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Groundwater Data Collection

 Collection
Identifier: WGDC

Scope and Contents

The Groundwater Data Collection consists of documents dated from 1897 to 2011, with the bulk concentrated from the 1940s through the 1970s. The materials were amassed over the years by various people in a room at Colorado State University's Engineering Research Center. Materials relate to the groundwater studies that CSU researchers conducted primarily in eastern Colorado (the South Platte basin, High Plains, and Arkansas Valley) as well as the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. Subjects of particular focus are artificial recharge, observation wells, and irrigation pumping. Predominant material types include data, reports, correspondence, charts, maps, photographs, slides, clippings, films, and microfilm.

Dates

  • 1897-2011
  • Majority of material found within 1940-1981

Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection. However, some items are stored off-site, so advance notice is recommended.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.

History

Colorado State University's strength in groundwater research evolved naturally from the state's early residents needing information about irrigated agriculture. Not long after irrigation engineering was established as a distinct course of study at the State Agricultural College (now CSU) in 1889, Louis G. Carpenter, the professor who taught the course, conducted research which led to Agricultural Experiment Station bulletin number 33, Seepage or Return Waters From Irrigation (1896), which was the first of the bulletins to concentrate on water flow below ground. Bulletin 180, Seepage and Return Waters (1911), also by Carpenter, furthered this research, as did several other publications, including bulletin 279, Return of Seepage Water to the Lower South Platte River in Colorado (1922) by Ralph L. Parshall.

In 1929, a program was initiated by the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station "to determine changes in the water table in certain areas in Colorado where pumping for irrigation was important" (W. E. Code, Water Table Fluctuations in Eastern Colorado. Bulletin 500-S, p. 1). In the 1940s, studies were initiated in the South Platte Valley and Prospect Valley. Agreements between the U.S. Geological Survey and the state enabled more funding to flow to the Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (again, an earlier name for CSU) for groundwater studies. The studies primarily related to artificial recharge, observation wells and irrigation pumping.

The data, maps, charts, drafts, correspondence, photographs, final reports and reference materials that were produced by or collected for these groundwater studies over the years are what comprise the Groundwater Data Collection. CSU engineering faculty and staff contributing to the studies represented in this collection include Morton W. Bittinger, John Brookman, William E. Code, Harold R. Duke, Robert E. Glover, Robert A. Longenbaugh, Edmund Schulz, Morris M. Skinner and Daniel K. Sunada.

Extent

36.25 linear feet (23 record cartons, 4 document boxes, 3 flat files, 6 tubes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Colorado State University's strength in groundwater research evolved naturally from the state's early residents needing information on irrigated agriculture. The data, maps, charts, drafts, correspondence, photographs, final reports, and reference materials that were produced by or collected for these groundwater studies over the years are what comprise the Groundwater Data Collection. Materials relate to the groundwater studies that CSU researchers conducted primarily in eastern Colorado (the South Platte basin, High Plains, and Arkansas Valley) as well as the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. Subjects of particular focus are artificial recharge, observation wells, and irrigation pumping.

Arrangement

The materials in the collection were roughly grouped by project or material type, which were easily made into series. Further rearrangement was minimal, with the exception of subseries creation for greater clarity.

The collection consists of 11 series in 27 boxes, 3 flat files, and 6 tubes:

