Owens Lake

Owens Lake is the most visible casualty of water diversions from  Owens River. Even without the Aqueduct, the lake would have been a desiccated and dusty playa due to excessive diversions by the farmers starting in the 1880s.

Pliestocene & holocene OL F1 GSApubs #429-207

10,000 years ago, Owens Lake overflowed into the Rose Valley via Fossil Falls. Traces of these ancient beaches can be spotted on the alluvial fans surrounding the lake. [Source: Orme & Orme 2015, Geologic Society of America Special Publication 429].

1872-79 OL steamship_nav_small owensvallyhistory_com

In the 1870s, two steam ships plied the waters of Owens Lake, shaving two days off the journey of Silver-Lead bullion to Los Angeles and supplying raw materials to the mines of Cerro Gordo. {Source: Owensvalleyhistory.com]

1916 Aqueduct Report ol-contours

Owens Lake Bathymetry from the 1916 Complete Report on the Construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. [Scanned by Aqueduct Futures Project].

Owens Lake Dust Control Drawings

 

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