inngeo

CALIFORNIA


Text excerpt from log report for Day 10:

As early as 1900 Los Angeles experienced a major shortage of water supply. Since the local well systems could no longer meet the demand for water, a decision was made to import water from high- precipitation areas via aqueducts (Theißen 1991, 27). Therefore, the water needs of Los Angeles were satisfied via the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which today extends north into the Owens Valley all the way to Mono Lake. As early as 1913 the first aqueduct from the Owens Valley, 375 kilometers long, had been completed. Thereafter, additional water reservoirs and canals were built to secure the water supply for the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Picture: Los Angeles Aqueduct in Owens Valley
Picture: California Aqueduct in Central Valley

In 1940 the aqueduct was extended northwards to a total of 540 kilometers, reaching up to Mono Lake, where it could tap additional creeks of the eastern Sierra. Dams were built at Grant Lake and in the Long Valley, were the Crowley Lake Reservoir was developed. From the Owens Valley the water crosses mountains, canyons, the Mojave Desert, and 142 tunnels until it reaches Los Angeles. Due to the constantly growing water demands a second water pipeline was built in 1970, which runs parallel to the first aqueduct. The Los Angeles Aqueduct has a transport capacity of 555 million m³, although it is not fully utilized at present. The Los Angeles Aqueduct is managed by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWDSC), which supplies water for about half the population of California. The MWDSC acts as water retailer, supplying water to 27 districts. It owns most of the main water pipelines, reservoirs, pumping stations, and electric power plants, i.e. all the necessary infrastructure and facilities needed for the water distribution. The water supply area extends for over 300 km along the southwestern coast of California, and reaches up to 110 km inland (Windhorst 1994, 177 - 179).


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