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1905 L.A. water board announces aqueduct project

1905 L.A. water board announces aqueduct project

July 1905: The Los Angeles water board announces the securing of water from the Owens River in Inyo County and the construction of an aqueduct to deliver it to the city. Water commissioners, from left: J.J. Fay, J.M. Elliott, M.H. Sherman, William Mead and Fred L. Baker.

This photo was published in the July 19, 1905, Los Angeles Times, accompanying the announcement:

The cable that has held the San Fernando Valley vassal for ten centuries to the arid demon is about to be severed by the magic scimitar of modern engineering skill.

Back to the headwaters of the Los Angeles River will be turned the flow of a thousand mountain streams that ages ago were tributaries of the current that swept past the site of the ancient pueblo of Los Angeles to the ocean.

The desert has yielded up its wealth. The problem of Los Angeles’ water supply has been solved for the next hundred years.

Thirty thousand inches of the purest snow water is to be taken from the bed of the Owens River in Inyo county, right in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and conveyed for a distance of 240 miles over arid plains and through the heart of mountain ranges to be emptied into mighty reservoirs at the headworks of the Los Angeles water system.

The resulting Los Angeles Aqueduct was opened Nov. 5, 1913. For more on its centennial, please check out  The L.A. Aqueduct at 100.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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