In commemoration of the L.A. Aqueduct’s Centennial, KCRW’s Madeleine Brand and Saul Gonzalez hosted a one hour audio documentary dedicated to a thing near and dear to us all: water– or specifically the story behind L.A.’s water.
“There it is. Take it.”- William Mulholland, 1913
The Owens Valley River was at the center of fight between Mulholland and the residents of the Owens Valley. Soon after Los Angeles began diverting the water that fed Owens Lake, the lake went dry and the dust of the lake bed was exposed to the howling winds of the valley. This has caused terrible problems for the residents and the environment.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power engineer Fred Barker knows where your water comes from. Holding a glass of tap water, he explains that it came through the plumbing of the downtown DWP building, through a water main that connects to the Salono Reservoir, which is out by Dodger Stadium. It’s called Solano Reservoir, so we have about a quart or half a quart of water here.
The San Fernando Valley is a giant aquifer, basically sitting on a sponge that can absorb a lot of water, and because it’s underground, that water doesn’t evaporate. However, due to paving the aquifer doesn’t absorb as much water as it could.