THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES (situated on Tongva territory), California, is one of the most populous cities in the United States and has one of the largest metropolitan economies in the world. It is also dependent on other areas of California to provide 85% of its water.
The 3 main imported sources of water to LA county are: The State Water Project, The Colorado River, and the LA Aqueduct.
The first LA Aqueduct was built in 1913, it stretched nearly 250 miles up to Payahuunadu, the land where the water flows, also known as Owens Valley, Eastern Sierras. The deliberate elimination of the Paiute Shoshone peoples of Payahuunadu had already begun in the late 1880’s. The building of the aqueduct saw the beginning of the gradual loss of a sustainable environment, the loss of a once thriving environment, and the growing mutually dependent relationship with Los Angeles. A relationship that has born conflict and animosity for over 100 years now.
With the impacts of climate change becoming ever more obvious: severe drought, high risks of earthquakes, year round fire risk, extreme heat and flooding, the need for LA to become resilient is ever increasing. And one of the most important elements is to become water sufficient.
The question, ‘where does our water come from?’ Can also be adapted to ‘why does our water not come from local sources’?
In partnership with Tongva community members, Owens Valley Indian Water Commission and Youth Passageways we will hold 3 x 1 day walks in Los Angeles City in September 2021 to explore what it would mean for Los Angeles to be water independent, what it has meant for both the Paiute people and the Tongva people that LA is not and how we can all play a part in creating a resilient LA. We will also invite the LA Mayors office of Infrastructure, other elected officials and experts to join to both share and listen.
Event Details: Participants are welcome to sign up for 1, 2 or 3 days…
September 3rd – We invite young community activists
September 4th – We invite families
September 5th – Open to All
Time: Each day we begin at 9:30am and compete by 3:30pm
Where: Los Angeles City, exact location TBD (we will walk 5 miles total)
Guides: Gigi Coyle, Annie Mendoza, Orland Bishop and Kate Bunney
Cost: By Donation – No on will be turned away for lack of funds
More Information: Email Kate Bunney