General Map of the Spring Valley Water Works Hermann F.A. Schussler Chief Engineer. 1899
A famous engineer’s plan for supplying water to San Francisco at the turn of the century.
The importance of this map and the historical and geographic context which it conveys is best explained by Gray Bechin in Imperial San Francisco. Bechin writes that:
“As imported water raised land values and stimulated growth, San Francisco’s need for more distant watersheds grew. The Spring Valley Water Company’s aqueducts first tapped the creeks of San Mateo County, and then of Alameda and Santa Clara Counties. The lands acquired by the company in the nineteenth century today provide about 18 percent of the city’s water.”
This map, with its proposed aqueduct and tunnel from Arroyo Valley and a proposed pipeline and tunnel connecting the Calaveras Reservoir to the Crystal Springs Reservoir, represents Schussler’s vision for supplying water to the city, in turn increase the power and wealth of the company he did much to help build.
Soft horizontal fold.
Brechin, Gary. Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin. University of California Press, 2006, p. 88.