It was officially a centennial ceremony, but to call it a celebration would have been taking it too far.
100 years ago yesterday, the intake for the Los Angeles Aqueduct opened. It's the piece of infrastructure where the natural flowing Owens River, filled by melting snow of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is diverted into the artificial engineering marvel that sends water over 200 miles to the city.
Without the aqueduct, L.A. wouldn't be what it is today (while it delivers less than half of the water supply today, it once brought 80 to 90 percent); with it, the Owens Valley has suffered a century of major environmental change. That fact was not lost upon Los Angeles officials Friday at an early celebration of the intake centennial in Independence. "It would be wrong not to recognize the controversy," said Department of Water and Power General Manager Ron Nichols, according to a report filed by Jon Klusmire, who heads up the Eastern California Museum for Inyo County, in the local newspaper.
Nonetheless, hard feelings felt by many locals were peacefully put on display by about 30 protestors at the ceremony. Klusmire snapped some photos and shared them with KCET: