Skip to main content

Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Letter from Walter R. Bracken (Las Vegas) to H. C. Mann (Las Vegas) regarding Las Vegas water supply, June 9, 1938






Las Vegas was just entering the hottest part of the year and well No. 1 had dropped off production considerably.

Digital ID


Physical Identifier

Box 13 Folder W23-3-3 LVL&WC (Report of R. G. Greene, Geologist)(re: water situation in LV Valley)


hln000884. Union Pacific Railroad Collection, 1828-1995. MS-00397. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use ( or contact us at?

Standardized Rights Statement

Digital Provenance

Digitized materials: physical originals can be viewed in Special Collections and Archives reading room

Digital Processing Note

Manual transcription





Water Supply at Las Vegas: Las Vegas - June 9th, 1938. W 23-3-3 (Personal) Mr. H. C. Mann, Vice-President - Operation, At Las Vegas. Dear Howard: I am indeed glad that you are in this territory at the present time, as I have been worried about the supply of water available for the summer months. During the past week, since the start of the hot weather here, we have made the usual daily check of water in the reservoir, and this has been between 5 ft. 5 in. and 6 feet. The reservoir has a capacity of 11 feet and when full holds about 2,000,000 gallons. I had hoped when the new well was drilled that we would have ample water to adequately supply the city and wo have had, until recently when a very serious de-crease was shown by measurement of water produced by new well. Attached is a statement indicating this new well (#2) was producing over three million gallons per day when it was first drilled, and the measurement was about the same when taken by the railroad company's water service foreman, Mel Anderson, in February 1937. However, for some reason or other it has now dropped off to around 700,000 gallons per day, hardly as much as is being supplied by the pump in the railroad yards. Since this shortage has become apparent from measurements in the reservoir, we have arranged for the pump in the railroad yards to be operated in order to augment our supply. Mel Anderson has also been here for the past few days, endeavoring to increase the flow Mr. Mann; #2 June 9, 1938. by various means, and thinks perhaps a method of syphoning would bo of some benefit. From my experience with Well No. 1 in past years, it seems to me the trouble with the new well is due to sanding up. If we could clear the sand out of the new well and restore it to its former flow we would have available the full supply of water we planned on when the new well was drilled. There is also attached a statement showing the comparative production of water for both the city and the railroad uses during he past six years, from which you will note a full production from the new well would almost double the supply available. We have the cooperation of the newspaper and the city officials, and are asking all consumers to conserve the supply as much as possible and avoid any waste, with the hope of building the reserves in the reservoir up to a safe point. Meanwhile, I will appreciate very much any assistance you can give us toward restoring the flow from Well #2 to normal. As I understand you will be in Las Vegas only a few minutes as the B-41 passes through here, I am writing you this letter so you will have the full details. Sincerely yours, WALTER R. BRACKEN.