Our objective is to provide a solid source of objective information on water and energy issues facing Southern California and the West. Also, to preserve the regional history of Water and Electricity and show its role in the development and growth of the City of Los Angeles.



The best way to quickly see what we're up to is to visit our quarterly Newsletters page and check out the items of interest to you. The latest newsletter has its own link just below.





Click HERE to see the October 2015 Newsletter.



Historical Record Committee Update


The development of a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Historical Exhibit in the Hammel Building on Olvera Street was approved on August 4th by the Commissioners of LADWP and the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Monument Department (El Pueblo).

This new Exhibit will include the relocation of the existing History of Water Exhibit (which has been closed because it was not accessible to people with disabilities), expanded exhibits highlighting the role of the Department in the founding and development of Los Angeles, and present information on the sustainability efforts being undertaken by LADWP.

The Hammel Building which fronts on Olvera Street and also includes access to North Main Street is particularly suited for this exhibit because it contains an exposed portion of the Zanja Madre (the original water distribution system of Los Angeles).  It also has sufficient space (2,600 sq. ft.) to greatly expand the current displays to cover the historical roles of water and power in the development of the City of Los Angeles, as well as allowing for rotating exhibits focusing on current issues.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the agencies stipulates LADWP will provide up to $195,000 for capital improvements, design, installation, and on-going presentation of exhibits. El Pueblo will be responsible for coordinating the development of the exhibit; providing staffing consistent with all the other museums in El Pueblo; and performing the maintenance and operations of the site once the project is completed.

It is anticipated that the exhibit will open in about a year and that it will last about 10 years before major changes would need to be considered.

The Water and Power Associates will be looking at the possibility of augmenting the staff of Museum through providing docent services for the exhibit (Click HERE for exhibit location).


Gerald A. Gewe
Chair Historical Record Committee


Click HERE for more on the Historical Record Committee




What’s New!

We invite you to visit our newest Virtual Museum Section: Early Boylston Street Yard

Boylston Street Yard played a vital role in providing electrical power to the city of Los Angeles since 1896.

The following sections were also recently added to our Virtual Museum:





Special Collections

In our Virtual Museum Section, we now offer links to special collections, papers and databases that provide unique and diverse perspectives into the history of the municipal water system in Los Angeles during the 20th century.

These collections, hosted by the CSUN Oviatt Digital Library and sponsored by Metabolic Studios, offer researchers insight into the unique history of urban development and the evolution of the municipal water system in Los Angeles. Records in the collections chronicle the roles played by politicians and local politics; private business and industry; civic organizations; and local, state, and federal governmental agencies invested in providing water to the city’s rapidly growing population.






Mystery History

Test your knowledge of Los Angeles History by visiting our Mystery History Section.


Click HERE to visit our Mystery History Section.





Featured Historical Interview

For an inisghtful perspective on the relationship between Owens Valley and the City of Los Angeles following the construction of the LA Aqueduct as well as the dynamics between early DWP management and City Officials, read the transcripts of a Steve Erie interview with Robert V. Phillips, Chief Engineer and General Manager of DWP, 1972-75 (Both Mr. Phillips and his father knew and worked with William Mulholland and H. A. Van Norman).


Robert Phillips Interview:     Part 1 --- Part 2 --- Part 3




Virtual Museum

Visit our Museum Section to see how Water and Electricity contributed to the development of the City of Los Angeles.


Click HERE to visit our Virtual Musem.




Have Something Historical To Share?  We Want To Know!

Do you have items to share? We would welcome photos of old buildings, early city views, correspondence, newspapers, early sports teams, and events that pertain to the History of Water and Electricity and/or the History of Los Angeles and Southern California in general. If you would like to retain the originals, we would be happy to scan the items and return them to you.

Take a look in your attics, and think of what you can help us collect for future generations to enjoy! If interested, please contact us at: webmaster@waterandpower.org.

Note: Water and Power Associates, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 organization, and donations are deductible to the extent permitted by law.