Harvey O. Banks (1910-1996), a lifelong civil engineer, played an integral role in the development of water projects in California.
He became the first director of the state Department of Water Resources, appointed by Governor Goodwin J. Knight on July 5, 1956 — the date the department was officially established. He continued as director under Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown. During Banks’ tenure as director from 1956-1961, he was key in the planning and the initial construction of the California State Water Project (SWP).
At present, barriers make it difficult for anadromous fish, including Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead trout, to migrate. These barriers include natural waterfalls and hydroelectric diversion dams.
The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is a permitting process for long-term project permits for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that centers on co-equal goals of species conservation and improving water supplies and delivery.
The BDCP aims to separate its water delivery system from Delta freshwater flows and restore thousands of acres of habitat, restore river flows to more natural patterns and address issues affecting the health of fish populations.
The biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of water determines the impact of decaying matter on species in a specific ecosystem. Sampling for BOD tests how much oxygen is needed by bacteria to break down the organic matter.
Ralph M. Brody (1912-1981) served as Gov. Pat Brown’s special counsel on water issues and chief deputy director of the Department of Water Resources.
He was instrumental in ensuring passage of the State Water Project in 1960. He chaired the California Water Commission from 1960 -1966. From 1960 until his retirement in 1977, he was manager and chief counsel for Westlands Water District.
Edmund G. “Pat” Brown (1905-1996) was California’s governor from 1959-1967, exemplified the best in public service and left a wide-ranging legacy that featured first and foremost the State Water Project (SWP) and California Aqueduct but also included the Fair Housing Act, the Fair Employment Act, the Master Plan for Higher Education and highway expansion.
Less than 50 miles northeast of Chico, California, begins the 93-mile Butte Creek – a tributary of the Sacramento River. It is named after Butte County, which was in turn named for the nearby volcanic plateaus, or “buttes,” and travels through a massive canyon on its way southwest to the Sacramento Valley.
As a watershed, it drains about 800 square miles, both for agricultural and residential use. The upper watershed is dominated by forests, while the lower watershed is primarily agricultural.