Hero Image

History of the UC Water Resources Center

The original UC Water Resources Center was funded by the California State Legislature in 1957 for the purpose of providing training and research to complement the State Water Project. In 1964 the federal Water Resources Research Act authorized the establishment of a federal research institute in each state. California's governor, Edmund Brown designated the UC Water Resources Center as the federal institute for the state.

The WRC was variously housed (see full timeline for more information) and directed by academics at UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and finally at UC Riverside. The WRC fulfilled its mission by stimulating and supporting water-related research and education activities among the various academic departments and research organizations of the university through grants. WRC publications were collected and made available to the public by the Water Resources Center Archives (see below), located on the UC Riverside campus.

The WRC was closed in 2009, and the California Institute for Water Resources, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources new water program that is housed in its Oakland headquarters, hired Doug Parker as its first director in 2011. WRC research projects can be found here, and publications here. Read more about the past sixty years of water resources and extension in UC Agriculture and Natural Resources in an interview with emeritus director Doug Parker on our blog, The Confluence, and on the Water Talk podcast.

California Water Resources Archives

The mission of the Archives, located at UC Riverside, is to collect, preserve and provide access to historical and contemporary water-related materials that support the instructional and research programs of the University of California and the needs of the people of the State. Established in 1957, the collection is relied upon by the University community as well as government agencies, corporate professionals, and the public.

The WRCA is a research library with more than 134,000 cataloged items. The scope of the collection includes fresh water supply and quality, ground water, municipal and industrial water uses and problems, flood control, reclamation, waste disposal, river mechanics, coastal engineering, estuaries, water pollution, water law, and water resources development and management. The Archives collects a variety of material including printed reports, government documents, books, manuscripts, maps, videos, photographs, and electronic resources. The collection concentrates on materials relating to California and the West, although there are national and international materials in the collection as well. The research supported by the WRC is also housed at the Archives.

For more information and to search the collections of WRCA, please visit the website