Records of the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute
Scope and Contents
The Records of the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute consists of documents dated 1949 to 2007, with the bulk falling from 1965 to 2000. The materials include project files created by researchers and overseen by CWRRI, information related to conferences, committees, and commissions, internal business files maintained by CWRRI directors, various photographs and slide presentations, and the Institute's reference library. The numerous project files cover such topics as pollution and abatement, irrigation efficiency, groundwater, river data, storage, and urban water issues generated by CWRRI alone or in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency, CSU Experiment Station, and the federal Office of Water Research and Technology, which allotted grant money to water resources research institutes. Conference, committee, and commission files contain agendas, correspondence, meeting minutes, notes, and reports from various water-related institutions including the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission, CSU's water coordination group, and the federal grant-funding committees overseeing CWRRI, among others. CWRRI internal files include long range plans, periodic reviews of the program, miscellaneous reports produced by the organization or its directors, planning notes for the creation of the Water Resources Archive, and information files for numerous state and federal organizations. Also included are a few slide presentations as well as photographs primarily taken for CWRRI newsletter articles or reports, typically depicting water conferences or events. The reference library materials are mostly publications and primarily concern state watersheds and water education.
- Majority of material found within 1965-1985
- Colorado Water Resources Research Institute (Organization)
Restrictions on Access
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Restrictions on Use
Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.
The Colorado Water Resources Research Institute (now the Colorado Water Institute) was created in 1965 on the Colorado State University campus to oversee water research and disseminate new information to citizens. In 1964, Congress passed the Water Resources Research Act to better coordinate the nation's water research programs at a time when water management, especially in the West, was challenged by increasing agricultural, municipal and industrial use. The legislation was based on the Hatch Act of 1887 which established the state agricultural experiment station system and, like the experiment stations, the new water research institutes were also financed by federal and state funds. Water research institutes were organized at the nation's land grant colleges.
Universities were enthusiastic about the new program and William E. Morgan, president of Colorado A and M (now Colorado State University) and chairman of the Water Resources Committee of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, played an important role in the passage of the act. CSU had long been a leader in the West in water and agricultural research and engineering and was an ideal choice for the location of the new research institute. In the early 1880s, the college offered the earliest courses in irrigation engineering in the United States and soon established a Department of Physics and Engineering to further focus on irrigation. In 1912, a hydraulics laboratory was constructed on campus where numerous experiments were conducted by several distinguished scholars. Advancements in irrigation and other water-related matters were disseminated from the college throughout Colorado and the West.
The Colorado Water Resources Research Institute (CWRRI) was initially established as a division within CSU's newly created Natural Resources Center (NRC), where university faculty coordinated federal, state and university research in natural resources as authorized by the State Board of Agriculture. The name of the Natural Resources Center changed by 1970 to the Environmental Resources Center (ERC); however, CWRRI functions remained the primary focus of the center. In 1974, the ERC, and therefore CWRRI, was affiliated with the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station at CSU. In 1978-1979, CWRRI was separated from the ERC and the Experiment Station and made a separate agency on the CSU campus. The Colorado General Assembly officially recognized this division in 1981. In 2008, Colorado legislators approved HB08-1026, which changed the name of the CWRRI to the Colorado Water Institute (CWI) and updated and expanded its mission. Since 1965, five people have served as director of the CWRRI: Stephen C. Smith (1965-1967), Norman A. Evans (1967-1988), Neil S. Grigg (1988-1991), Robert C. Ward (1991-2006), and Reagan Waskom (2006-present).
Until the early 1980s, CWRRI was typically known within its own organizational files in this collection as the ERC. Throughout the collection, NRC, ERC and CWRRI alternately appear on material although they refer to the same organization. Because most references are to the ERC and little material is identified as CWRRI, the acronym ERC/CWRRI was used in the finding aid inventory although file folder titles and material in the folders reference one name or the other.
The water resources research program that created CWRRI was originally overseen by the Office of Water Resources Research (OWRR), later renamed the Office of Water Research and Technology (OWRT), both part of the Department of the Interior. After passage of a new Water Resources Research Act in 1984, the program was reassigned to the Water Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey and was authorized by Colorado's legislature to operate as an official entity of Colorado State University. The institute receives an annual base grant and competitively bids for grant money distributed by the USGS among regional and state water resources research institutes.
Despite the various changes CWRRI has undergone over the years, its mission has remained largely the same. CWRRI identifies and prioritizes water problems for research, plans and manages research projects in the state's universities, disseminates new technology and information, and acts as a liaison between the state and the federal departments that administer research funding. CWRRI regularly publishes reports, conference proceedings, and other educational materials in order to make current water knowledge readily available to Colorado citizens.
