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Aerial photos of the Los Angeles Aqueduct

Los Angeles was built with water.

When William Mulholland completed the first Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, the city finally had the resources that allowed it to boom; the population of 100,000 started to grow rapidly and expanded into the metropolis we know today.

About 30 percent of L.A.'s water comes from the Owens Valley, where the original aqueduct still functions, alongside a second aqueduct finished in the 1970s.

The water's route starts up in the high peaks of the Eastern Sierras, flows down through Owens River and gets swept up into L.A.'s water supply, about 30-miles south of Bishop, Calif.

Next, the aqueduct snakes alongside Owens Lake, which has been a dry lakebed ever since its water was diverted in 1913, leaving the region with dust storms and air pollution.

The 233-mile aqueduct then takes a turn into the Haiwee Resevoir, winds through the Mojave Dessert,  turns a corner over the Angeles National Forest and cascades next to Interstate 5 near Sylmar, Calif.

After making the journey from the Eastern Sierras, the water gets filtered, treated and distributed to millions of people in Los Angeles County.

Learn more about the history of current state of the Los Angeles Aqueduct on KPCC.

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