UCR is now home to a significant portion of the nationally acclaimed Water Resources Center Archives (WRCA), which began its move this month from Northern California, at UC Berkeley, to its new home in Southern California at UCR and Cal State University San Bernardino.

“Water has played an enormous role in the development of Southern California, and UC Riverside, as the longtime home of the Water Resources Center, has conducted research on water quality, availability, and management for decades,” said Thomas O. Baldwin, the dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. “Having the Water Resources Center Archives located here will allow access to the collection by a large number of environmental researchers and managers.”

Founded in 1958 by the Legislature as part of the California Water Resources Center, the WRCA is a premier collection of information and materials about water development in California and the West, and contains historical and contemporary water-related materials of great value to water agencies, governmental bodies, environmental groups, engineering firms, attorneys, historians and researchers including faculty and graduate students.

“We are excited to have the archives here in Southern California, where environmental studies and research frequently relate to water issues,” said Ruth Jackson, university librarian. “We at UCR will utilize resources of Cal State University San Bernardino and the WRCA to create a statewide network that makes water resources widely accessible. Currently, our main challenges are moving the collection safely, getting material on the shelves, determining a future direction for this unique collection, digitizing the material, and developing interlibrary loan and lending policies.”

The WRCA has two main components: a circulating collection, to be housed on the main floor of the Orbach Science Library; and the non-circulating archival collections, to be housed on the ground floor along with the map collection.

Researchers, water agencies, government agencies and others will be able to use the collection starting April 25, 2011, when the WRCA officially opens.

“We have been building this collection steadfastly for more than 50 years,” said Linda Vida, the director of the WRCA. “The collection contains more than 100 years of California water history. It has material not found anywhere else in the world.”