Oral Histories

Interview of Clayburn C. Elder

Chief hydrographic engineer for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Clayburn C. Elder: Hydrographic Engineer
Oral History of California Water Resources Development
Urban Planning and Land Use
Water Resources
Biographical Note:
Chief hydrographic engineer for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Petersen, Eric
Elder, Clayburn C.
Persons Present:
Elder and Petersen.
Place Conducted:
Elder's office at the Metropolitan WaterDistrict in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Eric Petersen; B.A., U.S. History; M.A., U.S. History, UCLA.
Processing of Interview:
In 1968, a verbatim transcription of the tapes was made. Punctuation was introduced and syntax amended slightly. The material is presented in the order in which it was originally recorded.Elder died shortly after the completion of the interviews; and, therefore, the final manuscript was prepared without the customary review by the interviewee. Donald J. Schippers, chief interviewer for the water resources series, carefully reviewed the edited manuscript, verifying as much of the factual material as possible from his knowledge of the subject.The index was compiled by Jack Vaughn. Bernard Galm, Editor-Interviewer, prepared the supporting documents.
7 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This series had its origin in a grant from the University of California Water resources Center in 1965. The project was a joint effort by the UCLA Oral History Program and the Regional Oral History Office, University of California, Berkeley. For some years after the close of the grant period, limited interviewing in this area continued.
Early education in Salt Lake City; civil engineering studies at University of Utah; hydrographer on irrigation development project at Jerome, Idaho; service in United States Army Engineer regiment, 1917; hydrographer with United States Bureau of Reclamation, 1921-27; feasibility studies for Hoover Dam; work with Mexican government reclamation efforts, 1927-29; engineering projects in Mexico; service with Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), 1929-65; White House Conference on Boulder Dam project; planning Parker Dam; Reconstruction Finance Corporation; drilling water wells in desert; quality of Colorado River water; local newspapers and aqueduct project; Arizona's opposition to Parker Dam project; Governor James Rolph, Jr., holds a water meeting; Mexican Water Treaty of 1944; Stewart L. Udall and Central Arizona Project; California and Arizona reactions to Mexican Water Treaty; growth of MWD; opposition to Grand Canyon dams; Columbia River Project.