The idea of diverting water from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Los Angeles area came to light after many years of harsh drought that affected southern California in the beginning of the 20th century. The city leaders wanted the growing town of Los Angeles to transform into a thriving metropolis of economic power but to support the influx of residents more water was needed.
Construction of the California aqueduct began in 1908 frustrating residents of the Owens Valley (a valley composed of a few towns near the Owens River). These towns that sit to the east of the Sierra Nevada mountains and 200 miles away from Los Angeles slowly watched as land and water rights were bought out from under them. At the completion of construction of the aqueduct in 1913, the lush greenery of the land began to give way to desert-like conditions. The channel diverted water a total of 233 miles south to the Los Angeles area.
The 1920s were termed the “water wars” due to the outrage the residents of the Owens Valley felt toward the aqueduct and on three separate occasions they blew up the channel. Also during this time one of the dams constructed to hold the water collapsed flooding many small towns and killing hundreds. The aqueduct was examined leading many to believe it would be the end of its use. Yet the channel was rerouted and extended to the Mono Basin Project or Mono Lake for a total water diversion of 338 miles. The situation at Mono Lake now has taken a turn for the worse causing the once thriving lake to shrink considerably.
Using the background information above, your textbook, and performing outside research, you will post a defense ONLY for the position you have been assigned. If you were a citizen in the area, how would the building of the aqueduct affect you and your family?
When responding to another classmate courteously state if you agree or disagree and your own justification. One student must be from the opposite town than you were assigned. For example, my last name is Cobb. I would write my post as a resident from Owens Valley and respond to a student from Los Angeles. My second response can be to a fellow Owens Valley resident or another student from Los Angeles.
Make sure you write at least 10 meaningful, complete sentences and respond to TWO other students for full credit. Saying “I agree.” or something similar is not considered a good, complete sentence! Please refer to the corresponding module page for more specific grading criteria.
*Students with their last name beginning with the letters A through L will be residents of Owens Valley.