95 linear feet (61 record cartons, 3 document boxes, 7 flat boxes)
Language of Materials
Colorado State University has long been a leader in the West in water research and engineering. The University was a logical choice to oversee the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute (CWRRI) when, in 1964, Congress passed the Water Resources Research Act to better coordinate the nation's water research programs. The mission of CWRRI on the CSU campus was to bring water concerns and problems to the attention of water experts in higher education, facilitate research into these issues and disseminate new information to all water users. Most of the collection consists of the organizational files of CWRRI directors, Norman A. Evans, Neil S. Grigg, and Robert C. Ward. Materials include working files related to the many research projects and proposals generated by the program and information related to various water-related conferences, committees, and commissions. In addition, there are CWRRI internal files with long-range plans, program reviews, and reports produced by the organization or its directors. Slide presentations, photographs, and documents from the CWRRI reference library are also present.
The materials in the collection's first accession were completely rearranged, as they arrived in disorder. They were grouped into series according to topic (projects, committees or internal business) and further divided into subseries if needed to facilitate research. Materials in subsequent accessions were also rearranged, with the exception of Subseries 3.2, where original filing order was maintained.
The collection consists of 5 series in 71 boxes:
Series 1: Projects and proposals, 1949-2003
Subseries 1.1: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1972-1981
Subseries 1.2: Environmental Protection Agency, 1979-1998
Subseries 1.3: ERC/CWRRI, 1969-2003
Subseries 1.4: Colorado State University Experiment Station, 1951-1985
Subseries 1.5: Legislative Council, 1978-1981
Subseries 1.6: Miscellaneous projects, 1949-1998
Subseries 1.7: Office of Water Resources Research/Office of Water Research and Technology, 1964-1984
Series 2: Conferences, committees, and commissions, 1949-2005
Subseries 2.1: General files, 1949-2005
Subseries 2.2: Meetings, conferences, and seminars, 1965-2005
Subseries 2.3: Water Pollution Control Commission/Water Quality Control Commission, 1965-1998
Series 3: ERC/CWRRI internal files and miscellaneous reports, 1961-2007
Subseries 3.1: Internal files, 1961-2007
Subseries 3.2: Government agencies, 1967-2003
Series 4: Visual materials, 1968-2000 and undated
Subseries 4.1: Separated photographs, 1968-1982 and undated
Subseries 4.2: Collected photographs and negatives, 1970-2000 and undated
Subseries 4.3: Slides, 1976-1996 and undated
Series 5: Reference materials, 1936-2004
The Records of the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute was acquired by the Colorado Agricultural Archives in 1990 and transferred to the Water Resources Archive in 2001. An accession of photographic materials (2006044) was received in 2006 from the Institute. The CWRRI donated six more accessions comprised of internal, project, committee, and reference library materials between 2005 and 2009 (2005014, 2006024, 2009021, 2009029, 2009031, 2009033).
Some documents, data, and maps have been scanned and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context.
Acronyms were deciphered by examining the contents of the files and by notes provided by former CWRRI secretary, Shirley Miller.
A&O - Associations and organizations
AAAS - American Association for the Advancement of Science
ACP - Annual Cooperative Program (allotment projects (AP) were sometimes funded by the ACP, also called the State Water Institute Program Grants)
AI - Allotment information
AP - Allotment proposal/project
AR - Annual report
ARC - Annual Research Conference (also called Annual Water Research Progress Review Annual Water Resources Research Conference and Annual Conference on Water Research)
ASAE - American Society of Agricultural Engineers
ASCE - American Society of Civil Engineers
ASEE - American Society for Engineering Education
AWRA - American Water Resources Association
BP - Basin planning
CCHE - Colorado Commission on Higher Education (sometimes funded by the federal Office of Water Research and Technology)
CERI - Colorado Energy Research Institute
CH - Case histories
CID - Consortium of International Development
COE - [U.S. Army] Corps of Engineers
COSC - Colorado Open Space Council
CWC - Colorado Water Congress
CWIC - Consortium of Water Institutes and Centers (regional organization of seven Colorado River basin states-Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming-also called the Powell Consortium, part of the federal Office of Water Research and Technology)
CWRRI - Colorado Water Resources Research Institute
EPA - Environmental Protection Agency
ERC - Environmental Resources Center
ERDA - Energy Research and Development Administration
Exp St. - Colorado State University Experiment Station
FP - Fellowship (COE fellowship program)
GA - General assembly
GAF - Government Agency: Federal
GAS - Government Agency: State
GW - Groundwater
GWSTF - Ground Water Standards Task Force (part of WPCC/WQCC)
IIASA - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
ICWP - Interstate Conference on Water Problems
IFG - Instream Flow Group (part of OWRT)
IPAC - International Projects Advisory Committee
IT - Information Transfer Program
IWRA - International Water Resources Association
LC - Legislative Council (Colorado)
LTD - Land Treatment and Disposal
MBSA - Missouri Basin States Association
MCS - Meetings, conferences, and seminars
MI - Matching information
MP - Matching proposals/projects
MPC - Matching proposal completion reports
MRBWIC - Missouri River Basin Water Institute Consortium
NASULGC - National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges
NAWQA - National Water Quality Assessment Program
NCWCD - Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District
NSF - National Science Foundation
NWCOG - Northwest Colorado Council of Governments
