Colorado River Basin Research

The Western Waters Digital Library allows you to search a wide variety of digital collections for research materials relating to the Colorado River Basin

View all Colorado River materials in the Western Waters Digital Library.

Searching the WWDL for Colorado River Basin Materials

If you need to find information on a particular topic, you can limit your results by searching for the date, location, topic, and the phrase "Colorado River" in the subject area of the Western Waters Advanced search page.

Many of the digital collections in the Western Waters Digital Library use Library of Congress subject headings to describe their items, so using subject headings in the subject area of the advanced search page can allow you to find materials on very specific topics, such as:

Water Resources Development - Colorado
Colorado River Commission
Central Arizona Project
Colorado River Storage Project
Colorado River Watershed (Colo.-Mexico)

You can also search for phrases that apply to your research by putting them in quotes, for example: "water quality" and "colorado river". If you are only looking for reports as opposed to images, try limiting your search to "text."

colorado river search

The benefit of searching the Western Waters Digital Library for Colorado River Basin materials is the ability to search many relevent digitial library collections at once, for example:

Arizona vs. California Legal Records

The 25 volumes of exhibits presented by the States of Arizona and California before the U.S. Supreme Court during the long-running Arizona v. California case. Volume 26 is an index to the exhibits. Volumes 27, 28 and 29 are additional exhibits contributed by the States of Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico. Also included in this collection are the 1960 Special Masters Report and Offer of Proof and Brief in Support of Offer. Contributed by the University of Utah.

Central Utah Project Records

The Central Utah Project, planned and constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation, is the most significant water resource development program in the state. The Project enables Utah to use most of her share of Colorado River water. The collection includes information about the Colorado River and its tributaries as well as documentation relative to the Central Utah Project, including annual reports, news reports, and other materials dating from 1964. Contributed by Brigham Young University.

Colorado River Bed Case

The Colorado River Bed Case collection contains abstracts of testimony, court briefs, and other related materials from United States v. Utah which was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1929. Oral histories from various parties involved in the case are also included. Contributed by the University of Utah.

Colorado River/Central Arizona Project Records Collection

Records of the Central Arizona and Boulder Canyon Project, comprised of selections from the Carl T. Hayden Papers and other sources. As Arizona Congressman from 1911-1970, Hayden influenced natural resource development, water reclamation, and land-use management, culminating in 1968 with the Central Arizona Project (CAP) to transport Colorado River water to Phoenix and Tucson via a series of aqueducts. Contributed by Arizona State University.

Colorado's Waters Digital Archive

The collection includes studies and reports documenting the history of Colorado's water resources, including environmental, engineering, economic, and feasibility studies regarding water projects and development in the Cache La Poudre, St. Vrain, Frasier, and Upper Gunnison-Uncompahgre Basins, as well as other watersheds and projects throughout Colorado. Contributed by Colorado State University.

Historic Landscape of Nevada: Development, Water, and the Natural Environment

A collection of photos, aerial views, correspondences, land sales documents and plats of Las Vegas around the turn of the 20th century. Contributed by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Exploration of the Colorado River of the West

The complete text of Exploration of the Colorado River of the West its Tributaries by John Wellesley Powell. The report was published by the Smithsonian in 1875 and records the expedition led by Powell. Contributed by the University of Utah.

Galloway-Stone River Expedition 1909

Documentation of the three-month river expedition river expedition of Nathanial Galloway, Julius Stone and Raymond Cogswell, generally considered by historians of the Colorado River to be the first river trip undertaken purely for pleasure. The collection consists of diaries, photographs, and a short history. Contributed by the University of Utah.

Las Vegas: Water in the West

The collections presented in this digital project document the history of water and Las Vegas, and include U.S. military and scientific surveys conducted to map a route for the transcontinental railroad and explore the feasibility of irrigating the desert for agriculture, as well as records regarding the planning and construction of Hoover Dam. Contributed by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Native American Water Rights in Arizona

Federal government documents pertaining to the water rights of the Navajo, Hopi, and Pima tribes in Arizona. Documents are arranged by tribe. Items are listed chronologically within each grouping. The collection will eventually include other tribes, and state and local documents as well. Contributed by the University of Arizona.

Southern Nevada and Las Vegas History in Maps

The maps selected for this digital project document the cartographic history and context of this region. Examples of water-related maps include: the municipal water system of Las Vegas, the Boulder Canyon project, surveys of John Fremont, and the Southern Nevada Water Project. Contributed by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Stewart L. Udall Papers on the Mexican Water Treaty and the Colorado River

Stewart Lee Udall served in the House of Representatives from 1955-1960 and as U.S. Secretary of the Interior from 1961-1968. The collection is comprised of Udall's professional and public papers pertaining to the Colorado River and the Mexican Water Treaty. The correspondence, reports, memos, and telegrams in these files represent significant solutions to long-standing challenges to the use of Colorado River water. The Mexican Water Treaty addressed Mexico's needs and rights to current and future claims upon the river. Contributed by the University of Arizona.

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