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"There it is... take it back"  |  DECEMBER 7, 2006

Today saw water once again gushing into the Owens River north of Los Angeles, as the city restored some of the flow it siphoned off nearly a century ago. In a play on engineer William Mulholland's famous words, "There it is.
Take it," top L.A. water official David Nahai announced, "There it is... take it back," to hundreds of cheering Owens Valley residents.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, also on hand for the occasion said, "This is a new chapter in our relationship with the Owens Valley. We can't take back what happened here 90 years ago, but we can make it better.

The Los Angeles Aqueduct, built in 1913 to bring water to the fast-growing
San Fernando Valley, turned the once-fertile Owens Valley into a dust bowl.
The events surrounding the water grab were later fictionalized in the 1974 movie, CHINATOWN.

In researching my DYNAMITE screenplay, I learned that a group of investors including Harrison Gray Otis and Harry Chandler of the Los Angeles Times had bought up thousands of acres of land in hopes of building the aqueduct.

 
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