Whose fault is it again?


Upon reading the article “Owens Valley Salty As Los Angeles Water Battle Flows Into Court” it seems that the everlasting tension between Owens Valley will never end. Should it though? What is the right and wrong thing  to do? It is clear that Los Angeles is at fault for one of the biggest environmental disasters in the U.S.

In the article, the two sides of this struggle can be seen. Owens Lake has become a salt bed subject to giant dust storms that put out dangerous particulates that harm the citizens that live around the area. The city of Los Angeles was marked as the responsible entity for this and rightly so. The diverging of water from Owens River to the Los Angeles aqueduct has directly dried up the lake rendering it an almost a barren landscape. It can never go back to its original condition and without the Los Angeles dust control projects it would not be able to support the small habitat that it does now.

While they have already spent more than a billion of dollars on their dust control projects, who is to say that they have redeemed themselves? At what point does Los Angeles stop repaying all the damages they have inflicted on the landscape of Owens Valley and the locals who have spend a majority of their lives seeing it deteriorate. What makes things more ironic is that Los Angeles thinks it has done enough in reparations but it will continue to diverge the water from Owens River.  So- yes. As long as Los Angeles keeps taking the water they should continue to pay for the environmental damages that their actions bring.

Then there is the issue of time. These environmental court battles take years to win and years of pure unnerving determination to uphold. Pretty soon a new generation of individuals will have to take the role of protecting Owens Valley, but they might not have the same determination and love for the place as their parents and grandparents did.



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