Iowa Public Television


Water War Settled in the West

posted on December 8, 2006

After decades of legal battles, the city of Los Angeles will return water it diverted from the Sierra Nevada's Owens Valley in 1913.

At the time, L.A. had built a 240-mile aqueduct that brought in water to help develop the city. When the water was taken out of Sierra Nevada it was said to have devastated local cattle ranches as well as apricot and apple farms.

To return the water, L.A. will turn a valve and raise a steel gate to send water once more into a 62-mile stretch of the Owens River. However, it may be more a symbolic gesture. The water diverted back to Owens Valley will reach a storage pond, where four pumps will send it back into the aqueduct and back to Los Angeles.

Tags: news water