution system that carries water between regions to serve humans needs; the fourth section looks at environmental challenges and concerns; and the last section looks at ways to address these challenges to shape California's water future.
      • Layperson's Guide to California Water (Water Education Foundation) 2008 (TD224 C3 L39 2008) Concise overview of the history of water development and use in California.
      • Mineral and Water Resources of California. Part II. Water Resources (United States Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs) 1966 (89th Cong., 2d sess. Committee Print) Report prepared by the US Geological Survey, US Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Water Resources that summarizes the quantity, quality and distribution of surface and ground water in California. The report also describes existing and planned water resource development to meet “current and potential” water requirements as of 1966.
      • Reference Guide (California Department of Water Resources) Includes over 50 articles plus a glossary on California's water resources that cover background information, problems in water resources analysis, and emerging issues. Originally prepared as part of the Water Plan Update 2005.
      • Runoff Characteristics of California Streams (Rantz) 1972 (print copy available in Docs I 19.13:2009-A) (USGS Water-Supply Paper 2009-A) Describes the runoff characteristics of streams in each of the 11 geomorphic provinces of California; categorizes runoff characteristics by numerical index values; and relates those characteristics to mean annual precipitation, altitude, and latitude.
      • State Water Project: Connecting California’s Water (Aquafornia and the Water Education Foundation) Educational full-color slideshow with over 200 slides on the features and importance of the State Water Project.
      • Water and the Shaping of California (McClurg) 2000 (TD 224 C3 M33 2000) Published by the impartial Water Education Foundation this oversized and extensively illustrated book discusses the "...engineering feats, political decisions and popular opinion that reshaped the nature of the state’s most vital resource – water". The book explores the forces of nature and society that led to the water projects creating the current California landscape and looks at options for finding a balance between the economics of water and the environment. The book also features literary excerpts by California authors that focus on water.

      Data Compilations

      • California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) (California Department of Water Resources) Operates a hydrologic data collection network within California and maintains an extensive database of hydrometeorological information submitted by over 140 state, federal and other cooperating agencies, including the National Weather Service, US Geological Survey, US Bureau of Reclamation, US Army Corps of Engineers and Pacific Gas and Electric. Currently there are over 800 operational recording stations in California. The database contains both real-time and historical operational hydrologic data on river stages/flow, river forecasts, reservoir conditions, precipitation, snow depth and water content, temperature, wind direction and speed, and fuel moisture. Use the CDEC Stations Search or the CDEC Station Locator to locate stations by geographic location or type of data collected.

      • California Environmental Data Exchange Network (CEDEN) Multi-agency repository for data sets on California’s water, including its streams, lakes, rivers and coastal ocean.

      • California Nevada River Forecast Center (US National Weather Service) Includes precipation data grouped by drainage area for periods covering the past 1, 2, 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours; river stage/flow for the past 5 hours, river flood outlook, and other related data.

      • California Streamflow Characteristics (from Records through 1968) ( Jorgensen) 1971 (U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report) (Docs I 19.76: 1971-6/3) Summarizes streamflow data for individual recording stations in California from the earliest period of record (early 1900's in some cases) to 1968. For each station gives duration tables of daily discharge, highest and lowest mean discharge each year for specified consecutive periods, and statistics for monthly and annual mean discharges.

      • California Water Supply Outlook (US Natural Resources Conservation Service) Monthly reports generated between January and May for California that summarize the current state of snowpack, precipitation, reservoir and streamflow conditions and makes projections for future streamflow by river basin.

      • Data for Springs in the Colorado Desert Area of California (Berkstresser) 1969 (US Geological Survey Open File Report)

      • Data for Springs in the Northern Coast Ranges and Klamath Mountains of California(Berkstresser) 1968 (US Geological Survey Open File Report 68-9) Lists the results of chemical analyses of water from 201 springs. Spring data is presented alphabetically by county, and within each county, numerically by township and range.

      • Data for Springs in the Southern Coast, Transverse, and Peninsular Ranges of California(Berkstresser) 1968 (US Geological Survey Open File Report 68-10) Lists the results of chemical analyses of water from 184 springs. Spring data is presented alphabetically by county, and within each county, numerically by township and range.

      • EPA-Established TMDLs (US Environmental Protection Agency Region 9) (print copies of local watersheds available in the Humboldt County Collection) Contains links to California watersheds where Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) have been prepared for sediment load and temperature. A TMDL is a quantitative assessment of water quality problems, contributing sources, and load reductions or control actions needed to restore and protect a specific water body. A TMDL specifies the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards and allocates pollutant loads among point and nonpoint sources. For additional information see Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program.

      • Groundwater Ambient Monitoring & Assessment Program (California State Water Resources Control Board) Collects data by testing untreated, raw water in different types of wells for naturally-occurring and man-made chemicals and compiles these test results with existing groundwater quality data from other agencies into a publicly-accessible database, GeoTracker GAMA.

      • Hydro-Climatic Data Network (HCDN): Streamflow Data Set, 1874-1988: California (Slack, Lumb, and Landwehr) 1993 (USGS Water Resources Investigations Report 93-4076) USGSstreamflow dataset developed for studying the variation in surface-water conditions as it relates to climate variation. Contains daily values, monthly mean values, and yearly mean values in tabular format for individual stations that were chosen because of their relative freedom from confounding anthropogenic influences. There are 1659 total US stations, including 118 in California and 28 in northwestern California.

      • Instantaneous Data Archive (IDA): California (US Geological Survey) Database containing instantaneous discharge (streamflow) data records from USGS gaging sites at the time intervals at which it was collected, typically 15 minute to hourly intervals. Available data extends back to around 1990. These instantaneous data records have typically been processed into and published as various daily values, such as the daily maximum, minimum, and/or mean.

