Have a listen to this in-depth interview in anticipation of the World Water Day 3/22/22 online premiere of “Without Water,” a short documentary film from the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition. Register here. It’s FREE!

CORRECTION: One of our followers, John Klusmire, listened to the interview and wrote to let us know that the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power actually began buying up water rights in the Owens River Valley in 1905, at the behest of Fred Eaton, mayor for the city of Los Angeles. By 1907 the land was acquired and construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct commenced the following year and was completed in 1913. Thanks John, for correcting some of the dates referenced by Matt in the interview.

Comments (1)

Matt completely botched the history — Fred Eaton single-handedly secured options to buy land and water rights in the Owens Valley starting in 1905 (not leases, and there were no groups of LA operatives acting as ranchers — it was pretty much just Eaton). Matt said LA started acquiring land in the 1930s. Obviously wrong since the LA Aqueduct was completed in 1913. Long Valley was part of a 55,000 acre purchase from the Ricky Ranch Company in Nevada and was the critical purchase. That gave LA the senior rights on the Owens River and the reservoir site. Eaton would not turn over the Long Valley site to LA, as he did the Owens Valley land he optioned. He wanted a higher price, thus no work on the dam and reservoir could start until Eaton’s family finally sold the site in the late 1930s.

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