Enter the California Water Wars. Los Angeles vs. Owens Valley. Los Angeles has been way too big for its water supply since 1900. 1900. They’d just invented contact lenses, the diesel engine, and dishwashers. But no vacuum cleaners, crossword puzzles or short-wave radio. Like Cyrus the Great diverting the Euphrates, Fred Eaton the Mayor of LA, diverted the Owens River into his crony Bill Mullholland’s LA Aqueduct in 1913. He did not, apparently, inform the people of Owens valley beforehand.
By 1924 the Owen’s Valley had enough. They started dynamiting the aqueduct. (This may account for why it’s so leaky to this very day actually) Eventually the blew up the diversion point and redirected the water back into Owens Lake. So Eaton & Co. collapsed the Owens Valley economic system by forcing the collapse of their main bank. This effectively wiped out the life savings of every person in Inyo County, whether they were involved or not. But hey, su casa es mi casa tambien. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Californ…
By 1941, LA’s thirst for water expanded northwards and they diverted the water from Mono basin. In order to do this, they did some pretty crazy engineering, like tunneling through an active volcano field. Mono lake started to shrink, and increasingly became more saline and alkaline. Left on its own, the place would deteriorate into a toxic acid swamp, resembling, probably, Los Angeles on a Monday morning.
In 1978 the Mono Lake committee, having learned the lessons of the past, eschewed dynamite, and instead sued the Los Angeles Water Department, trying to force them to relinquish some (not all) of the water for the benefit of the local population and the ecosystem. The case ran until 1994 with LA being ruled against time and again, and then dragged back when they openly defied the court’s rulings and refused to let Mono have the water. As of today, they’ve complied with giving up about half of the water that they’re supposed to. So it’s a start.
Hollywood turned the story of the (up to then) water wars into a movie called Chinatown, the plot of which is not nearly as interesting as tunneling through a volcanic field.
Also, the Dodgers suck. love, San Francisco.
Don’t watch Chinatown again, because instead you can watch Xander going on a tirade this week.
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