Samuel B. Nelson Collection

Documenting Water History in Los Angeles

The monumental completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913 secured the City of Los Angeles as an oasis for opportunity.  Over decades, growing populations demanded more water development to support the ever-expanding metropolis.  However, water in this arid region came with great costs, determination, contestation and labor, which sharply contrasted with the vision of prosperity it provided.  This database offers unique and diverse perspectives into the history of the municipal water system in Los Angeles during the 20th century.

From 1926 to 1967, Samuel Nelson worked for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, eventually serving as general manager and chief engineer.  His contributions span his work during the aftermath of the St. Francis Dam failure in 1928, to overseeing the construction of the second LA Aqueduct from 1965 to 1967.  Featured in this collection are letters concerning the Snake-Colorado River Project, organizational histories of the Los Angeles DWP and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and speeches regarding projected water needs and proposed solutions through the year 2000.*




Click HERE to see the Samuel B. Nelson Collection Database - Hosted by CSUN Oviatt Library^





References and Credits

* California State University Northridge - Oviatt Library Digital Collection

^ Collection Sponsored by Metabolic Studios


< Back