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Carley V. Porter

Porter, Carley V. (1906-1972) was the longtime chairman of the California Legislature’s Assembly Committee on Water who has two historical and important water laws named after him. He was a Democrat from Compton in Los Angeles County and a teacher before being elected to the Assembly.

“It was his realization of the needs of the state which contributed largely to the successful passage of the Burns-Porter Act which resulted in the California Water Project,” according to an excerpt from a eulogy published in the Lodi News-Sentinel Dec. 19, 1972. “Porter was not only concerned with water supply but with quality as well. He, along with Gordon Cologne, authored the state’s Water Quality Control Act to clean up the lakes and streams.”

The Burns-Porter Act, formally known as the California Water Resources Development Bond Act, was passed by voters in November 1960 to finance and build the nation’s largest state-built water and power development and distribution system — the State Water Project. The Porter-Cologne Act, enacted by the state Legislature in 1969, was recognized as one of the nation’s strongest anti-pollution laws. “The Legislature will miss Porter, not alone for his abilities but for the example he set for others as an honest, kindly, capable representative of the people,” according to the article.

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