Groundwater Data Collection
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.
- Creation: 1897-2011
- Creation: 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.
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.
36.25 linear feet (23 record cartons, 4 document boxes, 3 flat files, 6 tubes)
Language of Materials
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. A portion of the collection is digitized and online.
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
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.
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.
Some materials have been scanned and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. Note that not all links are to the exact documents in this collection, but scans from other sources. In the electronic version of this document, some of these direct links appear in context. A link to the full online collection appears in the abstract.
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 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.
Note: Title information supplied by the archivist is bracketed. Estimated pagination is preceded by an "e." Two identical copies of the same item are indicated by the phrase "2 copies" at the end of the entry, following the number of pages of each copy. Authored articles, books, and studies are listed in bibliographic form. Maps listed in flat files are typically 24 x 36 inches or smaller, unless described as large or rolled.
- Code, W. E. (William E.), 1891- (Person)
- Bittinger, Morton W. (Person)
- Duke, Harold R. (Harold Ray), 1940- (Person)
- Glover, Robert E. (Robert Ellsworth), 1896- (Person)
- Longenbaugh, R. A. (Robert A.) (Person)
- Skinner, Morris M. (Person)
- Sunada, Daniel K. (Person)
- Colorado State University. College of Engineering. (Organization)
- Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station. (Organization)
Genre / Form
- Charts (graphic documents).
- Motion pictures (visual works).
- Slides (photographs).
- Arkansas River Watershed.
- High Plains (U.S.)
- San Luis Valley (Colo. and N.M.)
- South Platte River Watershed (Colo. and Neb.)
- Guide to the Groundwater Data Collection
- Edited Full Draft
- Prepared by Patricia J. Rettig; revised by 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