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).
Battle Creek, a tributary of the
Sacramento River in Shasta and Tehama counties, is considered one
of the most important anadromous fish spawning streams in the
At present, barriers make it difficult for anadromous fish,
including chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead trout, to
migrate. Battle Creek has several hydroelectric dams, diversions
and a complex canal system between its north and south forks that
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