Julian B. Hinds (1881-1977) was Metropolitan Water District of
Southern California’s general manager and chief engineer from
1941-1951, but began work on the Colorado River Aqueduct in 1929
soon after the district was organized.
Edward Hyatt Jr. (1888-1954) was the state engineer of California
from 1927-1950. In a 1928 report he wrote titled “Water is the
Life Blood of California — The Division of Engineering and
Irrigation of the State Department of Public Works; What it Does
and How it Operates,” he called the department the “building
organization of California’s state government” and described
successes, challenges and responsibilities of his position.
David N. Kennedy (1936-2007) was at the helm as the director of
the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) for 15 years,
the longest serving director to date, and a champion of the State
Water Project (SWP).
Lois Krieger (1917–2014) was one of
the true pioneers of the California water world. She was the
first woman elected chair of the Metropolitan Water District of
Southern California’s board of directors, the first female
president of the Association of California Water Agencies and a
long-time champion of the wise development and use of water in
Robert B. Marshall (1867-1949), whose career at the U.S.
Geological Survey culminated in 1908 when he became chief
geographer for the entire USGS, first proposed the concept of a
statewide water plan for a series of dams, canals and aqueducts
to bring water to California’s Central Valley.
As a result of his 1919 Marshall Plan, he earned the nickname of
“Father of the Central Valley Project.”
According to the California Department of Water Resources, the
Marshall Plan became the precursor of the first State Water Plan
Don McCrea was one of the founding members of the Water Education
Foundation and signed its original Articles of Incorporation in
His background was in power and energy issues, including
hydrology and the state’s hydrologic system, from a career at the
Pacific Gas & Electric Company in San Francisco. He was involved
in the development of the State Water Project as a proponent of
the value of hydroelectricity.
Elwood Mead (1858-1936) was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau
of Reclamation during the era of the development of Hoover Dam on
the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada, Grand Coulee Dam
in Washington and Owyhee Dam in Oregon, among other large water
William Mulholland (1855-1935), an immigrant from Ireland, is
infamous in the history of California water and the state’s water
wars for both his far-sightedness and no-holds-barred approach to
delivering a controversial water supply to Southern California.
He is a love-hate character with a story that has many tellings,
including in the 1974 fictional movie, Chinatown.
John Muir (1838-1914) was a famous
and influential naturalist and conservationist who founded the
Sierra Club in 1892 and was its president until he died.
Throughout his life, this man from Scotland was also a farmer,
inventor, sheepherder, explorer and writer.
Fred T. Perris (1837-1916)
became the chief engineer and superintendent of construction of
the California Southern Railway. A civil engineer, he also played
a role in surveying and taking water measurements in San
Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. The Lake Perris State
Recreation Area and the city of Perris are named after him.
Carley V. Porter (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
John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) was historic and heroic for being
first to lead an expedition down the Colorado River in 1869. A major
who lost an arm in the Civil War Battle of Shiloh, he was an
explorer, geologist, geographer and ethnologist.
Marc Reisner (1948-2000), an environmental writer who became a
celebrity in the water world, was the author of Cadillac Desert:
The American West and Its Disappearing Water (1986), a
best-seller about Western water history and politics and a
full-blown critique of 20th century water development, especially
in California and the West. “Based on 10 years of research,
Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, provocative
history of the creation of an Eden — an Eden that may be only a
mirage,” according to the book’s back flap.
Ronald B. Robie, an associate justice on the California Court of
Appeal, Third Appellate District, has made his mark on state
water issues during a career in public service that has spanned
all three branches of government.
Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (1858-1919) was the 26th president of
the United States who established the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
and created the U.S. Forest Service.
During his term of office from 1901-1909, he is credited for his
efforts on conservation, increasing the number of national
forests, protecting land for the public and promoting irrigation
projects. For Roosevelt, water was instrumental to developing the
Rita Schmidt Sudman, who led the
Water Education Foundation as executive director for more than 30
years, is widely recognized for her work since the 1980s as a
journalist and communicator who developed programs to foster
public understanding of water issues and for her work with
stakeholders to find solutions. A former radio and television
reporter and producer, she oversaw the development of print and
digital publications, public television programs, poster maps,
tours, press briefings and a school program.
Anne J. Schneider (1947-2010) is
acknowledged as one of the first women to become well-known and
well-respected in the field of California and Western water law.
“Anne was an amazing person — an accomplished college athlete,
mountain climber, skier, marathon runner, velodrome and
long-distance cyclist; a devoted mother; a dedicated
conservationist,” said Justice Ronald B. Robie in the Inaugural
Anne J. Schneider Memorial Lecture in May 2012.