A Brief History of How Los Angeles Dried Up Owens Valley’s ‘Indian Ditches’
Tribal elders and water experts offer a window into the history of water in Owens Valley and how it ran dry.
Members of two northern Paiute tribes describe the lush valley where their tribes survived for thousands of years. This changed quickly with the growing presence of settlers and the growing thirst of the city that became Los Angeles. Through a complex system of reservoirs, canals and aqueducts, the metropolis siphons and pumps unprecedented amounts of surface and groundwater, further exacerbating unresolved water rights issues that tribal members deal with on a daily basis.