- What are the costs of providing water for Los Angeles?
- What is owed to the Owens Valley for supplying water to the Los Angeles Aqueduct?
Aqueduct Futures Project [AF] was launched to commemorate the centennial of the Los Angeles Aqueduct [LAA] in 2012 by Barry Lehrman, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona. With the assistance of 127 (and counting) Cal Poly Students, the project has mapped the connections among water, energy, ecology, and the growth of Los Angeles and the Owens Valley.
AF’s goal is to inspire civic imagination about opportunities for the next hundred years of the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
At the opening of the LAA, William Mulholland famously said, ‘Here it is. Take it!’ referring to the water from the Owens Valley. One hundred years later, AF is seeking ways to give it back.
[Panel 03 is not included in AtA]
These panels are a timeline (left to right) that illustrate the influence and connections between the LAA and Los Angeles from the end of the Ice Age through 2014. From top to bottom, the maps and charts are:
- Changes to the Owens Valley and the Los Angeles Aqueduct
- Regional maps for the watershed Los Angeles: the Zanja Madre (1781-1913), alternatives to the LAA (1906), LAA (1913), Colorado River Aqueduct (1939), and California Aqueduct/State Water Project (1971)
- Map of the US with every major diversion of water and the date when urban water systems were established (far right)
- Comparison of the area of the City of Los Angeles and property owned by the City in the Owens Valley and Mono County
- Maps showing the growth of the City of Los Angeles
- Chart of flow of water in the LAA to LA with ground water pumping in Owens Valley
The background pattern indicates droughts in Southern California and Owens Valley, and charts total annual precipitation in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Aqueduct is a very complex system. Panels 09 & 10 provide ‘Sankey diagrams’ of water and energy flows for the Aqueduct that illustrate the origins (sources) and uses (sinks) of water and energy across the entire system (line thickness indicates the amount). Panel 11 illustrates the impacts caused by pumping on the plants in the Owens Valley (left) and all the court ordered projects to repair the damaged habitat (right).
How much water does Los Angeles need and how much water is available from local sources? These panels chart how it is possible to replace the entire amount currently delivered via the LAA with recycled water and ground water.
With or without the Aqueduct, what is the future of the Owens Valley? Among the possibilities, perhaps it can become a park, where American Bison and wolves are reintroduced to California. If the Aqueduct remains in use, can the Aqueduct be revitalized into the cultural focus of the communities it passes through on its journey south? Can the aqueduct be transformed into a living river instead of a dead pipe?
A list of terms and concepts used in the Aqueduct Futures panels can be found at /lexicon.