Printed for personal use only

Milestones in California's Hydrological History

Photograph courtesy flickr/ bighornplateau1
 
 

1871
The Pueblo de Los Angeles is founded, relying on water from the Rio Porciúncula, or L.A. River.

 
 

1902
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is open for business.

 

1913
Six years after voters authorize the $23 million L.A. Aqueduct, water from Eastern Sierra's Owens River flows into the city.

 

1923
San Francisco dams the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park, flooding the Hetch-Hetchy Valley.

 

1924
Armed Owens Valley residents occupy the Alabama Gates of the L.A. Aqueduct between November 16 and 20.

 

1925
The Hyperion Treatment Plant adds simple screening of L.A.'s raw sewage before dumping it into Santa Monica Bay.

 

1928
William Mulholland's Saint Francis Dam near Santa Clarita collapses on March 12, killing more than 600.

 

1936
Hoover Dam is completed on the Colorado River near Las Vegas, creating Lake Mead.

 

1938
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begins to line the L.A. River in concrete. Its last steelhead trout is caught two years later.

 

1939
The Colorado River Aqueduct brings water from Lake Havasu to L.A.

 

1960
Voters approve the State Water Project's damming of the Feather River and sending the water to Southern California.

 

1970
A second aqueduct in the Owens Valley is completed to pump groundwater to L.A.

 

1987
Hyperion fulfills a court order to filter sludge before it enters Santa Monica Bay; marine life rebounds.

 

2006
Settling litigation, the DWP restores water to 62 miles of the Lower Owens River for the first time since 1913.

 

2007
A judge restricts water pumped south from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to save endangered delta smelt.

 

2013
Forecasts indicate that Lake Mead, on the Colorado River, may fall 154 feet below full, triggering water cutbacks.

Water in L.A.