Central Valley Project California


Simple bird’s eye view outlining the New Deal Era Central Valley Project in California.

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California’s Central Valley provides over half of the fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown for human consumption in the United States. As you might expect, a lot of water is needed to sustain such productivity, and in 1933 the Central Valley Project was organized by the United States Bureau of Reclamation to provide irrigation and water storage in the region. The system was a landmark of Roosevelt’s New Deal Administration and led to the creation of Shasta Dam and numerous canals, pumping stations, and reservoirs.

This map, published around 1940 in the midst of the dam’s construction, shows the ongoing progress of development across California. The width of the Central Valley is greatly exaggerated to emphasize details and the breadth of service area, and the surrounding topography is depicted in simple pictorial fashion. Photographs along the top of the sheet highlight certain elements of the Central Valley Project such as the Contra Costa Canal, power generation, and the building of Shasta and Friant dams.

The image was drawn by A.A. Abel and lithographed by A. Hoen & Co. on behalf of the United States Bureau of Reclamation.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1940

Author: A.A. Abel

Sheet Width (in): 16.75

Sheet Height (in): 10.90

Condition: B+

Condition Description: One obvious crease in the upper right corner and a small portion of the sheet missing from the lower edge. Otherwise in excellent condition.


1 in stock