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DWP’s trusts remains mysterious

friday mixer square

The head of the largest Department of Water and Power union (Brian D’Arcy at IBEW Local 18) says he’s going to appeal a recent court order to turn over financial records for the Joint Training Institute and Joint Safety Institute.
These non-profits have taken in about $40 million in ratepayer money collectively over the last ten years or longer. To be sure, it’s a story that’s been …

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Pipeline to the past: Workers dig up L.A. water history


Local history buffs know that much of the story of L.A. is about finding and exploiting water. Now an early and important piece of the city’s water history has been discovered. Construction workers in Chinatown have uncovered what is believed to be a roughly 100-foot section of the city’s first municipal water system. It’s a 19th Century brick and wooden pipe that connected the …

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Coastal agency wants to put Venice curfew to bed


A long-running fight over a city-imposed curfew on Venice Beach could heat up again. The California Commission has consistently opposed the midnight to 5 a.m. curfew – arguing that the state’s Coastal Act calls for the public to have access to the ocean 24 hours a day. In a letter earlier this month, commission officials asked the city to reopen talks on the curfew. …

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Dodgers kick off home season amid off-field turmoil


The Dodgers have high hopes of reaching the World Series this year, but as they get set for their home opener today at Chavez Ravine all is not well off the field. In spite of a roster stocked with high-priced talent, most of the local chatter about the team early on has revolved around lack of access to SportsNet L.A., the club’s new cable …

economy, Environment, Headline, Issues, News, Power and Water »

L.A. job growth is dead last among major U.S. cities


California’s drought could suppress job growth by 0.2 percent over the next few years, according to UCLA economists. The losses would fall mostly in the state’s fishing and manufacturing industries. That’s fairly modest given the severity of the drought. But the Anderson Forecast warns that all bets are off if the current dry weather turns out to be the start of a long arid …

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Part I: William Mulholland’s vision

Photo courtesy: Los Angeles Public Library

Listen below as Madeleine Brand and Saul Gonzalez report on the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
The Mulholland Fountain is named in honor of William Mullholland, the City Engineer who brought water to the Los Angeles area from the Owens Valley via the aqueduct. Mulholland used to live in a shack where the fountain is now located, on the corner of Los Feliz Boulevard and Riverside …

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Part 2: What happened to the Owens Valley?

The lake bed is awash in color because of salt-loving bacteria (Photo: Matt Holzman)

Listen below: Madeleine Brand reports on the Owens Valley

Drive from Los Angeles up the I-5 and you hit the Owens River Valley and the beginning of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, called the  “intake.” This is a small concrete bridge with four wheels on top. Each wheel opens a water channel. And etched in the concrete are the now-faded words,  “Los Angeles Aqueduct.”
Los Angeles is …

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Part 3: Where does your water come from?

The Hollywood Reservoir, just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood Boulevard, is a beautiful spot for hiking and jogging. Like most of the city's big open-air reservoirs, though, it's no longer used to store drinking water for the city. That's because of federal health standards that require the DWP to cover L.A.'s drinking water supply. The DWP is moving forward with a master plan to cover all of its big reservoirs so the water in them  isn't exposed to sunlight. (Photo by Saul Gonzalez)

Listen below as Madeleine Brand and Saul Gonzalez report on the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power engineer Fred Barker knows where your water comes from. Holding a glass of tap water, he explains that it came through the plumbing of the downtown DWP building, through a water main that connects to the Salono Reservoir, which is out by Dodger …

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Part 4: Can groundwater quench our thirst?

And houses have been fitted with storm drain water capture for watering lawns and other use. (Photo: Matt Holzman)

Listen below as Madeleine Brand and Saul Gonzalez report on the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
The San Fernando Valley is a giant aquifer, basically sitting on a sponge that can absorb a lot of water, and because it’s underground, that water doesn’t evaporate. However, due to paving the aquifer doesn’t absorb as much water as it could. About 85 percent of the city is paved, which …

Environment, Power and Water »

Interview with Christine Mulholland


“William [Mulholland] was not interested in politics,” says his great-granddaughter, explaining that he wanted to serve the people and make sure there was a stable water source for the city. Here, Saul Gonzalez talks to Christine Mulholland about her family’s legacy.

Environment, Featured, News, Power and Water »

Tap vs. bottled water

Via Flickr by tico_24 / Creative Commons

Evian, Fiji, Pellegrino – aren’t these all just fancy ways of saying water? Well kinda. When it comes to what’s inside that bottle, it’s not much different than what you get from the tap. In fact, it’s basically the same thing.
Both kinds of water are sourced the same way, coming from aquifers, lakes and springs. In fact, 44 percent of bottled water sold in …

economy, News, Power and Water, water »

There it is – take it back! An interview with Benett Kessler

Madeleine Brand interviews Bennet Kessler, radio host and activist

KCRW’s Madeleine Brand sat down with Benett Kessler, a resident of Independence, California and owner and founder of Sierra Wave Media. She says that the DWP is still the major player in the Owens River Valley. “They virtually still continue to own all the business houses on Main Street and land under public facilities, churches, little league fields, that sort of thing,” she says. And, as she explains, …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment, Headline, Interviews, News, Politics, Power and Water, water »

Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct with 100 mules


This year marks 100 years since the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the pipeline that carries water from the Owens Valley to the San Fernando Valley. It enabled LA to grow into the metropolis it is today, but drained the Owens Valley dry. To recognize that legacy, an LA artist has embarked on a curious adventure: to travel that 240-mile stretch of the …

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