Series 1: Observation well data, 1928-1980

Subseries 1.1: Field copies, 1936-1976

Subseries 1.2: Office copies, 1928-1975

Subseries 1.3: Recorder data, 1953-1980

Subseries 1.4: Data files, 1929-1975

Subseries 1.5: Miscellaneous files, 1955-1975

Subseries 1.6: Publications, 1958-1974

Subseries 1.7: Oversize, 1959-1967

Series 2: Power consumption by irrigation pumps, 1939-1979

Series 3: Field books of W. E. Code, 1917-1962

Series 4: Arkansas Valley, 1899-1966

Subseries 4.1: Files, 1899-1966

Subseries 4.2: Oversize, 1925-1966

Series 5: High Plains, 1959-1980

Subseries 5.1: Files, 1959-1980

Subseries 5.2: Oversize, 1961-1977

Series 6: San Luis Valley, 1897-1980

Subseries 6.1: Files, 1951-1980

Subseries 6.2: Oversize, 1897-1949

Series 7: South Platte Valley, 1929-1978

Subseries 7.1: South Platte miscellaneous, 1929-1971

Subseries 7.2: Kiowa Creek and Kiowa/Bijou, 1959-1965

Subseries 7.3: Prospect Valley, 1945-1968

Subseries 7.4: South Platte Ditch, 1959-1978

Subseries 7.5: Oversize, 1942-1972

Series 8: Miscellaneous, 1929-1977

Subseries 8.1: Files, 1929-1977

Subseries 8.2: Oversize, 1947-1957

Series 9: Printed materials, 1912-2011 and undated

Subseries 9.1: Groundwater, 1936-2011 and undated

Subseries 9.2: Surface water, 1923-2008

Subseries 9.3: Wells and pumps, 1948-1976

Subseries 9.4: Clippings, 1912-1979

Subseries 9.5: Newsletters, 1948-2011

Subseries 9.6: Legal, 1965-1993

Series 10: Visual materials, 1931-1979

Subseries 10.1: Slides, 1941-1979

Subseries 10.2: Photographs and negatives, 1931-1979

Subseries 10.3: Films and microfilm, 1945-1965

Series 11: Longenbaugh accessions, 1947-2002 and undated

Subseries 11.1: High Plains study, 1947-1984 and undated

Subseries 11.2: Other studies and committees, 1968-2002 and undated

Acquisition

The Groundwater Data Collection was picked up by Water Resources Archive staff in June 2002 from the Engineering Resource Center on CSU's Foothills Campus, where the collection had been created and stored. A deed of gift was signed in August 2003 by Robert Ward, Director of the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, and Robert Longenbaugh, Consultant Water Engineer and one of the collection creators, on behalf of the CSU engineering faculty. Additional materials were donated in 2011 by David Frick on behalf of Ayres Associates (2 boxes) and by Robert Longenbaugh (8 boxes and some oversized materials). Several files generated by Longenbaugh from the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute (accession 2009033) were transferred to this collection. Some reports and maps found at the Engineering Research Center were added in 2013.

Appraisal

The main appraisal criterion was that materials had to relate to CSU groundwater studies in order to be retained. Books and federal or state government publications not of a unique or rare nature were not retained. These items went through the normal library selection process to be added to the main stacks as appropriate. Duplicates of reports were not retained past a second copy. Printing negatives were discarded, as were most full-size versions of maps that had been reduced for publications. A bibliography of groundwater publications compiled on index cards and several printouts of computer programs were not retained. From the 2011 Longenbaugh accession, duplicate publications and photocopies of maps were returned to him.

Online Materials

Some data, reports, slides, photographs, maps, and other materials 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. Note that not all links are to the exact documents in this collection, but scans from other sources.

Related Collections

Related collections in the Water Resources Archive include the Papers of Morton W. Bittinger and the Papers of Robert E. Glover, two of the researchers represented in the Groundwater Data Collection. Also related are the Papers of Daryl B. Simons, who served as the associate dean for engineering research (among other positions) at CSU, and the Records of the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, which funded some of the groundwater studies.

Separated Collections

Some materials not directly related to groundwater in the 2011 accession from Ayres Associates were separated and integrated in the Local Water Resources History Collection.

Processing

Processing of the collection was completed in February 2004. Materials were removed from three-ring binders, envelopes and existing folders and inserted in acid-free folders. The majority of metal fasteners were removed and replaced with plastic clips as needed. Rubber bands and self-stick notes were removed. Newspaper clippings were inserted between sheets of acid-free paper. Loose photographs, negatives and slides were separated to the last series and inserted in archival sleeves, envelopes or folders. Existing slide sleeves were replaced with archival ones. The rolled oversized items were unrolled and stored flat if possible; otherwise they were stored in large tubes. Films remain in their original containers. Two items, one from the Parshall Collection, were added in March 2005. A few folders and some oversized items were added in September 2010. Six boxes of materials, along with some oversized items, from Ayres Associates and Robert Longenbaugh were rehoused and added in October 2011. Most items were added to Series 9 or a newly-created Series 11. One map was placed in Subseries 5.2, and three oversize maps were placed in Subseries 7.5. A few folders generated by Robert Longenbaugh donated by the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute and others found at the Engineering Research Center were added in 2013.

Title
Guide to the Groundwater Data Collection
Status
Edited Full Draft
Author
Prepared by Patricia J. Rettig; revised by Clarissa J. Trapp
Date
Copyright 2013
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA
970-491-1844