Thomas J. “Tom” Graff (1944-2009) opened up the California office
of the Environmental Defense Fund in 1971 and was its regional
director for more than 35 years.
Throughout his life, he was committed to the environment and the
mentorship of environmental leaders. He was revered as an
influential environmental lawyer on the state and federal water
circuits and public forums and used strategic acumen to build
partnerships to solve water problems with long-lasting solutions.
William E. “Bill” Warne (1905-1996) had a career for the record
books that prominently featured water issues at state, federal
and international levels.
He served under Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown as the second
director of the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) from
1961-1967 along with also being the first Resources Agency
secretary from 1961-1963 at the beginning of the construction of
the California State
William Hammond Hall (1846-1934) is credited with the first
proposal of an integrated flood control system with levees, weirs
and bypass channels for the Sacramento Valley after his
appointment as the first California state engineer.
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.
William R. “Bill” Gianelli
(1919-2020) was a civil engineer who served not only as
director of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR)
from 1967-1973 during Gov. Ronald Reagan’s administration, but
worked as a civil servant under Govs. Earl Warren, Goodwin Knight
and Edmund G. “Pat”
Brown during all phases of the California State Water Project (SWP):
its design, planning and construction.