L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 yearsLoading
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Water flows south toward Owens Lake and Los Angeles in the diversion channel completed in 1913 south of Big Pine, Calif. A century after Owens Valley water was first diverted to Los Angeles Ð drying up farms and ranches and sparking an epic water war Ð the postcard-beautiful region remains on edge, worried for its future.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    With the eastern Sierra looming large in the background, water from the Owens River flows through a diversion gate into the original river channel south of Big Pine, Calif. Eight years ago the city of L.A. returned water the the channel bringing a long-dry stream corridor back to life.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Harry Williams, 57, a member of the Bishop Paiute tribe stands in a field where alfalfa once grew near Bishop. Plastic irrigation lines stretch across dry soil where the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power planted native plants which failed to grow, now taken over by tumble weeds and other desert plants.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Williams looks over the remnants of a dead willow tree in Bishop, Calif. Many trees in the area have died off due to a low water table in a region where L.A. pumps ground water.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Williams stands in a field near the community of Laws where alfalfa once grew. As mitigation, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power planted native plants which failed to grow.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Cattle graze on DWP land south of Big Pine in the Owens Valley where groundwater pumping has impacted vegetation.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Nothing much besides desert scrub grows in an area designated a restoration zone by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power south of Big Pine, Calif. .
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Jacklyn Velasquez, an environmental technician with the Big Pine Paiute tribe inspects the dry soil in an alkali meadow region near Black Rock Spring which dried up long ago.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    When Sally Manning, the environment director with the Big Pines Paiute tribe photographed this area north of Independence in 1988 it was a lush green alkali meadow. Today it is being taken over by sagebrush and other desert plants.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Manning walks through a dried up meadow region in the Owens Valley that she says has been harmed by groundwater pumping and a declining water table north of Independence.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Big Pine Paiute tribal vice-chair Jacqueline Bacoch-Gutierrez leans on a barbed wire fence in an area north of Independence where groundwater pumping has been blamed for drying up lush, ecologically important alkali meadows. "They are just taking, taking and taking and not letting things regenerate," she said.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Jon Klusmire, director of the Eastern California Museum in Independence, Calif. prepares to enter the historic Edwards House in Independence. Thomas Edwards founded the township in 1863 and built the home in 1865. It is the oldest house in Inyo County. Although it was purchased by the city of Los Angeles it is now leased to Inyo County and used to store historical artifacts.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Klusmire looks over bound volumes of Inyo County property tax assessments from the 1880's through the 1970's which are stored inside the historic Edwards House.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Historic downtown Independence, seen from the porch of the historic Commander's House which was purchased by the city of L.A. in 1928 and is now leased to Inyo County.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Klusmire stands on the dilapidated porch of the Commander's House in Independence, Calif. The home, which was originally located at Fort Independence and relocated to its current downtown location is in need of repair. Although it was purchased by the city of Los Angeles in 1928, it is now leased to Inyo County and used to store historical artifacts.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    A vehicle crosses over a berm on Owens Lake on where shallow flooding has been used as a dust control measure.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Nik Barbieri, director of technical services with the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District surveys a portion of Owens Lake where LADWP has spend $1.2 billion in recent years on dust control measures.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Clouds accumulate at Owens Lake where LADWP has spend $1.2 billion in recent years on shallow flooding, revegetation and other dust control measures.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
  • L.A. aqueduct celebrates 100 years
    Drivers navigate their vehicles through blowing dust north of Owen's Lake on Highway 136 near Lone Pine, Calif. A century after Owens Valley water was first diverted to Los Angeles Ð drying up farms and ranches and sparking an epic water war Ð the postcard-beautiful region remains on edge, worried for its future.
    Randy Pench | rpench@sacbee.com
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