      • Integrated Water Resources Information System (IWRIS) (Californnia Department of Water Resources) Web-based geographic information system that allows users to access, integrate, query, and visualize multiple sets of data. The database includes Water Data Library data,California Data Exchange Center data, United States Geological Survey streamflow data, Local Groundwater Assistance Grants (AB303) data, and data from local agencies.

      • My Water Quality (California Water Quality Monitoring Council) Presents California water quality monitoring data and assessment information in the following areas: safety of drinking water, safety of swimming water, safety of fish and shellfish for eating, health of aquatic ecosystems.

      • STORET (US Environmental Protection Agency) Repository of biological, chemical, and physical water quality monitoring data on surface and ground water collected by federal, state and local agencies, Indian Tribes, volunteer groups, academics, and others. Records date from the early 20th century and are contained in two databases--a pre 1999 legacy database and a modern database for post 1999 data. The search interface allows you to search by county, geographic coordinates, or watershed basin; data type; date; and organization. The downloaded raw data can be imported into Excel.

      • StreamStats (US Geological Survey) Web-based GIS that provides users with access to analytical tools for water-resources planning and management and for engineering applications. Users can obtain streamflow statistics, drainage-basin characteristics and other information for specific sites using an interactive map. If a user selects the location of a USGS data-collection station, StreamStates will provide a list of published information for the station. If a user selects a location where no data are available (an ungaged site), StreamStats will delineate the drainage-basin boundary, measure basin characteristics and estimate streamflow statistics for the site. The California application provides peak-flow statistics with annual exceedance probabilities of 50, 20, 10, 4, 2, 1, and 0.002 percent. These peak flows have recurrence intervals of 2-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year floods.

      • Surf Your Watershed (US Environmental Protection Agency) Each watershed has links to sites that include information on watershed health, air quality, toxic waste, water quality, stream flow, water use, land characteristics, and environmental organizations. Locate watersheds by zip code, county, placename, or watershed.

      • USGS Water Data for California (US Geological Survey) Part of the National Water Information System (NWIS). Major database of real time and historical surface water, ground water, and water quality records for California. Use the Site Inventory for California to find sites by county, hydrologic unit, geographic coordinate, site name and other parameters; or use the interactive mapper to find sites.

      • Water Data Library (California Department of Water Resources) Contains current and historical hydrologic data collected by the California Department of Water Resources and cooperating agencies and previously made available in several print series. The data library contains time series hydrologic data in three areas:
        Surface water data - 300 surface water flow and stage monitoring sites
        Water quality data - 1,500 water quality monitoring sites
        Groundwater level data - groundwater level data and hydrographs for more than 35,000 wells

        California precipitation data was first collected in 1849, stream gage data in 1878, and the measurement of groundwater levels in the early 1900's. Index to Sources of Hydrologic Datacontains a comprehensive list of hydrologic data stations. The data complements hydrologic data available from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Weather Service/National Climatic Data Center.

        The HSU Library has the following hydrologic data compilations in print format:

          • Hydrologic Data (DWR Bulletin 130 series) 1963-1975, 1985 (print copies available in Cal Doc W 750 B9 #130; Volume 1, North Coast Area, in GB 705 C2 C35 Humboldt County Collection) Annual series published in five regional volumes which contains monthly data for climate, surface water measurement, ground water measurement, surface water quality and ground water quality.
          • Surface Water Flow (DWR Bulletin 23 series) 1924-1962 (print copies available in Cal Doc W 750 B9 #22) Initially covered only the San Joaquin and Sacramento River drainages; in 1956 became statewide in coverage.
          • Water Supply Conditions in Southern California (DWR Bulletin 39 series) 1900-1962 (Cal Doc W 750 B9 #39) Coverage increased during the time span of the series to eventually include all hydrologic data for Southern California.
          • Quality of Surface Waters in California (DWR Bulletin 65 series) 1955-1962 (Cal Doc W 750 B9 #65)
          • Quality of Ground Waters in California (Bulletin 66 series) 1955-1962 (Cal Doc W 750 B9 #66)
          • Ground Water Conditions in Central and Northern California (Bulletin 77 series) 1957-1962 (Cal Doc W 750 B9 #77) Complements the Bulletin 39 series for Southern California.

          • Water Conditions in California (California Department of Water Resouces) Published every February, March, April, May and October (print copies available in Cal Doc W750 B9 #120) (DWR Bulletin #120) Prepared by the California Cooperative Snow Survey. The four Spring issues summarize current statewide precipitation, snowpack, reservoir storage and streamflow conditions and provide forecasts for seasonal river runoff volume during the April-July snowmelt period and the remainder of the water year through September 30. Information is provided through text, maps, graphs and tables. Forecasts are based on multi-year averages. The Fall issue summarizes conditions during the entire October 1 - September 30 water year. Continues Snow Survey Reports that began in 1930.
            • Snow Conditions contains monthly information about 265 active snow courses and daily information from 117 active snow sensors operated by the California Department of Water Resources and cooperating agencies which measure water content of the snow pack .
            • Snow Course Data contains historical snow course data by snow course.
            • Snow Survey Measurements Through 1964 (DWR Bulletin #129) Presents statewide data on snow depth and water content for 326 snow courses from the earliest period of record through 1964 when DWR Bulletin #120 begins.
          • Water Resources Data: California (US Geological Survey) Annual and multi-year compilations of surface water discharge, groundwater level, and water quality records for streams, lakes and wells recorded by the USGS and cooperating federal and state agencies. Surface water records extend back to 1878 and water quality records to 1941. Publication of groundwater data in this series stopped in 1994 and is now included in the National Water Information System (NWIS). USGS currently operates approximately 440 data collection sites in California. These compilations supplement current and historical water data provided through the National Water Information System (NWIS). Records are arranged by drainage basin.