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Local Water Resources History Collection

Identifier: WLOC

Scope and Contents

The Local Water Resources History Collection consists of materials dated 1875 to 2021, with the bulk falling from 1960 to 2008. Combining materials from several sources, the collection consists of a wide range of materials including maps, blueprints, posters, reports, clippings, photographs, slides, audiotapes, CDs, and DVDs that relate to Colorado water issues, events, people, and organizations. Topics concern irrigation systems and surveys, ditches, water rights, groundwater, education, floods, droughts, and water districts, as well as ranching and reservoir building. Assorted brochures and newsletters from various water-related organizations are also included. Several photographs of water facilities and calendars of historic water projects are in the collection as well. Some materials go beyond the state of Colorado.


  • Creation: 1875-2021
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1960-2008

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.


The Local Water Resources History Collection aggregates materials acquired from several different sources.


13.5 linear feet (18 document boxes, 2 record cartons, 1 flat box, 3 tubes, 1 flat file)

Language of Materials



The Local Water Resources History Collection is an aggregation of items acquired from many different sources. Combining a wide range of materials including maps, blueprints, brochures, programs, posters, reports, photographs, newsletters, audiotapes, CDs, and DVDs, the collection touches on various topics related to Colorado water issues, people, and organizations. Topics include ditches and irrigation systems, water rights, and drought studies, as well as various rivers and reservoirs. Some materials go beyond the state of Colorado. A portion of the collection is digitized and online.


The collection consists of 4 series in 21 boxes, 8 oversized folders, and 3 tubes:

Series 1: Textual materials, 1926-2018 and undated

Series 2: Printed materials, 1927-2020 and undated

Series 3: Oversized materials, 1897-2013

Series 4: Audio/Visual materials, 1875-2021

Subseries 4.1: Audio materials, 1976-1988

Subseries 4.2: Visual materials, 1875-2021


The Local Water Resources History Collection was created by the Water Resources Archive through several donations. The pictures of Bangkok as well as the photographs of Bellevue Hydraulic Laboratory were donated on August 30, 2005, by the CSU Department of Civil Engineering (2005015). The 1897 map of Sanborn Draw Reservoir and Outlet Canal was donated on May 26, 2006, by Henry H. Kugeler, Jr. (2006025). The Mesa County Historical Society and Front Range Water audio cassettes were donated by Dr. Mark Fiege on June 1, 2009 (2009013). Other materials were collected from various sources, including conferences, and compiled on September 1, 2009 (2009032). Additional materials were added to the collection in October 2011, including published water reports from Ayres Associates (2011023) and newsclippings and legal documents related to the Fort Bent Ditch Company from Rick Brase (2011002). Fryingpan-Arkansas Project clippings (2012059) were donated by the Bureau of Reclamation in October 2012. Materials added in June 2014 include several maps (2012022, 2012023), calendars, and event programs, along with additional reports and studies. Also, more materials on the Fort Bent and Fort Lyon ditches from Rick Brase (2014046) were added. Materials added in April 2016 include Colorado River pamphlets (2015022), textual materials, and calendars. Materials added in September 2016 include two flood-related slide presentations (2016057) and Big Thompson flood music (2016058). In January 2017, Dr. Jared Orsi donated his reference materials on the Los Angeles River. In March 2018, Dr. David Freeman donated a few maps and a poster. In October 2018, Ron Sladek of Tatanka Historical Associates donated reports on the Cache la Poudre River. In June 2017, Dr. Mark Fiege donated his research materials related to water in Idaho (2017027) (box 17). In 2022, Lamp Rynearson donated reports and studies collected in their library (2022020) (boxes 20-21).

Online Materials

Some documents and media have been scanned and digitized and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context.


Initial processing was completed in October 2009. Several posters and maps required storage in oversized folders and one archival tube. All other materials were stored in archival boxes. Paper documents were placed in acid-free folders. The audiotapes and CDs were rehoused in archival cases. Photographs were placed in protective sleeves. Additional materials were processed in October 2011. One rolled map required special boxing. Everything else was placed in acid-free folders. Fryingpan-Arkansas Project clippings were processed in February 2013; they were removed from binders and housed in acid-free folders. Routine processing was done for materials added in June 2014, with duplicates and some drafts removed from the Brase materials. The oversize maps were housed in tubes; wooden rods were removed from one of them. Routine processing was also done for materials added in April 2016, September 2016, March 2017, and May 2018. In June 2019, recent digital files were ingested into the Libraries digital repository and backed up on a server. In April 2021, routine processing was done for the materials added in June 2017 and some miscellaneous additions. In February 2023, the materials received in 2022 were incorporated.

Inventory Note

Note: 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.

Guide to the Local Water Resources History Collection
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Jana Leighton and Patricia J. Rettig; revised by Clarissa J. Trapp (2011) and by Patricia J. Rettig (2014; 2016; 2017; 2018; 2019; 2021; 2023)
Copyright 2023
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA