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13 Images

Reopening a river

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The sun glistens off the icy surface of a pond along the course of the Lower Owens River near the Eastern Sierra Nevada community of Independence. An ambitious, court-ordered restoration project on 62 miles of the Lower Owens River seeks to revitalize wetlands and natural habitat that existed before much of the river’s water was diverted to supply the needs of Los Angeles. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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The sunwashed Inyo Mountains are reflected on the surface of Diaz Lake near the community of Lone Pine. Water from the valley has long quenched the thirst of Los Angeles, more than 100 miles south. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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The Owens River cuts a meandering path between the Inyo Mountains and the Eastern Sierra Nevada. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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Water drips from a valve on the banks of the Owens River. The DWP has built a new diverter in the Eastern Sierra Nevada as part of an ambitious, court-ordered restoration project on 62 miles of the Lower Owens River. Much of the lower river and nearby Owens lake dried up about 90 years ago when William Mulholland built the aqueduct that transports much of the valley’s water to Los Angeles. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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A DWP truck drives past a project site on the dry and dusty floor of the Owens Valley. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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Large, riveted pipes form part of the Los Angeles Aqueduct at Jawbone Station in the Mojave Desert. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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The Los Angeles Aqueduct snakes through the foothills of the Eastern Sierra Nevada towards the dry bed of Owens Lake and Los Angeles beyond. The city has drawn water from the area for almost 100 years. However, flows have been diverted from the aqueduct as part of an ambitious restoration project on 62 miles of the Lower Owens River. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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Brian Tillemans, a stream ecologist with the DWP, says an ambitious, court-mandated restoration of the Lower Owens River will result in enhanced wetlands and wildlife habitat on a 62-mile stretch that now is largely dry and barren. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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Ecosystem meets modern engineering where water from the Owens River is funneled into the Los Angeles Aqueduct. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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The DWP has built a new diverter at the site in the Eastern Sierra Nevada as part of an ambitious, court-ordered restoration project on 62 miles of the Lower Owens River. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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A dirt bike rider passes beneath large, riveted pipes constructed by William Mulholland more than 90 years ago to transport water from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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The DWP uses bulldozers to create wetlands on the dry and dusty floor of the Owens Valley, which has supplied Los Angeles with water for almost 100 years. Flows diverted from the Los Angeles Aqueduct are crucial to an ambitious restoration project along 62 miles of the Lower Owens River in the shadows of the Sierra Nevada. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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Locals hope that restoration of the Lower Owens River will boost tourism in communities like Lone Pine. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
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