1933 - 1947
1933 - Central Valley Project
The legislature authorizes construction of a state Central Valley Project, to consist of Shasta Dam on the upper Sacramento River near Redding, Friant Dam on the upper San Joaquin River near Fresno, and other dams and canals. Fifty-two percent of voters in a referendum uphold the Legislature's action in a December special election that attracts a light turnout of less than 900,000. (More than 2 million had come to the polls a year earlier.) In 1935 the financially strapped state, unable to sell bonds for a state Central Valley Project, surrenders the plan to the federal government, which authorizes construction as the federal Central Valley Project.
1935 - Pollution Control
The Dickey Water Pollution Act, the first of the modern clean-water laws, creates a State Water Pollution Control Board.
1946 - School Segregation and Integration
A state law permitting local school districts to practice racial segregation is repealed. In 1972, voters endorse an initiative stating no student can be required to attend a particular school because of race, creed or color and requiring school districts to develop plans to remedy racial imbalances.
1947 - Air Pollution
The Air Pollution Control Act allows counties to establish districts to combat smog.