Project Origins

Established for the 2013 Centennial of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the Aqueduct Futures Project’s mission was to catalyze the transformation of William Mulholland’s Los Angeles Aqueduct system into a 21st century multi-functional water supply as a means to ensure a more resilient future for the entire region. The project worked to lay the foundation for peace between Los Angeles and Owens Valley by offering positive alternatives that from outside conventional thinking.

Conceived in January 2012 by Barry Lehrman by (then) Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona, the project explored the future of the Aqueduct and landscapes that it impacted through a series of interdisciplinary courses taught in 2012-2014 at Cal Poly Pomona.  ~200 students participated in these courses designed new landscape systems, organized and created community events, developing the 2013 exhibition, and blogged to raise awareness about the sources and quantity of water available to us, cultural and ecological impacts of the Aqueduct, and ways to conserve and reduce water use in Los Angeles.

The Aqueduct Futures Project is:

Design Assistants

  • Anais Placido 2014 BSLA
  • Alejandro Palacios 2014 BSLA
  • Alex Nylund 2013 BS Computer Science
  • Alfonso Joven 2013 BS Computer Science
  • Carlos Flores 2014 MLA Candidate
  • Ernesto Perez 2014 BSLA
  • Jane Tsong 2014 MLA Candidate
  • Kevin Yuan 2014 MLA
  • Misa Sullivan 2017 MLA Candidate
  • Rafael Rayo 2013 BS Computer Science
  • Rosa Soria 2014 BSLA

with special assistance by Stephen Miller.

Co-Instructors for the Aqueduct Futures Courses: Robert Kerbs, Crystal Lee, Meredith McKenzie, Andrew Kanzler, & Doug Delgado

With contributions from: Michael Woo, Weimin Li, Lee-Anne Milburn, Phil Pregill, & Karen Hanna


The Aqueduct Futures Project honors  the memory of Mary Alm, PhD (1969-2013), wife of Barry Lehrman. The following dedication appears in ARID Journal, together with the article we co-wrote.

Mary was my muse, dear wife of nine years and mother of our son. She died peacefully after a grueling 15-month fight with breast cancer, just days after we submitted our final manuscript to Arid Journal. The week before she was stricken by an undetected metastasis, we finally traveled together to the Owens Valley to see the place that is bedrock of my academic career.

As the cool and calmly collected presence reigning in my boundless ideas, Mary brought focus to my life and provided the inspiration that encouraged me to aim for the moon.

As a health psychologist, Mary gave me a perspective into human behavior that enriched my scholarship into urban landscape systems and sustainability. This article was our first published collaboration to connect the gulf between our disciplines. Writing together—often at her weekly infusions during the darkness brought by the cancer—gave us strength to persevere against the relentless toll chemotherapy inflicted and to continue to pursue our dreams of future endeavors together.

As a lasting tribute to our love, this article is dedicated to Mary’s genius, goodness, and grace.

–Barry Lehrman, September 5, 2013

Creative Commons License
Aqueduct Futures by Barry Lehrman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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