Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2014 Benjamin C. Hackenberger
Access to water from San Antonio Creek was critical in Claremont’s growth from a small stop on the Santa Fe Railroad to an agricultural powerhouse and an elite college town. While Claremont has sought to distinguish itself from surrounding communities since its founding in 1882, the innovative Pomona Valley Protective Association (PVPA) aligned Claremont with the City of Pomona and its other neighbors in a scheme to conserve the Creek’s resources at the turn of the century. Organized around the discovery of local confined aquifers and the development of a strategy to recharge them with water from the San Antonio Creek, the Association was a contradictory moment of cooperation in an otherwise highly contentious zero-sum game of water rights politics. As conflicts wore on, the PVPA quietly orchestrated the purchase of large tracts of land in the San Antonio Creekbed, where the construction of diversion dams and spreading grounds served dual purposes of water conservation and flood control. As dam building in the Creekbed continued, large tracts of the previously undevelopable Wash were transferred to the aggregate mining institutions that gouged the area’s many gravel pits.
This thesis uses the story of the PVPA and the contemporary example of the Claremont University Consortium Gravel Pit to explore the context of development in the San Antonio Creek Wash. Understanding the political and social contexts of the gravel quarry problem reveals possibilities for a more integrative, conscious, and sustainable approach to improving the former gravel quarries that currently occupy the Wash landscape.
Hackenberger, Benjamin C., "The San Antonio Wash: Addressing the Gap Between Claremont and Upland" (2015). Pomona Senior Theses. 136.
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