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2021 SPE Annual Conference: Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

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100 Years of Dust: Owens Lake and the Los Angeles Aqueduct

Jennifer Little

Saturday, March 14 - 9:00AM to 9:45AM
Celestin D

Owens Lake lies in California's Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, 200 miles northeast of Los Angeles. This 110-square-mile lake began to dry up in 1913 when Los Angeles diverted the Owens River into the LA Aqueduct. The new water supply allowed the city to grow and turned the arid San Fernando Valley into an agricultural oasis, but at tremendous environmental cost. By 1926, Owens Lake was a dry alkali flat, and its dust became the largest source of carcinogenic particulate air pollution in North America. This presentation documents the legally mandated dust mitigation program at Owens Lake that began in 2000.


Jennifer Little
Jennifer Little

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