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The System of the River: Francis Newlands and the Improbable Quest to Irrigate the West

General Map of the Spring Valley Water Works, 1889

General Map of the Spring Valley Water Works
Hermann F.A. Schussler Chief Engineer. 1899.

Image from The Barry Lawrence Ruderman Map Collection
Stanford University's Bill Lane Center for the American West
June 28, 2019

A new study detailing the life and policy contributions of Francis G. Newlands, one of the most important historical figures in the development of water use in the western United States. This exploration of Newlands' life and legacy by historian William Lilley III examines Newlands' contributions to early 19th century federal law, which initiated the vast irrigation system that waters the western United States to this day.