Streams of Life: Water in the American West
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Los Angeles (continued)
The city bought Fred Eaton's dam site for $650.000 after he lost everything in the collapse of the Owens Valley bank. The dam was build for considerably less than the city spent to settle the San Francisquito dam failure. Mulholland and Eaton-both broken men-finallyresolved their differences and became friends again.
Not only were the lives of Mulholland and Eaton destroyed, but also the lives of the residents-former residents-of Owens Valley. The lake dried up completely and was replaced by more open desert plains. Mineral deposits from the old lakebed are blown up into the air. At one point the Owens Valley had the worst air pollution in the country. An oasis in the desert was gone forever.
Los Angeles's story is not over, though. The city was only able to spend a few years gloating before it was forced to continue its search for water. It was doomed to succeed.
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