“There It Is — Take It”: The Story of the Los Angeles Aqueduct

The controversial construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct provided grist for famous books and movies, and conflicts that continue to this day. In a multimedia feature, Louis Sahagun explores the history of the project that helped birth modern L.A.

One hundred years ago this Saturday, water poured forth from the mouth of the Los Angeles Aqueduct into the L.A. basin for the first time after a 200-mile trip from the Owens Valley. "The job — completed on time and under budget — required 215 miles of road, 280 miles of pipeline, 142 tunnels, more than 1 million barrels of cement and 6 million pounds of dynamite," writes Sahagun. 

"The Los Angeles Aqueduct — powered by gravity alone as it tapped the snows of the Sierra Nevada more than 200 miles to the north — ensured reliable irrigation for farms and ranches and nurtured a galaxy of prosperous Southern California suburbs and industrial centers," he adds. "Like a magnet, it pulled in millions of people from around the country, offering them new jobs, communities and lifestyles."

“It will continue to serve the city for another 100 years,”  said DWP water systems manager Marty Adams, “and, with maintenance, a lot longer than that.”

Full Story: ‘THERE IT IS — TAKE IT’ A century of marvel and controversy


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