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Waterworks History 141
Waterworks History 141
Waterworks History 141
Waterworks History 141
Waterworks History 141
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Waterworks History 141

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  • 1. Panama Canal and the Los Angeles Aqueduct Brandon Engberg
  • 2. Los Angeles Aqueduct
    • With the increasing population of Los Angeles County during the late 1800’s water was at a high demand.
    • The Los Angeles River had gone dry and a new water source was needed fast.
    • The city turned to William Mulholland.
    • Mulholland was an Irish immigrant who was also a self taught engineer.
    • William Mulholland had previously worked at the Los Angeles Water Company learning the tricks of the trade.
    • However at the time Los Angeles needed him he was head of the Los Angeles Department of Water.
  • 3. Los Angeles Aqueduct
    • Mulholland would set out on a long journey to find a new source of water for Los Angeles County.
    • He would soon find the Owens River in which he would use to design a new aqueduct to bring water to Los Angeles County.
    • Before the project was announced some of Mulholland’s men started buying a bunch of land in Owens Valley for potential land for construction.
    • The project would start in 1908 with 5,000 workers who would work in shifts in order to avoid dangers from the intense heat of the desert.
    • The project consisted of 223 miles of 12 foot in diameter steel pipe.
    • It used gravity to flow to Los Angeles making it cost efficient and in the end it was finish under-budget and ahead of schedule.
    • However after completion a “water war” would start between the people of the Owens Valley and the people of Los Angeles.
    • The Owens Valley residents felt cheated and many times seized and shutdown the aqueduct .
  • 4. Panama Canal
    • During the 1800’s boats would have to sail all the way down and around the tip of South America if they were sailing from Europe to the Western Coast of the U.S.
    • It was pretty evident that a “shortcut” was needed.
    • In 1880 the French began construction on the Panama Canal.
    • However this turned out terribly with over 20,000 workers dying.
    • Most of these workers died from diseases such as Malaria and Yellow Fever. Some died from fatal land slides.
    • As a result the French abandoned there attempt at building the canal.
    • On May 4, 1904 the U.S. would attempt to finish what the French could not.
    • Proper housing was built for the workers and Mosquitoes were killed in order to limit diseases spread from them.
    • As a result the U.S. would work faster on the project with a much smaller death toll losing just over 5,000 workers, 1/4 the size of the French death toll.
  • 5. Panama Canal
    • While under United States construction a series of locks would be integrated into the Panama Canal.
    • These locks would allow boats to be raised and lowered to ensure easier passage through the canal by keeping the water at sea level.
    • After 10 years of work the Canal would be finished in 1914, two years ahead of schedule.
    • The first boat to travel through the Panama Canal was the SS Ancon.
    • The US would hold control of the Canal for about 85 years until December 31, 1999 when it officially handed over control of the Canal to the country of Panama.

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