NWRA - National Water Resources Association
OIP - Office of International Programs
OPJ - Other projects
OTA - Office of Technical Assessment (federal)
OWRR - Office of Water Resources Research (name changed to Office of Water Resources and Technology)
OWRT - Office of Water Research and Technology
PAC - Policy Advisory Council
PP - Proposals
PSIAC - Pacific Southwest Inter-Agency Commission
RD - River Data
RMI - Research Management Improvement Grants
RP - Regional project
RPAC - Research Planning Advisory Committee
SEWCD - Southeast Colorado Water Conservancy
SWIP - State Water Institutes Program
TAC - Technical Advisory Committee (oversaw grant process between CSU and federal Office of Water Research and Technology)
TI - Title I grants projects
TII - Title II grant projects
TT - Technical transfer
UCOWR - Universities Council on Water Resources
USBR - U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
USCID - U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage
USDA - U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDI - U.S. Department of the Interior
USGS - U.S. Geological Survey
WC - Water coordination (of CSU water interests)
WPCC - Water Pollution Control Commission (name changed to WQCC)
WQCC - Water Quality Control Commission
WR - Water Resources Committee (oversaw grant process, along with TAC, between CSU and federal Office of Water Research and Technology)
WRC - Western [Water] Resources Conference
WRR - Western regional research project (regional project by several western states and the USDA in conjunction with state experiment station project 227 related to water conservation)
WRRP - Western regional research projects (state and federal joint project)
WRSIC - Water resources scientific information centers
WSWRC - Western Soil and Water Research Committee
Some initial processing was completed by John Newman in 2002. In 2004, the majority of metal fasteners were removed and replaced with plastic clips as needed. All rubber bands and self-stick notes were removed. When Social Security numbers were found, they were blacked out, the pages were then photocopied, and the originals destroyed. Newspaper clippings were inserted between sheets of acid-free paper. Duplicates of material were not retained past the second copy. All materials were inserted in acid-free folders and reboxed. Photographs not associated or attached to specific reports were removed, placed in separate files, and cross-referenced to their original location. Drawings and transparencies were retained in their original file folders and noted in the finding aid. All files were rearranged within each series and subseries alphabetically followed by any files that began with dates or numbers listed numerically. Original folder titles were copied exactly onto new folders and an extensive effort was made to decipher these titles as they contained multiple acronyms, often used inconsistently, which revealed little about the folder contents to those unfamiliar with the filing system. Acronyms are spelled out in brackets within the finding aid inventory the first time they appear. After the first acronym is used, if subsequent files started with the same, the acronym was left off and the file name was indented under the first entry. The N, GAS, GAF and A&O acronyms were removed completely from the finding aid as they revealed little about file folder contents (see acronym listing for explanation). Enough information was retained in the finding aid so researchers can locate a file that has a slightly different, usually longer title on the file folder. All acronyms originally used are explained in an alphabetical listing in this finding aid. Series descriptions contain additional information regarding the use of acronyms. When the collection was first acquired by the Colorado Agricultural Archives, several boxes of professional books and journals considered widely available to the public were weeded out. Printer's copies of published CWRRI reports, including Technical Reports, Completion Reports and Information Series, were weeded in later processing. Bound copies of such reports found in the files were not retained but were sent through the normal library selection process to be added to the university publications section of the Archives and Special Collections Department or the main stacks.
Processing of the photographic materials accession (2006044) was completed in May 2013. Slides, photographs, and negatives were sleeved, arranged into a useable order, and housed in acid-free boxes. Low-quality photographs, duplicates beyond two copies, and images of unidentifiable locations were all discarded. Publication proofs which were part of the accession were also discarded.
Processing of accessions 2005014, 2006024, 2009021, 2009029, 2009031, and 2009033 was finished in July 2013. Duplicate items were weeded. Financial files from the 2002 drought conference and materials donated as part of the reference library that did not directly relate to CWRRI projects and interests (especially photocopies of publications) were also weeded. Materials were rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. Digital media were placed in protective cases. Rubber bands, sticky notes, and paper clips were discarded. Several reports were removed from three-ring binders. Generally, materials were integrated into the existing series organization, though Subseries 3.2: Government agencies and Series 5: Reference materials were added.
- Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station.
- Colorado State University. Environmental Resources Center.
- Colorado Water Resources Research Institute.
- Evans, Norman A.
- Grigg, Neil S.
- Slides (photographs).
- Ward, Robert C.
- Water quality management -- Colorado.
- Water resources development -- Colorado.
- Water-supply -- Research -- Colorado.
- Guide to the Records of the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute
- Edited Full Draft
- Prepared by Rose Laflin; revised by Alan E. Barkley, Patricia J. Rettig, and Clarissa J. Trapp
- Copyright 2013
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA