Before Los Angeles was created, the Los Angeles river supported the wildlife, and the native Indian tribe of Gabrielinos who were the first known humans to inhabit that area. Their resourceful use of the environment, as observed by early settlers in the region, helped sustain them in a natural way. Since the arrival of the Spanish and subsequent settlers, the dream or rather the illusion of taming the semi-arid land for their own personal gain has been perpetuated by ambitious, albeit desperate attempts, of survival in the Southwestern desert landscape.
The industrialization of water was an unanticipated result from these attempts, that were bolstered by advances in technology. While this brought about periods of unprecedented growth, and renewed resources, the relief that it gave to the inhabitants of Los Angeles outweighed the importance of striking a balance with nature. The destruction of the Owens Lake and transformation of the Los Angeles River into a future highway for urban waste, further evidenced this deteriorating relationship with the natural environment.
Between 2011-2014, the 223-mile long Los Angeles Aqueduct delivered 1 billion gallons of fresh water to the Los Angeles metropolitan area, in which the daily per capita use at the time was 152 gallons. More than 50% of this water goes to outdoor uses such as gardening and swimming pools, while the rest goes towards indoor uses. There are over 10 million people living in the county of Los Angeles who receive fresh water in return for their money. Not many of them will wonder about where this water originates from, or what their simple act of consumption or wastage might be doing to the natural environment and to their own future.
Renewed efforts in urbanization has allowed Los Angeles the ability to metastasize beyond the megalopolis it has become today. Together with the ongoing dream to sustain its hyperreal growth in a desert landscape, the relationship between the city of Los Angeles and the river that gave birth to it, exists only as an afterthought in the history of the making of this city.