Scope and Content
Title: The San Francisco Bay Saline Water Barrier Collection
Collection number: MS 84/3
Creator: Water Resources Collections and Archives
2 boxes (ca. 1 linear ft.)
Water Resources Collections and Archives
Shelf location: Water Resource Center Archives.
Abstract: Collection of materials covering various saline water barrier plans for San Francisco Bay, with emphasis on the Reber Plan.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Water Resources Collections and Archives. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of the Water Resources Collections and Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], The San Francisco Bay Saline Water Barrier Collection,
Water Resources Collections and Archives, University of California, Riverside.
Saline water barriers--California--San Francisco Bay.
Salt water encroachment--California--Delta Region.
Water resources development--California--San Francisco Bay Area.
Bridges--San Francisco Bay (Calif.)
Dams--San Francisco Bay (Calif.)
Schedler, C. W. (Carl William)
Reber, John, 1887-1960.
Savage, John Lucian, 1879-1967.
Scope and Content
This collection consists of reports, correspondence, addresses, essays, news clippings, magazine and journal articles, maps,
and drawings detailing several ideas and schemes for constructing salt-water barriers across San Francisco Bay.
During the early 20th century, San Francisco Bay Area officials considered many different ideas for solving a variety of problems,
including a dwindling supply of fresh water, congested roadways, insufficient means to handle trans-bay traffic, and the encroachment
of saline waters into the upper San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In response to these problems, several
visionary individuals and groups developed multi-purpose plans for the area.
By far, the most popular and well-publicized plan was the Reber Plan. Originally called the San Francisco Bay Project, the
plan was developed by John Reber, a former schoolteacher and theatrical producer. Reber's plan would create two fresh water
lakes in the upper and lower bays by means of earth and rock fill dams between Richmond and Marin County, and San Francisco
and Oakland. Over these dams would pass high-speed roads and railways. The Reber Plan claimed it would provide 20,000 acres
of additional filled land, increase the deep-water harbor by 50 miles, and conserve 2,400,000 acre-feet of fresh water annually.
Critics pointed out the plan's destruction of commercial fisheries, increased sewage disposal problems, adverse effects on
the ports of Oakland, Stockton, and Sacramento and flooding potential. Although it attracted considerable attention, even
that of the editors of the Saturday Evening Post, the Reber Plan was opposed by the State of California, the Bureau of Reclamation
and the Army Corps of Engineers and was never adopted.