Colorado River Records

The Utah State Archives and Records Service holds a wide variety of records that document that state’s ongoing planning and management of the Colorado River. The following guide highlights the various records that document this history. It is intended to facilitate researchers interested in Colorado River history in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Colorado River

The following records relate directly to the various activities undertaken by state and local governmental entities in Utah with regard to developing and managing the Colorado River.

Attorney General  
Colorado River Commission case files, 1925-1963 Series 165
Department of Natural Resources. Division of Water Resources  
Interstate stream files, 1942- Series 11745
Colorado River project files, 1908-1968 Series 13912
Department of Transportation. Office of Community Relations  
Official photographs, 1981- Series 24239
Governor Bangerter  
Executive assistant’s records, 1987-1988 Series 12420
Governor Blood  
Colorado River correspondence, 1933-1940 Series 22918
Governor Clyde  
Upper Colorado River project case files, 1957-1964 Series 200
Governor Dern  
Colorado River Compact subject files, 1926-1936 Series 206
Speeches, 1914-1933 Series 209
Governor Lee  
Correspondence, 1949-1956 Series 211
Office of Tourism  
Travel promotion films and audiovisual materials, 1940- Series 5544
Salt Lake City Water Commission  
Water committee records, 1931-1939 Series 4927
Secretary of State  
Interstate compacts, 1922- Series 20221
School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration  
Colorado river basin dispute index cards, 1930 Series 11761
Colorado river basin rranscripts, 1928-1931 Series 11926
State Board of Land Commissioners  
Litigation records, 1920-1939 Series 2149
State Engineer  
Colorado River water appropriations location roster, 1881-1902 Series 2401
Snow and water survey data, 1934-1957 Series 1332
State Planning Board  
Water resources correspondence, 1936-1940 Series 21003
Water resources drainage basin reports, 1934-1938 Series 20999
Water resources flood control hearings Series 21002
Water resources minutes, 1934-1941 Series 21000
Water and Power Board  
Correspondence, 1954-1955 Series 2561
Minutes, 1958-1967 Series 12314


Water allotment map for Colorado River basin (Series 200)

Central Utah Project Records

These records provide information on the management and administration of the Central Utah Project, which was primarily responsible for overseeing engineering projects tied to developing Utah’s allotment of the Colorado River.

Department of Natural Resources. Geological Survey  
Special project files, 1973-2000 Series 25708
Governor Bangerter  
Chief of staff correspondence, 1985-1992 Series 12412
Correspondence, 1984-1992 Series 12413
Washington office records, 1985-1992 Series 9394
Governor Matheson  
Natural resources working files, 1964-1984 Series 19161
Outgoing correspondence, 1977-1984 Series 4466
Speeches, 1976-1984 Series 4455
State correspondence, 1976-1983 Series 19268

Water Rights Records

Water rights are foundational to the ongoing management of the Colorado River. These rights are adjudicated by federal and state courts. In Utah, records of water right decisions are most often found in civil case files of District Courts on the county level. Select a county to link to a list of district court records, including civil case files.

Beaver | Box Elder | Cache | Carbon | Daggett | Davis | Duchesne | Emery | Garfield | Grand | Iron | Juab | Kane | Millard | Morgan | Piute | Rich | Salt Lake | San Juan | Sanpete | Sevier | Summit | Tooele | Uintah | Utah | Wasatch | Washington | Wayne | Weber

Written and compiled by Jim Kichas
Originally published in July 2020

Page Last Updated July 29, 2020.