The Los Angeles Aqueduct, explained

Posted on | October 5, 2009 | 2 Comments

THE  dams and aqueducts that make modern life possible in Southern California — Hoover Dam (1931-36), the Colorado River Aqueduct (1933-1941) and the State Water Project (1957– __) — all owe their existence to the Los Angeles Aqueduct (1905-1913.) This gravity-fed canal extending from high in the Eastern Sierra 223 miles southwest to Los Angeles proved that 20th century Californians needn’t go to water, water could be brought to them. Cities could be built in the sand. Call it a water grab, call it ingenuity, the story of the Los Angeles Aqueduct foretold the story of the modern West.

In a boon for teachers, conservationists and anyone with a passably curious mind, Chris Austin, editor of the Water Education Foundation’s newsfeed Aquafornia, has produced a sweeping photo essay on the Aqueduct. Moreover, she has allowed us to imbed it here. Congratulations to Chris and many thanks to her and the Water Education Foundation.

EDUCATION ALERT: Registrations for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Science Bowl opened October 1st. Registrations close on December 15th. For information on the 2010 Science Bowl and other programs of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in the classroom, click here.

Elsewhere for educators:

*For Aquafornia’s photo tour of the State Water Project, click here.

*For Aquafornia photos of Owens Valley, Imperial Valley, the Salton Sea, Mono Lake and more, so much more, click here.

*For budding oceanographers and simply kids who love water, Aquarium of the Pacific Education Programs

*Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Water Education Programs for Teachers

*To find programs from your local water company, also go to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, click on the Member Agency Guide (here), then click again on your local water authority.

*For agencies with education programs, try Chance of Rain’s own listings: Water Resources for California

*Project WET, sponsored by the Water Education Foundation, is an interdisciplinary K-12 program for formal and non-formal teachers studying all aspects of water, is correlated to California content standards and the California Environmental Education Initiative learning objectives.

*For help teaching about hydropower, click on this link to the US Bureau of Reclamation

*Also, try the American River Water Education Center, Folsom, California, US Bureau of Reclamation

*US Geological Survey Science Picks

Listing in progress. All suggestions welcome.


2 Responses to “The Los Angeles Aqueduct, explained”

  1. Eric
    October 6th, 2009 @ 9:01 am

    Thanks for posting this. It’s amazing how we can use simple Internet tools to communicate about water to the public in such a vivid way — and cheap!

  2. EmilyGreen
    October 6th, 2009 @ 9:47 am

    Eric, my pleasure and I agree with you about how useful simple internet tools are in taking Southern Californians hundreds of miles from their homes to learn about their water. Where Chris Austin deserves special credit is that she only used library shots for historical purposes. She photographed most of this in a series of long hot trips between posting the day’s water news every day on Aquafornia. Or maybe she’s been cloned. Either way, there is a real educator’s labor of love behind the lens here. I couldn’t be more impressed by it and I’m so glad you complimented it too.

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