25 Apr '12, 11am

The Water Fight That Inspired 'Chinatown'

J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times Much of the Owens Valley, east of the Sierra Nevada, is now owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power as a result as of a century-old water grab. The authority helped the valley recover from its dessicated state several years ago. For many people, at least outside the far West, the mention of California’s water wars tends to conjure Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown.” The 1974 film classic , starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston, is loosely based on the success of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in siphoning off most of the Owens River, a stream fed by the snowmelt of the Eastern Sierra, and bringing it to the Los Angeles basin about a century ago. In an article that Adam Nagourney and I just wrote for The Times, we describe angry exchanges between San Diego’s water agency and a consortium of its ...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/the-water-fight...

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