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 is 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.