Scope and Content
Title: Thomas H. Means Papers,
Date (bulk): bulk 1905-1958
Collection number: MEANS
Means, Thomas H.
ca. 7 linear ft. (14 boxes)
11 online items
Water Resources Collections and Archives
Shelf location: Water Resources Collections and Archives
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Water Resources Collections and Archives. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head
of Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Water Resources Collections and Archives as the owner of
the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], Thomas H. Means Papers, MEANS, Water Resources Collections and Archives, University of California,
Hetch Hetchy Project (Calif.)
Southern Sierra Power Company
Water-supply --California --Los Angeles
Salinity --California --Delta Region
Salinity --California --San Francisco Bay
Floods --California --Imperial Valley
Flood control --California
Owens River Valley (Calif.)
Mono Basin (Calif.)
Real property --West (U.S.) --Valuation
Colorado River (Colo.-Nev.)
Thomas Herbert Means was born in 1875 in Virginia. His early career included nine years
in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Soils, during which time he was in
charge of soil surveys, principally in the western states. In 1898 he made a report on
reclamation of alkali soils in Yellowstone. He also studied dry land soils and moisture
content under different methods of farming at Glen Ullin and Fargo, North Dakota. In
1902, he visited North Africa, Algeria, Tunis and Egypt to study soils and irrigation.
After that he served six years in the Bureau of Reclamation in land examination and farm
unit subdivision and was in charge of a laboratory for the study of the silt-carrying
capacities of western streams.
In 1910, Means went into private consulting practice in San Francisco, California,
specializing in engineering connected with agriculture, irrigation, drainage, reclamation
and water supply. At various times he was employed by the State of California to work on
the Central Valley Project, by the City of San Francisco on the Hetch Hetchy Project-he
played a key role in the court battles that led to water rights for the city-and as a
consulting engineer for Orange County Flood Control District. He was also employed by the
State of Montana Water Conservation Board on litigation on the Missouri River, and served
as an expert witness in several lawsuits over waters in the western states.
Means died in November 1965 in Berkeley, California.
Scope and Content
Correspondence and reports concerning the Colorado River and flooding in the Imperial
Valley, the Hetch Hetchy Project, Los Angeles water supply, the Southern Sierra Power
Company, the salinity of San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, flood
control and irrigation projects, groundwater, and land appraisal throughout California
and other western states.