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Guide to the Philip Martin Water Development Collection MS 188
MS 188  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Separated Materials
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

  • Title: Philip Martin Water Development Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 188
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.0 Linear feet (2 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1913-1969
    Abstract: This collection consists of documents collected by Philip Martin pertaining to the conflicts related to the development of water resources in San Diego County between 1913 and 1969.
    creator: Martin, Philip P.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Samantha Mills on March 26, 2012.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Preferred Citation

    Philip Martin Water Development Collection, MS 188, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    Philip P. Martin was born in Hutchinson, Kansas in the mid 1890s. He moved to San Diego, California as a child, where he attended Our Lady of Peace Academy. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War I and served as first lieutenant. After his military service he owned and operated Martin’s Dairy in Santee, where he was a rancher for 30 years till his retirement in 1951. As riparian landowners along the San Diego River, he and his neighbors were directly affected by water development projects on the river, particularly the construction of the El Capitan Dam. Philip Martin led a lawsuit against the City of San Diego in the mid-1930s concerning the use of that dam. His interest in San Diego’s water problems continued for decades after the case, and he continued to collect related materials and to correspond with city officials on the subjects of dams, flood control, and water reclamation.
    San Diego is located in an arid region with a 10-11 year flood cycle, meaning it gets long stretches of drought followed by disastrous rains. The cycle is occasionally skipped, so immense amounts of water must be stored to satisfy the population during long dry spells. Mission Valley is particularly prone to flood damage, a problem that has never been completely resolved. The needs of the City of San Diego have often come into conflict with the needs of local farmers and other city districts.
    In 1911 the Cuyamaca Water Company, headed by Colonel Ed Fletcher, purchased the land that was to become the El Capitan Dam site. In 1919 the U.S. government granted the City of San Diego 1,940 acres of the Capitan Grande Indian Reservation and 141 acres of the Cleveland National Forest upon which to build a reservoir. The Cuyamaca Water Company partially developed the land, but came under legal attack by Philip P. Martin and the other riparian landowners whose water supply would be cut off by the construction of the dam. The land was sold to the La Mesa, Lemon Grove, and Spring Valley Irrigation District in 1926, and then to the City of San Diego in 1933, which carried on the legal battle to procure all San Diego River water for the use of city inhabitants.
    The lawsuit against the City, commonly referred to as the Cuyamaca Water Case, finally came to a close in 1938. The Supreme Court decision reaffirmed the City’s paramount rights to the water of the San Diego River, but also granted certain allocations for riparian landowners, as well as the La Mesa, Lemon Grove, and Spring Valley Irrigation District.
    Despite the construction of numerous dams, including El Capitan, Otay, Savage, Hodges, Barrett, and San Vicente, local resources still could not keep up with growing demand. The Colorado River Compact in 1922 included California as one of the states entitled to an allocation of the Colorado River, and the Metropolitan Water District was formed in 1927 to develop that entitlement. Boulder Dam was completed in 1935, and the All-American Canal in 1940, but legal conflicts with Arizona over the size of each state’s water allocation continued into the 1960s. The 1950s and 1960s also saw renewed interest in the issues of flood control and water reclamation.

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists of documentation pertaining to the development of water resources in Southern California between 1913 and 1969. Included are maps, reports, court documents, and correspondence collected by Santee dairy rancher Philip Martin. Reports include recommendations and conclusions by the California State Congress, the California Railroad Commission, and the San Diego City Council, as well as leading hydraulic engineers. Court documents include evidence used in the case of Philip Martin et al. vs. City of San Diego et al. Also included are numerous news clippings and brochures related to dam developments throughout Southern California, the Colorado River, flood control in San Diego County, and water reclamation projects.

    Arrangement

    This collection is arranged into six series:
    Series I: Water Developments: San Diego County
    Series II: Water Rights: El Capitan Dam
    Series III: Colorado River
    Series IV: Flood Control
    Series V: Water Conservation and Reclamation
    Series IV: Miscellanea
    Items in each series are arranged by subject.

    Separated Materials

    Five maps were previously separated to the SDHC Maps Collection: Southern California showing precipitation and gaging stations (1917); western part of San Diego County (1919); preliminary geologic map of San Diego County (1919); Southern California showing gaging stations, part B (1919); and San Luis Rey and Santa Margarita Valleys.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Accession number 761005.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Cuyamaca Water Company.
    Fletcher, Ed
    Martin, Philip P.
    Pyle, Fred
    Railroad Commission of the State of California.
    Todd, Jim
    All-American Canal (Calif.)
    Barrett Dam (Calif.)
    Capitan Grande Indian Reservation (Calif.)
    Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)
    Dams
    El Capitan Dam (Calif.)
    Flood damage prevention
    Flood dams and reservoirs
    Hoover Dam (Ariz. and Nev.)
    Hydraulic engineering
    La Mesa (Calif.)
    Lake Hodges Dam (Calif.)
    Legislative hearings -- United States
    Lemon Grove (Calif.)
    Los Angeles (Calif.)
    Lower Otay Dam (Calif.)
    Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Calif.)
    San Diego (Calif.)
    San Diego River (Calif.)
    San Vicente Dam (Calif.)
    Santee (Calif.)
    Savage Dam (Calif.)
    Spring Valley (Calif.)
    Water conservation
    Water reuse
    Water rights